Deprecated: Hook custom_css_loaded is deprecated since version jetpack-13.5! Use WordPress Custom CSS instead. Jetpack no longer supports Custom CSS. Read the WordPress.org documentation to learn how to apply custom styles to your site: https://wordpress.org/documentation/article/styles-overview/#applying-custom-css in /home/cuppag5/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 6078
2012

Mini Pu-erh Tea Bar (50 Gr) from Teasenz

pu_erh_chocolate_bar_tea_brickTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teasenz

Tea Description:

Made from 2012 “gift-tea grade” leaves selected by the Teasenz team and pressed into a tea bar. Easy to break and steep right away, or store and let it ripen for years. A perfect gift to surprise your favorite tea drinker.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was quite pleased by the aroma of the dry bar, because usually when I take a sniff of the dry leaf of a pu-erh, it smells very earthy, to the point where it smells … well, it smells like earth.  Like potting soil with um … well, with maybe a little bit of fertilizer mixed in.  Yeah, I’m not all that into that smell.  But, while there are some earthy notes to this dry leaf (which has been pressed into a bar shape with little squares, similar to what you might find if you were to unwrap a bar of chocolate), this doesn’t overpower my nostrils with the smell of a greenhouse during planting season.

And the brewed tea doesn’t have a heavy earthy aroma either.  Nor does it have a heavy “briny” or fishy smell.  BONUS points for that.  The aroma here is very soft, almost indistinguishable, which some might find a bit weird, but it’s much more agreeable to this tea drinker than the aforementioned potting soil.

The flavor is so nice!  It has a deep, rich, mellow flavor that is a pleasure to drink.  There are notes of cacao which is especially nice given the comparison I made to the chocolate bar a bit ago.  Absolutely no bitterness.  No astringency.  Just a smooth, well-rounded, mellow flavor.  While there are faint notes of earth here, this isn’t what I’d categorize as an earthy tea.

The flavor is very interesting because it’s quite unlike any pu-erh that I’ve tried to this point.  The notes of cacao are there, it’s a very mild dark chocolate note.  It’s almost like raw cacao, except that I taste a very subtle roast.  Like perhaps they started to roast the cacao but then changed their minds shortly after the roasting process had begun.

The cacao notes are softer than the overtone of molasses that I taste.  This tastes to me very much like molasses, with hints of mushroom.  Imagine a mushroom that has been slow-roasted to dry it out a little bit (so that it has a slight dry, leathery sort of taste to it) and then topped with raw cacao, and then topped with a heavy drizzle of molasses.

Yeah, it sort of tastes like that, only better, because that description sounds kind of weird and this just tastes unique and lovely.  I mean, if a chef put a plate in front of me with a slow-roasted, leathery mushroom that had been dusted with raw cacao and drizzled with molasses, I would think that the chef had lost his mind.  It is sweet, rich, a little leathery with a very slight earthy tone.  Overall … a really splendid tea experience!

This tea keeps going and going too.  I managed eight infusions, and I think I could have gotten even more, but I was ready to move on.  The flavors got deeper and deeper with each infusion, until about six.  The flavors pretty much began to stabilize at that point, and then wane.  My eighth infusion is where I started to notice a loss in flavor, but it was still quite flavorful.

2012 Douji “Hong Shang Dou” Raw Puerh Tea Cake From China Cha Dao

RawPuerhTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  China Cha Dao

Tea Description:

2012 Douji  “Hong Shang Dou” Raw Puerh Tea Cake 357g

Material:  Mengku, Menghai and Si Mao wild arbor tea trees leaves. Is a mixture of 80% Spring Tea and 20% Autumn Tea!

Taster’s Review:

While this 2012 Douji “Hong Shang Dou” Raw Puerh Tea Cake from China Cha Dao no longer appears available on the vendor’s website, the 2011 and 2013 examples of this tea are currently available … hopefully my review of this tea might help you make a decision about it!

This tea brewed up surprisingly light in color because I generally expect a dark color from a Pu-erh, but, then I had to remind myself that not all Pu-erh are alike!  Case and point IS this Pu-erh, not just because of it’s color, but because of the flavor.

The aroma is more vegetative than it is earthy, and the flavor is reflective of that.  It does have a slightly earthy taste, but, for those of you out there that tend to shy away from Pu-erh because of it’s strong earthy character, this tea will be more to your liking, I think.

My first cup is sweet and smooth and very mellow.  There is virtually no astringency and absolutely no bitterness.  It is just … SMOOTH.  The texture is that of a light broth:  very soft and comforting.  It is a relaxing cup.

My second cup delivered a more intense flavor.  This cup is slightly more earthy than the first was, but the earthiness is not the usual earthiness that I associate with a Pu-erh.  This is more like a vegetative earthiness.  Warm yet crisp.  Sweet, but a little less sweet than the first cup, this is still a very mellow and smooth drink.

My third and fourth cups of this Pu-erh developed a more savory kind of taste to them:  earthy, vegetative, and almost salty.  There is more astringency at this point than in the first two cups, but, still it’s a very small amount.  Each cup becomes a little less smooth, but more complex.  It’s as though the softness lifts to reveal the layers of flavor.

Overall, a very pleasant Pu-erh experience!

2012 Fu Ding Bai Cha Chinese White Tea from China Cha Dao

2012 Fu Ding Bai Cha from China Cha Dao
2012 Fu Ding Bai Cha from China Cha Dao

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  China Cha Dao

Tea Description:

Fuding Ba Cha is a really healthy tea, it has the effect of medicaltreatment, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, anti-oxidation, anti-radiation & anti-tumor. We have customer with high blood pressure and this tea works out really well for him, just have a small cup everyday or every two day, is healthy!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This white tea really took me by surprise!  Usually when I brew a white tea, I expect it to be gentle and of subtle taste.  Delicate.  But this has a much stronger flavor than I expected!  Yes, this 2012 Fu Ding Bai Cha Chinese White tea from China Cha Dao has a softer flavor than say, a Yunnan Black tea … but for a white tea – this tea boasts a whole lot of taste!

The flavor is vegetative, but not in the same way a green tea tastes vegetative.  This is more like a crisp, light taste that reminds me of freshly cut hay … hay that isn’t quite dried through, still has a bit of that fresh, green-ness to it.  There is also a taste that evokes thoughts of dew drops on new spring leaves.  It has that kind of freshness to it.

There is a mild nutty flavor to this as well as a creamy note that is really quite enticing … it keeps me sipping.  The tea is very beautifully complex … the kind of tea that you want to steep on a lazy afternoon when you just want to relax and contemplate the beauty of tea.  (And when do you NOT want to do that?  Sure, we don’t always have TIME to do that, but I think we always want to, don’t we?)  It is a nice tea with which to unwind, and it is gently restorative.

A really nice tea – the first that I’ve tried from this company.  If this is any indication of how wonderful the teas from this company are going to be, I’m really looking forward to tasting more!

Giddapahar Muscatel (2nd Flush) from Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Description:

GIDDAPAHAR MUSCATEL, manufactured by Giddapahar Tea Estate which produces some of the world famous Darjeeling Teas. The garden is famous due to its distinctive 2nd Flush. The larger part of the garden is planted with CHINA BUSHES which are ideal for the 2ND FLUSH MUSCATEL.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Having just gotten over a bad cold, I was worried that perhaps I would not miss the wonderful subtle flavors of this Darjeeling.  I feared that perhaps my taste buds were still impaired and that I’d not be able to detect the lovely muscatel that is promised in the name of this tea.

Fortunately, my taste buds seem up to par now, because I can taste the amazing muscatel notes here.  Sweet and fruity, with a slight fermented fruit note going on … like fermented grapes.  That is to say, there is a wine-like character to this cup that is quite delightful!

In the background, I can taste notes of earth and wood … deep and oak-y.  These flavors come in toward mid-sip and are especially noticeable in the aftertaste, and they offer a very intriguing contrast to the sweetness that is introduced to the palate at the start.

Shortly after the fruity sweetness, I notice a sweet, exotic floral tone followed by a clean, almost bubbly kind of sensation over the palate.  It’s almost effervescent.  I want to describe it as a sparkling mineral water kind of taste that together with the astringency of this tea, creates an almost champagne-like experience.  I don’t know if this is why some refer to Darjeeling as the “champagne of teas,” but, it would certainly give me cause to refer to it as such.  It’s quite remarkable, and really very enjoyable.

Overall, the flavor is very light and crisp.  I find this lightness to be very invigorating.  Something that can put a skip in one’s step.  Vibrant, complex and bright.   A lovely experience!

2012 Margarets Hope Muscatel (2nd Flush) from Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Description:

MARGARETS HOPE MUSCATEL comes from one of the best known gardens MARGARETS HOPE TEA GARDEN. The dry leaves are black and dark chocolate in colour with fresh floral notes to the nose.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love Darjeeling, as I’ve attested to on numerous occasions right here on this blog.  And with all my years of drinking tea, and even in the few years that I’ve been writing for this blog, it still surprises me how different one Darjeeling can be from another.  But there is one characteristic that I look for with all Darjeeling teas:  Muscatel.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the few Darjeeling teas that I’ve tried with little to next-to-no muscatel qualities, but, I am still just a wee bit disappointed when I come across a Darjeeling that doesn’t offer the muscatel character that I seek.

But when I do find the muscatel – this is something to celebrate!  And this 2012 Margarets Hope 2nd Flush has muscatel!  So much so that they even add the Muscatel to the name of the tea on their website, making this officially:  Margarets Hope Muscatel 2012 2nd Flush, according to the Darjeeling Tea Lovers website.  So, if you’ve ever read a review of Darjeeling and noted the taster mentioning “Muscatel” and you find yourself wondering … “just what is this ‘muscatel’ anyway?”  I recommend getting yourself some of THIS tea and trying it.  This tea IS muscatel.

There are those who prefer to call it “grape-like” … but I think that muscatel represents so much more than just the muscat grape.  It is a wine-like character that is fruity and sweet, possessing the flavors of not just a fermented grape but also a hint of black currant.  It possesses the dryness that one often associates with a fine wine.  But it is still more with its hints of musky spice and wood and subtle earth tones.  To call it “grape” seems to miss the point entirely.  It is far more than the simple grape.

This tea has a fuller body than I normally associate with a Darjeeling, which I typically consider a lighter tasting tea.  Now, this tea is indeed lighter than say an Assam, but it has a fuller body than some of the lighter Darjeeling teas, it’s smoother, not quite as crisp and “bubbly.”  It’s almost like a Ceylon – body/texture wise – but with the delectable fruit notes and sweetness of a Darjeeling.

A truly remarkable Darjeeling experience – this one may be my favorite yet from Darjeeling Tea Lovers!