Joseph Wesley Black Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
Time for another lazy note because I was distracted by gaming! This is the last of the Joseph Wesley samples generously provided by scribbles. The leaves are small, thin, black, like most Keemuns I’ve seen. Dry scent was musty hay, maybe some grain. I did my usual black tea steep.
Yum, this one is very creamy with bread and oat flavors. There’s also some honey and maybe the slightest touch of cinnamon? Also some slight vegetal notes near the beginning of the sip, maybe greens? A fairly simple, but tasty, tea. :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Honey, Malt, Oats, Vegetal
Next up this morning is a tea sample from scribbles. I think this is third Joseph Wesley tea I’ve tried out of the four she sent. I’ve tried one or two Bai Lin teas before any enjoyed them, so I had high hopes for this one! The leaves remind me of Jin Jun Mei. They’re very thin and wiry and twisty, but they’re fuzzy and soft-looking and they have sort of a tiger stripe pattern going on. Dry scent is very mild malt and grain with some honey sweetness. I steeped a teaspoon of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees. I think in this case, I would use a touch more leaf.
The brewed aroma is dark wheat bread and tangy molasses with some raisin/prune notes. Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the aroma and taste of a tea are completely different? That’s definitely the case here. While the aroma is dark, the taste is a lovely melange of lighter, airier flavors. The bread is there, but now it reminds me of toasted light bread with just that slight crispness. I would also compare it to a buttery pastry. There are some oat-y notes along with the lightest touch of honey and golden raisin. Underneath all of these light flavors is a nice deep caramel richness. Oh, so creamy!
I will say that there is the tiniest minerality here that leads me to believe I made it with tap water. Our roommate makes coffee in the morning, and he uses tap water. We’re out of coffee right now, but this morning there was some water in the electric kettle. I didn’t think anything of it, but it was probably tap water. Sigh.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Caramel, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Honey, Oats, Pastries, Toast
After-workout tea! You would think I would want something light, but I guess not. :P This sample came from scribbles (she sent me basically all of the Joseph Wesley teas). The leaves of this tea are about medium in size and just slightly twisty. I would say they’re about 60% black to 40% gold. I’m not sure why I feel the need to be specific on that, but oh well. Dry scent is mild malt with nice Yunnan-y honey and stonefruit notes. I steeped a heaping teaspoon for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Whew, this is definitely a darker Yunnan by the smell. There’s a lot of earthiness here with some mineral and smoke qualities. Happily for me, the taste is very well-balanced. That earthy quality is here as well, but is nicely softened by a dark fruitiness and the sweetness of honey. I do get some minerality along with a slight smoke. Overall, not my favorite tea, but a good one. :)
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Earth, Honey, Mineral, Raisins, Smoke
Another black tea chosen at random from the pile! This one came from scribbles. The leaves are short and thick, and dark chocolate brown in color. Dry scent is very mild with malt, hay, wood, and cocoa notes. I steeped mine for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
I was surprised by the amount of sweet cocoa aroma I got from this one. There were also very earthy notes along with wood and mushroom. This is another black tea that reminds me of a shou (a mild shou, obviously). There’s no fishy note or anything like that, but it’s very earthy and sweet with a bit of woody taste. Mellow and smooth, not astringent or bitter at all. This isn’t my favorite as I don’t love earthy teas, but it’s still quite good. :)
Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Malt, Sweet, Wood
This one definitely falls into the fruity spectrum of Yunnan’s with the brewed tea smelling of apricots along with something a little bit sharper, leather, malt honey and grain.
I steeped 1 TSP in 220ml of water three times at about 95°C.
1 min. Apricot, honey, grain, and hints of malt and leather spice. The tea is sweet, grainy and rich. As it cools, deeper malt tones become apparent and a prune note appears.
2 min. Apricot, honey, leather, cocoa and grain.
4 min. Malt, leather, grainy notes, and a bit of cream.
Nice and different from my existing Yunnans
Thanks boychik for the sample!
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #16
My first thought is that the Strawberry Rhubarb that I had in the infuser yesterday MUST have contaminated this tea…. though it usually doesn’t do that. And I steeped the Strawberry at JUST boiled and this one after 15 minutes… it doesn’t seem like that much flavor would carry over. Otherwise, if this tea has this much of a fruity flavor then I am amazed! Before taking a sip, there is a sweet floral fragrance coming from the cup. The brew color is very light. Someone mentioned sweet ripe plums with tangy skins, and that is accurate! But so much strawberry. I wish I knew if the flavor was contaminated. Such a light, smooth, syrupy cup, it’s fruit and caramel for me, no chocolate at all. The second steep still had a very light color, but the flavor was more astringent than anything else, which was odd, so I wouldn’t steep it that way again. The rating is for the first steep. If I like this one from Joseph Wesley, I’d probably LOVE all of their teas. They all sound amazing.
Steep #1 // 15-20 min after steeping // 3 min
Steep #2 // 2 min after boiling // 3 min
I couldn’t find this blend in the database so I added it in so I could log it. I subscribed to Rip Van Wafels tea and wafel monthly subscription and this is in July’s box. Anyone have stroopwafel? That’s what the wafel is, individually packaged so it’s great – thin waffle cookie like thing with caramel. This is my fav subscription so far just because it comes with cookies :)
Description on the card says – “With its robust body and rich malty flavor, this Great Lakes Blend black tea from the Putuo Islands complements the Traditional Wafel’s spicy sweetness.” It really does pair well, the tea is strong, definitely black tea with a bakey aroma.
The scent of this tea isn’t as interesting as other black teas I’ve had in that I can’t really pick out layers. It does smell very comforting and brings back memories of having black tea and milk with friends. I pick up on something that resembles lemon, as if someone has placed a slice of it on the side of the cup.
Sipping… this is a very nice, crisp tea. It’s got a lovely citrus brightness to it, but also remains true to it’s “black tea” flavor. I can see this being a nice morning cup of tea. It’s brisk enough to wake you up, but not so heavy and alarming as some other teas can be. So far, not my favorite from Joseph Wesley, but definitely a lovely and bright tea.
I ordered a bunch of samples from Joseph Wesley. I ordered all but the Darjeeling. When the samples arrived they were in cute little tins, but the tins were only labeled with a tag, and half the tags has fallen off in shipping. Hopefully I was able to “guess” at what each sample was correctly.
Yesterday at work I was in a straight black tea mood so I gave this a try. I tried a cup of this after drinking Nahorhabi Assam from H&S. This tea is nice. It is bold, yet smooth. It is malty and packs a punch. This was good and I think with my next cup I will try a splash of milk. In comparison to the Nahorhabi, the Nahorhabi offers a bit of a fruity finish which I really enjoy. This was a nice simple straight up assam. I will definately enjoy the rest of the sample.
At one point last year I had a tea moment with this sample from an aliexpress dealer. The tea tasted like a chocolate caramel oolong and was incredibly smooth. Since then I’ve been on a search for that tea or a tea like it. It can be difficult because tea packaging is sometimes used regionally and may not be specific to a brand. Anyways after my last attempt boychik offered to send me some of this tea as part of my quest to find that tea, and you know, it comes quite close. This one is more malty, not quite as smooth and has much stronger caramel notes, but it is really good. It makes a nice dessert tea.
I steeped 1 TSP in 200ml and used a water temperature of around 92°C and did 4 steeps of this tea (60,90,120,210s).
This teas warm honey broth had a scent of light longan cocoa, butter caramel, and something slightly nutty.
The first sip was quite sweet with caramel coming to the forefront, with ccocoa, yam, and nutty tones with a hint of molasses. As it cools the longan becomes apparent between the butter caramel and other tones. The tea is buttery but slightly more astringent than my fantasy lapsang but really good and very close to the one I am looking for. This one has more caramel and longan and less cocoa, but it is a really nice flavour. As it cools the malt becomes apparent under the other flavours and the tea taste slightly less sweet. The aftertaste of hot chocolate with a little bit of longan.
In future steeps a malt tone became apparent and the caramel became more of a butter note with a mild sweetness. Longan was more apparent in the second steep and then faded. Whereas cocoa remain relatively constant.
Altogether a very good tea which I would consider buying once I get through some of my existing Lapsang Souchong collection. Thanks boychik It really is close!
i feel like i had a different tea than everyone else lol This one came my way from boychik and i had it yesterday (finishing my catch up). To me? this was barely smokey…instead what i was getting was a deliciously smooth tea with just a hint of something that might be smokey. Even after a couple resteeps it was just a pleasant cup of tea lol
Queued post, written May 4th 2014
The last of my JW teas to try! The safe bet too. I’ve already mentioned how LS is so well known to me at this point that I don’t need to sample before buying. If I need a fresh supply of LS, I get one wherever I’m shopping. Sometimes I get one close to my preferred balance of body and smoke and sometimes I don’t, but they’re all Close Enough.
And every once in a while you run into one that hasn’t actually been smoked. It’s the same tea, it’s still an LS. It just hasn’t gone through a smoking process. I’ve had very good experiences with that variety too although it is a somewhat rare beast. I mention this now because sniffing at this cup, I’m not actually finding much smoke at all. It’s grainy and sweet with perhaps a little bit of smoke at the periphery, but that’s it. There’s a thick and sticky sort of note to it as well that makes me think of caramel. That note is quite strong.
At this point I read the label on the tin. It doesn’t actually say anything about smoke anywhere at all on the label. At all! Could this be an unsmoked LS, I wonder? I does actually say caramel, though. HA! I totally called that.
Further reading on the website mentions smoky undertones. UNDERtones! That implies a naturally occuring note of smoke, doesn’t it, rather than something added to it. It’s a Fujian black, so a natural smoke note would not at all be unusual.
The smoke note is relatively strong on the flavour, but again not at all as strong as it would be if it had been smoked. At least not if it had been smoked to the degree of the LS I’m used to drinking. I suppose it coud have been smoked very lightly to enhance the natural note. I’m a little in doubt now about whether or not I think it’s gone through a smoking process. Interestingly, I was reading what other people wrote about it and a couple of people felt this one had heavy smoke notes. What have they been drinking? I’m finding it quite mild! Or am I simply too familiar with LS at this point that I can no longer view it objectively? (Not that tea tasting could ever be objective, but I think you know what I mean. I can’t find a better way to express it.)
It’s still quite grainy and sweet, just like it smells. The caramel note is not as strong in the flavour as it is in the aroma, though. I believe it’s the smoke note that tempers it somewhat. It’s a very dark sort of caramel, not a milky one. Caramel sweet as opposed to fruity sweet. That’s a new one. I’ve usually found LS quite fruity-sweet.
The more it cools, though, the stronger the smoky note gets. I take it back, this is definitely not unsmoked. It’s just… trying to pass itself off that way.
Smooth and strong. A good way to start the day.
Giving this one a try as my afternoon study tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of tea to keep me going the past few days. I have a big exam coming up at the beginning of July and need to study like crazy. I’m not getting a whole lot from the scent of this tea, it’s a bit soft. I do detect some sweetness, but otherwise it seems to want to hide its character from me until I sip!
Sipping… interesting.. not a very strong flavor from the tea. I wasn’t expecting the tea to mirror the scent as much as it is. I’m picking up on grapes, sugar and something a little bit metallic in the finish. It’s light, but satisfying at the same time.
It’s not as gutsy as some of the other black teas out there, but this is such a nice, light tea that it is perfect for the summer or spring. You know those teas that are darker, richer and sort of weigh you down? This tea is definitely one that can be had all day, no matter the occasion. What a lovely brew for this afternoon!
(From the UTTB.)
Having this tea for breakfast this morning! The tea liquor is a coppery red-amber and the aroma is smokey sweet. First sip was a little astringent, and I was worried that the entire cup would be that way. Not so. It has a bold, no-nonsense way about it—like an Assam. The more I sip the more the initial bitterness becomes a distant memory. It’s chocolatey, malty and caramel sweet at the end. There’s a drying fruity taste to it that’s like raisins or cranberries…maybe plums, with their slightly bitter skins. I like the briskness and the bittersweet qualities of this tea! It’s exactly what I needed this AM!
Drank straight, but could stand up to milk and sugar. I would recommend brewing at lower temps…MzPriss wrote 180F on the packet, but I brewed closer to 200. I couldn’t imagine using boiling water. It would be much too bitter for me.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Floral, Fruity, Raisins, Smoke
another one from boychik and the mildest tea of t he bunch. I haven’t tried the lapsang, but i’m sure it will be a deeper tea than this one hahaha. I enjoyed this one prenap as well, which means it’s a distant memory for me. that being said, it was an enjoyable cup that i ended up gulping down while trying to refrain from talking too much on work calls.
the downside of being sick si that sometimes you fall asleep between cups of tea before logging them. soo forgive the crappy notes. I brewed this one up with the bai liu and i think this one was my preferred tea. i seem to recall chocolate/cocoa-y notes in this one and a deeper flavour that i really enjoyed. im’ glad i’m having such good experiences with these teas :) thanks again boychik!
the lovely boychik sent this my way and i’m ever so glad that she did. I’ve been wanting to try the Joseph teas for a while now, given the rave reviews but could hardly justify the ridiculous shipping for samples. I’d rather get a chance to try a few and then place a real order via my tea mule.
I’m also glad that i brewed this one along side that gross david’s tea since THIS is such a lovelier cup of tea. There is a hint of astringency to this one but nothing that would interfere with the pleasure of drinking this. it’s got a nice malt feel too it, though i wouldn’t call it an overly malty tea. there is some sweetness here that reminds me of peach but isn’t peach…just a really nice tea.
I’m not generally a lapsang souchong fan. At all. Says so right there on my profile. But this one. The usual Joseph Wesley excellence.
First sip was a revelation. A lapsang exists that I like!! This does not taste like I just licked an ashtray. It is full and complex with my favorite malty note at the front. There is cocoa midsip with a deep fruit, plums? toward the back. All the way back is the roasty barley bit that I love, all with an underlying but subtle tobacco bite that makes this really interesting.
More on my blog: http://mizzprissy.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/lapsang-souchong-joseph-wesley-black-tea/
And here is its song: