1276 Tasting Notes
This came in my weekly Graze box and I’ve been longing to try a tea and cake pairing since I saw them advertised. This was a random and pleasant surprise! The cake is banana bread which is only 55 calories and completely awesome as it’s fine for my low calorie diet. That is the reason I get Graze boxes, low calorie snacks to keep me fuelled for the week.
Anyway, the teabag has a tag which says it’s an Afternoon Infusion made with Assam and Kenyan leaves. Sounds strong to me, good.
I steep and wait, and I was right, this has come out bold and very dark. Clean malt tones with a sweet finish. Very nice!
Added milk and sweetener.
Ok taste is clean and bold with some crisp citrus and malt tones. Not overly strong but at a nice level. Nothing special though it’s a perfectly acceptable cup of tea. If I was served this whilst out I would be happy.
The leaves are dark brown with some green tinges and lots of silver tips and some brown/red sticks/stems present. For the most part they are long and look whole though thin, tightly wrapped and with a high shine. They have a creamy earthen scent with elements of toasted hay, lightly smoked wood and flowers.
Steeping Method: Yixing Teapot 100ml
Pre rinse – This was rinsed twice for 20 seconds each time
First Steep – 30 seconds
Colour is yellow with a gentle, creamy yet earthy scent. Flavour is soft and sweet with a creamy after taste. Some bitterness but it transfuses into sweet honey and floral peony like tones.
Second Steep – 40 seconds
Less bitter than the first steep though it is still present. Still plenty of sweet and creamy tones with some added soft smoke and damp wood and hay.
Third Steep – 45 seconds
No bitterness at all which makes it sweet and creamy. Heavenly! It coats the inside of my mouth and lingers in the after taste. Honey, honeysuckle, cream and gentle musk.
Fourth Steep – 55 seconds
Another beautiful steep, the flavour is perfect at this stage. So creamy and sweet but with depth and flavour. The bitterness has returned albeit subtle and short lasting.
Fifth Steep – 1 minute
Now the flavour is starting to reduce in strength. The creaminess dominates though it is not as sweet as the previous steeps. Also little to no bitterness is left, just the cream and a gentle floral after taste.
Sixth Steep – 1 minute 20 seconds
Slowly reduced though still creamy and pleasing. Still no bitterness to speak of, instead it’s very smooth and easy to drink. No smoke or earthy tones remain.
Seventh Steep – 2 minutes
Even lighter though still enough flavour to be pleasing. Cream and flowers is all that remains.
Eighth Steep – 3 minutes
This is certainly the final steep. Though there is still some soft cream notes there is nothing else present.
This was a very beautiful Sheng, with dominant cream tones, soft astringency and a delicate balance of flowers and earth.
Flavors: Cream, Earth, Flowers, Honey, Smoke
The leaves are a blend of dark to medium greens with a lot of silver tips present. Also they have a high reflective shine and lots of downy hairs. In shape they tend to be long and thinly rolled but rather curly too. It smells so sweet and fresh, resembling mixed flowers (geranium, jasmine, sweetpea), soft grass and gently toasted hay.
Steeping Method: Chinese Glass Tumbler
6g leaf with 75C water
As I smell the steeped tea the flowers stand out even more, not to the extent of being perfumed, instead though they are strong it is still fresh and sweet.
Flavour is crisp yet sweet and floral enough to match it’s scent. Some grass tones and astringency though very mildly. Clean tasting and very beautiful. Along with geranium, jasmine and sweetpea I can also taste honeysuckle and lily.
Altogether this is a very floral tea that remains sweet and fresh throughout, part of that is due to this being a white Bi Luo Chun rather than green.
Flavors: Flowers, Sweet, warm grass
My first Yunnan Sourcing club order arrived today squee!
After a busy day of packing my suitcase and trying to get the house in order before I go away on Sunday I am delighted to have finally sit down and have tea time. I haven’t had tea all day and it’s almost bed time!
The leaves are dark brown with some red patches and golden tips present. They are mostly thin, tightly rolled and curly but there are some thicker pieces present too. Also some stem/stick. It has a light, sweet and wooden scent with a hint of lychee/dark fruit.
Steeping Method: Gaiwan
The liquid is burnt orange in colour and has a soft wooden scent.
Flavour is gentle and malted with sweet wood and soft leather tones. Fresh yet musty.
More sweet and rock sugar like and the malt tones are now in the background, with the wood. Also a lychee or dark fruit aftertaste.
Extremely light and all that remains is the fruity aftertaste.
This was rather a simple black but it was clean tasting and very pleasant. Not the best but something I can happily finish my 50g pouch of. Another tea where the scent showed pretty much what to expect in taste.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Fruity, Malt, Sweet, Wood
Watching Toradora! (とらドラ!?) Anime got me in the mood for some Japanese tea.
I open the little sample and am met with a bright green tea with a fair amount of toasted rice, it is a Genmaicha after all! What is more interesting is that the Matcha lightly coats it all which brings out the green colour more than usual. The Sencha is rather fine which also blends well. It has a sweet, creamy and grassy tone. Rather delicious!
Once steeped it’s bright green and smells creamy and toasted with some sweetness. Softer than the raw scent though still as delicious!
Flavour is slightly astringent with some umami and grass tones, followed with a creamy and light toasted after taste. It’s thick but at a nice balance of flavours. It doesn’t taste at all like a Genmaicha other than the gentle toasted element, otherwise the Matcha is dominant and takes centre stage of this blend. Either way it works very well together.
As it cools the sweet and creamy tones come through stronger and the umami softens.
This tastes a lot more like Genmaicha. The toasted rice and cream are equal but the astringency and umami have toned down considerably, also the grass tones come through more with added floral, bread and biscuit notes. Much softer and a more pleasant steep than the first, though saying that I did enjoy the first steep too.
This was an interesting blend, the Matcha was dominant in the first steep but the Genmaicha dominated thereafter, it was like getting the best of both worlds in one yunomi cup. Interesting enough for me to add it to my wishlist for more. Plus the power of both has given me a wonderful green tea head rush!
Kon’nichiwa watashinonamaeha Kayleigh to watashi wa onaji kurai watashi wa ocha o aisuru yō ni anime ga daisukidesu.
Flavors: Grass, Sweet, Toasty, Umami
This was a surprise gift thanks to my RedditGifts SS as part of the colour exchange. My favourite colour is purple, specifically heather or plum. So far I have 8oz/227g of this tea, a black plum blossom candle and some purple eyeshadow. Apparently more is coming! I do feel spoilt.
Opening the tea and putting half into a tin I notice the beautiful safflowers, the contrast is lovely to look at. The blend consists of small, dark brown tea leaves that are twisted and broken with some stem/sticks present. Amongst them the red safflowers.
It has a rich malt and wood scent with some mild sweetness. So far it smells like a pure black tea, interesting.
Once steeped it still smells like a standard black tea…where is the plum?
Flavour is dark and wooden with some smoke and malt tones. It leaves a slight sweet flavour in the after taste, like honey though very light. Though I am still left asking….where is the plum? It has not been present in scent nor flavour and other than a mild sweetness there is nothing out of the ordinary for this black tea. Very strange.
It’s a fairly nice black tea, not plum flavoured but another tea I can crack out the milk and sugar for on a Sunday is always handy.
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Smoke, Wood
Tea time! As it’s late I will pick this Rooibos blend. Shooting star, how cute!
I open the packet and am met with a thick, medicinal scent with some sweetness that mimics almond. Not unpleasant but rather …well…odd.
It’s steeped scent is much different. I smell sweet apple sauce with almond, very sweet but also very nice. The apple is rather strong considering, and it’s more apple sauce than apple.
Flavour is thickly Rooibos with a mild, sweet apple after taste before the Rooibos takes control again. Further sips bring out the almond sweetness though it’s still very much in the background of the Rooibos, of which seems almost smoky/smog like.
It’s not as sweet nor pleasing as it’s raw scent though it’s drinkable. It’s a rather medicinal Rooibos which I am not a fan of, well not a fan of Rooibos in general but this is darker than I can usually bare.
Flavors: Almond, Medicinal, Rooibos
My day has not picked up as such but nor is it worse and on the overall scale of things I am not being hard done to by life. The headache is perhaps a little annoying but I can look past that. Into the positive and out with the negative.
This was a sample from having a Tea Buffs subscription, so thank you NBT.
I open the packet and am taken back by the delicious scent. It does smell like popcorn! Sweet yet salty, buttery and toasted. Yum! The leaves (they are dark and look black though could be Oolong) have lots of dried fruit pieces amongst them (which I was not expecting as I didn’t smell fruit) and little bits of actual popcorn too. And here I was thinking it may be Genmaicha based before I opened it.
Colour is golden red with a sweet toffee scent, less popcorn than it’s raw scent though still toasted.
sip, sip It tastes like it smells which is not a common find amongst flavoured tea. Usually they differ greatly, but not this. The toffee is light and buttery with mild sweetness and there is a toasted, salt after taste which gradually lightens and sweetens. Not as strongly toffee popcorn as you may imagine though it’s not too weak either, suppose that is a long way of saying medium strength. As it cools it becomes more creamy and also has some astringency though very little.
Loving this one, reminds me of Toffee Dream from Zen Tea but this has more flavour and is generally more pleasing.
This morning has not been great. I awoke to the noise of a screaming cat (it turned out to be Ivory playing with a toy that his brother Sooty tried to also play with) which gave me a headache and groggy feeling due to lack of sleep. On top of that my mobile phone has broken, it refuses to charge and my contract supplier said to get a new battery and charger but only official brand which as it turns out is no longer sold, and until I try that I can’t get them to fix my phone for free. Otherwise a replacement is £150 and I can’t afford that right now.
So, with a groggy state of mind I pour myself a glass of Red Berry by Suki Tea. Previously reviewed in hot variety but not enjoyed above average expectations I decided to try it cold steeped. Worse case scenario in flavour would be best case scenario for using up the leaves. Though I am actually taken by surprise, it reminded me a bit of Ribena, but a little tart and less sweet. It has pure berry flavour this way with only a minimum tartness and herbalness from the hibiscus. Berry wise I would say cranberry or lingonberry, I’ve had similar from Ikea on my last visit. Much nicer than I expected and is my first positive of the day. I will certainly be cold steeping the rest of this.
This arrived in my last sniff, sniff Butiki order as part of the mystery package and I was over the moon. I LOVE PURPLE TEA! Not fussy about which type as long as it’s purple.
The leaves are rather small and dark, not completely purple coloured but almost, with some brown there too. They smell grassy yet spicy and floral.
Once steeped the resulting liquid is dark honey coloured and matches it’s raw scent nicely.
Flavour is of medium strength with grass, peony, chestnut and plum with some astringency and sweetness. Also is a little dry at times. Despite the touch of astringency it is very easy to drink, it’s even creamy at times and slips down very well.
Green tea is not simple, in my opinion you have the grassy and light greens, you have the dark almost toasty greens, you have the umami Japanese greens and you have the super sweet Cloud Mist style greens. That is the basics of what I go by when it comes to green tea. This Steamed Purple Green is in between being grassy/light and dark/toasty. Think of it as lightly toasted grass that is neither too dark nor light and that is the basis for this green. Plus with the added flavours, makes this one a winner for me. Not perfect but damn fine!
Plus thanks to trying this one last week I also know it re-steeps rather well.
Flavors: Chestnut, Flowers, Grass, Plums, Toasted