4322 Tasting Notes
I hadn’t planned on drinking more black tea today (I already have a black Darjeeling waiting for me after I finish this one) but when the mail came and brought a box of teas from Foxfire Teas – a company from Portland that I’ve wanted to try for a while now – I had to add another black tea to the queue … in fact, this tea “took cuts” in line, because I didn’t want to drink an Assam too late in the day. It’s already 6:20 pm, any later and I’ll be up all night.
This is an AWESOME black currant tea. I think it might just be the best black currant tea I’ve tried. Not that I’ve sampled a whole lot, but, of the ones that I have tasted, this one belongs at the top spot.
It smells incredible. The fruit tones really POP … it smells a bit like my gramma’s kitchen when she’d make grape jelly. I’m not a big fan of grape flavored foods, but, my gramma’s grape jelly? Now that stuff was awesome! She’d make it from the grapes right off her grapevine, seed the grapes and then cook them then mash them through a sieve. She’d then pour off just a little bit of the juice and let me drink it after it had cooled and before she’d add all the sugar and pectin to make the jelly. To this day, I really don’t like other grape juice, because nothing compares to that juice.
And while this does SMELL like grapes cooking, it doesn’t taste like grapes. It tastes like currants. Although I must admit that currants and grapes do have a similar flavor profile, or perhaps I should say currants and fermented grapes (wine) have a similar flavor profile. This tastes more like currants than fresh grapes. It is sweet and tart … leaning more toward the tart than the sweet, but balanced enough between the two to keep it from being too tart for my sometimes tart-sensitive palate.
The Assam here is fantastic. I love that this is an Assam and not a Ceylon! It gives the cup a very rich, bold flavor. This is a wine-y Assam as opposed to a really malt-y, biscuit-y kind of Assam, but, there are some really lovely malt tones to this as well.
Here’s a link to Foxfire Teas: http://foxfireteas.myshopify.com/ They ROCK!
For my matcha of the day, I went with one of my favorites. I have a few Matcha that I’ve not yet tried, still sealed in their shiny gold pouches, but I have quite a few reviews on queue back at the SororiTea Sisters blog that before I add more to the list I think I should drink a bit of what I have opened. Once upon a time I did make a “deal” with myself that I wouldn’t open any others until I finished off at least one … and I went bad on that deal but I still want to polish off some of these.
There is a reason why this Matcha has obtained the top spot on the Teas page, it’s awesome. Sweet, delicious and caramel-y. So good. It’s amazing how well the caramel goes with the vegetative Matcha. It’s a bit like a melted candy in a tea bowl… only better.
Revisiting this tea today … it tastes a bit more malty today than I remember it from my first tasting. It is sweet and creamy from the vanilla, and while I am not having it latte today, I suspect this would be incredibly decadent as a latte.
As it is, though, it tastes smooth and pleasant, with a brisk sort of flavor. Medium bodied, a good afternoon tea.
I’ve had this yesterday and today, and it’s really quite lovely. It has a strong vegetative note that is somewhere between “grassy” and “smoked spinach,” leaning slightly more toward the grassy tones than the vegetable tones. Yes, that’s right, I said smoked spinach, rather than steamed. Now, I don’t think I can recall ever tasting smoked spinach, but, if you can imagine what spinach might taste like if it were smoked rather than steamed, you’d have what I’m tasting here. The smoked notes are not heavy flavors, but, they do add a compelling flavor to the cup.
There is also bitter tone that sort of reminds me of dandelion greens. I like the way the vegetative notes are balanced between the sweet tones and the bitter tones.
A very enjoyable cup, it leaves the palate feeling very clean and refreshed.
My Matcha of the Day today is a combination of Bavarian Cream Matcha and Strawberry Matcha, both from Red Leaf Tea, of course! And the combination today just tastes stunning… the strawberry is deliciously fruity and sweet, and the bavarian cream is sweet and creamy. YUM! I think that the strawberry goes much better with the bavarian cream than the boysenberry does… maybe just because I love the boysenberry so much on its own.
I always tend to have my misgivings about bagged teas before I try them. I am glad that quite often, my misgivings were unfounded, because not all bagged teas are bad. I certainly would prefer loose leaf, and I do wish that this tea was loose leaf, but, as bagged teas go, this one isn’t bad.
It’s quite hearty and robust, with a pleasant malty tone. It has a hint of bitterness to the background, but it isn’t off-putting. It is more like a warning telling me that a longer steep time would be bad with this tea, but the very slight amount that I am getting now actually adds an interesting contrast to the cup.
Not a bad tea, and glad that I have enough to try it cold-brewed. Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me a generous amount of this tea.
What a lovely Oolong!
Sweet, delicious, roasty-toasty nut flavors with hints of browned butter that has been drizzled over mild steamed vegetables, and a lovely peach-like taste in the background. Honey tones too!
YUM! I love this tea … I’m on my second cup (third and fourth infusions, combined), and I am noticing now a hint of vanilla starting to peek through, as well as the peach tones emerging more. The vegetative tones have softened some what, as has the charred roasted taste that I experienced with the first cup.
A really enjoyable tea… I need to spend more time with this one!
Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea. It’s really delightful.
The leaves look so incredibly fresh! The taste is light and crisp, with notes of vegetation and flower, and a creaminess that is rather comforting. This is the kind of tea that I like to curl up to in the evening … making this the perfect tea choice for RIGHT NOW!
A really wonderful tea. But I’ve come to expect that from Steenbergs.
I am revisiting this tea this evening. (I also revisited it last night, but, did not have a chance to log that because my daughter stopped by for a visit!)
The first time I brewed this, I thought it was a black tea because I didn’t read the box very carefully … I had noticed “Yunnan” but not “dark tea” on the website, and thought it was a black Yunnan that had been scented with the cinnamon wood. The first tasting, I thought I had tasted pu-erh, but, had I realized that this WAS a pu-erh I would have brewed it differently.
Now that I was able to brew this the way I would normally brew a pu-erh, I am able to really appreciate this tea. The cinnamon flavor is pleasantly subtle as the tea has been scented by the wood caddy that it is stored in, rather than flavored with cinnamon oil or blended with cinnamon chips. This makes for a pleasantly light cinnamon taste that allows me to explore the sweeter side of the spice, as well as the warm side. It is really nice, and I like how well the earthy notes of the Pu-erh meld with the earthiness of the cinnamon. It’s really quite nice.
Plus… the caddy is SUPER cool!