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Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

100

I’m skipping the queue with this one because THE TIME HAS COME! I have opened the tin. I have sniffled it. Happy birthday to me! (I thought that would be an auspicious day to try it, don’t you?)

I should make some preliminary introductions to this one and tell why it’s so extremely special to me that I had to have it, shipping fees be damned. This tin right here was the very thing that made me order from JW at all. Everything else that I got to taste from the company was purely coincidental and taking advantage of the fact that I would be paying shipping charges anyway. I’ve been looking at the unopened tin of it for weeks now, simply just enjoying that fact that I had it. Petting it now and then and enjoying looking forward to it while waiting for the right time to taste it for the first time.

As you all know (or ought to know at this point!) I’m partial to a Chinese black, and if it comes from Fujian, it simply cannot go wrong. Fujian is my most favouritest tea growing area in the world and has been for a number of years now. My very very favourite tea is Tan Yang. It is the benchmark of fabulousness to which all other black teas must measure up. Another favourite type is Keemun, usually grown in Anhui. Life-giving and delivering a solid cup of tea every single time.

What we now have here in this tin is both a Keemun and a Tan Yang, and it is not a blend. It was grown near the Tan Yang village in Fujian, but the bushes are the Keemun variety transplanted there from Anhui. The very idea of this awesome on an epic scale!

The leaf smells both Keemun-y and Fujian-y. It has the Fujian cocoa note and the Keemun-y grain. Mind you Fujian usually also has a lot of grain in it, but I tend to find it more prominent in Keemuns. There’s something else in here that reminds me vaguely of some kind of tart berry or something. Perhaps one which has been dried. Like dried cranberry, I think, but not nearly as sweet as those are. If I take a little leaf in my hand and breathe on it before sniffing, I get a strong note that reminds me of when Husband makes beer, just at the point where he puts the hops in.

Okay that it, I can’t wait for Husband to start cooking breakfast (full English, yay!). I need to make a pot of this NOW!

After steeping it doesn’t smell so beer-y, but rather more like freshly baked rye bread. Courtney understands this note fully. I suspect Marzipan does as well. It’s grain-y and dark and also somewhat sweet. There is some of the Fujian cocoa notes there as well, but they are under the grain and so I have to really look for them.

I’ve started sipping way too soon. It’s far too hot still and I can barely taste anything. I did, however, pick up the fact that it’s a strong tea we’ve got here. It even seems to have a rather smoky note to it, which ♥♥♥♥♥

I can sip a bit more now. It’s quite cocoa-y with grainy notes underneath and a fairly large amount of smoke and then finally quite sweet on the swallow. I can definitely see the characteristics of both types in this. It’s like the best qualities of one combined with the best qualities of the other. It’s hard for me to even come up with anything to write at this point.

Oh yes.

Mind = blown.

kisses tin

Marzipan

I have a funny rugbrød story! My husband misses it terribly, so I decided to make some for his birthday. I contacted one of his sisters, who is trained as a cook, and she sent her recipe. I started converting it to English and non metric, and found that the ingredients were just CRAZY – ten pounds of rye flour for example. So, I broke down and asked Karsten for help.

I had converted it correctly but it was a recipe that made many many loaves. We cut it down and I started making the bread.

It was still huge. But what I wasn’t used to is that it doesn’t really rise at all. The mass that you have is pretty much the mass that you bake. Most of our bread wishes until it’s double so I was pretty worried about the malty, slightly sour enormous mass of dough I had. It turned out fine and he loved it. Reading this it isn’t as funny as I remembered. Now the story where I tried to find hjortetaksalt and thought I was going to get arrested…..that was funny.

Marzipan

Wishes= rises. I can’t edit my comments?

Angrboda

Then you are intimately familiar with the way it smells just as it comes out. :) My mother would bake some for Christmas but during the rest of the year it’s just store-bought. :)

Marzipan

I miss leverpostej and Anthon Berg the most. :(

teataku

Happy birthday, indeed!

Angrboda

I know how you feel. We can’t get baked beans here for scratch. Heinz is the only proper brand, but it’s hard to find. We’ve tried a number of other ones that are available but they all range from meh to nearly-if-you-squint, so… :/

Angrboda

Thank you, teataku. :)

looseTman

Yes, Happy birthday to you! Excellent review!

Angrboda

Thank you (on both counts)

Marzipan

American/Danish birthday song. Happy fødselsdagen to you, hurra hurra hurra! I dag er Angrboda’s fødselsdag, tillykky med birthday to you! ♥ ♥ ♥

Marzipan

Darn it, tillykkE

Angrboda

Gosh, Danglish! O.o

caile

Happy birthday!! I’ve been looking forward to reading your review on this – I’m glad it skipped the queue for your special day!

Angrboda

Thank you. :) I was looking forward to writing about it. :p

I’ve had three (Western-style) steeps on these leaves so far and am wondering if a fourth is worth the bother. The third steep was a bit on the thin side.

caile

Maybe best not to do a fourth then; it could just be disappointing. Three steeps is great though! :)

caile

Although…for experimentation sake, it wouldn’t hurt to try the fourth steep just to see how it turns out. :)

yyz

Happy birthday! Lovely when a tea becomes an instant favourite!

MzPriss

Happy Birthday! This makes me want to bust out my sample of this. Maybe for breakfast tomorrow.

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91

I believe this is the last sample I have yet to try from the Joseph Wesley samples I got.

This might be my favorite of the bunch as it smells very aromatic after steeping, sort of like freshly baked bread or a cake of some sorts. I lost track of time while I was steeping this and don’t know exactly how long it was. Anyway this is extremely smooooth, very elegant tea. Tastes lightly of malt and chocolate with that nice baked bread aroma. This is definitely an elegant tea. I wish I had more to say about it right now, but it is delicious.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ifjuly

i think this was my favorite JW too!

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89

This is my first Joseph Wesley tea. I ordered several samples and Joe thoughtfully included an additional Lapsang sample all of which I will be commenting on later. I ordered two, was going to say tins, but they aren’t tins really, so I will say I got two thingies of this because it’s hard to make me unhappy with a nice black Chinese tea. I’m glad that I did. This is a really nice cup of tea. There is a little bit of smoke but just a little. It is a nice full bodied cup with little astringency, even though I steeped it longer than the 3 minute recommendation. There is a touch of malt and a touch of grain, but overall a round, nicely complex black that gives me a nice morning not too aggressive tea buzz. This is what I would think of as “Sunday morning” tea, where I get to laze around in bed with the NYT and this tea and be very, very content. I also love the aesthetics and attention to detail of this company. It is obvious that Joe loves tea.

This tea has such a nice groove – a song for it: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FevK4QQaoFs

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

The tea made you think of the Queen of Soul? Awesome. That’s the best complement we could ever receive! Thanks.

MzPriss

LOL I frequently hear songs when I taste tea. And I love the groove on that song and that’s what immediately heard when I tasted it.

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Another fancypants JW tea from boychik, because she’s so generous like that. (:

I like this one more than the JW Dian Hong Congfu, which surprises me a little. It’s been a LONG time, like nearly a year long, since I drank Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu, but I remember it being rich, hearty, deep, and very full of the caramelized sweet potato and oat profile of nice Chinese black teas. Perhaps a side-by-side comparison is in order for this weekend; boychik sent me enough I can do that (thanks!). This one was sweet too, and had that quality of gentleness but also depth that the nicer Chinese teas often boast. I quite enjoyed it. I don’t know that these sweet potato Chinese black teas will ever be my top favorites, but they have a craft you can taste to them—how they manage to be so sweet with zero bitterness or astringency, soft but also so full of flavor—I’d never deny.

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

we’re happy to read that you enjoyed the #6. Cheers!

ifjuly

thank you, it’s a lovely tea. sounds like you made quite a splash at the festival and are generating buzz among the tea blogs! congratulations. (:

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

That’s nice of you to write. Thanks.

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Another special tea from boychik! Thank you. (:

I had this last night. boychik was super generous enough that I can try it both Western and gongfu; last night I did it Western but I’m definitely curious to see if gongfu suits it better. Western, it’s clean and smooth and malty, with that balancing act between the cleanness and a cocoa and caramel-y rich sweetness. You know, some of that caramelized sweet potato, but not as obviously so or boring as other sweet potato teas…it resteeps very well too. I get this itchy sense there’s probably a way to coax more out of it somehow if I fiddle with steeping paramaters…slightly cooler water? More or less time? Not sure. I can see why boychik wanted input from others.

boychik

not sure about parameters, I only tried it there.

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92

Tea of the morning……

This is a great morning tea. It is heavier on the malt than what I usually drink. In fact, it kind of reminds me of Assam in a way. Nice and hearty, dark chocolate notes, with a serious kick. Today I decided to brew by the mug, and the second steep at 6 minutes was just as good and hearty as the first.

I think I read in a response to another Steepster poster that this one was going into sachet only form soon. I do find that kind of disappointing, just because I am a loose leaf drinker and only use bagged tea when I travel. It is not so much that I don’t think a high quality tea should come in sachet form, as I like the simplicity and reduced waste from loose leaf as much as I love the flavor. I also understand that business has to evolve in order to survive. Bagged tea makes more sense for some and is very convenient. I am one customer, and I want the company to be around for a while, so I am going to trust what is going on for now.

Usual mug method.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
MzPriss

Agree. Makes me sad too :(

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

It gives me hope that you want the tea to stay in loose leaf form. With that said, one of our goals is to limit the number of teas we make available so that you may have a more meaningful relationship with them. It’s always seemed that offering 60+ teas might make good business sense but doesn’t help the customer gain an appreciation for any particular tea. We’re taking this tea out of the line-up so that we can introduce another loose leaf tea that I believe is better suited for our project. I hope that after you taste the new tea you’ll approve of our decision to give the #3 jersey to this new tea. As always, thanks for the comments. -Joe

SimplyJenW

Joseph Wesley Black Tea, I am definitely looking forward to whatever you have to offer in the future. I do appreciate your approach, which is why I am excited to see how it unfolds. Yes, the (hopefully) more dignified version of fan-girling, here!

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74

I met Joseph Wesley at the recent NYC Coffee & Tea Festival. His packaging is amazing and he was great to talk to. He provided me with a sample of this tea and I brewed it for myself & my fiance while working from home today.

The tea is reminiscent of a meyer lemon tea I’ve tried from Zen Tara Tea, but it is very clean with a slight sweetness. It tastes almost similar to a dark oolong due to the astringency, but it is very balanced and refreshing. Upon smelling, I get a faint roasted, earthy smell which translated into a smooth taste. The middle of the taste is mineral and hints of roasted chocolate or caramel, with a slight end-of-a sip citrus hint.

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Earth, Lemon Zest, Malt, Metallic, Mineral

Preparation
4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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96

Let’s get the “dirty” outta the way.

I’m kinda drunk as I write this..today?

I needed a tea capper for an evening well spent.

Joseph Wesley was where I paid my black rent.

TeaCuplets: http://lazyliteratus.tumblr.com/post/80849224791/teacuplets-joseph-wesley-tea-no-3-chinese-classic

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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94

Today is my official 1st day of sampling Lapsang Souchong. i picked it up at 2013 NYC Coffee and Tea Festival. Joseph Wesley stand was my first stop. I did my little homework and was dying to try these teas. I was always afraid to drink LS because people described it as ashy smoky bitter. Whatever.
Steeped according to directions: 1tsp 8oz 195F 2min2 1/2min etc
This tea completely changed my uneducated and inexperienced mind. Its smooth, sweet with touch of smokiness at the end but its well rounded. it has this rye bread taste,sweet and toasty. i got myself a piece of cheddar since its written it pairs well with cheese. it does, but i can drink it without it. I know what would be great : toasted bagel cream cheese. I’m sure some maple syrup would make it complete. I’m going to try it next time.

Flavors: Baked Bread

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ifjuly

oh, a toasted bagel with cream cheese and a good LS sounds DIVINE. yum. glad your first LS is such a good experience!

boychik

Thank you, ifjuly;)

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72

Bought at the Coffee & Tea Festival here and it is lovely.

I am not usually one for lapsang souchongs as the smokiness is usually too intense.

This one, you can taste a little hint of smoke, but also sweetness… a fruity sort of feel but I can’t place the fruit in mind.

Mid-tongue is a medium to almost black brown color flavor, a harsh orange at the back of the throat, and wrapping around the front sides of the tongue is a light yellow-medium-beige color if that is clear at all… I can see it but can’t quite describe it, hope someone else gets that last color.

Oddly, this is the first thing I’ve ever tasted that actually has a purple taste. It’s around the top of the mouth and top back of throat. It’s a reddish purple, not too dark but dark. A rich color.

I quite like this. It’s a gentle tea. I’m having it as my morning tea today and the flavor is bold enough as a black to hit that need while also not having that overwhelming level of smoke that I mentioned above. Mildly astringent with no bitterness, for me.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 11 g 41 OZ / 1200 ML
Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Thanks for visiting us at the Coffee and Tea Festival. I’m happy to read that you enjoyed the tea. Cheers, Joe

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84

I’m skipping the queue with this one, because I need to gush! There will be a queued post later, so that I’m not neglecting those.

I’m having Bad Dog! tea. I hadn’t heard about this company before, until SimplyJenW made a post about their Keemun in which it was mentioned that it had been grown in Fujian. This caught my interest. Keemun and Fujian black. And not just any bit of Fujian. No, it was near the village of Tan Yang! A combination of my two favouritest things in the world of tea? Was it a blend? No, it wasn’t. My guess was that it must be like that Taiwanese Assam that Butiki has, the one which is made from Assam cultivars but grown in Taiwan. This was indeed what was going on.

Steepsterites. I needed this tea in my life. I needed it like air!

I made some inquiries regarding the possibility of shipping to Denmark and what it would cost, and Joseph Wesley is a very kind soul who really went out of his way to help me get an order. Long story short, order was placed through email, and payment sent through paypal. And this is where my jaw dropped and I had to do a little dance of victory. What I had ordered would have made me eligible for free shipping, had I been in the US. Obviously, this was not feasible for him to do when shipping to Denmark, so instead he offered to pay half the shipping cost for me, so that I still got something out of having ordered for that much. So many companies would have simply said ‘sorry, we can’t give you free shipping to Europe, because we don’t normally ship there,’ and I’d have been fine with that. This solution that Joseph Wesley offered me would never even have occurred to me! I thought it was very generous of him to offer it, and if he hadn’t, I’m not sure I would have placed the order at all. It made the difference between what I’m willing to pay for shipping and what I’m not. Clearly this guy had taken pity on me in my Fujian Keemun desperation and decided to move sun and moon to make it happen. I went HOORAY! and forked over the money.

The generosity didn’t stop there, though. Let me tell you, Steepsterites, what happened next.

Joseph Wesley has seven different teas on his website, six of which I was interested in trying. There was the aforementioned gold nugget, this one which I’ll be writing about in a moment, an Assam (I’m becoming interested in Assam lately), three more Chinese blacks and a Darjeeling. Pass on the Darj. I don’t much care for that stuff. But the others! When ordering samples, you can get three samples, five samples or seven samples. Ideally, at this point I would have liked four, but I then realised that I’ll be sending a parcel to Auggy shortly, so why not ask for doubles and share with her? Seeing as how we appreciate the same sort of qualities in our black teas and generally love the same things, I should like to have her opinion as well. And I was already planning on sharing some of the Fujian Keemun with her anyway. So in the end I opted for seven samples, three of which were doubles.

When I then received my parcel, it included a handwritten letter from Joseph Wesley about how my size order fell just exactly in a zone of ‘no practical packaging’ and that he had included an extra free sample! I now have doubles of all the samples to share with Auggy! YAY!

How fabulous is that?

I didn’t start with the coveted Fujian Keemun, though. I haven’t tried it yet. I’m waiting for the Right Moment. Well, actually I just want to go around a look at the tin for a bit and just look forward to it. And pet it now and then. :)

This one I also got a tin of, and it’s from Zheijiang province. I am certain that I’ve had tea from there before, but I’d have to dig deep in my notes to find out which ones it was, so for all intents and purposes, it’s new to me.

I followed the suggestion from Joseph Wesley of using significantly cooler water than I normally would have. He suggests the same temperatures that I would normally have used for a white tea, or perhaps a particularly hardy green. This rather went against everything I’ve learned about my own preferences, but I thought, since I’d seen it I’d give it a go. I don’t normally look for these things at all, you see. I’ve been at this long enough to know what I like and how I like it, and next time I have this, it’ll very likely be the way I would normally brew, so I can see if there is a discernable difference. I expect the cultivar is dictating the temperature somewhat here.

The aroma is very mild and malty. I’m having a hard time really getting it. It does that thing where I can almost imagine that it’s somehow heavier than air, and I can sense it hovering there above the tea, but I can’t draw it into my nose properly. It’s quite strange.

It tastes… You know my very first thought was licorice. Not the anise-y unlicorice that some of you call licorice (Ha! I must laugh! Ha!) and which has nothing to do with proper licorice. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Anise =/= licorice. Anise doesn’t even taste like licorice. It tastes like anise.Not proper, real licorice which is as black as night, it has a chewy texture and preferably salty. Paradoxically, Real Proper Licorice which is chewy and preferably salty, doesn’t actually have too much to do with licorice root either. I’m sure it’s made of the stuff somehow. Some kind of extract probably, but it tastes different from actual dried licorice root. And when I say ‘this reminded me at first of licorice’ I meant Real Proper. Not anise, not licorice root.

Gosh that was long and complicated for something that was just a fleeting thought. I’ve accidentally made this cup a bit strong. I thought I had more water in the kettle when I measured out the leaf, you see, but the tea, although a wee bit astringent, has not been damaged. No bitterness. If I had used boiling water like I normally would I might not have been so lucky with it.

Now, what I’m actually picking up here when the licorice moment has passed is an underlying note of dark chocolate. Very dark chocolate. Well within the range of 70%+ cocoa here, and yet it’s still chocolate rather than cocoa. It’s rather hiding a bit. I just find myself sitting there going hmm, grain, yes, slightly floral, yes, bit Keemun-y, yes, hey, what was that? And there it is, lurking underneath all the rest is the chocolate. I’m also getting a smidge of cherries in it, but not until it’s all cooled down to lukewarm at the bottom of the cup, and even then it’s just a teensy bit, but still. Cherry.

Basically this reminds me of a strong Keemun with some chocolate-y notes in it and a wee bit of cherry. I’m really rather enjoying this, even though I accidentally overleafed it a bit.

K S

I do understand the licorice anise difference thing, though I am one of those who has used the comparison in a review. I had an uncle that kept real licorice candy around to chew on. It is so completely different from the black jelly bean licorice of today.

Ysaurella

you review really makes me want to have a look at this website for the teas and for the client service.

MzPriss

I’ma keemun lover myself and SimplyJenW recommended JW’s keemun – the coupled with this awesome review just led me to order samples from JW.

MzPriss

Clearly I am not awake enough to be typing – excuse my typos. I just ordered samples of this one, the keemun and the bai ling. Can’t wait to get them!

Nicole

As soon as I cave and start buying tea again for myself they are definitely on my list to place an order with.

SimplyJenW

So glad you got a chance to try the tea! Just wait until you try the others! And yes, the service is fantastic.

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

thanks everyone for the kind words. I’m happy that you are enjoying the teas. The makers of this particular tea are wonderful and I’m happy they agreed to use their long jing cultivars to make this tea. As an aside, we’re in the process of taking this tea out of our series of loose leaf tea and putting it into tea bags (sachets) so that we can make room for one or two new black teas. We’re hopeful that the new bags/pyramids/sachets will be available in the next month or two. Thanks again, Joe

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I was super interested to try this after SimplyJenW’s review. I would not really call myself a Chinese tea connoisseur however and keemuns are one I have tended to shy away from in the past.

I know I could have gong fu’d this but I didn’t see any particular instructions on the website so I decided to steep it Western style. The tea liquor brews up to be a clear reddish brown and the aroma is that of roasted chocolate.

As far as flavor is concerned this is a very interesting tea. I’m getting a tiny bit of smoke along with notes of roasted grains. There is a faint bitterness here and something of pipe tobacco with cocoa. hmmm. Don’t know about keemuns, I keep trying to make myself like them but I’ve only had a few that I really love. I liked this better with milk than plain but it still seems a bit “winey” to me. Might need to gong fu the remainder of this sample before making a decision but it’s more something I am forcing myself to drink than it is a pleasant experience. Must be my tastebuds.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
MzPriss

I LOVE Keemun. Haven’t had this one, but I need to put it on the list. I want ALL the Keemuns.

TeaBrat

MP-how do you normally prepare yours?

Sil

keemun + maple syrup = the best.

MzPriss

Just saw this question. I normall do Keemuns Western style. I do about 200-205 for about 3.5-4 minutes. But if I get a new one that I’ve never tried before, I try to follow their suggestions the first time and adjust to my taste in subsequent steeps. I like them plain but I have been known to add a little honey or maple syrup like Sil and the occasional drop or two of milk.

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95

Tea of the morning……

Just imagine a golden tipped Bai Lin. This is a wonderful tea. The leaves are golden, fluffy, and just a little bit fuzzy. It looks very similar to the golden tip version of Teavivre’s Dian Hong. But this is Bai Lin! I am getting notes of cocoa and honey, and I know this will be on my rebuy list. Really, it does not even seem out of the range of a golden tipped tea for price. So happy I bought some of this one.

Very impressed with Joseph Wesley!

Usual (indulgent) teapot method.

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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96

Tea of the morning…..

Still pretty spectacular. I love this Keemun with a small twist. Resteep was great, too.

Usual mug method.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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92

Tea of the morning with an early afternoon resteep……

My order came from Joseph Wesley. It got here in about 3 days as I ordered over the weekend. Pretty sweet. I love the aesthetic of the packaging, even though it has taken me a bit to decide how I want to handle it. The can is a paper wax lined can with a sturdy metal bottom, and the top fits very snugly, but you can pry it off with a little work of the hands. The tea inside is heat sealed in a heavy foil pouch. The cards enclosed in the can do state the harvest date! A win! The awkward part is that once you pull the pouch out and break the vacuum seal, it really doesn’t fit back in very well, even after I made a pot of tea. Then, I was trying to decide whether or not to just dump the pouch in the can. The weight is only 50 grams, and I don’t expect it will take long to drink all of it, so I dumped away. Now, I am kind of thinking I should have just left it in the pouch and rolled up the end. Oh well, I will just have to drink it fast and order more. I do have other pouches I can use, too if it bothers me too much later.

Yum. Both steeps were excellent. Not sorry at all that I splurged. Resteeping does get it into a more reasonable price range, but I may switch to ‘by the mug’ instead of the indulgent ‘by the pot’ I did today.

Usual teapot method….second steep for 6 minutes.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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90

Tea of the morning…….

I was curious about this one, even though I feel like I have all the Dian Hong I will ever need from Teavivre. I do love a good Dian Hong, though, so it was kind of a no brainer to give it a try.

Leaves are thick, twisted and have some golden tips. It is not as golden tipped as Teavivre’s golden tip dian hong, but more in line with their full leaf version. I would say it follows the profile of a good dian hong as far as taste…..malt, cocoa. Heartiness without astringency or briskness. What I do find remarkable about all the teas I have tried from Joseph Wesley is the heavy mouthfeel. They all make such a heavy brew which is very satisfying….like you are drinking something substantial. It makes me want to go back to my other dian hongs to see how they stack up.

For me, I do see this one as the one I may not need to buy soon of the 4 I was initially interested in. The outstanding winner for me is the Keemun. Then the Bai Lin. However, I can tell he really does pay attention to the quality of the teas he sells. Plus, for a black tea drinker like me, his product line is perfect. We shall see once I get my tins!

Usual mug method.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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86
drank Assam by Joseph Wesley Black Tea
2180 tasting notes

Sample 1/3 I ordered from Joseph Wesley. I love a good assam, especially in the morning. These came in really cute sample tins with paper tags, though I’m afraid I will lose the tags and get them all mixed up!

I figured I would need to try this plain first, in order to get a good sense of what the tea really tastes like. It’s definitely a dark and malty brew with a citrusy, brisk note in the finish. There aren’t too many assams I could drink plain but this is definitely one of them. There’s a bit of astringency but nothing I cannot handle. I did prefer this with a splash of soymilk, which is how I drink most assams.

I prefer a little less briskness in my teas but overall I did enjoy this…

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

i need to try me some of their teas!

SimplyJenW

I ended up writing the kind of tea on the bottom of the sample tin. While the tags were very cool looking, they fell off too easy and it was easy to get things mixed up.

TeaBrat

Jen, I think I need to do the same!

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Tea of the morning…..

Yes, this is pretty hefty. I am not normally a straight Assam drinker. I do drink it in blends, but usually find them a little too hearty for me on their own. I am sure you are wondering, why did she order a sample of Assam?…..well, because there were 4 teas from Joseph Wesley that I wanted to try and they were offered at 3, 5, or all 7. You will get another jumbled review of the Darjeeling that was my free sample…..another tea that I don’t drink much, if at all.

Thoughts: I am getting some malt, there is definitely a briskness, and really, it kind of takes over. There are chocolate notes, but they are kind of dark chocolate/malt blended together with the kick of brisk. As far as Assams go, it is good. Likely, the best one I have had (but remember, I don’t seek them out and I have only had a few.) Not sorry I took the time to try it, and, frankly, it is a perfect Monday morning tea.

Usual mug method.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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95

Second tea of the morning……

Well, that went fast. Just as I was thinking I needed to pay attention to what I was drinking, I realized it is gone! This is a Bai Lin with golden tips. I love Bai Lin. I do remember notes of chocolate and caramel, but it was over much too soon. Will have to collect more data! ;) Starting the rating at 90, but I expect it to go up with more sampling.

Usual mug method.

Edit to add: The resteep was pretty fantistic, too! Also, I placed an order and it looks like free shipping kicks in at $40?

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML
Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Thank you for the nice review and for noting the free shipping for all orders over $40. Admittedly, I’m probably a little too stubborn in my sensibilities to be selling these teas on-line, hating to pollute our message with the apparently requisite yet tacky reminders of “deals,” “special offers” etc. Cest la vie.

SimplyJenW

Simplicity is a good thing.

I was not expecting the shipping break, but it was great when I figured it out!

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96

Tea of the morning……

Wow. I was honestly not expecting much from this one. It looks pretty much like any other Keemun I have tasted. (There are little windows to see inside the sample tins.) I was pretty sure it was going to be the one tea out of four that I was seriously interested in trying from Joseph Wesley, that I could easily eliminate from my list. Well, I was completely wrong. Reading the description, it comes from the region of my favorite Tanyangs. So the opinion that this tea falls somewhere in taste between my beloved Tan Yang Te Ji from TeaSpring, and a high quality Keemun makes sense.

Ever so slight hint of floral, but this totally works. The sip is smooth, with a classic Keemun flavor (super light on the smoke, but it is there, more of a chocolate note than cocoa, and an earthiness). The mouthfeel is heavy. I have tried other Keemuns that leaned more floral in the past, and for some reason, they did not appeal at all. This one definitely makes it work, and work well. Yeah, I need some of this.

(Darn you, Joseph Wesley! As an avid Chinese black tea drinker I was almost sure you could not surprise me, but really, you are 2 for 2!)

Usual mug method.

PS Be sure to read the comments where Joseph Wesley explains the origin of this tea a little more.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
TeaBrat

ooh, I want some samples too. he hee!

Angrboda

How can it be a Keemun if it’s really a Tanyang??? I’m confused! Keemuns come from Anhui. Is it some sort of cultivar sort of thing like that Taiwanese Assam, maybe?

SimplyJenW

Yes, confusing. Keemun cultivars in Tanyang sounds plausible. I just know it is good, and might inquire at a later date!

SimplyJenW

(Hmmmm. Could also be a loosely named Tanyang…….)

Angrboda

If ever you decide to seek additional information, do let me know. :)

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

First, I’m happy to read that you enjoyed our Keemun Congfu and am especially tickled that you noted the distinct characteristics of this tea. Second, it is true that the name “Keemun” would normally be associated with teas coming from Keemun or Qimen County, Anhui. But, we chose to retain the name Keemun not only because this producer sells the tea domestically under the name Keemun Congfu but because the cultivar used is the same traditionally used for Keemuns. We cannot label the tea “Tangyang Congfu” because it is not made from the cultivars traditionally used for the famed Tangyang Congfu. I went to Tangyang last year, hoping to include a Tangyang Congfu in our collection. What I found, however, was either that the price was too high for me to take the gamble and introduce the tea into the US market (as a nonestablished brand) or the tea was more a showcase tea that might have looked interesting but really didn’t taste very good. What I didn’t expect to find in Tangyang, however, was our #5. As stated in the review it has a delicious savory uniqueness not often found in Chinese black teas. Because of this uniqueness I decided to include it in the lineup even though it is grown in Fujian (not to mention these producers are one of my favorites, and I’m a sucker for kind and passionate growers!) Finally, I originally intended to introduce a Keemun Mao Feng from Qimen County but ran into problem and was not able to get the logistics sorted before I launched last July. I’m headed back to China in April with mission No. 1 being to secure a lot of the Keemun Mao Feng from the producers I met last year to bring back a more traditional Qimen tea in the collection. Thanks again for your support!

SimplyJenW

Thank you so much for the explanation. Of course, I ordered a tin before knowing because it was just so good!

Angrboda

Cultivars! I guessed it! \o/

Thanks for the explanation, Joseph. Keemun is one of my favourite types (Tanyang being the most favouristest favourite, where I am not above drawing hearts one the label), and Fujian is my favourite tea producing area, so I’m very intrigued by this. Do you by any chance ship to Europe, and if you do, what would it cost for, say 100g + some samples in a rough estimate? (If you don’t ship to Europe, I may have to ally myself with a friend who can shop for me and forward it… Very very intrigued indeed.)

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Angrboda – we don’t generally ship to Europe but can work out a way to get you tea offline. We’ve the done this in the past with customers in South America. You can go to our website www.josephwesleytea.com and send a message. I receive directly all of these emails and will be able to work something out with you. cheers, Joe

Angrboda

Thank you very much! I have done so. (Don’t tell Husband!)

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92

Tea of the morning……

I got my package of samples from Joseph Wesley. You can tell that much thought has been put into the presentation of the samples and the enclosed materials. Also, he included a hand written note and an extra sample. I ordered the Assam, the Classic Chinese, the Dian Hong, the Keemun and the Bai Lin. He included the Darjeeling for me. I can’t wait to try them all.

This is good. I am getting a little roastier flavor than I would expect from a tea like this. Notes of cocoa, maybe a hint of smoke if I really look for it, maltiness, and a good heartiness that is quite nice. A very complex cup for a classic black tea. I did resteep for a little longer the second time around, and it was also very good. I am not sure if this will be on my list to buy from him, as I have a few others to taste, but it is exactly what I like in a classic black tea.

Usual mug method with just a little cooler on the water for the first steep at 4 minutes, and boiling for the second at six minutes.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
gmathis

Sounds wonderful!
(and, Oh wonderful; a new tea company to drool over!)

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90

Sad sad day. I was expecting my delivery of samples from Joseph Wesley earlier this week. Despite tracking saying it delivered, it had not! So, this weekend the package finally arrives. With a note INSIDE from USPS saying they’re sorry, my package was lost and or damaged in the mail…. etc. It was obviously repackaged. … blegh.

I was so depressed, you have no idea. I’d been looking forward to trying these teas out since before I ordered them. I got a sample of each variety : I only received 3 samples and 2 labels. The rest, I assume, were “lost” in the mail. Love our US mail!

I email Joe (apparently he answers the emails himself. You can FEEL the heart from this company!) and he’s sending me new samples to replace what was lost. Such a fast response! You can tell they care about every cup of tea their customers have. :D Pretty incredible company. I love the simplistic approach they take to tea. It’s been so much easier getting my boyfriend interested in tea when I approach him with sites like Joseph Wesley. He appreciates the straightforward and simple mentality.

So this is the only tea I received that still had the label attached. So, I’m impatient, and eagerly got myself a cup together. Despite the fact that this tea may or may not have been upended on the floor of some mail-room.

This is almost iconic black tea. Simple, easy to drink. My boyfriend said he would love to drink this instead of black coffee “when you just want some caffeine”.

Personally I love it. It’s an easy-drinking black tea, with an plenty of flavors to dwell on. My favorite part is the sort of after-taste it leaves on the tongue after a sip. Herbal, slightly tangy, really fun actually. What’s more to say? Classic black tea. :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Thank you for the nice comments. I really appreciated your understanding with the mail fiasco. The new package was put in the mail today and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the box arrives the way it was intended to arrive; with great craft and care. I hope that you enjoy the other teas as much, if not more, as you enjoyed the #3. Cheers, Joe

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96

Backlog:

This is the third tea that I’ve tried from this company, and I love it too. I have been very impressed with everything that I’ve tried from them.

The leaves are gorgeous (I love that the the beauty of the leaves is important to Joseph Wesley. Of course, the true test of a tea is in the flavor, but, when someone takes as much care as this company has in selecting the highest quality, artistically crafted tea leaves, it turns the cup of tea into a true artistic experience – as it should be!) and the aroma of the brewed tea is rich and rewarding.

Chocolate-y notes with caramel-y undertones. Notes of malt. That freshly baked bread kind of taste. Hints of fresh plum and flower in the distance.

A delightful first-thing-in-the-morning tea … but also perfect for any time of the day. I just love this tea! Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/12/07/3-classic-chinese-black-tea-joseph-wesley-black-tea/

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Sorry for the late response to your nice review. Thanks again for taking time to taste and to review.

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96

Backlog:

I am simply in awe of this company. The black teas they offer are so good. And they not only taste good, but the leaves are absolutely gorgeous. These are artistically crafted teas using nothing but the camellia sinensis leaf. No extra ingredients to make the tea look pretty. It looks good on its own.

This tea is a bit more astringent than the previously reviewed Bai Lin Congfu Black from this company. It has a nice malty tone. Sweet with a very enjoyable “bake-y” sort of taste and that ‘chewy’ sort of texture. Whispers of smoke in the distance.

Bold and strong. Caramel-y and somewhat earthy.

Another MUST TRY from this company. Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/11/25/4-dian-hong-congfu-black-tea-joseph-wesley-black-tea/

Nicole

I soooo want to order from them. Soon.

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