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Recent Tasting Notes
I think I’m finally feeling motivated to try new teas and write tasting notes again. It was hard to find the energy or desire in the midst of dealing with moving, but I have all day today to just relax, drink tea and do self care.
As with many Darjeeling black teas, the dry leaf is quite green, with a sprinkling of silver and dark browns. The leaf is various shapes and sizes, including flat leaf pieces, small curls and twists nearly an inch long. The dry leaf has a somewhat dusty “tea” smell to it, with a note of ripe melon in the background.
As soon as the hot water hits the leaf, a pungent, vegetal smell, reminiscent of cannabis fills the air. This carries through to the smell of the clear, amber coloured tea soup, with a brown sugar and pumpkin note to mellow out the pungency.
On the palate, there’s a really nice balance of floral, fruity, spicy and cannabis notes. A slightly soapy quality that is not unpleasant, pops up at the end of the sip. I’m reminded of citrus rind – faintly bitter but better because it is so. I get a slight tingling sensation from this tea, similar to some puers, which makes me glad this is certified organic, or I might be a touch concerned about why.
The finish is long, but the flavours don’t develop or change into the finish.
A really nice, easy to drink FF Darjeeling.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cannabis, Citrus Zest, Floral, Fruity, Melon, Pumpkin, Soap, Spices, Tea
This was ok. I brewed it following Teabox’s recommendations, but it actually tastes somewhat oversteeped. Thus, this review might not be accurate. I read the other review, and I feel like the cup I had simply wasn’t as delicious (though, of course, we all have different tastes!). Definitely drinkable, but none of the complexity discussed by the other reviewer.
I wasn’t expecting much from this tea, particularly with a description that starts with “slightly bitter”, but actually, I’m really loving it. I drank it once yesterday, attempted to drink it a second time (but it picked up travel mug taste and wasn’t so great), and I’m starting off with it again this morning.
The dry leaf is small, dark curls with a smattering of golden tips. It has a faintly malty smell, but nothing too distinctive.
Steeped, the leaf smells rich and malty. The tea soup is a lovely, clear mahogany, and smells of rich fruits and malt.
The flavour is excellent. If there’s any bitterness it only a hint, and there’s notes of malt, strawberries, raspberries and stone fruits. This has a medium body and just a touch of astringency, which lends a pleasant depth. A sweet potato note develops on the finish, with a whisper of cinnamon.
I’m not entirely sure why this tea stands out to me, but it does. It’s a really great morning cup, and I could see myself drinking it often. I’m going to be through my sample pretty quick and I think I will reorder.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Malt, Raspberry, Stonefruits, Strawberry, Sweet Potatoes
I’ve tried a few different Darjeelings from Teabox, and I like this one best. It’s mild but complex. The light amber color makes it appear a bit weaker than it actually is. The leaves are beautiful and big — and the wet leaves smell sweet like dried tobacco leaves. I got 3 good steeps out of this — I tried a fourth, but noticed it was significantly weaker after that.
This was a good oolong for me — it’s strong enough that it appeals to me even though I generally prefer black teas. It’s not even a very dark roast, but the flavor is robust enough that I don’t get bored. It’s significantly less bitter than black teas and very, very smooth. .Teabox describes this as full-bodied, and I’d agree with that. It has a lovely, sweet aftertaste.
I tried the tea plain, then with a little sugar added. Finally, I tried it with a bit of milk and honey — and was surprised that it’s robust enough to stand up to both even though it’s a bit light.
I’ll definitely order more of this — it’s a complex and very satisfactory tea for such a reasonable price point. And I’d say it’s a good oolong for black tea drinkers .
I’m adding the flavors and scents from memory — it’s been several hours since I drank the tea.
Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Butterscotch, Caramel, Honey, Tobacco
This is the first tea one could describe as " slightly smoky" that doesn’t taste like liquid smoke or cigarettes to me. The smokiness is very subtle — it doesn’t overpower the flavor, which is really more nutty. The product description calls the finish mildly sweet, but the sweetness is not as subtle to me as the tea’s other flavors. Or maybe it’s just striking because the tea doesn’t seem sweet at all until the finish, and then it’s a bit tangy or citrus-y . The “over roast,” as the company calls it, would maybe make this popular with coffee drinkers.
I used 212 degree water (since last week, I want to be more careful about possible bacteria in tea) instead of the recommended 195, and it didn’t cause any bitterness . Honestly, it’s hard to imagine this tea becoming bitter at all.
The tea is very reasonably priced, and I would try it again.
Flavors: Citrus, Coffee, Dark Wood, Nutty, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy, Toasted
This is another free sample, only the second time I have tried tea with tulsi, the other one was a green tea from Teabox. The tulsi seemed to mix better with the Darjeeling green tea. I pretty much only taste the tulsi in this one, it masks what looks like a Darjeeling black…maybe tulsi would mix better with a stronger Assam. I enjoyed the tea, but would not buy it.
This is a really awesome Assam. Super smooth and malty, bold, with a strong floral kick in both fragrance and taste – a combination of rose and lilac. Very unique. Almost a chocolately, boozy note to it as well.
Flavors: Alcohol, Floral, Malt, Rose, Smooth
This tea is very interesting. It’s smoky like a gunpowder green tea, but smoother, with just a hint of pleasant bitterness. I just read that they use Chinese plants in India for this tea, so that makes sense, because it kind of tastes like a cross between gunpowder green and Darjeeling. Teabox said to steep for 4-5 minutes, but I limited my first steep to 2 minutes, then increased by a minute for the second and third steeps, and another minute for the 4th steep…it easily held up to 5 steeps, impressive! Very good tea, enjoying my first Kangra tea experience!
A Darjeeling green chai…that’s what I’m talking about! When I had that Tazo chai on Sunday, it made me want to try more chai teas, and I’m glad that I started with this one. The chai spices taste great, but not overpowering, and the light Darjeeling green tea base balances it out nicely. They recommend steeping for 3-4 minutes, but I limited my first steep to 1 minute, and it tasted just right to me. I increased the second steep time to 2 minutes, the third to 3 minutes, and the fourth to 4 minutes, and it worked out very well. I will be buying 100 grams of this soon…well, maybe 200 grams! :P
Dry leaf is light in colour and slight vegetal smelling. Steeped for 3 min, this has the pungent, spicy notes of a Darjeeling. Slightly drying part way through the cup. Tangy on the finish.
Pleasant but not a stand out.
Okay, actually, by the bottom of the cup, super astringent. Like, go brush your teeth and rinse with lots of water kind of dry mouth coating feel.
Flavors: Astringent, Spices, Tangy, Vegetal
Good tea for a Saturday afternoon…sipping while relaxing and listening to some downtempo. This is the last of a sample…the tea has a slight bitterness that I enjoy, and a lightness that makes it good for this time of day. I’m on the fence about whether or not to buy 100 grams of this one…it’s definitely a nice tea though. I’m good for now, plenty of tea in the cabinets, and I’m starting to practice a little restraint and holding out a while between tea purchases. :P
This tea is pleasantly bitter, reminds me a little of a gunpowder green tea, but lighter. This is part of a 10 gram sample in my Teabox Beginner’s Collection, but I can definitely see myself purchasing 100 grams of this in the future. It’s a nice light green tea, wouldn’t mind adding it to the afternoon rotation.
On opening this packet, I was really excited to be greeted by a fragrance that reminds me of my beloved Blue Mountain Twirl. Grape and malt. This is a bit less sweet and malty smelling than BMT, with an extra spice note, but it’s pretty close. That’s super exciting!
The flavour is very reflective of the smell of the dry leaf. Grapes, malt and spice. The comparison to BMT also holds true in the flavour.
All in all this is a fantastic Nilgiri, and a very passable substitute for BMT. I am pleased.
Flavors: Grapes, Malt, Spices
Yesterday’s cup was so amazing, I was tempted to make another one, but I feel like I need to hoard this sample a bit, since I can’t justify another order right away. So I tried resteeping yesterday’s leaves, which I very rarely bother doing. Success! Only a very slight reduction in the intensity and complexity of the flavours. I drank this one with milk and sugar and it was awesome.
Sadly, I think these leaves are probably done – they’ve been steeped for nearly 20 minutes total already.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Herbs, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla