288 Tasting Notes
Thank you, Bonnie, for yet another interesting sample. I would not normally choose a flavoured tea when there are so many flavours of unflavoured tea, but Bonnie sent me a sample and it would be rude not to try it! ;-)
Opening the bag, I am met with a strong chocolate and orange smell. Interesting. So, the liquor is a beautiful orangey-red colour, becoming close to a dark chocolatey brown as it fills up the cup. It smells of chocolate. The orange is almost an undertone. Tasting it, the chocolate dominates once more, but this time the orange and the earthy notes of the puerh are more dominant too. There is even a slight hint of chilli spice. I like this. It is like drinking a Terry’s Chocolate Orange with added puerh. Yes, I don’t think I would want to drink this every day but I could definitely see getting some of this in for an occasional treat.
Sample from Bonnie. Thank you, Bonnie.
It’s citrussy with a golden orange liquor. It leaves me feeling calm and happy. There’s a hint of something else at the back of the flavour but I cannot for the life of me think what it is. It’s clearly a very nice Darjeeling and I really should learn to drink it, not inhale it. Oops. That hurt a bit. Ok, better now. Let’s try again. Yes, it is smooth and easy to drink. It’s what I expect of a Darjeeling. Not my absolute favourite Darjeeling but definitely worth trying, if you have not already.
Swap from Bonnie. Thank you, Bonnie, this is muchly appreciated.
A parcel of tea samples arrived on Monday (it is now Wednesday) containing a large range of teas. Naturally I was excited to try them all out, but I wanted to finish the samples that Teavivre had sent me first because they had been around longer, so yesterday I wrote them up. Now on to Bonnie’s teas. Where to start? I had no preference and all excited me equally, so I picked a bag at random. It was this Gyokuro.
The leaves were a dark green, like pine needles. They danced in the hot water and an aroma of fresh greens wafted up to me as I waited for the tea to brew. Visually this tea is brilliant. So, on to the tasting. Very nice. It is smooth with quite a thick buttery liquor. The flavour is a bit like asparagus to me. It is very pleasant. Good tea. I think that I have enough to try this under ice next time. That will be an interesting experiment.
Free sample from Teavivre
Back to reviewing teas after a few days off. This is the last of my samples from Teavivre and it is one that was well worth waiting for. I love the flat leaf and bud. The aroma of the dry leaf is sweet and nutty. The tea brews into a light yellow liquor and the taste is smooth, sweet, slightly nutty with a slight vegetal hint. The second steeping is as good as the first. I wonder how the third will be. I am really enjoying this tea.
Free sample from Teavivre
Opening the packet I am met with a milky. slightly floral aroma and the sight of beautiful dark green nuggets of tea highlighted by lighter yellowish green elements and some browns. Already I am excited by this tea. It looks great and the aroma is intriguing.
The first cup is creamy and smooth with a strong milky flavour, which seemed to dominate the cup. I’m not sure what else there was in there because I was distracted by the strength of the milkiness.
The second cup has a less overpowering milkiness to it. It is there in the background more as a silky, smooth highlighter for the more vegetal taste that is now coming forward.
I don’t really have enough reference points to describe this tea, I think, but I can say that I have really enjoyed it. I doubt I would drink it every day though. It seems more like a tea to be enjoyed when the mood comes upon me. Thank you, Teavivre, for another great and different tea.
Free sample from Teavivre
I thought I would try this one yesterday and have been trying to find the right words to describe it ever since. Reading through the tasting notes of others, I find little that really describes what I got from this tea. To be honest, I find describing this tea very difficult. Still, here goes.
The tea arrives in the pot as little solid nuggets of green. The remind me of space rocks or some other similar sweets. The aroma is strong and sweet, not like the dry woody smell that I associate with ginseng. It has a toasty quality to it that is not unpleasant and a warm feel to it.
Steeping the tea brings out the warmth and the toasty quality more. The first sip is odd. I had not been sure what to expect and the roasted, toasty quality of the flavour is unusual for me, different from other teas with that roasted flavour. I warm to the taste as I sip the tea more. Once I get past my lack of familiarity with the taste, I begin to notice the ginseng flavour, but sweeter and less woody than I would have expected. The roasting is present still, but I think I can detect aniseed underneath it all and a bit of camphor or eucalyptus. It is really very pleasant but the real strength of the tea hits me only a few minutes after I have finished the first cup. Suddenly my tongue is coated with a warmth and flavour that I can only describe as like a Fisherman’s Friend, a type of menthol lozenge. My tongue is toasty warm in a good way, with the camphor/eucalyptus and aniseed flavours dancing around on it. There is a hint of capsicum to it too that enhances all the other flavours. This aftertaste was awesome and it went on for ages, a good 45 minutes or more. It was really quite incredible. Thank you, Teavivre, for letting me try such a brilliant tea.
Free sample from Teavivre
The dry leaf has the heady aroma of a high quality florist’s shop (like my wife’s shop! :-) ). The jasmine aroma is strong with an element of hay behind it. The leaves are, well, silvery and very pleasing to look at. They are soft to the touch.
Brewing the tea in my small glass teapot I am rewarded with a jasmine aroma wafting off the leaves and a little forest of needles balanced delicately in the hot water. The liquor is almost clear, the jasmine smell is, how best to describe it, round. Yes, it has a roundedness (is that a word?) to it that transfers to the flavour. The tea is light. It makes my tongue tingle even after the tea has been swallowed. Yet still it has a strong, round flavour that is very pleasant. The jasmine is at the forefront of that flavour and I now feel like I am breathing out delicate jasmine aroma all around me. This is another great tea from Teavivre.
Three new Darjeelings turned up on my doorstep today. It’s almost as if I ordered them!
Anyway, ordered on Tuesday, arrived on Thursday. Thank you, Wan Ling, for getting them to me so quickly. I was torn about which to try first so I put all three boxes in front of me, closed my eyes and picked one at random. After managing to select my desk lamp, a pen and a book, I eventually managed to put my hands on this one.
The dry leaves vary from a light olive colour through to a brownish green. They are whole and curly with a thick floral aroma. When steeped they unfurl to reveal quite a lot of whole leaves. The aroma is still floral, that thick heady scent of a flower meadow, I think. Tasting the tea seems to get every part of my tongue going. It is light, refreshing, floral. There is a hint of something darker lurking in there, a slight astringency maybe, that lends itself well to extending the aftertaste so that I enjoy the tea for a fair while after I have swallowed it. I breathe in and out so that the air across my tongue and the aroma on my breath enhances that aftertaste. This tea makes me feel good and also demonstrates beautifully why Darjeeling is the Champagne of teas. It has that same light, bubbly feelgood factor. I hope the other two are as good or better. I’m positively giddy about trying them!