46 Tasting Notes
This tea looks pretty and smells pretty, but tastes too artificial for me. The fake peach flavor is a little overwhelming. I cannot really taste the green tea base unless I steep it longer, and when I do that then the green tea only comes through at the end and it’s too astringent and bitter. Yuck. Not a favorite for me, so I will save this one for dear husband who loves fruity teas.
Ooooooh I had the luxury of trying this the other day—what a treat! My mother-in-law (who I finally managed to convert into the tea-lover camp; she used to be a “coffee person”…haha not anymore! ) decided to get a special tea for us to try at Gong Fu and surprised me with this. She said that the tea shop employee had explained that this tea was exceptional and very difficult to obtain. Now, I don’t think I have every detail worked out because I was hearing all this second-hand, but from what I gathered apparently the first harvest goes to the Emperor, and then in the next harvest (of a very limited quantity) is made available to the lucky few tea merchants who can get it. She said that the owners of Gong Fu tea were the only ones in the U.S. who were able to get this tea. There was only like 6 lbs available. Wow! That’s incredible. I don’t know how it all works, how tea shop owners buy their teas and what the process is (particularly for rare teas like this) but it sounds challenging!
Anyway, the taste was phenomenal. Light, mellow, and refreshing, with a clover-like sweetness. The liquor was so pale I was afraid I had understeeped it, but when I tasted it I was relieved that it contained so much more flavor than I had expected just by looking at the brew.
I wish I had more to write about this tea since it is so rare and special—seems like it deserves a whole huge page of detailed review. But as I am relatively new to trying different kinds of authentic green teas, and am still developing a palate to appreciate the subtleties of fine greens, I think a more experienced tea connoisseur would have a lot more to say about it than humble me. I am not worthy of this tea.
Still, it was a very enjoyable experience to indulge in such a lovely tea. I feel very fortunate to have the chance to taste it. And that is the beauty of tea: it shares its flavor freely to all those who come to take a sip. Whether you are a seasoned tea-drinker or someone who is new to its complexities, all can partake in a simple moment of pleasure as they imbibe this special, unique gift of a beverage.
Although this Orange Spice tea is great by itself, I can’t help but fantasize about how it would taste with cocao nibs (mmm chocolate + orange + cinnamon-spice flavors =delicious!). I have also considered how well it would taste with vanilla or almond. I finally got my chance to try blending this with some Gong Fu Tea’s Absolute Almond black tea in my cupboard, and boy, it was an absolute hit! I mixed 1 teaspoon of the Orange Spice with 1 heaping teaspoon of Absolute Almond in a 2-cup pot, and voila…magic! The resulting tea was pretty darn perfect: the almond flavor melded well, coming through beautifully but still allowing some spice to mingle and tingle on the tongue. No one flavor dominated too much over the others. The taste was pleasant, warm, bright, nutty, rich, and filling. (I had resolved beforehand to only drink one cup and save the other for Hubby, but that resolve melted away completely and I HAD to finish the second cup too.) Oh. So. Good. This is such a deliciously flavorful and smooth black blend that I can just imagine how wonderful it would be as a morning eye-opener or with breakfast; perfect in the afternoon for a pick-me-up after being out in the cold; perfect in the evening with a sweet dessert…and so on. No matter what the time of day, mixed with the Almond, the Orange Spice is a good and satisfying all-around winter treat! Yum! I only wish I could have tried mixing those two teas earlier so I could have been enjoying this all winter long—bummer! Now I don’t have too much of the Orange Spice left and I will not be ordering more until fall. I guess I will just have to treasure what I have now, and then keep this in mind for a definite re-order next autumn.
This almond-flavored black tea struck me with love the moment I took my first sip…no, actually it was the moment I took a whiff of the dry leaf, which smells strongly like almond extract (except minus the alcoholy bite)—sooo good! I was immediately drawn to it from that first sniff, which at once reminded me of my wedding cake: almond-flavored and fabulous! When I took a sip of the tea itself, it was almost like having that cake in liquid form. What a wonderful surprise to revisit that special occasion in my life, brought about by a single cup of tea that tastes exquisitely like my almond wedding cake!
I haven’t tried any other almond black teas, so I don’t have much to go by in way of comparison, but that’s fine with me. Until and unless something better comes along (doubtful), I will be happily enjoying this for a long time.
For those who dislike rooibos, this would not be the tea for you. The rooibos is the predominant flavor here, with a burst of tart and tasty cranberry, which I really like. I think it’s quite nice.
I do like rooibos and find it preferable to many herbal/cafffeine-free tisanes. Rooibos has many things going for it, in my opinion. It is rich and somewhat sweet, a little dry and woody too, which is not a bad thing, and I love the deep red color. Furthermore, it goes well with a variety of additional flavorings like fruit or vanilla so it’s a pretty versatile “tea.” I learned to love rooibos when I was pregnant and limiting my caffeine consumption, and now it is my go-to beverage when I have reached my caffeine quota for the day but am still in need of a hot cuppa. Plus it has a ton of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals so it’s another winner health-wise!
This has been on my wish list for a long time. I finally succumbed to the temptation to buy it, and am not disappointed! It is a luxurious tea good for a special morning or as an after-dinner delight to drink with dessert. The honey and vanilla flavors are soft and gentle yet not overpowered by the rich Assam. I love the cream taste—it does indeed taste as if a few small spoonfuls of fresh, silky cream had been swirled around to meld with the tea, just enough for that rich creamy flavor to come through but without diluting the wonderful Assam (like real cream would if it had been added). Thus, this is perfect for people like me who don’t like to add cream or sugar to their tea, but occasionally desire a more rounded out flavor.
Full bodied, rich, and slightly creamy-sweet is how I would sum this up. Very nice!
I had another cup this morning and I could taste the apricot a little bit more. Nice!
Uh oh. squints at the bottom of the bag and sighs. Only one more teaspoon left!! So only one more cup remains to be enjoyed. :-( I considered brewing the last of it today but felt that would be an overindulgence so I will save it for a rainy day.
This Yunnan has been a favorite of mine all winter, although I realized I hadn’t written a review of it yet! Time to get a note done before it’s all gone…which, as I only have a few teaspoonfuls left, is a likely to be soon.
I really like Yunnan black teas—they tend to be so smooth and tasty—and this Emporer’s Gold is a good one. The dry leaf smells sweet and chocolatey. The liquor is a lovely, a rich golden brown, with a fragrance that makes my mouth water before I even take a sip. It has a very nice flavor: smooth, lightly malty (but not a ‘thick’ malt taste) with a few chocolate and caramel notes and also a very slight but pleasant peppery bite. Mmmm!
Having ‘gold’ in the name is highly appropriate, not only because it literally describes some of the leaf color and also the golden brown liquor, but also in a sort of metaphorical sense too: like pure gold, which is bright and beautiful but very malleable, this is a brilliant and malleable black tea; solid but also soft and smooth on the palate. It doesn’t have the super bold strength of an Assam (which could be equated with Iron, to carry the metal analogy further, haha). And, as the description states, just like gold this tea is highly valuable and fit for an emperor! So I feel like royalty (or should I say royalTEA) every time I take a sip. Yum!
I don’t typically feel the need to write more than one tasting note per tea unless something different strikes me or (as in this case) I just feel like it. Contrary to what my absence of commentary on Steepster might suggest, I have actually been quite busy drinking and enjoying my teas of late. With spring coming just around the corner, I have been working on using up my “winter teas” in order to make room for the influx of new spring delights that await me. (I make that sound like a chore, but believe me, “using up tea” is no tedious obligation that I feel I must do…it’s a pleasure!) So, one of the teas in my winter collection is this English Breakfast, and I will be sorry when it is gone because I absolutely love it. It’s just one of those perfectly solid reliable black teas that you never get tired of, you know? Like that favorite sweater you wear (probably too often) in winter, but it doesn’t matter because it fits perfectly, feels comfortable, looks nice, is just the right color, and is suitable no matter what the occasion. That is this tea. Mmmmm, delicious! But, like my favorite sweaters, once summer comes this will be out of sight for a while until next year when I reorder for winter again.
Now, some of you may say, why can’t you just enjoy it in summer too? Well, I have weird ideas about what teas I like to drink and when. Not that it’s a hard and fast rule of course, but generally speaking I like certain teas at certain seasons. Black tea I generally drink heavily in the fall and winter, whereas greens, oolongs, and white teas all are what I consider “warmer weather teas.” I love black tea a lot though, so obviously I would never stop drinking it altogether just because it’s summer—I simply have different black teas I like to enjoy then. (For instance, I tend to choose Indian and African black varieties for summer, China blacks in winter, for no other reason than a good Nilgiri or Kenyan black seem “summerish” to me. Somehow they just fit with the hot weather, maybe because their countries of origin are typically super hot? Seems silly, I know, but that’s how I roll.) Anyway, here’s to sipping down some of my lovely fall/winter black teas: Lapsang Souchong, English Breakfast, Emporer’s Gold, Orange Spice, etc.!
I kind of had that scratchy feeling in my throat that usually means the beginnings of a cold. Let’s hope it’s not! I haven’t been sick in over a year, and want to keep that record! Anyway, just as an extra precautionary measure I opted to drink green and white teas this morning instead of my usual black—hoping the extra antioxidants will help me out.
Mmm, I just love this green toucha. The apricot flavor is really yummy, and it is one of the few green teas I’ve tried in which the subsequent steepings are stronger and just as flavorful as the first. A good “Breakfast Green”.
One thing I’m confused about: this is classified on Steepster as a pu-erh, but then I went back and read the company’s description it seems as though this is really just regular green tea shaped into a bowl form. I know there are green pu-erh teas, and green toucha, and then green puerh touchas—which is this? Maybe I’m just incredibly dense and don’t get the differences between all of those. The description simply says this was made in the same place where the pu-erhs are made, but it doesn’t actually say this IS a pu-erh, so…just wondering.