243 Tasting Notes
This morning, when my alarm went off, I was absolutely positive it was Sunday, and furious for making myself wake up so early on a Sunday. About a half hour later, I realized, it’s Monday, and after my ten day vacation, it was time to get back to work…
So needless to say, I desperately needed a pick-me-up and it came today in the form of my new favorite caffeinated friend: Lapsang Souchong. The first pot I absolutely downed, couldn’t really even rate it based on how fast I drank it. But once I was awake, I was able to brew up some more and try and get a good sampling for a rating.
So my first infusion: 5 minutes, hot water, no additives, was downed with no rating. Sorry.
Second infusion of the same basket: 4 minutes, no additives. The smell is perfect, the liquor is spot-on, however, the flavor is a little weaker than I expected (I tend to compare all Lapsangs to Golden Moon’s). A little concerned at this moment, I decided to make a fresh pot with new leaves. This time taking careful notes as I do.
The leaves are small and dark, curled tightly, with the usual smokey aroma. Infused 5 minutes, no additives. The flavor is stronger, more what I expected, yet it is still lesser than GM and Adagio. Overall, I think this might be a good thing. When I say “lesser” I mean that the smokiness is not as strong, it is not kick-you-in-the-face smokey, it is slightly smoked, like the scent left on your clothes after a camp fire a few days ago. It is a distant smokey, an aged smokey, this gives a chance for more of the tea to shine through: a little astringent, definitely black tea, yet crisp and clean, the hint of smoke, the slight earthy natural flavor. Overall, good.
Since I got what I wanted, I decided one more infusion from this basket was worth a shot. Hot, 4 minutes, added milk (no sweetener). The milk made it creamy, and subdued the smokey flavor a little bit more, but overall it was more of the same. Cleaner tea taste, slight smoke, slight earth, a little less strong than I would have liked.
To get the stronger smokiness in the tea, I will probably aim for longer infusion times in the future, but to all those who do not like the smoke, or want a more subdued smoke, I think this tea might be more of what you are looking for.
In the end, I enjoyed this tea, I will enjoy finishing the tin of it.
I have been drinking this for the past three or four days (multiple bottles, I admit) because it was the only non-sweetened iced tea available in the area. Imagine my surprise when I came on Steepster to see a fresh review of it…
The color is light, the aroma is faint jasmine. Enjoyed cold from the bottle. Drinking straight from the bottle interferes slightly with the bouquet from the tea, but I do not think it hurts the flavor. The flavor is faint jasmine but not obtrusive, it is light and airy, green tea, no vegetal just jasmine. The unsweetened is also very enjoyable, the jasmine brings enough to the slightly floral jasmine that it is all the sweetness you need without any additives. Overall, very good.
So I’m in Florida on vaca and I have to say that I’m pretty sure security went through my checked bag like twice because of all the tea in there, haha. Honestly though, I brought a full box of these (start the day off right you know?) and I my hotel is right next to a mall. And in that mall? A Tavalon store!! So you might not here from me a lot, but I will have much to post when I get back :)
See you all soon Steepsterites!
I ordered this the other day when it was on the Steepster Select deal. Not surprisingly, I received it the very next day because I live in the same state…
First, I have to say, that the tea is really packed in this tin, not that it is crushed, it is loosely in the tin and has room to move, but man, did they fill the tin, as in, I opened it up to smell it and lost some tea. Fantasticly full :)
Second, kudos to you Leafspa, you did a fantastic job advertising, you really got your name out there and then with this fantastic deal on Steepster Select (half price tea, how could I say no?) you sealed the deal.
Thirdly, the packaging is the most detailed I have ever seen. The label on the tin has everything you could possibly want to know about the tea. I was especially impressed with the infusion instructions and a warning so you do not oversteep: because as the package spelled-out “tea will become bitter”.
I brewed two scoops in my 22 ounce beehouse pot. Brewed 2 minutes, hot, no additives. This tea is very good. The leaves are definitely high quality, they are mixed gold and black curls of tea. The smell is peppery and black tea. The infusion makes a copper colored liquor. The aroma is again, peppery, black, a little earthy and distinctly Yunnan tea. The tea flavor is delicious; earthy black tea, with a peppery note coming up at the end of the mouthfull and finishing with a slight aftertaste (of pepper).
I did not get the smokiness I was hoping to get like I did with The Tiger, but I think that might be from infusion time. I will rebrew this again and see if I can get the smokey flavor I so desire. Overall, very good tea, definitely worth trying.
Backlogging again. I am unsure if I am doing this correctly, I brewed the tea, hot no additives, 2.5 minutes.
I can definitely smell the puffed/toasted rice in the tea pot, but the steeped leaves now have a bitter aroma, I think I may have oversteeped. The bitterness was not found in the tea. The tea has a few layers of flavor: first the toasty rice, then a sweet green, followed by a mellow nut flavor. I drank the pot (22 ounces) over about an hour. The first cup was delicious, the second was alright, then the third I was starting to get that bitter flavor.
Maybe I need to drink this hot? Any suggestions?
Overall, it was not bad, but the bitterness is disappointing, I wish the toasty-rice flavor would remain uncompromised.
Backlogging from yesterday. There is not a lot to say about this, I have already rated it, that did not change, but I can add how wonderfully this went with breakfast. I usually do not address what I am eating with the tea, however, in this case, the tea greatly complimented the food, so it is worth mentioning:
The brew, 4.5 minutes, hot with no additives went extremely well with breakfast: cheddar cheese grits. I feel the rich smoky aroma, with the full bodied black tea, seasoned with some unexpected sweetness and more of the smokiness definitely helped bring out the flavors in breakfast.
Since everyone has been posting about this, I broke my own rule and opened this one up without finishing the appropriate teas in line and…I’m SO GLAD I DID!
I like matcha, and as we know from my previous posts, I really like to put my matcha in anything that is not water: yogurt, ice cream, protein shakes, milk, juice, so on and so forth. However, I always try it in water before experimenting.
I made this one in my new fancy matcha bowl with whisk, hot water, no additives, 1/4 teaspoon matcha, 4 ounces of hot water, whisked one minute. Did not get this one to foam up in my matcha bowl, but let’s be honest, I am probably doing it wrong. Anyway, no worries, the matcha itself smelled deliciously like strawberries and barely at all like matcha. First sip: oh there is the matcha, it tastes mostly like typical, with a kick of the usual vegetal green and bitter matcha, then there is the sweet soft flavor of strawberries. Fantastic. I usually drink these pretty fast so that they do not settle too much, but I definitely enjoyed it.
Second bowl: made with Vanilla Soy milk. I used the same amount of matcha (1/4 teaspoon, I do not have the fancy matcha spoon/scoop thing) with cold Soy Milk. This is easier with room temperature soy milk (as in just opened the box) because it does not clump as much, but with the appropriate amount of whisking, cold soy milk is not an issue. I whisked this close to two minutes, and it foamed! Yay! The vanilla in the soy milk definitely makes this a sweeter matcha, the milk also makes it thicker than when it is made with water. Overall, this is how I am going to enjoy more of this.
I am really enjoying the flavored matchas, this one is my new favorite, I found the matca to be a little too bitter and was hesitant to mix it with my dairy products, of course I found out that it was fine to do so, but I am just more comfortable mixing strawberries with creaminess from varied dairy.
I have a freezer full of frozen berries, and one cup of plain yogurt in the fridge next to my premade protein shakes (vanilla and strawberry). Will definitely be making these over the next few days and let you know! Enjoy!
I bought a sample of this from Adagio because I love using it to blend teas. The tea itself is made up of the small red-brown splinters similar to that of a rooibos, with a vanilla aroma.
I brewed tea, hot, no additives for seven minutes. The tea itself is a little bitter, but plain, light, rooibos-esq, with vanilla flavor. As I said, it is unfortunately a little tart/bitter in the front. However, the vanilla flavor and creaminess makes it very good.
I like to blend this one with other teas. Mates, chais, anything spiced. Adding the honeybush vanilla just mellows out any overwhelming flavors, brightens any underlying flavors and adds an overall creaminess with a slight vanilla flavor.
Overall, pretty good, especially for blending.
I’m not going to lie, I was really in the mood for coconuts for most of today. So I actually started my day with a pot of this, made it hot, with a tiny bit of half and half in each cup.
The tea is of course coconut with some nutty taste, the black and rooibos blend nicely together and then the half and half adds a smooth creaminess that it was otherwise missing.
Still one of my favorites :)