Jenier World of Teas
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks to Angrboda for this sample!
Up until now, the Golden Monkey tea’s that I’ve tried have been disappointing. Somewhat average tea’s that are malty but lacking the cocoa taste that I can easily get with other Fujian Black tea’s.
Although Angrboda commented that the aroma wasn’t very fragrant, my less than petite nose perked up right away. I noticed more than cocoa coming from the dry leaves. There was a sweet brown sugar candy scent that smelled delightful (like walking into an old fashioned candy store).
Prior tastings of ‘other’ Golden Monkey tea’s left me with the rather odd aftertaste of super dark baking molasses.
This Jenier Fujian tea was mild light brown sugar, cocoa and caramel. Smooth, gentle and with enough body for adding milk.
I can see why this tea is a favorite of Angrboda on a cold day in Denmark!
A sample from the lovely Angrboda! I’ve been bad about logging my tea lately. Mostly because I ran into a bit of time that everything tasted flat and I couldn’t pick up anything other than “tastes like tea”. But that’s all fixed now so hopefully I can dig into the remaining samples and new-to-me teas that I have.
This one… Wow. First off, I wasn’t really expecting anything super awesome because the smell of this one initially struck me as twiggy. I’m not a huge wood-in-my-tea fan. But there was also some raw cacao to the smell so I was hopeful.
Upon sipping, though, I was kind of knocked back. The smell is mild and pretty but the taste? It’s bold and kind of smacks you in the face. The tartness was what I first noticed. It’s that semi-sour note that I’ve found in a number of Keemuns – kind of a mix of an underripe black plum (or maybe lemon juice without the citrus aspect) and a tiny hint of tar. Not lapsang-levels of tar, mind you. Perhaps it is a raw cacao taste, but this seems too silky and heavy on my tongue for me to think of raw cacao (but it’s too dark to be even an 80% dark chocolate). That thickness & richness makes me think more tar-like thoughts, even if there’s no real smoke or char note in this.
There’s a lot of bittersweet going on in this, too. The sweetness in this is somewhere between blackstrap molasses and burnt caramel and there is a delightful grain note that seems very much liked the caramelized barley the husband uses in beer making. All dark, rich, heavy notes that hint at sweetness but never really get there.
Even the feel of this tea is dark and heavy – like rolling around in a chocolate bar commercial. You know the ones where they use satin sheets rippling and flowing to show you the silky sexiness of the caramel in the candy bar? It’s like that. Heavy, rich, decadent, sophisticated and quite sexy.
This is one sexy cup of tea. It’s so dark and rich with the not-quite-sweet-but-not-quite-bittersweet-either that it’s pretty close to overwhelming. It’s a tea that is worth a post-cup nap. Or a cigarette.
Sipdown! Not a favourite in the end. The strawberry is lovely and strong, although not very natural tasting, but the green base was just too bitter for me to really enjoy.
More importantly, I was just chosen to set the fire alarm off at work. Oh, the excitement!
This is the last one from my Jenier order that I haven’t tried before. I’m not sure why I couldn’t seem to get around to it. I tend to be quite attracted to something which has the word ‘dream’ in it for some reason, and I can’t actually put a finger on why. I suppose it just speaks to my imagination somehow. This one was further attractive by having mallow flowers in it and ‘a strong hint of blackberry’ as the site description says.
Mallow flowers plus berry flavouring tends to go down well with me. Booberry from 52teas was a shiny example of this being a good combination. The bad thing about it, though, is that it rather tends to make the leaves smell strongly of cheap synthetic bubblegum. Oh well, I can deal with that. Especially since this is not the prevalent aroma after brewing. It’s much more fruity here and blackberry-ish but not so mallow-y. I can smell the black teas as well. A blend of Assam and Ceylon, and the Assam stands out the most, probably adding the high notes while leaving the Ceylon to supply some body, I think. There’s also some kind of Chinese green in here, but that doesn’t seem to want to come out to play.
Because of the inclusion of green tea, I decided to brew at 70°C, even though Jenier categorises it as a black tea blend. I don’t know how much green is in here. It might be just a smidge, in which case the cautious temperature might not have been necessary, because I can’t really spot any obviously green leaves in the blend either. I’ll have to try it again later at 90°C and see what sort of difference that makes. Remind me to actually do this.
The flavour is very nice. The black tea is coming out surprisingly strongly in spite of the low temperature. I was not expecting that at all, so I had a bit of a “hey, what’s going on here?!!” moment at the first sip.
The blackberry is indeed a strong hint. It’s not as all-out fruity as something that would have been straight on blackberry flavoured, but there’s definitely berry flavouring in here. It’s obvious but a bit more subtle, if you understand the distinction I’m trying to make here. This is also the case with the mallow flowers. These two flavours work in perfect unison for a sweet fruity tea, but with a LOT of black tea body. I suspect this is where the green tea comes in. I wonder if it’s the green tea that, while undetectable itself, really carries the flavours here.
I expect this is a tea that is going to go quickly. It’s very enjoyable indeed! Definitely my favourite of all the flavoured ones I got from Jenier. I might get this again.
Only one other person on Steepster has posted about this tea and our experiences couldn’t be more different. Isn’t it funny how these things can go?
Another Jenier that’s kind of weird. I’m not having the best of luck with these. This is a black/green blend, flavoured with…what? It contains cornflowers and mallow flowers, but they’re not contributing much in the way of taste. The black and green teas are mostly what I’m getting, and the effect isn’t 100% pleasant. I gave up and read the description – the black teas are assam and Ceylon, the variety of green tea isn’t specified, and the flavour is supposed to be blackberry. Well, well. I’m not sure I’d have guessed.
The black teas are quite strong and astringent, and the green tea tastes pretty murky. The recommendation was to brew this in boiling water, which is what I did, but I think next time I’ll try letting it cool for a bit. That might help the green a little – I imagine it certainly can’t do any harm. There is a hint of fruitiness now that’s what I’m focusing on, but I wouldn’t say it’s specifically blackberry. What this is, mostly, is bitter.
That’s perhaps apt given my mood at the moment, but it’s not the tea for me right now. Back to the drawing board with this one, I think.
The dry leaf here smells wonderfully of fresh strawberry. It’s just so strong and clear, it’s made me really interested in trying the brewed tea AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. I was patient, though, and waited for the water to cool :)
Brewed, this is the kind of murky yellow-green that makes my heart sink. I was expecting it to be bitter, but it was actually okay. The strawberry is reasonably clear, and the sencha base is smooth and slightly vegetal in taste. I didn’t expect the strawberry to taste as strongly as it smelt, but it almost does. It’s sweet and slightly candy like, but definitely strawberry. Apparently there’s papaya in here too, but I can’t taste that.
This is probably my second favourite of the Jenier Teas I’ve tried so far. I haven’t been all that impressed on the whole, but I’ve found a couple of teas to like from the selection I chose. This is one of them.
Sipdown! Finished this one off at work today. I’ve tried different steep times and temparatures, and varying the amount of leaf. I still don’t really like it, though…it’s just a bit chemically and over sweet for my tastes. I’m glad to have tried it, but there are definitely other grenadine flavoured teas I prefer.
Sipdown! There were three whole blackberries in this cup, and you can taste the difference. They overpower the hibiscus completely, making this a lot more pleasant than it was last week. It actually tastes fruity now! It’s still a little tart and sour, but it’s also much improved. There’s a definite berry flavour, and it’s juicy and more refreshing. As a bonus, it’s not drying my mouth out anymore.
The flavours aren’t very well balanced. Last time, all I got was hibiscus and rosehip, with a hint of strawberry and raspberry. Today, all I’m getting is blackberry. Where the pineapple and papaya are in all this, I have no idea. It’d be better if the flavours were more even – if I could have a cup that tasted of strawberry, blackberry and raspberry I’d be happier – but I don’t think that’s going to happen. In any case, I enjoyed this tea today so I’ve increased its rating a little. I probably won’t be repurchasing, though. It’s too hit and miss for that.
Backlog from Monday.
Second of the fruit teas I got with my order of samples from Jenier. I have no idea why this is aimed at children specifically, or called Fairy Princess. It’s supposed to be a strawberry, papaya, pineapple, blackberry and raspberry fruit blend, as far as I can discern. With generous amounts of apple, hibiscus and rosehip thrown in for good measure.
It smells nice – you can tell it’s a berry tea, and the strawberry is detectable. To taste, though, it’s SO TART. It’s actually making me scrunch my face up, which doesn’t happen to often. I can taste strawberry initially, and a sharpness that’s almost raspberry in the aftertaste. Everything in between is screamingly tart, mouth-drying hibiscus, unfortunately, and I can’t taste pineapple, blackberry or papaya at all. It could be nice, but it isn’t really. There’s too much sourness for that. The search continues.
This is an interesting one – coffee flavoured tea! The dry leaf smells primarily of coffee, although the earthy rooibos scent is also pretty strong. It’s that nice, slightly spiky looking rooibos that I’ve come to know I’ll quite like, though, so I’m not too apprehensive. I gave this 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and was rewarded with the usual red-brown liquid. Brewed, the scent is mostly woody rooibos, with just a hint of sweet almond – almost like frangipani, or a freshly opened packet of amaretti biscuits.
To taste, this isn’t actually as thin and watery as I was expecting. The coffee flavour isn’t overpowering, but it’s definitely there. It’s obviously not like drinking a cup of coffee, but it’s not fake or weak either. I’m pretty hungry at the moment, so that’s perhaps influencing my comparison here, but it’s actually making me think of a coffee flavoured bakewell tart. Not that such a thing exists in reality, but if it did. Frangipani and pastry, with coffee flavoured glace icing. Oh yeah!
I’m not sure about this one. Something I drank this morning made me feel a bit pukey, and this is, unfortunately, one of the suspects. The first thing that struck me is how much I dislike the smell of the dry leaf. It’s kind of chemically, very sweet, but with an edge of bitterness. The smell reminds me of some of the adagio flavoured blacks, not all of which I can stand.
Anyway, I’ve had two cups today, the first with milk and the second without. It smells much better brewed, but the base tea is pretty bitter even after only three minutes. Out of the two cups, I think I prefer the one with milk, as it seems to tone down the bitterness a touch. On the other hand, I could definitely taste the strawberry-syrup-like grenadine and the creamy, sweet vanilla a lot more clearly without.
I’ve only got a sample packet, but there are at least a couple of cups worth left. I think I’m going to have to experiment a bit before I finally get this right. The base tea is strong enough to take milk, but it does mute the flavour, so a little bit of fiddling around with the amount of leaf and the brew time might help to clarify things for me. At the moment, I can’t say I really like this, so my rating reflects that. A shame.
This blend is more herbal than Fairy Princess. The dry mix contains cornflowers, rose petals, blackberry leaves and what looks like lemongrass, as well as apple, hibi, rosehip, and orange. It smells distinctly more herbal, too. I gave it about 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and was rewarded with the normal dark red hibiscus colour.
According to the description, this one should taste very fruity, like a rocket blast, apparently. It doesn’t, really. There’s the normal over-tart, sour hibi-rosehip taste, but very little else reminds me of fruit. I can maybe find orange a tiny bit, if I’m really looking for it, but it’s not obvious. The main flavour, other than hibiscus, is more herbal than fruit. Rose comes through quite strongly, and something vaguely “green”, too. It’s not really a comfortable flavour combination. It’s not bad, though, and it’s certainly a more interesting fruit/herbal blend than some I’ve tried recently. I just wish it was a lot lighter on the hibiscus and rosehip – it would be so much better like that.
I really wanted to like this one, but it’s a bit of a miss for me. Looking at the dry mix, all I can really see are pieces of hibiscus, rosehip and apple. Consequently, all I can really taste are hibiscus and rosehip. Interesting, in a tea called strawberry kiwi. Saying that, I can taste strawberry a little, and the smell is right, so there must be some flavourings added here. Unfortunately, they’re just not powerful enough to stand against my nemesis hibi, and his sidekick rosehip. I’m not getting kiwi at all in the taste, and not really to speak of in the scent. Strawberry, yes, but only just. And that’s really all.
As fruit teas go, it’s no better or worse than the majority I’ve tried. I just wish it wasn’t called strawberry kiwi, because that had me hoping for a minute.
I tend to generally enjoy a flavoured oolong, but I’m not too keen on floral teas. I have, however, succesfully had teas with orange blossoms before and find them to be quite tolerable.
The dry leaves certainly smells like oranges. I suspect it’s not just orange blossoms, I suspect there is also some actual orange flavouring in here. It’s a very pungent smell. Almost perfume-y. And when I say perfume-y, I mean perfume-y as in sitting behind a woman on the bus who used the same perfume every day for so long that she no longer has any idea of how much perfume she’s actually wearing. (There’s a woman like that on the bus I take to work. I try to avoid sitting within two seats of her if I can. On a particularly bad day, it’s like I can almost taste it.)
Then, when I poured the tea, the strongest floral aroma wafted up from the cup. Very floral. Dusty and grey smelling and highly suspicious.
This lead me to study the ingredients list a little closer. True enough, it said ‘natural flavours’ so it’s definitely been just flavoured with orange. It also said ‘jasmine petals’.
I abhor jasmine flavoured teas! Why are there jasmine petals in something that’s supposed to be orange blossom? Why do the words ‘orange blossoms’ not even feature anywhere at all except for the name of the blend? It does not look like the picture and the description on the site even says it’s got orange blossoms in it. Now I’m sitting here with a cup that has managed to sorely disappoint me before I’ve even tasted it.
This is not at all an old tea in my collection, but it’s definitely going on the Consider-This-First shelf regardless, just so I can get rid of it quicker. Unless anybody wants it, in which case I’ve got somewhere between 20 and 25 grams, I think, and I will happily give it away.
Right, I’d better taste it.
It’s not actually as bad as feared right at first. At first I’m getting a strong orange flavour but none of the jasmine. The orange is so heavy that I can’t actually find much in the way of the base tea. I can only tell that it’s something rather more delicate than a black base, but I can’t say anything about the oolong used as such.
Just when I think it’s not actually going to be so abysmal, I swallow. And hello, jasmine! It doesn’t seem like it’s completely overwhelmed with jasmine, but for someone who dislikes the stuff even a little jasmine comes across as lots. Impossible to ignore it.
Yeah, I don’t like this tea at all.
Why is this stuff not sold as ‘Jasmine and orange oolong’? Because that’s what it is.
Seriously, Steepsterites. If anybody wants it, let me know. Husband is currently drinking the rest of my cup. I’m going to make something else.
(edited for grammar error)
Of course I got some of this with my order. And of course it was a double quantity compared to all the others. Of course. Not doing that would have been like… not breathing.
The aroma is quite mild. Mostly it has a wood-y note, and I’m not noticing too much of the cocoa and grain that I otherwise associate with Fujian, but it seems to be there in very small amounts. It’s like I can sense it more than I can smell it. Or perhaps I’m just so tuned into it having to be there that I’m making it up? I don’t think so, though. I think there are trace amounts of it there.
Anyway, the important thing is the taste. Yes, aroma is very important, but it’s still only 30% of the experience. If the aroma was lacking the grain and cocoa notes, then the flavour has them in spades. Especially cocoa. It’s the primary note here, and all the wood and grain is going on underneath the cocoa.
I’m quite pleased with this. It’s my favourite ever type of tea, so it’s bound to score high on that alone (see the first paragraph of this post), but I really think that this one can rub shoulders with some of the best tan yangs out there. It lacks just a bit more body to push it towards the full 100 points, but we’re very close.
Om nom nom nom Fujian black!
I like lapsang souchong! I like it on its own and I like it in blends. What we have here is a blend with LS, Ceylon and Assam. It’s been ages since I had one of these!
The aroma is lovely smoky, but not as prickly as it usually is in a pure LS. It’s smoothed out by the other two ingredients, one of which adds a thick almost milky note to it. I suspect it’s probably a hearty malty Assam at play there.
A pure LS is, for me, a case of balance between smoke and fruity sweetness. Of course there should be some body to it as well, but it’s not the most important thing. With this sort of blend, however? This is all about the body. Here the smoke becomes just a detail. And so far, in the aroma, this tea has that down just right.
Flavour is primarily Assam. Again, the smoke is just a detail. An afterthought. This is almost more an Assam blend than it’s an LS blend. It’s Assam that I get in the flavour. Malty and hearty indeed and as I suspected responsible for that milky note in the aroma. It’s there in the flavour as well, telling me that this is one of the very few teas that I wouldn’t mind it if it was served with a little milk, because it almost tastes like it’s already there.
Then, to accentuate it all, there’s the smoke from the lapsang, but it really is quite discreet. Along with the smoke, I get the Ceylon addition to the blend. It tastes high-grown with a floral-y, grassy sort of note to it. Again, it’s just a detail.
All in all, I find this a very well-balanced blend and highly enjoyable.
So far I have to say this is my favourite of the Jeniers I’ve tried so far. Although, I’m willing to admit that I may be slightly biased what with the vanilla and all. I luuuurve vanilla flavouring in tea, and it seems like it’s a love affair that is only growing. Vanilla on its own, vanilla with fruit, it’s all good. I have a tea from AC Perchs with vanilla and cranberry which I’m ever so slightly addicted to. This one both smells great and it tastes great and I can clearly taste both vanilla and fruit. I’ll make a more in depth post about it later, I think.
Tell me, though, Steepsterites. When I searched for this in the database, and awful lot of Monk’s Blends came up. Is this actually one or just similar? I was under the impression that Monk’s Blend was more floral.
I thought I would start with this one today, since it has a name like ‘Good Morning.’ I thought it was pretty obvious.
I’ve seen a bunch of grapefruit flavoured teas about on Steepster but I’ve never had one myself before. Wait, I tell a lie! I’ve had some which was flavoured with grapefruit AND other things, but never one that was grapefruit on its own before.
The aroma is strong and citrus-y. Unlike the tea from Jenier I had yesterday, which was quite mild all-round, this one is very strong. It’s a creamy and very grapefruit-y beast we have here. It has safflower petals in it, which I believe is one of those flowers that haven’t got much in the way of flavour, but provides this sort of creamyness. It rather reminds me a bit of Girlie Grey from Jeeves and Jericho.
The same notes are also strongly present in the flavour. The base, just like the one I had yesterday, is once again a relatively astringent Ceylon. This is definitely a grapefruit tea, but it feels like quite a basic one.
I’m beginning to suspect that this company might be a little Adagio-y. Great selection, excellent place to start for beginners, but people with more experience and a more well-developed idea of what they like would probably want to explore a bit more in order to find their perfect versions. But yeah, seems like an excellent spring-board into the wider world of tea, if you know what I mean.
First time I’ve ever shopped with this company. I want to talk about them for a bit, because it’s not a name I’ve seen on Steepster before that I can recall, although they have a fairly large number of teas in the database. I know some of my other European Steepsterites are like me when it comes to looking up unfamiliar companies. There are SO many of them that are based in the US and therefore out of our reach due to shipping fees and/or customs fees or perhaps they don’t even ship outside the US at all. As a consequence we often don’t even bother checking and we are undoubtedly missing out on a bunch of interesting shops. Jenier Teas is based in Scotland and the shopping basket on their website calculates shipping costs automatically for you as you put things in in your own currency(!!!), making it a piece of cake to keep an eye on.
I ordered mostly samples (or mini-packs, as I believe they were listed as on the site), but it didn’t say anywhere that I could see what the quantity of a sample was.
I can now tell you that Jenier’s samples weigh a whopping 25 grams.
Fortunately, they come in ziplocked pouches, except one, which I’ve tinned.
I also received in my order a small handwritten, personalised card in an envelope with my name on it. I’ve commented on this sort of thing before. I believe it was the first time I ordered something from Verdant. It makes me feel a closer connection to the vendor, like I really am a cherished customer, and not just another face in the crowd of people throwing money at them.
So anyway, I bought a load of samples and one tea in a larger quantity. Had I known this would be the size of the samples, I might have shown a little more moderation, but I was not to know this. (On the other hand, knowing that I can buy a fairly significant amount without having to buy a LOT is another thing that will definitely make me want to shop there again.)
Unfortunately it seems that none of the teas that I bought, not one, are in the database already.
I’m feeling quite exhausted so I thought I’d have something that sounded like it might be sweet. When I saw cherries and almonds, I thought it would be some sort of dessert-y marcipan-y concoction, but it isn’t. Not even remotely.
For one thing, it’s quite discreetly flavoured. I can’t really find much in the way of cherries here, and the almonds aren’t marcipan-y at all. They’re more like eating almonds as a nut if you understand what I mean here. Both aspects are definitely almond, but they taste entirely different. It’s very nice, but not at all what I was expecting.
I wonder what the base black is here. It’s a bit tannic and harsh in the background there, so I’m guessing a rougher-end Ceylon or Ceylon-heavy blend. This seems to be a very common tea to use as a base for flavoureds. Checking the information from the shop, it turns out the Ceylon is correctly identified.
So yeah, I’m not wowed by this by any means, but I’m also not discouraged by it. Had it been horrible I’d have been concerned about the rest of my order, you see. I may try to beef the cherry aspect up a bit with another cherry flavoured black that I’ve got.