416 Tasting Notes
First, thank you to Courtney for sending me a sample of this.
It was very un-tea-like of me, but in my haste to get ready this morning, I completely forgot about this pot of tea and it brewed for up to 10 minutes. It still turned out wonderfully! It’s strong with pleasant tannins and no bitterness. It stayed really good even when it got cold. This is a nice English breakfast tea, nothing standout about it, but it’s very good.
First of all, thank you to Toi Toi for this!
It’s funny the way that the name of something can influence how you experience it. I don’t smoke anymore, but smelling this tea immediately made me want to smoke a Gauloises Blondes. I discovered those cigarettes in Paris when I was 16 and thereafter, I would to go down to St. Mark’s Place in NYC to buy them. Ah, those were the days before gentrification changed the character of the Bowery and CBGB was still open. Damn, I’m old…
Anyhow, enough of reminiscing. This tea reminded me of being in a European bakery. I could smell jam-filled cookies, carmelized sugar, and marzipan. This is one of the best flavored teas I’ve experienced, but I’m not really into flavored teas. Personally, I like my sweets with my tea, not in my tea.
I’m not going to rate this one, because I really don’t drink enough white tea to know what they should or can be. As I poured this one I could smell steamed sugar snap peas. The wet leaves had a astringent smell that I really only usually associate with black teas. There is a unpleasant lemony note note mid-sip. As it cools down a bit, this improves. The aftertaste is a bit metallic, but not in the worst way… :-/
I let this sit for a couple of hours and then made a fourth infusion. Now the floral notes are dominating the aroma.
I’m almost out of this tea (very sad), but I’m excitedly looking forward to the Spring 2013 teas!
I don’t drink a lot of Darjeeling. This may be the only Darjeeling that I have had more than once. So, take this rating with an especially minuscule grain of salt. It has a savory aroma (as described) and a floral note that reminds me of roses after a cool spring rain. It is light bodied with a pleasant astringency. I think I finally understand what people are talking about when they speak of a “muscatel” note. When I smelled this tea, I was momentarily transported to a night this past summer when I opened a Martinelli Muscat Alexandria for some friends of mine.
This is a wonderful tea if you want something to drink many cups of or to go with food. (I brewed up a big pot of this at around 11AM to drink with my breakfast of curried lentils and rice.) I guess I should also note that this tea had a lot of broken pieces in it and really clogged up the narrow slots of my glass infuser.
This “black matcha” is touted as being made from the finest Darjeeling and Assam tea leaves, yet inexplicably I was hoping this would taste more like a pu’erh. (This may have been because of Pure Matcha’s mention of the powdered tea of the Song Dynasty, which I’m pretty sure was in cake form before being powdered.)
Anyhow, despite defying my expectations, I liked this pretty well. I first tried making this in the style of a thick matcha, because I like my black teas strong. Not bad. I went a little bit overboard with the amount of powder used, and suspect that I should have used a hotter water temperature than for standard matcha.
Later I added milk and sugar to this, and it made a really good black tea latte.
Ahhhh! What did I just drink? I guess all I can say is that you should make sure you like rooibos before you buy this product. This pretty much tasted like sawdust to me (I will say that it tasted like the sweetest sawdust from the most delicious wood) but this drink just wasn’t for me. I will refrain from rating this one.