137 Tasting Notes
Very strange. In the same order, I received this, the Creme des Earl Grey, and Green Earl Grey. I cannot get enough of the green and the creme and am slurping them down (and have reordered larger quantities of both). This one… I first tried it cold brew, and it was undrinkable. So, fair enough, I probably over steeped it. I tried it again, normal brew, 4 minutes, and I had a similar result. I taste a faint lemon rather than the more rounded bergamot I prefer. This isn’t working for me.
This is a surprise. My only comparison, or so I thought, turned out not to be apt. The only other leafhopper-bitten tea I’ve had is Eco-Cha’s Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine, which is more of a classic high mountain, creamy, floral oolong. This is very different – almost like a delicate, comforting, smooth black tea. Like a muted, dialed-back Yunnan maybe. I had to double check the package to confirm it is in fact a high mountain, Taiwanese, leafhopper-bitten oolong. I was initially disappointed in the flavor, except…ever find a tea that is somehow satisfying out of proportion to its flavor? This tea feels good to drink. I’ll definitely finish and greatly enjoy this.
I really loved Twinings Blackcurrent in college. I was pretty sad when it started tasting a bit chemically to me. This is a great replacement. It’s a deep but still brisk base tea with a less-pronounced but deeply delicious berry note. It’s less fruity than Twinings, but in a really nice way. I bet this would make a terrific cold brew too.
This is it, my winning Earl Grey Creme. No doubt there are plenty I haven’t tried, but no need to move on from here. The dry leaf smells like a fruity marshmallow, then brews up to a well-balanced, creamy, fruity, floral Earl Grey. The base tea is Celyon but not one of the tangiest – still, a nice offset to the creaminess. It has none of the chemical notes that can put me off some Earl Greys.
This was a sale item I threw into my giant stock up on their Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine oolong (which is really something to stock up on), and I was excited about the idea of Eco-Cha quality oolong in a travel-friendly tea bag. So, two different reviews.
As a travel tea: Pretty good. I’ll definitely take this with me on my next trip, and it’ll give me something pleasant, hot, and resteepable to have easily available. And I’ll really enjoy that. Despite it’s delicacy, it does have a touch of that oolong creaminess that I’ve never found in a tea bag before.
When I’m at home and have other choices: This wouldn’t really ever make the menu. It’s too delicate, and I’m not sure whether that is attributable to the tea itself or to the leaves struggling to expand in the tea bag (which really puffed up!). And there is a little flavor of the bag itself (when did I get to be so sensitive? Did I just write that?).
This is delicious. Not the right answer for someone looking for a flavored or fruity tea, the description is correct about the ‘classic umami’ flavors of the green tea itself, which is wonderful, and the plum blossom adds only a very delicate rounding of the flavor, a lightly discernible sweet complement to the tea itself. The floral aspect is quite a bit less obvious than in, say, a jasmine green (at least those I’ve tasted). I think this has unexpectedly found a spot in the permanent collection.
I am almost never excited by an unflavored green tea, but this one is right up there with some of my all time favorite oolongs. I’m as curious as anyone how it got there. Particularly when I try to put it into words… hay over seaweed broth? Nothing about those words makes me think this is one of the very few teas that I plan to keep on hand at all times. But I do and I will.