468 Tasting Notes
Morning everyone! I’m trying this same tea again today because I felt like I didn’t really get all it had to offer when I tried it before. scribbles gave me some steeping parameters to try (thanks!) so today I’m trying a 4 minute steep using 4 pearls.
I really love the smell of this tea! It’s very honeyed and has a nice raisin or fig note. I would be in heaven if it tasted exactly like the smell! Sadly, that is almost never the case with tea. :P
Today it tastes quite malty with maybe a touch of honey in there. I maybe get a little bit of cocoa? But it’s definitely bitter cocoa with no sweetness. In fact, I’m getting a little bitterness out of this tea today… That honeyed dark dried fruit that was in the aroma is also there in the aftertaste, yum.
In other news, my boyfriend and I are going to have a new roommate soon. His good friend from California recently graduated from college and my boyfriend managed to get him a job at his workplace. So he’s going to be living with us for a bit at least, which I don’t mind. However, our spare bedroom is full of boxes of shit, basically. So my boyfriend has to go through that and sort out what needs to be tossed, etc. Which means now there’s a humongous pile of empty boxes near the front door, which I will have the pleasure of breaking down and taking to the recycling room today… Hooray? :P
I got a sample of this from Nicole (I also have a sample from Whispering Pines and I have another ounce coming on Wednesday). I’m kind of anxious to try it since it seems to have quite a following around here. The leaves are very dark and spindly – like a miniature version of Taiwanese black leaves. They smell of raisins and cocoa, with some malt, tobacco, and honey notes. Brewed according to the package directions.
The brewed tea smells strongly of sweet potatoes, with a malty edge. There’s a deep molasses scent, and a lighter raisin note that makes me think of golden raisins. The taste is pretty similar to the aroma. Lots of sweet potato with strong malt taste. There’s a fruitiness that reminds me of plums and raisins. I don’t get any chocolate from this at all. And there’s a floral aftertaste that kind of seems soapy to me? The body is lighter than a lot of other Chinese blacks I’ve tried, maybe a little bit thin.
Now I know that this will probably get me pelted with rotten vegetables, but I don’t love this tea. And I’m unhappy because I feel like I didn’t get the flavors that a lot of other people mentioned, like chocolate and caramel, and it makes me feel like I’m at fault somehow in my tasting of this. Frustrating…
Holding off on the rating until I give it a couple more tries.
Flavors: Floral, Malt, Plums, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco
I needed a little break after drinking new black teas all day! This sample is from KiwiDelight. I checked the Den’s website to see what exactly fukamushi sencha is. Turns out it just means that this is a deeply steamed sencha!
The aroma is very mild and sweetly vegetal with a little bit of wet grass. This is definitely the most seaweedy tasting tea I’ve had yet. And I don’t necessarily mean that as a bad thing! The primary taste is definitely seaweed, but there are also spinach and grass notes common among most senchas I’ve had. The flavor is quite mild, which I wouldn’t expect from something “deeply” steamed. I guess it has the opposite effect of what I would assume! Not to be confused with shaded sencha! :) Tasty, but not my favorite sencha ever.
Flavors: Grass, Seaweed, Smooth, Spinach
Yay, the last of my provided TeaVivre samples! And I only have one Green Terrace sample left, but it’s slated for gong fu style since it’s a milk oolong. And then that’ll be it for review-required samples for me until I get the ones from Good Life Tea! So, this one. The leaves are dark and slightly twisty, and there are a (very) few golden tips. Mm I love the smell! Very malty with sweet honey and a lovely tart stonefruit aroma. I did a 3 minute steep here.
Brewed aroma is… alarming. Lol. Completely different from the dry version! I immediately detect smoke and earthiness with the ubiquitous malt. Maybe a tiny hint of those stonefruits? Woah, this is quite smoky! There’s also earthiness and the taste of wood. A tiny bit of bitterness that goes well with these flavors. Not as malty as I would expect from this type of tea. There’s a little bit of a deep rich flavor that I would associate with molasses. And when I least expect it, there’s a lovely stonefruit aftertaste! Similar to plums and apricots mixed together.
I can see definite parallels between this tea and the Harney & Sons Tippy Yunnan, which is a good sign because they are both lower-grade. So maybe my taste buds are halfway decent! Lol. I definitely added sugar to this, it’s too powerful for me without it. And it would definitely take milk well if you chose to add some. A definite kick-in-the-pants morning tea! :)
Flavors: Earth, Malt, Molasses, Smoke, Stonefruits, Wood
Hooray for TeaVivre and their lovely free samples! I’m telling myself that I need to try all five of my samples before I start drinking all of the swap tea I’ve gotten lately. Seriously, it’s taking over the kitchen! Since I promised reviews for these samples I feel like I’m making someone wait if I take too long… Which is a weird thing to think. :P
This looks similar to the other golden monkey tea I’ve had (Harney & Sons). The leaves a thin and slightly curly, mostly dark with some golden tips. It smells extremely malty, which is not a bad thing! There’s also some honey and tart stonefruit in there. I walked on the wild side and brewed it for 3 minutes.
Wow, the brewed aroma is even more malty than before, which I didn’t think possible! There’s also a smoky tobacco note along with honey and sweet potato. Oh my… If I had to choose one word for this tea, it would be “masculine”. This is manly stuff! All this maltiness and then that smoky tobacco taste as well. Plus I can taste leather and a dark richness that reminds me of molasses without the sweetness. Sweet potato adds a little cream and butter that helps smooth it out. It’s not super strong but the flavors are bold and really catch your attention! MAN TEA! But women enjoy it too. ;)
Flavors: Leather, Malt, Molasses, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco
I have so much tea to try right now, but I figured I should probably get through the teas I have that were provided in exchange for reviews. Don’t want to make anyone wait! Confession: I have never had an oxidized oolong before. However, I have great faith that I will enjoy this category of teas since they seem similar to some black teas. The dry leaf for this one is very beautiful. The leaves are large and dark, and they’re slightly twisted. They seem so light and fragile in comparison to black tea leaves. The scent is quite mild but sweet, with fruit and honey notes. I checked Green Terrace’s website for parameters, and I used the middle of both temperature and time.
The aroma reminds me of raisins, sweet but with deep and dark flavor. Maybe a bit of dried cherry too, along with some honey. This tea just says “autumn” to me. There’s something about the taste that reminds me of the autumn leaves, kind of woodsy but in a mild and slightly toasty way. It seems so full of dark dried fruits – raisins, cherries, dates, figs… Yum! And there’s a lovely burnt sugar note somewhere in there too.
Such a great experience for my first dark oolong! I have enough left to do some gong fu, so I’ll add this one to that list… Before boychik yells at me! ;)
Thanks again to Green Terrace Teas for providing this sample for review.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Burnt Sugar, Dried Fruit, Raisins
Another of my samples from TeaTiff. I wasn’t really sure what region this tea was from, so I looked it up on their website. Turns out it’s actually fermented from white tea buds which seems unusual. And it’s from the Fujian province. The leaves are quite small and thin, and very dark with a few golden spots. I can’t really tell you much about the smell because everything from this package smells like milk oolong! Heh. I brewed mine for 2 minutes.
The aroma reminds me of a Yunnan tea. There’s a definite bread scent with honey and malt, and something else… Maybe a touch of creaminess? But wow, this doesn’t taste like any other black tea I’ve tried. I can definitely tell that it’s made from white tea. It has that lovely smooth hay flavor, but mixed with some malt and a little bit of a bread. There’s a deep flavor in the background that reminds me of molasses, but without being sweet.
While I did enjoy it, I found the flavor a bit light. I have enough for one more cup, so I think I’ll hold off on a rating until I try this at a 3 minute steep! :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Hay, Malt, Molasses
I’m jumping on the MzPriss and TheTeaFairy bandwagon this morning with this tea. This is one of my free samples from TeaVivre that I hadn’t tried yet and I figured now’s as good a time as any! This is my first time trying a Fujian black tea. The leaves look very different than the other blacks I’ve been having lately – they’re very thin and extremely dark with a few scattered golden tips. The smell is quite unusual, it’s quite musty and earthy with dark bread and malt notes. I decided to be brave and steep it for 3 minutes! :P
Wow, the brewed aroma is very different from the dry! It smells like a completely different tea. Very sweet honey or caramel over baked bread with raisins, mmm… This would definitely be a breakfast tea for me, as the overall taste is quite bold and strong. It has a grain-like malty quality about it without quite tasting like bread. I seem to get a little tiny bit of smokey savoriness at the beginning of the sip. I was surprised to not taste the caramel or honey sweetness that a lot of others mentioned… Then I added a touch of sugar to the second half of my cup and a lovely dark honey or molasses flavor came out. I wouldn’t necessarily call it caramel because I don’t get any butter. This tea leaves an aftertaste on my tongue that reminds me of strong coffee!
Overall, quite good and a nice bold tea to take for breakfast. Would definitely stand up to some milk, although that’s not something I generally add to tea. Thanks again to Angel at TeaVivre!
Flavors: Coffee, Grain, Honey, Malt, Molasses
I’ve had this for a while now and haven’t written a note on it yet. I’ve actually made it twice before, but both times I came out weirdly bitter so I figured I’d give it a couple more tries before rating it. It’s a mixture of chamomile flowers, cinnamon bark, and pieces of dried apple with peel. It smells very strongly of apple and only lightly of spice. I steeped it for 5 minutes.
The aroma is nice. I get a lot more cinnamon than in the dry leaf, then chamomile and the sweetness from the apple. Unfortunately, I got the same odd bitterness this time as I have before. I can only assume it’s from leaving the peel on the apple pieces, although no one else has mentioned this in their notes so… I’m not sure what’s going on there. It makes it hard to drink, even with sugar added. So disappointed… :(
Flavors: Apple, Bitter, Cinnamon
I got this sample for free with my Adagio order. All I had to do was share on Facebook, and since I changed the setting the “private”, no one even had to see it. Win/win! Dry tea looks like honeybush with yellow flower petals and a few dried fruit pieces. It smells very artificial – like apricot candy. Steeped 5 minutes.
The aroma is fairly ho-hum… Just honeybush and apricot candy. The taste is even more so. There’s not enough apricot flavor, even with added sugar. So it mostly tastes like peppery honeybush and a little fake apricot. No thanks. :P
Flavors: Apricot, Candy, Pepper, Wood