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Recent Tasting Notes
One of my favorite samples so far. And as some of you can tell, I’m really developing a taste for Darjeelings….curse my expensive palette.
Teabox gave a good, accurate description of this tea and it is a very fresh, green black. Rose is really heady in taste and smell, and the liquor is actually very smooth and very mildly astringent, but an astringency with a citrus aftertaste. The grassy smell was a little bit off putting for me at first, but it is weirdly refreshing in the tea. It’s so green to me that it actually tastes closer to an oolong than a black, which shouldn’t be surprising considering it’s a Darjeeling. I had this tea at three minutes, and it continued to be good at five and even eight minutes being difficult to over steep. Personally, I would stop at five minutes and do longer brews in later cups.
The Giddapahar Special Muscatel remains as my favorite, but this one is one that I’d might buy. I’d recommend it for green tea lovers or as something to try if you want to find out the different dimensions Darjeeling has.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Rose
This is a very classic example of an Assam. The leaves are really nice to look at and particularly tippy with a gold strand on most leaves. Too bad they are on the smaller side and that I’ve been made snob by Taiwan Assams.
The liquor itself is malty, strong, a bit astringent with a little bit of dry fruit sweetness. I get the pine they describe in the smell and partially in the astringency. Honey is a bit more distinguishable along with the walnut. But honestly, it just tastes like tea. It would do well with rock sugar or honey pared with cream. Assam is a bit too strong for my preferences anyway.
Flavors: Astringent, Dates, Honey, Malt, Pine, Tea, Walnut
This is my other lovely sample to see how Teabox performs with their blends. And the description of it was spot on. The smell is pleasantly headed by the cardamom then followed by rose. I couldn’t help but think of Turkish coffee, which is one of my preferred desserts. The taste is oddly creamy for a black tea, but possessing the kind of briskness you’d get with an Earl Grey. Instead of bergamot though, cardamom follows. The black tea itself has a little bit of a cocoa note, but more cocoa than malt which is a bit unusual.Still tastes like black tea.
Yes, I recommend a try of this if you know the ingredients and like them. It is more on the sweet side than spicy, so it can potentially make a good dessert tea or perhaps an everyday tea. Like one reviewer said on the Teabox website, this is the kind of tea that would cater to an Earl Grey lover. It’s also a fainter black tea making it more appealing for maybe someone just introduced to tea, a green tea drinker, and definitely an oolong drinker and white tea drinker.
My main criticism is that it was weak for the teaspoon I used. The first steep was strong, but the second one was a fainter version of the first. Good, but I’d grab it on discount. $21.50 is a little much for a hundred grams of this.
And this had clove and high caffeine before? My bag says different. Weird.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cocoa, Rose, Sweet
First to add, and the photos are acting up…dang it. Okay, onward.
The smell of the dry leaf is fantastic and welcoming. It smells like chocolate covered strawberries powdered by cinnamon. But the taste fell flat compared to the smell. I had about a teaspoon, and I knew I should have used two. This was a good black tea. It was incredibly smooth and subtle with a slight sweetness added by the strawberry and vanilla. But all the ingredients came out as notes rather than full fledged tastes making this tea entirely too meek and subtle for what I wanted.
I need to try this again with more leaves and I would others recommend a try of it. As for the price for a full ounce, I personally hesitate.The ingredient’s on the weaker side especially compared to the boldness of this company’s regular Darjeelings.
Flavors: Cocoa, Smooth, Strawberry, Vanilla
Tasting note 400!
And I am so glad I got this tea on sale. It is low caffeine, and I love it. The notes from Teabox are accurate as always. A rose, grassy citric smell emanating from the dry leaves, and rose and freshly cut greens from the cup. Steeped as instructed, 3 teaspoons for five minutes, and it is lovely. I didn’t expect it to be as refreshing as it was. There is absolutely no astringency or bitterness. It is oddly refreshing and hydrating, tasting exactly like a combination between rose water and cucumber infused water. I don’t think that I would have needed to read Big Daddy’s note to get that impression. It also still tastes like a fairly light and delicate white tea with some hay notes (in longer steepings), but headed by the clean rose and cucumber.
I partially get the sweetness of this tea, but it’s far from a sugary sweetness. Rose and cucumber are the sweetest things that I could compare it to.
I don’t know how many steeps I’m going to get out of this, but the smell remains quite strong. I hope I get the same thing or some thing better soon because it is lovely. I would actually rate the taste closer to a 95 because I like how rounded and delicate it is, but the price is incredibly steep being close to forty dollars for fifty grams. Another thing to consider with price is how many leaves you should use per cup: 3 tablespoons for every six ounces or 2.5 GRAMS FOR EVERY .9 OUNCE. Hence my getting it on discount with a coupon.
This is an awesome white tea that I think people should try…when it’s on discount.
Flavors: Cucumber, Freshly Cut Grass, Hay, Rose
This is delicious, I personally don’t understand why all India seems to be known for is Darjeeling black tea. Teabox’s greens have been incredible. The dry leaves smell a bit like a gunpowder; you can definitely tell it’s smoky, but its not .. central to the tea like the site says. The leaves smell just as the tea tastes, which I quite like. It’s woody and a little earthy, it has a bit of a rocky taste even haha, its like I’m exploring the forest. It does have that smokiness, but like I said, it’s well balanced with the woodland notes. It has a moderate astringency and at least the cup i’m drinking right now is a bit bitter.. but it was the last one in my sample so there were some smaller leaf bits and i think that’s probably why. But then again, the bitterness isn’t bad.. it’s actually quite nice. It’s got that addictiveness that I looove in teas, where i just cant stop sipping it until its gone, and it’s really rich and smooth. If you have yet to try a good Indian green I’d definitely recommend this one :) a great price too, $11 USD for 100 grams
Flavors: Astringent, Dirt, Honey, Smoke, Vegetal, Wet Rocks, Wood
I’ve been on a chai kick this winter and picked up the Teabox’s Chai sampler during it’s Black Friday Weekend sale. The winners that I’ll be stocking in my cupboard are Maharaja Oolong Chai and Assam Masala Chai.. but right now I’m working on finishing up the samplers. :)
Super cardamomy as expected and a very strong tea. Definitely requires milk and sugar to tame this beast! I’d say this is one of the strongest chai’s that they have. If you really like cardamom then I would recommend this to you, it’s very tasty but it’s not the blend that I was personally looking for.
I have to agree with Big Daddy on this one—it was a true eyeopener for a person that never drinks white tea. Granted, I steeped it for a good four minutes with fairly hot water, but the result was a quite flavorful brew which reminded me of this incredible ice cream I had at a Persian restaurant in Boston that was flavored with rosewater.
I had always felt that white teas had negligible flavor but this is a tea I could see stocking and drinking in the afternoons. Quite delicious!
Here I thought I disliked Darjeelings, but then this well priced tea comes along and proves me wrong. It has all the kinds of notes I love: muscats, guava, roses, sweetness, plums, with a ‘touch of fire’ exactly as Teabox describes it. Actually, it’s like a juicier version of a Laoshan. Again, this one is undeniably a Darjeeling, but fairly complex. I also got five good steeps of it, with the same flavors present but exchanging in dominance. There was a lingering cocoa note here and there, and I would say it’s mildly astringent, but in a tart way. That profile is more owed to the muscatel and grape than anything else. This one and the Glenbury Spring Chinary Black are my favorites from Teabox thus far, and maybe my favorite Darjeelings.
Now I know that I prefer muscatel teas and like I’ve said in my previous reviews from Teabox, they are one of your better bets to get a great black Darjeeling tea. I’d recommend for black tea lovers, Darjeeling lovers, lighter tea lovers, and newbies. As for that one Oolong…I still have issues with it. No vanilla to be found whatsoever.
Flavors: Grapes, Guava, Muscatel, Plums, Rose, Smoke, Sweet
Oh yum! Okay this seals the deal. Sometime in 2016 I need to subscribe to the 10$ per month Teabox club. Everything I have tried from them, thanks to DonkeyTiera, has been fantastic and always surprisingly so. Part of it is that I really do like bold Indian tea in the morning and the other part of it is that it is just good tea.
This cup is rich, malty, with a creamy/fruity hint to it. There is also that ketchupy flavor that I sometimes get in tea that really doesn’t taste like ketchup but that I have no idea how to describe. A great cup for the morning.
Lament and sipdown. I wish I had more of this because it really changed my perceptions of Darjeeling. Never before would I think a black tea to taste so much like a fresh oolong or green tea. It is herbaceous, nice, and invigorating. Considering it cured my headache and my caffeine withdrawal symptoms, this is one of my personal favorites. It also made me want to try even more of Teabox’s teas: namely, the Glendale Silver Needle Spring White. I love rosy teas, and I’m actually a bit of a white tea drinker.
Yet there’s the shipping and budget to consider. And the sheer amount of teas I already have. And the few teas that are coming. But. My eyes will be on that one the next time it goes on sale. This one and the Giddapahar Special Muscatel included.
I was incredibly impressed with this one. I’ve had very few other floral teas, and man, does this taste like sweet orchids and honeydew melons. I steeped for about 3 minutes the first time with a heaping tea spoon and it was fairly vegetal at first with a sweet pea sweetness followed by the florals, but then I steeped it again five more times and it got sweeter and sweeter and sweeter. It has a black’s bold body, but the orchid is more like an oolong note, and the color and overall sweetness is a lot more like a green tea. This is really a black tea for green tea lovers. I personally tasted little astringency, but that mild astringency is again closer to an oolong or a green astringency being grass like. If you otherwise steep it lighter, it’s not nearly as astringent. This is perhaps one of the best teas that I’ve had from Teabox just by it’s sheer sweetness, strength, and full profile. I’d only say it’s complex because of the little nuances from other teas it offers, but an expert would better answer the question of complexity.
Like I said before, Darjeeling Blacks are Teabox’s specialty. I’d recommend a try, but to those who like unusual, grassy teas, green teas, and unconventional Darjeelings.
Flavors: Flowers, Grass Seed, Honeydew, Melon, Orchid, Peas, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass
Again, accurate description (unlike the freakin’ Indian Marigold which has little to know vanilla flavor in it as of yet. Steep it longer they said….ggggrrrrrrrrrr) Anyway, I liked this tea. It was more like a classic Darjeeling to me with a pleasant astringency and Citrus like acidity. Takes sugar or honey well, but as for milk, that depends on preference. Any Darjeeling lover would like it and a good introduction to Darjeelings. At this point, I think that Teabox’s Darjeeling blacks are guaranteed to be good. I can’t really vouch for the rest of the types. I personally liked their more muscatel options as citrus is hit or miss for me, but still, good.
Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Flowers, Grass Seed
Citrus and green chili is what I get. And that’s exactly what they described. Highly spicy and savory, not just in a tea note way-it tastes like someone added spices. I personally think it would be a better culinary tea and a really great quality one, but not one that suits my desert like preferences. Definitely tastes like a black tea and a Darjeeling, but again, more soup and food like than anything else.
Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Spicy
After almost three frickin’ tablespoons of grounded vanilla bean, I finally got it to taste exactly like the description. The bag has so much vanilla that it smells like brownies, but despite how intensely I flavor bombed the leaves, I can still taste the almond and the saffron. I can now be happy with my whopping three ounces of it.
Round five. “Creamy dessert” is now at least appropriate to describe it, but it needs just a hint more of vanilla. I can still taste the saffron and the almond, but even after two and quarter tablespoons of grounded vanilla bean, the vanilla fades out quickly. I am so close to getting it right. So close.
Since I have 100 freakin’ grams of this, I better start liking it soon…or at least develop some severe Stockholm Syndrome with it. I’m going to write A LOT of notes on this one. Luckily, this time was significantly better than the last liquid hot cracka (INSERT: right pinky creeping up to the edge of my lip). I actually tasted the vanilla…and it was pretty pleasant. Saffron going strong and still practically a white tea, but a tea inching closer to what this is supposed to be. A part of me suspected that it didn’t blend well when I tried it before, and that suspicion may eventually be vindicated.
Indian Marigold, I might grow to like you. I have to remind myself to drink you when I want a white tea and a deceptive kick of caffeine and falsely advertised flavor. In our intercourse, you should then enlighten me that you, in fact, did not lie to me. You might make me consider how brazenly I wanted to try you, and you may have shuttered at my boldness. So you hid your flavors, your prized inner white girl, your vanilla. You are a delicate lady after all, and I should treat you as such. I do want to truly taste you; that just means I must provide better care and courtship. And we will have plenty for that in these next few months at Michigan State University. You’ll have to company me on the ocean blue in 1492, witness the grievances of Rome against Carthage, listen to the voices of America’s most stereotyped minority, and become more secular as we learn how to compare politics around the globe.
Some days will be jubilant. Others may be dull. And too many may be draining. I need to be in high spirits. Can you keep those spirits high?
Flavors: Almond, Hay, Saffron, Vanilla, Wheat
I will try this one again and again. The oolong is decent and very similar to a white tea. But the description was totally off. Saffron and bits of the almond with the oolong are the only things I can taste. The Vanilla is basically nonexistent. I tried steeping with more and less leaves and time, but the result renders dry, saffron crackers for taste. Considering that the price normally is also close to 30 bucks for 100 grams, totally overpriced for what they say they sell you. Luckily I got this for 14, but I have yet to be satisfied with this one. All of their other teas are incredible though, which also pushes the review subjectively down.
There might be hope for this one, but so far, I’ve been extremely disappointed. This is one of the first teas that I’ve been hypercritical of, which is saying something.
Flavors: Drying, Hay, Saffron, Wheat
Okay, I’m going to try this again. Over steeped for 7 minutes and it tasted like salty, astringent crackers. I get bare hints of the natural ingredients, and the oolong is closer to a Nilgiri Frost or a white tea. The ingredients would work really well with this base if only I could taste them. Otherwise, the dry leaf smelled like crackers, and the liquor tasted like crackers. The black Darjeelings are way better from this company so far, but again, I need to make sure all the ingredients get in my cup before I make a final judgement. I hope that it is not nearly as dry.