Joseph Wesley Black Tea
Popular Teas from Joseph Wesley Black TeaSee All 7 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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…
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
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
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.
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
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. :)
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/
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/