Luka Te m.m.
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Recent Tasting Notes
Another tea from the first round of the EU box. I decided to steep a large batch of this one so I can have enough for my new flask to turn it into iced tea. I think Rooibos and lemongrass would make a nice iced tea combination. Anything to get me through work tomorrow :)
It’s a nice blend, simple, sweet, lemony, smooth but very delightful. I love lemongrass teas but have not tried it blended with Rooibos before, probably because I’m not a huge fan of it but together they work well. The balance is nice, the Rooibos is a little heavier to start with but towards the after taste the lemongrass shines through. The Rooibos is thick so it does have that unusual chemical flavour but luckily it does not last for long.
I can’t wait to see what this is like iced, possibly better than it is hot.
O Hai there Steepsterites. I’ve been neglecting you a bit lately. I’ve been keeping an eye on the boards but that’s about it. I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month and there are a number of other things keeping me occupied. We had our first wedding anniversary this past weekend for example. Went out to dinner at one of the restaurants where we also had some of our wedding last year and saw the Tall Ships Races ships as they were in town. Very interesting for a day out if you get the chance for that sort of thing. The restaurant was the place where we were also given a painting by the owner, so we had brought copy of a photograph taken there with him, us and the painting to give to him. Unfortunately he had passed away earlier this year from cancer, but we gave it to his daughter. She said that he would have been very happy with the photograph and pleased to hear that we’ve hung the painting in our lounge. So that was a kind of bittersweet ending to our anniversary.
Husband loves this one so when I ordered some more of it, he all but demanded that I get two pouches. This place sells in 100 g bags ONLY when it’s online and I’m not sure he really had any idea of how much that is before he saw me tinning 200 g of the stuff and commented that perhaps we should just buy it by the bucket. However, it has turned into a favourite of his (likely because of the lemon grass. Husband is a lemon fiend.) so not stocking up was not an option.
This is the shop that I used to live close to so I’ve never ordered online from them before. Looking at the selection, though, I’ve come to suspect that they might have the same supplier as Fru P, so I’m not really missing out on anything by having moved away. I did consider getting some of Luka’s vanilla to compare with Fru P, but decided against it. I’ll just have to remember to check if Fru P has a rooibos blend similar to this one, because that would be so much more convenient. (And Fru P is a really nice lady. I’ve been chatting with her when I’ve been in there and she remembers my name. I want to support her business.)
Anyway, at first when Cteresa taught me to like flavoured rooibos blends, I wasn’t super convinced about this one. It’s lemon-y and that really suits the rooibos and makes it not taste like a chewed pencil, but it still struck me as kind of boring.
I’ve come around to it, though, and I can see now that the old batch had been hoarded a little too carefully. This cup is much more lemon-y and fun to drink.
So there you are, Steepsterites. I aten’t ded! But now it’s back to the writing.
This is one of a few that we’ve got that I haven’t added to my cupboard.
1. They belong to the boyfriend.
2. He brought them with him when we moved in together.
3. He is the only one who drinks them.
4. I don’t like rooibos anyway.
However, after the success of the flavoured rooibos that Cteresa sent me the other day, he suggested that maybe I should also try the three or four that he’s got. Well, three out of the four. He enjoys this one, he thinks I might like two of the others as well and he very much doubts I’ll like the fourth one. I know I won’t like it, because I bought it once, before I realised that me and rooibos don’t mesh, because some female creature kept prattling on about how wonnnnnnnnnnderful it was iced. Let’s just say it wasn’t wonderful hot and it wasn’t wonderful iced. Much less wonnnnnnnnnnnnnnderful. So I’m steering well clear of that one until such time as I come over all masochistic.
Anyway, this one was suggested to start with. Not surprisingly considering the man’s affinity to lemons. I made a whole mug for him and a little more than half a mug for me. It makes it seem a little less scary the fact that there’s less of it.
Hmmm, odd. Yeah, there’s lemon here, but mostly I’m getting something… minty? It tastes a bit like chewing gum, really. The sort that adults eat, not children. I’m not sure I would call it super awesome, but it’s actually drinkable. Again the flavouring seems to cancel out the worst pencil-shaving-y-ness of the rooibos base.
I’m not at all surprised that he’s fond of it, but I’m not sure it’s what I’m looking for. I suspect I require some sweetness here.
Therefore, I conducted an experiment and if the following is some huge rooibos faux pas, I suggest you either avert your eyes now if you don’t want to risk it, or consider yourselves dutifully warned.
I added some sugar.
And this is an entirely different picture. Yeah it’s a little on the sweet side due to the dosage of sugar (I have funky thingie with sugar in which doses it for you and you just empty a ‘room’ over the cup) and the size of the cup, but what remained of unpleasant rooibos-y woodyness has been well and truly subdued.
I think, if it’s not a naturally sweet flavour, I might require a bit of sugar in a flavoured rooibos.
No, I’m not feeling particularly discouraged about this. Probably not something I’ll be drinking very often though.
Gosh, these leaves must be ancient! If there is some fading, however, it doesn’t really matter today as what I was looking for was something mild. Let’s not go too much into detail here. Suffice to say that I had milkshake-tummy all day yesterday and that yesterday’s diet consisted primarily of water and the glass of juice I had in the evening was somewhat regretted at bedtime.
So. Something mild for me, please. I’m feeling better in the stomach department today, but let’s not rock the boat, eh?
This turned out as orange as… an orange today. I always get surprised by the colour with this one. I keep expecting it to be very very light and then I get shocked at how dark it actually is.
The aroma is weirdly custard-y. A bit buttery and a bit sweet and I wonder if the fact that I made lemon curd earlier today is messing with my senses. I can’t really spot much nuttiness in the aroma. Perhaps a little almond here and there, but not really anything noteworthy.
Which is funny, because I distinctly remember it as being quite nutty. Or maybe that was just all in the flavour?
Yes it was. It is indeed quite mild, likely due to some fading, but the note of walnut is still quite obvious. Sad to say, however, that either the remainder of the leaves will have to be brewed somewhat stronger than this or it will mainly be used for occasions such as this where I’m feeling it best to stick with something mild.
I had originally given this one a grand total of 98 points, but seeing as how I’ve been so disinterested in it for so long, I’m going to take it down somewhat. No tea that one loses interest in like this is really worth 98 points.
IMPORTANT EDIT!!! GAH!! I completely forgot! Happy New Year, Steepsterites. Be careful around the fireworks.
It’s been awhile since I’ve drank this tea – I’m not quite sure why, I certainly don’t find it objectionable. It smells just as smokey as I remember, but I find myself surprised at how smooth and gentle the tea actually is. The tea doesn’t have a heavy, lingering flavour and I find it feels quite clean in my mouth.
Look what I found!
Let’s revisit the story of this tea, shall we? I used to get this from Luka, the local shop where I live, but as I was pretty much the only person interested in smokies they took it off the shelf. When I was told this, they let me buy the lot of what they had left which turned out to be some 600g or so. I was then promised that when that ran out, if I wanted some more, I could just let them know and they would make sure to get something for me then next time they ordered from their supplier.I took most of it with me to work and drank it there for several months, and after I was done with it, I’ve never taken advantage of the offer to have them get me some more specially. I was sort of sated, you know? But then yesterday I found this little bit squirreled away in the lunch room cupboard at work, all lost and forgotten. So I took it home with me and have now made me a cup. There isn’t very much of it, only enough for one, maybe two, small pots after this one.
You know, I’m thinking when I’ve had this again (and when I’ve actually got some spending money again, can we has pay day soon?) maybe I will stop in at that shop and see if the offer still stands. It might be nice to have some of it back again.
It’s been so long since I’ve had it I’d pretty much forgotten all the details of it, but then the first sip was of something so extremely familiar (well it would have to be, wouldn’t it, having got through a whole pound!) that I just fell right back into it.
I’ve made it a bit strong this morning, but I’m probably steeping considerably shorter than I used to do when I had it last, so there should be more steeps in it than I remember. Plan is to keep going at this one for the better part of the day.
It’s turned into something oddly dual layered. There’s the pang of prickly lapsang smoke and underneath that the heartier blend of green and english breakfast with the sweeter notes of LS. The bottom layer is all thick and viscous and it feels like there might actually be milk in it, even though there isn’t.
I have to say I recall it being more evenly blended, but then again, who knows how long those leaves have been hiding at the back of that cupboard and I’m not brewing the exact same way anymore either.
Okay, so it wasn’t just because I’d been snoring. I had a few errands to run and I had a stop at Luka anyway, so I asked for something chamomile for myself. Then I asked her if she had something in a blend that could take a bit of the nasty flavour and she gave me this.
Chamomile and licorice root which is also something that’s soothing for the throat. Not a combination I can really imagine. It smells awful too. Still very chamomile-y after brewing and I can’t detect much licorice root.
But if it’s good for me… bottoms up, right?
Bleurgh and bleurgh again.
Could be worse though. It’s not undrinkable, it’s just not really very nice. Mostly chamomile which I’ve steadily disliked more and more over the years (as a child I really enjoyed it) and some licorice root on the swallow
What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Or something.
Like that Vanilla Date tea from 52Teas this one has been banned to a separate cupboard to keep it’s strong odor from permeating all my other teas. I’m noticing a bit of bitterness this time, though it’s mostly when the tea is quite hot and it mellows out as it cools. Maybe I’ll reduce the temperature or steeping time slightly.
The resteep is lighter and sweeter with a slight woody note that’s most noticeable when the tea is hot. It’s still quite smokey, but it’s a more unobtrusive sort of smokey.
Look what I found at the back of the cupboard! Did anyone say ‘summerly’?
peers into cup
DEAR MY TEA!
I gave you a 30 second steep. 45 seconds as the very very most. How come you are so dark looking?
Nothing wrong with the flavour though. One sip made my eyes go all roll-y and my face go all grinny. I’ve missed this one and I didn’t even know it.
I need to do some experimental forays into other whites though. This is the only one I’m completely at home in. I’ve only ever had silver needles once for example, and I wasn’t truly aware of what I was drinking then.
I think I’ll take this cup with me to the balcony and finish Gullstruck Island.
What a delicious blend! I’m swooning with delight. Many many thanks to Angrboda for introducing me to this tea. I love smoky teas and this one refuses to wimp out. It’s a strong and serious drink with smoldering yet clear intentions. This tea offers uncompromising deliciousness to all lovers of smoky tea. Many Lapsang Souchong blends tend to add sweetness or lightness to the mix but this one reinforces and enhances the strong smoke.
Absolutely, devastatingly perfect—a tea to love!
Tin liberation! Yay! Second tin freed in two days.
Good morning Steepsterites.
I made this extra strong this morning (so as to use the rest of the leaves), added some of Adagio’s cinnamon and a good splash of milk.
I must be sleepier than I thought because when I took the first sip, I was honestly surprised to discover it wasn’t coffee…
Also, I’ve docked a lot of points from this one. It’s time to stop kidding myself. I just really really wanted to like it better than I actually did, and I was trying to convince myself that I did by cheating the brain with more points than it was worth. Obviously, it didn’t really work.
Angrboda was kind enough to send me a generous sample of this tea and I was terribly curious to see what it was like, so I decided to brew up a cup of it tonight. First of the all the dry tea practically reeked of campfire/BBQ and the smell permeated the house as I steeped it. I think my nose became habituated because I couldn’t smell it after awhile steeping, but the boyfriend-creature walked in the door, gave me a look and said “You’re making that smokey tea, aren’t you?”.
I was pretty worried at that point since Lapsang Souchong tastes like liquid BBQ to my palate and I was worried that this tea would have a similar flavour as, from the smell of it, it obviously has a large helping of that particular chinese tea in it.
Much to my relief it wasn’t nearly that bad – the smokiness was about on par with the Russian Caravan I got from Murchies recently. There’s a distinctly green note in the middle of each mouthful that I think serves to mellow the flavour.
It’s a really interesting blend, thank you Angrboda! :)
I went for shorter steeps this time ‘round even though white teas are supposed to get a longer steep in general, I think. The result was a lighter tea with a smoother taste but with plenty of flavour. The nuttiness still predominates, but I’m also getting a hint of something else that makes me think of rhubarb or maybe underipe blackberries – veeeery interesting.
This is actually a backlog of what I had last night before sleeping. I made it with the gaiwan (really need more of those things!) and with cooler water than I have before. The reason for the c ooler water being that I forgot it and then couldn’t be bothered to boil again.
I think the steeping time must have been shorter too. The only thing I know for sure, really, is that I used more leaf.
The result was VASTLY different to what I’ve had before. At least it seemed like it. It came as a bit of a surprise to me when I took the first sip, because that was just not how I remembered it at all. It wasn’t as walnut-y and borderline astringent. It was sweet, a note of nuts but over-all insanely buttery.
It was good enough at all, but I think I prefer it the other way. I’ll have to experiment a bit here.
Today I’m focusing on samples. I hope. Well, that’s the goal. Who knows how I’ll actually do on it. I’m feeling sort of blah due to the combo of a sinus headache, a spider bite, crappy weather and miscellaneous other stuff that I won’t whine about here. But on the plus side, I have this tea from Angrboda to try and I’m quite excited about that!
Okay, I officially hate this tea because it’s delicious and there is no way for me to easily buy more. It probably has the cleanest end I’ve ever had with a smoky tea. Heavy smoke on the front followed by a faintly sweet note that lifts the taste a bit and then a clean, smooth finish. But it doesn’t skimp on the smoky so it ends up being a strong, bold but still smooth and almost gentle tea with hordes of flavor. This tea is so nice and soft spoken while it smacks me around with bold smoky that I can’t help but love it and want to cuddle with it.
Whoa! I’ve ‘unfollowed’ a LOT of Steepsterites today. Many of them people who have gone inactive or who had seemingly decided not to follow me. In many many cases both. But also some others. I just want to make it quite clear that there is nothing at all personal involved in the people I’m dropping. It’s merely a case of trying to re-invent the way I use the site.
It’s a lengthy and honestly rather tedious process (that I have, I admit, brought on myself by initially trying to follow literally everybody with one or two exceptions), but I’m down to 814 now. Not nearly done, but I’ve got two whole pages now of people I’ve decided to keep. And at this point I’m realising that instead of clicking and unfollowing people one by one, it might have been easier to just unfollow everybody and re-add the ones I wanted to keep instead. Bit late for that now, though, so we’re plodding onwards.
For this purpose I of course need a good strong tea, preferably a smoky and one I know so well that I don’t have to put a lot of thought into drinking it. Enter Black Powder. I have this at work every day. It’s my work tea, which is also why I rarely have it at home anymore. It’s perfect for work really and because it’s smoky most people make this face o.O and I get to keep it for myself. (I do at the moment have one curious colleague though, but she’s not yet finished gathering courage for it. I’ve told her she’s welcome to dive into the tin/pot whenever she feels ready for it. I hope she’ll like it. )
I’m actually on second steep now. The smoother, slightly sweeter, but still very smoky one. I can’t remember if I’ve ever tried a third steep of it or what the result was if I did, but it would appear that today might very well be the day.
Seems I’ve generally had pretty good tea luck recently. Lots of yummy stuff.