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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m getting more of a flavor this time than I did the first time around. Honestly, the main flavor I get is graaaaaaaass. I’m trying to be a sooper-sofisticatud tea drinker and taste all the subtle little nuances, but all I can really say, apart from a sliiiiiiiiight floral sweetness, is graaaaaaaaass. Light-bodied, white-tea-subtle graaaaaaaass. I would drink my green needle tea if I wanted that. Not a bad tea by any means, but I’ve grown to favor Arbor’s bai mu dan and this just doesn’t match up. I would drink it on the nights I wanted a cleansing taste without much caffeine.
This tea is much better iced than hot. I had it hot the other day and the berry flavor was too strong. It is also less bitter when cold.
I purchased this tea primarily for my husband. Although it is good, I prefer camellia sinensis or anything that tastes good hot (hot cocoa, good coffee…) Gosh, I haven’t had any hot cocoa in forever! It’s summer now though, my least-liked season and not good with cocoa, which in turn really isn’t good for my health anyway, so it all works out. I do miss being a kid, when I could care less. I should be grateful that I had a health-nut father who wouldn’t let me have any sweet cereals but once a week and even then I was only allowed to sprinkle some on top of something healthy. If it wasn’t for him, I would have had no restraint. Brownies and hot cocoa and fruit loops everyday. Ick, Fruit Loops, I can’t stand the thought anymore. Ok, yeah, I’m seriously rambling now. But I’m done :)
Backlog from last night.
So. You know how you’re supposed to be really, really careful when you steep white teas because they’re so easy to overdo? Yeah, well. I did mine last night while I was washing strawberries at 11:15 at night, because that’s what every cool, responsible grown-up does. And I poured the tea over the leaves, forgot, and then had an OH SH— moment ten minutes later. I braced myself for the taste of horridly rotted turkey – but it tasted fine. A bit duller than the first time I tried it, even. But fine.
I have no idea what happened.
I’ve had this many times hot, but this is the first time I cold -steeped it. I like it better this way. It cuts down on that menthol-like taste I find in a lot rooibos and brought out the creamier aspect of the tea. Also the blackberry flavor seemed much stronger. I will have to make it again soon .
My first ceylon. I have been sleep deprived pretty much the whole week before, and today I’m driving to a friend’s place to spend the weekend (incidentally, the same friends who are responsible for my tea addiction!)
Thin, dark leaves that are very easy to handle and measure. Golden amber liquor. Mild sweet aroma (so it smells like a black tea should.) Not really sweet tasting at all; it’s fairly astringent and actually a little grassy, but not in a way that’s off-putting. Tastes British. :P Not bad by any means, but I don’t think it’s going to become a favorite.
EDIT: The flavor got a little maltier the longer I drank it. I started to like it more and more. I’m gonna give it a second try!
The first time I reviewed this tea I brewed it for just 3-min. to minimize the potential for any astringency and was very favorably impressed.
Today, I decided to brew this tea following Arbor Teas’ recommendation: “one generous tsp.” / 8 oz. / 212*F for the maximum of 5-min.
The longer infusion did allow the aroma and flavor to more fully develop. The clear, lively, coppery liquor yields a sweet floral/fruity aroma. The initial taste is very smooth and has a delicate caramel sweetness. There was no hint of bitterness. However, there is a medium amount of astringency in the middle of my tongue.
Next, I tried 1.5 tsp. / 8oz. / 195*F / 4 min. Wow, now we’re talking! The clear, lively, coppery liquor is now medium dark. The aroma is more fruity than floral. The flavor is now very smooth and rich with a definite caramel sweetness. There is no hint of bitterness and only a very mild drying effect on the finish. As my cup cools, the first part of the sip is fruity and is followed by a sweet caramel finish.
The increased amount of leaf produced a stronger aroma, a much richer sip and a solid caramel sweetness. The decreased temperature and reduced time significantly reduced the level of astringency. This is one Indian black tea you don’t want to miss!
Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for providing this generous size free sample.
Opened the bag and went, “What the hell – citrus?” The smell reminded me of lemon; my dad thought more like an orange peel. Brewed the tea, which became a pale liquor typical of white teas; the aroma of the brewed tea was much more subtle.
I… am going to hold off on rating this tea for now. The taste I’m getting so far is really, really subtle. I get a mite of citrus, and then something that’s really more of a physical sensation than a taste. Maybe I understeeped it, maybe it really is that subtle, maybe my taste buds are numb, maybe it’s because I made the mistake of eating a snack first. Yeah. I think it’s the last one. Dammit.
A sipdown for this one. I think I like my Assam from Butiki better than this one. Not that this is bad at all, but with so many choices I’ll be picky. This assam is heavier on the fruit and not so much on the malty (though it is there). It has similarities to the Golden Yunnan that I also have from Arbor teas. I like Golden Yunnan, but I don’t need two teas that serve the same purpose so I probably won’t be restocking this one. . .but it could happen.
Welp, it’s a gray yucky morning, I have things to run around and do this morning before I go to work, I got to bed too late last night, and I’m still feeling the burn from my first bike ride in 15 years yesterday. Good a time as any to try my first keemun!
This was the tea I was the most excited about in my new order. The leaves are fairly fine, as far as tea leaves go, dark, and sweetish-earthy-smoky smelling. The liquor is a pretty amber color, which surprised me because I was expecting a darker color. Guess not all black teas look red in the cup. Newbie lesson, newbie lesson.
I’m not quite sure how to describe the flavor profile. It’s a bit of an earthy taste, but not like you’re drinking dirt. It’s not malty; maybe just the sliiiiiiightest bit smoky. The item description compares it to wine, but I don’t drink alcohol so I couldn’t tell you. But it’s a satisfyingly deep flavor and a good, solid breakfast tea.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting: the first white tea I have ever had that wasn’t an earl grey.
The leaves caught me off guard; they’re large and flat, a lot like carrot leaves or something. They smell grassy and kind of sweet. The liquor is a light yellow and smells grassy. That got me worried for a bit; I’m not a big fan of grassy flavors, especially when they’re in white teas which I don’t associate with being grassy. Then I took a sip…
The first taste that hits is a vegetal sweetness, a little dark but mild. Then the grassiness, which overrides the vegetal sweetness. “Dammit,” I think for a second, “It’s a grassy white tea.” And then there is an overtone of another flavor – this one is a floral sweetness that fades into focus out of the grassiness. And that’s when I go, “Wha what?”
This tea may have to take a little while to grow on me, solely because of the grass factor. But it is certainly an interesting and unexpectedly complex white tea. Worth a go.
…Why is it I only write a few sentences about some teas, and write freaking novels about others?
My first darjeeling! I’ll write more in detail later, but I wanted to get some quick notes down to remember the taste experience. Deep, warm, woody (not woodsy, not smoky) comforting flavor with a tasteful floral note. A slight astringency that I wouldn’t even call “astringent”; more just good. I am suitably impressed!
Edit a few hours later:
Soooo… I realized in retrospect that I may have goofed this tea. I poured it out of its (neat little!) sample bag into a tea tin that had JUST previously been home to some masala chai. I had rinsed the inside of the tea tin out, but unless this tea smells a LOT like chai, I didn’t rinse the aroma out.
Since the chai aroma still lingered, I don’t know how much that would have affected the taste. I didn’t really taste chai; I just tasted a combination of a dark, comforting base (which could possibly have been influenced by the chai) and floral notes. One thing I will say for it is that if it wasn’t labeled as a black tea, I would not have guessed it as such; the leaves look like “green tea” leaves (well, they’re green at least, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything), the liquor is a much lighter color than many classic black teas, and the taste is more plant-y than… well, at least the other black teas I’ve tried. Not that that’s a bad thing. Just unexpected! (…Tea newbie here, mind. Tea newbie.)