Joseph Wesley Black Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
Think this is also my last sample from QueenOfTarts! Took me a while to get to this one since I wasn’t really sure about Keemum, but figured today seemed like a good day to try it finally.
I had a feeling it was gonna be really earthy, and I was right! XD
It’s super earthy…with slight, ever so slight hints of malt.
But that’s really all I’m getting :/ So not really disappointed since I didn’t have really high hopes for this one anyway, but didn’t really surprise me or anything.
Not for me!
Flavors: Earth, Malt
Another sample from the Awesome Scribbles!
I was looking for just a straight black tea this morning. I couldn’t stomach the thought of a flavoured tea for some reason. No matter, I picked this one.
This tea is interesting. I am getting a lot of earthy tones, slightly mushroom. I immediately wondered if this one was blended with a pu-erh tea, but it doesn’t seem to be. It is thick, bold, malty and slightly sweet, sweet only in the way a black tea could be sweet. Still getting lots of fresh soil, earthy tones. Which is not terrible, just not what I anticipated from this tea. I could imagine how good this te would be with milk, but I went for straight black as I usually do not add any milk or sweeteners to my black teas.
Not my favorite Joseph Wesley tea so far, but it is still good, just not to my taste.
Another sample from the awesome Scribbles!! She sent me a few Joseph Wesley teas to try in addition to all the Assam teas that she scent me.
When I first smelled the dry tea, there was a very strong scent of cinnamon and sweet fruit. I think there was some scent contamination from how it was packaged, I left it in an envelope with other fruity flavoured teas.
However, after it was brewed, the cinnamon scent was gone. There was a very sweet potato scent to the tea, slightly vegetal, a bit malty.
I quite like other Bailin Congfu teas and this one doesn’t disappoint. The liquor is thick but it is not bitter or too bold at all. There is a slight spice, which I am unsure if it is supposed to taste like that or if it was the contamination, but either way, I like it. There is the sweet potato flavour but also a hint of some fruitiness, makes me think of dried fruit. I feel like I am getting a bit of burnt flavour, kind of like burnt caramel without the over the top caramel sweetness, but also it makes me think of charcoal.
This one did not disappoint. I am very grateful to Scribbles for sending me these great teas to try. I think I am starting to like this Joseph Wesley character :)
I’m finally sitting down with a cup of this. I had bought a tin from the Philadelphia Coffee & Tea Festival and liked it well enough. However, brewed the way I like to brew tea (lower temp and longer steeping time), it is so lovely. Savory, with hints of smoke, a depth of flavor that I love. Rolling it on my tongue, just a smidge of sour/acridness but very faint.
So lovely. Definitely try this if you love black tea.
Philadelphia Coffee & Tea Festival #7
I had wandered the main hall and was ready to shell out some money when I realized there was a whole other back room with vendors! Joseph Wesley was the first who caught my eye. He had a series of tins of just straight black tea of varying varieties, and he offered me a sample of the Lapsang Souchong.
Which was very very different than any other Lapsang I’ve had. It wasn’t smoked.
Which honestly threw me because I love the smokey flavor of Lapsang. But this was quite nice.
Honestly, most plain black teas are wasted on me. I don’t appreciate the subtlety in a way I do with white or oolongs. But I feel I need to up my tea game, so to speak, and learn some more, and did end up buying a tin of this.
Overall, I did enjoy it. It was dark, still had a slight smokey taste, with sour notes toward the end. I appreciated that this vendor was different than most of the others in that he did not offer blends, and that he was the only vendor who had plain black teas.
This one came to me via the wonderful Scribbles!
Scribbles sent this to me becuase I made such a big deal in one of my posts about how much I loved assam. This one does not disappoint.
The dry tea is dark cut up leaves, not crushed though. There is a strong and thick scent of dark purple plums (you know the ones that are so dark purple they almost look black).
The brewed tea is thick and dark with a very slight sweet scent. I am not getting a lot of malt with this one as the description on Steepster states. Maybe getting a very light malt. There is definitely a dark chocolate note to this tea. I am still getting the plum notes.
This is a bold, sweet assam. There is only a very slight dryness in the aftertaste with no bitterness. I feel like I am also getting the slightest metallic tang on my tongue after each sip.
The story how i got the sample of this tea you can read in my previous note:
Qi Lan (奇兰, English: “rare orchid”)
i didnt know what to expect since its my first Qi Lan. i was sceptical and pretty sure i wouldnt like it as much as DHP. I was wrong.
Leaves are gorgeous, long and twisty. very complex, juicy,sweet and roasted. i’d say its medium roast, doesnt overpower other notes, complements nicely. it is so aromatic.
Around 2-3 steep cannabis arrives. I’d say that hui gan is much stronger than in DHP. Sweet and minty, long lingering aftertaste, long after i stop my session. i had 6 strong steeps, but still keep the leaves. few steeps here and there yesterday and before yesterday. i suggest not to oversteep, it gets bitter easily. even when its bitter the aroma and sweetness is incredible.
6g 100ml gaiwan 195F
3sec rinse/pause/10/7/5/5/7/7/10sec etc
Thank you Joseph Wesley for the opportunity to try these incredible teas. im looking forward to when you decide to put them for sale!
let me start this note by saying how happy i am being on Steepster. If i wouldnt be on Steepster, i wouldn’t discover so many facinating teas. I wouldnt come to NYC Coffee and tea festival. i wouldnt get bunch of teas including Joseph Wesley teas. And i can go on and on.
A few day ago i got 2 teas from Joseph Wesley to sample. These teas are not on website. I will include some Joe’s quotes.
“They were sourced for the restaurant is going to be a pretty special place. It’s actually been listed on numerous “most anticipated” restaurants in the US lists. When Michael Symon opened his first restaurant in Detroit his executive chef was the guy opening this new restaurant. Fortunately, the guy in charge of the front of the “house” is interested in tea and has very similar philosophy to tea as I do. Not only are they going to be serving a nice Da Hong Pao and my Dian Hong Congfu when they open, they are committed to serving seasonal teas, meaning they are only going to offer green and white teas within 4-5 months of harvest and will switch back to Oolong, black and dark tea in the fall and winter. We’re training the servers so that they can can properly prepare the tea table side. It should be interesting. Needless to say, I’m excited to see how it works. You can follow along here: http://www.seldenstandard.com/ Hopefully they open soon! I threw in a sample of another Wu Yi Oolong Selden Standard will be serving – Qi Lan Oolong. The chef, who is not familiar with teas, particularly liked this tea because of its aromatics. "
ok, this tea received my usual treatment for Wuyi Oolong
6g 100ml glass gongfu teapot 200F
3sec Rinse /pause/ 15/10/7/7/10/10/15 sec etc
its really hard to explain all the aroma. my vocabulary is limited.
Explosion of juicy stone fruits, raw nuts. it is not highly roasted , just right. so no ashy aftertaste. The tea is very smooth and surprising. each steep is unique. from 2-3 steep cannabis emerged. long lasting sweetness long after i stop drinking.
After that session i kept the leaves, just because . i did few steeps yesterday, before yesterday. I just hate to let them go.
Thank you Joseph Wesley for the opportunity to taste such wonderful complex tea. im not an expert, just tried few DHP, but as of this week it is #1 from what i tried.
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.