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Recent Tasting Notes
Never been a fan of unflavored black teas in general, but this one is not as sharp or “edgy” as most blacks that I’ve had. It’s a solid tea… malty, a little bit of smoke (not too much—I don’t really like smoke) with a malty, almost floral finish.
I drink it plain right when I get in to work or in the afternoons when I need a little somethin’ somethin’ to help me finish the day.
I am absolutely stunned by the amount of this tea used that other have logged. It seems to be a pretty forgiving brew. I used 6 balls to brew a one pint pot this morning. I decided to try a longer steep, to see if I could get a stronger brew that way. Sorry, just my cheapskate nature showing. Anyway, the tea tolerates a long brew well, and did not develop any bitter or acid flavors. I drank my first cup with milk and sugar, which is not the usual way I take my tea but I was in the mood for it, and it was absolutely delicious. The second cup I took black, and it, too was delicious. Then I prepared a second steep, again brewed for six minutes. It was a touch weaker, but still good.
It makes sense to me that a longer steep would work well with this tea, as it takes some time to unfold, and thus for all of the leaves to come into contact with the water. A shorter steep might very well require more tea to make a tasty cup.
I’ve prepared this the last two mornings – short on sleep and not ready to face the day. This tea has a strong dark color, and a smooth, malty, smoky taste that makes it easier to face the day. I usually want my morning cup to be brighter and more cheery, but this is a good tea to relax with.
And I still think watching the tea balls unfold is great entertainment. Or, at least, as much entertainment as I am up for this morning.
I opened the tin last night, and my first thought was "rabbit droppings! I used 5 balls for a small (about 16 oz) teapot. Mmm – smooth, malty, luxurious dark tea. I had this with a luxurious breakfast this morning – scrambled eggs with fines herbes, fresh figs and grapes with wheat toast. This is the life!
OK. It’s official. I think I have too many favorite teas. This is, or at least I though, my favorite unflavored oolong but I haven’t been drinking it because I’ve been drinking white, green, and chai teas which have always been my preference over oolongs (flavored or not).
When I opened the tin, I was also afraid that my daring tea tasting may have gotten me in trouble. The last time I had this I had not yet tried pu erh, but after trying their Pu Erh Dante, I’ve discovered I HATE pu erh. I don’t remember this smelling like pu erh, but it does. Or more accurately a green tea/pu erh blend.
I steeped 2.25g of tea leaves in 6oz of purified water heated to 195 degrees F for 5 min.
As it steeps the liquor turns a golden amber and the leaves floating on top of the water makes it kind of look like insects are trapped in it.
I was right. It does taste like pu erh although not a strong one- possibly a black/pu erh blend which is odd based on how it looked in the tin.
I’m not sure how I feel about this tea. 2nd infusion might tell me more.
My last cup from this sample tin. Very happy with this white. All the adjectives I’ve used in the past still apply: delicate, sweet, floral. This is a version of white peony (which I love) and is like a white peony with all of its positive traits amplified but still balanced. (If that doesn’t make sense, just think white peony, but better.)
When I took the cover off the tin I immediately smelled the apple. It kind of smelled like their sour apple (which tastes nothing like apple)… I wonder if they use granny smith apples?
I went against the directions and just used the common measurement of 1 teaspoon per 6oz of purified boiling water and steeped it for 5 min.
The liquour was quite dark, but not as dark as some black teas… probably because the spices took up some of the space that would have otherwise been occupied by tea leaves when I measured it.
The first thing I could smell was the apple, followed by the warm spices, then fainly followed by ceylon tea.
This tea is spot on given the title. The first thing that hits my tongue is the crispness of the apple, then the spice, but the spice doesn’t burn. I can even faintly taste the black tea.
The 2nd infusion (w/ an increase in steeping time of 1 min) is very close to the strength and flavor balance of the 1st infusion, but the 3rd one is mostly consumed by the spices. I personally probably wouldn’t do the 3rd infusion, it just tastes like a basic unflavored chai.
Serving suggestions: Unsweetened. Instead of milk like the traditional chai, I’d steep it in apple juice or apple cider (hard or not). Maybe blend it w/ a caramel black tea?