Mark T. Wendell
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks again to Geoffrey for sending me some of this tea.
I really do love this tea. It has a beautiful flavor – very rich and flavorful. I love the warm spicy undertones and the hint of sweetness that hits around mid-sip. It is not quite as bold as an authentic Keemun, but, that’s OK… sometimes different is good, and in this case that’s very true. A very pleasant, deep, complex flavor that I’m enjoying immensely.
I have Geoffrey Norman to thank for sending me this tea. Thanks!
This tea confuses me! The appearance of the dry leaves remind me of a Formosa Oolong, and even the brewed liquor smells like a Formosa Oolong. And it tastes more like an Oolong to me than a typical Keemun.
Nevertheless, I am liking it! It has a warm taste to it – not just temperature, but a subtle spicy undertone – and a pleasant smoothness. No bitter taste and very little (as in practically no) astringency. A very pleasant cup.
I think I want to try this one again before I start rating it.
Finishing off the last of these pearls this evening. I do love Jasmine Pearls!
Here’s my full-length review of it, written some time ago but my feelings for this tea haven’t changed: http://www.teareviewblog.com/?p=17616
This smells a little herbally but it seems to have a SMIDGE of berry aroma hiding somewhere, too. The spices are very subtle…very light. Once infused I can smell the lemongrass and the spice is just underneath the lemon-aroma. The taste is very different…there is a cinnamon powder type taste paired with the lemongrass on the tongue and that’s on top of the stereotypical green bean or fresh pea type taste I have been associating with Guayusa. Not bad. Very different from what I expected…but not bad at all!
Yet another surprise! Just when I think I can predict a flavor of a tea – I am dead wrong – but in cases like this – I LIKE THIS! I LIKE being WRONG! :)
This has a very masculine black tea aroma and taste. It’s very rich and bold. It has hints of pepper and earthiness to it. An even smaller hint of smoke, too.
I really like this because of how different it ended up being! YUM!
See how my tastes have changed for this gem!
I just received a HUGE box from Mark T Wendell from UPS and I’m jumping right in!!!!
This is surely Vanilla flavored black, indeed! The aroma is intense and the black tea and vanilla flavoring (to taste) is about medium strength in each area.
Overall this is an enjoying cuppa! I’m not a vanilla freak so maybe if you are you will find this to be just what you are looking for! As for an outsider looking in – I did want to try it to compare notes! This is very nice! And that’s coming from someone ‘middle of the road’ in the liking-vanilla world, so to speak! :)
This tea brews to such a lovely, pale yellowish-green color. The aroma is vegetative, but the flavor is not quite as vegetative as I thought it would be. It does have a vegetable like taste to it (which is more like vegetable than grassy), and a hint of buttery sweetness to it too. This is an incredibly tasty cuppa!
I like this one!
I could geekily nitpick that it can’t be a Keemun unless it’s actually produced in Qimen County, but I’m not in a purist mood this morning. The fact that it was a Formosa-borne black tea was merit enough for sipping. Unlike Chinese Keemun, it doesn’t possess the bitter foretaste. In fact, none of its flavor characteristics match up with Keemun. There’s no sweetness and no “orchid”-like comparison. What it does offer is an aged pu-erh’s earthiness coupled with a Formosa oolong’s nutty and pinecone-like flavor. It’s no Keemun Gongfu or Mao Feng, but it still does pretty well.
The Breville One-Touch Tea Maker arrived today, so I gave this tea a whirl to see if I liked it better prepared in a different way…
Boy, am I glad I did! I really enjoyed this. Steeped it at 185 for three minutes. (Well, probably more like 3.25 or so as I messed it up at first and had to restart the cycle.) It tasted like a different tea. I could taste a slight, mellow hint of floral… something. It tasted a bit woodsy at first, then developed into more of an almost mossy taste. Doesn’t sound as nice written down, but I did enjoy it. I didn’t get to steep a second time, unfortunately, but will try again soon. Really nice and light tea.
The scents of smoke and pine are perfectly balanced, but still allow the flavour of the tea leaves themselves to come through. The leaves are large for a relatively mass-produced tea; even fairly coarse filters will prevent sediment from passing into your cup. The tea will not go bitter no matter how badly you overbrew it. Overall, an excellent cup. Keeps well; order in bulk.