1095 Tasting Notes
After being pretty awesome otherwise, the person helping me out accidentally gave me this instead of Cream of Earl Grey. Imho, It is not nearly as a good as The Cream, nor does it have the pretty blue cornflowers. Luckily, I have clueless family members whom I can serve this too, so a tin will go by quickly (here’s hoping)!
Yeah, I should’ve taken it back, but it’s also nice to have an “average joe” tea in the cupboard? Waste no tea.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Floral, Malt
Received this lovely Shu blend as a free sample again and I couldn’t be too disappointed at not getting a new tea to try because it’s such a delight. I’m already in love with it in the Rice Aroma blend (I grabbed 4oz). Given enough time, I may just fall in love with it on its own.
I’m putting it in that easy-smooth drinker category with Noble Mark and Special Dark- the two teas that taught me that shu puerh isn’t always disgusting and “fishy”. I still haven’t really ventured past them though.
On a side note, my five year old temp varient HB Pro Kettle is starting to leak from the water level gauge. When I went to buy a new one I noticed almost all of the brands have only 5-6 crappy temp settings now. I’ve become spoiled with my kettle’s versatility and lack of presumption when it comes to assigned tea type temps; we’ve brought two home so far and taken both back after deciding our leaking kettle is better. C’est la vie (looking for recs).
Steep Count: 2
Flavors: Berries, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Chocolate, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Milk, Mushrooms
I swear I wrote a tea note for this guy ages ago. Eh.
I don’t love this as much as some but I did enjoy it while it lasted. Hojicha and I are just not very close, although it’s alright on occassion. It has a decent second steep too, which is a boon in a flavoured tea.
This was also a good self-reminder that I’m still looking for my ideal Maple tea to replace my old flame, Butiki’s Maple Pecan Oolong. I miss that tea so much; it replaced ice cream for me, folks! I think I just need a base that’s a little darker (coughNiligriFrostOolongcough)
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Nutmeg, Spices, Toasted, Vanilla
Think the peanut profile of a Dragonwell with the backdrop of a Japanese green (grass, grass, and more delicious sweet grass). I’m having a hard time finding anything negative to say about it. I’m seriously thinking of swapping my essential but problematic (ie.- pollution prone) Dragonwells for this tea type.
Thanks for the the sample, Teabento- I’ll be playing with this one all Easter! It’s also nice to be reminded of the existence of Pikas.
Flavors: Grass, Nutty, Peanut, Sweet, Toasty, Vegetal
This tea should have a Beware label. Do not go above that recommended 170F temp; doing so is akin to taking dynamite to the mouth. So Sour. Such Bitter. Tongue is blown to pieces. However, if you steep this right you will have a spirited fruity-tart refresher, with a dash of gunpowder smoke to keep things.. interesting.
I’m not generally into flavoured Gunpowder green tea blends but think it’s a lot of fun here. Glad I got the chance to try it!
Flavors: Lemon, Raspberry, Smoke, Tart, Vegetal
Like the old version of Glitter and Gold from David’s Tea, except without the golden sparkle and with more emphasis on gingerbread (or gingersnap!) cookies. Today it’s heavy on the ginger but sometimes this tea’s more of a Snickerdoodle (cinnamon!!!). Now think if I had a gingersnap or snickerdoodle cookie to dunk into this cookie tea? That would be our circular tea drinking narrative for the day.
The weather is starting to get nice here in the Lower Mainland so disappearing this one, and some of the other winter teas, is Number One drinking priority today! Looking forward to seeing you and your kin next year, Festive Winter & Christmas Teas!
Flavors: Cacao, Cinnamon, Cookie, Ginger, Nutmeg
This one is such a joy to drink- a white tea that’s versatile enough to convince the sleepy drinker that it’s something much darker. I compiled my top teas of recent years and this one easily makes the exclusive list. It’s too bad my pouch is starting to look a little light because an order with What-Cha is not in the cards until end of summer. Hoarding is happening. Good thing I have about 70 other teas to drink (they don’t compare at all)…
Flavors: Cocoa, Hay, Lemon, Molasses, Sweet Potatoes
Ovetime, I’ve become skeptical when tea companies list oolongs as buttery; when I see “buttery” I expect a flavour and texture explosion evoking all the oily, salty-sweet richness of life. Butiki’s ambiguously named “Organic Sparrow Tongue” Oolong always delivered. Some batches of Shan Li Xi deliver (with jam like a delicious, fully loaded scone). This Tie Guan Yin delivers too and its glorious.
I’m internally squeeing right now. I want to yell and to curse all the other Tie Guan Yin oolongs I’ve had, which will now and forever be deemed insufficient. It’s like, after years of being indifferent to Chardonnays, stumbling upon a “butter bomb” Californian Chardonnay and realizing life could be beautiful (I’m sorry Chardonnay purists, I know this preference is wine sacrilege of the highest order). This is a Lilac butter bomb and it’s even better.
Anyways, I’m so grateful for this free sample. I would’ve never ordered this on my own because I thought I was done with Tie Guan Yin varieties. You did right, Mandala!
Now I’m off to play with the rest and see how it holds up to multiple steeps and sessions.
Steep Count: 3 + Rinse. Subsequent steeps taste of lilac cream.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Gardenias, Salt, Sweet, Vegetal
I haven’t been in the mood for the smokiness of gunpowder lately but I do appreciate the juicy-tart flavouring of the pomegranate here. The concept seems so simple but when I go through the list of tea flavourings I’ve encountered I realize this one is quite unique! At the beginning of my tea journey (2011) David’s Tea had a Pomegranate Silver Needle, which I thought was decent at the time, but I haven’t seen one since! Kudos to 52teas!
Flavors: Red Fruits, Smoke