371 Tasting Notes
Brewed Western-style in a ceramic teapot. Steeping times: 3, 5, 7, 10.
My first Four Seasons oolong. I drank this at work. Both the dry and wet leaf have a strong floral fragrance, evocative of roses. The liquor is light yellow, clear, full-bodied, and has a somewhat thick texture. The notes are not complex, but simple. Deliciously floral and light. Brings a freshness to the office.
Thank you, Angel, for providing me a sample!
Brewed gongfu style with a gaiwan. Steeping instructions are from the website. 5 second rinse. Steeping times: 30, 30, 35, 45, 60, 100, 120.
After the rinse, the leaf has floral and buttery and sweet notes. Following the actual infusions, the aroma smells mainly vegetal, of creamed spinach.
The liquor is pale golden yellow, clear, and full-bodied with a creamy texture. The first infusion reminds me kukicha: vegetal, seaweed-like, and sweet. The second, which is even sweeter, tastes of mid-summer floral scents, if these could be captured in a tea. The third infusion is a little strange. Roasted vegetables on the tongue, candy on the roof of the mouth – completely separated, not meeting and mixing, as if this tea has a double personality, of which both personalities simultaneously emerge. At this point in the session, the sweet aftertaste is strong and truly lingers for minutes. The fourth through seventh infusions have only fruity notes. Peaches and berries, mostly blueberries. A little tart. As the tea sit in the mouth, the fruits change into flowers.
I believe this is my first non-roasted Dong Ding. I had an enjoyable session with it. Delightful and complex all around!
Thanks to Angel for the sample!
Prepared with the gongfu method. Instructions are from website. 5 second rinse. Steeping times: 25, 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, 85.
The dry leaf aroma evolves as the leaves sit in the gaiwan, in the open air. Roasted vegetable became sweet potatoes, which turns into maple syrup and candy, and then strawberries and blueberries. The wet leaf aroma is similar, but shifted back to roasted vegetables – bitter, like Brussels sprouts.
The liquor is pale gold and clear. Full-bodied and flavorful with a cream texture. Because the leaf was roasted, this Tie Guan Yin feels darker though no less brighter. Reminds me of early autumn, while the sun still shines a lot. The first cup tastes of roasted vegetables, and then of sweet things as the tea stays in the mouth. In the second and subsequent cups, the flavor remains consistently sweet, and also a little tart. Surprisingly fruit-like, as if it were a leaf-hopper oolong, though not quite so juicy.
This Tie Guan Yin leaves a soothing and cozy effect. It’s my first time having a roasted TGY, and it’s a good one!
Thank you, Angel, for providing me a sample.
Prepared gongfu style with a ceramic gaiwan. Steeping instructions are from the website, save for the second 5 sec rinse. Steeping times: 25, 55, 75, 90, 100, 120, 160.
This wonderfully bright Tie Guan Yin has a powerful yet light floral fragrance. The season of early spring – a garden not quite yet flourishing flowers – comes to mind. The liquor is the color of sunshine yellow and has a slightly thick texture and clear mouthfeel. This was my first time using 7 grams instead of 4 or 5 in a gaiwan – my gaiwan was practically BURSTING with leaf. My cups were incredibly flavorful. Essentially floral, sweet, and candy-like, moving on to more plants fully grown, like in late spring. Peach, banana, and clementine appear in the middle of the session, leaving a fruity aftertaste, which, generally, stays with you for minutes and minutes.
If you live in a colder climate and need a bit of spring in the middle of it all, this is one Tie Guan Yin to drink. A cup of spring for you.
This is one of the teas Kaylee kindly sent to me in her Secret Pumpkin. It was on my wishlist.
Very interesting green tea for a base. The leaves were shaped like pine needles, and I thought they were actually white tea leaves before I drank my cup. I also liked the little red flower petals added for decoration and contrast.
The dry leaf smells uncannily like eggnog. Yummmm. Ready for Christmas even though Halloween is only three days away!
I couldn’t taste any eggnog, though, just the base tea, which is buttery and rich in flavor. Well, it allowed me to see why this particular tea was chosen.
Thank you again, Kaylee!
I really like looking at the dry leaf for this one too. The Pandan leaves have a most interesting shape, curly and twisty.
This blend has such a peculiar aroma. Pickles. I tried smelling for something else but that’s all that came up. It’s either one ingredient, or all of the ingredients’ aromas mixing together. Or maybe it’s my nose.
For me, the most interesting aspect of this blend is the color of the tea: raspberry blue near the top of the cup and a deep indigo at the bottom. Such an amazing shade. Very pleasing aesthetically. The tea has a thick texture, and, bizarrely, tastes of Fruit Loops. Sweet, sugary, candy-like, a little bit grassy – but mostly Fruity Loops.
There’s something about this one that trips up my senses. It’s one of the most unusual teas I’ve ever had. So no rating. Needless to say, I like it. Recommended for anyone who wants to try something different. I drank this twice before I wrote this review. It pepped me up each time!
I appreciate the dry leaf once again – lovely colors. Despite the list of ingredients on both the website and Steepster, I don’t see any rooibos or mate. They may have sunk to the bottom of the bag (which is hard to dig through). Consequently, I don’t taste any rooibos and mate, but mostly a balanced mix of lemongrass, hibiscus, and mint. I have a hard time tasting the other ingredients.
I do like this blend. Unfortunately, I don’t feel more alert, but relaxed. And it would have been nice to taste the base tea(s), apples, and blackberry leaves. Again, this might have to do with these ingredients being under the ones I can taste.
No wonder the instructions say 2-3 tsp – the dry leaf is full of stuff, especially whole hops and marigold flowers! I could barely fir two teaspoons into the strawberry infuser included in that pack. Smells very minty and fresh. The color of the tea is a lovely magenta, which clearly comes from the hibiscus.
There’s not much to say about the notes of this herbal blend because it’s not complex. At first it tastes tart, then it becomes flowery and grassy. The aftertaste is a little minty. I enjoyed this blend. Perfect for before bedtime!
Santea Clause Traveling Tea Box
Brewed stove-top. Brought to a boil, simmered for five minutes, added milk and sugar, brought to a boil again.
Surprisingly, this is quite spicy, even with milk and sugar. It’s the spiciest ready-made CTC masala chai blend I’ve ever had – those before might as well have been just black tea (disappointingly). There’s a little too much ginger for my taste. Otherwise it’s pretty good.