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Recent Tasting Notes
First to review this tea! Always nice :)
This is a wonderfully unique English Breakfast kind of tea from one of my favourite London tea shops – Postcard Teas. If you happen to be in London, drop in, say hello to the lovely, lovely people there, and buy some delicious tea in beautiful tins or “Postcard” refill bags. I love their tins so much that I can’t help myself, and always end up buying them. They are practical, and “easy on the eyes”.
This tea is part of their new lineup of black teas and blends. The good news is that I’ve tried both this and the new Breakfast blend, and so far I love their new teas. The bad news is that their wonderful old teas are no longer available. But lets focus on the good:
This is a breakfast blend, which means Assam, of course, coupled with Kerala, which I admit, I’ve never heard of before. It takes time to open up in the cup, so be patient with the brewing time, and when looking at the reddish brown liquor one would think that this tea was mislabelled “bold breakfast”. Assams tend to brew much darker than that, especially those that are in breakfast blends.
But then this tea will do a “crouching tiger, hidden dragon” move on your mouth. It is much bolder and more flavoursome than any breakfast blend that I’ve tasted – without resorting to bitterness. Yes, you heard that right. A right powerful tea, that doesn’t taste like wormwood when brewed over a minute or two.
It takes milk beautifully, but be careful. This tea is very astringent, even with milk added, so if that turns you off, try some of the much less astringent but still very very good Breakfast blend. You will feel Bold Breakfast tea pinch you on the tongue long after your session with him has ended, like a disapproving master admonishing his unruly apprentice.
My third Postcard Tea to try today and I was impressed with the previous two, a great introduction to the company. The three I selected were towards the lower end of the scale in terms of price, I now can’t wait to try the more expensive and exclusive teas. Plus they have adorable tins that can be re used.
The tea looks like green tea, the leaves are medium sized, full and perfectly preserved. They have a rather mineral and grassy scent, much like a green tea.
Colour one steeped is a light green, yellow and and it has a sweet grass scent. Flavour it’s very sweet and honeyed with light fruit notes, I just can’t determine which fruit. Not quite peach or strawberry but a mild mix between the two….does such a fruit exist or am I making it up? I don’t know. But at any rate it’s subtly fruity. Also it has a toasted quality similar to that of a light Oolong. Yes that’s what it tastes like, an Oolong. A caffeine free Oolong like tea…now that is a special thing indeed. Plus it gets creamy the more you drink.
It’s a nice herbal/tisane, unique and naturally sweet but is enough to cure my night time Oolong cravings without the hassle of the caffeine buzz.
This is your celebration
Celebrate good times, come on!
Celebrate good times, come on!
Yes that was Kool & The Gang and we are celebrating my 1000th Steeping note! Boy this has come around very quickly, 1000 notes of me mumbling about tea and life stories. Thank you to those who have made it possible. Damn the Oscar music has come on so I am being shown off stage.
And now we are back into the land of tea and Earl Grey. This was surprisingly strong when I opened the tin, the bergamot is absolutely gorgeous. Then I realised it was still sealed in the foil packet, this is one of if not the strongest Earl Grey teas I have had the pleasure of sniffing. What do we want? Strong Earl Grey. When do we want it? Now!
Not only was the scent divine but looking at the leaves and seeing the beautiful autumn tones of a Darjeeling pushed this tea over the edge. So far I am astonished I have not tried this before.
Sampling without sugar but with a splash of milk for my first taste. Plus I have some left over wedding cake on the side that my cousin was kind enough to drop off for my aunty to distribute. Earl grey and wedding cake…sounds like bliss already.
Fragrant, perfumed, strong, clean, waxy, sweet. Some of the words that came to mind as I took my first sip. It is a very strong Earl Grey but it’s not heavy, and the bergamot is somewhat perfumed amongst the floral-esque Darjeeling but at the same time it is waxy, sweet and pure. ie non chemical or artificial. The balance is nice, though both elements are strong you can taste them both, though the bergamot lingers longer in the after taste.
I love Earl Grey and have tried many over the years, including especially imported and expensive blends. Compared to my Earl Grey index this particular one has to be my favourite. I’m not sure if I will be disappointed in the next month or two as the tea is now out of it’s foil packet and though tinned may loose it’s strength (as has happened many times over with various teas) but honestly this Earl Grey is so good I would offer it to Captain Picard.
I’ve been after some more Sobacha after Sil sent me a roasted buckwheat tea sachet last year and it charmed my mouth. I remember it was like drinking liquid peanut butter only light and tasty (since I’m not much of a PB fan). Then on Wednesday I won £5 off Whittington’s Tea Emporium thanks to a contest I had entered, however the voucher code gave me £5 off each tea and free shipping so I made off like a bandit. I got three Postcard Tea tins, one for Sobacha, one for Earl Grey and another for Green Mulberry tea. The total was only £6.75 and they arrived this morning. First call of action – drink Sobacha.
One teaspoon of mix into boiling water. Simple.
Now I have the buckwheat at the bottom of the cup which give it a pebble fish tank look and the liquid is light yellow. Yep there is is in scent, peanuts, roasted peanuts. It tastes gentle yet the after taste is strongly roasted with high wheat and nut flavours. It’s naturally sweet and somewhat buttery. Caffeine free, low fat, peanut butter on toast in a mug. Perfect.
By the way (non tea related) – I got into the swing of writing again so I wrote a poem, though it’s safe to say that I never got the hang of happy endings.
Ps – If you are easily upset then it’s best you don’t read it.
This was another excellent gift from my excellent mother. I brewed this gong fu style while Casey and I watched the original Terminator movie tonight. Some of the outdated special effects made me giggle. It was like watching that Russian alien in the X-Files episode from “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space”. Never mind.
Anyway. This tea was really nice. The first steeps were like caramel and nuts and coffee. The texture of the tea was creamy and smooth. It held up to many steepings, and didn’t become too drying at the end like some teas can. Looking forward to enjoying a few more steeps in the morning, but for now we’re going to bed.
This was an awesome birthday present from my mother. I’m still not the biggest fan of Dragon Well tea, but of the Longjing I have tried, this is one of my favorites. What I like about this tea that makes it better than others I’ve had is that it has a beautiful long-lasting finish. I made 4 infusions of this. I believe this is also the greenest in color of any Longjing I’ve had. I wonder how the flavor of this typically varies between different harvests.
First one to review this tea! Woot!
I’ve just had two cups back to back of this tea, it’s that good. It is, however, misleadingly named. This is not a bold, breakfast tea. It’s a quiet afternoon friend. I forgot it for over ten minutes to brew during my second brew, and it was still on the lighter side of black teas (not Darj light, but Ceylon light). No caffeine kick here – go for one of Postcard Teas Japanese blacks for that. This is a sweet, rich wonderful afternoon tea, with some astringency, so sugar can help with that.
A great little tea, and a relative newcomer to Postcard Teas’s lineup.
I bought a “50g refill” size of this tea in May 2012 and enjoyed a cup just now, with 1.15 teacup weight (on my Upton scale) brewed in a 2-cup teapot, swirled a few times right after water poured. I found the tea had an almost chocolatey note, especially in the scent coming from the damp leaves left behind in the teapot after pouring. I drank this with 2% milk (Ref No 606-C in Onkar Kukar’s brilliant milky-tea shades chart, http://www.onkarkular.com/files/poster-460.jpg) and enjoyed it very much – the smoothest hearty assam in my collection – but I regret not drinking more when it was fresher.
Mildly aromatic infusion.
Infusion colour: dark caramel.
Taste: mild sweet tobacco. Slight aftertaste I find very agreeable.
Tea leaves 3.4 g. Water 120 ml. Water temperature: approximately 90 C (water just boiled in an electric kettle and tea infused in a preheated metallic pot). Steeping time: 1 min., 1 min., 3 min.
Having this now, and it has a fantastic lemony flavour to it. Tried to brew it nice and strong, but no luck. I don’t see this teas as a breakfast tea, or as a tea that would take milk well, but it is a good, interesting black tea nonetheless. Happy new year to all those who celebrate it! Ours was way back in September.
Back to the end of semester study grind for me.
I have had this tea for breakfast two days in a row now. It is not a breakfast tea. I repeat – it is NOT a breakfast tea. It’s a light bodied, gentle tea, and it could never stand up to milk. It’s not assertive enough. When you brew it (and take your time – I don’t believe that you can overbrew this tea) it looks like you took a large dollop of honey and melted it in hot water. The tea has that hue and cloudiness that comes from making hot honey water. And when you taste it tastes like you took a large dollop of honey and melted it in hot water. Sweet, honey flavor with only a dash of malt, no astringency, and very comforting. This is a perfect “get well soon” tea, a great intro to tea for sweet toothed people, but not a tea that would make an English/Irish Breakfast tea drinker happy.
Postcard Teas are very subtle-they’re like the best of England meets eastern culture. Being a brash American I expected a vanilla that’s bold and strong and hits me over the head, which totally isn’t the case with this tea. It’s a very mild vanilla, very mild. They include a whole vanilla bean in with the tea (do NOT ask me the type-I don’t know if Madagascar, Ceylon or Tahiti,etc ok?) It creates a beautiful fragrant tea that is fantastic with milk. It’s smooth and mellow but it’s so much more a ‘black’ tea than a ‘vanilla’ tea. It’s more a suggestion of vanilla than a flavor. Subtle.
Yes, this is my first review so please keep this in mind!
I’d definitely agree with the plum/prune sweetness in the description. However this tea left me wanting more. It was interesting to try a black tea from Japan, but it lacked the sophistication that I was expecting.
Reminded me of a black tea from Vietnam or elsewhere in south-east asia.
This is a strong, malty Assam that is very good, very smooth, and not at all astringent. Had a plain cup of it this morning, after a sleepless night. I’m experiencing an unfortunate bout of food poisoning, so I needed something brisk to pick me up, and help me soldier on. This most definitely did the trick.
This tea also works well with milk, just so you know.
When I visited Postcard Teas for the first time last year, the shop owner was dealing with a customer who wanted a smooth, non-astringent Assam. “He wants a Dian Hong, or some other Chinese tea”, I thought to myself as I perused the shelves, “there’s no such thing as non-astringent, subtle Assam”. So I was completely taken off guard when the owner said “of course” and handed him a tin of this tea (mentioning that the the bag refill was cheaper, which was decent of him, I thought. He could have given him the tin as the only option and the buyer wouldn’t have known better). Well, I wasn’t planning on buying any Assam that day, but once I overheard that conversation, of course I HAD to try that tea. I was halfway expecting it to be a standard, good-quality Assam, no more, no less. But it isn’t. It’s a class onto itself. There’s a bracing, tasteful bitter tinge to its malty sweetness that gives it depth, but the dryness, the mouth puckering so common after drinking Assam… It’s not there. I had a super long, super tiring day, and I desperately need to wake up. I almost without thinking grabbed this tea, even though I never drink Assams in the evening. It hit the spot exactly, in a “grandma is bringing tea and biscuits, and we’ll sit on the sofa and you’ll relax and tell me all your troubles so that I can hug and comfort you” kind of way. Minus the mothball smell, of course…
This is a very unusual Assam. There’s some bitterness at the end of each sip, but it’s gentle, not unpleasant, and it only enhances the malty caramel sweetness of this tea. There’s also surprisingly little astringency, and a relatively light body. This makes me think that perhaps milk would overpower its subtle flavours. A very good, atypical Assam
This is a tea with presence – powerful, flavorful, complex and unapologetic. It is a tea that makes you sit up and take notice- good before a study session, meditation, preparing a New Year’s resolution list or a trip to the gym. You will want to be a better person after drinking this tea – it’s like being face to face with a gruff old zen master that also doubles as a samurai :)
There’s a pleasant bitterness, a muted fruity flavor, practically no astringency, and a depth of flavor in this bright coppery tea. It’s small leaves may tempt you to brew it western style, but I believe that gongfu will do it more justice. Sugar and milk will tame the samurai – but why tame such a powerful force?
The dry leaves of this tea are very small and delicate, and black, and remind me of the leaves of a good Ceylon BOP, only darker. This lead me to expect a dark and powerful brew, but this tea is closer to a Ceylon, a light black tea, than to an Assam or Kenya. It’s sweet, with a more ethereal and subtle taste than any Ceylon that I had – and no astringency! It’s very light bodied, almost a cross between Ceylon and Darjeeling, and it’s not at all suitable for milk. If you sweeten your tea, use less sugar than you would normally use – a very small amount of sugar will enhance the tea’s taste, but too much will overpower it. I don’t think that it needs sugar, but it can take sugar.
I brewed it 5 times Western style, and only on the sixth brewing did it lose flavour.
This is going into to be one of my favourite black teas – drinking it was like meeting an old friend that you haven’t met in years, but suddenly run into, and then discover that you miss each other, and have more in common than you ever had, and you ought not to lose sight of each other every again. It’s the tea that you never knew was missing from your cupboard, but that you don’t ever intend to run out of once you’ve found it.
I’ve decided to borrow something from my fountain pen ink reviews into my Steepster reviews: how easy is it to clean up after a tea, once the leaves are spent.
This tea gets a 3/10 in that category – its small leaves are EVERYWHERE! You also have to be careful not to clog up the sink with them, and make sure that you use a strainer – the leaves are so small that some will get through the pot’s strainer and try to be nuisance in your cup.
This is one of the better, if not the best, Darjeeling teas I’ve had. I’ve not had enough to know if I like first flush, second, or some other option, but this is good. I still like Assam teas better, but this is very enjoyable.
It is more astringent than the Assams I usually drink, which may be why I lean more toward those, but this has a great taste while drinking it and a lovely aftertaste, too.
Before steeping, the leaves are fragrant, with roasty notes – very promising. The liquor is a dark amber, and the flavor is elegant, smooth, and with a touch of rock flavor. I couldn’t taste the “fruity” notes promised in the online blurb, either in the aroma or flavor. It’s even better if you let the tea cool a bit, when you can appreciate the quality of preparation. One of the more expensive DHP’s.