1018 Tasting Notes
Taken with a dash of milk.
First impression is that it’s alright but the stevia wears on me. Stevia, apple, and, surprisingly, mango are ingredients that often do not work for me.
I’ll try steeping it directly in hot milk next time (or heat it all up together on the stove. Depends how lazy I am).
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Fruity, Ginger, Sugar
I must have consumed four (4 EDIT I wrote “for” earlier, which shows where my head’s at) giant mugs of this today. I’m really feeling the lavender heavy, a slight citrus (lemongrass) lean of this tea right now. It will be missed!
Flavors: Citrus, Lavender, Lemongrass, Rosehips
Here in the Lower Mainland, we are experiencing our “false fall” (refer to this pie chart for a full list of Vancouver, BC’s “seasons”:
Tonight, I bit the bullet and decided to try adding Vanilla Cinnamon Baileys to this tea. It’s pretty delicious in an uncomplicated way. This may be a thing in the upcoming cold months.
Flavors: Cream, Irish Cream, Malt, Tangy
Spring 2020 Harvest
I received this as a sample from Alistair @ What-Cha. Thank you!
I don’t always enjoy Darjeeling teas, but I tend to enjoy 1st Flush offerings. This is probably because they are essentially white teas, with trademark Darjeeling grape flavour. White teas almost always please me, although I can’t say why. Something about smooth, sweet hay and flowers, a drop of lemon, and subtle “mystery fruits.” I also generally like how the caffeine hits me.
First steep finishes sweet and vaguely creamy. Also, the usual Grape Crush nostalgia is present, without too much of that Darjeeling astringency.
Second steep verges somewhat from typical white tea standard and delves into quintessential Darjeeling territory. Still floral, grape, hay, etc. A bit more astringency and some pepper expands this cup out an extra dimension. The grape takes on some of that prized “wine” quality.
Third steep: Lemon zest, sweet grapes, tangy apricot, pleasantly sour, smooth . When I first took a sip, while it was still piping hot, I thought It had gone disappointingly flat. After it cooled a little the apricots peaked; it’s a pretty vivid and multi-faceted note. The finish is juicy, sour, and complex, like a stonefruit (plum or apricot). No mistaking it for anything but a Darjeeling now!
Steep Count: 3, Western Style. 2 – 4 min.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Creamy, Floral, Grapes, Hay, Lemon, Muscatel, Pepper, Smooth, Stonefruit
I have a lovely cough and cold symptoms right now so I’m gravitating to my “clean” teas in a sad box of isolation. It’s probably (hopefully) just the cold but got to get tested Friday just in case. Numbers are up in our area. Hurrah…
This tea is a bright beacon of positive energy. Very grapefruit. Very goji. good without milk. Definitely a re-order for my goji and sour grapefruit-loving heart.
Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Goji, Grapefruit, Malt, Nutty
Fall 2017 Harvest
I seem to be on a roll with eating a food and tasting the food in the tea. Pear meet pear note in tea!
My first steep was probably too short (1min30s) so I’m attributing the initially light flavour to that. A lot of typical red oolong flavours are coming through though: baked bread, stewed fruits, the aforementioned pear, blueberries (also pretty distinct), vanilla, brown sugar, nuts, and a hint of sweet spice… Despite thinking this a weak and watery cup to start, the typical mi xiang sweetness really smacks me one near the end. Sugar crush!
The second steep (3min30s) cooled down quite a bit before I payed attention to it. It tastes strongly of cherries, and is complimented by vanilla, brown sugar, and bread notes. There’s a bit of tree resin too. I initially thought it was citrus-like, but it’s woodier (pine, cedar, or even eucalyptus). The sweet, cherry-like aftertaste is strong.
Third steep (over 4min) is a smoother version of the second steep. It tastes of cherries, resin, vanilla, and sugar, verging on floral honey. It’s still extremely sweet, with a hint of cinnamon to finish. Maybe even a slight return of the blueberry and pear.
Steep Count: 4, Western Style. This tea also deserves a gongfu session at a later time.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Cherry, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Honeysuckle, Nutmeg, Nuts, Pear, Pine, Plums, Resin, Stewed Fruits, Stonefruit, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Wood
Spring 2020 Harvest supposedly.
For breakfast I had a slice of toast, with butter and pineapple coconut jam. Now, I only bring this up because if I didn’t know better I would think that some of that butter and jam slipped into my cup while I wasn’t looking!
This oolong is relatively buttery, floral, extremely tropical (tangy pineapple, coconut), with a pleasant jam-like sweetness. Like my pineapple coconut jam, which contains a hint of rum, this also has a faint, subtle “bitter-sugar,” flowery undercurrent that adds depth to this first steep. It reminds me of sarsaparilla (vanilla, licorice, green note, etc.) or just straight up bitter vanilla. This vanilla quality softens to a silky fineness in my third steep; the tropical, butter, and floral notes are well balanced here. It’s my favourite cup so far.
This oolong is almost perfect for me, although I do prefer more butter, and less tangy flowers. Still, it tastes like Hawaii in a cup – or maybe it’s fairer to say it’s Taiwan in a cup (there’s a lot of subtropical and tropical goodness in Taiwan too)!
Steep Count: 5 @1 minute each, western style.
Next time I will try it gongfu or grandpa style. My gaiwan hasn’t seen use in years but this tea makes me think it’s time!
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Floral, Jam, Melon, Pineapple, Sarsaparilla, Tropical, Vanilla
I wasn’t initially super impressed with this one when I first tried it straight up. It was essentially everything I don’t love about David’s Tea dessert teas: a drowned out (green oolong) base, smothered by sugar and flavouring.
As a latte, however, it’s something else. The lush offerings of salted caramel candies fill the void that generally only the decadent fall dessert beverages of Starbucks fill. It’s still very sweet, but oh-so perfect.
This (as a latte) gets bonus points for pleasing a wide array of family members as well. My mom and sister both tried to drink from their empty cups, and wanted refills. That must count for something.
Flavors: Butter, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cream, Molasses, Salt
Last night I had a killer migraine from nowhere that made me want abdicate my head, neck and shoulders and go live in my stomach or something. It’s still kind of lingering on the left side but it’s not even a quarter as bad as last night. It did leave me a delightful red spot on my forehead between the eyes (this has happened before, but still fml). So, I’m a little grumpy and out of sorts today.
I decided to dive into this tea because I’ve been hoarding it for too long, holding out hope that WP would get more of this or Premium Assam in stock and not sell out in 10 minutes (never happens). It’s starting to age and today it was more tart jam than powdered sugar and baked bread (still some of that though).
This is still one of my favourite teas, along with Premium Taiwanese Assam, so I thought I’d give Taiwan Tea Crafts Yuchi Wild Mountain Black Tea a try to see if it’s comparable (what do the “lots” mean? So confused), as well as some from What-Cha that look similar. Here’s hoping (otherwise, it’s good to try new things!).
Steep Count 2
Flavors: Apple, Baked Bread, Dates, Malt, Plums, Powdered Sugar, Sweet Potatoes