Just a quick note on this one. I’ve been working on a sample I got with my last order. This is very floral — too much so for my taste. I love this company’s Amethyst, thought, and will be ordering more soon.
Old Wilmington Tea Co
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This is delicious although I’m not seeing the purple color claimed by Old Wilmington.
My first oolong! I got sidetracked by the discussion on gaiwans and gaiwan alternatives so I put of brewing this for a few weeks. This evening I just gave in and tried it in a French press, steeped for about 2 minutes. Yes, I saved the leaves and will be trying multiple infusions!
I wasn’t expecting the rolled leaves, for some reason. And I noticed that some floated to the top of the water and others sank immediately and stayed there. They unfurled quite slowly – another reason I’m encouraged by the possibility of multiple steeps. That’s a new concept for me!
What I taste is sweet, mellow Tea with a capital T. Maybe a slight hint of smokiness. I’m trying to understand what others mean by a buttery flavor. It’s definitely very rich-tasting. Is that part of it? I get a sweet, almost flowery aftertaste. Or, no — winey?
Not feeling the need to add anything to this. Just enjoying the tea. I will definitely be ordering more.
I tried this again this morning and the results were much better even though I didn’t do much that was different. Mindful of the green tea content, I used cool-ish water and steeped just under three minutes.
When I looked into the infuser as I removed it from the water, the green leaves were prominent even though black tea is listed as the first ingredient. Maybe the contents of the packet resettled and the green was closer to the top. I looked into the remainder of the dry leaves in the sample packet and judged the black and green to be about even, with perhaps a slight edge of the black. So we’ll see what happens next time.
When I sipped, there was still that edge of bitterness but it was not nearly as pronounced as my first taste a month or so ago. Whatever the black tea was that Old Wilmington used in my samples of Royal Blend and Lord John Grey, three minutes does seem to be the tipping point regardless of water temperature.
I decided to try warming it up again and adding half and half. Now I’m geting a sweet, subtle jasmine tea scent and flavor, and the bitterness has been overcome. I don’t think the cornflower petals contribute much except a pretty blue color accent — there aren’t many of them.
I’m raising my rating of this tea. It definitely warrants experimentation, and the black tea added to the usual green in jasmine tea adds substance. The trick is finding one’s own balance of astringency and body vs. bitterness.
I may buy this again to experiment more on my own. But I have at least one and probably two large cups of tea left in my sample.
Third try — this time, steeped just over 3 minutes and, as I think LiberTEAS commented after my first tasting note, at about 3 minutes the bitterness seems to appear. It’s nowhere near the first steeping I noted, which was a little over 4 minutes So the ideal seems to be just under or at 3 minutes. I’m still not sure I’d re-order, though.
Re-sampling. This time I went overboard in the wrong direction (too short a steep) but hey, learning balance is a major life lesson, right?
I only steeped a couple of minutes and added a substantial splash of half and half. No bitterness! But the flavor could be stronger. I have enough left of my sample for one more try, so I’m going to use the same proportion of tea and water and steep somewhere between what I tried the first time (probably with too much tea-to-water, I suspect) and this steep. Boosting the rating considerably.
I have now seen the light, thanks to (Liberteas?) who advised me to seek out an unbagged chamomile. I’ll be trying samples of others, probably, but in the meanwhile this herbal tisane has also redeemed Old Wilmington Tea Company for me.
Elsewhere I mentioned recently that I was going to have to give up on their blended teas but that I had a sample of Egyptian Chamomile and one of Amethyst in my recent order.
Reader, there truly is all the difference in the world between loose, good-quality chamomile like this one and bagged, semi-crushed chamomile which is all I had ever had before.
It’s a very delicate flavor, but it’s there. The scent of apples is lovely and innocent, like slipping into a cool white cotton nightgown on a mild summer night. I steeped it about 10 minutes and did not add anything to it.
Just a sweet old-fashioned treat for bedtime.
Another sample from Old Wilmington Tea. This one got me all excited when I opened the packet — definitely a strong orange aroma, and there was a gigantic piece of dried orange in the first tablespoon I put in my infuser. (Orange, pineapple, vanilla, and chocolate are all almost irresistible to me.)
So I made sure there was plenty in the infuser, and I steeped it a long while, but…
Meh. The orange was there but barely after steeping. I think I may have to give up on this company’s flavored teas, no matter how delicious they sound or how enticing the aroma of the dry tea.
But I still have an untried sample of Amethyst and one of Egyptian Chamomile, so I have hopes for their unblended/unflavored teas.
I ordered a sample of this from Old Wilmington and had some earlier today, with nothing added. It was smooth and mellow, but the vanilla was not pronounced. I’ve tried 2 vanilla rooibos teas now, this one and Madagascar Red from Celestial seasonings, and so far I haven’t found what I’m looking for — a lush vanilla aroma and flavor with some sweetness.
Aroma: smelled pretty and flowery. Very gently flowery, not knock-you-in-the-face flowery. Ladylike. Dusting powder rather than perfume.
Because of my experience with Lord John Grey yesterday, I took care not to over-steep. But alas, the bitterness was there again. It has to be something in the base tea they were using at the time. Or the cornflower petals, which are present in both. (It wasn’t as bitter as the Lord John Grey.)
After awhile of trying it straight, I reheated and added some half-and-half. That helped with the slight bitterness, but It’s still a little puckery for my taste.
Maybe I could just leave it out for potpourri or steam it for a room freshener. I really liked the way it smelled.
Well, this smells rather nice. I was alarmed when I saw what looked like dust floating on the surface after I removed the infuser, but on closer examination I decided it was a like skim of oil — or bergamot, I suppose. Which is in its own way a little alarming as well.
I’ve just realized I can’t see the color very well in my new tea mug. Should have bought a white one instead of a blue one. But I can dip out a teaspoonful and see that it’s a bright, golden amber color.
But oh my gosh it’s bitter. Did I steep it too long? Did I use too much tea? Or, since this is one of those unopened samples I bought a year ago, is it just too old even though it’s been sealed in a foil-lined packet? Advice from more experienced tea samplers hereby solicited.
I haven’t actually tasted this yet. Hope to do so in a day or two and will add a note at that point. I notice that the ingredient list on the sample packet doesn’t quite match the description on the website and wonder whether the blend may have changed since I ordered my samples. It is listed on their “Blended black” page.
I ordered several samples from this tea company about a year ago and promptly forgot them. This sample bag had been opened when I decided to try it again this morning. It came in a brown paper, foil-lined, ziploc packet, which was zipped, so I am hoping the flavor will still be pretty true.
I brewed it for about 5 minutes. The color is a deep red bordering on bugundy — thanks to the hibiscus, I am sure. I remember selecting this blend because of the tropical notes, especially the pineapple.
It is quite tart! I don’t smell the pineapple or coconut much. Maybe a bit of the apple. I do see some pretty large chunks of pale fruit in the steepings (word?) and when I fished one out it was apple.
This is the last of the packet. Depending on what I think of the rest of my aging samples, which are mostly unopened, I may order another sample of this one to see whether the pineapple and coconut flavors did degrade over time. They do have a number of tasty-sounding “fruit melanges” listed on their website.
Yummy! This is really very good. It’s sweet, though, so for those who don’t care for sweet teas, you might find this a bit cloying. My sweet tooth is quite enjoying it though.
The passion fruit is very distinguished, bright and lots of delicious, fruity flavor, but does not overwhelm the Oolong tea. Creamy and very enjoyable.
I can’t believe it’s been a year since I had a cup of this! WOWZA! This is a SIPDOWN tho! I will miss it! It’s one of the teas with sprinkles in it that I find pleasing. The sugary notes are ‘just right’ and the caramel and vanilla are perfectly done to my liking! This is a very dark cuppa but I LIKE the darkness to it! See previous notes…
Smells just like a frosted cupcake…fairly bold and yummy, indeed! Check out my other notes…
Forgot to log the other night…thanks for this LiberTEAS! I really liked this! Wonderful blueberry and a nice amount of jasmine without going overboard! Nice relaxing tea!
This was another goodie from LiberTEAS!!!
This is a lot like a few Lady Grey’s I have had…
a lighter version of an Earl Grey…not as harsh on the bergamot or floral tastes, ya know!?
This is nice – when you are in the mood!