514 Tasting Notes
1 “single steep” sachet for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.
This is re-packaged as “Reflect Vanilla Black Tea” in a collection of single steep packets sold in Chapters/Indigo stores in Canada. I bought such a box this evening. So far, the Lemongrass Ginger is great; the “Revitalize Cherry Black Tea” is the equivalent of drinking melted cough drops; now it’s Reflect’s turn.
I can really smell the coconut, like in DavidsTea Buttered Rum. My study smells lovely, in fact; vanilla and coconut go well together. In a candle, say, or soap. They’re not going well with what tastes like low grade astringent Ceylon. The entire tea is soapy: taste and mouthfeel, probably from the coconut. Like the Revitalize Cherry before it, this is, for me, undrinkable.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @ 90C, steeped 5 minutes, drunk bare.
Oops — steeped a little too long there. Getting lots of vegetal in this cup, and that lovely creme brûlée thing. Floral, too — orchids, I guess. Lots of down in the liquor, giving that velvety mouth-feel. Delicious. I’ve not had this for a long time, and I got about 138 grams for a Christmas present. Mmmmm.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @80C, steeped three minutes, drunk bare.
I tried a sample of this earlier today at a DavidsTea and quite liked it. Fresh China green tea with a slight fruitiness and a buttery mouthfeel. The pineapple in the ingredients had always turned me off, but here it works, quiet an subtle in the background. I adore walnuts, though you can barely taste them; it’s more of a mouthfeel, a slightly biter silkiness. I’ll go with a shorter steep next time; the pineapple is more pronounced here at home, and the liquor is quite cloudy.
3 tsp for 500mL eater @100C, steeped 3 minutes, drunk bare.
Earthy and astringent Darjeeling, with lots of green leaf in with the black. Crisp, with lots of muscat. Feels and tastes like a lot of second flush is in here, which suits me fine. It does tend towards being bitter; I think next time I’ll use cooler water. (Teavana recommends 90C.) I got this as a gift; I haveno idea how much it costs; if it’s reasonable, I’d order it to keep on hand.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.
In a sample. A pale liquor for a black tea, a light bronze. Some honey and dark fruit notes that remind of me the Nepal black from the Jun Chiyabi estate. A slight astringency that’s like a very, very subtle bergamot. Light body. Lovely, but I’m not paying $45.00 for 50 grams of it.
3 tsp for 500mL water @ 100C, steeped six minutes, drunk bare.
I’m surprised to read this is a blend of Assam and Ceylon; I thought it was Kenyan. It’s strong yet quite smooth. Fragrant. Not harsh. Took a long steep well. Lots of body, and a good caffeine lift. An excellent blend for cold mornings, too.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped six minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.
Yep, lost track of time again. The tea did not get bitter. It did get POTENT. I am very awake right now. Holy snappin caffeine kick.
Excellent blend of black teas with lapsing souchong. Smoky, but not overpoweringly smoky. A big leap from India black tea. I can see this one becoming a favourite.
1.5 tsp for 300mL @100C, steeped four minutes thirty seconds, drunk bare.
I love smoky black tea. I’m not crazy about tarry tea. There’s a big difference.
This one’s a blend of three teas plus lapsang souchong. I am trying to pick out the other three. I’m guessing a Keemun, a usual component in a Russian Caravan, and maybe a Ceylon? There’s a sunny brightness here that’s often missing from Chinese black tea. Sweet notes in the finish. A smooth feel. Smoky, but not suffocatingly so. I think I’m in love.