223 Tasting Notes
I was excited to try this tea, as I love oolongs, but I have to admit, I was a tad disappointed. The steeped tea smells like steamed vegetables. My grandma said she could smell privet bushes in the tea. The taste reminded me of leafy greens, like spinach, but it didn’t have much depth of flavour and it was really quite flat. I think my issue with this tea is that this is a fairly old sample. Perhaps fresher tea would yield a better flavour? I will hold off rating this one until I try it again with fresher tea, as I sense this has great potential.
I believe this was a gift from LiberTeas – thank you!
Dry, the bag smells a bit like lemon-scented cleaner. It is very strong. The brewed tisane is not pink, suprisingly – clearly there is not as much hibiscus in here as I was expecting. Hot, I found this way too tart and a little bitter, so I chilled the rest of the cup, and I like it much better cold – it isn’t as tart and it is very refreshing.
This is the first sample from China Cha Dao I’ve tried. I brewed it gongfu-style with a 10-second rinse of the leaves before I started.
Dry leaves smell kind of sweet, with woodsy notes and a tiny bit of citrus, though this last note is incredibly faint.
1st infusion: 15 seconds
Tea is pale gold in colour, sort of like honey. The aroma reminds me of the smell of tabacco, though not in a bad way – the sweet, woodsy notes that are also present make this a pleasant smell. The taste is fresh and sweet with vegetative notes (but different to the ones I would expect to find in a green tea – this reminds me of tree bark). Does that make sense?
2nd infusion: 30 seconds
The tea is much darker this time. It tastes and smells pretty much the same as the first, though perhaps not as sweet, but still very fresh.
3rd infusion: 45 seconds
The leaves are still very rolled up. The tea is now more mellow and the tabacco note in the aroma is now apparent in the taste, if only barely (I have never tasted anything like that in tea before – I don’t think it can be contaminated because no-one in the household smokes, but it seems very odd. Not unpleasant, just odd). The tea feels like silk in my mouth.
4th infusion: 60 seconds
The tea is starting to get a little watery now, so this will be my last steep. The taste is mellow with woody notes. It isn’t bitter at all, not even in the aftertaste, which I sometimes find with darker oolongs.
I got a box of this to go with my new Brugo travel mug from TeaPigs, and I must say, I am impressed with both. This rooibos smells waaaay too sweet when dry, but it doesn’t taste so overwhelmingly sickly – the caramel is balanced nicely with the woody rooibos. I even got a second steep out of this – the taste was just as strong and sweet.
I got this as a gift from a friend who recently visited China. She doesn’t remember where she got this from though. I ADORE lychee, so I loved this tea. The lychee aspect was sweet, soft and totally not overdone, which I am glad of. It pairs really well with the black tea base, which is smooth and not bitter at all.
I haven’t had this for a while, but I remembered that I wanted to try it with cooler water and a shorter steep time, so I settled on 190 degrees and 3.30 mins. It still had a sort of unpleasant bitterness to it, so I added a little sugar but that just made it a little sickly. I didn’t really enjoy this at all today, especially the sugar, so I am knocking the score down from 73.