1275 Tasting Notes
Last night I tried this blend with my husband as our ‘Saturday night tea time treat’. I already had my Gongfu teapot out from an earlier session so I used that, it’s 200ml and I used roughly 6g of tea. Honestly I felt I would try my method first before the standard instructions, partly because it was late and I felt like being a rebel and partly because I like my tea strong.
Well the first steep of roughly 45 seconds came out rather strong. Difficult to taste any orange (at all) but it was certainly spicy, smoky, earthen and toasted. Not unpleasant, much like a mature Tie Guan Yin, nice but just not what I was looking for.
The second steep of roughly 45 seconds came out lighter than the previous steep and there was a hint of waxy orange amidst it’s heavy and mature flavours. Nicer but still not quite right.
Then I went for a third steep, losing my faith in this tea due to the lack of orange I decided to give it a minute to steep and give it a final try. It mimicked the second steep rather well, it was waxy orange like rind and it’s strength was a little toned down from what it was.
I left it for roughly an hour or two before deciding I would give it one last go. So with the same leaves I prepared some more. Roughly 1 minute each additional steep. The wait made all the difference, my fourth steep ie first re steep revealed more orange flavour, less thick Tie Guan Yin and a spicy lingering after taste. Much more what I was expecting. It was still full of flavour too, medium strength overall so it carried on well. After that I did another two steeps and each was a wonderful greeting of orange, spice and lightly baked Oolong with wood tones. A fresh, autumnal style flavour that left me feeling warm inside.
I liked this tea very much (in the end) but it’s still not perfect to my tastes. I would prefer more orange and spice still, something sweeter perhaps to help lift the ingredients together. Though I know with certainty that I could happily finish this sample.
Flavors: Smoke, Toast, Wood
This is a rather stemmy Oolong with an average size of medium/small.
Colour is dark green with some dark brown and green flashes amongst them.
On the whole the balls have a sweet Lily Of The Valley perfumed aroma that is lightly fresh and almost misty.
- Gongfu Teapot 200ml
- 5g Oolong
- 90 C water temp
First steep – 1 minute
Pale yellow in colour with a very subtle floral scent. Light floral taste with sweetness and touch of green grass. Also hint of milk.
Second Steep – 2 minutes
Stronger flavour (though still fairly light). Remains floral, this time with some baked wood type after taste. Also very perfumed as it finishes, not dry and thick but rather sweet and fresh.
Still reminds me of Lily of The Valley.
Third Steep – 3 minutes
The Oolong leaves are now fully open. Burnt yellow tea colour. Now rather thick though still very floral. Not as sweet as the previous steeps but it’s still got that baked/almost mature feel. Almost thick enough to be Jasmine like.
I think I will carry on with steeps until I’m satisfied it’s completely spent. Husband likes it a lot and I have to agree with him, it was a nice floral Oolong. Perhaps not my favourite and it may not be completely memorable months down the line but for now it’s a wonderful (and needed) treat. Aids my Final Fantasy X play very well :)
I’m re-visiting this tea today. It’s been a while since I had ‘decent’ tea (being anything that is not bagged) as I’ve suffered for the last month with sciatica. It’s been pretty bad this time and I’ve struggled to walk at all for a few weeks, though honestly I have been so stressed packing for my house move that I needed the break…though I could have done without the excruciating pain. Well that is life I suppose, at least for the time being I can move around enough to use my kyusu and carry on with my life a little.
The umami is strong with this one (she says in a Yoda style voice). Which is true, it is very umami but the after taste is sweet and more Sencha like so I get the best of both worlds in one pretty unique tea. I have a few pots more of this one before I run out, though I will definitely place an order in a few months for some more.
First thing is first, run down my tea cupboard before I move….in my case it’s easier said than done. I hope my fellow Steepster-ites have been well :)
I’ve almost finished 50g of this and forgot to write a review in the progress. I have one pots worth left after this one so it looks like I caught it just in time. For now I will do quick notes.
Leaves smell grassy and sweet with an orchid like floral affair.
Once steeped the tea is bright green in colour and matches it’s raw scent.
In flavour this is very grassy with a hint of flowers which seems perfumed and pronounced. Though albeit a medium strength Bancha so it’s not overly strong in any aspect. It’s also somewhat buttery and smooth, very easy to drink and enjoy.
This was not a favourite of mine though it does give a very nice tea buzz. Also though I never found myself craving this tea I also never complained from having it. I may buy this tea again in the future for an every day Bancha but it’s not one I will keep stocked on my shelf.
Flavors: Grass, Orchid
I have craft club in a bit so I’m cross stitching up a storm again. Unfortunately sometime in the night I managed to get a cut on the underside of my tongue and if I drink, eat, or move my tongue it hurts. That makes this sipdown painful but I’m hoping to get past that.
So two bags of this into my large mug and I can smell clove and pepper. Not as spicy as say a Chai tea but it is noticeable all the same.
In flavour this is mild, clove and pepper are still present though somewhat dry. The black base is hard to taste though on the plus side it’s rather smooth and non astringent. The spices do dominate the base and linger in the after taste, though again albeit still on a mild/medium scale. Perhaps a touch bitter in the after taste but I think that may be the spices, something in it like cardamom pod or citrus peel.
It’s not a bad tea but not strong enough for my liking, and I prefer cinnamon in my spiced drinks. It was alright though, got a few bags left that will easily be finished off.
Flavors: Clove, Pepper
My first tea of the day, late start as I had orange juice that needed using up and I’ve been busy cross stitching. I have a couple of weeks left before my community centre has a competition and my piece needs to get a move on. It’s a close call but I hope to have it completed in time. I doubt it will be but I may as well try.
I fancied some vanilla tea and this was the first one I could see, so I have two bags in my large mug and added some honey to it. The bags did smell strongly vanilla, more French vanilla than original vanilla but I adore French vanilla so it’s fine by me. It was also natural smelling which makes a nice change.
In flavour the vanilla is not very strong but it does linger in the after taste, despite the honey it’s not too sweet and the black base is rather smooth which at least matches the vanilla. It’s a little malty and smoky but still extremely light.
It’s not a bad vanilla black tea but I prefer the one from my local tea shop, the vanilla is stronger in that one and I much prefer it. Still for a bag this is alright, and at least the balance is not too bad so I can enjoy what few bags I have left.
I’ve had this tea a few times in bag form and today has been the most successful. Reason being that I found this Earl grey to be very ‘middle of the road’ in terms of strength and flavour, it didn’t stand out yet neither was it terrible. To it’s fairness it is a smooth Earl Grey even without milk or sugar, and the black base is not over powering the bergamot, also the bergamot is not too strong, bitter or perfumed. Yet for all those things it’s just not jumping out at me. That was until I decided to use 2 bags in my mug this morning with a sprinkle of sweetener, it reached perfection. It was stronger but due to it’s mild nature was not too strong, it did not become astringent/bitter and the bergamot was at a nice personal level. The sweetener added to the bergamot a little which helped to keep the balance smooth and sweet. Much better! As far as Earl Greys go this is a nice one, albeit if you double up on the bags. Meets on par with my favoured Twinings and Clipper Earl Grey.
Another tea that I purchased today, it’s been a while since I had an apple tea in stock. This was only £2.50 for a small tin so I thought it was worth a try. As my last pot of tea tonight I chose this blend to try, being caffeine free I thought it would be perfect, I was not wrong. The smell was beautiful, sweet yet crisp apple drifted up my nostrils and lingered with a flower breeze. Very fresh and fragrant, certainly a pleasant welcome to the blend.
After steeping I took a sniff and again was met with a wonderful apple scent with a hint of herbal flowers in the back, only a touch and still remaining fresh.
In flavour this tastes strongly of rose which was unexpected but all the same is very nice. Behind the rose is apple which lingers in my mouth and turns into a lightly perfumed, herbal, concoction. It’s sweet but also a little sour when the apple flavour kicks in, and while the after taste is strongly elderflower (which feels oddly refreshing) it remains sweet and pleasant.
Honestly this was not what I was expecting…but in a good way. I thought this would be another standard herbal/fruit tea but the quality and freshness of this blend has surprised me. Husband is also a fan which says a lot as he usually dislikes herbal blends.
Very happy with this tea, I will definitely be trying it in my new cold steeping flask :)
Flavors: Apple, Flowers, Rose
This was a tea from my visit in store earlier, I got 125g caddy of English Rose for £4 as it expires in just over a month. The date is fine with me as I can make iced tea and such for a few weeks with it, plus after that I am left with a caddy (which they sold for £3 alone anyway).
It smells rather soft, that is to say it’s not strongly rose though it is noticeably rose. If you can understand that babbling. In flavour it was very mild, there was a touch of rose in the after taste but on the whole the black tea is malty, smoky and a little astringent. I have not added milk as I usually don’t but this blend recommends not having it anyway, that that sharpness is a little disappointing. To save my large cup of tea I added quite a mountain of sweetener, it seems to have brought out the sweetness of the rose and toned down the black base but it is still sour.
It’s not a bad rose tea but it’s also not the best. For the price I can’t complain though if I paid the full £8 for it I would have been a little gutted. Still I can make use of this within the next month. :)
I visited a Whittard of Chelsea store today in Trentham, Stoke On Trent and my mother treated me to a few bits. One of which is a beautiful love heart mug that is larger than your average mug and will be my new best friend. To christen her (I think my mug is a female anyway) I chose this Jasmine green tea that I already had prior to my visit. I also got some other tea samples that I haven’t tried such as Sleepy Time instant tea and Very, Very, Berry blend but also I got a cold tea steeper which I’m looking forward to using. It cost £20 and it looks like a wine bottle, you put the leaves into the glass bottle and clip on a silicone top with built in strainer and after a few hours in the fridge it’s ready. It will be great to take to my craft/cross stitch club.
The tea is light yet very sweet and the Jasmine is smooth. Delicate and soft, very easy to drink. The green tea is also very mild though there is a grassy flavour in the after taste. It’s a little too light for me, next time I will try putting two teabags into my large mug. Oh well, for now it’s pleasant enough.