1313 Tasting Notes
Well this was a nice and unexpected find today while I hunted for ripe Pu Erh on my tea shelf. I bought this a year or so ago and it completely slipped my mind, luckily it has been stored well so hopefully the additional year of ageing will keep it smooth. Though I have no means for comparison as this is my first steep from the cake. It was only a fairly cheap cake so I suppose on the whole it won’t matter about the additional ageing.
Breaking out my Yixing for this as I hope to have a Pu Erh day. My husband admitted to me yesterday that he really likes Pu Erh, he doesn’t usually show emotion to anything so for him to say he likes anything is major.
The Pu Erh is made from dark and medium brown leaves and sticks, along with a few golden tips present amongst the cake. It smells like Autumn, it’s dry and woody, with a dark mist feel. My mind is taken to a forest in China with light rain and cool temperature with an array of similar smells to this Pu Erh.
My first bowl has light musk and wooden flavour with some sweetness. Also hints of smoke and dampness. Rich in flavour overall though a nice balance of flavours.
More steeps have similarity, remains relatively smooth with a gentle sour touch in the after taste. No fishy flavours.
Even further steeps bring out more dampness with a slight bitterness but nothing major.
I’m very happy with this Pu Erh, for being a cheap cake from Royal Tea Bay (on eBay) it’s a nice every day tea. A nice start to my Pu Erh day, also a hit with my husband. I looked for more info on this one but unfortunately they don’t sell it any more and my Google search ended up empty. Shame but just means I will have to enjoy it while I have it.
Flavors: Drying, Earth, Wood
I bought a large tin of this a while ago and forgot about it, it wasn’t until I was going through my bottom shelf earlier that I remembered it. Well it’s the start of Autumn so I suppose it’s safe to drink this tea now.
The bags are nicely see through and pyramid shaped, the rooibos smells a bit strong but with some fruit behind it. Not great but not bad.
Once steeped the colour is dark brown/red and smells strongly of orange and cranberry, it’s waxy and super sour. Not the nicest again but here goes nothing…
It’s milder than it smells thankfully, though the Rooibos is thick and made sour by the fruit after tastes. It tones down some of the natural sweetness of the Rooibos though it is still rather sweet (by my standards). Orange is dominating so really it’s Orange Rooibos rather than African Autumn, or what I perceive African Autumn to taste like. In other words it’s a special name for a non special tea.
I should add that it is drinkable, and as much as I adore orange it’s just too thick a base for my preference. Still I can finish the tin with relative ease, and I can look forward to re-using it once the bags have gone….that gives me some momentum to use them.
Flavors: Cranberry, Orange, Rooibos, Sour
A sample from the EU-TTB (European Travelling Tea Box). My husband asked for a strong black tea, something that wouldn’t upset his stomach (any further than it already is), so this one was chosen to try.
Once steeped the tea smells lightly smoky and wooden, along with a gentle floral touch.
It tastes as it smells, there is an air of smoke with some floral hints and a wooden yet malty finish. Also has a natural sweetness. Strength is decent, I would say medium. It’s also clean tasting, not bitter or rough in any way and it’s sweet, wood and flower tones linger beautifully in my mouth.
Overall it’s a nice Keemun, lots of flavour and strength but without any nasty surprises. It’s not as creamy or sweet as some of the finer Keemun I have tried but this remains a nice, top notch every day Keemun. I would buy this to make a change from my usual Teavivre Keemun.
Flavors: Floral, Smoke, Wood
A tea from the second round return of the EU-TTB (European Travelling Tea Box). From what I read it’s a bog standard black but that fits my mood fairly well.
It’s a light black tea, at least compared to British black tea bags, a drop of milk and sugar has been added. Flavour is light, malty and heavily watery. Very thin black tea, much so than I really prefer, even despite the long steep time. Husband also agree’s that it’s too weak.
Hmmm, perhaps British tea really is much stronger than most other bagged black world teas. Oh well, this goes well enough with my ginger biscuits.
Another tea from the return of the second round of the EU-TTB (European Travelling Tea Box). Another reminder that signs ups are open to join in round three).
Mr.Jones is an entirely new brand for me to try and a quick snoop of their website shows they ship around Europe (Yay!). It may be a company for me to try in the future if this tea shows positive promise. At least I have that option anyway.
As far as rose goes I adore rose flavoured teas, this one is a perfect introduction for me. Opening the cute paper bag reveals a rather square teabag with a decent amount of filling and an overwhelming (though beautiful) scent of rose flowers. Sweet, perfumed, a little dry though on the whole exactly what I wished to smell.
Steeping times are not given so I will treat this like another herbal and use boiling water for 4—5 minutes.
Mild black tea base with heavy sweet rose flavour and a slight malty and smoky after taste. Strength altogether is rather medium so nothing too offensive/strong. The blend works well together, the black tea is complimented from the sweet rose while the malt adds depth and richness.
For a bag I say this is very nice, better than I had hoped. It’s still not as fresh as it could be nor is it perfect by any means but that doesn’t stop it from being a nice bagged rose tea. I may consider buying more of this :)
Flavors: Malt, Rose, Smoke
Taken from the round two return of the EU-TTB (European Travelling Tea Box). Just an fyi the sign up to join the tea box is open for round three if anyone is interested?
Served this Chai the way I usually take mine, with a few pieces of rock sugar and a splash of milk.
Smell is warming and mildly spicy, more cinnamon and nutmeg like above all else, so I suppose it does have a Christmas aroma.
Flavour wise it’s mild yet dark and the spice notes linger on the tongue. Cinnamon and nutmeg are still present but so is ginger and a little bit of pepper. I am not sure what the actual ingredients are as this tea is no longer sold but taste wise those listed above are what I liken them to (if they don’t contain those anyway). It’s fairly smooth at the start so the black base is not too rich or astringent. Nice strength overall.
In a way it’s like eating a cinnamon Christmas cookie. Oh God!…now I’m thinking of Christmas before my beloved Halloween! Keep calm and stay away from Christmas teas.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Pepper
Large leaves of dark green and brown fill my Gongfu teapot on this beautiful afternoon. This High Elevation Green was a birthday gift from my husband (which was much earlier in the year). I’m currently sorting my tea cupboard to group similar teas together, at the moment my green tea binge has grouped my green teas together for today’s use with this being the first on my list.
The leaves have a mild seaweed like scent, perfumed though heavily mineral and green.
A 30 second steep reveals a light yellow tea that smells like mild flowers and grass. Flavour is floral with light perfume style flavour with some sweetness.
A further 30 second steep reveals a more mineral tasting green tea, albeit remaining light and floral. A little dryness in the after taste. Rather smooth and lightly buttery. Floral wise I liken it to sweet pea.
Another steep which was increased to one minute brings out the dryness. This is by far the lightest of the steeps, though the mild floral and light butter notes remain.
A very gentle green tea with light floral and buttery notes with some mineral green. Not a favourite but a solid light and pure tasting green tea, a nice palate cleanser.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Sweet, warm grass
My last tea before bed, just after something to leave a sweet taste in my mouth and ideally something to bring a wave of calm. Though I’m not a huge fan of chamomile I still found this blend interesting, after all I can’t judge what I haven’t tasted.
So in raw form it smells herbal and not much else, not appealing but not too bad. Once steeped it’s mildly minty and sweet, the chamomile is strong and honey like. Nicer than it’s raw scent anyway.
Well it’s not that bad actually, the mint is light and blends well with the chamomile, only a slight tartness to it but it vanishes pretty quickly. The chamomile is very sweet, like a mild honey. A little creamy too.
I like it, I’m happy the mint does not dominate though it does linger nicely in the after taste. The main attraction is the sweetness of it, and it’s lightness. The first sip made my husband yawn so it’s can’t be bad! I feel calm I suppose, relaxed, though it’s hard to scale.
Worth the gamble, happy to keep this on the shelf and see how it goes.
Spears are us, or it is in the case of this tea. They are beautifully twisted and shaped, unusual cocoon style pieces with a chocolate like scent and a high black shine. It doesn’t sound like I’m describing tea, does it? Well in a way it doesn’t feel like it is either, but I’m soo looking forward to trying it.
3 spears in 200ml Gongfu
Time I was recommended is 5-6 minutes so I will stick with that
6 minutes later and I have an extremely pale brown tea liquid. It smells mildly malty and wooden with a slight herb tinge. Flavour is also oddly herbal, I am not sure what though… But despite the delightful oddness of it I must admit it’s pleasant tasting.
Another steep to see if it unleashes more flavours, the leaves are tightly wrapped so I feel it needs to open up more. After another few minutes it’s still mild but I can taste more sweet malt tones. Definite cocoa tones too.
Ok another steep, please open up leaves! Ok after ten minutes it’s still very light. So time to double up, it now has six spears in! Another 6 minutes or so to wait.
That’s a bit better, more floral now than before, though still sweet and malty dominating tones, albeit on a still very light scale.
It certainly is an usual tea, both in appearance and taste, but it’s subtly is just not for me. Sorry Blue Unicorn Reserve, you sound awesome but I just don’t love you.
Thought I would re-visit this tea tonight. It received top marks from my previous tasting. Tonight’s sampling is bliss, it smells and tastes like treacle toffee. Creamy malt tones keep it from being overly sweet…honestly for me it is perfect. If I want a black tea this has everything I look for. I’m sat in love with with this tea!