412 Tasting Notes
I got this from a very generous tea swap with DigniTea. Thanks!
I spent 4 hours (!) at the hairdresser’s yesterday, and I was super tired by the time we were done. I really wanted to crash, but I had a running group meet in about an hour, and by God was I not going to miss that because of HAIR. So I looked for something strong and tasty to get me going, and spotted this in the lovely box that DigniTea sent me.
I’ve had a taste of this before from my swap with Terri a while back, so I knew that I’d like it, and boy is it good. Strong, malty, gorgeous leaves. It totally saved me yesterday, and I’m very grateful for it. :)
I’ve got about two, maybe three steepings left of this tea. A very unique black that is well worth adding to your cart on your next Yunnan Sourcing purchase. The tea is astringent, and the dry leaves remind me of Jin Jun Mei, but the flavour is closer to Golden Monkey than it is to Jin Jun Mei. There’s more of a sweet potato flavour to it than a nutty or chocolatey one. Works well as a post lunch/dinner tea.
Flavors: Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes
As I was cleaning my tea cupboard, I stumbled across this – a leftover from my swap with the wonderful Terri. There was just enough left for a brew, so I gave it a go. My guess is that it’s a Ceylon, due to the smell, taste and strong astringency of the cup. The dry leaves smell like dark raisins, or dried blueberries – sweet and fruity. The taste echoes the smell, but with enough astringency to make your mouth both feel dry and water at the same time. Not for those who don’t enjoy astringent tea. This tea benefits from some kind of sweetening, and I think that it may hold up well to milk too.
400th steeping note! My, time does fly on steepster. :)
Tried some more of this last night. I remain unimpressed. It would have gotten a higher rating if it weren’t for the ridiculous marketing and the outrageous price. As it is, it is a pretentious blend that could have been better if it would have spent less time preening itself and more time balancing its flavours.
This tea, with a better choice of a darjeeling base, and a better price, is called “Darjeeling Earl Grey” and is sold by a company called Ronnefeldt. Buy it from them.
I have had two steepings of this, one plain, and one with milk and sugar. This is one of my best and most unique Assams, although not one of my strongest ones. It is also a very attractive tea, with golden tips winking between the dusky recesses of the dark brown brothers. A very smooth Assam, with a wonderful maltiness to it and no astringency whatsoever – which makes it great for plain drinking. It can hold its own w/ milk and sugar, but this is one of those rarer cases where an Assam is better on its own than with friends.
What else can I say? Ah, it comes from a beautiful and very friendly tea shop called Postcard Teas, right off Oxford Street in London. I’ve raved about them before, and will probably do so again. And sadly, like many of my favourites, it is out of stock and there is no plan to restock it in the foreseeable future. Postcard Teas have replaced all their black tea providers, which is a shame, since they were brilliant. However, their new black tea selection is also very good, so not all is lost :)
Brewed a batch of this midmorning. It is a ceylon. It is a very good example of a ceylon, but it is, nevertheless, ceylon-y to its core. It is not a Piccadilly Blend kind of ceylon, that is nice and friendly to newcomers to the ceylon world. Oh no. It assumes that you knew what you were getting yourself into when you took the first sip. Think about juicy, flavoursome, fragrant plums, that are the very plum of plums – but also have that wonderful tanginess that certain plums have that puts non plum people off plums for good? Well this is just like that. And there’s also something plum-y in its flavour.
I like plums.
I bought this less than a month ago, and I’m nearly through a 125g bag. That’s how much I love it. And this is me we are talking about – I hate fruity, non-tea, “tea” thingies like this. But I love love love this. Whittards hits a home run every once in a while, which makes me come back to them, despite their other misses. This is a perfectly balanced apple and elderflower “tea”, and it cold brews like a dream. Like a dream I say. I have a bottle of it cold brewing constantly in my fridge, and it is the most refreshing evening pick me up that you have ever tasted. I guarantee that.
I had to be at work before 7 AM today, so after arriving at 6:40AM to the office (an ungodly hour to be at work in), I decided that I needed a brew. Problem: cup needed washing but the kitchenette was locked, no time for proper brew-basket brewing, and I was in dire need of something POWERFUL.
Solution: Yorkshire Tea in teabags.
This is my emergency tea stash, for emergencies such as these. I had a bit of milk left over in the fridge, some hot water from the “water bar” (which does not boil water to 100 C, I know for a fact. Boo), and a paper cup of happiness kept me company as I sleepily poked at the keyboard.
I don’t remember drinking so much of this tea, but I’m well on my way to running out. This is another one of Yunnan Sourcing’s solid, interesting Chinese blacks. If you’ve only had Assam and Ceylons, go to Yunnan Sourcing, randomly pick a few black teas, and sit back and enjoy the ride. You can’t go very very wrong with their black tea selection, and the prices are more than decent – allowing for quite a bit of experimentation, without having your bank manager pick up the phone.
This tea seems very delicate and innocuous when dry, but through the magic power of hot water turns into quite a beasty. On the more powerful scale of Chinese teas (weaker than Assam, so don’t run away if you’re scared of strong teas), it is malty, fruity, with spice and seduction in the recesses. A tea to sip before an adventurous evening in an exotic part of town, or to have with a new foreign delicacy. Just be very, very careful not to overgrew it. It does bite.
This is a blend of Darjeeling with Bergamot, fancily named after Prince George’s Christening – for the tourists. It epitomizes all that has gone wrong with F&M’s tea over the last few years. They could have called it “Darjeeling Earl Grey”. They could have called it “Light Earl Grey” or “Special Earl Grey”. They could even have called it “Earl Grey Superb”. That would at least give you an inkling to what’s in the tin. But F&M’s marketing department seems hell-bent on touting their connections with the Royal family, instead of focusing on really good and unique tea. As it is, it’s an Earl Grey Darj, which is a combination that I’ve already tasted from Ronnefeldt. The two go together well, but R does the combination more justice. F&M’s is slightly rougher, with the Earl Grey and the Darjeeling not really married together in harmony.
It’s an 80 from me, because I happen to love the combination, and the caddy is, as usual, pretty great. 5 points off for the price and pretentiousness, and no recommendation – you can get better for less from Ronnefeldt.