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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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.
Although I like the Lumbini estate tea more, I do have to admit that this Kenilworth is good for when I need something uncomplicated in the mornings. I tend to drink this tea when I make omelets for breakfast, as the maltiness of the tea doesn’t clash with the savouriness of the food.
This morning’s omelet was with cheddar cheese and tomato. A good pairing, overall. Though this is one of the teas I hope to finish off in the coming months.
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.
Tastes like chlorophyll and toothpaste. Blarghhh!
I conclude its probably because I don’t like spearmint, its probably not the fault of the tea itself. As a result I won’t say NOT recommended because of my biases but simply ‘steep with caution’.
Flavors: Spearmint, Sweet, warm grass