Tealet

Recent Tasting Notes

drank Kabuse Sencha - Obubu by Tealet
445 tasting notes

Sipdown!

This was a bit nuttier and more umami today than the previous times I’ve had it. I think that’s because it was the bottom of the sample, and therefore had more dust.

Not a huge problem, though. Still somewhat sweet, and still pleasant to drink. I made 2 steeps this morning, though I didn’t pay much attention to the temperature of the second steep.

I may not have found my absolute perfect sencha yet, but this will help me find it.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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86

This really hit the spot today. I’ve been craving keemum teas a lot lately.
(sorry James, I couldn’t stop thinking about Tealet and finally caved :(

There is a hint of spiciness that I really like, and a distinct raisin note which seems to hide the spice. The tea is rather light but feels like it should be heavier.
Overall, I quite like it. The smooth way it goes down is great. Sadly, I can’t afford much at that price. Oh well.

Also, does anyone have ADD (inattentive)? I could really use some advice

Flavors: Raisins

Frolic

I have ADHD. Feel free to send me a message if you want to.

Indigobloom

Frolic, I will do that!! thanks :)

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drank Kabuse Sencha - Obubu by Tealet
445 tasting notes

I had this tea both yesterday morning and today using slightly different steeping parameters.

Both times, I stuck to Western steeping style (1 tsp per 8 oz) instead of using more traditional Japanese measurements. The difference was that I steeped things for 2 minutes yesterday and for 3 minutes today. The 3-minute steep is slightly stronger, but this is still quite a light-tasting tea.

This tea is a bit astringent with a slightly grassy aftertaste, but otherwise it’s quite light on the tongue when I drink it. I taste some bitterness, but not much of that marine, umami flavour that I’ve learned to associate with other senchas. I’m glad I got the chance to try this.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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90

Oolongtastic!

Love this oolong – it’s got amazing texture with lots of thick creamy fluff with a light finish. The creamy mouth feel lingers for a long time too! The flavor is sweet with buttery, pine nuts, and orchid notes. Later infusions there is a bit of dryness, but keeps the flavor going.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/zhushan-oolong-goe-tea-via-tealet-oolong-owl-tea-review/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

This one sounds really good.

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93

Major backlogging here

The first thing I noticed about this roasted bancha was…well…how roastly and – uh – bancha-like it smelled. All leaves and burnt nuts – a very autumn smell. The leaves basically looked like cut leaves – brown and oxidized-looking. All pleasantries and no pomp, regardless of circumstance. It reminded me of a San Nen (three-year-aged) bancha I had some three years back. Whoah, how fitting!

The Tealet profile on this bancha recommended bringing water to a boil, letting it cool for up to three minutes, then steeping for about the same time. I cut the “wait” part out and just waited until the water came to almost-a-boil before stopping the kettle. However, I did adhere to the three-minute steep.

The liquor brewed dark amber instead of radioactive green (like other senchas). The aroma was just as autumnal as the dry presentation, all nuts, leaf, and…tartness? Okay, now I had to sip this to make sure that was what I smelled. Oh my, yes it was. This was both roasty and tart, not unlike another bancha I tried – an awabancha (pickled green tea). However, this didn’t taste like pickles – just like a green with a dash of hibiscus on the palate. I first noticed the tartness in the middle, but it continued with the trail-off to the finish. The aftertaste lingered on the roasty notes but still had a bit of zest to it. Very unusual…-ly wonderful.

TeaCuplets: http://lazyliteratus.tumblr.com/post/81024471310/teacuplets-tealet-kyoto-obubu-kyobancha

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

OK, and triple Golden Slasher Bonus Points for Teacuplets. (I’m not sure where that phrase came from…something my husband made me listen to when we were dating and I pretended to like it, I think :)

Geoffrey Norman

“TeaCuplets” was the name for a segment I just started for the Tumblr I just opened – tea reviews…with a rhyming scheme. There was no better name for it.

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I received this sample from the wonderfully generous scribbles – thank you so much!!!

I was drinking this at work this afternoon, and quite enjoyed it. It’s a nice dark roasted oolong. It has all the characteristics that I enjoy in the darker oolongs. It is a little smoky without being offensive.
I think I’ve had better examples of dark oolongs, but I’ve also had much worse. There isn’t much wrong with this, but at the same time it didn’t seem special to me. I’m calling this one good, but not great.

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86

I finally made a cup of this the other day and it was really good!! Unfortunately I didn’t have time to write a note at the time and have since forgotten most of the details. But I will try it again soon.
Coles notes: sweet, deep, complex and raisin!

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thanks so much to elyse for this sample!

blunt saves time i find….

i recently completed a months long study into the operations of fairtrade international. i got a very high mark, much to the chagrin of my prof, by uncovering the fact that the company (via the knowledge i have access to, which is limited) is about as dirty as they come. i found myself thinking that fair trade was echoing communism: the theory and sometimes even the intention were good….. but the systems are too easily corruptible. the endless polls which my fellow steepsters happily contributed to confirmed their agreement FOR THE MOST PART.

different gear, same engine: elyse does not work with fair trade farmers. she works with farmers who have LESS money. i wondered: how would that taste like in a tea? would it reflect? what could i expect? an unexpected conclusion followed: if this is how tea can taste without the added cost of fair trade certification and inspections, then what do we need the stamp for?

this tea is exceptional. it is brown sugar and baking bread with a thick brown crust. it is smooth with no astringency…. literally the possibilities for this tea are endless! by itself, by itself with a bit of sweetener, as a smartypants base mimicking baked goods or cake.

now i am insanely tired, and offering up more of my own personal politics than i normally would in a review but this is how it breaks down for me:
tealet works directly with farmers and sells to us. 1,2,3.

fairtrade international and other Larger Corporations work directly with the farmers, certify the farmers (levy a fee), inspect the farms for compliance (levy a fee), administer a brand stamp which charges a higher amount at and to the grocery store level. okay, a bit of unfairness there adding in the extra steps but: Fairtrade 1, farmer 2, grocery store 3, us 4.

i’m getting better quality, the farmer’s getting more money…. i should support fairtrade (THE COMPANY…. not the philosophy) why again?

elyse, i will buy this from you. not just for myself, but also as my personal calling card this upcoming semester while working with not for profits.

JacquelineM

This is so interesting. If you have your research/links you like/etc that you’d share, I’m all ears. We have a lot of farmers at our farmers’ market who grow organic but can’t afford/don’t think it’s a good use of $ for certification too — I see the parallels w fairtrade…

JustJames

i will pass on as much or as little data (cause we’re talking months here, lol) as you wish. i have simple links, i have evaluations, and i have analyses of fairtrade specifically. elyse petersen, founder of tealet has a unique perspective having come from the peace corps and seen things from a perspective that many don’t. i find her to be an excellent resource and well thought out representative of fair trade PRACTICES.

pm me…. let me know what you want, how much you want! =0)

i can honestly tell you that i thought my project was going one way, it all sounded so good! and then i asked the question: how much do third world farmers get charged for licensing. they stopped taking my calls. in toronto, in london. in berlin? i got an A+ man was i let down at my discovery though….

Veronica

Fairtrade is a topic my husband and I debate from time to time. It actually started when we were looking for a new place to purchase coffee. The price difference between the fairtrade organic wholebean and just the organic wholebean was almost $5/lb. I felt that it was worth paying the extra money. He believed it was money the farmers would never see, so it was a waste. We have both done quite a bit of reading on our own, but I’d love to hear more about your research.

Indigobloom

That is so disheartening. Thanks for sharing. I mean, I kindof knew this unofficially but to see it confirmed again, and to know that you’ve done the research really solidifies my stance. I’m glad people like Elyse are doing something to help!!

TheTeaFairy

Ignorance is the worst enemy, Thanks for shedding some light on a dark subject.

JustJames

the old statement of your friends being reflections of your is very true in this case— some of fairtrade’s biggest partners? nestle and nescafe among others!

but changing the angle: tealet, justea who are out of vancouver, level ground for coffee. the smaller companies i saw less problem. the problems arose when there was mass amounts of money at stake.

there are lots of people doing lots of good work…. but how often, really, are good works both branded and free?

Angrboda

Oh, I remember that film! The Max Havelaar representative comes across as a right …you know what. I kept thinking that either she had NO idea what was really going on out there or she just didn’t care. Someone once asked me to transcribe the film for them for an article they were writing on their site and hadn’t been able to find a subtitled version. I never actually wanted to watch the film, but I spent a really long time transcribing the damn thing, only to be told after I emailed them that they had found the information elsewhere, so the film was referenced and all my hard work (it took most of a whole damn day!) wasn’t even mentioned with as much as a syllable. I didn’t think I took that long to do it either, I thought they could have let me know not to waste my time.

JustJames

not cool…. i despise doing citations, but if someone else makes your life easier by doing the grunt work, then you credit them. period.

i had three pages of citations. my prof nearly cried, lol. in my preliminary thesis i actually LOST MARKS and got an A+ crossed out and put down to an A with ‘THIS IS TOO BIG. NARROW. IT. DOWN.’ and then he gave me three options.

brutal, lol.

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67

Lacks the complexity of Taiwan Oolongs. Has a bitterness and astringency reminiscent of black teas, but yet doesn’t have the full body of a highly oxidized oolong. Easy to drink but I typically prefer my oolong sweeter and on the less oxidized side.

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Appearance: This medium roast Dong Ding is on the greener side. The tight pellets are brownish green in the middle, like boiled spinach, and lighten inwards with the stem a copperish brown.

Dry leaf aroma: fruity (peach, apricot) with a but of a charcoal overtone

Covered the bottom of gaiwan, water at 190F. 1st steep 2 mins. 2nd steep 1 min. 3rd steep 2 mins. 4th steep 3 mins.
First rinsed with boiling water for 10 seconds and discarded.

First Steep:
A light first steep. An aroma of stone fruit (peaches, nectarine, apricot) and not a whole lot of body. The leaves have opened probably 40%.

Second steep:
More full bodied. Coppery color with a more savory taste. The fruit is still there but the flavor of the roasting is much more pronounced. Noticing a light drying astringency but it is balanced. The leaves are probably open 70%.

Third steep:
Getting more of honey note on this one…like a lighter honey. A bit of a floral note as well. The roasted character of the tea remains but is less noticeable. Also getting a very small amount of a wood-sy note, like a sawed piece of lumber…i like it!
leaves have opened probably 85%.

Fourth steep:
Still going…this steep resembles the 2nd, savory with a pronounced freshness.

Take Away:
Nice tea. Not the deepest or most fragrant Dong Ding/Tun Ting I have ever had, but a nice example of a Nantou oolong. Taiwan certainly makes some of the best oolong on the planet. The price seems reasonable so give it a try.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

This tea is so odd. It smells like something my grandma makes at Christmas time. Fudge maybe? The taste is even odder. It taste like English breakfast, but not as bold. Has a honey, yet warm spicy after taste left on the tongue. The lingering mouth feel is like after eating a piece of milk chocolate; the way it coats your mouth. Maybe it is a grassy taste that is associated with Japanese greens, but darker? My mind hurts. I will put up a full review tomorrow on my blog; as this is just he fist steep. My mind still hurts……

Never mind the milk chocolate flavor, it is more of a woody note. So odd.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec
JustJames

interesting! this is the first note i’ve read on tealet’s products. excellent! this is one i want to try.

Ze_Teamaker

It is kinda of a mind-F. Its just……. it’s like hojicha, but darker and deep woody flavor with some chocolate flavor. Also you can buy it at Yunomi.us

JustJames

reads as a chameleon tea!

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72

The dry tea smells veggie-green to the extreme. Kind of seaweedy, like sticking your nose in a warm salad bar. Steeped, however, this mellows out to a golden smell, so sunny that you want to take it to the beach now.

At first you want to go, “This is totally a green,” but the tea goes, “Haha, psych!” It’s just a plain fun tea, totally lighthearted. (Can a tea have a happy vibe? Lishan Spring says yes.) Usually there’s a certain solemnity to tea, but this one is a real get-up-and-go baller. It’s not from the caffeine or theanine content, just the flavor alone. “Spring” is a great name for this tea, as it’s like walking on a stretch of new grass with young, fragrant leaves sprouting up behind you with every step, like you’re some kind of epic sun goddess. So get out there and share your happy nature vibes with the world…

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/11/snooty-tea-review-tealet-teas/

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47

In the bag it has a distinct woody smell, with bronze notes from the roasting. Not very pungent. Once steeped, the aroma is still not too strong, but it turns into this wonderful roasted pecan scent and doesn’t beat your face with it, either. It’s a comforting smell, one that says, “Here, sit down next to me by the fire.” Maybe you’ll get to hear a story.

Off the bat, though, it’s hard to tell what that story is under all its smokiness–those poor pecans nearly all got charred away. The first impression is Sanka, or some sort of instant decaf coffee. Let me tell you, though, although it gets its name from the goddess of kindness and compassion, this tea does not take kindly at all to oversteepage. It produces a metallic taste that serves as a slap on the wrist, going, “Shame on you!”…

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/11/snooty-tea-review-tealet-teas/

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70

The trading card says “sweet roasted barley” and that comes through right in the bag. It’s similar to the Black Pearl smell, with a hint of veggie green. Interestingly, this morphs into a a great nutty-smokiness once steeped, some baked apple in there as well–and some dates, even. Already, this tea could go well with Middle Eastern cuisine (Shawarma, anyone?) or Mom’s homemade cooking.

When you start sipping, it’s really those roasted apples all the way. Surprisingly, not half as much nuttiness as the smell would have you think, so it ends up as just a comfort food kind of tea. The more it cools, the more the darker flavors come into play, and we come back to the dates, along with some raisins in there for extra oomf. But this isn’t that kind of date tea. It’s more of a, “Hey, being single is pretty cool,” kind of tea. Drink it and be merry, and just nod and smile when your friend tells you for the nine thousandth time that you need to settle down with a nice yoga instructor and make lots of babies…

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/11/snooty-tea-review-tealet-teas/

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74

The bag’s got a warm, bright bakery smell, like sesame honey buns fresh out of the oven. This softens in the cup and becomes rather inviting.

The first sip is all malty barleyness up in here. It’s a party in your mouth–now you see why the smell had an invitation to it. That invitation got sent to the right people, as the guests are all salty, brassy folks, probably sitting on the couch swigging hard cider while ever-so-casually discussing the virtues of bacon maple ice cream, which makes the vegans uncomfortable and shuffle closer to their homemade organic, locally-grown kale chips. (They weren’t invited, they just came because they’re your new neighbors and wanted to make a show of goodwill.)…

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/11/snooty-tea-review-tealet-teas/

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Very clever review, loved it :-) Now I have a clear vision of what can make a vegan bunch feel really uncomfortable!

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89
drank Genmaicha - Obubu by Tealet
4359 tasting notes

Backlog:

A really beautiful, delicious Genmaicha. It is pleasant and light, but with a really cozy toasty quality that I found very welcoming on a cold evening. Notes of a popcorn-like taste. Tasty!

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/02/05/genmaicha-green-tea-from-tealet/

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100

Loose
Appearance: full bancha leaf, natural breaks, olive brown
Aroma when Dry: earthy, slight spice, sweet
After water is first poured: buttery, earthy
At end of first steep: buttery, earthy, leafy
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: faint hints of green
Staple? Type yes, company yes
Preferred time of day: any
Taste:
At first?: slight spice, mineral notes,buttery, leafy
As it cools?: gets foresty, creamier, full bodied, salty, brothy
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Sweet, buttery, toasty, slight spice
want to try chilled

Second steep (5min)
Aroma: buttery
Taste:
At first: buttery, earthy, hints of spice
As it cools: spice notes fade, stays buttery, earthy, brothy

Third Steep (5 min):
creamy, brothy, salty

Fourth Steep (6 min)
light creamy salty brothy

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Genmaicha - Obubu by Tealet
6770 tasting notes

I’m increasing my B Vitamins – or at least making sure I am paying more attention to them and this is a good source for B1 so that’s awesome!

Anyhow…upon opening the package I was assuming it would have a strong popped rice/corn aroma paired with a nutty and green flavor combo but this one isn’t much for scent – dry.

Once you add the boiling or near-boiling water the aroma clicks on! It’s more green smelling than nutty or popped corn/rice but it’s lovely regardless!

It’s smooth with sweet,nutty, green, and slightly roasted rice and green veggies, as well as that popped rice/corn flavor you would expect but it’s not as harsh or involved as some tend to be. I like that – with this specific offering, that is.

It’s refreshing, in a way!

It makes me crave more.

This is really brilliantly fantastic! The more I sip the more I crave!

Azzrian

Probably your body telling you that you need that Vit B!!! Maybe you should keep the rest and drink it down instead of sending to me!

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48

Loose
Appearance: deep red brown, delicate leaf, tendrils of a leather red shade
Aroma when Dry: raisins, malty, sweet
After water is first poured: raisin, plummy
At end of first steep: faint cream, plums, raisin
Tea liquor:
At end of first steep: light dusty green
Staple? No
Preferred time of day: as needed medicinally
Taste:
At first: jammy, fruity, plum, raisin, creamy notes, sweet, no astringency
As it cools ? notes blend, tea gets jammyer, creamier
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? with fruity notes

Second Steep (6min)
light and fruity, no astringency

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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97

Backlog: A really excellent Japanese Black tea. I’ve not had a lot of Japanese Black Teas, maybe fewer than a handful, but, I’ve loved those that I’ve tried. They are delicious, sweet with an earthy, sort of raw sweetness, reminiscent of raw sugar. There is a raw sort of earthiness to the flavor as well, but, at the same time, it’s remarkably smooth, with no bitterness and very little astringency (it’s there, but you have to really focus on finding it to find it. Deep notes of cacao, again, it almost tastes like raw cacao, but, every once in a while I also taste a hint of roasted cacao too. Very intriguing this tea, it just pulls me in and keeps me captivated. I love it.

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92
drank Kyobancha - Obubu by Tealet
4359 tasting notes

This is my first known experience with a Kyobancha … it is sweet and toasty, reminding me a bit of a cross between a white tea and a Houjicha. It is roasty-toasty like a houjicha, and light and sweet like a white tea.

The sweetness here reminds me a bit of raw sugar cane, it is so sweet and yummy. The roasted flavor is slightly nutty, and there is very little vegetative tone to this tea … it’s slightly vegetal … a hay-like vegetal tone … but it is barely there. This tea is light in body and texture as well as taste … and it is so lovely … relaxing to sip!

I like this a lot!

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96

I think one of the reasons I have been LOVING Japanese Black Teas as of late is because they are so ‘organic.’ And I don’t necessarily mean “Organic” in the sense we’ve come to know and love in the labeling world – eventho some ARE in both senses ‘organic’ I suppose…but I like how earthy and REAL Japanese Black Teas appear to the eye…almost primitive, untouched, of-the-earth, TRUE. This one IS that way.

The effervescent liquor is quite amazing! It’s a little bit on the lighter side of the brown scale but it seems to be – almost – glowing or shining in some way. It’s really beautiful.

It’s a more mellow flavor as well but pleasing and delightful. Towards the end of the sip I can pick up on a dried fruit type flavor. There isn’t even the slightest amount of bitterness here – even at longer infusion times.

This is darn special!

merton

This is on my list of teas I “need” to try!

TheTeaFairy

never had a japanese black, sounds great, something to put on the list!

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80

I was in NEED for a GREEN…so…here goes!

This isn’t as roasty or toasty as some Houjicha’s I have had but I’m ok with that! There is always a place and a time for a more gentle Houjicha.

This is that time.

Equal parts woodsy and nutty – this is satisfying and soothing.

A delight!

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89

I love a good Houjicha and this one is definitely good. Sweet and toasty and soothing too. The toasty notes give this a very autumnal feel. Nutty, sweet and delicious. There is very little astringency to this. I don’t really notice much of a smoky note, but more of a roasty-toasty kind of taste to it. The smokiness seems to arrive toward the end of the sip, and linger into the aftertaste.

Overall, a very enjoyable cup of tea – I love the teas from the Obubu Plantation and I’m glad to learn that Tealet has started to offer them.

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