664 Tasting Notes
Thank you to Sil for this sample!
This is really delightful. The smell of the dry leaf is all grapefruit, and very intense.
I didn’t realize this was an herbal when I was steeping it – I guessed green tea and treated it as such – 80C, 2min. And it’s delicious. The dominant note is grapefruit (I suppose pomelo, though it tastes more like grapefruit than pomelo to me.) Then I get lemongrass and a sweetness that’s reminiscent of coconut. I can’t quite pick out the bamboo, though I’m guessing it’s contributing to the sweet flavour.
Flavors: Coconut, Grapefruit, Lemongrass, Sweet
This is an interesting tea. The dry leaf is rolled into small pellets, slightly bigger than gun powder, but smaller than most rolled oolongs or pearl teas. From the dry leaf, I immediately get a whiff of honey, which is always exciting. Honey is one of my favourite notes in tea.
Steeped 1tsp (about 4g) in 75C water for 2:30. The liquor is golden and quite clear. The steeped leaves are only partially unfurled, and smell nutty.
The liquor smells sweet, nutty and umami, and these notes are reflected in the taste. There’s a hint of hone, but not as much as I would have expected from the dry leaf smell. I also get a pretty strong, cooling vegetal tang of grass. There’s also a bit of bitterness and a moderate amount of astringency.
The finish is long, but only on parts of the tongue. The way the flavours develop within the sip feels a bit off – there’s a big punch of lots of flavours at the beginning of the sip, and then they fade out quickly. The full mouth flavour at the beginning ends up being just a sides of the tongue kind of flavour by the time I swallow and then into the finish.
This is alright, but I was hoping for something a bit more balanced.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Grass, Honey, Nutty, Sweet, Umami
Thanks to Yunomi for this sample.
The dry leaf smells roasted and nutty, very much like a potent houjicha. The pieces are irregular – some are small, twisty and black, like many black tea leaves. Others are flat, brown flakes of leaf.
1tsp, 90C, 5min.
This smells rich, creamy, nutty and roasted as it steeps. I’m reminded a lot of a houjicha I sampled recently. The flavour is distinct, however. Somewhat less sweet and having a bit more of a bite than I associate with houjicha. This has characteristics in common with some Chinese roasted oolongs. Fairly heavy body and very smooth.
All in all a very nice offering. I’m pleased to be able to try different types of Japanese teas.
Flavors: Char, Creamy, Nutty, Roasted, Smooth
Oh my, this is awesome. It has all the spiced, muscatel, distinctive flavour of a Darjeeling, with a bit of that vegetal tang that you sometimes get with oolongs, and then there’s cardamom mingling so perfectly with this that I could almost forget that it’s been added and isn’t just a natural note in the tea, and then just a hint of cinnamon heat at the back of my throat.
Super smooth, not at all bitter. Medium body. Sipping it straight, no milk or sugar needed. I could drink this a lot.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Muscatel, Smooth, Spices, Tangy, Vegetal
Cold steeped this over night and I like it much better than when I had it hot. There’s notes of prickly pear, banana and tropical fruits. It’s sweet and a touch tart.
This is a sipdown, but I could see maybe picking up some more at some point to cold steep in the summer.
Flavors: banana, Sweet, Tart, Tropical
I’m working my way through more Teabox teas, and pulled this one out at random.
The steeping recommendations say 6 minutes. I usually steep my black teas for 3 minutes, 4 tops, so 6 just sounded excessive. But, Teabox has very specific steeping recs for each tea, and I have milk in my fridge, so I figured I’d give it a shot and follow their recs. Worst case scenario, I drown it in milk and sugar.
Well what do you know! Steeped for 6 minutes at 96C, this is smooth and only has a hint of pleasant bitterness! I am surprised. This is very nice. Fruity, with a touch of tartness, with malt. Fairly thick. A touch of cocoa on the finish.
I may need to start following the steeping recommendations on these packets more closely, and then experiment from there if I don’t like the results.
Though seriously, this is another tea where the liquor is described as “crystal lemon”. I do not think those words mean what the author thinks they mean. This cup is a deep mahogany colour. No stretch of the imagination could compare this to a lemon.
Flavors: Cocoa, Fruity, Malt, Tart
I drank this tea this morning, but even while I was drinking it, I was having a hard time describing it. It’s definitely a Darjeeling, spicy, fruity, tangy? But also unique. Quite light in colour and body. Between sips I kept forgetting what it tasted like, aside from “good”.
I really enjoyed this. The only downside is I was getting a touch of bitterness in the back of my mouth, sometimes noticeable and sometimes barely there. It wasn’t like tea bitterness, but reminded me of when I’ve taken mediation that messes up my tastebuds (except I haven’t recently.)
I’ll have to give this another spin and see if I can describe it better.
I am a hazard to myself and others sometimes. I’ve managed to fuck up or injure myself an impressive amount over the last few days. The highlights include walking into the corner of the bed frame, in the middle of the night, so hard I have a giant purple bruise with a white void in the middle on my thigh. I also managed to break skin. And then tonight, a safety pin on my bag popped open, and I managed to walk directly into it, skewering the side of my toe.
Making this tea was a small exercise in fuck ups. I went to get everything ready, put my mug out with a steeping basket, and then added a teaspoon of this tea. And then I realized that I hadn’t washed out my mug, or dumped out my Assam leaves from this morning. ::sigh::
Fortunately, I have lots of this tea. I’ve had it for quite a while, and I haven’t had any in a long while either. I’d forgotten what it tasted like, and I’d just assumed it would be kind of generic herbal/medicinal tasting. Not so! This is both warm and cool spicy, with notes of basil and cinnamon. It’s herbal tasting, but delicious, and not generic.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Herbs, Spices, Tulsi