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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea reminds me of orange zest! As someone who hasn’t drank much Western-style tea but more Asian teas, this is the first time I’ve tried Lady Grey. Medium weight tea on the palate, with hints of orange and bergamot. The rose petals and the name make me feel like I should be drinking this in a fancy Royal Doulton teacup and saucer.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Orange Zest
A flavoured black tea, that smells very different dry vs. steeped! I don’t know why, but when dry the leaves reminded me of dried vegetables – the kind usually found in Asian markets. I like that smell, so I don’t mind, but not sure why that came to mind.
When steeped though, the flavour becomes of earthy, fruity dark chocolate. There is a medium weight to the tea, it definitely has some body, not as much as Keemun but noticeable. There is just a hint of astringency at the end, but barely perceptible.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Earth, Fruity
Strong vanilla fragrance from dry leaves and steeped.
Good vanilla flavour with creamy mouth feel, bitter chocolate note that gets less bitter as the cup cools. Hot, this lacks a full mouth flavour, but that also improves as the cup cools.
Much less chocolate in this one, than the other vanilla blacks I’ve had recently, but a very nice choice for a straight up vanilla black tea. Thanks Lindsay!
Flavors: Bitter, Chocolate, Creamy, Vanilla
After finishing the dishes, I wanted to just sit with a cup of tea, and being unsure of what to choose, I reached into my drawer and pulled out the last bit of this from ifjuly. My choice was perfect, as this tea definitely gives you the chance to just sit and enjoy it.
I looked at the dark sky to the north (the sky always looks the best in winter towards the lake…), and took in the chocolate notes of this quite special Assam.
Earthy and sweet…so smooth and not at all bitter.
Halfway through the cup, the bite was building in the aftertaste, but it’s really more of a nip than a bite, as this tea is never overwhelming.
Truly delicious Assam, with the second steep still being smooth and wonderful.
So glad I picked this out for today. : )
I just had to cups of this pleasant tea. I have decided that it would make a nice travelling tea as it did not get bitter when I over steeped it a little and it has very little astringency.
The leaf is mostly dark with scattered greenish gold buds and a few rust coloured leaves scattered here and there.
I steeped one teaspoon in 225ml of 95°C water. The first steep was over three minutes.
The tea brewed to a beautiful orangey red and smelled of sweet potatoes, malt cocoa, honey, soft and spicy sweet floral notes and red clover nectar.
The tea had a denser body than some Nepali teas I have had and a soft flavour. I detected notes of: honey, sweet potato, a spicy complex floral ranging from rose to spicy clover, cocoa, a light hint of muscatel, plum, cream, and malt. As it cooled it developed pastry and cherry notes.
The second steep of 3.45min. Tasted of cream, oatmeal, honey, sweet potato and malt with cherry, hints of cocoa and a spicy floral towards the end of the sip.
Altogether a nice and pleasant tea.
Jay Shree Tea and Industries Ltd which owns the Meleng Tea Estate describes this as a strong and sparkling tea. Having tried this steeped a couple of ways I can agree with this. I can get a delicious cup using only 1 sugar spoon worth of tea (@1.5g ) steeped for only 2.5minutes.
This tea has mid-sized wide dark blades with a very liberal scattering of saffron to gold coloured tips. The dry leaf smells if the sharp upper tones of malt and cocoa.
Once steeped the tea is an orangish red that is approaching the red tone of a Keemun.
The steeped tea smells of currants, barley mash, malt, hints of spicy floral, honey, and hot lemon.
I found that using more leaf and longer steeping times emphasised the tart fruit and malt notes of this tea. Using less leaf and shorter timings resulted in a sweeter and more balanced cup.
1.5 sugar spoons:
@3min.Smooth yet tart, upper tones of malt with the deeper tones underneath supporting the tea. Honey, currants, tart red fruit, grainy notes underneath, hints of cracked wheat, hints of orange and spicy floral notes. Honey and deeper tones become more apparent as it cools with plum and orange mixed with deeper tones of malt and a hint of blackcurrant and cocoa.
2nd steep sweeter and spicier with hints of lemon, cherry, along with more apparent deeper malt tones. The flavour is more rounded and balanced. . Mild to medium astringency. A bright, tart tea.
3rd steep 4 min. Similar to second and still very potent with a bit more cocoa and honey. This tea could easily yield another steep.
1 sugar spoon:
Using less leaf and a shorter steep time ( 2.5 minutes) resulted in a less tart and more balanced cup with the base elements more apparent in the flavour and a hint of yam. The natural sweetness of this tea is also note apparent with the cocoa mixing with honey and the floral notes in away that reminds me of some Keemun.
The astringency in this tea does create a texture that may come off as sparkling to some palates or as woodiness to others.
Altogether this is a bright and fruity and spicy Assam with a sweetness lying underneath. It is a very resilient and well made cup.
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! <3
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!