114 Tasting Notes
From Considering a new Travelling Tea Box
I haven’t had many pu-erh teas yet and to be honest I haven’t liked what I tried. This one, however, I enjoyed, probably because the toffee masked some of the features of pu-erh I usually find objectionable.
Initially, Pu-erh dominated the nose, but as the tea cooled slightly the toffee came forward, to the point where I smell more toffee than tea, though both are apparent. The extremely rich and powerful taste manages to balance the Pu-erh flavor with the toffee. The tea provides a strong base, giving depth and power, while the toffee kind of floats on top, adding flavor.
I thought I would need to add sugar, but it tastes fine without it. There were little chunks of toffee in the tea, so those probably add some sweetness in addition to flavor. The finish is weak compared to the tea, with just hints of toffee and very little tea.
I’d say the aroma is the best part of the tea: well balanced, strong, and interesting. The taste is good, but a bit less integrated, and the finish is a bit disappointing.
From Considering a new Travelling Tea Box
Rich coconut aroma rises from the pot as soon as the water hits the tea. I can smell it from several feet away. Not so overpowering in the cup, but still smells strongly of baked coconut (like a macaroon?). The flavor is also dominated by the coconut; I can hardly taste the tea. Finish similar: all coconut, very long.
I’m not sure how to rate this tea. I love coconut, and it tastes yummy, but it seems just over the top in terms of the coconut dominating the tea. It could just as easily be “coconut white” or “coconut green”. I decided that I should give it a good rating since I claim to rate purely on how much I enjoyed the tea, and I did enjoy it. It is also something I might buy, though I think I would drink it infrequently. Perhaps I should just remove enough from the travelling tea box for a few more cups.
As the tea cools toward room temperature, the oolong begins to peek out from behind the coconut. Still good.
Another Travelling Tea Box 4
So the tea box arrives on Halloween night, and one of the teas is Graveyard Mist. Of course I have to try it. I’m not sure that it reminds me of anything eerie, but I did enjoy it.
It has a very minty aroma. The taste is interesting. The flavors move back and forth between the green tea and the mint. This works for me, but in the end the mint was a bit too much. The second steep had the same minty nose, but the taste is more subdued. I actually like it better than the first steep: better balance between the tea and the mint.
I have mixed feelings about this tea. It seemed to change its character over the course of the tasting, probably as a result of the tea cooling. It was a very interesting tea, but had a candy-like aroma and taste that I found distracting. (this may be what Butiki calls Honeysuckle and melon – I can definitely see the melon)
It starts with a soft aroma, slightly sweet. Very weak compared to the Thunderbolt teas I was drinking earlier this morning. The taste is definitely sweet and candy-like: light on the surface but with great depth. Layers of flavor with hints of fruit and grass. The finish is good but light. As the tea cooled, the flavors became more pronounced.
I have mixed feelings about this tea. I started out not liking it but it sort of grew on me as I drank it. Based on style I would have guessed it was a first flush rather than second flush, but that may be due to the Oolong-style processing.
This was part of my recent swap with Teamore
I wasn’t sure what I expected from this tea, but I love Darjeeling and I love oolong, so the combination seemed like a good idea.
My initial tastes were disappointing, as there was a strong vegetable flavor that I didn’t care for (the same reason I dislike many green teas). Today, however, the veggies seem very subdued. Instead, there are floral highlights with maybe a hint of mint. The aroma is delicate in comparison the the Thunderbolt Moonlight that I just finished, but probably more in line with what I expect from a Darjeeling.
The flavors are similar to the aromas, but the mouth-feel is a bit coarse and tannic, and doesn’t flow gracefully into the finish. Not bad, really, but lacking in elegance. A decent tea, but not special. To be fair, this is a “bargain” tea compared to other Thunderbolt offerings, and it serves that role nicely.
I think I need to play around with the water temperature since I’m seeing a lot of variation in my tasting notes for this tea, and also significant variation in temperature (depending on how impatient I am at the stove). If I find a pattern, I’ll update my tasting notes.
I’ve been negligent about writing reviews. I’ve had my Thunderbolt order for about two weeks and haven’t written about the teas yet. Saturday is a nice day to sip through the teas and write reviews.
The aroma is fairly powerful, but soft, reminding me of damp forest leaves. That flavor continues in the taste, but with hints of herb and fruit. I tend to think of Darjeelings as being delicate, but this is a big, powerful tea. There is some astringency but without bitterness. There is a smooth transition into a long and powerful finish without bitterness.
The previous time I drank this tea, I steeped at boiling temperature, which gave a more fruity flavor that I preferred. Good either way. I also noted that it tasted good at room temperature. I only drink iced tea in the summer, but I think this would make a good iced tea.
This is the second time I’ve tried this tea. I used a cooler temperature but got the same result. The smell is a combination of white tea and damp leaves in the woods. Just a bit off to my nose. The taste is similar. Not bad but just not to my taste.
Thanks to the Little Red Cup for the sample
I brought this to work, which was probably a mistake. The first hit of the really fine aroma caused me to stop working so I could concentrate my full attention on the tea. It deserved it. several steeps took a big chunk of time out of my day, but this tea required my full attention. It’s one of the best teas I’ve had in a while.
1st steep (1 min): Rich aroma; spice with a bit of honey. Really nice. The taste is deep and rich in a spicy, medium-roast style. The flavor comes in waves, ending in a powerful, long finish.
I’m afraid that I was too wrapped up in the tea to continue writing. Suffice it to say that I had two more excellent steeps and a few others that were weak, a bit less exciting, but still very enjoyable.
Thank to Yezi Tea for the sample
I was interested in trying this tea, since I’m a big fan of keemun, and this was a potential bargain compared to the teas I usually buy. Thanks to Little Red Cup for the sample.
The initial aroma was a powerful smell of old leather. I later noticed some smoke behind the leather. The taste has the same features: strong leather with hints of smoke. Good long finish. The tea is well-made, smooth and powerful, but I just can’t get into the leather flavor.
number 40: The last tea from “Another travelling tea box.”
I may have done a dumb thing by prioritizing my tastings. I’m left with a weird-sounding cucumber tea as the last tea I taste. The funky smell of the dry leaves doesn’t help. Oh well, here goes nothing.
The smell is basic dry tea, but toasty. The taste is a bit strange, probably the cucumber. The taste is clean, with a good finish. No hint of the unappealing dry tea smell. There is certainly nothing wrong with this tea, but it doesn’t really appeal to me. Part of this may be psychological, but mostly I am mentally comparing this to the many Bai Mu Dan teas I drink regularly, and for the same price they are a lot more interesting.