Imperial Teas of LincolnEdit Company
Popular Teas from Imperial Teas of LincolnSee All 40 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Nectar. Of. The. Gods. Tastes like honey. cant believe this is an Oolong. totally different taste to anything ive ever had before!
tried it gonfu style and had massive burnt sugar aroma, and grapes. Tasted the burnt sugar/caramel thing going on. wonderful
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Grapes, Honey, Nectar, Sugar
another great balanced oolong, leaning towards the savoury. Slight caramel astringency, but mixed up with the woody oolong taste makes it a very interesting cup, which changes throughout the taste, ending with a nutty aroma and nice head feel.
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Caramel, Nuts
The steeped leaves smell of peaches, the aroma of the cup is 100% cream, amazingly so. My nose is learning slowly to distinguish smells, and something about the smell of the oil from this one is great.
The taste is very forward sweet Oolong, and a very complex taste, hints of wine and trees, and maybe a bit of Da Yu Ling in there, then pear. wow. im in love with this one.
Less balanced than the Xing Ren Almond Phoenix, less savoury, more colourful, and with a creeping astringency that comes in at the side of the tongue.
I like this one
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Peach, Pear, Red Wine
Such a nice Oolong. I read another review of this type of tea and was described as ‘nutty where it wants to be, sweet where it needs to be, and with a small dose of butter from the fridge on top’ or something to that effect.
That is as good a description as i can give i think. very complex, with a changing aftertaste and feeling that continues after the sips. very well balanced, my first cup steep i just gulped down (I alternate between gong fu style and yo-yo cups).
Has a bit of a kick to it! I’m not sure on caffeine levels but medium to high.
Didn’t think id like it as much as i did.
If you like savoury but not dry, balanced Oolong, you cant go wrong really
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Nutty, Sweet
im finding it hard to describe this tea, as im not that familiar with jade oolongs yet.
but oh my is it delicious. the aftertaste just sits in your mouth for ages and i feel so much nicer after having a cup. later steeps taste better than the first.
hardly anything of the greenish taste from other jades i have tried, which im not much of a fan of.. it really has a taste i just cant describe. nicest green tea ive ever tried i think
Well, this is the tea that pushed all my other scores down 15%.
I am in no way a professional taster, have been drinking ‘proper’ tea for 2 years, and this is the nicest cup of anything hot i have ever had.
Trying to describe the flavour is hard, because its changes, every mouthful is different, and after every mouthful the flavour stays in your mouth and changes.
The main aroma is of a type of cinnamon that I have never experienced before, it is heaven. woody flavours and fresh sweet astringency that is perfect. some kind of sweet floral taste and it lingers on the tongue..
So completely balanced and a joy to drink. makes me a happy bunny
only reason it didnt get 100 is that I had to make a tea fund just to afford it, and once i bought 100g it disappeared from the website. limited.
changed my whole perception of tea.
Flavors: Astringent, Cedar, Cinnamon, Mint, Rose, Wood
I made a brew of this about a month ago and was a little disappointed, having previously been entranced by the same garden’s second flush Moonlight Delight. I’ve had another go today, and still found it disappointing. However, I’m not rating it yet as I suspect that, as so often with me and Darjeelings, I’ve yet to properly get to grips with brewing it. Anyway, here’s a write-up of my two sets of notes.
I brewed a mug with a heaped teaspoonful brewed for two minutes, boiling water.
In the mug it was a clear, light-orange brew with a faint, clean smell, somewhere between eau-de-cologne and cut grass.
In the mouth there’s a lingering smoothness, difficult to define, perhaps like a very, very mild butter. I get good basic tea with hints of cut grass and, perhaps, vanilla. Oddly, the vanilla and basic tea seem to fade as the level in the cup lowers and the tea cools.
It’s only the first mug, and I’ve previously found Darjeelings quite variable, but this doesn’t strike me as anything like as good as the second flush, Tumsong’s ‘Moonlight Delight’.
It says you can make one or two infusions, so I tried a second one, made the same way.
To my surprise, I’m tasting this as a fraction stronger. In the nose and mouth I’m not really getting the eau-de-cologne and vanilla elements now, but in both I’m getting a hint of the smell of fresh, sweet hay. Having said I thought it a fraction stronger, this time I don’t seem to be getting the flavour ‘fading’ as the level in the cup is falling.
I brewed a mug with a well-heaped teaspoonful brewed for two and a half mintues, boiling water.
In the mug i’s a clear, pale yellow-orange; but I really can’t make anything much of the smell. I’m not getting it as the description in the last note.
In the mouth it’s quite bland: there are tiny hints of basic tea (perhaps just a fraction stale), nettles, toffee and something like the smell of ripped-up cardboard – but I do mean ‘tiny’, in each case. On that thing of the flavour fading, as it cools and the level falls I seem to have lost the hints of nettles and butter. This is disappointing, even compared to the last note.
I made a second infusion, exactly the same way.
The brew looks just the same as the first, but, this time, I’m getting a fruity smell – possibly a faint smell of packet, dried, mixed fruit.
I’m getting quite fleeting flavours in the mouth. I picked the mug up and took a sip and got the mixed, dried fruit with an immediate aftertaste of toffee; and a second sip gave ‘smell of nettles’ and grass – rather different to the first. Then I put the mug down and thought about it for a few moments, thinking what to write, picked it up for another sip before writing, and got different again; this time the sweetness had gone and I got quite a firm element – like the smell of grass or green vegetation, but without any sweetness to it.
These are all quite faint elements, though. I don’t think the experiment of two and a half minutes instead of the recommended two has made any noticeable improvement – perhaps I should try two teaspoonfuls?
I made my first mug of this with a moderately-heaped teaspoon and brewed (as per the instructions) for two minutes. It’s an orange brew in the mug but I found it quite bland – a touch of butter, perhaps a hint of vanilla, but not much else.
So I made a second mug with a heavily-heaped teaspoon – right up on the handle – probably a heaped teaspoon and a half-teaspoon; two minutes again. It smells of cut grass and rust. It has a much stronger flavour, with an element verging on the harsh element I described in my notes on Imperial Teas’ Superior Breakfast – liquorice without any hint of sweetness. There is just the tiniest hint of orange peel (not sweet orange, I mean the bitter juice that sprays from the peel itself,) and a hint of cut grass.
I didn’t enjoy this very much but I’m not rating it because I don’t yet think I’ve properly got to grips with brewing it.
The instructions are for ‘2 – 5 mins’ so I split the difference and brewed for three and a half minutes with boiling water. This is one of those awkward-to-spoon, long-stranded teas, but I used a near-as-I-could-judge heaped teaspoon. Actually, as this is quite light in weight, I’m now wondering if I should have used two.
It made a quite dark, slightly orange, brown brew, clear, but intense enough in colour to be almost opaque.
In the nose: there is a very subtle, but rich, fragrance which is difficult to pin down – it seems to differ with different sniffs. I get a good, clean, basic tea, a roast beef or Oxo note, uncooked pastry dough and, sometimes, just a hint of flowers or perfume. As it cools and the level falls, I’m noting a ‘herby’ hint – possibly somewhere between thyme and sage, but just a hint.
In the mouth I get the good, clean basic tea (I should explain that: when I used cheap teabags, as far as I remember I got a single, basic tea note but it had a rather diffuse or ‘muddy’ taste which contrasted with the ‘cleaner’ or more ‘pure’ flavour of the best of the loose tea we used to have when I was a youngster, before teabags were so widespread – I taste the teas I have now as varying between these two extremes). The roast beef or Oxo note of the smell is not so noticeable. I’m getting a good, smooth butteriness rather than the dough thing. There’s a note that is somewhere between cut grass and the thyme-sage thing I noted for the aroma.
I made a second infusion, same way.
In appearance, the colour didn’t look any less intense than the first time, but there were oily spots on the surface.
There was less aroma: I think I could detect a very faint and fleeting butteriness and an equally faint grassy-metallic element.
In the mouth it was definitely less interesting than the first infusion – I didn’t get much apart from a faint, doughy butteriness and a little basic tea flavour.
This is a pretty good brew – the first infusion, at least; but I think that when I make a fresh one I’ll try two heaped teaspoons.
I made a brew with a heaped teaspoon steeped for three minutes.
The aroma is quite changeable, with different elements showing in different sniffs.
In the mouth there is that ‘smell of shredded hedge clippings’ thing I mentioned in the earlier note, good basic tea (quite a generous note of this) and mixed dried fruit notes; with tiny hints of chocolate and butter. Actually, I started to notice a quite chocolatey aftertaste a significant time after I’d finished the mug (I was thirsty and it went down rather fast) – I’d put the mug down after finishing it, wrote a line or so of the next paragraph, and then became aware of it.
This is an excellent cup of tea and I’m sure it’s a little superior to the brew I made exactly the same way on the 23/04/2012. I’m sure it’s more intensely flavoured. Thinking back, I remember that, perhaps feeling a little flamboyant, I poured in the hot water from significantly higher than normal – from about six inches above rather than carefully with the kettle almost touching the infuser (I was whistling at the time, too – one of those mornings). Could this make a significant difference to the brew? After all, the leaves are going to be given more of a stirring-up. Also, the water’s going to be a little aerated.
Now, this has given me something to think about – especially with those Darjeelings that I’ve been finding so changeable from brew to brew.
I made a second infusion the same way – even down to the height of pouring (forgot to whistle, though).
Again the aroma is quite changeable. On times, I’m noticing a note similar to some chocolate and coconut-flavoured sweet I’ve eaten at some time or other – can’t remember exact details, but may be something from a box of chocolates.
In the mouth, the vegetation thing is less noticeable and there is more chocolate. The dried fruit thing is not so prominent, but is now giving almost a ‘tingle’ to the flavour. There’s still quite a generous element of good basic tea – I don’t have to ‘look for it’, as it were; it’s quite prominent in the flavour and aroma.
I made a third infusion and – wouldn’t you know it – I forgot about pouring the water from a height. I remembered and lifted the kettle at the last moment, hardly enough to put any bubbles into it.
It’s still quite a pleasant brew, though nothing special this time – nowhere near the standard of the first two. I’m getting good basic tea still, plus chocolate, and just the tiniest, fleeting hint of the dried fruit.
On the strength of today’s infusions I’m going to give this quite a high rating.
Also, I’m quite intrigued with this height of pouring business and I’m looking forward to experimenting with other teas. I’m now wondering whether I’ve not had the best out of some quite expensive tea samples about which I’ve given a low opinion. Or is the whole thing just in my imagination?
As an experiment, I’m trying this with two-minute infusions, like the Buddha’s Hand: a heaped teaspoon, boiling water.
It’s a quite intense red-brown in the mug. It doesn’t look at all weak; but I can see to the bottom of the mug.
In the nose I’m getting good tea and a smell of green, lush undergrowth.
Tasting it, I’m thinking the two minutes might be a mistake. It’s noticeably blander than previous brews. It’s quite grassy to taste and I suppose the steeping time was enough for that element to come out, but not enough to properly allow the others, so that it’s unbalanced. There’s good basic tea there, though.
It’s right on the border between ‘okay’ and ‘not very nice’
Second infusion: I made it the same way.
The appearance and aroma are the same.
The flavour is pretty much the same as for the first infusion, but the grassy element is a fraction more bitter.
I made a third infusion, same way. This is rather blander, an infusion too many.
In view of the dealer info above, I possibly brewed my first mug of this too long. The above contains detailed brewing info, as opposed to the ‘Tea Brewing Info’ tab which simply says ‘3 – 6 mins’. I went on the latter, split the difference, and brewed for four and a half minutes. I used a well-heaped teaspoon (this is the correct amount as I actually weighed it at 3g, the instructions give 1g per 100ml, and I’m using a half-pint mug which is 284ml). I used boiling water.
In the mug it’s an intense, dark brown, quite opaque in its intensity.
It smells at least of cut grass and good basic tea and I think there’s something else in there, something darker and firmer, which I can’t quite pin down. I could possibly call it liquorice but it’s not quite that. I should note, as well, that you get whiffs of good, clean basic tea from this without bending down to the cup.
In the mouth it’s quite elusive – I think I’m getting different flavours with different sips and I think the flavour changes as the tea cools. I got basic tea and cut grass, possibly a hint of liquorice, butter, possibly vanilla or something similar – some sweet-smelling flower, perhaps.
Though it’s complex with good basic tea flavour, I wouldn’t describe this as a robust tea but as more delicate and refined – more like an expensive Darjeeling, but different.
Second infusion: as I’ve already probably overdone it with the first one, I’m giving this another four and a half minutes.
It’s not opaque like the first, but still an intense, dark brown and almost opaque in its intensity.
In the nose it was similar but I thought I was having hay rather than cut grass. There may be a yeasty or doughy hint, too.
In the mouth it’s just as complex and elusive. I don’t know what to think of it. There’s a hard edge in there, difficult to describe but perhaps somewhere between grass and metal polish; but then that’s balanced by a toffee- or butter-like softness. But I get little, fleeting ‘glimpses’ of flavour, both when drinking and as after-taste, which are really difficult to pin down.
This is one of three small samples of these expensive, Taiwanese, black teas I had from Imperial Teas and was actually the first I opened (I believe
they’re called ‘Oriental Beauty’ teas but I’m ready to be corrected on that – wrong – I’ve just looked up the Oriental Beauty teas and they’re oolongs). The notes for this entry were made some time ago, but I forgot to post here. Since then I’ve opened the second, the ‘Buddha’s Hand’ Fo Shou Hon Cha, and I’ve been having so many adventures with that one (see my notes on it) that I’m not going to rate this until I’ve made at least two more tasting notes to experiment with quantities used.
Will review again when I have another cup. The first time I tried it, I made a pot and it turned out quite well. A pleasant tea, possibly for an afternoon, very subtle flavours. The second time was with a ball infuser in a cup – I tried it after steeping about 3mins and it didnt seem ready, when I tried it again – possibly a little late 4.30-5 it had turned completely on me and was overly bitter.
Maybe when I get more proficient at exact steeping I will have another go!
In spite of the fears of bankruptcy I expressed in the last tasting note, I bought a 100g of this. So this is a tasting note for the new lot.
I made a brew with a well-heaped teaspoon brewed for four mintues, boiling water.
It made an intensely-coloured to the point of being opaque, slightly-yellowish, brown infusion.
The nose this time seems to be somewhere between digestive biscuits and pizza base. There’s just a hint of something else in there, somewhere between straw and good, sweet hay.
Sipping the tea, I get digestive biscuits and toffee, good basic tea, and a firm note rather like liquorice if you could imagine liquorice without any sweetness. This note is oddly contrasting because the immediate impression of the tea is the digestive biscuit and toffee sweetness; so it’s a sweet-flavoured tea with an unsweet note to it.
Taking a good mouthful of it, I get a touch of bitterness in the back of the throat, vaguely similar to stale tea. I’m a bit surprised by that – don’t like it.
I made a second infusion, four minutes and boiling water, again.
It’s still intensely-coloured but I can just see to the bottom of the cup.
I can smell faint touches of pizza base and butter.
Sipping it, the first thing I notice is orange, perhaps with the tiniest edge of orange-peel to it. There’s something like toffee or warm butter. Taking a bit more of a mouthful, there’s a very slight bite; it’s like cut grass with a barely noticeable pepperiness or gingeriness – difficult to pin down precisely – to it. There’s enough basic tea there not to be noticeable by its absence.
Taking more of a mouthful brings out the digestive biscuit stroke toffee thing – or perhaps it’s because it’s cooler. There’s definitely not bitterness or staleness there.
I’m finding this a rather more enjoyable cup than the first infusion – it’s excellent.
I made a third infusion for completion’s sake – same way.
It’s still quite an intense colour – I’d describe it as medium-intensity.
I’m not getting a lot in the nose – perhaps a hint of pizza base or raw dough. Then, after a sip or two, I started to get a hint of cut grass in the nose.
First little sip: that digestive biscuit note is really intense, really rich and sweet. That peppery or gingery grass thing is there with a little more of the bite, but not at all unpleasantly so – the bite is still not strong enough to identify more exactly. There’s butter and basic tea in there. Again, there’s absolutely no sign of the bitterness of the first infusion. As I get to the bottom of the cup and it’s quite cool, I’m getting just a hint of the orange again.
This is a lighter cup than the first two infusions, but it’s still an excellent cup of tea. It’s a bit like a delicate but very good Darjeeling.
I’m almost tempted to try a fourth infusion, just for curiosity; but I didn’t really want this one so I’ll stop there.
Well, I had reservations about the first infusion, but, going on the second and third infusions, I have to say this is a really excellent tea and I’m going to keep my rating the same.
I brewed this with a well-heaped teaspoon steeped for four minutes, boiling water.
The colour is so intense a dark brown as to be opaque and almost black, with a yellowish cast round the edge of the surface circumference.
In the nose there’s a doughy element and there’s a meaty element reminiscent of Oxo or Bovril or some such thing.
In the mouth … I’m actually struggling for words, this is a bit different. First of all, as you’d expect from the seller’s notes, there’s absolutely no Lapsang Souchong taste of pine, nor is there any smokiness. It has that smoothness and body I usually link to a ‘butter’ element, but this time it’s definitely not a butter taste; perhaps I could call it toffee, but it’s not sweet – not that it’s at all harsh or bitter. It’s almost as if it ‘thickens’ the tea and it definitely gives a richness of flavour. There’s that Bovril or Oxo element – just a hint of beefiness. There’s just enough good basic tea there, but, oddly, I’m getting a rather stronger basic tea element in the aftertaste, from a second or so after swallowing, onwards. There’s the faintest hint of liquorice in there. These things blend together to give a quite savoury, meaty whole.
I could characterise this as a very ‘satisfying’, ‘soothing’, ‘comforting’ tea, but if that makes it sound like the traditional British cuppa it’s the wrong impression. This is a bit different – something out on it’s own. It’s a really excellent cup of tea.
This doesn’t seem like the kind of stuff that would bear a second infusion, but the instructions say one or two, so I’m trying a second – four minutes, again.
Surprisingly, this is still quite an intense colour. It may be a fraction less intense but I still can’t see to the bottom.
It smells almost the same, but with, perhaps, the very faintest metallic hint.
In the mouth it strikes me as a slightly lighter cup of tea than the first. That thing I was hesitant about calling toffee is now definitely a toffee element. The meaty thing is, perhaps, reined back a little. That tiny metallic hint is there, too, but I’m not sure if it’s right to call it ‘metallic’; it’s not grassy, perhaps it’s something between grassy and metallic. It’s very, very faint though, just enough to put a slightest ‘edge’ in the flavour. There’s something in the aftertaste – now, this sounds horrible, but I’m really not describing something horrible – that is reminiscent of that ‘smell of sick’ note you get in good champagne (I’ve actually seen it described as such by wine professionals, so it’s not just me being fanciful).
This is an excellent cup of tea, again, but not quite the same thing as the first one.
At £30 per 100g ($48 plus or €39 plus at the time of writing), this stuff causes some soul-searching, though. I only have a sample and I’d love to get in a stock of it; but it’s not as if it’s the only expensive tea in this batch that I’m thinking the same thing about – I can think of at least three without looking at my notes. If I gave in to the temptation, bankruptcy would loom, I think.
This note is liable to turn into something of a saga.
My previous notes were made on a sample of this I had and I found the brewing of it quite problematic. I got really excellent cups of tea by using less tea and bland ones by using more – which didn’t make any kind of sense to me. However, when I got it right it was one of the finest teas I’ve tasted – really special.
So, a month ago, I decided to treat myself to 100g of it. It was the most expensive tea I’ve so far bought in other the sample quantity. I felt it deserved a little better than my mugs, so I bought an ornate infuser cup with a lid, from the same site. Determined to sort out the problem of exactly how much to use, I also bought a cheap, 100g x 0.01g scales. Trying to accurately weigh just one or two grammes on my regular kitchen scales was clearly wildly optimistic.
Not to put too fine a point on it, it was all a waste of money.
The excellent results I previously had were all with small quantities steeped for two minutes, boiling water. So I made brews the same way with 0.5g, 1g, 1.5g, 1.75g, 2g, 2.5g and 3.5g, though not in that order. In each case I got disappointed. At the best, I got a little basic tea with touches of chocolate and grass and not much else – a reasonable cup of tea but really nothing at all special. I’d pretty much written it off by this time but, just for experiment, I tried steeping for three minutes with 2g, and then 3g. The only difference was a possible tiny-tiniest hint of white pepper.
This is clearly not the same tea as the sample I had. Whether it’s because they come from different seasons – I bought them five months apart – I don’t know. But it’s been a real disappointment and I’m going to drop my rating drastically.
Following on from my previous three tasting notes for this (I can’t figure out why they’re not in chronological order), this time I made a mug with about 1.5g of dry tea.
It’s a good, strong colour, but clear enough to be transparent to the bottom of the mug.
In the nose I’m getting fleeting hints of pizza base and flowers.
In the mouth it’s quite complex. There’s just enough basic tea and the flowers, again. There are hints of liquorice and cut grass, giving a little touch of firmness to the flavour. There’s a little touch of butter or toffee, giving a body and smoothness to it. Again, I think I’m aware of the flavour slightly intensifying as the tea cools.
I made a second infusion, the same way (two minutes with boiling water).
It’s slightly less intense in colour with hints of pizza base, cut grass and straw in the nose. Now, the straw is new.
In the mouth I think it’s a fraction less sweet. The straw is there, again, and the other flavours are just slightly subdued compared to the first infusion.
As it is cooling and the level in mug going down, the flavours are intensifying again and the straw element is drifting slightly towards packet mixed dried fruit. It’s different to the first infusion – a fraction more ‘bite’ because of the straw slash dry fruit thing – but still a pretty excellent brew.
This is equivalent in enjoyment to the really excellent infusions I made in the first tasting note, but it’s less full-on and more ‘genteel’ – less Theda Bara and more Audrey Hepburn. I have to believe that the amount of dry tea used is really critical with this stuff. I’m also starting to wonder if the flavour isn’t going to be subtly different with each new brew – I seem to remember reading something to that effect about some Chinese or Taiwanese tea on a seller’s website.
Whatever, this is so good when I get it right that I’m going to give it my highest rating. This is something really special.