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Recent Tasting Notes
Another from Anlina and one from my wishlist. While dexter and I are experimenting with blending vanilla teas, it’s nice to continue looking for that perfect vanilla tea. This one is pretty darn tasty. I like the base tea here and the vanilla comes across very clearly. Even cooled it was still a really pleasant vanilla cup of tea. Thanks Anlina!
Final Count: 116
Got this a while back from Ost’s stash sale. I have had it a couple times before reviewing this, and I quite like it! It is meatier than the Meleng Assam that I got as well, and this is my preferred tea for making chai with. It has a sort of spiciness to itself that lends a wonderfully helping hand to my own personal chai mix. It’s perfectly good as an iced brew as well, especially if I have some leftover chai already made. Which almost never happens :P
Flavors: Malt, Raisins, Spices
I got tea for my birthday Saturday. Lots and lots of tea. One of them was this one!
I had this for breakfast, steeped it at full temp and for the maximum recommended time and was surprised at how light the color was. I didn’t worry because the aroma told me it was plenty strong enough.
This won’t kick your backside like a morning Assam, but I never go for that anyway. You don’t need it when you know you have to get outside and feed the chickens before they wake the whole neighborhood moo-ing for their breakfast. I don’t consider myself a morning person, but I have never wanted strong morning tea.
Though it isn’t a cup to slap you awake, it is one to pique your interest so that you find yourself fully awake to delve into the mysteries of the cup. It is nice and complex without being super strong. I noted a fruity, muscatel scent and flavor like Winey Keemun from Grace Rare Tea, but the classic keemun light smoke was on the end of the sip, too. This is nice for morning or afternoon.
You will get a hint of all those flavors listed in the main description, incredible as that sounds.
I’ve had this tea as both a cold hot brew and have come to the conclusion that it’s more savoury than my preferred greens.
The dry tea smells of mint, fruit and smoke. It is a blue spruce tinged green with silver green buds.
I steeped 1.5tsp in 200ml of 80°C water.
The first flavour notes are savoury with cooked peas and bitter greens. These open up to peach with a crisp green pea note and a chestnut note. The tea has a thick present mouth feel and a faint hint of smoke. As it cools that taste is slightly grainy, with mint coming into the flavour as it cools. The mint and smoke notes become most distinct as it cools.
As a cold brew (steeped 3.5hrs), the tea has a thick creamy texture and a savoury mix of smoke cantelope, hints of plum and the texture of chestnuts.
Interesting but not a favourite. Thanks for the sample Capital Tea Ltd!
Umami, vegetables, slight sweetness; very green liquor. First time trying Kabusecha and its remarkably similar to Gyokuro – like a toned down version. Did a bit of quick research and it seems that Gyokura, Kabusecha, and Sencha just vary on the amount of shading before harvest. More shading = more theanin (an amino acid) = more umami flavour. Would recommend trying this.
Flavors: Sweet, warm grass, Umami, Vegetable Broth, Vegetables
Dexter sent this to me a while back and it got lost in my cupboard and forgotten until Ost brought it to my attention when I asked if there was anything in my cupboard she wanted to try. As a result, I decided I should finally give this a try and I’m glad I did. It is a quite lovely cup of tea. Some amazing cocoa notes are in here making for a sweet and malty dessert tea that’s pwrfect for after dinner. Thank you so much for sharing Dexter and I hope Ost enjoys this like I did.
Backlog from last night!
I just got this tea as part of a huge swap/care package from Dexter. Thanks so much, Dex! I asked her if she could recommend some smoky/leathery black teas to replace my much-beloved (and now unavailable) Golden Yunnan from RiverTea. She sent me at least half a dozen different teas to try!
This is the only tea I’ve tried from the swap package so far. However, I didn’t get a lot of smoke. I sensed a teensy bit of smoke/leather at the back, but the biggest notes I remember were sweet potato, menthol, cocoa, and a bit of fruit. Definitely sweet potato, at least.
So much tea! I’ll never be able to finish it all!
My one-liner for this tea would be In-your-face malty & astringent.
It didn’t seem so bad when I took the first sip, which was mainly a bready malty sweetness with a full mouthfeel in the top to mid notes, but the end notes are drying and astringent.
The full intensity in the first infusion is quite something – enough to wake me up of a sleep deprived stupor. But wait patiently for the second infusion which is perfect – a balance of malty yet mild sweetness; astringency & dryness much reduced
Flavors: Astringent, Drying, Malt, Yeast
This tea hits all the right notes for an Assam (malty, yeasty, sweet & tannic), with none predominating. A nicely-balanced Assam, which would be a good daily-drinker.
First infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz water, 90 deg., 1:30 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 5:00 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00 min.
Picked up at the tea festival. Thank you Capital Teas!!
A rather interesting Assam, I must say. Not quite what I expected. First impressions are of stone fruit and cocoa or maybe sweet potato. Somewhat reminiscent of white wine in the way the flavours are profiled (not in the way it tastes, just how they present the fruit aspect).
Let me rephrase. When I drink wine, the flavours hit my palate in a unique way more at the back of my throat, whereas with teas it is usually more of a full/front of mouth experiences. Atleast with black teas, which I gravitate towards. Am I the only one who finds this?
I think this may be why I find the tea to be so unique.
Also, there is a sweetness here that reminds me quite a bit of Lover’s Leap or Margaret’s Hope, only instead of raisin notes, I see sweet potato.
A very straight-forward Ceylon black, with definite broad hints of cacao. Muted tannins and an almost non-existent sweetness bring this tea to the brink of being non-descript. A nice daily drinker, for all that however.
First infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz water, 90 deg., 3:00 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 7:00 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00+ min.
This tea came from CameronB. Enjoying it this morning. It’s sweet with chestnut notes with a slight bitterness that hits the tongue on the finish. The bitterness is not unpleasant but adds to the enjoyment of the tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Chestnut, Sweet
This confirms my “can’t judge a book by it’s cover” theory from the other day. The leaves in this tea are BEAUTIFUL – all nice and fuzzy, but it’s not as good as the other one.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a nice tea – perfectly happy drinking it at work today. Standard, typical Yunnan golden tippy tea. But it’s not really special – I was going to say just standard, average. That might even be a little harsh – lets try great not spectacular.
Anyway another one out of my cupboard – narrowing down to just the spectacular ones.
Decided to go with a straight assam this morning, because it has been a while. I think I either overleafed or oversteeped this initially, because my first cup had a bit of bitterness. Not enough to make me not drink it, but enough to distract from the other flavours. It improved slightly as it cooled. I took the leaves for a second steep, slightly cooler water and same amount of time. Now it’s smooth, malty, and surprisingly sweet! I’m holding off on rating it until I brew it properly, but I like this.
I’ve decided that I have quite a few black tea samples lying around. Some are company samples, some are tea friend samples, some are the last little bit of something I bought. This week’s mission is to drink up all (most?) of these little bits and pieces – so today at work I drank the last of 3 different teas. This being the first of them.
Not a huge Assam fan, I don’t hate it but it’s not my favorite. I thought this was was a little dry, a little astringent, pretty mild, some fruity notes, nothing really offensive just not my style. I don’t think I need to buy anymore Assam, I’m just going to make the decision that they aren’t for me and only buy the styles that I really love.
And thank you to Ost for sending me a sampling of this tea.
An excellent Assam. Full flavored and robust. This is the kind of tea you want to reach for on the mornings when you can’t shake the sleepy because this will do it for you.
Malty, rich, delicious notes of dark chocolate and honeyed caramel. A really nice, bold tea.
Thank you to Ost for sending me a sampling of this tea!
This is a remarkable Ceylon – very rich and chocolate-y, with notes of caramel. This tastes more like a Fujian Black to me than a Ceylon! It even has that kind of ‘hefty’ quality that I would expect from an Assam or a Nilgiri or a Fujian Black … but not a Ceylon. This is a very surprising tea.
This was one of the teas that I got from Ost’s Stash Sale! She had a few of Capital Teas in small sizes, so I got all three, since I could not decide on which one to get.
I have a couple more Ceylon teas in my cupboard that I have yet to try. I decided to try them all in the next few days to compare and contrast the flavor profiles. I have also been reading up on the history of the region to get some insight. I love doing mini research projects on tea!
Lucky for me that Ost did not like this! It’s my first time trying anything that Capital Tea has to offer, and I like where this is going. I managed to get three good infusions in my Camellia Sinensis porcelain-lined travel tumbler. The dry leaf is black-brown, with short, thin, twisted leaves. I smelled the ho hum woody-ness and malt. But when I brewed this tea up, I got a sweet nectar of pure honey, fresh and ripe stone fruits, with the lightest hint of milk chocolate. I had to make sure that I did not put any sweetener in my mug before steeping!
If you are someone who wants to try many different estate teas from a wide range of areas, give this one a go and check out capital tea! I am really going to have to look up their teas now :D
Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Honey, Stonefruits
This Assam casts off scents of baked goods, citrus a hint of sweet potato, cocoa and spice.
It brews to a deep red orange.
The first sip is full of spice over the deeper tones of malt, mixed with cocoa, charred crust and a bit of sweet potato. This opens to a mix of red fruits and citrus blended with molasses, malt and a bit of bread. This one has a dense mouth feel. There is a mild bitterness that tempers the sharp fruit. It is not overly sweet. This is not an Assam that is rich in honey or dried fruit. In fact the fruit references a tart red wine. What it does have is a good blend of malt, spice, tart fruit and grainy bread notes. It reminds me a little of pumpernickel, or a dark crust artisinal brown bread. It’s a little like breakfast in a cup.
Edit. The second steep is a little sweeter with a bit of apricot among the other fruit, spice, bread, cocoa and molasses notes.
I’ve had this a few times, but it just does’t have the same warm comfort I remember from Simple Loose Leaf’s Kenilworth tea. Glad I only have 50g of this – I bought 100g and gave my aunt half of it in a special tin for Xmas.
However, it is a good no-fuss tea for the mornings when you’re not sure what you want.