59 Tasting Notes
I’ve been trying to branch out from my regular Ceylons and try teas from less established tea growing locales like Sumatra and Kenya recently. The teas have been generally good quality, so far.
Liki OP is a good tea, comparable in a lot of ways to your standard Ceylon. The molasses notes are there, but more subdued than something like my usual Kandies. The flavor in general is very slightly milder – the Upton description says to take it without milk, but I think it holds up nicely. Overall the flavor is a bit brighter than your average Ceylon. It doesn’t hit you in the face with some crazy aroma, but it’s a solid and well rounded tea.
I used a bit more leaves than I usually do for black teas this time, and gave it 4 minutes, but it’s still not producing much flavor. Even with a normal amount of milk, it is overmollifying the tea. I may have to try this tea without milk. Still, it’s not bad, and there is some subtlety to it – slight notes of licorice and honey.
PG Tips has a powerful flavor that’s lacking in the high end, and too much harsh astringency. It’s a bit like listening to a band made up of timpani players, with one or two of them also bashing on the cymbals. Not particularly complex. As others have said, be very careful not to over-steep it. Carefully made, it’s an acceptable cup, but with so many great other choices out there I’d only drink it if there weren’t much else around.
Having a cup of this one again – after my last tasting I was pretty excited to see if I got the same flavors out of it.
To my surprise… I’m getting really different vibes from it now. The dry leaves are hitting me with more of a squash aroma than a tomato one. Taste is your standard Ceylon base tea, with squash or pumpkin notes and a hint of chocolate. Overall character is bright, on the lighter end of Ceylon blacks. Still good.
The dry leaves smell like you’d expect from a Ceylon black – smooth, with molasses as the primary scent. There is a hint of (real) black licorice, like the Panda kind. The actual brewed tea is pretty much in line with the leaf smell, and there is a very slight bready flavor in there as well. One the whole, the flavor is somewhat weak, so I’ll try steeping this for longer than 3 minutes next time and see how it works. Still, a pretty good tea.
This is what I drank for several years before being exposed to looseleaf tea.
Prepared without milk, it is harsh to the point of being almost undrinkable. If I let it get into the side of my mouth under my tongue, it makes me have a horrible puckering feeling there. Like… sour dirt. If it’s steeped for more than 3 minutes or so, I feel like it’s damaging my esophagus as it’s going down.
Prepared with milk, it’s drinkable but still harsh and not particularly flavorful. But, if it were the only black tea in the world, I’d drink it often (with milk). Still beats out a lot of non-tea drinks.
This tea has very strong notes of orange creamsicle. Opening the bag of dry leaves instantly brought me back to those times at Grandma’s when we would eat creamsicles on hot summer days.
It’s a pretty distinctive smell for a black tea – the sweet citrus freshens the rounded black tea flavor profile. My girlfriend said the smell remided her more of Chinese black teas than my usual Ceylons. All in all, it’s a tasty tea and a novel experience. Still, it’s not a staple tea like a Kenilworth estate – more of something to bring out once a week or to pair with food.
This tea is bananas. I don’t know how they did it, but it’s just full of banana flavor. The smell of the leaves is like the fresh fruit, and with milk added it’s more like a dried or pureed banana – more rounded than vegetal. Add milk for an even creamier experience.
Even though it’s decaf, I might believe someone who told me that it wasn’t, if prepared carefully. It’s only a bit weaker than a regular Ceylon black tea for the same amount of leaves, and it doesn’t lose much flavor while retaining harshness like lower quality decaf teas. Recommended.
Go out into your garden, pick a ripe purple heirloom tomato right off the vine, and bite in. The rich and savory smell of the tomato mixes with the vegetal scent of the vine.
Somehow, this experience is captured in the dry leaves of this tea.
As with most black teas, the actual flavor of the tea gains more “regular black tea” flavor and aroma than the dry leaves, but the rich tomatoey smell still comes through. It’s a very good tea.