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Recent Tasting Notes
I like this. It’s got a bit of bite, and for some reason I like drinking cinnamon teas in the evening when I should be winding down, and end up staying up too late. (It’s the baby’s fault. IDK what’s going on but she’s mad and won’t sleep. So? MOAR tea.)
I have a bit of tea money I wasn’t expecting and now I can treat myself! I almost bought some from Della Terra, but the 30% coupon expired, so I’ll wait. Then I nearly bought 2oz of Laoshan Black from Verdant, but with $9 shipping I might as well get $40 worth of tea, but I don’t NEED $40 worth. Or do I? This will be my first Verdant order and I really enjoyed LB.
Guess I’ll just sit on it and wait. Either for a coupon or a great deal, or a decision. These things probably shouldn’t be done in the dead of the night anyways.
For Verdant, I’d suggest collecting Reward points. You can work up to a $10 off coupon, and then use it to save you the shipping on a smaller order. :) It’s not as good a deal now as when shipping was only $4 (not that that’s Verdant’s fault!) but it still gets you $1.50 off :P
I always hold out for the free shipping, I mean, why should I spend money on shipping when I can use it to get more tea?
Good idea about the points. That might make more sense than ordering more tea than I really want.
And Terri – I try to get free shipping when I can but especially with the recent USPS rate hike, a lot of places won’t do that to Canada anymore. Verdant is one of the few that will help me out, but I’ve only had Laoshan Black. I just accept that I’ll lose money to shipping. :|
This is my 2nd oldest tea, right after Tetley’s Orange Pekoe. I hate having to drink it, but it feels like my throat is so constricted right now that I don’t want to drink anything. So maybe this will help me out.
And ugh. Really? I can’t believe I’m sick again! I think I had 1 week where I was fine, and in that weekk my daughter and husband got sick.. Now it’s back to me and the whole house is fairly miserable Except the kiddo – she’s pretty much over it.
But seriously. You guys must be sick of saying, “Get well Cavo”! :P I’m sick of needing to drink this tea.
So here’s the deal: I’ll finish this tea off in the next day or so, and then I won’t get sick again this year!!!! Bwahahaha.
Oh geez, you’ve been on that merry-go-round for quite a while, it seems. I really do hope you get well soon, and it won’t be too serious of a cold/flu this time.
Yum! Sore throats and sinus aches are so crappy, but this tea makes it more bearable! :D
Looks like I wasn’t able to avoid this cold after all but I don’t mind so long as the little bear doesn’t get sick! Also, I wouldn’t want to call in sick in my first month of working because she’s sick, but I’ll have to do it because you can’t send the kiddo in to daycare sick. :| So, fingers crossed! I’ll make her some of this tomorrow!
Feel better soon, Cavo, not fun…
There’s no scientific studies proving this, but the more I read about sick Steepster members, the more I’m starting to think we share our germs in some ways, lol, maybe through swaps??? haha!
Ack. Someone forgot to turn of the kettle and I lost my tea note.
Anyway, the baby got me sick, which isn’t surprising since I spent most of the day chasing her around and wiping her nose. Poor girl. She still had a lot of fun running around (she loves it if I chase her like a stompy dinosaur) and other fun things.
Now we are enjoying a cup of this tea (she has 2 oz at room temperature in her bottle, while I’ve got 8 in my mug. Hopefully it’ll help, but I never know with herbals. It makes me feel like I’m doing something at least.
So, it’s come to this… Time to break out the I’m sick – feel sorry for me tea. :| I knew it was going to happen though – hard to avoid when the baby has been sick the past few days and has trouble sleeping unless you’re holding her. Hopefully it’ll just hit me hard today and then I can shrug it off.
This tea is a pretty good start though. Sadly my first thought when I realised I was for sure sinusy/sick was ‘Oooh, time to try out these teas!’. I know you guys understand. I like this though and have tried it when I’m not sick. I’m not a huge ginger fan so the echinacea and mint do a good job covering it up and creating a tea that is remarkably soothing.
I may even want to restock this once I run out, although I hope I never really need to use it.
I’m happy my mom bought this one for me. This way she can take care of me while I’m sick, even from a different city (although I still gotta get up and brew it. :P)
Another surprise from Jillian. This smells great! Much like Adagio’s Cherry Green. It’s near clear in color but with a yellowish-green hue. I can taste the cherry and maybe a slight rosy taste but it’s a very pale flavored tea tho…not very strong. But pretty tasty for a flavored green, indeed. Not too shabby! Thanks Jillian!
Drinking this in class right now. It’s a bit strong, and slightly bitter (and getting more so as time goes on) because—as seen in the picture—it’s pretty broken up, and went RIGHT THROUGH my oldschool non-mesh teaball (although I removed the teaball itself somewhere around two, three minutes).
Still walnutty and nice, and going very well with my cheese scone. Delicious.
The bitterness is very… front-of-the-tongue walnut bitterness. Mm.
Another tea from Jillian (or rather THE tea from Jillian). The dry leaves didn’t have much of a strong smell, and it steeped to a sort of pale red-orange (not the “rich red” the description led me to believe it would be). The smell is faintly ‘tea’ like, with a sweet smell overtop. Kind of reminds me of keemun.
It’s got a somewhat green taste. It’s light, and I think it has a faintly wine-like quality to it; I’m not getting any nuttyness. Nor any real fruitiness, but it is still sort of wine like taste.
I’m getting bits of sweetness and bits of astringency. When I breath out I am getting a sort of nutty taste now, actually. Yes, definitely getting a nuttyness now. It’s part mouth-feel part aftertaste. Sort of walnutty. That sweet bitterness. Very nice.
The Final Sipdown: Day 15.3
Finishing off the last of this sample from Jillian and I’m fully regretting that I apparently didn’t rinse the cup out well enough because I can taste black tea swirling around in this.
Shockingly, however, the flavors in this tea are holding their own. It’s such a light, subtle tea that instinct tells me it should be wheezing out its last words while it is smothered by the remnants of the cup’s prior resident. But no, the grassy, salty, nutty qualities are still there and this tea remains just as refreshing as I remember it.
Also, I don’t know if it’s partially due to the black tea, but the nutty sweetness in this tea is fully reminding me of unsalted pistachios right now.
I’m going to need to wash this cup out properly and give it a second steep because regardless of how much gumption this little guy has, it seems I’m doing it an injustice by allowing my last experience with it [for now] to be tainted. Yes, I’m going to go wash it now.
Ah, yes. There we go. Mmm…delightful. This tea is likely in store for some kind of a ratings bump, but I am tempted to try it facing Dragonwell Spring and see how that goes.
Yes. Here we go.
Teas Downed: 27
This was the tea that initiated my swap with Jillian and what a great tea it is! I enjoyed this one quite a bit, and I didn’t even get to the third steep [I am almost loathed to admit that I only did one on this go round, but Jillian was kind enough to include enough for a few more rounds].
To reiterate, this tea is GOOD. It’s got very substantial, rounded flavor. Not a hint of bitterness to it, subtly salty enough to make it feel a bit savory, a sweet, equally subtle, grassiness to make it interesting, and a delicious nuttiness finishing out the profile. I also didn’t find any smokiness on this Dragonwell, which I didn’t find myself missing terribly.
The notes dance around each other in a very cohesive fashion. This isn’t a tea where I pick out different flavors as they rush forward and then ebb away; it’s one where I find the flavors distinct, and yet they’re all playing at the same time.
I’m really excited to try multiple steeps on this tea, and as I find myself thinking about it even though I drank it a while ago, I think that may need to happen tomorrow. This definitely has possibilities of meeting or even surpassing my current favorite Dragonwell. It is complex, and yet those complexities melt into a very well-constructed whole. Thanks so much, Jillian!
That’s the end of this tea – it was only a small sample because I’d never tried an ali-shan before this and I didn’t want to buy 50g only to find out that I hated it.
As it turns out, I don’t hate it, but it generates kind of a ‘meh’ reaction from me. It’s about on par with Samovar’s Four Seasons Oolong – nice but I’ve certainly had better too.
The two steepings (1st @ 3:30, 2nd @ 4:30) I coaxed out of these leaves were both smooth and with a slightly buttery/milk note to them, complimenting the vegetale flavours and the slightly floral notes.
As the leaves unfolded I was surprised to see a lot of stems and even things that would qualitfy as twigs in with the leaves. I’m rather impressed at how tightly the manufacturers managed to roll up the leaves with all those pokey bits in there – aren’t the leaves supposed to be removed first?
I’m giving this one another shot, keeping in mind that oolongs are usually best on their 2-3 steeps.
The first steep, like before, was rather weak, the liquor a very pale greenish-yellow. Flavour-wise it started out with a green but slightly buttery taste that faded into a light bakey flavour.
The scond steep is fuller, the colour a darker gold. It’s not a robust oolong- I don’t think this tea has the capability to do robust. I’m not really picking up any of that butteriness from the first steep, instead the flavour is an interesting combination of floral and fruitiness. The floral is subdued, less noticable than the Tung Ting I tried from The Granville Island Tea Co or the Four Seasons Oolong from Samovar. I’m also still picking up some bakeiness on the tail end of each sip, though the tea also has a bit of a ‘green’ aftertaste. As it cooled down the tea taste sweeter, smoother and less bakey.
The third steep has a bit of a fruity tang to it, but it’s getting noticably weaker so I think I’ll put this one to bed.
I revised my rating of this tea as I only got the chance to do one steep the first time I tried it. Now I find I like it much better. Overall all it’s a mildly flavoured, light tea with muted floral and fruity notes and a very smooth feel in the mouth.
I agree about the lightness of the tea. Both Ali Shan teas I’ve had have been quite delicate. Yet I find them very delicious, as well. Just an entirely different category than a dark oolong. Like a great green tea that doesn’t get bitter or astringent IMO. And since I rarely have the patience to do a great job of steeping green teas, light, green oolongs and pouchongs are a godsend. :)
My second steeping of the leaves and I’m not really that impressed. The bakey flavour is pretty consistant but there’s none of the smooth, milky notes from the first steep. Instead there’s an astringent taste that makes my mouth feel a bit dry. Meh, the leaves might be good for several more steeps but I think I’ll just chuck them and start over in a few days.
There was a wonderfully fruity-floral fragrance wafting up from the cup when it was brewing. When I tasted it the flavour made me think that maybe I didn’t add enough tea to the strainer in my mug. I’d put in a scoop (about 1 tsp) but it does taste a little weak to me. The notes I can pick up are an interesting mix of bakey-ness with a milky taste in the background and a smooth feel in the mouth.
As the tea cools it shifts from a bakey flavour to more of a vegetale taste. I’m still getting the milky notes, but it’s a not a sweet sort of milk like you’d get in a proper milk/silk oolong.
I’m not as enamoured with oolong as I was with my Ti Yuan Yin and Tung Ting. But like so many of my teas I’ll need to work with the steeping parameters before I make a final decision on the rating. Does anyone have any particular bits of wisdom or advice on how to brew this particular tea?
Maybe ever so slightly increase the temp? But if your gut is that you didn’t use enough leaf, I’d use more. You don’t want what flavor is there to get bitter.
I absolutely LOVED the scent of this tea dry – was like cherry-vanilla liqueur. Too bad appearances (and odors) can be deceiving.
I started to get worried when I poured in the water and the smell of the brewing leaves changed to something that was rather musky; sort of a sweet, vaguely cherry-ish musk. Not being a big fan of musk in my tea I desperately hoped at that point that the taste would be radically different from the scent – I’ve had teas like that before.
Unfortunately this isn’t one of them. I didn’t get any green tea at all in the taste, just yerba mate – which I like just fine on its own, but in this tea it’s not so good. So the main body of the flavour is roasted yerba mate, but it fades into a musky, sort of very artifical-tasting cherry flavour that lingers in the back of the mouth. I tried gamely to drink it, hoping that the favour would change – maybe as it cooled – but no suck luck. Eventually I gave up and poured it out – which is actually the first time I’ve done that to a tea.
Bleh, if someone wants to take this off my hands feel free to give me a shout, you might have better luck with it than me. Otherwise it’s going to be garden compost come spring, I think.
I brewed up quite a dark cup of this tea, intending to have it with milk. Unfortunately I opened the fridge and- le gaspeth no milk.
And this tea i wicked strong without it – I’m half thinking of pouring it down the drain and starting over. :(
Jillian, five minutes is a tad too long a steep for a Darjeeling, especially a first flush Darjeeling. I’ll bet it was strong, and probably really tannic. The five-minute rule for black teas kinda doesn’t hold up for Darjeelings. Try giving it a two-minute steep and see how it tastes. Margaret’s Hope is a pretty good estate, although the challenge with buying single-estate teas is that some years are better than others, but it shouldn’t taste too strong or really need milk if it’s steeped right. I’d be curious if you don’t like it better the second time around with a shorter stew.