1662 Tasting Notes
Sara’s tealog entry about this tea tipped me off to the fact that this isn’t a tea at all. It seems to be the leaves of a plant called kuding with is a species of Ilex (holly). And yet on the website it’s listed as a green tea and there’s no indication in the description of the tea of it being anything other than one. ⌐_⌐
I followed Sara’s advice and only used two ‘sticks’ and while it still tastes bitter (kuding is supposed to taste bitter) it isn’t as wretchedly horrible as my first ‘experiment’ and I’m actually noticing that it has a nice, sweet aftertaste. Taking the nature of this tea into account (and the fact I’m not massively overdosing) I’ve decided to up the rating a bit. I’m still pissed at the company for being so obscure though. *grumble *
I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get around to trying my A&D teas. Bad Jillian!
When I think of a default ‘tea’ flavour I usually think of Ceylon and I can tell without a doubt that this tea is a Ceylon. But it’s like those generic black teas like a diamond is to graphite; I can tell right from the first sip that this is a quality tea. It tastes bright and smooth with a faint touch of bitter tannin at the end.
It’s not ‘the bestest tea evar’ or anything, but it’s excellent for what it’s supposed to be. I’ll likely be holding this up as a yardstick for any other Ceylons that I may try in the future.
I find plain mate to be a bit boring on its own, so lately I’ve been trying various flavoured blends to see if I can find one that piques my interest. This particular blend has an interesting scent, I was expecting something generically tropical-smelling but it’s more of a mix of herbal and fresh fruit. The flavour goes the same way, herbal with a hint of spiciness and the flavours of pineapple and papaya teasing at the tongue. It’s not overly sweet and tastes very natural.
I love cherries and I miss them in the winter when they’re expensive and hard to find, so this tea will have to do for now. It’s not anything spectacular, but it’s nice enough. The cherry in this tea is a cherry-candy flavour rather than the actual fruit, however it doesn’t have that chemically artifical taste that other cherry-flavoured teas I’ve tried have had. I was hoping for a bit more of the acerola’s tartness to come through, but this leans more towards sweet cherries.
Interesting – most of the time I find that Adagio’s steeping recommendations are too high but in the case of this tea 7 minutes might not be too much at all. This cup was steeped for 5 minutes and while I am getting some flavour – delicate sweet hay – it’s pretty faint.
Well I couldn’t find an ingredients list so whether there’s actually any caramel in this tea will have to remain a mystery for now. I’ve noticed that adding a few squirts of agave nectar does give the tea more of a sweet, honeyed flavour – although I half-think that’s just the natural sweetness of the honeybush talking.
I’m hardly a pu-erh conoisseur but I only found this one to be rather mediocre. The flavour lacked much of the earthy flavour I’m used to associating with pu-erhs and what’s left was a tannic taste that reminded me a bit of leather. I’m also not sure where the description is getting ‘licorice’ from, I certainly couldn’t taste any!
Despite its faults, it does have good staying power, keeping its flavour well through three steepings.