223 Tasting Notes
It’s kinda too hot to drink tea, but I felt like I should drink tea, so grabbed one of the last samples from Davids that I had gotten. Big Apple and an Oolong from Cavo are also on my list of trying today, so we’ll see how that goes. Lol!
Brewed this has a malty sort of smell. Taste wise it’s kinda malty-ish, earthy, with a bit of wood chip tossed in. I don’t get any chocolate, but then I don’t think I’ve ever gotten chocolate out of a straight tea before. It’s just a smidge bitter, but that could also be from overleafing since I had to guess at a 12oz portion. (My brain didn’t want to do math this morning apparently. Lol!) I’m wondering if this might be better as an iced tea, so I might let this cup go cold and then try some ice in it. Not sure yet.
All in all I’m not really that impressed with this tea. I have Yunnans in my stash that I’d reach for before I’d grab this one again. So this can go in the swap/sell bin.
(1 3/4 tsp)
Ugh! I am so pissed off at myself. I saw that Verdant’s Zhu Rong was low stock this morning when I checked before work. Running short on time I thought no way the 2lbs they have left will sell out before tonight, so I left it until I got home. Well I got online and they’re all sold out! cries Now I’m so bummed out. I was totally looking forward to trying that tea. I guess it’ll serve me right to wait when I should just get my butt in gear and put my order in. Though now I’m not even sure I want to put in the order I had planned since the Zhu Rong was the reason for ordering. x.x; We’ll just have to see I guess.
But even though it’s really too late to have tea, I decided to make myself the other half of my sample of this tea to soothe me for the moment. I don’t work tomorrow. I can deal with being up with jitters. XD
The package itself was unfortunately tainted with a nearby fruit tea, so I didn’t get much of the actual tea’s smell from the leaves.
And because I still haven’t gotten around to even trying to use my gaiwan(s) yet I brewed this up western style rather off the cuff. 3g of tea which was kinda 2 1/2 tsp, though to be honest I didn’t measure all that carefully since I wasn’t about to just put a half tsp back into the package. 3 min @ 205*ish water. Probly about 13/14 oz. Again, I just filled my mug, which I usually do just 12oz, but tonight because of the bit of extra tea I almost filled the mug to overflowing to compensate.
Brewed this is malty and roasty with a nice smokyness. At least I guess that that’s smokyness there with that different flavor. Lol. It’s got a nice silky, full sort of mouthfeel to it which is nice. Not sure about the supposed sweet potato, but considering I haven’t had sweet potato in awhile, I’m not too concerned with missing that. Same with the citrus. Not tasting it, but not missing it either.
The astringency is very mild and is really only present because I’m holding the tea in my mouth to try and figure out the tastes. I’m sure if I was just sipping at it normally that I’d hardly notice the astringency.
I will say that I added a bit of Truvia about halfway through and it toned down the roasty/smokyness a bit and make the whole tea much nicer to drink. At least for me. But then I tend to like all my teas somewhat sweet, even the ones where I guess it could be considered blasphemous to add anything to it. Lol!
If I do decide to go ahead with my order, I’ll be tossing this into it since it’s a nice tea to have around.
I could’ve sworn that I reviewed this the first time I had it, but I didn’t even find this in my cupboard much less find a review for it. Which is frustrating since I’m missing one packet and I know I drank it and could’ve sworn I reviewed it. huffs Annnnnd found my review. Apparently Steepster had either not registered that I put this in my cupboard or something. And my review was on the very last page of this tea listing. Lol.
OveralltThat’s just par for the course today since I’m missing another tea that my cupboard says I should have, but I can’t find it anywhere in my kitchen and I know I didn’t swap/sell it.
In any case, I wanted to try this (again) to compare it to Andrews&Dunham’s because I’m so tempted to order their Spring Keemun, but I’m looking for excuses not to. XD
1 3/4 tsp (half the sample packet)/12oz water @ 193*
Dry this had a slightly smoky, woody sort of scent when I opened the packet.
Brewed…I’m wondering if I should’ve used 2 tsp since this seemed kinda weak/light to me. Or maybe steeped longer (though I did use right in the middle of their recommendations). Or maybe it’s just too subtle for me. XD I get a hint of smoky sort of taste and it’s vaguely fruit/winey to me when I roll it around in my mouth. And I get a bit of woodiness. Just a smidge of astringency and no bitterness. Maybe a bit of flowery/perfume-yness at the back of my mouth.
I’m not sure what I think overall. It’s not as heavy handed/potent as some of my other teas. I’d almost be tempted to say delicate even? It’s definitely good, and I’ll finish the other half of this sample plus the last full packet, but I’m not sure if I absolutely need this in my cupboard. /ponders/
OO First tasting note for this tea? Uhhhh…./slightly intimidated/ Oh well. /Plows on/
So another one from my RiverTea order while making dinner tonight. Probly be the last tea of the night judging by how late it’s already. x.x
Not bad. It’s got the slight bitey/assertiveness like the Assam I had earlier, but without the horrible bitterness. There’s a nice malt to this one too when you roll it about on your tongue. The astringency is middling/high-ish which is tolerable. There is a slight bit of bitter as it sits, or it could be the astringency as I drink it. I’m not exactly sure, but it’s not down my throat choking like it was with the Assam.
I’m not sure about sweet or nutty as in the company’s description, or at least I don’t get anything that I would describe as either of those.
I did add a smidge of Truvia and that seemed to tame any lingering bitterness that the tea might have.
Not bad. Not one I would reorder for myself. But not bad to try.
So after the fail of RiverTea’s Assam, I grabbed this one next.
Fruity/Muscatel-ish in the package. Tastewise this reminds me strongly of DavidsTea’s Nepal black. It’s got the same musky sort of taste to it. It’s not bitter and the astringency is very low. I don’t get any sort of malt or the usual ‘black tea’ attributes that I associate with black tea. And it doesn’t seem to have any hint of a natural ‘sweetness’. This has a vine greenness to it (like the smell you get when you’re trying to twist free a squash or zucchini from the garden…anyone? XD). And it’s almost kinda tingly/peppery at the back of the sip, which is strange. though the longer I drink it, it makes my teeth feel kinda funny. Like there’s a coating on them which makes them sound/feel weird if I grind them together (not that I do this all the time, it was just to see if when I’m taste/feeling is actually a thing.) Lol!
This is a strange review, I’ll admit. But I generally type what comes to mind and hope it makes sense.
I’m not sure I’d order this again. And since I have some Nepal black in my cupboard already, I might just pass this along to someone else since it’s not really something I’d find myself drinking all that often.
Still don’t feel like flavored teas so I’m working my way through my straight stuff at the moment. My RiverTea order has been threatening to fall on my head every time I take one of my tea bins down (I have the box perched up almost 8 feet up on top of all of my bins. Lol) so I bit the bullet and brought it down to try through.
First one out of the box and honestly I’m pretty sure now that Assams just aren’t my thing. They’re too sharp/bitter/in-your-face/woodsy for me to enjoy drinking right now.
That being said, this is probly a very good example of a good Assam since it seems to meet the same tastes as all the other Assams I’ve had. Lol!
For me this tea has a dark, kinda malty scent. Taste wise, it’s bitter and astringent, and sharp in a ‘this is me!’ sort of way, not cutting sharp. The astringency is also fairly unpleasant for me, but again, that’s probly because it’s combined with that bleh bitterness.
Adding some truvia knocks down the bitterness and the whole tea turns strangly earthy and kinda tart? Hard to say if this is the actual term that I’m wanting, but for now it’ll suffice. Even with the truvia this tea didn’t turn sweet, but then I didn’t add more than 1/4 tsp of it (if that).
That being said, this branch of teas really isn’t for me. At least night straight. I think I’ve had a tea or two that has Assam within a mix of others and it’s tolerable, but this tea by itself just isn’t something that I would ever drink on its own. Maybe down the line in a few months/teas I’ll give an Assam another try to see if my tastes have changed, but at least for now I can stop ordering Assams. Lol!
Last tea of the night since it’s getting rather late.
This is nice on the front of the sip, but horribly bitter at the back. I can’t really even drink it. And the astringency is pretty awful. Maybe it’s an error on my part, but I didn’t do anything off the company’s suggestion except maybe brew a smidge cooler than recommended.
And my last Damn Fine Tea from Cavo. I figured since I just have the one left to try, might as well make it now since I’m into drinking tea right now.
This has a sweet, slightly sharp sort of smell to it. Not sharp like cutting but sharp like clean and fresh and THERE….if that makes any sense. >>
Taste wise I get a light sweet, but not in a sugar way, sort of sweetness. And a good bit of earthiness. And something kinda peppery-ish/spicy almost just at the end. No bitterness, though there’s definitely an astringency with each sip, but it’s pretty tolerable right now.
Again, not anything that makes me go ‘OMG I NEED THIS!’, but I’m glad that I gave it a try since it’s still pretty good. Just not a tea that I’d necessarily want to own full time.
Non tea related note – If anyone actually reads my silly notes and is looking to try something new musically I just listened to a band called Caravan Palace. They’re Electronica Swing and it’s pretty dang good. Lol!
This is the video that started me on the band – http://youtu.be/fBGSJ3sbivI
So another swap from Cavocorax and even though it’s pretty dang hot outside, I really wanted a cup of tea. And nothing sweet or flavored, so I grabbed this.
I get a little bit of smoke, a little bit of malt and just a smidge of astringency, which all in all isn’t too bad. It’s just got a bit woody and is a tad bitter on the back of the sip, but overall I like it. Next time I make it I think I’ll try a bit shorter of a steep to see if that makes a difference with the bitterness.
I’m not sure if I like it 4.4 ounces worth, but I’ll be finishing the rest of the swap I got and maybe consider ordering it one day if the mood (and the money) strikes me. XD
The dry of this one is strangely perfume-y and faintly caramel. But mostly I get that weird perfume sort of smell.
This translates slightly into the brew, but not as strongly as it was dry. The brew itself is also kinda funny looking. Scummy/murky with little dots of what I’d normally say was grease but know that can’t be true with a tea. I’m pretty certain that this is from the squares of caramel/toffee that was mixed in with the brew since I’ve seen similar effects from teas with sprinkles/candies/etc mixed with the blend.
I definitely get a caramel sort of taste from the brew. It’s also nicely creamy, but at the same time it’s got that watery sort of taste that I associate with watery hot cocoa/watery desserts. I’m sure this could be fixed with just upping the amount of leaf used to maybe 1.5 or even 2 tsp instead of the recommended 1 1/4 tsp. There’s also that odd perfume-y scent/taste in with the rest of the tea. But I don’t really get the ‘salted’ part of this tea at all. I could see this going well with some milk/cream or even mixed up as a latte is someone is adept at making such things. Lol.
Adding some truvia brings the caramel out a bit more but the overall wateryness of this particular cup kinda undermines the rest of it.
Not bad, certainly not as something I was able to get as such a small sample from Davids. But I probly would have been disappointed it I’d had to buy a larger amount from the website since this tea doesn’t really live up to its name.