1159 Tasting Notes
I’m admit that I’m guilty….I promised to clean the house today but so far I’ve spent 30 minutes cleaning and a couple of hours buying tea sets and tea. Now I’m sitting down to drink tea, looking at all of those gorgeous tea sets was thirsty work. Well I have two days to clean I suppose, my husbands sisters son (I guess that makes him my nephew in law) is coming to stay for three days. He’s 14 and autistic, I offered to look after him while my sister in law does some contract work for three days to get some money. He should be at school but as they just moved and he goes to a special school it has not yet completed. I’m happy enough to help, just means I have to clean my house which honestly I took a lax position with while I’m still recovering from my minor dental procedure. For those that don’t know – I had an impacted wisdom tooth out that required them to cut through my gum and chip into my jaw bone, of which they had to go further and deeper than they thought. Leaving me with a mouth full of stitches, a large lump and a mouth that only opens enough to put a tea spoon in it.
On to the tea and away from life. This was a 25g tester black tea I got as another to try, my husband and I both adore black teas and try to sample different types and brands to find regular types to stock. I steeped roughly 4-5g of leaf in my 200ml Gongfu teapot with just under boiling water for roughly one minute.
It is a lovely golden brown colour and has a rich malt scent. It’s flavour is malty yet sweet and rather clean tasting. It’s of medium strength so it has lots of flavour for such a short steep. It is also a little dry in the after taste.
A further steep of roughly two minutes reveals a milder tea but still very similar to the first steep. So far it’s lovely, not sure it’s a new favourite at this stage but it certainly a delicious, solid black tea, in other words this would be great for a nice every day black tea. I think my husband will like this one, will have to prepare some tonight when he returns from work. :)
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Malt
This smells gorgeous though honestly I would say it was more creamy berry than pomegranate. Still I adore creamy berry and if anything I prefer it this way. It’s sweet and light but thick enough to linger pleasantly in my nostrils.
Once steeped it does gain a slight sour berry smell (though still dominantly creamy berry) and in a way it does smell like pomegranate. Flavour is a little sour with a dry, with a floral yet somewhat earthen notes among a sweet, and delicate berry flavour. Not creamy as the scent suggests but nice anyway. Perhaps still not pomegranate but I am truly loving the berry.
A re-steep reveals less sour notes and more berry. Perfect! Only issue now is the dryness as it’s not the best quality white tea base, but it’s easy enough to get past. My husband said it tastes like weak marzipan and in a strange way it does. So like a mild marzipan, sour berry, dry nut like tea. Perhaps not a favourite but certainly one I intend to try cold steeped :)
Flavors: Berry, Drying, Marzipan, Nuts
This has some huuuuuuge pieces of star fruit in, perfect star shapes that smell so juicy and sweet. On top of that the apple is dominant scent wise, again being juicy and fresh. So far it’s a very nice fruit tea scent, one of the better fruit teas I have sniffed. As for the black base there is no real note in the raw scent.
In flavour this is very bitter, I think it’s because the black tea is rather finely cut and is much too strong compared to the delicate fruit. I only steeped it for one minute as well so it was certainly not over the time. It’s not terrible but it’s just bitter and ear wax like…..rather sour too. There are light apple tones amidst the over powering base.
I decided to re-steep my tea to see if it would be less bitter and strong but alas it was all for nought. This tea is just not for me, it remains bitter and sour with very little fruit taste. Very different compared to what it smelt like, so disappointing.
With unbelievable sized chunks of walnut and banana, this blend looks and smells completely amazing. Definitely got a banana and walnut cake thing going on. The tea base gives it a nice malty tone.
Trying a slightly different method for this, as my Gongfu teapot is already out I will be using that. Roughly 7g (considering there are many super huge chunks there too) with 200ml boiling water for a couple of minutes. I will re steep but will need to judge that after I taste it to determine times.
Flavour – warm malt tones with a little spice, a touch of nutty dryness and a lingering after taste of sweet banana. Strength is perfect and the flavours compliment each other extremely well. It’s not overtly sweet but it does have some natural sweet tones which help keep it light.
Steeping my second pot for another minute reveals a steep of equal strength and flavour. Looks like this will be good for another two or so steeps :)
Husband loves it, says he can really taste banana and walnut bread. Got a super craving for some now, will have to drink enough of this tea to suppress it.
All in all this is a wonderful blend, another to add to my favourites from Butiki.
Flavors: banana, Brown Sugar, Malt, Walnut
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.