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494 Tasting Notes

2 tsp for 300mL @100C, steeped four minutes Western style, drunk bare.

Oh, oh, oh.

Liquor is quite dark, letting me know there’s pu-erh in the blend. I can smell the pu-erh, too, and it’s a type of tea I generally don’t care for, but it’s giving heft and depth to this blend. Bready and toasty — roasted grains, and a winey finish that reminds me of some good Keemuns. Some faint Yunnan pepper, stronger in the aftertaste, and some honey notes. Florals in the finish, too. Deep notes of cocoa and sweet potato and minerals. Wow. I’ve never tasted a blend like this.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Oaky notes, too — like Keemun again, or some malt whiskies.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Second infusion, four minutes thirty seconds … more
flavour than some first infusions. Less oak and pu-erh, more Yunnan, honey, and fruit, with dark cocoa notes in the finish. Liquor is dark copper this time; the first infusion liquor was brown.

Bonnie

Can’t wait to write about this tea too but I have family visiting from California this week and writing is impossible! All I can say is hallelujah it’s back!

Michelle Butler Hallett

I must save this tea for weekend mornings. I have spent waaaayyyy too much money on Verdant Tea this summer. They sell such beautiful tea, and I think it’s fairly priced, but I must practice some restraint. I shall save this for mornings when I rise early, and I’m the only one awake in the house. It’s a peaceful tea.

Ooooh. I like it even more at a three-minute steep. It’s sweet!

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97

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @98C, steeped four minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.

Steeped a little longer than usual today … getting a heavier body. No bitterness. Smooth. Many Yunnan characteristics and a bite of Himalayan. Deep honey notes. A good choice for the hot-tea-on-a-hot-day approach to summer heat.

heatherwassing

This is hands-down my favourite tea. I brew it more than anything else.

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40

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

Eehhrrr …

The scent reminds me of Super Chocolate. Lots of good cinnamon. The liquor is cloudy and gritty, with globs of fat on the surface from the chocolate and coconut. Visually, this is not appealing at all. Mouthfeel is very smooth, thanks to the melted chocolate, and the cinnamon, clove, and chipotle chile give a pleasant bite. I cannot taste vanilla, or chocolate, or coconut. I pick up some weak back tea. I want to like this, and at my first sip I wanted to spit it out, but I can’t make up my mind. I might appreciate this more on a cold day.

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92

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

Yikes. Oversteeped and a bit soapy and bitter and mineral. Treat this one gently.

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97

1.5 tsp for 300mL wter @100C, steeped 4 minutes 30 seconds, sweetened with a DavidsTea Lemon Honey stick.

This delicious black tea, the result of planting Yunnan cuttings in Nepal soil — brilliant idea — already gives off honey notes, so I thought the lemon honey might be okay in here. I don’t like sweet tea; I always want to taste the tea, so I hesitated, only adding one-third of the stick. Eventually I added the whole thing; it’s not very much honey; it IS an excellent amount for bringing out any honey and fruit notes in a black tea.

The honey sticks are quite expensive, when you figure out just how much, or rather, how little, honey you’re getting, but they are very convenient. The lemon oil is excellent.

K S

“Yunnan cuttings in Nepal soil” Oh wow, that explains why I find Nepal tea so appealing!

Michelle Butler Hallett

This particular one on this estate is. It’s so good.

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78

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped five minutes, drunk bare.

I’ve not had this blend for a few years. I think the roasted mate in here is new since my last cup.

I often avoid anise, but here it works, its black licorice notes giving some depth the ginger and cinnamon. I can only taste the roasted mate on the after taste, where its often harsh bitterness shows up. (I much prefer green mate.) This tea brews up a bit cloudy, probably because of the ginger, but it’s got a lovely spice heat. I like this blend better than DavidsTea other chais — although Saigon Chai is very good — but I’m not much of a chai fan, as I find the tea bases used are often low quality. I drink this one for the stimulant effects, and for that, it works just fine.

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7

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @98C, rinsed leaves, steeped 4 minutes.

BLEAH!

I don’t get along with pu-erhs, but I keep trying them. This is dark, musty and so bitter that I feel like I’ve lost a layer off my tongue.

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1 bag for 250mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

Very balanced, even a bit mild: smooth. A good tea base that, you know, tastes like TEA (way too many flavoured teas out there taste only of the flavours, or they taste of poor-quality tea and then flavours). Some copper notes: I expect it’s mostly a Ceylon base. The cardamon gives a lovely sharp aroma but does not assault the tongue. I am enjoying this in the late afternoons and early evenings. For a bagged tea, it’s excellent.

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9

1 tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drink bare.

Well, it smells like a nice Yunnan tea. Getting some pepper notes as it cools, but that’s about all. Flat and dull. A real disappointment.

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15

1 tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped four minutes.

Dark and strong. I can barely see to the bottom of the cup. Now, I like a strong black tea, but this is intense. Bitter, too. I’m surprised. Strong and bitter cocoa notes, hard mineral finish. No pepper, no honey.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Man, this one will be hard to finish. It’s almost tarry. I hope it at least packs some caffeine. Maybe I’d like this early in the morning, when I’m more desperate for a caffeine hit than for a nuanced tea. Maybe.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Yeah, I can’t finish this. HARSH.

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Profile

Bio

Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Oolongs and blacks are my favourites.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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