1858 Tasting Notes
I’m admittedly not very familiar with pu’erhs but I don’t think I’ve ever tried one quite like this. The scent of the steeping tea is lovely – slightly smokey, slightly leathery with a hint of something like wet moss. I didn’t think a 5 second steep could impart much flavour, but the first steep proved me wrong. While it was light it was also smooth and slightly sweet, the most prominent flavour being something reminiscent of cured leather. The second steep was less sweet but the flavour was fuller and took on a slight smokey note. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time for any further steeps but I’ve got enough left that one of these days I’ll spend an afternoon drinking it.
Another old sample I uncovered during my cupboard re-arranging. The tea seems to have stayed relative fresh, thankfully. The Darjeeling oolong was a good choice for this tea as it gives the blend a smooth, subtle sweetness without loosing that quintessential tea flavour that seems to belong to Indian black teas. The vanilla is rich and creamy and there’s just the right amount of bergamot to compliment it rather than overpower it. It’s a shame the company is no longer selling tea (though their website is still up) as I think I would like to buy more of this blend when the sample is finished.
I mostly purchased this tea for the novelty factor as this is the first I’ve heard of purple tea. It sounds vaguely gimicky to me, but whatever.
I may have used too much leaf as it was only after I added the water that I noticed that the steeping instruction on the bag said to use 1/2 tsp rather than a whole teaspoon. Oops. The leaf was very fine – teabag-sized basically – and had a sweet, cured-hay scent. Dry it looked like a black tea but when it got wet the leaves turned distinctly greenish. The tea itself was quite astringent – too much so for my tastes, I’m afraid, but that might be my fault so I’ll hold off rating this tea until I try it again using a smaller amount of tea (and maybe a shorter steep).
I dug this tea out of the back of my cupboard while rearranging some stuff today. It’s kind of ridiculous how I’ll hoard teas if I know a blend is discontinued or the company no longer exists. But tea doesn’t keep forever so today I opened the bag and made a cuppa.
The flavour is slightly smooth and nutty mixed with fruity citrus notes and hints of spice. It isn’t so spicy that I’d call it a chai but there’s notes of cloves and ginger to give the blend some character.
This was an X-mas gift from my parents so I didn’t really have the heart to tell them that I normally don’t care for red rooibos teas. And really, it isn’t that bad – this blend lacks the strong woody rooibos flavour that I so dislike and it actually mixes quite well with the spices. It’s a fairly mild and un-ojectionable tea all together.
This is quite a dark roast for a Chinese oolong – more like what I’d expect from a Formosa oolong. The leaves have an oddly oily-looking appearance although the tea doesn’t have any additives.
Flavour-wise it’s a bit disappointing, it could be that I just need to steep it longer but this cup comes across as rather flavourless at least compared to other dark oolongs that I’ve tried. It’s lightly toasty but it doesn’t make an effort to be much of anything else. I’ll fiddle around with this tea before I rate it, I think.
This tea came courtesy of the Victoria Tea Festival last year. It appears to be a limited edition blend as I can’t seem to find it listed on their website.
The leaves of this tea are lovely – long dark twists when they’re dry that unfurl into large, unbroken leaves when they steep. The smell of the steeping tea was a mix of malt and cocoa that reminds me of Ovaltine and the flavour seems to harken back to both its Taiwanese and Assamica roots. It’s a full-flavoured tea that’s lightly malty but with a slight astringent bite and a touch of that bitter cocoa flavour Chinese black teas seem to have.
It’s a very complex, multi-layered tea and I can see why it was a competition winner.
Butiki Teas seems to have a talent for making flavoured oolongs and they work with green oolongs rather than the dark ones as their bases with is unusual. This one tastes like it might be an ali shan given its subtly sweet lilac notes. The mint flavouring is fresh and crisp and provides a counterpoint to the sweetness and there’s a hint of spicy that reminds me of pepper without the heat. Very unique – I’m not sure I love this tea but it gets points for creativity.
Adding milk and a bit of honey seems to soften the taste of the chicory root a little bit and now it does come across a bit more like gingerbread. Still not my favorite, though it isn’t terrible or anything.
The teabags themselves are annoying the heck out of me because they break open so easily and it’s a pain to have to pour the tea through a strainer after I steep it to get all the bits out. :/