191 Tasting Notes
I received this one in a swap from TeaEqualsBliss. MMMM, strong, delicious strongness. Just what I need to get me up and going. I normally try not to have anything new so as not to spoil my tasting with food contamination (oh, who am I kidding. I have no taste!). Anyway, I was in the mood for something completely different, so I descended on my sample stash and picked this one out. I was kind of skeptical, looking at all those little tiny pellets of tea, but I am convinced! There is a bit of astringency, which isn’t too bad, and something vaguely bready about the scent. I’m drinking it sans additions, so it is good I only steeped it for two and a half minutes instead of the three plus that they recommend. Even at the lower than recommended steep, it is still plenty strong. I think the assam dominates the cup, with its astringency and maltiness.
Also, I have to say, I had this with grapefruit this morning, and the grapefruit completely knocked out the astringency and robustness of the tea. Taking a sip right after a bite of grapefruit was a completely different experience than taking a sip a few minutes after I had finished the grapefruit. It was mellow and smooth, considerably less in your face right after the grapefruit. Interesting, what tea and food pairings do for each other.
Sample provided by Teavivre.
By now I’ve used the entire sample I got from Teavivre. The dry leaf is light and fluffy, and pretty—it isn’t my first golden tip yunnan, but it is definitely the nicest looking, with those large golden leaves. It also smells yummy, vaguely sweet.
The brewed liquor is a dark mahogany brown, though I did steep it for a minute longer than recommended because this last pot was a little light on the leaf. The tea is not bitter at all, has a nice body and mouthfeel, nor is it astringent at all. The flavor is smooth and bakey, and some unidentified sweet delicious flavor that upon reading other reviews is like sweet potatoes. That’s the flavor! I also did pick up hints of caramel (not surprising, with the taste of sweet potatoes).
So far I’ve tried three of the teas that Teavivre sent me (I’ll have a review of their Bai Mu Dan in another day or two), and I love them all. I can see their teas taking up permanent residence in my collection.
Please, disregard the terribly unsophisticated slurping and glugging sounds coming from my direction. This tea is so damn good, I can’t help but drink it as fast as the temperature allows.
Oh. My. Goodness. I’m in love. This sample was courteously provided to me by Angel Chen. It is my first time drinking this tea, and it won’t be my last. Oh, no, it will not be. To start with, I’m really impressed with the packaging. Details on the label! Harvest date! How long it is good for! Source! It makes the tiny little part of me that is detail oriented swoon (granted, it is a small part, but swoon it does). Also the double bagging is definitely nice, though it does conflict with my more eco-friendly side, as others have noted.
The flavor of this keemun is wonderful. Granted, it is only my second keemun, but I like it more than the Teavana one I had previously. This one is robust but mild—does that make sense? It strikes me as a gentle flavor, but very much there. I don’t get an overly smoky flavor from it (I’m still adjusting to smoky teas), and I imagine that I get hints of chocolate and wine. I think I might find it woody if I could only shake my association of “woody” with “piney”. Earthy. A bit, not like a pu-erh (maybe what I think of as earthy is actually woody. I don’t know).
Anyway, the upshot? I’m going to be ordering more. Once I drink down some of my stash. I can’t wait till that day. Also, I can’t wait to try the next Teavivre sample. Thanks Angel!
This smells absolutely amazing on opening—rather like apple crumble; very intensely apple. I had high hopes for this tea, perhaps too high.
The tea itself is like a very light apple cider drink. I get light apple, and cinnamon, with a bit of almond in there as well. It isn’t as weak as some people had experienced, but not as intense as I was expecting. I probably should have used more—I only used 2 teaspoons for a 12 ounce mug.
Steeped for 7 minutes (oops!) at 95C with 2 teaspoons of tea for 12 ounces of water.
I was steeling myself for a less than pleasant taste experience after reading some of the reviews on Steepster of this tea. I was pleasantly surprised—I really liked it. The dry tea does have a somewhat offputting smell, but not so like garbage or rotten fruit like some other people have described. It was more of a heavy, earthy-fruity smell that I wasn’t expecting.
The tea itself was delicious—a nice black tea base that played well with the fig and cinnamon and orange. I definitely got figs and cinnamon, and every once in a while got a bit of orange. None of the flavors were inappropriately overwhelming—everyone got along. I’d definitely buy it, I only had one small sample from an earlier DavidsTea order. Maybe next holiday season I will.
Steeped small packet in 12 oz water for five minutes at 205 degrees.
I’m trying this one again, to see if it behaves better at different steep parameters. And the verdict is, yes! It does. More leaf and a shorter steep time led to a much better tea experience. It reminds me of Andrews and Dunham’s R29 Ceylon, a tea I’m quite pleased with as well.
The tea has a medium body, is not astringent or bitter-tasting, in fact, it seems a bit sweet. This seems a bit malty in the beer sense of the term, like when you homebrew and add the malt. Not malty like I see people use it to refer to assams.
Steeped 4 teaspoons in 1000 ml water at 195 degrees for 2 minutes.
It has been nearly a month since I drank this one. Other than this morning’s Copper Knot Hongcha, this has shaped up to be a green tea sort of a day. Maybe I was in need of more calming vibes than my more typical day of mostly black teas could provide.
EC&M is a standard green, really quite lovely. I had it extra strong, with a three minute steep (Teavana recommends one minute) for a full bodied but not bitter brew. Just what I was looking for.
Zocolatte Spice? I think I love you! At least, while I have the four ounces of you that I have. Chocolately, spicy delicious. I like you better than the Azteca Fire that I tried. As Amy oh said in her tasting review, I bet you taste amazing with black tea. Maybe I’ll try that next time.
I prepared a giant travel mug of this to take with me while I took the dog to the emergency vet, and promptly forgot it. It was still warm when I got home; warm and delicious. The chocolate and ginger were the most prominent flavor notes I could detect, though since this is a backlog, I’ll need to have more to make sure. I remember liking it though. It hit the spot after my vet visit.