240 Tasting Notes
Spent yesterday and today on a Lapsang Souchong binge. I really like this tea, as my previous tasting notes will tell you. I’m not finding much time to sit and think about teas at the moment so focusing on one I know well gives me the pleasure of the tea without the pain of trying to write a detailed tasting note. Yummy smoky bacon, pine and camp-fire goodness. Slurp!
I have never really been a fan of flavoured teas but a friend gave me a sample of this, so I thought I would give it a try. It smells really strongly of sticky toffee pudding so that is a good start. Steve had told me that he found the tea disappointing so I loaded the teapot with more tea than I would otherwise have done and poured on the water. Waves of sticky toffee pudding smell arose from the pot. Good start. After a longer than usual steep, I was able to taste the tea. The base tea is malty and rich (possibly an Assam?), and the gingery sweetness of the pudding comes through with an element of dates. It was really quite good while hot and definitely reflected the name in its flavour, but as it cooled it quickly became bitter and less palatable. I’ve finished the sample now but might be tempted to buy a packet for myself if passing a Whittards, although I do wonder if its sugary sweetness would pall after a while.
Flavors: Caramel, Dates
I was given a packet of this by a good friend who has decided she does not like puerh teas. This is naturally a deplorable occurrence, but one which has worked significantly to my advantage, because this loose puerh is rather good. I had to guess a bit about quantities and steeping time but previous experience stood me in good stead. As a result, when I drank this tea I got a solid hit of honey and grape followed by a tongue-puckering, grape-like dryness in the aftertaste. Further resteepings led to a mellowing of the honey flavour, but the grape persisted throughout as did the astringency. Beyond the flavour, this tea has happy and relaxed qi. It filled me with a sense of well-being after I drank it, which was most welcome. One thing I did not notice was the bitterness that the company’s website suggested should be there. I’m not going to complain about that though. This tea is a tea you experience with your whole body and the lack of the advertised bitterness does not detract from that experience.
Flavors: Grapes, Honey
Sunday morning tea is often a flowering tea in our house. I picked this practically at random from my tin of Teavivre’s flowering teas. The bloom is lovely and reminiscent of spring. It displays well in the glass teapot. The liquor is pale, buttery and with a hint of pepper. It’s sweet and refreshing, and you can really taste the silver needles in it.
Flavors: Butter, Peppercorn
I was kindly sent a sample of this tea by a fellow nameless Steepsterite and finally have a chance to try it, having had a throat infection for a week and a half. Tea tasting has not really been on the menu for a while, because I have had my head down finishing my thesis, so it is a real pleasure to come back to it with a solid shu.
The dry leaf smells like Shu with no fishiness or other unpleasant aromas. It’s quite a woody aroma like cedar or something similar. The liquor is medium bodied and dark. The same aroma of cedar is continued in the aroma of the liquor, and also into the taste. It is woody and earthy with a citrus finish that lasts on the tongue and an undertone of cinnamon. All in all a pleasant tea that would be welcome at most times.
Flavors: Cedar, Cinnamon, Earth, Wood
I received a sample of this as a present from a kind fellow steepsterite (steepsterer?) and have had it on the go for the past three days. It’s smooth with a little edge of something like camphor. There’s a richness to the liquor that I like, and it suits my need in the morning for something thicker than the usual teas. It seems to have reasonably good endurance too, hence it has lasted well and the leaf is only now reaching the end of its life.