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Recent Tasting Notes
Made this one as a larger Western style teapot because, well, that’s what you do with flowering teas. I have a box of these flavoured ones from Tealyra that feels like it’s constantly staring at me from the shelf it’s on, and I never want to brew them up because I’m never in the mood to commit to a full pop of one on my own – but I just bit the bullet today to get that sipdown in.
It’s… Well, it’s conflicting. Flowering teas are sort of always terrible; the quality of the tea used isn’t typically all that exceptional and they keep steeping all the way up until you finish the pot so they’re usually very bitter and gross by the end – which was the case here too.
All that said, the first half of this pot was actually shockingly lovely. Though very much on the grassier side, that slight green edge played in really well with the banana. It was super authentic banana with a mellow sweetness and a bit of a starchy sort of finish. With the base, it felt like eating a banana just a day off from being perfectly ripe. Not too sweet, and not at all candy or “banana runts” like. Not baked, banana bread style banana either. Really fresh, and just simple yet balanced.
And then it got over steeped and yucky. Alas, the curse of blooming teas.
Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CzhTjaPufba/?img_index=1 (Fifth & Sixth Pic)
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb5dnC3Fm70
I THINK this is the last I have to review from my summer order. Despite being a few months old, I forgot that THIS is the color of what matcha SHOULD look like! It’s such a bright green! I really needed a matcha genmaicha in my tea collection again, as I really love the combination of the two — better together for a super power amount of flavor in one mug. The toasty goodness of genmaicha wisping around with matcha in the mug. So good. I used a teaspoon and a half for a big mug, which might have even been a little too much. Maybe one teaspoon is enough. I’m glad I have this in the cupboard and was hoping Tealyra’s version would be good — it is!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 33 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 min steep
Suprised that there isn’t a tasting note from my old account on here! This was an exciting find when I discovered it on Tealyra’s website. I mean, I had never even heard of white sencha. I wonder if it’s the cultivar that produces a ‘white’ leaf or if the processing is like white tea. I wanna say the former because the steeped leaves were a soft lime green with a few ghostly white buds sprinkled in. Much lighter than what is usually expected from a sencha. So far, the cups that i’ve had are lush vegetal green like a lot of trad senchas I’ve had, even if it’s hella old. Because it’s a little long in the tooth, I’m not going to be able to judge it too harshly. Hence no numerical rating. It’s nothing special at this point in time, but it does remind me that sincha season is coming up, and I am excited to get some fresh japanese green tea.
Another from the summer order — I bought this because it seems like a healthy no-caff chai that also happened to have marshmallow root. Always on the lookout for more teas with marshmallow root. Sadly, the flavor is most LIKE stevia, reminding me of stevia, probably a combination of the licorice, fennel and turmeric. Visually, the blend sure looks healthy. Lots of goodies in there. I’m not seeing as much marshmallow root as I would like. The second steep is much the same – a very healthy tasting brew! Some of the spices make more of an appearance. Hopefully there are some health benefits since the flavor isn’t winning me over. I thought this would be a nice change of pace from sweeter nighttime options, so it’s a bit disappointing that the flavor most reminds me of a replacement for sugar.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 6-8 minute steep
I super oversteeped this, but it turned out just fine! It’s a little tart and fancy, but mostly fruity and refreshing. There’s a hint of herbaceousness in there too, though I’m not sure which ingredient is the culprit. I got this from a Sips By box, and it’s certainly one of the better lemonade-inspired teas I’ve had. The herbaceous flavor works with the tart fruitiness. I’d consider purchasing more.
From my summer order! I thought this sounded quite unique with mango, barley, roasted rice and maca root powder on an oolong base. It sounded both fruity and whatever barley might bring to the table. The description said the maca root powder might taste like butterscotch — which probably enhances the mango flavoring. The flavor is mostly mango! Which is too bad as I wouldn’t mind more of the barley or roasted rice coming across to balance the mango. The brew color in the mug is bright yellow. It could ALMOST taste like stevia, but I think that is the mango flavoring, or maybe even the maca. I’m starting to think that tea makers just find a generic fruity flavor and say “we’ll just call this mango”. I do miss the starchy quality of mango in some mango teas. But this tea could have been worse. It is very thirst quenching and disappears right quick.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // many minutes
A leaf from the Sanxia District of northern Taiwan, this tea is crafted from the same leaves as a Bi Luo Chun green, and picked when the leaf is young. The dry leaf is long, twisty and black with twinges of maroon and a touch of gold. The dry leaf certainly has a fruity fragrance! And in a blind taste test, I would certainly guess this is a Taiwanese tea. It’s very close in appearance and flavor to Premium Taiwanese Assam. An explosion of lingering mouth feel, very fruity. That lychee again, but also strawberries. A bit of a drying mouth quality. Second steep, it tastes more like a Ruby 18 varietal. The third steep seemed a bit weak and not sure if it was worth a third steep, mostly tasted like a faint Ruby 18. The first steep was definitely the best. Maybe I needed to use lower temps and less steep time in the steeps to recreate that first cup of amazing flavor. It’s odd this tea is VERY similar in flavor to the other black tea from Tealyra I had the other day, the Wen Shan Bao Zhong black.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min
A sample! I was very intrigued by a tea named after my favorite oolong, Wen Shan Bao Zhong, but as a black tea! I had to try it. The leaf is huge and wirey. The fragrance of the dry leaf had such a scent of added fruit flavor, that I thought there was flavor contamination from something else. But steeping up the tea, I don’t think there was scent contamination. The brew is very light for a black tea — it almost looks like a roasted oolong. The flavor is mostly like a Ruby 18 varietal (which is what the dry leaf looks like, now that I think about it, including that hint of scarlet in the leaf). But it’s also fairly fruity, like plums, or maybe something even odder like passionfruit, and also a bit starchy, the second steep is actually very tangy. It’s very clear in the lingering mouth flavor. Or a better word than “clear” might be vibrant, which the description mentions.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 3 minutes after boiling // 4 min steep
I left the above note in a draft for a while, long enough to forget what I said… so here is a second steep session a while later, without peeking at the note above: there is a sort of tangy fruit scent to the dry leaf and flavor of the first steep: tamarind + lychee or something. It reminds me how a Taiwanese Assam tastes like strawberries. Maybe these varieties with huge leaves usually taste like mostly fruit. The second steep is mostly tangy fruit again, then as it cools is like tomato soup with some starch. The third steep is a deep red and tastes like mostly like hot tomato soup! It’s definitely a unique tea. Though it’s a light brew which I normally wouldn’t like, I DO like the complexity of flavors. And it certainly doesn’t remind me of any oolong, Wen Shan Bao Zhong or otherwise. Now that I typed up all that, I read the note on the first steep session above and I’m amazed the flavors have seemed to evolve THIS much already in only a couple months. Second steep session: no thoughts of plum, passion fruit or Ruby 18! Tea is weird!
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug // 25 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min
This tea makes my head hurt a little.
Not physically or even, like, conceptually? I actually LOVE the idea behind this blend. I think it’s super fun! There’s just soooo much flavour happening in this cup and I definitely don’t think it’s entirely cohesive. Like, the bergamot is strong y’all – but so it the aromatic coconut and the hint of tropical fruit. It’s like I want to say to the tea “Hey, calm down! No need to shout”. I don’t even know if that makes sense.
I think I need to experiment here. The individual flavours are good but I need them to come together in a less competitive way. Does that mean making this iced? Sweetener? Milk? I think something has to happen …but what!??
Made a nice big 32 oz teapot of this blooming tea, and I’ve been sipping on it throughout the morning today. I can really taste the vegetal grassy flavour of the green tea, and I’m not loving it at all. I’m at a bit of a crossroads though because, despite not liking the base, the additional melon flavouring is really quite beautiful. It’s sweet in a kind of subtle way with floral undertones – very clearly a honeydew flavour but almost a more Japanese style honeydew!?
I keep going back to the pot because this flavour is so enticing to me, but that green tea finish kind of kills me at the end of each sip too. It’s so conflicting to my palate. If only the melon flavour was strong!
I wanted to try this one because I was hoping it would be similar to DavidsTea’s discontinued Eucalyptus Mist. Also, the photo of the blend is just colorfully amazing - a rainbow of chunky herbal ingredients. Sadly, it isn’t QUITE like Eucalyptus Mist, but I do enjoy this blend for what it is on its own. (A long shot to compare the two blends as I was just going by the “candied aloe vera” in both blends.) My sample didn’t have too much rooibos visible in it, and I also didn’t see any big pieces of the turmeric. There is also some added chlorella algae powder in the blend which is supposed to be good for detox which I could always use more of with my unhealthy diet. Flavorwise, I’m glad the turmeric wasn’t overly present. It’s really a soothing combination of flavors and unique — sweet yet earthy in the best way, a bit like licorice from the fennel with a subtle minty finish. Sweet enough from the perfect amount of blackberry leaves, I think. It’s really tastier than I’m describing. I’m glad I tried this blend!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 11 minute steep
Steeped a pot of this on Saturday afternoon while listening to the rain. The gentle vanilla notes, though a little fondant like, are silky and soothing. Coupled with the cool air and pitter patter of lightly fall raindrops, it’s a really calm and almost meditative combination. It’s been a long time since I last had a blooming tea but something about today just made it seem like a good idea. Sometimes you have to revisit the classics to respect them!
Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ck3935aOWg4/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoS7kFSFSAQ
After a couple days of almost exclusively pumpkin/pumpkin spice teas (I’ll get to those tasting notes shortly) this cold brew is like a cold glass of ice water after a week of wandering the dessert. The lemon notes are so juicy and tart and it really is, like the name implies, very refreshing. My only criticism is that I bought this because I was really intrigued by the idea of a cucumber lemonade and I don’t feel like I taste nearly enough of the crisp, cool vegetal notes I’d expect. I can get a million lemonade teas that are tasty like this one, so I’m a bit disappointed they seem to have skimped out on the cucumber…
For the sipdown prompt “a dessert tea.”
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a chocolate mint rooibos in my collection… I bought this in my birthday order last year, and it’s the only tea from that order I’ve broken the seal on because I was craving it so bad.
It isn’t my favorite Chocolate Mint Rooibos that I’ve had… I had one once that had apple and yogurt pieces in the blend and that one had a richer and more creamy flavor. But this is perfectly serviceable, and is scratching the itch I had for a chocolate mint herbal this evening. There isn’t a strong chocolate flavor, but it is present enough that the flavor of the rooibos base isn’t discernable. The mint has a strong presence, a little cooling and a little candy sweet. It gives off a very soothing vibe.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Mint, Peppermint, Sweet
additional notes: I wanted to try this again with my at-home steeping parameters and yep, it’s still a good tuocha. The leaves are tiny and the tuocha unravels the instant the water hits it. But that is what I like about this one! No negative aspects to the flavor – just very dark and rich. Four solid steeps, even in a bigger mug. The last steep went for over twenty minutes.
So I really needed more (any) ripe pu-erh for my time away (I really underestimated how much ripe puerh I should have brought with me.) SO I really took a gamble on this pouch of tuochas from Tealyra. I was real worried they would be gross. BUT THEY ARE GREAT. Really, they are exactly what I look for from these tuochas. Very dark, very deep, tastes like dark chocolate, coffee and rich dark bread and NO negative flavor characteristics. Three great full mugs — I really should have tried for a fourth. Interestingly, EACH steep had this dusky silt of puerh in the bottom – not sure if that means it’s a lower quality for Puerh People, but to me it made for a richer cup and exactly what I wanted. The tuocha also immediately lost its shape on the first steep, which I also don’t know if that means it’s a high or low quality tuocha… but VERY happy with these! They are perfect for my flavor preferences! I would gladly buy more of them. I think there were 15 tuochas in the 100 gram pouch I bought for $10.50 (but there was a 25% off sale). They are a larger size tuocha compared to most.
Flavors: Bread, Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Rye