183 Tasting Notes
Brewed gongfu-style with a yixing pot. 10 second rinse. Steeping times: 5, 5, 5, 5, 20, 30, 60, 120.
The wet leaf has a very enjoyable aroma, sweetly smelling of fertile damp earth and of bitter cocoa. The liquor is full-bodied, rich with notes of earth and sugarcane, and creamy in texture. Warming and comforting on this icy, rainy day.
This shou is not entirely clear, it’s a little cloudy, and remained so for nearly the entirety of the session. Also, I think it is best suited for being brewed Western-style. The leaf weakened only after the second steeping, hence the wide change in steeping seconds. Kind of disappointing. Because I only had enough for one helping, I’m not rating. Still, I do recommend.
Brewed on the stove-top. Brought to a boil, simmered for five minutes, added milk and sugar, brought to a boil again.
This blend stands out to me because of the pepper flakes, which I’ve never seen in masala chai recipes before. By golly, is this blend spicy. The flakes don’t hit right away, allowing me to taste the cozy briskness of the base tea and the other spices. Then BAM – on the back of your tongue. Stays there for minutes. It was surprising. Couldn’t stop saying wow.
I appreciate that this is incredibly spicy and that the ingredients are quite fresh, but it is too much for me. Next time I’ll have to double the amount of milk and sugar to make it just right for me personally. My dad, with whom I shared this, agrees, commenting on how he’d think this would be better with 1/3 as many flakes. Besides that, he does like this blend and the idea of having pepper flakes in masala chai.
Additionally, the dry leaf has a great aroma – powerful, full of clove and pepper. Made me sneeze! The ingredients are quite fresh, particularly the cloves.
Recommended for those who prefer super spicy tea or want to try a different masala chai recipe.
Thank you for the sample, Roseanne!
Smells boldly of malt and molasses – a very nice aroma. I drank this straight. The burnt orange liquor is clear, full-bodied and flavorful. I taste mostly malt, and then fruity (grapes, plums) notes after the tea cools down a bit.
The packaging and website don’t say where this black tea comes from, but it seems like it’s African. It’s not bad. Not complex or out of the ordinary, but still enjoyable as an everyday morning cup if you want to take a black tea without milk and/sugar. It gives your taste buds a good jolt!
Thank you for the generous sample, Roseanne!
I like the aroma a lot. The dry leaf smells very creamy and vanilla-like, with just a little bergamot. Spent a good couple minutes with my nose in the pouch as the water boiled. So vanilla.
The base tea came out bitter and too strong for my liking, so I added a couple pinches of sugar and a splash of milk. This way, the vanilla is able to stand out more, though I’m still not getting as much bergamot, which does, however, appear more in the aftertaste. The flavors may not be balanced but I don’t mind. It’s very creamy and resembles hot milk with vanilla.
I recommend this for those who prefer more creme in their Cream of Earl Grey than bergamot. This also makes for a good late-afternoon tea, particularly during autumn and winter.
Received a sample in my last order. I think this is the appropriate one to file on Steepster? The label says Da Hong Pao in parentheses.
Brewed gongfu-style with a ceramic gaiwan. 10 second rinse. Steeping times: 5, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120.
Wet leaf has a roasty, fruity (blueberries, starfruit), and somewhat smoky aroma. The liquor has a beautifully rich golden color, and is clear, smooth, and thick in texture. The high point was infusions one and two – roast and quite juicy. Thereafter, the flavors weakened slightly. They were simply present, nothing more. They did leave a nicely sweet and fruit aftertaste once I finished each cup though.
Overall, this dark oolong lacked pizzaz and complexity, but it was alright.
This is from the Christmas Card NayLynn sent me. Thank you!
This is a great chocolate tea. The aroma smells so very much like fudge brownies, fresh out of the oven. Taste-wise, it’s not so accurate, and it’s as if something burned…like the very bottom of the brownies having baked too much…but it’s still closer to actual chocolate than other chocolate-flavored teas. If you let the tea sit in your mouth, it begins to resemble dark hot cocoa. Yurmmmm.
Ost included a sample of this in her Christmas Card. Thank you, Ost!!
Brewed in a test tube steeper. Steeping times: 20, 40, 60, 120.
The dry leaf smells uncannily like caramel-filled chocolate candies, while a rich smoky and somewhat chocolately aroma arises from the wet leaf. The liquor is a beautiful golden orange color, and has silky smooth texture. Very clear, except for the fuzzies from the leaves – makes for a nice sight when you hold the steeper in the light. Flavorful and full-bodied. Offers fudge and caramel with a bold smokey note.
I’ve come to learn that smoke in teas doesn’t appeal to me unless it’s lapsang souchong, but this is a delightful and well-made black tea nonetheless.
Thank you, Veronica, for including a sample of this in the Christmas card! I did not follow the directions and only dumped half into the teapot (directions call for 1 tbs – yipes).
I never would have thought to try this on my own. Not much of a ginger fan unless it’s in tea with plenty of other ingredients, and I’m hesitant about shou in blends.
Here, the shou is earthy and smooth – not much else going on. The ginger adds a good kick. It’s an odd combo but works. A very nice winter tea! Especially when it’s overcast booooooooooo.
This is from The Cookie Lady’s Christmas card. Thank you!!
I wish the website would specify where the leaves came from, but this tastes very Kenyan/Tanzanian. Of course, I drank this plain. The liquor has a lovely burnt orange color – sunrise! Full-bodied, smooth, bold, malty, a hint of honey. It was also somewhat bitter for my taste, but that’s most likely from steeping a bit too long (3 minutes would have sufficed). Absolutely perfect for the morning, as your first cuppa of the day.