396 Tasting Notes
Hooray! I’m having this tea in celebration of getting my cupboard down to under 100 teas. As of right now, I’m at 99! :D I am expecting a few teas but I will continue to sip down some things, so hopefully I’ll still be under 100 when those get here!
This tea is so yummy. I’m having a really hard time not adding sugar, since I know it would really push the chocolate flavor over the top… It’s an addiction. :P Holding strong though!
This is the last tea from my ripe puerh sampler from Mandala. Visually, looks similar to the other cake samples. It’s one big chunk and the leaves are dark brown. Dry scent is somewhat sweet and woody with a bit of pond or fishy smell. I did a 15s rinse and then 30/45s steeps. I then went back to 30s, hoping it would change the flavor a bit. I think this one is just not for me. :P
Brewed aroma was quite earthy and leathery with the slightest bit of vanilla sweetness and that characteristic woodiness that I’ve found in the other puerhs as well. Taste-wise, I found this tea to be somewhat less complex (and less enjoyable) than the others in the sampler. It mostly tasted earthy and woody with mineral and smoke notes to me. There was also a heavy leather flavor to it. The vanilla and sweetness poked their heads out a time or two, but not enough to make me want to drink any more. I guess this one is just too robust for me! I’m a sweet gal! ;)
Flavors: Earth, Leather, Mineral, Smoke, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
Another of my samples from Han Xiang Ecological Tea this morning! I must say, these leaves are very beautiful. They’re long and thin and quite stiff, they almost remind me of pine needles or slender twigs. The color is about half golden and half black. Dry scent is a bit sweet but not much else, which I’m finding a lot with black teas. I did a 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.
Ooh, the brewed aroma is an interesting combination of sweet honey and dried fruit with savory, almost smoky meat scents. And I find that the taste follows along those lines as well! The beginning of the sip has a lot of dark, syrupy dried fruit flavor, maybe raisins and figs? Then in the middle, the smoked meat savory flavor comes to the forefront, and it stays there for the rest and into the aftertaste. Intermingling between the two are notes of honey and rich molasses which unexpectedly help to bring everything together. Yums. :D
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Malt, Meat, Molasses, Raisins, Smoke
This is my very last sample from Dinosara, d’aw! I don’t have a lot of experience with figs, only having had dried ones before, but I did enjoy the experience I had. And this just sounded interesting! Dried fruit is one of my favorite flavors in straight blacks, so I figured one specifically flavored that way would be fantastic. The leaf itself has no visual indication of being flavored, which is actually a nice change of pace after trying so many teas with flower petals in them. Dry scent is very sweet dried fruit with honey, yummmm! I did my usual 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.
The brewed tea also smells quite sweet with a syrupy dried fruit aroma. I must admit, I am always hoping that the sweetness in a tea’s aroma will carry over to the taste, though it rarely does. I miss my sugar! :P Anyway, this tea is quite good! The base tea is mellow and somewhat malty, flavorful but unobtrusive. There is a lovely caramelized dried fruit flavor – I’m not sure that I would specifically call it fig, but like I said, I have little experience with the fruit. It’s quite rich and nonspecifically fruity, which seems a good description for dried figs to me. The sweetness is augmented by a lovely mild honey note with the slightest floral edge, like wildflower honey. Overall, this tea is quite delicious and I’ll put it on my list to order. Thanks Dinosara!
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Fig, Floral, Honey
Having conquered the Fauchon samples sent to me by Dinosara, I am now moving on to the two Dammann Freres teas that she also sent samples of. Isn’t she so generous?! :D The dry leaf is mostly just black tea with a few scant pieces of flower petal mixed in, I assume for aesthetic effect. Yum, dry scent is mouthwatering! It smells just like almond paste or marzipan, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I did a 3 minute brew at 200 degrees.
The brewed aroma is still marzipan, though it’s a bit less full than it was in the dry leaves. Hmm… The base tea is quite nice, mellow but flavorful in a somewhat woody kind of way? I don’t taste a lot of flavoring in the beginning, but as I near the end of the sip, I can definitely taste the marzipan. I can imagine that adding some sugar would amplify the sweet almond taste, and adding milk would make it lovely and creamy. However, I did neither, as I’m trying to get out of the habit of adding sugar to my flavored teas. :P
I don’t think this has quite enough flavor to be my perfect almond tea, but it’s the best contender I’ve tried so far.
Flavors: Almond, Marzipan, Smooth
Aw, this is my last Fauchon sample from Dinosara… Sad day! I put off trying this tea yesterday because dry, it smells insanely floral. The leaf itself is mostly small black tea leaves with quite a few rose petals mixed in. Dry scent is powerful rose with a sweetness that reminds me of powdered sugar or candy. I brewed for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
I wasn’t very excited to try this one, but the aroma started to get me there. It’s mostly vanilla, surprisingly! There is also some floral there and a bit of citrus. Unfortunately for me, that strong vanilla aroma doesn’t really carry over to the taste side. The beginning of the sip is mostly citrus with a bit of vanilla in there, while the middle and end are dominated by the rose flavor (blegh). Aww, I was so excited too… :(
Flavors: Orange, Rose, Vanilla
I wanted a nice straight black tea after trying so many Fauchon offerings in the past two days, and this was the jinjunmei from Han Xiang that I hadn’t tried yet. The leaves are thin and twisty, and mostly dark with some golden strands. I must say, the name doesn’t seem accurate at all – this smells nothing like any kind of flower. Dry, I smell smoked meat and beef jerky. I’m not sure it could be further away from orchid, lol! I brewed a generous teaspoon for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
The brewed aroma is also quite smoky and savory. Sipping this tea, I am absolutely reminded of smoked beef jerky. Obviously the salt element isn’t there, but there is an obvious smoked note here and a savory quality that makes me think of smoked meats. There is also some malt and a touch of richness reminiscent of molasses. Overall, this is quite delicious, but the name is definitely misleading! And there’s no way I’m mistaken about which tea this is since it’s one that comes in a colored presealed packet… Odd!
Flavors: Malt, Meat, Molasses, Smoked
I only have two Fauchon teas from Dinosara left to try, and this one smelled much less floral than the other choice, so I decided to have it. There are many flower petals mixed in with the small black tea leaves, which is somewhat discouraging, but luckily it smells more like some kind of citrus candy. I’m finding that all of these Fauchon teas have that odd candylike smell that I can’t quite put my finger on, maybe powdered sugar or something? I guess it must be a side effect of their flavorings.
Brewed, the tea still has that same candy smell, and it’s mildly citrus. I can definitely taste orange, although it seems a bit peppier than a normal orange. After reading the description for it, I can say it’s probably the blood orange that adds that extra intensity. The apricot is there too, but it’s quite mild and is overshadowed a bit by the citrus. Overall, still a nice enough orange black tea with (hooray) no floral! :)
Flavors: Apricot, Blood orange, Candy, Orange
Another sample from Dinosara. The dry leaf looks like sencha – long, flat-steamed leaves. The dry scent is raspberry candy with a hint of citrus yumminess. I did a 3 minute steep at 175 degrees.
The brewed tea itself smells quite vegetal but sweet from the vanilla. Yum, I really like this one. The main flavor I get is a lovely combination of the grapefruit and raspberry, fresh and fruity with a little bit of tartness. The vanilla comes in more toward the end of the sip, and that’s when I can taste the lovely vegetal green tea base the most. I can see this being delightful with a bit of sugar, but I’m trying not to add sugar to any of my teas lately. It would also make a lovely iced tea, I’m sure! :)
Flavors: Floral, Grapefruit, Raspberry, Vanilla, Vegetal
I’m having a lot of fun trying all of these Fauchon teas that the generous * Dinosara* sent samples of, even if I haven’t really liked them so far! This one looks like black tea leaves with flower petals mixed in. The dry scent is fantastic! It’s definitely some kind of strawberry-esque flavor – taking a look at the description reveals that this one is red fruits flavored. Yum!
Oh, yum yum. I’m so happy to have finally found a hit from these samples! The red fruit flavor in this tea is spot on, mostly strawberry in my opinion. It’s definitely candylike, in fact it reminds me of strawberry Bubble Tape gum, in the best way possible! I let most of mine get stone cold, and it was still super tasty, leading me to believe that this would make an awesome iced tea as well. I’ll make sure to pounce on the next Fauchon sale so I can get a tin of this one. Happiness indeed!
Flavors: Red Fruits, Strawberry