64 Tasting Notes
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I have to admit – I was anxious to try Dragonwell, and bought this one because I liked the tin and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a tea I wasn’t sure about. I actually think it’s okay! It’s not as grassy as Japanese greens, which is a plus for me. I can definitely tell this is not high quality due to the sticks mixed in, but it tastes okay. The leaves expand nicely and look much happier after brewing. I will definitely try the more expensive Lung Ching at my Asian market next time. For now, I’ll just drink this not-so-bad-but-not-great version. The tin was definitely worth the $3 I spent on this tea. I will be able to reuse it over and over.
I am very grateful that I got to try this tea from Tea At Sea – thank you very much for the sample! I got two samples that were very different to try the range of this company. This is a basic tea, but well done. I can tell that it is high quality, and has a nice bright taste.
Steep 1: Brisk! It has the classic orange pekoe smell, color, and taste, but it is more refined than others I’ve tried. It is very drinkable and comforting. It is not greatly complex, but that’s okay. I am not looking for complexity when drinking an OP. It is a nice, solid, everyday black tea. I drank it in the evening, but I can see it being a really nice afternoon tea.
Steep 2: I don’t know if I used enough leaves for my first steep, but my second was too weak to drink.
Yum! I drank this one for breakfast and it definitely had enough of a kick to get me going. I have been trying every vanilla black tea that I can get my hands on, and this one is my favorite so far. It tastes smooth, rich, and slightly nutty. I can definitely taste the almonds in it, but I’m not sure I can pick out the coconut. It just lends it a round, full taste. I will definitely buy more of this one. No bitterness, even in the rebrew. I did not need to add anything to this tea, but I might try it with some milk and/or sugar next time to see how it tastes that way. This fits my requirement of a vanilla tea that I do not need to add sugar to, but still tastes like vanilla. Well done, Short and Stout!
Flavors: Nuts, Vanilla
I’m sipping on this one right now, for breakfast. It is smooth, and tastes very much like an Earl Grey. I guess I didn’t expect it to, due to the added ingredients, but the bergamont does really shine through. It’s like “Earl Grey Plus”! I did add about 1/2 tsp sugar to bring out the sweetness of the berries. I think I’m learning to really like Earl Grey mixes. I didn’t like Earl Grey for years, so I shied away from anything with bergamont, but perhaps my tastes have changed.
Anyway! With a little sugar and a splash of almond milk I taste mostly bergamont and smooth black tea with a touch of lavender and a touch of berries. A very well-rounded tea.
I made the rebrew right away in a separate pot to compare it. I taste the berries and black tea more strongly, but perhaps that is due to not adding milk. I actually think I like the rebrew better, and may leave the milk out of this one in the future.
This is a lovely, nutty, slightly salty rooibos. The first thing I tasted was nutty, but as it cooled, I could taste the sweet caramel notes more strongly. I definitely overbrewed it (close to 10 minutes). I might try brewing it a little less strongly to see if I can get more caramel and less nuts. I can definitely taste the high-quality rooibos base, that is not woody at all. It has a very slight minty aftertaste, which is the sign of a good quality rooibos (not a real minty taste thankfully, as I cannot drink mint teas). It even resteeped – and I’m currently drinking the resteep as iced tea.
It is really good and I don’t know of any other local teas like it. Thankfully, I am just a 15 minute drive away from this shop. I look forward to trying two more of their teas this weekend, and many more in the future. I would definitely buy this again and drink it often. It is very reasonably priced as well, making it even more attractive.
Flavors: Caramel, Nuts
Yep – still don’t like this tea! I need to get rid of this, so I’m drinking it. It is sour and only a little spicy. All I taste is tartness on the first steep. Later steeps are generally nicer, but I’m on steep 1 right now, trying not to add sugar. I’ll bet Teavana makes tea like this so that you buy their rock sugar.
I drink this tea each Tuesday to make everything better. It really helps to brighten a dreary day!
After drinking it back to back with Vanilla Silk from Whistling Kettle, which is the same tea as Silk Dragon from Tea Merchant, I decided that while it is nice, it is not as nice as that tea. That one makes me say “mmmm” after each sip.
I still do love this tea, but I think I am going to rate it down just a few notches.
I steeped this Western Style, 1 tsp in 8 oz of near boiling water. I might try this gongfu style in the future, but I don’t want to use this tea too quickly, so less tea lets me have more pots.
Steep 1: 3 min. The taste profile was roasted and oolong-y. Maybe a little floral. Definitely rich and smooth with a pleasant astringent bitterness. Yum! This is definitely a high quality tea with a depth of flavor. It required attention, too. I did not want to just sip it and ignore it, it kept catching my attention!
Steep 2: 3 min. Flavors still strong – unchanged, except a touch less better and less malty. But, the flavors were still smooth and it still had a rich quality to it.
Steep 3: 3 min, 30 sec. Significantly lighter in both color and flavor. There is a touch more of a floral taste to this steeping, but overall, the flavor is a bit washed out. I left part of it in the pot to steep longer, and it came out better, but just a little astringent.
Steep 4: 5+ min. Light in color, a pleasant pale gold. Very light in flavor – pretty much just a whisper. I think I need to use more tea leaves to get more steepings. Still pleasant, though, and not bitter.
I really love this tea. It is my first experience with a Da Hong Pao, and I look forward to trying more.
This is one of my new favorite teas. I take a sip and just smile and say “mmmm” each time, involuntarily! It is such a nice mix of bright flavors with a deep sweetness of rooibos (which I love). I do have to say, if you do not like rooibos, you will not like this blend. It is the primary taste, but since I enjoy a cup of straight rooibos, I’m glad it’s one of the main flavors. I don’t really taste black tea or chamomile, individually, but that’s okay with me. I like my blends to taste like a whole new tea, I don’t need to be able to pick out the individual elements.
Bonus: this rebrews quite nicely. It also doesn’t seem to overbrew, which is good for me, since I do not like picky teas.