Oh my gosh, ginormous order from Nothing But Tea arrived this morning. That was quick, I only just got the email that it had shipped day before yesterday. It was quite a O.o moment when the postman rang my doorbell because I wasn’t expecting it for another week.
So yes, I have orange pu-erh and lemon oolong and milky oolong which I unfortunately couldn’t get in sample-size. So now I’m hoping I’ll like it, or I’ve got some 100g of tea to get rid of. Oh yes, and then there were the samples… Three I picked myself and their black sampler box. So that’s a total of 30 samples. Yes. Thankfully the black sampler box was only their unflavoured black. If flavoured black had been included also… Oh dear. I dare not think too much about that.
So I’ve spent an hour or so cupboarding. At least I didn’t have to add more than three of them to the database, but I did have correct the majority of them. NBTs labels on their sample bags do not bear exactly the same names as they do on their website! The person who added them to the database used the names as they appear on the website, which is propably also more correct because they’re more detailed and contain leaf grade and such. But they didn’t include the reference number in the name, which meant that I had some small doubts and confusion on some of them and had to look them up on NBTs site to see if they were the same ones or not. So I added the reference number to the lot of them, which should take care of that problem. I totally worked out their reference number system though! First letter is the type; B for black, second letter is country of origin; S for Sri Lanka. And then they’re just numbered consecutively. HA! I’m a genious, me.
The Chinese selection is woefully small, but there are a couple of South American ones and other asian countries. Oh yes, and a lot of Ceylon and a whole lot of Indian.
Didn’t know what to try first, so I took this one by luck of the draw. I just cupboarded it, now I can decupboard it again. One wonders why I bothered. ;)
I can’t say I have much experience with Ceylons. (Why do we stubbornly cling to Ceylon when it comes to tea? The island’s name is Sri Lanka. It has been for more years than I have been alive. What’s so special about tea that we don’t say ‘a Sri Lankan tea’?) I’ve found a nugget of gold here and there, but mostly it hasn’t really been something that gave all that many bleeps on my radar.
They’re a stupid size for my pot, these 10g bags. Not enough for two properly brewed pots, so saving some wouldn’t do any good, and kinda too much for one pot. I have plenty of pots to choose from, just not one of a suitable size. Big pots and small pots, but not really any in-between size pots. Made it a shorter steep than I normally would and crossed my fingers.
And OH HALP!!! This is very dark to look at. Oh no, I think I messed it up after all. I’m afraid to try it! O.O My tongue is going “noooo don’t WANNA!” But there’s nothing to be done about it, is there?
I quite like the aroma of it. It’s very sweet, but not honey-y sweet. More sweet berry-y. Strawberries with milk and a sprinkle of sugar on them. Ice cream-y, bizarrely enough. Perhaps even borderline caramel-y. What a very awesome smell! At least 50 points for the aroma alone.
It’s not that overdone, actually. It’s extremely smooth and tastes as if there must certainly be milk in it. It has that thick dairy-y note at the bottom of the flavour. A good foundation for something this strong, I think. And it is strong. But it’s not ruined. It doesn’t taste like ‘oh I wish I hadn’t used so much leaf’ or ‘oh I wish I’d shaved another minute off the steeping time’. It’s just strong. It has a certain astringency and a touch of bitterness that honestly probably shouldn’t have been there, but they don’t really mess it up. They just add a little character to the cup.
So apart from the dairy note what else have we got? There is definitely the sweetness that I picked up in the aroma too, but it’s more dark here. Like slighly burnt sugar. It wasn’t in the aroma at all. If I had to asign some sort of fruit to it, to go with how the aroma seemed fruity sweet I’d probably be looking at something like sweet oranges. Yes, sweet citrus and burnt sugar.
It’s a strong tea. One that will get you up and about in the morning. I like it.