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Recent Tasting Notes
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
This was a sipdown! I have been having it for breakfast to whittle down my older stock of Keemun teas. This is good, lighter than Zen Tea’s Keemun Finest, and I have enjoyed, but I do prefer the Zen Tea one.
Keemun teas are funny. There is such an incredible variety of flavor and strength, and you can change it so much just by how you steep and how much leaf you add – true of any tea but really can be a saving grace or complete damnation with Keemun, IMO.
They can be refined or hefty, smokey or cocoa-y, light or strong, wine-y or chocolate-y, brash or smooth. I like mine somewhere in the middle. Afternoons are great for the super refined, smooth, wine-y, lighter fellas, but for mornings I like that scrape of dark cocoa!
I liked this one a great deal, but youngest and our guest said it was good, but not a stellar favorite for them. I love keemuns, though, so it was delightful for me. It has nice body, malty, smooth, with a hint of smoke and a bit of raisin.
This was the first tea served with tea party today and therefore was served with the dessert, which was fresh whole wheat brownies with strawberries and homemade viili, a type of yogurt-like cultured milk from Finland that goes great with fruit. The black tea was a great pairing because it isn’t overwhelmed by the sweetness of the dessert but rather complements it. It cuts the sweetness, I think, and keeps it from getting too heavy or too rich.
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
I read some of the reviews for this tea and honestly I had to double check the packaging to make sure it was the same one. People mention it being sweet or having cocoa notes and I am getting NONE of that. To me, this is earthy, bordering on astringent and has a flavor reminiscent of raisins. It’s not bad or anything like that but it’s also not what I look for when reaching for a black tea. Nonetheless, I really appreciate the chance to try it out so thank you Dexter for sharing!
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!
Not sure why my first tasting note on this was so different but I tried this again and it was much less astringent than I remembered. I think steeping for a shorter time and also at a lower quantity of leaves helped. The caramel/brown sugar taste that others have noted is finally coming out too, and seems less malty than I initially thought. It has medium body with some roundness of taste.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Malt
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.
So the meds I’m on for my adhd have some side effects, at least in the beginning… it reduces my appetite and ability to consume liquid! This has been a problem for my tea drinking ways. And staying hydrated. It was downright depressing!
But!!! being sick seems to have helped that. Arse backwards huh…
I must have lost enough fluid that my body is finally convinced that drinking tea and other stuff is kinda necessary. Wheeeeee!!! I managed to get three cups of tea and two glasses of water down today already. and damn did they ever taste good, despite my muted ’buds. happydance
I took a few days off from black tea with milk. I’m glad I did because it made todays cuppa extra tasty! Seriously. Rating bump deserved just for this one cup! :)
Extra malty and flavourful this time around. Me likey.
On the health front, I am still waiting for one of my doc appointments to be made. GP said that if they don’t call me within two weeks after his referral (they faxed the form in) that I should give them a call. So I’m left waiting… to find out how long I need to wait… sighs.
Oh and I had my sleep clinic follow up last night. Apparently I have positional sleep apnea. They want me to wear this shirt to bed since I only have sleep “incidents” when on my back. This should be interesting… http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/anti-snore-shirts-sleep-apnea
I keep forgetting to make this in my tumbler.
In my regular mug, its pretty tame. Very mild and unassuming. A summer Assam?
(see previous note for more in depth review)
Blah. I’m tired of wanting Assam milk tea every day. I can’t seem to enjoy anything else until I’ve had it, and sometimes that is all I have time for and then I end up having the same tea every day!(one of two Assams in my cupboard atm). Geeze am I getting old or what! I’m hoping that summer weather will bring about a shift in my preferences so I can move some of the older green teas outta my cupboard!
Personal stuff…. Today is a pretty good day for me. Not exactly bouncing with energy, but I’ve been able to get a few needed things done. Still not at the level I need to be.
I’ve had days like this before. Infrequently though. What I’m not sure of is what influence, if any, my meds have had on that. Would I have had this “up” day without them? Have they merely enhanced an up day? or am I adjusting to the meds finally, despite research saying that on this drug, it doesn’t really happen over time (it IS immmediate, or not at all for the most part). Who knows. Nobody reacts the same to these meds either. Apparently we each have a “genetic code” that dictates which ones work better, and at what dose, and studies aren’t elaborate enough to identify them with certainty just yet… hence the lottery game. Anyhow. Feeling a bit less frantic now about the whole thing. Monday will be a whole other story.
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.