1528 Tasting Notes
The dry leaves of this tea look like a bunch of macerated pine needles in colour and shape. I think the leaves would have been bigger normally, but sample packs tend to get squished and this one has been in my cupboard for a fair amount of time. The leaves turned a vibrant jungle-green as they steeped and gave off a rather savoury aroma.
The tea is a lime green colour I don’t think I’ve ever seen in another tea and the flavour is distinctly ‘umami’ to my tastebuds. I’ve only ever had one other gyokuro, but I recall that it had a sweetness to it that this tea lacks. It has a lightly grassy aftertaste with hint of bitterness which makes me wonder if I screwed up the steeping somehow – maybe I steeped it for too long?
The smell of the dry tea bag is ginger-y but sort of a candied ginger rather than straight-up, freshly-chopped gingerroot. Adding water brought out a delicious pear fragrance that reminded me of pear-flavoured hard candies with a hint of warm, spicy ginger.
Tea Fort’s teas have (in my personal opinion) a reputation for looking and sounding fancy but not really having much actual flavour or substance to them. But this tea proved me wrong. It tastes exactly like what it says it will – pear and ginger. The fruity pear dominates with the ginger complimenting it subtly rather than trying to compete with it for my taste buds’ attention. The whole thing is surprisingly sweet, almost like I’d added some sugar or agave nectar to it, and has a faint herbal-floral aftertaste.
I have to say that I REALLY enjoyed this tea and I think it would be a good one to convert someone who’s used to drinking Celestial Seasonings or Lipton to finer teas.
I’m a bit daunted by all the negative reviews this tea has – well at least I’m not going into this with ridiculously high expectations. The smell is quite nice, though more of a honey scent than caramel. The taste of the liquid isn’t anything remarkable, it’s basically like a blend of un-flavoured honeybush and rooibos. A thought occured to me that maybe this tea isn’t supposed to be flavoured at all and the ‘caramel’ in the title is just refering to the natural sweet flavour of the honeybush. Hmm…
*goes to look for an ingredients list *
I had a bit more than a cup’s worth of tea leaves but not enough to make two, so this time around the tea is a little stronger. Its smell makes me think of puff-wheat cereal or maybe those puff-wheat dessert squares.
Despite the large quantity of leaf the bakey and nutty flavours don’t take on a charred quality like many of the roasted teas I’ve tried seem to. This tea has a lot of ‘substance’ to it that gives it a slightly malty quality as well.
The second steep tastes a bit greener but there’s a bit of a bitterness that creeped in as well when no one was looking. Hmm.
The third steep is a little bit weak and watery – it doesn’t seem to have as much staying power as other oolongs. Right now it’s just a slightly nutty, unremarkable tea taste. Now this might be because I’m not brewing it gong-fu style (as stated in my previous tasting note) but yeah, I’m a little disappointed as I can usually get three or four good, solid steepings out of most green oolongs.
The end of another sample – looks like I’m on a bit of a roll. I reduced the steeping time and temperature and found that it brings out the green and white teas more than before. It’s a nice tea, particularly for when you don’t want a huge caffeine boost. If I didn’t have so many teas in my Cuboard already I might even consider buying a full tin of this tea.
I had meant to drink this plain but apparently my brain was still on autopilot this morning and I went ahead and dumped a bunch of milk into this tea. Blah, I hate mornings – at least it’s Saturday.
The tea has a mildly smokey flavour that I’ve found common to most Keemuns. This mellows out into a lightly sweet flavour the reminds me a bit of raw cocoa. I’m not sure where the person who described this tea was getting orchids from – there’s nothing flowery about this tea. I’ve had orchid oolongs before and they were about as different from this tea as you can get!
I got this tea from the Travelling Teabox – it was only a one-cup sample so it’s all gone now. :(
Consider me impressed over how un-rooibos-y this tastes. Actually you can taste it a little bit at the end, but the usual tart-woody flavour that I dislike mostly isn’t there. The flavouring is not a precise replica of eggnog but it still manages to be quite tasty and festive. It’s lightly sweet with a dash of nutmeg and cloves spicing it up – actually in this case I think the hint of rooibos flavour actually works for this tea instead of against it.
I added some milk to the tea hoping to get something that tasted like an ice cream float – unfortunately, no dice. The flavours just don’t go together – maybe if the tea was iced or if I added some sweetener it would be better. I’ve got enough tea for one more cup so I’ll try something different and see what happens.
De-Cupboarding this tea – thank you TeaEqualsBliss for giving me some to try – I found it a really enjoyable green tea.
Maybe I should take part in the Daily Sipdown – I certainly have enough tea overflowing from my cupboard at home! Unfortunately most of it is in quantities too large to consume in one day. Still, I’ve wittled my collection down to a few teas I’d like to use up soon.