Joseph Wesley Black TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Sweet baby Jesus…this might be the best Da Hong Pao I have ever had.
This lovely tea came as a gift from the wonderful boychik.
Looking at the beautifully crafted leaves, I had a feeling I was in for a treat.So I packed my little 70ml DHP yixing pot with a shitload of tea, cause that’s the way I like it :-)
Very short steeps are required for rock oolong, a few seconds is sufficient.
My first steep was whoa!! A burst a flavor!!
In a nutshell: juicy, toasty, nutty, sharp, mineral, sweet, with big notes of stone fruits and cocoa…yes, this tea has it all!!
It’s complex, it keeps changing, adding different layers and subtleties to each steep.
It’s simply stunning, in every possible ways.
It was such a privilege to get the chance to try it, and thanks to boychik’s generosity, I have plenty left for a few more sessions. Thank you :-)
On a side note, I want to mention that after sampling a few of their teas, I was impressed enough to place my first order with Joseph Wesley. Well I was even more impressed with the service that I received! I want to thank you Joseph for your impeccable customer service, you made all the difference… I already know I will be a returning customer.
Sorry, my brain is pretty much dead today. It’s been a long week. Now I have a sinus headache. I would like a nap, and instead I’m stuck at work.
But this tea is nice. Really nice.
I haven’t been drinking my white teas much lately. I don’t know why. This is a really great tea, so I’m glad I grabbed it this morning and brought it with me to work. I got this a little while back and just finally opened it. (It is still available on the website, so I recommend you get some.)
My little notes I jotted down:
the bit of aroma I’m getting is beautiful (I’m got a bit of a stuffy nose to go with sinus headache)
love the color of the leaves while steeping
And continuing on with my sample sip downs at work today, this was the one I was drinking later in the afternoon and was by far the best of the bunch.
The dry leaves in this are just beautiful, all nice golden and fuzzy. As for the taste all I have to say is WOW sweet potato!!!! Oooozes sweet potato. I’m getting some chocolate, cocoa in the aroma, but I can’t really actually taste them. I’m sure if I’d been at home I could have coaxed the chocolate notes out, but don’t really have that luxury at work. There is no doubt that this is a quality tea.
Thank you scribbles for sharing this wonderful tea. :))
I’ve tried many different Wuyi oolongs, Da Hong Pao for the most part, but never had Qi Lan.
Thanks to my generous friend boychik, I got to experience it for the first time today.
I was expecting a very similar taste profile…and yes thats what I got to some degree.
Nice mineral mouthfeel, roasty and nutty…I’m a fan!
But…the big difference lies in the extreme sweetness I get from this tea, feels like a sweet nectar!!
A lot sweeter than any rock oolong I have ever had.
But this type of tea must be prepared gongfu in order to fully appreciate all its characteristics and nuances. (Only in my humble opinion of course)
It’s easier to control this way…rock oolongs tend to turn bitter very easily. But when done properly, they are amazing and so rewarding!
This tea is nothing short of greatness.
I am impressed so far by Joseph Wesley…Integrity always wins at getting my business ;-)
Thank you boychik for introducing me to them, I see an order in my near future!
As usual, pics of the session:
SOOO GOOOOD! Black tea lovers of Steepster, you gotta check this tea seller out!
This Lapsang isn’t over the top smokey, in fact it is just a background of burnt caramel. The flavor is malty, rich, heavy, plum, raisin, barley, caramel, bread, tart and lightly dry. This tea also goes insanely well with a white cheese, omg! This LS is super friendly yet complex for a seasoned tea drinker. Love it!
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/lapsang-souchong-joseph-wesley-black-tea-tea-review/
Admittedly, I was supposed to blog about the tea pet as the tea was a bonus. The tea was so good, I ended up writing about that. Now I’m trying to restrain myself from blowing $50 at Joseph Wesley.
This one is again, from Scribbles!
This will be just a quick note. I either did not steep this one long enough or use enough leaf.
The overall taste is good. Malty. Earthy but not is a dirt way, if that makes sense. There is a very nice natural sweetness to the tea. I get hints of roasted potatoes or something like that.
It is just too thin and weak. I will have to adjust and report back.
I made another cup with about 2 tsp. This tea is pretty “airy” so I thought I should use a bit more. The flavours stayed the same but it was much more thicker liquor. Even though the mouthfeel was thicker it still tasted a bit thin/weak. Overall still a good tea. Not the best Dian Hong I have had though.
I went down the the HLDYMRKT in Hamtramck today with the express purpose of meeting Joe. He and I talked for quite a while. I was quite taken by his teas, and purchased this one without hesitation.
It’s really nice. Smooth, malty. I don’t get that undercurrent of smoke, but then my palate isn’t as developed as many others here. Almost sweet, but not like sweet potato or anything. It’s just nice.
The color is beautiful. The tea is aromatic. I’m really glad I decided to get this one.
I received this one free from Joseph Wesley. Thank you so much Joe!!! It is greatly appreciated.
For the most part I don’t usually like Darjeeling. It seems to always taste like ash or dirt or a mixture of both to me. It doesn’t matter whether it is high or low quality tea. I haven’t been able to figure out why most Darjeelings taste bad to me but every once in a while there is one that I don’t mind. There are a few blends of Darjeeling I do quite like, Red Tailed Hawk from A&D is one of them.
First off, I love Joseph Wesley’s packaging. It came in a cardboard tin, the tea was in a sealed package inside the tin with an additional card with brewing instructions.
The dry leaves are small, dark and uniform in shape and colour. This tea is pretty. The smell of the dry tea is quite sweet. Maybe a sweet floral type scent, floral more like honeysuckle vs rose.
The tea brews up a reddish brown colour. The scent is still the sweet floral. There is also that slight scent of ash that I often get from darjeelings. This tea tastes quite good. It is definitely on the small list of darjeelings I like. The tea is crisp and clean. There is a strong sweetness, and a light honeysuckle type floral flavour.
While the tea is hot, I quite enjoyed it. There was a very slight but pleasant drying on the back of my palate after each sip. I found after it significantly cooled, the pleasant dryness turned into an astringency that I didn’t like. The ash flavour also became more dominate in the cooled tea with a long lingering aftertaste.
I definitely like this tea while it is hot. I am sure I will be able to manage drinking it that way :)
Another sample from the amazingly awesome Scribbles!
On first smell of the dry tea, I get strong vanilla and cake/pastry notes. Which I found odd for a keemun but I am keen to continue.
When the hot water first hit the tea, the smokiness of the keemun wafted up. It was sweet, slightly smokey.
In order, the first flavour notes I got from this tea were: malt, smoke, tobacco. Delicious. There are definitely light undertones of vanilla cake. The smokey flavour was quite light. There was a very natural sweetness to this tea, that complemented the smoke flavour. The tea liquor was thick, it was moderately bold, there was no astringency which was quite nice (and also a surprise).
My all time favourite teas are Assams, but keemuns do come in a close second.
Tonight’s tea adventure come courtesy of scribbles – wonderful, caring, generous, amazing tea friend. She sent me a message awhile ago saying something like – “I was browsing through your cupboard and noticed a gaping hole, so I’m sending you some samples that I think you should try.” At the time I had about 300 teas in my cupboard and couldn’t really believe that I had any holes – but as always scibbles was correct…..
This tea, what can I say about this tea. This is everything I love about Yunnan black tea. This is exactly what it should be. It’s sweet – honey, it’s a little malty, it’s a little sweet potato, thre is just a touch of stone fruit hanging around in the back. It’s awesome. I’m not getting the smoke that others have mentioned. The leaves are beautiful – not really tippy, more of a combination of black and gold leaves. I love golden teas, but the black balances this nicely – makes it more tealike. Yep even in my exploded cupboard, there is room for this one.
Thank you scribbles for introducing me to yet another amazing tea.
I got a small sample of this tea from the vendor when I purchased some other tea at the Philadelphia Coffee & Tea Festival. This tea is divine. I don’t get much subtlety in flavor but it’s soothing and perfect for a cold November day when it’s snowing outside. Savory, smooth. Lovely.
It resteeps amazingly well.
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