Cafe 16, Woodcroft, Adelaide
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Recent Tasting Notes
After writing a piece on Kenyan Tea workers and with three Kenyan clients, it was time for me to put aside my disdain for Kenyan Tea and give it another go.
So, I invested in 50g.
I made this is a little white one-person pot, so I used a glass mug to appreciate the colour.
Kenyan tea really does have a distinctive redness. So do a lot of tea bags these days, which is a clear link.
As a CTC tea, it was very fine (not in a good way) and I gave it a quick steep.
It was a decent cuppa, but really nothing more. Quite tanniny, long lasting flavour on the palate, some Ceylon characteristics but a thinner taste.
I think the perspective I have on this tea is this: While there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s an opportunity missed to have something better.
I’ve been partaking of green first thing for months, but today – a black.
This a truly a lovely tea. Alex at Café 16 – who I think is a coffee drinker really, but one must’nt judge – tells me this is the tea he drinks from his range.
(Can’t see why anyone would restrict themselves – I had a fair crack at the 164 teas we had in the tea store we used to own, only skipping those that presented allergy problems. I even tried all of the Japanese greens)
So, the Ceylon. It’s sweet up front, warm in the middle with a really fine woody character, and has the long-lasting aftertaste of the true Ceylon. Just lovely.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I re-steep greens and whites, but never blacks.
On this occaision, I decided to try it.
So I had a pot of this at about 4pm and gave it another run at 8pm.
I don’t think I could distinguish between the pots. Both had the fine, lingering slightly leathery aftertaste of a good ceylon following a refreshing front of mouth taste.
Looks like I’ll be resteeping some blacks from now on.
Has anyone else been re-steeping blacks?
MId Afternoon yesterday, really really tired, this tea was a saviour.
I wrote some notes on a piece of wood I was working on: “Tasty Refreshing Clean Lingering”
That’s a pretty good summation of this tea.
I also used it in yesterday’s Valentines’s Day Special Orange and Rose Tea, but I couldn’t try that myself because I’m allergic to oranges.
I had to have one, as a mini-celebration for editing and posting my video blog on it.
And it was great, went well with the baking heat of the day. really nice combination of tea and spice. 2 grams tea, three pods.
I picked some of this up yesterday whilst preparing to shoot “Shoving Garden Herbs in your tea”
I had a mind to use it with lavendar, but didn’t.
So I brewed it yestaerday arva, and now again this morning.
The first thing I noticed is a rich red colour. Really striking.
I oftenh find that organics lack colour and flavour. Not so with this tea.
It has a rich, distinctly Ceyon flavour and feel.
I beleive that Ceylon teas last longer in the mouth than any other, you can taste them for up to an hour afterwards.
This one does not disappoint. I will be going back for more.
To put this in context, the little cafe that I get this from bravely stocks about thirty teas in an area where tea bags and instant coffee are considered acceptable, normal even. (I know, that’s hard to believe)
So, they try.
It’s evident that some teas sell more than others. In this case, I’d suggest the stock does not turn over very often.
Which explains why this was a little stale.
I don’t think it started life as a bad tea at all. There was still that warm oolong length of taste. A slight blossomy effect.
But it had tarred up over time. In the end, I added sugar to make it drinkable
Not recomended, I’m afraid.
It’s a celebratory mood here. For the benefit of everyone else in the world, you may have heard that Australia is planning to install the same technology to control the internet that countries like China and Iran use. It’s for our own good, apparently.
Then yesterday, the govt. of my home state of South Australia announced new laws censoring election content.
The resultant fury led to a backlash that in ONE DAY repealed that law, as I found out this morning when I got up.
So, a celebratory Darkeeling.
Smooth, warm, soft tannins.
I think any tea would taste good today*. It’s the taste of freedom and democracy restored!
I’m getting so predicatble – drink this late at night, report it in the moning whilst sipping Pai Mu Tan.
It’s worth noting that I again oversteeped this. It’s not a typical Darj, it’s pretty strong.
Oversteeping does bring on a tobacco-y resonance, but more subtle.
It can hold up from very quickly steeped to about 5 minutes, and even though it changes a lot, it’s good all the way across the spectrum.
Once again, I had this as my late night tea. And it was glorious!
4 minutes was about right.
The liquor – golden, sparkly
The aroma – like fresh barley straw
The – taste – liquid sunshine. Complex and subtle at the same time.
It was a great way to end the day. But it was 6 hours ago.
Now, I’m up and ready for something to kick my day into gear.
Another retrospective post, as I often have this tea late at night. I’m writing while something else brews.
I arrived home after teaching a four-hour barista course. Four hours in a small room, with a bunch of students, with the air gradually becoming laden with a blend named Café Noir. And of course, I was tasting all night.
I made the Darjeeling up and this time, it actually looked to be a more traditional Darjeeling colour – perhaps I’ve used a smidge too much tea on previous occasions.
Anyway, I was soon in possesion of a steaming mug of this great second flush.
It never lets me down.
Great gentle aftertaste was with me for a while, but the gum leaf quality up front is so refined that I had one and a half mugs at 11 at night.
I hoped that this would help me avoid waking with a coffee headache. (See next post to find out)
A retrospective, I had this last night!
Yesterday was a bizarre day – I didn’t eat apart from some diet jelly (that’s jello for some reason to you in the US of A, not jam).
I did have 13 cups of tea including the milky concoction I mention in an earlier post and “gasp” 4 bagged teas – two Taylors of Harrogate Lapsang Souchongs and two Pickwick’s Pure Peppermint – as I was at a function at an aussie country pub and didn’t take an infuser because I didn’t want to be beaten up.
So last night, just before retiring and completely stuffed, I enjoyed another of these fine Darjeelings.
I concocted it in Cyril, my glass teapot, to fully enjoy the colour. And I used some 100-year-old Czech gold-rimmed tea-cups. And finally, I added a smidgen of sugar to mine.
It was a near religious experience.
As they say in surfing, you shoulda been there.
I’ve taken to my first cuppa being white, but I decided to kick my system off with a 5:30 am Darjeeling on this occasion.
As a treat, I used “Cyril”, my glass teapot to better appreciate what was going on.
This tea colours fast for a Darjeeling. It is a naturally light tea to look at, so if you wait for it to darken in the pot, then it’s likely to be oversteeped. Bear i mind I mean dark for a darjeeling, i.e. still quite light as tea goes.
The muscatel tone is always there, with some gum leaf – I have a koala that visits a tree in my yard, so I’d best keep this stuff away from him – but I think I have got the steeping spot on for a nice fizzy warmth. It flows from your tongue to your brain, and is the perfect adjunct to watching the son come up, writing about tea, and not doing the work I’m supposed to be doing.
Take two- no oversteeping this time.
Muscatel, pear flavour in a real mixed bag, Looking at the leaves, they are a bewildering array of black, yellow, green. Smooth gum leaf finish. Tannins are also smooth and full. If I was in the habit of drinking that crushed, fermented, bottled grape juice stuff other people get so excited about, I’d compare this tea to a shiraz.
Now I have a dilemma. It’s a full breakfast for dinner (happens sometimes) So, do I follow it with an Assam, or have another of these? Can it stand up to bacon? I think “Yes!”
First crack at this, I’d had quite a bit of green and wanted to work my way back….
I oversteeped it. I was busy.
Despite the slighly tarry backtaste due to the oversteeping, this was an excellent cup of tea. Slightly redder than many Darjeelings, but with a lively red grape taste. Slight eucalyptus aroma.
Really invigortaing. I am looking forward to making a btter job of this one later today.
Giving this another go, though I don’t expect to enjoy is too much.
Just as well.
Kenyan-y with not much else
Has the aroma of a tidal creek.
I am about to take drastic action…..
I’ve added milk and sugar. It’s now passable.
There’s plenty of other teas to choose from, next time, I’ll have something else.
Hmmm, it’s a blend and it’s a bit ordinary. Nevertheless, I have sourced a quality EB and am giving it a go.
So, a quickish steep as it’s getting dark quickly. Turns out there’s PLENTY of flavour.
Firstly, tastes to me like there’s some Kenyan in this. Now, I don’t mind Kenyan Tea per se, I just have a strong opinion that it has no place in an EB.
Additional flavours include some Keemun and some Yunnan, something like a Ceylon OP and a dark Indian tea, perhaps Nighiri.
The fact that they are easy to identify is an indication of what’s wrong with this tea – it has no cohesion. It’s not a blend, it’s a bunch of different teas in a cup.
Whatever cheap tea is the underlying taste, it’s awful. I once heard a tea described as “like chewing tobacco” and I think i’ll break that phrase out here.
Not a great tea. Not even a good tea. But nevertheless, a cut above a teabag!