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Recent Tasting Notes
Enjoying a cup of this at the moment – it is really good. I mean… reallllllly good!
Here is my full-length review of it: http://sororiteasisters.com/2010/08/19/bolivian-whole-leaf-black-tea-from-kteas/
I needed a photo of this tea for my review of it that will publish this Thursday (on http://sororiteasisters.com ) so, I decided to brew the leaves rather than stash them away, since I had them out anyway.
I brewed it in my gaiwan this time, and interestingly enough I’m getting more chocolate-y notes today… I don’t know if this difference is related to the gaiwan brewing or not… I’m just telling you what I’m tasting. The cocoa notes are very pleasing with the caramel-y notes.
I fall even more in love with this tea every time I brew it.
The aroma of the dry leaf is very lovely and somewhat difficult for me to find the words to describe it. I can smell hints of flower and fruit, as well as a caramel-y note and a very subtle earthy character.
The more I drink this tea the more I love it.
I just got finished writing up my review for this tea – it will be published on the SororiTEA Sisters blog on the 19th of August!
I am going to be reviewing this one more in depth tomorrow… today, I just got home from a very long shopping and lunch excursion with my husband – we had a wonderful time, but, I had NO caffeine today until now and so I have a headache like you wouldn’t believe.
I need caffeine.
This is a really delightful tea. Chewy, sweet, delicious. I look forward to exploring it further.
This one is really not suited for my chai tastes. It does have a nice strong black tea (though very broken leaves), but it is somewhat bitter. I could actually overlook that if the spice mix/load suited my tastes. I like a nice powerful spice mix that gives off a nice amount of heat from the ginger and pepper. This one is largely dominated by cinnamon and cardamom. Not my cup of chai.
I love improvising, especially when improvising allows me to accomplish exactly what I would be otherwise, if I had not been improvising. In this case, I wanted to review this delicious smelling tea, but was in a location where I had the means for heating water, yet no implements for making tea, save a solitary mesh strainer. So, I proceeded to use an oversized wine glass (preheated, of course) as a teapot, and strained off the tea into small coffee mugs (my improvised tea cups), following the completion of the five minute steeping time I used (generalized for most rooibos).
Success, at least so far as brewing the tea was concerned. Now onto the tasting…
The dry leaf had very much carried the peppermint oil smell, nearly overpowering. The hint of orange, at least, was present (better than past teas of this type that I’ve tried, where one of the two main ingredients ends up completely overwhelming the other. In the aroma of the steeped tea, the orange and peppermint blended nicely and equally, providing a mellow and sweet smelling brew.
Ah, and time for the first taste! Will my improvised tea session turn out well?
Yes! My first sip was deliciously orange that slid smoothly over the tongue, leaving an aftertaste of juicy rooibos and cool peppermint behind. Mmm, tasty. Surprisingly, this tea held its flavour even when I decided to steep it again, though that may have been the result of using a bit more dry leaf than is usual for this type of tea.
Looking at the dry leaf, I loved how the tiny flowers were mixed in with the tea leaves. What was a bit disappointing was how crushed the leaves were. This might have been partly due to shipping, though few of the other teas I received at the same time were like this. Regardless, the dry leaf has a wonderful dark oolong smell with great flowery notes.
Steeping some of this tea as per the website directions (3 minutes, 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of water), the finish liquor has a pleasant aroma of a light oolong with great floral tones. The smell of the flowers diminishes yet improves, at the same time. My first sip, however, did not impress me. It tasted very flat, for an oolong, and the flowers did not come through at all. Not to be put off, I continued on with my tasting. The flavour grew bolder as I continued to drink the tea, and I gradually became aware of the subtle flavours imparted by the flowers.
Over a couple steepings, this tea grew to be quite pleasant. The moderately light flavour would make this tea a good accompaniment to some light appetizer dishes, such as a cheese and cracker plate. I enjoyed this tea, but one must have patience with it to get the most from its leaves.
Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act III scene 4
“So-so is good, very good, very excellent good; and yet it is not; it is but so-so.”
As You Like It, Act V scene 1
This was my first experience with a CTC (Cut-Tear-Curl) blend. Even knowing what it was I was still shocked at how much it looked like very coarsly ground espresso. My concern grew about bitterness. The dry leaves smelled like (all-together now): black tea! I couldn’t even tell you what tea it was. I looked at the packaging and it’s from a Kenyan tea garden. I don’t know if I’ve had another Kenyan black tea.
The brew itself was surprisingly good: no bitterness or bite! This is a pretty good breakfast blend. And then the cup began to cool and it got a bit crazy. There was this great Ceylonish sweetness happening and then it morphed into a light Puerh. Wah?!?! I soooo didn’t see that one coming. But it was still good — it was more of a “stroll through a small barnyard” earthy Puerh. I did a second steep and this time it stayed a generic black tea with nice moments of sweetness. I wouldn’t call this tea “hefty,” but it’s got a bit-o-oomph on the original steep. I’m not clamoring to get more of this tea, but if I ever get around to placing an order from KTeas, then I’d get a small portion of this to have on hand.
This tea I name Touchstone the fool from As You Like It. This tea certainly fooled me and kept my tastebuds on their toes…er, or something like that. It was these moments of “what the hey?!?!” that I found most delightful. Plus, I adore Touchstone’s line that I used for the intro to this note since it so wonderfully encapsulates my feelings toward this tea. NE
Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act III scene 1
My salad days,
When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,
To say as I said then!
Antony & Cleopatra, Act I scene 5
If someone made this tea for me, then I would have drank it graciously. If this imaginary person didn’t tell me what this tea was, then in the back of my mind I’d be thinking “Can Darjeeling go bad?” For me the Darjeeling overpowered the oolong, but the oolong was there lending an odd veggie quasi-oolong note to the tea. The leaves themselves seemed pretty shredded, and I wonder if this is what caused the astringency I experienced. It wasn’t bad, but it had quite a bite.
I present Antony & Cleopatra in tea form. Another pair of “star-crossed lovers” but told in a more muddled and unremarkable way than Romeo & Juliet. Yes, there’s some great poetry throughout, but this play as a whole just isn’t that good. Just like this tea: the individual types of tea separate might be good, but together it just doesn’t come together for me. I’m rather “cold in blood” (i.e. passionless) about this tea. M
Dry leaf/blend looks awesome! HUGE Honkin’ Currants in there!!!! Smells like Currants and black tea with a little floral tone. After steep – It’s medium brown in color. The smell is lovely. The taste is a great even black tea with currant pairing! This truly amazes me because MOST teas that pair a black with Currants are bitter or sour or tarty or too sweet or don’t taste like tea! This one is GREAT! I’m very happy with this! I can truly say this is the best Black Tea with Black Currants I have ever had! YUM! Thumbs up!