116 Tasting Notes
Dry: Short black tea leaves. Unremarkable look, but smells very strongly of stone fruits (most notably cherries) in the dry leaf.
Steeped: Medium brown clear liquor. The rich fruit fragrance lingers around the tea pot and tea cup and is more lovely with the added scent of the brewed leaf.
Taste: This is a nice fruity dessert or afternoon tea. It is fresh and sweet with dominant cherry and apricot notes. I am not tasting any plum and I can’t barely taste the black tea either. I’d not be able to identify what kind of tea went into this if my life depended on it other than noting that it is very mild-mannered. That said, the steeped result is still quite pleasant and I bet it would be brilliant iced. I am enjoying my sample, but I don’t think this would be a reorder. When I am looking for a stone fruit-based tea, I almost always reach for Harney’s Paris.
Dry: Long and luscious twisty black leaves. Some of them have a touch of rust to mahogany at the tip of the twist. They smell subtly sweet, dark, and malty. It is unassuming in fragrance, keeping its true flavorful nature hidden within the twists and turns of the lovely leaf until brewed.
Steeped: Clear dark brown liquor. As the leaves unfurl, it is apparent from the lovely aroma of rich honey and malt wafting from the teapot that something something special is happening. Good morning, indeed!
Taste: Oh, this tea. Rich, dark, honeyed malt with a lingering sweetness that reminds me of oozing caramel. Each sip is a new experience of warm, smooth, sweet flavor profiles. Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black, how can you be so lovely? I used to have just one true love in a straight black tea when I found Laoshan Black, but now there is a tea love triangle in my life. This one is just as amazing in an entirely different flavor profile and I love it!
“What a curious plan!”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Dry: This is one of the prettiest teas I have in the cupboard right now. 10/10 on presentation. Huge pieces of chamomile with entire intact flowers along with cacao nibs, marigold petals, spearmint, and large lovely twisty tea leaves. I’ve never tried Wuyi Big Red Robe before this, but Laoshan Black is my favorite straight black tea. The dry leaf smells mainly of spearmint, so I was slightly concerned that the mint took over in the bag initially.
Steeped: I rinsed the leaves before steeping per the instructions and the tea itself is a light gold clear liquor. The steeped fragrance is different than I expected- a rich and interesting blend of my favorite tea with playful hints of mintiness, chocolate, and spices like cinnamon.
Taste: This tea is perfectly named! The first sip tastes like a smooth spearmint blend. Along the tongue, the tea changes into something else with hints of cacao and chamomile, rich and smooth. In the aftertaste, I still taste cinnamon and a hint of something else more savory- maybe another spice or notes from the base teas. It is a very interesting and enjoyable brew. Additionally, it holds up to multiple steeps and each one yields something a little bit different- more chocolate here, more chamomile there, more spices, etc. In the summer, I imagine it would be quite tasty iced. Overall, I am very glad I tried it and have sincerely enjoyed the experience. This is my first blend from Verdant and I look forward to trying others in the future.
Dry: This is a very pretty dry leaf with different colored flower petals (I can see cornflower for sure). It smells rich and creamy, with a nutty vanilla fragrance.
Steeped: Medium clear red-brown liquor. Still has that soft and sweet vanilla-nut blended fragrance, except now I also smell Darjeeling muscatel with a buttery background. I can see how this is called Irish Cream because the smell reminds me in a subtle way of Bailey’s.
Taste: This one is nommy and I am enjoying it, but I am not really getting cheesecake or Irish cream on the palate at all. Instead I believe the base is the main feature, which is an excellent Darjeeling as it turns out. Sweet with a hint of sour and astringency, this reminds me dead on of a good quality Darjeeling with the muscatel background. There is also that same nut aroma/flavor and buttery notes, which from the description, sounds more like the base tea than the flavored one, too. I will say that at the end of each sip there is a nice dose of cream to enjoy that is clearly not the stand-alone base. I drank this one straight and I am not sure I would enjoy it as much with sugar as I think the sweetness could somewhat obscure the dessert nuances. Glad I was able to try this- what an interesting blend!
I can’t believe I drank all of this (today is a sipdown) without ever actually reviewing it. I am the worst Steepster person ever considering how much I like this tea.
Now that we’ve established that, on to an actual review. :)
Dry: Tiny leaf pieces and CTC balls in a blend of Ceylon, Assam, and Scottish magic. That’s not an ingredient? I am pretty sure it is. The dry tea smells like a pleasantly strong breakfast blend.
Steeped: Dark brown clear liquor. Some of the dry bits are so small that they fit through the teeny holes in the infuser, so there is a dark swirl at the bottom of the teacup. Smells robust.
Taste: My favorite strong straight black morning tea. It is just perfect. I’ve tried a number of breakfast teas, but I always come back to this one. Smooth, rich, full-bodied. I normally drink it with milk and it does great with honey and other additives as well, but today I am drinking it straight and it is wonderful, with just the tiniest hint of astringency at the end of each sip. I could (and sometimes do) drink it every morning.
Must. Order. More!
Happy New Year!
This tea is another sipdown. I brewed it overleafed today to use up the last little bit and added a dash of 2% milk. Yum! I am sad that it will be gone, but also glad that I can buy it again this year before Fall when I am having a craving (unlike with David’s Pumpkin Chai). Also good to clear a tiny bit more space in the cupboard, which is currently overflowing.
I haven’t posted reviews yet, but I also tried both of Butiki’s pumpkin blends over the past week and so far I still like this one better. I am going to play with the steeping parameters and additions though before I post about ’em and see if I can find the magic that must be lurking within those lovely leaves.
Sipdown! I’ve been super busy the past few weeks between working over the holidays (nurses don’t get vacation breaks) and trying to do the family thing. I’ve had a lot of new tea that I haven’t had time to review (notably Butiki and Verdant), so hopefully I can start to catch up now on Steepster.
Anyhoo, this tea has been challenging to say the least. I finally figured out that one of the big problems was that the salt all settled completely at the bottom of the bag. Of course I didn’t realize this until I neared the end of the supply and saw the big pile of white flakes sitting there. It improved dramatically with the addition of the salt. I believe ultimately that I prefer Della Terra’s Caramel Creme to David’s Salted Caramel, but I finished a 50g bag so it was hardly undrinkable. Bumping up the rating a bit to reflect my final thoughts.
Dry: Short black loose leaf blended with bits of graham cookies, flower petals, and big chunks of freeze-dried strawberries. This smells very much like sweetened strawberries right out of the bag, similar to strawberry shortcake ingredients to my nose.
Steeped: Light brown liquor with a bit of a film, but smells devine. Fresh strawberry aroma with a creamy backdrop.
Taste: My grandmother (may she rest in peace) used to make the most delicious rhubarb pies. I never asked her for that particular recipe unfortunately, but the good news is that this tea reminds me very much of it! Somehow this tea manages to taste like sweet strawberries with actual pie crust notes and a tiny hint of tartness, as if from rhubarb. The base is tasty as well. No strong spicy notes also make me happy as many teas are just way too cinnamon for my liking. Not this one though. It is wonderful! This is also my first Butiki tea and the first strawberry tea I’ve actually enjoyed (doesn’t taste artificial). Yum!
Dry: Dark long twisty leaves with some golden tips. Light and fluffy with a potent fragrance of malt and roasted sweet potato goodness.
Steeped: Brewed Western style in a large infuser to give these lovely leaves room to expand. I brewed up 24oz this morning and overleafed slightly because I did not have my computer on yet to check the parameters. Then to top it off I oversteeped by at least 1 full minute. Fortunately, the tea did not give me any trouble over it and is a rich red-brown clear liquor. The aroma is dark chocolate and malt. Delicious! I will try it the way it is supposed to be brewed next time, but I am really happy with the result this morning so we will see which way ends up more flavorful.
Taste: I am amazed again with this one just as with Laoshan Black. This tea brings to mind sweet potato and malt across the palate with the first sip. There is a thick and satisfying mouthfeel that reminds me of dark chocolate and honey blended in as well. No bitterness and no intense sweetness either- just balanced, mild, and beautiful flavors that make every sip an experience instead of just a morning wake-up.
I have only tried this one and Laoshan Black from Verdant so far, but I am very impressed and think that both of these teas will probably need to be staples in the cupboard. So good!
This tea is delicious! Dark chocolate and fresh-baked bread. Love!
I just got my wisdom teeth out a few hours ago though so I will write a real review when I am back from Wonderland.
“I’m afraid I can’t explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland