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Recent Tasting Notes
This was one of the free 20 gram samples that Joel included with my Capital Tea Limited order. Thanks, Joel! The leaves are adorable. They’re jet black and thin, but curled up in a way that reminds me of bi luo chun. Baby snails! Dry scent is hay and honey.
OMG. This tea is so delicious! In fact, it’s reminding me strongly of Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black (aka Waffle Tea), which is wonderful since that one’s not available anymore. There are super strong honey and bread notes in the beginning with perhaps a touch of cinnamon, but near the end of the sip you get a huge punch of waffles-with-maple-syrup flavor. So creamy and rich the entire time. Delish! :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Creamy, Honey, Maple Syrup, Pastries, Smooth, Sweet, Thick
This is the last of the teas I actually ordered from Capital Tea (I still have two free samples to try). I believe this is a fairly famous estate, and I’ve had one Kenilworth Ceylon before, I think from Simple Loose Leaf? The leaves are long and thin, though perhaps a touch shorter than the other Ceylons I’ve tried today. Dry scent is musty hay with some dried apricot thrown in there.
First off, I have to say I’m actually getting jittery from drinking all of these high-caffeine black teas. I have a fairly high caffeine tolerance, so this is unusual and strange for me! This one is a bit blah in my opinion, which is unfortunate. It tastes fairly generic and malty. There’s a bit too much mustiness here as well, along with some hay. I think these two flavors make it seem more drying than it actually is. It’s not bad necessarily, just doesn’t measure up to all of the other unique Ceylons I’ve tried today. Can’t win ’em all, I guess!
Flavors: Hay, Malt, Musty
This is my last untried Assam from my Capital Tea order. In fact, I just have one Ceylon and my free samples left after this. I must say, I’ve been quite happy with my purchases so far for the most part (and his prices are so super low!). Anyway, this tea! The leaves look similar to the Boisahabi Assam I tried earlier – they’re dark, long, and thin with some golden tips interspersed. Dry scent is very musty and hay-like, which I find strangely comforting.
Hmm, I must say, I am a fan! This definitely has that strong malt character as well as intensity of flavor that I expect from an Assam. However, it’s not bitter or astringent, and it’s very smooth. All of the flavor notes here are dark and rich, such as tobacco and molasses. There’s also a bit of a musty hay taste along with some mild woody notes, and just a bit of rich cocoa pops out at the end of the sip. Yum, another satisfying tea!
(There’s a tad bit of astringency as it cools, but not enough to be bothersome.)
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cocoa, Hay, Malt, Tobacco, Wood
This is a tea that came highly recommended by yyz when I asked her what she likes from Capital Tea. I actually ended up getting four different Ceylons based on recommendations from both yyz and Joel, and they’ve been very different so far. This has similar-looking leaves to the other two – they’re long and thin and quite dark in color, and almost twiggy in appearance. Dry scent is sweet with hay and honey notes.
This is definitely the most mellow and smooth out of the Ceylons I’ve tried so far. What it lacks slightly in complexity, it makes up for in how easy it is to drink. The main flavors I taste are malt, hay, and brown sugar. The brown sugar gives it a nice bottom note and adds depth. I’m not really tasting the cherry that others mentioned, perhaps a tiny bit in the aftertaste. Overall, it’s nice simple and smooth tea without any bitterness or astringency present.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Grain, Hay, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Sweet
Time for Assam! I believe this was another tea that Joel recommended to me. The leaves are a dark grey with some brown, and there are a few golden tips scattered among the leaves. Dry scent is sweet and malty with some haylike notes, I agree with yyz that it reminds me of horse feed a bit.
Hmm… It’s not bad, but it seems perhaps a bit boring compared to the other teas I’ve tried today? Flavor is strong malt with some dark brown sugar and molasses notes. There’s a little bit of dried fruit flavor, but I would prefer more. It started out being just somewhat astringent, but as the cup has cooled a bit more, it’s become a bit too drying for me. It’s a perfectly okay tea, but I would definitely prefer the Dejoo Estate Assam or even the New Vithanakande Ceylon for something with a similar but more profound flavor.
Flavors: Astringent, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit, Malt, Molasses
Onward into the world of Ceylon! I think this was one of the teas that Joel of Capital Tea recommended to me, but I don’t remember for sure. The leaves are very dark, thin, and twisty. They look very brittle and spindly. Dry scent is sweet hay with honey and some stonefruit notes.
Mm, this is a good example of tea that’s somewhat simple in flavor, but still has enough interest and depth to make it worth drinking. Overall, it’s very thick and richly flavored, and it has an intensity that makes me think it would take milk well. It’s a nice combination of savory sweet potato and malt and sweeter notes of raisin, brown sugar, and molasses. There’s just a tiny bit of a tannic edge that I think actually goes well with the intensity and richness of flavor. The astringency is very low, with just a slight dry sensation in the aftertaste. Definitely one of those teas that makes you feel as satisfied as if you’d eaten a meal.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Green Beans, Malt, Molasses, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Tannic, Thick
More from Capital Tea Limited! This was a tea recommended to me by yyz (along with several others). So that was part of the reason I chose to try it, along with the fact that I have no experience with African teas and it sounded interesting! For some reason, I have a strong urge to try teas from the more unusual locales. Anyway! The leaves and long and thin with stems included, and they smell heavily floral with some hay notes.
Wow, this is an interesting one, and definitely not what I expected. There’s so much going on. I would say, in a nutshell, this tea reminds me of a Darjeeling mixed with perhaps some kind of Chinese black and some Assam as well. It has the floral and herb/spice notes of a Darjeeling, but then there’s also sweet potato and brown sugar from perhaps a Yunnan tea, as well as strong malt and intensity from an Assam. Definitely complex, but still approachable. I’m at a loss as to what the rating should be, I think I’ll drink it a few more times before assigning a number.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Floral, Herbs, Malt, Pepper, Sweet Potatoes
Time for lazy tasting notes! I haven’t felt much like drinking tea lately, and I think it’s partially because I don’t want to then have to write notes about it. So I’ve decided to just write shorter and less-involved notes for a while! :)
This tea has interesting leaves – they’re long and thin and very stick-like. Even after steeping, they still look like little twigs and haven’t unfurled at all. Very dark in color, and the dry scent is super chocolaty!
Wow, this is a winner! The chocolate notes are so strong and lovely, but not bitter like some other chocolate-heavy teas. The chocolate is paired with hefty malt and rye bread, and then there are lighter notes of dried cherry and caramel. I didn’t notice any astringency at all until it cooled a bit, and even then it’s minimal. So good!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Cherry, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Rye, Smooth
Another one from Capital Tea! This was one of the teas I picked out just because I was curious about it, having only tried one Nilgiri blend ever (Lupicia’s Tea Break). So basically continuing on with my self-education of teas that I’m unfamiliar with! The leaves are quite unique and beautiful – they’re very flat and fluffy, almost like large flakes. The color is a warm red-brown. Dry scent is generically “tea-ish” with a bit of honey and hay.
I must say, I find this one rather unimpressive. It definitely doesn’t have much depth of flavor – it mostly tastes similar to generic black tea like I would find in the iced tea at a restaurant. There’s a little bit of a grassy taste to make it a touch more interesting, and perhaps a tiny bit of bread, but I don’t get any of the citrus mentioned in the description. Overall, it’s just rather boring and mostly one-note, though it might be pleasant with milk and sugar.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Grass, Smooth, Tea
Yay, I got my Capital Tea Limited order! I was a bit worried because it never said it was shipped, so I was very happy to find it in my mailbox after coming home from my holiday travels. This is a tea that I chose based on the description (a lot of the others were recommended to me, either by yyz or by Joel at Capital Tea). What can I say, I’m a sucker for any tea that claims to be smooth and sweet! 20 grams is a lot more tea than I expected, especially since Joel sent me two extra 20g samples with my order. Anyway, this tea… My sample looks identical to the picture – long and thin leaves that are mostly dark brown/grey in color with some golden spots. Dry scent is yummy with very strong dried apricot notes and a touch of savory aroma. The package recommends a 3-4 minute steep, but I stuck to the shorter end because I know Assam in general has a tendency to get astringent easily.
Yum, this is very tasty! I admit, I have little experience with Assam, which is why I chose multiple to try (as well as multiple Ceylons, another genre I’m unfamiliar with). There’s definitely a strong malt flavor, which I generally expect from Assam. I can taste a fair bit of astringency, but it’s not bothersome, perhaps a 3 out of 10 on the astringency scale? What I really enjoy about this tea are the strong dried fruit flavors, particularly dried apricot. It really reminds me of eating apricot fruit leather, and goes quite well with the molasses notes that are also present. It’s definitely a richly-flavored tea with lovely strong fruit notes, and it’s full-bodied without being too much and needing milk to smooth out the flavor. Yummy! And the price is fantastic, too!
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Dried Fruit, Malt, Molasses
Maybe it was just my imagination but the scent of this was very strongly milk chocolate. :) Taste was a a bit non-specifically fruity. The wet leaves smelled of wine. And I poured some into a clean paper cup to test the milk chocolate thing I don’t think I was crazy -this smells like a Hershey bar! :) I might quite like to have this on hand some day. Thanks for the sample, Ost!
Backlog from this morning.
I’m visiting the in-laws this weekend, which means I follow a protocol for tea: bring only those types of tea that work well with 100C water. My inlaws don’t have a kettle, so I’m boiling water on the stove. Considering I’m converted to the glory of a variable temperature kettle, this somewhat limits my tea repertoire!
I overleafed this and oversteeped this so it came out somewhat astringent. I’ll need to be a bit gentler tomorrow, as I really want to get that nice citrust/raisin note from it next time.
I’m really happy that I ordered a sample of this, and that Capital Tea’s samples are so large and generous! I have some Kenilworth Ceylon, which I also like, but this one is a touch lighter and fruitier, while that one is maltier.
Sil said this one isn’t “Red Rose like”, and while I agree, this one is somewhat citrusy, and reminiscent of that (in)famous blend. This was slightly astringent because I went heavy on the leaf, but the astringency wasn’t too distracting. In fact, it helped promote that fruity flavour.
I will be really happy sipping this!
This is quite a lovely tea to start my morning with. Its scent and taste are remarkably consistent, it’s quite smooth and well balanced and is rich enough to take milk. The leaves are dark and wiry and even though its a broken leaf tea, they are still a good size.
The brewed tea is a nice mahogany colour after being steeped for 3.5 min in 225ml of water using about 1 TSP of leaves.
At first sip the top notes are of sweet potato, lemon-orange, cherry a hint of cocoa, lemon, and a deeper spice note. Underneath this is the deeper tones of malt and a sugar cane note.
As it cools malt moves forward a little bit and blends with the sweet potato, honey, spice notes and cherry dominates the fruit notes. It is slightly tannic but not overly so. Overall the flavour and texture is a rich fruity/malty/smooth tea. It makes a nice and comforting tea for winter and a nice addition to my collection of Ceylons.
Whoa, this is a cup of yum! It’s smooth – almost creamy – with notes of malt, sweet potato, orange (maybe orange zest?), and cocoa. I drank the first cup plain and the resteep with cream and sugar. Both were delicious.
This one’s going on my wishlist.
Thank you, Ost for sending this my way! It’s great! :)
Another tea from Ost. Thank you!!!
Meh. I couldn’t coax much flavor out of this one. It wasn’t bitter or astringent, and I picked up a little cocoa and maybe stone fruit as the tea cooled. Other than that it was pretty bland. I added some sugar at the end which highlighted the fruity note. If I have this again maybe I’ll try it with sugar and cream.
This tea was another gift to me from Capital Tea Ltd! Now, having just tried it, I wish I had sampled it before placing my most recent order because I really enjoyed it.
This tea has long wide and very loosely twisted hand rolled leaves that range from greenish gold furry buds to chocolate and reddish brown. The dry leaf smells of honey, cocoa and malt.
I brewed roughly one teaspoon in 225 ml of 95°C water for 3 minutes. The resulting tea was a medium amber tone.
The brewed tea smells of citrus notes above deeper warmer spice notes, floral notes and hints of nuts. The impression is warm and spicy overall.
The tea tastes smooth on the tongue. My first impressions are of a bright green note dissolved in dark honey with a touch of molasses, quickly dissipating into a hint of cocoa, dried, fruit compote, hints of almond, sandalwood and a touch of amber. There are upper notes of citrus and muscatel notes. It kind of reminds me of the bright light citrusy notes of a pinot grigio. This tea had a good balance between the warm and enveloping and the bright natures of the flavours. The tea manages to be both rich and sweet and light at the same time.
The second steep (3.5min) is just as sweet with stronger spicy floral notes present among the notes listed above and a very distinct muscatel scent and a slightly deeper body. This steep left a freshening feeling at the front and top of the mouth.
The third steep (5min) is not quite as sweet but still rich and spicy in flavour.
Overall I was rather won over by this teas rich sweetness and spice. On to the wish list it goes.
I bought this as a possible replacement for my beloved borsapori which is no longer being produced in orthodox form. It is a very nice tea, but it is not as sweet, nor does it have that milk chocolate note. It also is not nearly as floral. What it does have is a good deal of malt, cream, sweet potato, fruit, and spice notes with a bit of honey. It is quite a strong tea a level tsp is more than enough leaf for 225ml of water.
The brewed tea is a bright but deeper reddish orange tone. The dried tea smells of malt, horse feed and spice.
I have gotten 3-4 good steeps out of this tea each time I have had it. The latter steeps tend to be sweeter.
Scent: lemon and sweet potatoes with the upper tones of malt, cream, hints of short crust pastry with lemon juice, honey, and a soft sweet and bright spice.
Flavour is deeper than the scent with first sips containing the deeper tones of malt, cocoa, and sweet potato. Upper tones are cream, soft stone fruit, light citrus notes with zest, honey, a hint of butter pastry, and a soft floral.
3.30 increased uppertones of malt, addition of some currant, stronger spice notes with zest, cream, sweet potato, honey, citrus notes. Increased astringency.
4min, honey and spice over cream and malt and breast notes with currant. Still quite flavourful. Tannic.
While I am not sure if this is my replacement tea it is quite a nice tea and I am happy to have it in my cupboard. A nice option for those who want a malty and not to sweet tea with some complexity.
A really excellent Golden Monkey. Smoky, yes. Leather-y, yes. But also rich with notes of chocolate and undertones of caramel and I like the way all these flavors play together. Pleasant and smooth. Robust.
Thank you Ost for sending me a sampling of this tea. It’s a pleasure to be sipping it.
First tasting note for this tea!
I had this last night after my Capital Tea order came in. This seemed like a good option – I find it’s not a good idea to drink black tea in the evenings.
When I opened the package, the smell was sweet, sweet jasmine. The leaves are wiry and dark grey-green. I ended up overleafing just a tad, but it was okay. The package says to steep for 2-3 minutes but knowing other jasmine greens, I erred on the side of caution and went for just over 2 minutes.
The liquor was a lovely clear gold colour. After I lifted the leaves out of the hot water, I could smell a nutty, vegetal spinach smell underneath all the jasmine. The taste was mostly jasmine, though.
I kinda wished I could have tasted more of the base. The jasmine taste was straight and uncomplicated.
This is a very nice jasmine tea, but I’m glad I only got a 20g sample. Knowing my tea drinking habits, this will last for quite a while.
Currently sipping on this tea – thank you Ost for sending me a sampling of it.
This is not my favorite Keemun that I’ve ever encountered, but, it’s a pleasant one. The leathery notes are stronger than I’m used to from a Keemun, I’m used to a rounder flavor. There are some notes of smoke that mingle in an interesting way with the leather notes. As I eluded to a couple of sentences ago, I look for a more well-rounded flavor in a Keemun and this one seems a little thin. It seems like it’s all leather up front to disguise the fact that it doesn’t really have that satisfying, nicely balanced flavor.
It’s OK, but not my favorite Keemun nor is it my favorite that I’ve tasted from this company thus far.
I feel like writing lazy tasting notes today! :D This sample came from the lovely Dexter.
This tea is a bit too earthy for me, as I tend to prefer the lighter Yunnan teas. It does have some nice flavors going on, though! I can taste a bit of dark, syrupy raisin and there are caramelized sugar undertones going on, though not a lot of sweetness. The main flavors are earth and wood, which are not my favorites. Perhaps a teeny touch of some sort of herb near the end?
Thanks, Dexter! I appreciate the chance to try these teas even if I don’t love all of them. :)
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Earth, Herbs, Malt, Raisins, Wood