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Recent Tasting Notes
I got a sample of this with my recent order to Teabox. I would not normally buy breakfast blends, or any other blend really, but the weather has put me in the mood for something more autumnal than the Darjeelings that I have been stuffing my face with recently.
My misgivings about breakfast blends aside, this is pretty good for what it is. The dry leaf has an earthy, malty aroma. The aroma of the liquor is plum and Christmas pudding. It tastes malty and fruity with a bit of sweetness, but also a sharp edge on the side of the tongue. The malt character remains in the aftertaste too. Not bad. It does not rank up with my favourite teas, but then it is a fraction of the price, and taking that into consideration, it is pretty good.
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Malt, Plums
Very fluffy twisted and clean looking leaves in a dark and white array, very visually appealing as I’ve come to expect from Teabox. The smell of the leaves is already quite sweet, with a floral fragrance.
The brewed liquor is an orange gold, very fragrant aroma of lilies and sugar and some other flower. The taste is as sweet as the smell, with a piney pepper touch to it when hot and a juicy berry-like finish that gets stronger as it cools. The aroma lingers after swallowing and leaves a moderately dry feeling to the tongue.
A nice, mindless tea to sip and enjoy since the flavors are light despite being very prominent, although something about this particular kind of sweet is offputting to me (in my opinion, it almost tastes like artificial sweetener like splenda) and although the initial taste is strong with that sweet flavor, something, somewhere, inbetween makes this taste almost thin to me.
Flavors: Berry, Floral, Pine, Spices, Sweet
Too busy enjoying this one to write a proper note right now. Suffice to say that the warm grassy aroma of the dry leaf, the honey and citrus aroma of the liquor and the sweet, slightly nutty taste is just what I wanted on a sunny bank holiday afternoon. Teas like this are the reason why Darjeelings are my favourite black teas. Now, I must get back to working or there will be no new berserkjaknowledge being spread around.
Flavors: Citrus, Hay, Honey, Nutty, Sweet
It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon in Cobh and I have survived a trip into Cork. Ye gods, but the train was packed. It’s not that packed during the week when I commute into work! And the streets here are swarming with tourists come for that authentic Titanic experience. So, I am trapped in my flat for the afternoon now, unless I want to dodge people wandering aimlessly, looking everywhere but where they are going. Ah well, at least I have two consolations: 1. the view from my flat is excellent; 2. I have just made a cup of this tea. Combining the two leaves me feeling very relaxed. Better not get too relaxed though or I’ll get no work done …
So, the tea. It’s the 2016 first flush. The dry leaf has the sweet smell of fresh hay. The leaves are a mix of silver, green and brown. The liquor is a golden, champagne colour and smells sweet and floral with malty notes. It has a really silky, smooth, almost glassy mouthfeel. The floral sweetness extends into the tasting, ending in a sparkling astringency in the aftertaste that lasts for some time. It’s really light and refreshing and there is an element of that relaxing chi that I find in some puerhs. I am really enjoying it, so it is a shame that it does not really resteep at all. Nevertheless, two thumbs up; I do like a good Darjeeling and this is definitely good.
Flavors: Floral, Hay, Malt, Sweet
This tea was enjoyable, but not my favorite. I have fallen in love with Keemuns, and may have lost the taste I previously acquired for Darjeelings, as the astringency and muscatel flavor were more pronounced to me than usual. I will have to mix my Darjeelings and Keemuns to see what happens, as recommended previously.
Amazing perfumed flowery aroma with a touch of sweet. Leaves are fluffy and larger with a bit of a twist and brews a very slightly reddish gold color. The taste is intensely floral with a distinct creaminess and hint of sweet citrus peel to it.
Biggest issue I had with it is that, although I wouldn’t say the perfume is overpowering, it threatens to. Well balanced otherwise, although I did brew two steeps at about two minutes each and combined them to get this cup, so your results may vary.
Still, I enjoyed it very much—it had a very refreshing and extravagant/elegant feeling that kind of screams English high tea party (complete with little sandwiches cut into shapes) to me somehow, haha.
Flavors: Citrus Zest, Creamy, Floral, Perfume, Sugar
Surprisingly fruity-sweet, somewhat floral aroma. A darker, reddish hay color. The taste is bright and floral (not sweet, though, despite the smell), with a hay/corn taste and borderline dry flavor due to the mild astringency, which is prominent in the mouth after swallowing. A decent, full bodied tea, but no real prominent flavors or aspects, which I found boring.
Flavors: Corn Husk, Floral, Fruity, Hay
Definitely smoky and woody with a tobacco aftertaste, however, I feel like it lacks body and is a bit thin in taste. The leaves are kind of unimpressive, short choppy bits that seem to be one step above a tea bag, although the brewed color is an attractive darker gold green. The aroma is definitely charcoal-ish, but more green, like roasted spinach.
It’s not really an unpleasant taste by any means at all, though, and definitely unique in its smokiness, but unfortunately does not follow up on its promise of a rich flavor to back up the smokey overtones. Indeed, I’d say its predominant taste after smokey is bitter, which can easily turn extremely bitter if oversteeped or scalded.
Overall, a shame that the taste isn’t more full bodied or well rounded as I really liked the idea of a smoky tea.
Flavors: Smoke, Spinach, Tobacco, Wood
Has a nice savory taste profile against the green tea taste without any bitterness. Standard golden green tea color and smell with a hint of roasted grain. Smooth, but not very prominent flavors other than standard grassy and vegetal, with a small presence of roasted grain.
Flavors: Grain, Grass, Hay, Vegetal
A bit on the powdery side. Mildly astringent which can quickly turn into bitterness if not careful . Nice golden color and grassy aroma and a prominent bean taste. Has a thick broth if using a lot of leaf that was kind of a nice surprise on cold days, but can also be quite light if lessening the steeping time and leaf. Pleasant to sip, but not something that wowed me.
Flavors: Beany, Hay, Vegetal
I found this to be super flavorful with a heady perfume reminiscent of a darjeeling muscatel. Sweet apples and melon dominant the profile. Teabox has so much to explore and these Nilgiri teas definitely deserve attention. I’m thinking of signing up for their monthly subscription—there has not been one tea in the sample pack that I split with Big Daddy that I wouldn’t be happy to drink on a regular basis. So many seasonal varietals of Darjeelings, Ceylons, and Nilgiris!
One of the three samples I received with my Teabox order recently was this particular black tea. I have had plenty of Darjeeling teas, and have enjoyed the light and delicate taste of spring teas. This tea is just that – light and delicate.
The moment you steep the leaves, the air around you start smelling fruity, like the fruits aisle at whole foods. I could make out mangoes, sweet and pulpy, in the aroma and i wa excited to taste in the liquor. Surprisingly, the liquor tastes more floral than fruity (in a good way).
This tea evokes the feeling of sitting by the window sill, on a spring morning, with the bright aroma of garden flowers all around you. It has restraint, a lot of it actually, and I wished the tea had more body. It falls short of spectacular on just that count.
Very fragrant, smells very strongly of roses and perfume. The leaves are pretty and fuzzy with little rosebuds scattered in. Was very fluffy and hard to scoop out of its bag without crunching the leaves up by accident though, haha…. It produces a light golden yellow liquor when brewed.
I steeped this tea three or four times and it tasted pretty consistent throughout all of them, although obviously lighter towards the end with increasing (although still not much) astringency and a hint of earthier tastes. The rose aroma was very strong though, and you can’t really taste much else but that and a bit of sweet for the first cup, although it does round out more pleasantly by the third cup. The flavor doesn’t have much substance behind the strong aroma, though.
Flavors: Cream, Herbs, Perfume, Rose, Sweet
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a white tea from the south of India (I hadn’t really heard of Nilgiri teas until a friend recommended it) and did not really have high expectations, to be honest. This tea, however, surprised me.
It’s a sweet cup and bold one at that. I could relish luscious notes of pineapples (or maybe it was mangoes) throughout the cup and the sweetness is palpable. Compared to other white teas (be it Bai Hao Yin Zen or the ones from Darjeeling), this particular white tea has a bold and imposing personality marked by discernible flavors of yellow fruits.
What also stood out for me was how well balanced the cup felt, despite its rich fruity profile. There is a distinct vegetal undertone to this tea, but it is balanced beautifully by sweet note. I have never quite come across such a flavor mix before in a white tea. Like the description says, I think it’s ideal for someone who is new to white tea because unlike the Chinese white tea or Darjeeling white tea, the flavors herein pop at you far more clearly, and you don’t feel like you are drinking hot water (which happened when I first sipped a white tea).
Flavors: Mango, Pineapple, Vegetal
I recently order myself a whole selection of Nilgiri tea samples from Teabox and I started with this one. And what a start it was.
It has an impressively sweet, rounded flavor profile and that’s the first thing you notice about this tea.There is the sweetness of fruits in the attack and middle, followed by a sweet floral note that comes through towards the end. No astringency what so ever! I guess it brought to me the memory of wild flower honey and what a happy feeling it was. I tried steeping the leaves in water that was heated to about 90 degrees Celcius, but the flavors weren’t as sweet and succulent. Guess, I’d be saving this for winter because i loved how full of tropics this tea felt.
Back of the cupboard discovery from Steepter’s monthy. I used the whole package 8 gms and a celadon teapot, 190° water. Fresh aromas of cut grass in the package and the brewed aromas of grass and melon appear with a sweetness of honey on the nose. The flavor profile is delicate, lemony, muted malt and a bit of white pepper. Resteeped 4 times.
This tea has quite a bit of astringency for a light tea. I did not particularly like it at first, but it started to grow on me as I sipped it more. I have to admit, I have stayed away from Darjeelings for a while, but I think I will have to bring them back. Does Darjeeling mix well with Assam or Ceylon? I wonder if strength and maltiness would make a good product or just create a mess and wreck the complexity of a Darjeeling tea.
This one was pretty nice. It actually compares to a Baozhong in some ways for how green it is. Even the leaves themselves are a hunter green highlighted by a lime green with some dark grey shadows. With one teaspoon after five minutes, the color of the tea is a very transparent yellow. In terms of taste, it is definitely like a sweet herb. Parsley is pretty close.
I’m not sure if I’d call this “astringent” or not. If I would have tried it before I got hooked into the world of tea, I would think it’s a slightly stronger green tea. A Gunpowder or an everyday Darjeeling would be more astringent than this tea, but it is also definitely more astringent than a Sencha and a Dragonwell. And it really does not taste like a black tea to me. The slight malt is actually more subtle than you’d expect from the description.
Bringing all the tastes of this together, you get creamy, herby, green, sweet, sweet peas, mildly astringent, and a hint malty. All of these tastes are something that I’d expect more out of an oolong save the herb taste. This is why I liked it.
I’d recommend to sample it, but not sure about buying it. It is something that will definitely deter your expectations of a black tea.
Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Herbs, Malt, Peas, Sweet