479 Tasting Notes
1 sachet for 250mL water @90C, steeped 4 minutes.
A very strong scent of apricots or peaches when you first open the tin this year, but no peach or stonefruit flavour comes out in the tea. I treat this blend like an oolong and get some decent nuances, but this year’s blend is not as flavourful as last year’s. I still quite like it, especially the creamy mouthfeel coming from the blend of Darjeeling (just a pinch this year, I think) and oolong. Needs a careful eye on water temp and steep time, though, otherwise it becomes a bland mess.
1.5 tsp for 250mL water @ 98C (DON’T DO THIS), steeped 3 minutes.
I lost focus on the kettle here at work and poured boiling water on this beautiful tea. YUCK. I can still get some ginseng sweetness, but mostly it’s a bitter medicinal horroshow, like getting a powdery pill stuck on the back of your tongue. Totally my own fault. I put this up as a warning.
Generally, I find this tea good for at least 3 steeps of 3-4 minutes each, if the water’s at the right temp.
1.5 tsp for 250mL water @ 90C (guesstimate), steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.
So my local DavidsTea was late getting their shipment of this one … and my husband bought me a whole bunch of the little sample packs to keep me going. Yes, it’s THAT GOOD. The first infusion is sweet and crisp; the second infusion gets more mellow, more oolong-contemplative. I’m greedy and steep the first infusion a good four minutes leaching out a lot of the ginseng right away. And it’s refreshing. Really refreshing. I really hope this stays part of the permanent collection.
1.5 tsp for 350 mL (I think) water. Made for me at a DavidsTea store. Steeped 5 minutes. Drunk bare.
First off, do not steep this tea as long as 5 minutes. I got stuck in a lineup behind someone buying those scratch lottery tickets. I should have hurried him along by slapping my wet teabag upside his face.
Oh, what a lovely rose black tea. Everything balances well. You can handily taste the black team which is pretty mellow — Chinese, I’m guessing — with a very subtle toast finish. I would hvbe liked this better steeped at 3 or 4 minutes; after 5, things get bitter and soapy. But I’ll put up with a lot for roses.
1 tsp for 250mL water @100C … with 1/2 tsp Tiger Assam added … drunk bare.
Yeeeaaaaahhhh. Oh, I love a smokey tea, and the first Caravan from Andrews and Dunham was one of the best I’d ever tried. Caravan Resurrected is very nearly as good, lacking only that odd, slightly salty note that made the original downright addictive. CR is strong and rich and quite smoky, but it’s not a powdery or choke-a-horse smoke. I added some Tiger Assam to heavy-up CR’s body, which tends light, as do many China black teas. Smoky but clean, with a crisp and slightly sweet finish. One of the best.
1.5 tsp for 240mL water @ 80C, steeped 3 minutes, drunk bare.
A sweet and spicy jasmine green … though there’s not a lot of jasmine on the go. This blend is a nostaglic favourite for me, one I drank a lot in autumns at university.
Liquor is a bronzing yellow. Lots of orange pith and peel in with the leaves, but it’s the clove and cassia that bring this tea up to its own weird and lovely level. If the water is too hot, this tea will get bitter and soapy.
1 tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.
Lots of muscatel in the aroma, which is great. David’s Darjeeling had really disappointed me, being all earth and twig with not a hint of muscat, which, for me, is what makes Darjeeling tea so special. I only used 1 tsp instead of the recommended 1.25, because I’ve only got a little sample pack here and want to stretch it out. No fear: this Darjeeling is quite rich and fresh and easily forgives some skimping. Liquor is dark copper with gold. Aroma is redolent with muscat, as noted, and wood. Some honey and florals in the taste, a fair bit of earth — unusual for a Darjeeling, even a second flush. Dry leaves look a bit twiggy but also very tippy. I love Darjeeling and can be quite snooty about it, declining this estate over that. This one is really friggin good, provided you like the stronger second flushes. And muscat.
2 tsp for 250mL tea @ 90C, steeped 5 minutes, drunk bare.
I feel terrible. I sat down with my family for lunch and nearly hurled at the table. Broke out in a sweat. Got dizzy. All round nastiness.
I knew I needed tea. I’m craving the new Ginseng Oolong from DavidsTea, but I’m in no fit shape to go out. Wuyi Rock is too dark for the moment, and the Tung Ting Vietnam’s buttery notes will just send me right over the edge.
So I made Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Makes no sense to me, either.
I’ve forgotten how much I like this strange, sweet blend. Normally I ice this one, but hot, it’s soothing on the stomach— probably the mint. The odd citrus thing this tisane boasts is distracting me from being nauseous. And the gooseberries give it a note that no other tisane’s got. I’ve been researching Elizabethan England and what they ate and drank; they liked to stew almost anything with fruit and berries. I think they might like this one, pun on the title aside, especially in winter.
This is a weaker tisane. The packet copy recommends 2 tsp for a cup, and yeah, you need at least that much. And a decent steep time. Herbals need a bit of coaxing.