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Sipdown, 141. Thanks to Yunomi.us for this free sample of a Japanese black tea.
As with my other sample from Yunomi, this sample was composed largely of tiny tea pieces and a lot of dust. I filtered out a lot of the dust before brewing. I also was cautious with my steeping parameters out of fear of it going bitter on me.
Steeped, it smells remarkably like the Taiwanese black tea I had recently. Very fruity, sweet, with a honeyed mead-like note. It smells pretty good considering I am not usually one for fruity black teas. However, I took a sip and you should have seen the horrific face I made. This is perhaps the most bitter tea I have ever had the displeasure of putting in my mouth. The extreme of bitter. It may be the most bitter thing I have ever tried. The bitterness is still lingering in the recesses of my mouth, coating my tongue. As it’s fading it kind of reminds me of grapefruit rind, but worse. I will not be taking another sip. I do think this may be more to do with the low quality of the sample rather than the tea itself, but I will never know.
Sipdown, 147. So, Yunomi.us has a thing where you can request free samples for review. You can select two teas, and they do warn you that requests are not guaranteed and they may substitute a similar tea in its place. Fair enough. I requested two black teas because I am curious about Japanese black teas, so I chose two that sounded most interesting (based on the limited descriptions) and sent off my request. I didn’t notice at first that I got neither of the teas I requested. One was a different first flush black tea; I am satisfied with that substitution. The other was this tea. I would not consider banana flavored black tea to be similar to unflavored black tea other than the fact that they both contain black tea. Also, of all the flavors they could have sent me, I happen to hate banana flavoring (I barely like bananas themselves), so this may backfire on them. I know they couldn’t have known that, but they could have played it safer and sent a different unflavored black tea. Also, whether due to international shipping in a flat envelope or initial packaging, this sample was mostly dust, which isn’t promising. (Note that I did just get samples from Teavivre in a flat envelope and the Oriental Beauty oolong in that was not crushed to bits).
The dry leaf smells like banana candy, not shockingly. The steeping instructions provided give a time (2.5 minutes) but not a leaf to water ratio or a temp, so I guessed. I was scared of the tea dust, so I gave it a cooler temp. After one minute the liquor was already very dark, so I pulled the brew basket. Now it smells like banana candy with a slightly grounding background of black tea, but I can’t make out enough beyond the banana flavoring to tell much about it.
Yup, it tastes like banana runts. You know the little fruit-shaped candies, each with a different flavor, and there were the little yellow banana guys? I never see runts around anymore. Although someone did have to use them in an episode of Cutthroat Kitchen recently. Anyway, it tastes like banana runts. And a hint of black tea, mostly coming through as a slight punch of bitterness in the back. I do think that if I liked the type of flavoring used here, I might like the tea itself. But I’ll never really know, I guess. Oh well, hopefully the other tea I got will turn out better.
I haven’t had this tea inawhile – I forgot how yummy this one is! Its creamy, chestnutty, roasty, and a little sweet. A perfect cup while I work on my knitting. I think I’ll be keeping this in permastock!
If you didn’t catch the blog review, http://oolongowl.com/sweet-roasted-chestnuts-black-tea-from-creha-tea-via-yunomi-us-tea-review/
I think my tea stash is out of control. I’m forgetting that I own some things, but more often I can’t find things. After my vacation, I’m going to work on doing some chalk board labels on the tins.
I wanted a black blend, though i can’t remember which one I wanted and where it was. This cute tin was in the front, so it met one of the criteria of being a black blend.
Yum, so smoooth! I love chestnut and there’s something so differently flavored about Japanese tea blends. Next Yunomi order I’m getting another flavor.
Yum! This tea is super creamy tasty! Lots of chestnut flavor (moreso on the pastry filling side than actual roasted chestnut) and a hint of cocoa flavor! The japanese black tea is also the star – it’s light and woody, quite different than other black teas out there.
Deadly is this tea has other flavors that I want to try – Strawberry, Grape, Peach, Sakura and Yuzu.
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2013/08/21/sweet-roasted-chestnuts-black-tea-from-creha-tea-via-yunomi-us-tea-review/?fb_source=pubv1