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Recent Tasting Notes
From the first round of the EU TTB.
The tea has a sweet scent, rather fruity like strawberry or apple, or maybe peach. Smells very sweet anyway, like candy. My husband poured the boiling water into the pot and he said it smells of peach too.
The tea is sweet and perfumed but the black base adds some malt and strength behind it whilst remaining subtle and of medium strength. Definitely tasting peach too, even the slight fuzziness of it’s skin, but it’s softer and leaves little to no after taste.
It’s a nice tea, perhaps not as strong as I would like but I’m enjoying it non the less.
I need some caffeination before heading out – I often forget about this tea, but thanks to KittyLovesTea who recently reviewed a swap box sample of it, I was reminded.
It’s light and floral and delicate, but without the weakness of flavour I loathe so much in Dammann Frères’ teas. Ofelia, along with many of Lupicia’s blacks really prove that ‘delicate’ doesn’t necessarily have to imply ‘weak’.
In other news, I see some gelato and a lecture at the British School in my near future.
Smelling the dry tea, what I pick up more than anything is apricot and a hint of cornflower. Both scent- and flavour wise, it’s a fairly mild tea, and has none of the oily pungency I’ve experienced in many other floral and/or fruity blacks. This mildness, however, robs the cup of much of the personality found in the bag, in my opinion.
I’m sure this is a perfect black tea for someone with a more refined palate, or someone looking for a fairly subtly flavoured black. As for me, though, Ofelia only partially delivers what I want from this type of tea – complexity of flavour, originality and a lot of personality.
I didn’t bother re-steeping this time around; I wanted something else.
[Purchased at Sing Tehus in Copenhagen, June 2013.]
I don’t know what to say about this.
The dry leaf smells exactly like English winegums. Fruity, sweet and… winegum-y. When I first smelled that I thought it was funny.
Then I tasted the brew and it still reminds me most of all of winegums, only this time we are talking about hot, melted, liquid winegums, and I’m not sure it’s really so funny anymore.
It’s definitely cranberry and definitely raspberry and I get the rooibos itself in the background and the aftertaste, so all that is really in order. It doesn’t even come across as very synthetic.
I just can’t shake that whole winegum association. Not right now anyway.
I have found that with regular teas I can usually tell with the first cup how well I like something. It’s rare these days that something needs time to grow on me. When it does happen it’s usually a question of finding the first cup kind of meh and then discovering myself to be drinking the same thing again for the next three days, and that’s not really the same thing, is it? It isn’t to me anyway.
Rooibos, however. Rooibos, I’m almost always meh about at first and then find myself more and more pleased with as I drink them more. That cherry flavoured one from LPdT is a good example of this.
This of course makes rating them an interesting affair where I can either rate them according to the initial reaction and then adjust them upwards (it’s almost never downwards) later on as I become more familiar with it, or I can make an attempt at guessing where it’s likely to end up in the end. I prefer the former. It seems more honest.
So what have we got here, then. Liquid winegum, raspberry and cranberry. In theory, I should think this berry combination very nice, but the winegum association is breaking it for me right now. I think any rating adjustment later will have to depend on whether or not I can shed that. Other than that it’s strongly fruity and actually feels juicy to drink, but I wonder if maybe it doesn’t have a flavouring that is actually just a wee bit too strong here?
(Also, a different thought. I once had a black tea with orange and cranberry. I suspect this combination might work well in a rooibos too. Just… throwing that out there.)
TAN YANG! GET IN MAH BELLEH!
Yes, I know this one is called ‘Panyong’, but I have always been far more used to thinking of it as Tan Yang due to the Te Ji same from TeaSpring. That one has been a stable tea for me for so long, I find it difficult to think of the type as anything else than Tan Yang. It’s just a question of translating the Chinese writing to the Western alphabet anyway. Same difference.
This one is much much cheaper to buy than the Tan Yang Te Ji from TeaSpring, which is vital to my health and wellbeing. It’s also bought from a shop in Denmark and therefore much much easier to buy in bulk. All that remained was simply to check whether it was actually good enough that I wouldn’t feel a little cheated if I replaced the Te Ji with this one for every-day purposes.
I honestly expect this first test to be merely a formality. That’s why I’m testing it out with a 200g pouch. :D
The aroma of the leaves is definitely just as it should be. Grainy and somewhat floral with a prickly hint of pseudo-smoke. Smells familiar. Good.
After steeping the floral note has gone a little more spicy in nature, but it’s still supported by a good, grain-y body and a note of cocoa. Still familiar. Good.
Now the really important bit.
Drum roll, please.
Okay, it’s not brilliant. It’s good, but it’s not quite up to the same standards as the Te Ji. I can’t say I’m really surprised at this, as I was expecting this cheaper one to be a lower grade.
It’s got all the right things, though. A kind of spicy, grainy body, which is kind of cocoa-y and a prickly layer of pseudo-smoke on top. In that respect it’s just as it should be. But compared to the Te Ji? This one seems… not thinner, because I brewed it fairly strongly, but sort of more transparant. A little less robust. A little less smooth. A bit more rough around the edges.
Now, I do like a certain amount of roughness to my Tan Yang. That’s why I prefer the Te Ji over the much smoother and much more polished Jing Zhi, but this is definitely rougher still.
It’s a Tan Yang, though, so it’s awesome by definition and it will definitely do as a cheap-skate supplement to the Te Ji. It’s just not quite the same. I suppose I’m just too spoiled with this type.
Today Hojicha was on the Select section.
Someone wrote that one could have it to any meals, so I made a pot of it for my breakfast. yawn But maybe I don’t really count, since my breakfast really isn’t healthy. Or normal. Like a little kid I am crazy with koldskål. (milk-lemon-vanilla blend added with crackers).. My better half let’s me, I guess he finally found out that some kind of liquid breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.
This tea is actually good. It taste roasted (yum!)
But in the morning it’s too much. I feel like I am drinking vodka from 8 in the morning (no, I never did and never will – no matter how eskimo or vodkaentusiatic I am) It’s just too much flavor to start out the day with.
…I only have two rules when it comes to tea shopping.
1. Package must look good.
2. Tea must smell delicius.
I would never ever buy this tea if it wasn’t for the smell. It’s… special.
It reminds me of fastfood, the nasty disgustingly greasy kind. I love fastfood. It’s awesome.
Anyways. This tea smell like friture but it taste like coffee! Seriusly!!!
Like it a little. hmm… like it…
Yes, this is my kind of coffee.