1330 Tasting Notes
After watching my husband play Blitzball (the side game for Final Fantasy X) for the best part of two hours I decided he can actually do something today and it was his turn to make the tea. In fairness I also let him pick which tea to try and this was what he chose. That doesn’t surprise me, he tends to like blackberry flavoured teas.
The tea smells a little like blackberry but more leaf than fruit, lightly sweet though mostly malty and smoky from the black base.
Flavour is rather nice actually, sweet and creamy vanilla dominates a malt and light blackberry after taste. Perhaps too ‘creamy’ or vanilla based for this blend, or not enough blackberry, which ruins expectations but even after that I’m enjoying it. I think that’s only because I love vanilla otherwise this would be extremely disappointing.
It’s nice but just not well balanced and as such I wouldn’t order this. While I like vanilla teas this is nothing better than an average vanilla blend.
My husband always enjoys drinking tea with me though he doesn’t share my special fondness of it. When I first gave him Matcha and mentioned it’s amazing health properties he waned in disbelief and left it at that. Months down the line he read an article about Matcha tea in a Men’s Health magazine and how it is beneficial to have before and after a work out. My husband being a gym type (well, he likes to think so anyway) asked me to get some Matcha to blend into his protein shake. Well after a week or so of searching I settled on this brand and purchased three packets, it was amazing value of only around $18 for 100g and on top of that I had a coupon.
That was a good five or so months ago, now this is my go to every day Matcha. Yes it’s kitchen grade but it’s an amazing kitchen grade. It’s not bitter, nor fishy, nor chemical like or anything else which is unlike some of the others I have tried in the past. This is a lovely medium greenish colour that steeps dark with water and tastes light, grassy and sweet. It may have a slight touch of bitterness but I find Matcha does in general anyway, including ceremonial.
So for an everyday Matcha I highly recommend this, it’s the best I have found in terms of flavour, quality and price. My husband is also smitten with it, and while he may not go to the gym often he still drinks his Matcha.
I brewed a large pot of this to try tonight, after loving ESP’s Lime Deluxe earlier (which my husband also agreed was delicious) earlier in the day.
This smells overly sweet and like chemical apple, sort of grassy too. Not horrible but not amazing either.
Flavour is sweet, the apple tasting artificial but that could be down the Sencha base which is grassy, perfumed and dry. I can’t taste any kiwi, though the after taste has a touch of tartness which I find with kiwi fruit.
All in all it’s a nice tea, out of the two I still prefer the Lime Deluxe (which is the only other ESP tea I have tried). My husband however really likes this one, he is apple tea mad. He says “If I like something it’s a 10 and if I don’t it’s a 1, there is nothing in-between”. So I asked him how he would rate this tea (out of curiosity) and he replied “It’s above average I think, so maybe 6 or 7 / 10”. I have to agree, it’s nice but not special and it is on the top end of average, so I rate 7.6 for this blend. Nice but I am not going to mourn it once it’s gone.
Flavors: Apple, Grass, Sour, Sweet
This tea is dark brown, a little curly, rather long and smells like sweet wood. Light but with an air of dark caramel.
Flavour is medium strength with wood, malt, caramel, cocoa and sugar cane flavours. Further steeps remain smooth and soft. Also has some prune and date fruit tones.
It’s a nice tea, I like it’s sweetness and complex flavours though it is something I am not likely to crave all the time. It’s medium to mild strength makes it very easy to drink.
Flavors: Caramel, Dates, Malt, Sugarcane
I made Indian food for dinner and I thought it was only fair to finish that off with an Indian tea, my particular craving being Assam. I have a few samples of Assam to go through but I finally settled on this one.
This Assam is dark brown and rather finely chopped with some golden tips present, as well as some sticks. It smells wooden and dry with some malt tones.
Once steeped it has high malt scent with sweet wood. Flavour is strong with rich malt tones, mild sweetness and astringency and wood tones. It re steeps well and actually I prefer the re-steep, it’s lighter and sweeter, less rich than previously.
A nice Assam, nothing special but perfect for my needs tonight. :)
Flavors: Malt, Wood
My second Pu Erh of the day. This was bought around a year ago and I completely went off Pu Erh so I didn’t get around to trying it sooner. I did send a sample to someone though several months ago, though I can’t remember whom exactly, but they didn’t review it either.
This Pu Erh is made of consistently medium-dark leaves with only a few sticks present and quite a few golden tips. It smells strong, perhaps a little fishy, but mostly damp and musky. Almost like a cheap male aftershave that’s sat on the shelf for a decade. Also getting hints of wood and smoke though albeit behind the strong musk aroma.
Flavour is rich and dark with musk, wood, damp earth and smoke elements. No fishy taste (thankfully). A bit sour in the after taste which cuts through the richness. Not unpleasant but not as nice as the previous Pu Erh I had this morning.
Further steeps mellow a little but also increase in bitterness. Also the soil flavour becomes stronger, more so than the musk.
This Pu Erh just isn’t for me, it’s nice but not special and I prefer my ripe Pu Erh less damp soil like. Still it was only $5.99 for 50g so I can’t really complain, though I will not re order this one.
Flavors: Musty, Wet Earth
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