2304 Tasting Notes
Sipdown! (8 | 285)
So I haven’t been around for the past couple of days. On Wednesday I got my second COVID vaccination shot (yay!), and then on Thursday the reaction pretty much knocked me out all day. I was very surprised to feel pretty much totally normal the next day, but it was also the same day that my husband had his wisdom teeth removed, so all of Friday was related to his recovery from that. He’s feeling much better today, so here I am! And yet, I made this tea this morning, and now it’s 11 PM and I’m just now finishing the pot and writing the note… Oops?
Anyway, this was another one that I ordered a sample of because I hadn’t tried it before (a rarity among Teavivre’s black tea. It’s tasty enough but nothing special I guess? Quite savory with thick bread and sweet potato sort of notes, and a slight smoked meat soft of thing going on. A hint of apricot but not much else in the way of fruitiness. Deep undertones of earth and a bit of molasses.
Sorry, not much of a note I guess. Basically it’s tasty but not one I would order as I don’t really find any distinguishing characteristics compared to some of their dian hong teas (even though this isn’t from Yunnan). But glad to have tried!
Here’s hoping I do better with drinking tea tomorrow…
Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Earth, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Raisins, Savory, Smoked, Sweet Potatoes, Thick, Wood
Meh, not a fan of this one…
Not sure what it is, maybe the combination of the peppermint, nettle, and strawberry? A melon-strawberry-mint green tea sounds appealing to me, yet there’s something here that just doesn’t quite go together. The strawberry is quite candylike, so maybe it’s that combined with the mint/nettle? There’s an almost menthol-like taste to it.
Anyway, I’m going to put the rest of the packet into my rehome box, because it feels like a waste to force myself to drink it when someone else will probably enjoy it more.
I guess this company is not for me, because I’m 0 for 3 with their teas. Oh well, I’m glad to not like everything, heh heh…
Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Creamy, Dry Grass, Herbaceous, Melon, Menthol, Mint, Peppermint, Pine, Strawberry, Sweet
Sipdown! (7 | 284)
This was one of a few Teavivre black tea samples that I picked up just because I’d never tried them before. Not sure if they’re more recent additions to the lineup or if I just missed them on past orders.
I wasn’t expecting a lot from this, as a lot of the ratings are quite mediocre, but I really like it. It’s very thick and malty with a nice chew to it, like a thick slice of soft wheat bread. Maybe the bread has a sprinkling of oats on top of the loaf as well. There’s a slight savory potato-esque flavor as well. And for sweetness, dark caramelized brown sugar and bittersweet cocoa notes along with some slightly tart dried fruit – prune maybe. It’s supremely smooth, without much earthiness to speak of, which I find a bit unusual for a non-golden Yunnan tea.
Anyway, yummy and satisfying! A bit golden monkey-esque perhaps? And it’s reminding me of French fries on some sips, which I’m not complaining about…
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Dried Fruit, Malt, Oats, Potato, Prune, Savory, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Tobacco, Wheat
Sipdown! (6 | 283)
I’ve really been slacking on these B&B subscription teas from last month…
This one isn’t my favorite, but I didn’t think it would be. I don’t tend to be very into dessert teas lately. I will say, it does remind me of both honeycomb and cookie dough somehow. There’s a sweet honey candy note but also a doughy quality. It’s also a bit butterscotchy, which is reminding me of the somewhat similar Butter Toffee Popcorn.
So meh, not something I would order, but mostly due to personal preference. But the little popped quinoa bits are super cute! :3
Flavors: Alcohol, Butter, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cookie, Honey, Sweet, Wood
Sipdown! (5 | 282)
I just got an order of Teavivre samples today, and it inspired me to finish off some of the older ones that are still hanging around.
This is lovely, especially for spring. Very smooth, creamy, and nutty with notes of spring peas and lima beans. A tiny bit buttery, but nothing too decadent, it’s more like the natural butteriness of a cashew. There’s some fresh grassiness that comes out at the end of the sip, adding a slight astringency.
Very tasty! I’m not sure whether I’d feel the need to keep a Chinese green tea around in my cupboard, but if I did it would be more likely to be a biluochun or long jing. But still happy to have tried this, and the leaves are so pretty!
Flavors: Alfalfa, Astringent, Butter, Cashew, Creamy, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Lima Beans, Nutty, Peas, Smooth
Tried this one for the first time today so just wanted to drop a little note!
I prepared it “cold brewed”, meaning shaken with water and ice. I will say, the flavoring is a bit lighter than the other fruit flavors I’ve tried (banana, peach, and raspberry). So I’m not sure I would try it as a latte as I feel like the pear would be overpowered by the milk. However, I really enjoyed it cold. It was nice and refreshing, with a smooth, grassy matcha flavor and a sweet, lightly floral pear note.
I don’t know if this is one that I would order every time, as I really like the raspberry for an iced matcha, but I’ll happily drink it when I do have it!
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Pear, Smooth, Sweet, Umami
Sipdown! (4 | 281)
This was my grandpa-style tea of choice today after getting a free sample in my Teavivre order. I used a single dragon ball for my ~16-ounce glass tumbler. It might be my imagination, but I feel like this dragon ball was smaller than the others I’ve tried from them (rose and chrysanthemum).
At first I was very confused by the lack of jasmine flavor, but after reading the description it makes more sense. This is not a jasmine-scented black tea, it’s just a mixture of black tea and dried jasmine blossoms. So the jasmine is very subtle, at least to my tastes.
It’s a pleasant enough dian hong, with a strong woody flavor profile. I feel like the “ancient tree” dian hong often tastes quite woody to me, not sure if that’s just characteristic of the older plants. There are some nice rich malt and brown sugar notes as well, and a hint of dark molasses. Perhaps the tiniest wisp of apricot, which I commonly find in Yunnan hongcha.
Overall, it’s nice enough. I didn’t really get jasmine much, it was a bit too subtle for my tastes. Plus I think I enjoyed the rose version more (gasp!) so I would be more likely to choose that one if I were going to buy some of these.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Jasmine, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Smoke, Smooth, Thick, Wood
I figured since I tried the 2018 version of this (I think) a few days ago, I would knock this one out as well while it’s still fresh in my mind, for comparison’s sake. Using one coin for a ~16 ounce glass tumbler and steeping grandpa-style.
But really, it’s very similar, unsurprisingly. Not unpleasant, but very generic with a sort of bland hay-straw-wood flavor profile. Hints of dried apricot and a touch of astringency at the end of the sip. Some bitterness also started to come out after it steeped for a few minutes, which I don’t remember experiencing with the 2018 version.
Overall, it’s fine but not something I would purchase. But the good news is, there’s a lot to improve on for the other few white tea coins I have! :P
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Dried Fruit, Hay, Straw, Tart, Wood
Sipdown! (3 | 280)
So earlier, I steeped up my sample packet of Gokou Gyokuro from Kyoto Obubu, and I figured I’ll just leave a note for it here, under Random Steepings. I think it was a tea club exclusive as it’s not offered on the website, and I don’t really want to make a whole new tea entry just for my one lonely note…
But my, it was so delicious! It started out very sweet and buttery with some lovely rich and creamy kabocha notes that made me feel like I was sipping on some pumpkin soup. Then the umami started to build on the sides of my tongue and by the middle of the sip, took over, bringing with it an intense spinachy vegetal flavor. The end brought a fresher grassy note and a subtle floral note reminiscent of wildflowers.
I really enjoyed it, and I felt an almost instant burst of energy after drinking the first steeping. This tea was actually part of a tasting set with three different cultivars, so it’ll be interesting to try the other two and compare!
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Kabocha, Pumpkin, Savory, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal
Sipdown! (2 | 279)
Grandpa-style tea of the day! This was a swap sample from an Instagram tea friend.
Very enjoyable! I admit, I have little experience with yancha, so I don’t really have a good palate for it. But I found this to be quite pleasant – smooth, woody, and roasty with a sparkling minerality and a floral uptick at the end of the sip, and a delicate fruitiness. I see the description mentions red fruits, I’m not sure I can identify that specifically. There is definitely a tartness to it that could be strawberry or red currant, or perhaps an underripe stonefruit. But it’s quite subtle to my palate.
Anyway, tasty! And took very well to grandpa-style, even though I forgot about it a couple of times.
Flavors: Apricot, Floral, Fruity, Mineral, Roasted, Smooth, Spring Water, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tart, Wood