515 Tasting Notes
4.5 tsp for 750mL water @ 90C, steeped 4 minutes in a Breville One Touch with the basket cycle on.
I wasn’t crazy about this blend. Tonight I made it as much to scent my study with lemon and jasmine as to drink it. I’ve eaten a lot of sweet and heavy food over the past few days, so lemony-oolong seemed the way to go.
I like this better than the last time I tried it. Maybe making in by the pot, versus by the cup, helps. I might even use cooler water next time, maybe 82 instead of 90, because the citrus in this is slightly bitter. The jasmine is very difficult to pick up — no taste or scent of jasmine at all. I still don’t think this is a brilliant blend, but the oolong base is light. Much of the bag is filled with some sort of blossom; I’m not sure how much actual oolong is here.
1.5 tsp for 250mL water @98C, steeped seven minutes, drunk bare.
I find rooibos needs a long steep.
This tastes like mint plus milk chocolate plus rooibos, with a bit of vanilla. And it’s a decent rooibos base, not woody or, oddly, minty on its own. Decent, but not great; if the rooibos were separated from the other flavours, you wouldn’t taste much.
Fun to drink.
1.5 tsp for 250mL water @98C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.
I got this in a gift pack.
It is good.
It tastes like red velvet cake, and like a mild China black tea. I don’t usually enjoy flaovured teas (though I keep trying one) but this one is lovely and actually satisfied my sweet tooth.
Whenever I make it at the office, everyone asks who made the cookies.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.
I got a Damn Fine package in the mail! Woot! And I ordered it just before they put the 3-pack on sale, weh. Not to worry: I wanted to snatch the Captain for one last tryst, so I got one of the remaining Hot Teas on High Seas sets … and a big ol tin of Double Knit.
The copywriting and design of A&D tins gets me every time.
Dry leaf smelled very Keemun heavy, and good Keemun, with oaky notes but no tarriness, plus some red winey notes. Big smiles.
Liquor is a medium brown. Body quite light, almost like a Darjeeling in mouthfeel. In fact, I’d swear there’s some Darjeeling or Nepal in this blend, giving a slight bite. Darjeeling and Keemun at least … mineral notes on the finish and a faint pucker — like a gentle kiss. Not a chewy black tea, but that’s what Assam is for. A really good blend, bright and thoughtful.
1.5 tsp for 250mL water @98C. Steeped 4 minutes. Drunk bare.
Pu-erh and I have never gotten along. Pu-erh often left me with an upset stomach. Guess what? I was doing it wrong, steeping wayyy too much.
I got Chocolate Orange in a gift pack. The scent is lovely: sharp orange, dark chocolate. Liquor is almsot coffee-dark. The pu-erh itself is quite mild (I’d tasted from horrible fishy ones). A harmonious blend, with no one dominant note. A pleasant surprise.
1.25 tsp for 250mL water @90C. 1st infusion: 3 minutes. 2nd infusion: 5 minutes.
1st infusion: A lovely genuine vanilla scent and taste here — vanilla bean, as several others have said. Something lactic, too — vanilla yogurt, again, as others have noted. I found the finish very clean, almost cool. I didn’t get much oolong.
Liquor is a lovely sunshine yellow.
2nd infusion: less vanilla, more orchid, more oolong. Clean and mineral finish. Much prefer the second infusion.
This 30g packet came to me as a gift from the DavidsTea fan who initially suggested this recipe to the company. She sent it in months ago, they played with it, then released Vanilla Orchid. Tea geekery!
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.