1868 Tasting Notes
First of all I think it’ll be easier on everyone if we don’t compare this to the tradition monk’s blend (black tea flavoured with grenadine).
I was a bit leery of the longer steeping time and temperature, but this tea seems reasonably resilient and forgiving. It has a smooth feel in the mouth with floral hints but at the same time the it doesn’t dominate the tea which is always a concern whenever jasmine is involved. This blend also has that characteristic I’ve noticed with milk oolongs in that eating something sweet brings out a nice sweet, creamy flavour. It’s a quite an enjoyable blend and if I didn’t have so many green/white teas already I’d considered buying a pouch.
This actually came to me from the last GCTTB. Nilgiri isn’t a tea I often see sold as a single estate tea, it’s a type of tea that, like Ceylon, is usually fairly unremarkable and used more often as a base for flavoured teas than as something to be enjoyed plain. But this tea is quite interesting, its flavour reminds me distinctly of a Darjeeling with the drying astringency. It has those grape-y, wine likes notes that I usually get from an offering from Margaret’s Hope estates thousands if a miles to the north.
This sample is a blend made with a dark oolong and lots of other interesting bits. There are big whole rosebud, pieces of candied fruit and citrus peel and slivers of coconut. The rose notes seem to dominate though there are hint of the other ingredients as well and the base has a mild woodsy flavour. Interesting but maybe a little ‘busy’ – I’d almost say this tea would be better as a straight rose oolong.
I was staying in the area for a follow-up appointment with a doctor at Vancouver General, and this place was conveniently two blocks down both from my hotel and the hospital. It was earlier afternoon and I hadn’t had lunch so I ordered a slice of quiche and a pot of this tea. I love how they serve the tea in a little french press and you get to choose from a collection of pretty teas cups to drink your tea out of.
The quiche was decent, if not spectacular, but the tea was wonderful. It had a nice Ceylon base that complimented the oaky-peaty flavour of the whiskey. I had the first cup plain and the rest with milk and found that I enjoyed it equally both ways. Next time I’m back that way I’ll definitely buy some of the loose leaf tea.
I was never able to try Peach Hoppitea so I don’t have anything to compare this to. The first sip was unpleasantly bitter, a combination of the hops and Darjeeling base, I think. As I sipped though, the bitterness eased and I began to pick up the fruity flavour of the peaches on the end of each sip.
I’m not sure I really care for this tea, the bitterness is a bit too much to be truely enjoyable. I’ll give it a try with some honey next time to see if that improves matters
I’m finally getting around to drinking all those little 1 oz pouches I bought when Frank was clearing out his stock before turning the company over to LiberTeas. This one was a nice surprise, the malty flavour of a decent-quality Assam blended with smooth, slightly sweet vanilla and marshmallow flavours. I wonder if LiberTeas would consider bringing this one back?
Got a sample of this tea in my latest DT order and while I know what a soursop is (thank you Amazon Trail) I’ve never eaten one. They do sell soursop juice at my local Superstore, maybe I should try it and see how the flavours compare. I love the delicious tropical, fruity scent of the tea – it’s like pineapple mixed with the ripest, juiciest strawberries. The flavour is a bit of a let down because while I do get a flavour similar to the scent there’s a strange, artificially sweet aftertaste like stevia – even though there’s no stevia listed in the ingredients. It was a fun tea to try but I don’t think I’d buy a full pouch of this blend.
I found a small sample of this tea tucked away that I’ve had for who-knows-how-long – probably the last time the GCTTB came through about a year ago. The tea leave look more like flattened piece of a dried seaweed than tea to me and they don’t ‘puff up’ at all during the brewing process. The tea has a pleasantly sweet scent that’s reminiscent of certain green oolongs. The flavour is lightly floral and a little bit fruity with a grassy, slightly toasty finish. The description mentioned apricots and I can definitely see that, though that wasn’t quite what came to mind for me when I sipped it. A very nice, high-quality green with a rather unique flavour profile.
First flush Darjeelings are so finicky but when you get it right the tea is very nice. I’ll admit that I was a bit dubious that Davids Tea could produce a decent first flush but this one isn’t bad. It’s got a faintly sweet vegetal, grassy flavour with notes of fresh walnuts. It’s not overly harsh and it’s fairly forgiving with the steeping parameters – though that doesn’t mean you should treat it like your English Breakfast! If you’d never tried a first flush before, this is the tea I’d point you towards.