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Recent Tasting Notes
This is an interesting fruit tisane. Called Hawaiian Paradise but doesn’t really taste tropical. No coconut in sight. Most of the Tealux tisanes I’ve tried had a little bit of spice in them, this one didn’t.
This is a nice, tart, fruity blend. I can’t really pick out any of the individual fruits, but it is on the pineapple, mango tropical side of the fruit flavors.
I’ve drank this just as is, I’ve added it to white base, and to green base. It’s nice either way.
While examining the Japanese Spirit dried tea, I noticed that the chamomile buds were few and far between. I decided to rectify that deficiency in this pot by throwing in some of my loose chamomile from Harney & Sons, which I have in enormous supply and so am able to toss about like so much yellow confetti.
Extra chamomile definitely increased the quality of the resultant brew. The flavor was less gingko-dominant. Of course adding more chamomile did not address the other issue with this tea: that the kukicha is very difficult to discern. Well, that’s okay since I’m drinking this as a therapeutic beverage. Here’s the latest in my ongoing and nightmarish moving story:
My new landlady just called me and withdrew her offer of an extra closet and two trunks of space—which I had already filled with clothes! What’s worse, I accepted the lease only because she offered the extra storage space! When I told her that, she replied, “My lease has no provision for tenant storage.” Oh my God. So much for a long-term living arrangement. Looks as though I’ll be moving again next spring.
Why? Why? Why would someone do such a thing?
End of rant.
I got this back in Feb and forgot to even try it. So this tea is a very complex tea. Let me try to describe it. It’s kind of like a black or a pu’erh and yet not like them. I can smell charcoal from the tea. It brews up dark. I can taste the oolong along with a charcoal taste and a deep sweetness like a plum or molasses. It says there are cinnamon, musk and amber notes in it on the package but I’m not really picking up any cinnamon. I am holding off rating this tea for now until I’ve had a few more cups of this. I steeped for 3 minutes so I will try some different steep times and see what I like.
I am playing catch up from a week of lots of packages coming and not enough writing of tasting notes so sorry for the flood of notes:) I received a very generous sample of this from bluebelle.
Roasty oolongs are becoming my favorite evening wind down tea. Something about them makes me just want to cuddle up in my pj’s with my book and stay that way for a really long time. When I saw this tea in the mix of sample I got pretty excited, but the perfect time to try this kept escaping me over the past few weeks. I finally got to it this week. This was roasty, and more sweet than some of the other roasty oolongs I have had. As the sip lingered in your mouth it was almost like eating chocolate. I still got the oolong flavor, but it was mixed with a chocolaty after taste. I am not sure about this one just yet. It was enjoyable, yes, but something I crave and would buy again, I am still not sure.
My second review on this tea. My rating wasn’t too high the first time but I have since re-ordered and continue to enjoy this tea. Took it in my Timolino to work today. It’s a great tea to take in the Timolino as it’s brewed at such a low temperature with very little steep time.
“Giddy with joy” might be a slight exaggeration of the effect of Tealux White Nights on me, but I admit that I am pleasantly surprised by the outcome of this highly original blend of white tea, chamomile, rooibos, and peppermint. Who knew? Seriously who dreamt this combination up?
The flavors all seem to come together but at the same time remain distinct, if that makes any sense. I taste the rooibos and the peppermint and the white tea and the chamomile, and they mingle together harmoniously!
The liquor is peachy amber, and the flavor is probably pepperminty enough to warrant a caveat: this blend is suited only for mint lovers!
second infusion: this is much less minty—I gather that peppermint is water soluble?—and the rooibos is less pronounced as well. Now the blend seems more like a gently scented delicate white tea. So glad that I tried another round! The liquor is now more golden than peach. I like how the rooibos does not dominate the composition, as it so often does…
third infusion: now the liquor is more yellow—closer to the color of brewed chamomile than rooibos. Tastes good. This is a blend which really changes a lot as the more volatile elements are removed with each successive infusion. Still good though—just very lightly flavored at this point. Closer to a simple white tea with just a smattering of rooibos.
I’ve had this in my cupboard for awhile and have had lots of cups from it. I even ordered more in February so this is definitely one of my favourite teas. An unusual tea to have this early in the morning but I already got a punch from my genmatcha tea. I love the chestnut flavour mixed with the delicate white. There is Jasmine in this but I don’t taste it. Doesn’t matter. It’s still a great brew.
Another tea in my cupboard I’ve had a few times already but failed to leave a tasting note. This tea is a light green with a light vegetal taste. The apricot is balanced nicely with it and comes through as a strong note. It’s a great tea to have late afternoon or even in the evening because it’s decaf.
This was showing up that I had it twice already in my cupboard but I don’t remember it. I didn’t leave a tasting note either that I can find. How strange. Perhaps because the oolong doesn’t really stand out in this tea. I think for me (I don’t like Chai too strong) the chai flavouring is done right. Brewed up it smells kind of like coffee cake but the taste is different. I’m picking up a nutty chai flavour with a creamy oolong base. I added a bit of coconut milk to the 2nd cup and it seemed to bring out the chai/nutty flavour a bit more but it wasn’t a big difference. I’m really enjoying this tea but not enough to want to buy more once my sample is gone. It could be because I normally don’t like some of the chai teas.
Tealux Gyokuro Kokyo is a solid Japanese green, no doubt, but I found it to be a bit flat when compared directly side-by-side with Gyokuro Premier. The dark, roasted-spinach-like dried leaves were very similar in appearance, as was the brewed liquor—both were very pale green with tiny white particles floating about.
The texture of the Gyokuro Kokyu was not as smooth as that of Gyokuro Premier, and I felt that the blend was closer to sencha than to Gyokuro. It is a blend of two teas, basically Gyokoru has been cut with a less-expensive tea to produce a cost-effective Gyokuro. I am not convinced that the savings (only a $2 difference between 1 ounce of pure Gyokuro and 1 ounce of this blend) are worth this change…
Interestingly, I have encountered of late a couple of Gyokuro-esque senchas, so I’ll have to compare this blend side-by-side to see which I prefer!
In this afternoon’s steep-off chez sherapop, Tealux Gyokuro Premier is going sniff to sniff, sip to sip against Tealux Gyokuro Kokyu. So it looks as though Tealux will win either way!
The first infusion results were not definitive, because I appear to have underleafed both pots, so they were very pale greenish yellow, with a very similar appearance. The Kokyu did seem to be ever-so-slightly more green, which led me to predict that I would like it better.
In reality, I found Gyokuro Premier to be the superior brew. The flavor was slightly salty and the texture silken. I did this test in a state of complete ignorance, having resisted the temptation to read anything about the two teas before imbibing. Naturally, I was relieved to find that the winner of my taste test was the more expensive single-origin Gyokuro (Premier), not the blend!
second infusion: for this round, I used less water to get a better idea of what these teas are really supposed to taste like. I confirmed that Premier is better to my palate. Now I’ll have to compare it side-by-side to Tealux Gyokuro Ureshinocha…
This one I got out of the EU Travelling Teabox (round 1). At first I wasn’t even planning to try it at all, but then two things happened.
1. I found myself rather forced to take some more stuff out, because I couldn’t tetris everything into the box and close the lid.
2. Scheherazade shared a couple of bags of surprisingly pleasant (well, it surprised me) chai with me, so I thought why not?
The more I thought about this one, the more appealing I thought it was. Nuts, you know. :)
I’m trying it tonight while I’m home alone and rather need something warming. I haven’t quite reached the point where I can only stand peppermint herbals yet, but let me put it this way. In the last 48 hours I’ve watched 23 episodes of As Time Goes By. I think that speaks volumes about my current health, really. I’ll be taking season four with me to bed as soon as I’m finished writing this.
I don’t usually like milk in my tea, in fact I tend to generally be of the opinion that milk and/or sweetener is just ruining the cup (especially the sweetener, blech!), but I’ve come to understand that I really do need it there in a chai. Otherwise it seems unfinished, somehow. Even so, I’ve got a few mouthfuls of this in a second cup without milk, so that I can taste it unadulterated.
I’ll start with the non-milk version. As it was the dregs of the pot, it’s gone a bit bitter. It smells very cinnamon-y but it doesn’t have an overwhelming cinnamon taste. Mind you, I can’t taste any nuts either but that might be the dregs-y situation’s fault. If it hadn’t gone so bitter, it does taste like it would be really rather nice.
As for the milked cup, I fulled the mug about a quarter up with milk and nuked it. I am too damn lazy for saucepans when it’s such a relatively small amount of milk we’re talking about. Then I poured the finished tea into that, and this does smell quite nutty. And milky. It only lacks chocolate and it would smell like hot nutella. I can detect the cinnamon as well, but it’s even more discreet here than without the milk.
It’s not at all bitter with the warm milk in. It’s very sweet, actually. Partly I think because of the nuts, and partly because of the milk. (Seriously, next time you have a glass of milk, pay attention to it. It really does have a sweet taste to it) The spices are very low here, as is the base tea, so I pretty much feel like I’m drinking warm nutty milk.
Which, actually, is really rather nice. For all the lack of base tea and spices, I strongly suspect that I would notice them NOT being there, so I don’t think they’re completely invisible. They’re just… background noise. Rounding everything out. As the cup cools the spices come in to play more, but still mainly as an aftertaste.
I’m glad my tetris-inabilities forced me to pilfer this one. It’s really very pleasant. Perhaps I can learn to enjoy chai. It’s just a question of finding the correct chai.
Moving stress is setting in, so I decided to break into my envelope of Tealux Japanese Spirit, which boasts St. John’s Wort, gingko, and chamomile in a kukicha base. This blend is supposed to calm frazzled nerves, so let’s hope that it does. What about the scent and the taste?
The dried tea smells very sweet and strongly redolent of substances other than kukicha—I presume the St. John’s Wort and gingko. It does not really smell like chamomile, despite the presence of some full buds. I believe that the sweetness is primarily from the gingko, but I’m not sure what St. John’s Wort smells like. I have had gingko-laced tea before, so that does smell familiar. The scent of kukicha (which I love) is completely shrouded by the additives.
I am ambivalent about adulterated Japanese green teas, since I tend to agree with the Japanese that they should generally be imbibed au naturel. In this case, the blend is clearly intended to be a functional tea, so I suppose that the only remaining question is why to use kukicha as the base rather than something else. Perhaps this was chosen because of the low-caffeine content.
The flavor of the tea base, like the scent, is somewhat drowned out. Hopefully the gingko and St. John’s wort will “help to relieve the stress and tension of daily life,” as promised on the package!
second infusion: this round was better than the first. It tasted more like tea and less like medicine.
For me this is more rooibos than blueberry. I didn’t get any tart hibiscus at all, just vague blueberry and rooibos.
So for the second cup, I did what I do – rummaged through my cupboard, found some blueberry tisane, tossed a little of that in, and all was right in my world.
I’ve decided that I really prefer desserty rooibos more than fruity rooibos.
This was pretty much a miss for me.
Today’s brew of Tealux Tenkaichi sencha was gyokuro-esque, and that’s a very good thing! I must have got the preparation parameters just right , because the liquor was iridescent green, and the flavor luscious, with a buttery texture. It really reminded me of some of the gyokuros I’ve tried of late. I feel compelled to increase my rating!
Incredible but I am the very first to review this tea. It is again a sample I picked out the huge swap box the kind Dexter3657 sent me.
The box is so huge I generally do a blind pick out…ramdom pick out…until a certain point ! I picked out first an assam this morning and I was like awwww no, not an assam this morning ! My second try was this Jin Xuan black and I am very pleased it was this one.
First I loved the leaves : long, rolled up, very dark. I tend to prefer plain teas with full leaves instead of cut ones.
The scent was not very expressive, almost absent.
Le liquor was amber, not so dark and its smell was typically Taiwanese, yes it was smelling exactly like a lot of Taiwanese teas. ohohohohoho I was quite interesting because I espacially appreciate when a taiwanese tea liquor smells so good.
Drinking it it was clearly a nice Taiwanese tea with dominant notes of honey and mature fruits. I liked the roastiness as well.It reminded me a little Butiki Teas’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain black but with less body, less notes of honey and fruits.
While cooling the notes were growing and becoming even extrovert.
Butiki’s TWMB and this one are kind of cousin teas.
My preference remains to Butiki Teas but it is really nice to have met this one as well.
I usually append my second infusion observations at the bottom of the first infusion tasting note, but I feel compelled in this case to honor Tealux Gyokuro Ureshinocha with a separate second infusion tasting note. Why? Because it is totally delicious and better than most first infusions!
I got the brew right this time: short steep using 73C water. The resultant liquor is an exquisite green—the greener the better, in my view—with a bit of the hazy iridescence characteristic of excellent steamed Japanese teas. The taste is superb: smooth and slightly sweet but also steamed green vegetable. Not a trace of bitterness (as I encountered when I oversteeped the first infusion earlier today). Yum.
With a second infusion this excellent, I’ll have to try a third!
I have been looking forward to trying this tea, as it is produced in Kyushu, where I spent some time during my trip to Japan.
Another promising gyokuro from Tealux, Ureshinochea or “tea of joy” is more broken up than some varieties, so I reached for my smallest gauge sieve when it came time to strain. Unfortunately, I oversteeped. Yesterday’s pots were short one or two minutes steeps. Today I set the timer for two minutes but then ran downstairs. The first cup from the pot probably steeped for three minutes, but the second was difficult to strain, so it may have steeped up to four minutes. The result was a bit bitter.
1. make gyokuro only one cup at a time
2. steep for only one minute
3. use the metal coffee cone sieve, which captures more of the smaller particles.
There was quite a bit of dark powder in the bottom of the second cup, which probably also contributed to the bitterness. The dried leaves smell more like cut grass than spinach, so I’m looking forward to trying this tea again. No rating yet. Certainly these cups were potable, but I made too many mistakes to be able to make a fair judgment based on this brew.
I am glad I got this tea from Tealux. Having my tea, I checked out other reviews and was surprised it didn’t get a higher rating. I guess it really depends on what we like. Since greens , whites, and oolongs are my favs then it makes sense I would love this tea. I do have to agree there’s nothing so far that makes this stand out from other high quality green teas but it is still a great green tea and one I would restock! I didn’t pick up any bitter taste. It seemed to have a faint buttery flavour with the vegetal. Perhaps my taste buds are not quite as refined as some of the others here since I sometimes have trouble discerning very faint flavours and scents. However, I do know I like this tea and could sip it all morning.
Another green from the box. I figure since i don’t typically buy greens, travelling boxes are a good way to try more! This one is quite tasty, which is a nice surprise since i’ve found that i much prefer tealux’s straight teas to their flavoured teas. just enough strawberry to make this one a positive experience for me, without the green taking over and making it grassy. Also, not sour, which makes me happy.
In this afternoon’s steep-off chez sherapop, Tealux Dragonwell Long Jing Superior is going sip to sip, sniff to sniff with Norbu Xi Hu Long Jing. I am afraid that the Tealux is suffering by contrast.
The liquor of the brew is golden, not green—and certainly not jade, as promised on the package—so that’s the first red flag that something is amiss. Did I oversteep? Overheat? Overleaf? No, none of the above. My brew has a very neutral taste and seems more baked than steamed. This tea is simply not as good as the Norbu, despite the “top grade” claim on the label. I am lowering my evaluation.