509 Tasting Notes
Thank you so much Shmiracles for sharing such a coveted tea treasure; the only tea that you deemed worthy of a rating. It must have been hard to part with! haha.
So I have to start with a bit of backstory: About a week ago, my father was grilling bbq chicken and he used some fancy smoke-flavor thing that my brother had given him as a gift some time ago. I took one bite of this chicken and complained immediately that it tasted like a chimney and that I was pretty sure I was exhaling chimney smoke from my nose for half an hour after eating it. But my father loves smokey flavors, so all the better for him. What he doesn’t like are most of the teas I bring for him to sample. “tastes like seaweed!” … “that tastes like seaweed too” … “too weak” … “too boring” … “SEAWEED!!!”
I had never tried Lapsang Souchong nor any blends made with it, but I read plenty about it’s smokiness and told my father that I will have to get him some. It’s not a tea I ever would have considered getting for myself as I knew it wouldn’t suit me.
So fortunate it was that I happened to get a Lapsang blend in a swap. I opened the bag, smelled it and thought “yep, this has Papa written all over it!” I took it over to my parents house this evening and told my father that I found the tea for him. And guess what? No surprise, he LOVED it. He even asked if there was more before he finished the cup that I gave him. I also poured small sample cups for my mother, little sister, and myself (because I can’t officially say that I don’t like it unless I try it). It was one awful smelly cup of blech to me and my mother wasn’t too tickled either. As for my little sister, her story is special too. She’s been sampling several teas that I bring over there and not once ever has she not liked one. Every tea is equally good in her book and I was determined to find something she didn’t like. Finally did. She didn’t even finish her sample, but gave it to Papa.
Tastes like a roasted oolong. A bit nutty too, like Houjicha. It’s quite good, but not exciting. Lots of roasted oolongs out there. I like this better than some and less than others. This one could be one of many roasted oolongs that I cycle through me regular stash (I always like to have at least one)
I do, however, like the name, so it may get preference once in a while just for that.
Thank you Shmiracles for this sample!
The dried leaves smell incredibly yummy. I checked on Steepster before I brewed it and took the advice to keep it short. I did 2min30sec.
I am picking up on the coconut flavor that one of you other reviewers mentioned too. I do absolutely love a good macaroon (and, incidentally, so does my siamese cat) or German chocolate cake, but I’ve never liked coconut in teas. It usually makes me feel sick. But this isn’t coconut though, now is it? It’s coconut-esqu minus the horrid after-taste that real coconut teas give me.
I do like it quite alright, but I’m not in love by any means. I’ve been pretty picky about dessert teas, so no surprise there. However, I like it a whole lot better than most of what I get from Della Terra. The sweetness of this one is not rediculously-over-the-top. Unfortunately, the coconut-like flavor, while not at all nauseating, is too reminiscent of the teas I don’t like and it is putting me off just a bit.
I’m afraid to try too many samples from exotic over-seas companies because i am afraid that I will love them and won’t be able to acquire them easily! I let my husband take a sip from my cup and he loved it. I told him, well, that’s too bad. (^o^)
This tea smells very sweet when brewed. I almost expected it to taste similar to my Rep. of Tea Wuyi oolong, but it doesn’t. I can definitely detect characteristics of both back and oolong teas. It also has a sort of musty flavor, not necessarily bad, just different. I am more than happy to finish off my bag, but I don’t know about a repurchase. I have other favorite dark oolongs.
The honey flavor of this tea doesn’t seem as strong today. It’s still there, but now accompanied by a very mild floral and a sort of malty flavor. I used more leaves than before, but the steep time was less.
The last time I had it (no logged) it seemed weaker than usual so I deliberately increased the leaf this time.
I’m not quite sure why this tea is being so finicky all of a sudden. The only explanation is that my original batch was in a small sample tin. I liked every cup that I had from that tin. This one is from the larger tin that I ordered when I ran out of the other.
I am going to have to lower my rating on this one just a bit. I still like to drink it, but I don’t know if I’ll order again.
I have never had Irish breakfast tea before. I’ve heard that a lot of people hate it and a lot love it. I assumed that this was because of its supposed robustness. Well, no stranger to a good dark roast coffee (and I like my coffee as I like my holes, black ;) ) I figured I’d just have to see about this bold tea.
I so wanted to try it first thing this morning, but I couldn’t get myself to break away from last-minute final exam cramming to boil water. So I left without any tea. :( I took an exam and I skipped lunch to study for the second exam and then I took the next exam and then I can home. I was hungry, so I put a bowl of organic canned spaghetti rings in the microwave and boiled water for my tea. Not really sure spaghetti rings are well paired with this, but it works for me. . .
So, about the tea: It’s a good cuppa. smooth, flavorful, but (I don’t know if I should dare to say), I could have done with even stronger. I think I’ll double my leaf next time.
About the descriptors everyone likes to use: “kick in the butt” etc. well I dunno. after a lifetime of dark roast coffee drinking (I only like dark roast), bold is just a default assumed quality of a good brew to me. This tea is not going to make me hustle in a jig out the door every morning. Even coffee couldn’t do that. I should add here that I have never felt the effects of caffeine. A strong tea to me is nothing more than good flavor. Sure it’s a bold flavor, but I don’t associate it with acquisition of butt-kicking super powers (I have those naturally).
I am sitting here waiting impatiently for this tea to cool off enough to drink (frequently tempted to risk burned tastebuds). It smells so lovely! Like strawberries mostly. Like real fresh yummy strawberries. Not like a been-sittin-in-a-teabag-for-a-year strawberry that I’ve had before, but fresh from the garden.
And finally, a taste. Flavor is not as strong as it smells, but just as fresh. I can barely detect the base tea. I’m not sure what hibiscus tastes like so I can’t comment on that. And, honestly, I can’t remember the last time I had rhubarb. So the only thing that really stands out for me is the strawberry. But thats ok! And it doesn’t have a nasty aftertaste like many other fruity flavored blacks that I’ve tried. I might just have to stock up on this one. So sad when limited editions turn out to be good!
And one more thing: This goes really good with Biscoff cookies. Yummy!