4315 Tasting Notes
Last night, I received a request to try this tea. “I’m eager to know what you think of the new black tea base” said this request. So, I was happy to go a bit out of order and try this one. I confess that way behind in sampling my teas of the week from 52Teas … what can I say? I have so many teas to try and not enough palates or bladder space to drink them all at once.
After allowing it to cool a few moments, I took a sip, sort of casually, almost aimlessly, and my first reaction was “wow, this is a really good black tea.” Without even taking a moment to consider that this was a flavored tea, I started thinking of this as a magnificent black tea that is sweet, almost caramel-y, rich, and full-flavored. I started thinking of other “pure” black teas that are similar to this. Then I sort of shook my head when I realized that this is a flavored black tea, not some high quality, tippy, pure black.
This reaction, in my opinion, is the highest praise a tea lover can bestow upon a flavored tea, because more often than not, flavored teas are about the flavor and not so much about the tea underneath it all. Here, black tea and flavor have united seamlessly, with the flavor of cotton candy (and yes, I definitely DO taste cotton candy) highlighting the black tea in such a way as it essentially becomes a component of the tea and not an addition of flavor, if that makes sense.
And I think that this new base has everything to do with that. And let me examine this newly crafted, 52Teas’ base. It is bold and rich … much more well-rounded than 52Teas previous black tea base. The background flavor is SOLID and invigorating. It is robust and flavorful: sweet, malty and has a rich, bake-y kind of background to it, reminding me quite a bit of a Fujian black tea in many ways. And this is a very good thing, indeed.
When compared to the previous blend that 52Teas has used, this one is less astringent, and without bitterness. I do not need to come up with different parameters to brew it, I can brew this just the way I’d brew other black teas: 2 1/2 minutes in boiling water in my Breville. I don’t have to adjust the temperature or the brew time to assuage the black tea base the way I used to with other 52Teas.
Frank, you’ve crafted an excellent base here. I am very pleased, and so look forward to trying your future blends with this base (particularly my double chocolate decadence)! But for now, I this one deserves high marks!
I am currently brewing this tea for tomorrow’s iced tea sipping, but, I decided to try a cup hot right now.
This is really yummy. Really good peach flavor, but what I think I like about it best is that it has an Assam base, so the tea is prominent, and it is bold. The malty tones of the tea tastes very interesting with the sweet, luscious peach flavor. Very good. I might have to get some more of this.
Thank you TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea.
This is really good. An interesting take on the traditional jasmine. The smoke is very subtle, very-barely-there when I first started sipping, now that I’m nearly done with the cup the smoke has developed a bit, but it never becomes a strong smoky presence. It is apparent, but not overwhelmingly so. It is an interesting contrast to the sweet, exotic jasmine. The smoke seems to bring out some of the sweeter notes of the jasmine, emphasizing them. This is so pleasantly sweet that it almost tastes “dessert-y” to me.
I don’t know that this is my favorite take on jasmine, but, I am really enjoying it. It’s different, but it’s quite good.
I am revisiting this tea this afternoon, using the same measurement of leaves from last night, and steeping them yet again. And again! This tea just keeps on going, like the Energizer bunny.
The flavors today are remarkably smooth, noticing only a trace of the mineral-y taste I experienced yesterday, sweet, a little bit of the honey-esque tone but more of a floral sweetness.
This is one of the most incredible Puerh teas I’ve encountered.
I steeped some of this extra strong this morning to prepare some chai syrup for pancakes this morning and had enough left over to make a creamy, luscious chai latte. Delicious. I’m glad that Rachel @ iHeartTeas decided to rescue this one from retirement. This one is still my favorite chai from 52Teas, although I still think that Frank should make a Maple Chai.
With the second infusion, I steeped for six minutes. Still can’t bring myself to 15 minutes.
This infusion is also delicious, although it is a little different than the first infusion. I notice more of a fruit tone emerging with this infusion, as well as a stronger floral tone. The malt and cream notes are still there, although these seem softer this time. Still a rich, delicious cup of tea, and definitely worthwhile to steep this a second time.
Thanks to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea. This is a delightful Assam… very different from a typical (black) Assam. The suggested steeping parameters on Grey’s website state to steep for 15 minutes. I’m afraid I wasn’t quite that brave, I steeped it for only four minutes, and I was scared that would be too long for an Assam. I’ve had far too many bitter Assam teas after steeping even a second or two longer than three minutes that steeping this for four minutes – even though it is a white tea – was a bit scary to me.
As it turns out, this is fantastic. Sweet, creamy even! The malty tones that I’d expect from an Assam are there, but together with the creamy notes, it tastes absolutely decadent. No astringency or bitterness. Just sweet, sweet delicious tea.