1355 Tasting Notes

67
drank Peach Melba by Lupicia
1355 tasting notes

Side Note – I’m approaching my 700th tasting note. :) This is 695.

This looks thickly Rooibos and smells like it too. Not offering me much temptation but I will prepare it anyway, hopefully it will surprise me.

Colour once steeped is Rooibos red (as expected) with a sweet fruit scent. Perhaps too sweet for peach but not far off.

Flavour is very thickly Rooibos and on the icky side. There are some peachy notes in the after taste but they are very subtle. It’s very simple in flavour…quite literally it’s sweet Rooibos and gentle peach.

It is drinkable but not particularly to my taste. Not something I would buy.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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91
drank Pistachio Rose by Tea Horse
1355 tasting notes

I can be nothing but honest from the start when I say “I dislike pistachio”. So having a pistachio tea was not that exciting for me but if I look past that and see the rose word behind the dreaded pistachio then I was able to say “Alright I might like it”. Most rose teas I adore..in fact I don’t think I found one that I didn’t like.

In raw form this has wonderful colours…yellow, light green, dark green, pink, brown. It’s nice to steep colourful teas. :)
This unique little blend has an unbelievable rose and marzipan scent that is so thick and sweet I could almost taste the marzipan pieces my nan used to buy us to share. No pistachio as such but there is that sweet nutty feel about it, more almond though than pistachio. Hey I’m not complaining!

The temperature and steep time are taken from the guide lines on the front of the tea package. I admit it’s a much shorter steep than I was anticipating but I shall try it all the same. Also qty is 2 teaspoons of blend in a 4oz or 5oz mug.

Once steeped the tea is light yellow in colour with a soft and sweet rose fragrance. The marzipan has definitely toned down along with the sweetness which has left it much more floral.

Flavour is light and soft but with sweet rose and a dry nutty (a mixture of pistachio and almond) beautiful tones. It’s stronger than I thought it would be for such a short steep and it seems to have left it so fresh and gentle, it’s a beautiful touch. If steeped for any longer I believe the rose would be too thick and would outweigh the nuts.

Also has a buttery/creamy style effect the more I drink of it. Like floral silk that pans out to a subtle dry but sweet nuttiness. Very delicious and original.

Side Note – This also came with a cocktail recipe.
2tsp Pistachio Rose
2tsp of golden castor sugar
35ml VSOP cognac
Zest of one orange
Small bunch of mint
Plenty of crushed ice
(Optional) 3 drops of rose water

I don’t have cognac but that cocktail sounds amazing!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Keemun Orchid by Tea Horse
1355 tasting notes

My talk about Keemun with looseTman reminded me that Tea Horse sent me some in the monthly club.

This Keemun has a dark, smoky and wooden scent in it’s raw form. The leaves are finely chopped into roughly 2-3mm pieces that are very dark brown with a few golden tips.

I shall be brewing one large teaspoon of tea into a small mug which I estimate to be around 4oz. The temperature and steeping time are as suggested by Tea Horse.

Once steeped the tea is golden honey coloured with a beautiful smoky, cocoa and floral scent. Very beautiful.

Flavour is very clean tasting and smooth with essences of smoke, sweet flowers, fresh wood and very dark cocoa. It’s rich in dark flavour but light in consistency which makes it refreshing. Also picking up increasing malt flavour which is a personal love of mine.

Very delicious, looks like this is a new favourite Keemun to add to my cupboard. :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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83

I’ve always thought Assam teas were most appropriate for mornings and nights but no in between. It seems to energize yet relax and offers such rich, dark flavours that make you wanting more. Well that is usually what I find with Assam anyway, I always make sure to keep some in stock. That is why I was excited to receive this sample..unfortunately I have forgotten who sent this to me so I apologize. :(

This is a nice looking Assam with plenty of golden tips. Once aired the tea has a malted and dark fruited scent similar to currants.

First Steep – 1 minute
The colour is golden red brown and it has a sweet malted aroma with undertones of currants and fermented fig. Flavour is sweet, fruity, malty, smooth and rich. It’s soft like velvet but with so much sweetness and such wonderful malted tones and a touch of smoke. For a 1 minute steep it’s stronger than I had expected but also light and quite delicate in it’s full bodied flavours. Also has a leather like charm in the after taste.

Second Steep – 2 minutes
A much more delicate steep than the first. This has more fermented fruit tones and is a little sweeter. Also the malt is super silky smooth now. Still very rich but honestly this is my preferred steep so far.

Third Steep – 3 minutes
This has toned down substantially and all that is left is a sweet, malted scent with a slight after taste of currants. It’s still smooth and offers no bitterness or impurities.

Overall – It’s a beautiful tea and it offers everything an Assam should. This is the type that I would consider buying more of.

Preparation
Boiling
looseTman

Excellent review of an excellent tea! You wrote:
“Overall – It’s a beautiful tea and it offers everything an Assam should.”
If this tea meets all your expectations of an Assam, why did you only rate it as an 83?

KittyLovesTea

It met my expectations for an Assam but it was by no means the best I have tried. Compared to a few others of a similar quality it lacked a few characteristics and was much lighter in strength than I thought it would be. It’s not necessarily a fault in the tea but for me personally it was lacking a few things and I did not think I should increase the rating.

looseTman

I truly enjoyed this Assam: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/164482#.
1. Did you use: 1 heaping tsp./ 6 oz./ 203*F / 3 min.?
2. What’s your favorite unflavored orthodox black tea?
Thanks!

KittyLovesTea

1. I used 6g or 7g in an 8oz Gongfu teapot. As stated in the instructions I did a 1 minute steep, then a 2 minute steep and finally a 3 minute steep. Temperature was boiling. That’s the way I drink my Assam as standard.

2. I don’t really have a favourite tea as such but I do have unflavoured black teas that I love. Darjeeling is one of my favourites with Turzum SFTGFOP1 Himalayan Mystic (DJ-32)
Black Tea by Thunderbolt Tea being a particular favourite which had a rating of 100. Or Golden Needles from Tea Palace which was also rating 100. Then third is Xing Ren Dan Cong (Almond) Canton Tea Co which received a rating of 92.

Everyone has different tastes and Assam is not one of my favourite black teas in general.

Favourite unflavoured Keemun is quite difficult as I usually tend to buy it with rose petals. Just a personal taste thing.

looseTman

“and was much lighter in strength than I thought it would be.”
1. I know Gong Fu uses more leaf. But a heaping tsp. is approx. 4.8g (depending on the tea) and I wonder if you’d find it stronger if you tried western brewing – 1 heaping tsp./ 6 oz./ 203*F / 3 min. as the first steep is 6 oz. for 3 minutes.
By the time one uses 3 min with Gung Fu brewing, you’re already on the third infusion.

2. Thanks for sharing the black teas you love, I’ll have to check them out.

KittyLovesTea

I lied yesterday without meaning to. I do have a favourite unflavoured Keemun…unfortunately I am way from home for a week and it slipped my mind. http://steepster.com/teas/teavivre/21803-premium-keemun-hao-ya-black-tea which is one that I believe you have already tried. Also just tried this Keemun which is very nice. http://steepster.com/teas/tea-horse/39744-keemun-orchid

Also I don’t have any of this Assam left but if I ever do get any more then I shall try brewing it in the Western way.

looseTman

It’s easy to not remember a particular tea especially if you have a big stash and/or are away from home. (As you approach 50+ you may find that it happens more often. Hopefully, the anti-oxidants in tea will help you maintain an excellent memory. :-))

I think it’s great that you’re open to other brewing techniques. Hopefully, your openness will reward you with many more enjoyable tea experiences to come.

looseTman

Yes, I’ve enjoyed TeaVivre Premium Keemun Hao Ya so much, that I purchased a Kilogram of it during their recent Anniversary sale. Thanks for suggesting Tea Horse Keemun Orchid. I’ll check it out.

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84
drank Honey Bee by DAVIDsTEA
1355 tasting notes

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87

There is something about honey at the moment that I am really loving, especially something that is tea based. A new strange craving it would seem.

In raw form the Oolong balls are mixed in size (from roughly 2mm – 5mm) and consist of dark green, dark brown and medium green colours. They have a wonderful gleam to them. They have a mildly sweet and green floral peony scent, not quite as honeyed as I imagined but there is a hint of it in there.

Preparation –
Water: 8 oz – Roughly 200ml
Serving Size: 7 grams
Steep Time: First Steep – 2 minute 30 seconds, Second Steep – 1 minute, Third Steep – 1 minute 30 seconds

First Steep – The tea is light yellow with a mildly sweet, floral and vegetal aroma. Very nice but still not really recognisable as being honeyed. Flavour is smooth and buttered with essences of mild sweet honey, peony, mineral green kale and light fruit. Almost like kale toasted in butter and honey and served with fresh sweet flowers and chunks of peach and apricot. Overall strength is very pleasing but perhaps a little dry in the after taste and somewhat perfumed.

Second Steep – This steep is more honeyed and light than the first one. It’s also much less mineral but the smooth butteryness is still present. This is more of what I was expecting from this tea, it’s completely changed. Also more peachy like too. Super delicious!

Third Steep – Sweeter and more floral for this steep. Still smooth and honeyed with good amounts of butter left. It’s perhaps not as sweet or smooth as the second steep but it has matched it in beauty.

Overall – This Oolong blossoms from being a lovely duckling into a beautiful swan before your very taste buds. It may have not appeared to contain honey at first but it gets sweeter and lighter the more you steep it almost as if to say “Hello here I am”. If honey is not your thing then this also has elements of fruit, flowers, mineral veg and butter which should please any Oolong drinker.

I would love to have more of this in my collection for those special warm evenings. :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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59

I got this a while ago but decided to leave it at work so I would have something Earl Grey-esque to have in the morning. Sure it’s Rooibos based but not noticeable in the smell amongst the dry blend, instead I am picking up an orange perfume. I love orange but this is just too perfumed and dry, not completely disgusting but a bit of a let down.

It smells a little fresher and lighter once steeped and the perfume is toned down and does not overpower the orange and bergamot scents. It smells more like an Earl Grey now definitely.

Flavour wise this is a little citrus bitter and sweet but very perfumed and dry. The rooibos is not coming through very much but it at least keeps the blend light enough to be drinkable. As far as an Earl Grey goes this is an interesting blend that I’m sure someone will love but for me it’s too strong and perfumed. A bitter Earl Grey is a non enjoyable Earl Grey.

Now you can see why I left this at work…

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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84
drank Honey Bee by DAVIDsTEA
1355 tasting notes

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84
drank Honey Bee by DAVIDsTEA
1355 tasting notes

Well I will not be drinking as much tea today as I had hoped thanks to my late start but I shall do a Sunday sipdown tomorrow like never before. I decided to cook spinach and ricotta ravioli with home made chestnut mushroom and garlic bechamel sauce, garlic and rosemary focaccia for dinner and I have yet to find a tea that sits well with pasta. For that reason I had a naughty glass of red wine with it. To make up for my traitorous mistake and since I’m missing that something sweet after such a wonderful meal I chose this tea to get back on track with. I don’t think there is anything sweeter than honey. That made me smile because I have a cat called Honey and she really is sweet…to me anyway. She doesn’t like my husband so much though he has never done anything to her.

………………………………………………………………….

Not such a fan of mate but I do believe there must be a delicious blend of it out there somewhere so I hope I have one of them here in front of me. The tea itself actually smells really nice. It’s honey sweet but fresh and the smell of lemon is unmistakable. It sounds weird honey and lemon but it smells nice all the same.

Once steeped the tea is well..dark honey in colour with the same honey and lemon scent as it’s raw form. Delicious!

Flavour wise it’s light, sweet and honeyed with a touch of citrus lemon that is fresh and also light. It tastes as it smells and that is a treat. It compliments my dinner very well. :)

Side Note – I just popped the last of this into an airtight pitcher to make iced tea and see how that turns out. Will check it tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Additional side note – I poured my iced tea to drink before bed as a sweet treat after being cold steeped for almost 24 hours. It turned out amazingly! So sweet and very honeyed with the lemon and rooibos being extremely subtle. Cold steeping really has brought out more honey and I think if I had more I would cold steep it all the way.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I’m 28 years old from Leicester, England named Kayleigh. I have a wonderful husband called Richard whom I am very lucky to have in my life.

I started off many years ago drinking herbal and fruit teas which over time peaked my interest in trying new types. Eventually I began to import and sample many different teas and cultures which I still do today. My life goal is to try as many teas and ways of having tea as possible.

Tea wise my cravings change constantly from pu erh one month to jasmine green to the next and so on.

I adore cats and have four of my own called Cassie, Mr Sooty Pants,Ivory and Ollie.

I also have two fish tanks which thankfully my cats have no interest in. They house an array of tropical fish and shrimp.

I am a proud vegetarian and have been for the majority of my life. When I say vegetarian I mean just that as well, no fish or seafood, no chicken now and again, no animal products such as gelatine and cochineal.

I also enjoy watching Japanese Anime and horror films.

I am always up for tea swaps so if you see anything in my virtual cupboard then please contact me.

A short list to help swapping with me easier though honestly I am not fussy and am willing to try anything. Plus the notes below are usually, sometimes I love a tea that has an ingredient I tend to dislike and other times I hate a tea that I thought I would love.

Likes: Any fruit but especially melon and orange, vanilla, all tea types (black, green, white etc), nuts (any), flowers, ginger, chai.

Dislikes: Licorice, aniseed, clove, eucalyptus, lavender.

My rating system
I have my own way of rating teas that makes each one personal. I have different categories, I rate each tea depending on what it is made of. For example: I rate green teas in a different way to black teas or herbal teas. So black, white, green, Pu Erh, Rooibos, Oolong, blends and tisanes all have their own rating system. That way I can compare them with other teas of the same or similar type before for an adequate rating. And when I do give top marks which is very rare I am actually saying that I would love to drink that tea all day, every day if possible. It’s a tea that I would never turn down or not be in the mood for. So while I agree that no tea is 100% perfect (as nothing is) I am saying that it’s as close as it comes to it. After all, in my book the perfect teas (or close to perfect anyway) are ones that I could drink all the time. That is why you will find a high quality black or Oolong will not have as high a score as a cheap flavoured blend, they are simply not being compared in the same category.

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