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Recent Tasting Notes
TeaLux is now TeaLyra. I wonder if I will remember that next time I brew up one of their teas.
For some reason, while I was perfectly aware that it was a black tea when I was ordering, I was expecting a green base when I brewed it up. The fault of this is that the dry leaf don’t really smell deep and cocoa-y as I tend to look for in black teas. Not much of this shows up in the brewed tea either. Is this what they call a China Black?
It just tastes like tea to me. Like that sweet mild familiar taste of tea with a hit of lychee on it. I guess this would be the closest to the type of teas I grew up on, because I can’t think that it’s anything but Tea, and why mess with such a wonderful descriptor like that? It also makes it a great tea to pair with food, because it doesn’t overwhelm my sense of the food, but it’s strong enough to cleanse the palate.
It’s mild, sweet, comforting.
The first brew was mildly artificial though, I might have to do a initial rinse with this tea from now on. It used to be a habit, but as I tried more and more flavored teas I dropped the habit. The second brew was wonderful and perfect. I used 1 tsp for a small teapot (12oz). The pearls were quite large to my eye, perhaps .7mm in diameter.
I can see myself drinking this alot and wonder how it’ll stand up to grandpa style brewing.
Let me start out by saying that it really irks me when I forget to put rooibos blends in a T-sac and instead put them in an infuser because oh.my.gosh I hate little floaty rooibos bits. When it’s actually tea floating in my cup, it’s no biggie. But….little scratchy bits of rooibos that stick to the sides of your mouth and under your tongue…ugh. I don’t mind the flavor of rooibos usually, but feeling pieces of it in my mouth while drinking it is just unbearable.
Now, I made this for my boyfriend to try and stole a couple of sips from his cup. He didn’t seem to mind the pieces (thank goodness because I wouldn’t have finished the cup due to being so annoyed). The flavor and smell, however, were wonderful! I definitely see myself seeking out other coffee-flavored teas now. I liked that there was the slightest hint of warm, roasty, comforting coffee-ness in both the fragrance and taste. I also felt this truly encompassed the flavors of tiramisu. The most prominent parts were the espresso, vanilla/cream/custard, and almond. Is there normally almond or amaretto in tiramisu? If there isn’t, perhaps there should be because it tasted great all together.
I just have to make sure that I always brew this in a bag. I’m rating this solely based on flavor, since any rooibos/honeybush blend finds its way out of my infusers, making it not the fault of this blend.
Flavors: Almond, Cream, Espresso, Vanilla
I don’t know why I continue to buy flavored blacks. They always sound so good on the website, so I buy them and then they get here and sit around until I force myself to drink them. You’d think I would eventually learn…
Anyway, Cameron just reviewed this one so it inspired me to take out my bag and try to get rid of some more of it. Now, I’ve never actually had a lychee before, so my only knowledge of the fruit comes from tea. I find it a bit floral, quite sweet and juicy. Almost grape like, but not quite. Honestly, I feel it would be more at home with a green tea, but it’s nice here too. It’s a very refreshing flavor that reminds me of summer. In this tea the flavoring overpowers the base a bit, but it still manages to be quite lovely. I probably won’t rebuy, but I greatly enjoy it whenever I make myself brew some.
Another one from cookies! I’m excited to try this one, as I’ve heard good things about it from a few different people. I don’t have a ton of experience with lychee, but I really liked the Lychee Barley from Lupicia so I’m intent on trying more lychee-flavored teas! These pearls are about a centimeter in diameter, and they’re more loosely rolled than other pearls I’ve seen. Dry scent is strong, sweet lychee! I used eight pearls for my 8 ounces of water.
The steeped tea also smells strongly of lychee, but it’s not overwhelming. I can smell some cocoa notes as well. Wow, there is a lot of lychee going on here, and it’s very tasty. I would describe lychee as being sweet, juicy, floral, and slightly musky. The base tea has nice cocoa and malt flavors, and a touch of wood. Tasty!
Flavors: Cocoa, Floral, Lychee, Malt, Sweet, Wood
Well, I’ve found the first tea that I don’t plan on ever running out of…
There is something so wonderful about this combination of flavors. A little cinnamony, a little oaty, a little nuttiness, a little raisiny sweetness….I love it so much. And Tealux makes it even easier to love by charging such a reasonable price! It is so right up my alley :) Hot, cold…I’ll take it any way I can get it.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Nutty, Oats, Raisins
This tea makes me laugh. I bought it awhile ago but haven’t had it because I normally don’t like ooey gooey sweet stuff. It had some pretty good reviews on the Tealux website so I thought I’d try it out.It is quite tasty. Definitely a caramel yumminess to it without being overly sweet. This is one rooibos tea that seems to be fairly hidden underneath the caramel creaminess. I like rooibos in general but for those that don’t they might like this tea. I’m okay with the flavouring too (no tongue tingling). I didn’t really expect to like it but I am enjoying it.
A good tea to grab when craving something sweet!
Hmm. So I just received this, and added it to Steepster since it’s so new it didn’t have an entry. At the Tealux website the ingredient list is as follows: apple pieces, date pieces (dates, rice flour), cranberry slices (cranberries, sugar), melon pieces, almond pieces, apple cubes, flavoring, cinnamon rods, pistachios, freeze-dried pumpkin pieces, fig pieces and cranberry slices, beetroot.
But I’ve just opened up my 25 gram pouch, and it has white tea in it. I mean not JUST white tea, it also had some of the other ingredients listed (definitely apple, date, melon, almond, lots of fruity bits, and chamomile buds, which weren’t on the list either). But the white tea base was a surprise since it wasn’t in there! And the tea itself isn’t in the white tea section on the Tealux site, it’s filed under fruity tea. And as you can see in the picture that went with the listing, white tea isn’t visible.
This is a puzzler. Did they send me the wrong tea in the correctly labeled bag? It does resemble what’s pictured here, only with the addition of white tea leaves, possibly a bai mu dan.
On to the tasting! Dry the leaf had a vaguely fruity scent, a muted melon that was more watermelon than cantaloupe. Steeped the scent is all chamomile! I’m afraid to take a sip, but in the interests of science…well, it’s alright. Flavor-wise I’m getting very mellow fruit, but it’s a whisper under the warring tastes of white tea and chamomile. More of the fruitiness peeks out as it cools. I had dazzling visions of this being a bright sparkling fruity marvel of an iced tea, but I don’t think reality will see that through.
Let this cool to barely lukewarm and it just tastes like chamomile now. :(
Going to contact Tealux about this tomorrow and see what they say!
Got my Tealux order in today from their recent sale! Trying a bunch of new things from them as usual, I’m so weak for companies that sell 25g or 1oz at a time. I’d just almost always rather a new bunch of many things rather than larger quantities of fewer things. STUFF! THINGS! TEA!
I don’t know why I hadn’t tried this one before as it’s right up my street! Nice smoky lapsang and my beloved ginger. It’s a nice bacon-y lapsang souchong they’ve used here, good flavor. The ginger doesn’t come through very strongly in terms of taste, but I can definitely feel that it’s there as a mild gingery tingle follows each sip and lingers for a moment.
I’ll probably do a longer steep next time, as I let this go for only about three and a half. I think next go round we’ll try five minutes and see what that does for it. As it is I’m still enjoying the cup though!
I’m in a sales-y spirit so I’m doing a sale for my Etsy vintage shop today until midnight…10% off everything with the code 10PERCENT. Check it out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SaraLouiseVintage :)
Mmm, another winner from Tealux. This is a beautifully sweet, slightly mild tea that I’m really enjoying. Sencha base (boo) but it’s not super vegetal or bitter and honestly not that noticeable among the fruity flavors. I don’t taste much of the strawberry, but the raspberry, blackberry and fig are all discernible and play quite well together. It’s a beautiful looking tea as well. Nice long leaves of sencha peppered with pink peony petals and a nice amount of dried whole berries and large fig slivers. Really a lovely tea all around. I imagine it would be delightful iced, I’ll have to give it a try tomorrow.
Flavors: Blackberry, Fig, Raspberry
Firstly I have to say I appreciate that this is comprised of gunpowder and not sencha. Almost all blends seem to use sencha as their base and I’m not exactly sencha’s biggest fan. Gunpowder was certainly the right choice for this one as I think the heavier vegetal qualities of sencha would clash with bergamot and cream.
Opening the bag I’m first struck by the lovely scent. It smells exactly like The Persimmon Tree’s Earl Grey Heaven, which I adore. It tastes quite the same as well except, of course, with a green base instead of black. Heavy notes of rich buttercream and orangey/bergamoty citrus zest. It’s really making me crave a cake with some nice thick frosting. Not artificial tasting at all which is sometimes a problem with ‘cream’ teas. I’ll certainly be picking up more of this when I’m through with the ounce I ordered.
Flavors: Bergamot, Frosting, Orange
With the dry leaves in a warm gaiwan, this purple leaf oolong from Tealux smells very heavily roasted with a hint of vinegar. My only experience with purple leaf tea has been with a Kenyan purple oolong that had a nice plum and berry kind of flavor but was easily over or underbrewed, getting a dirty or bland taste if you went much over or under 170F (I have no idea why this temperature is the sweet spot, but it is the one the vendor recommended and I tried many others to ensure this was the best). The tea was fussy. I also had a purple tips loose leaf raw puer from that same vendor and it had a very heavy woody tastes that was simply not for me.
Not really sure what to expect from this Taiwanese version of purple tea, the smell is priming me for sort of a Wuyi Oolong experience.
The brewed tea has about the same color as the Kenyan purple oolong I had. There’s a slight rosey tint to it. Where most oolongs would be yellowish, orange, or even greenish, this one has more of a peach/pink hint to it from the purple tint of the leaves (caused by high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin).
The taste is just what I expected from the smell! It is really similar to Sea Dyke brand Shui Xian, a heavily roasted Wuyi oolong you can find for a really low price at Asian grocery stores. There is a great deal of roast flavor along with just a hint of dill. There’s a good deal of char taste like you’d taste on the edges of pan-fried blackened food. It has a bit of a salty finish. If there is any sweetness in this tea it is barely detectible.
Repeated infusions yeilded more of the same flavor, but stronger.
I didn’t find the flavor particularly enjoyable. If you like really roasted flavors you might.
Flavors: Char, Dill, Roasted, Vinegar
This was phenomenal. I know I adore peachy flavors, and this one is definitely very juicy and peach reminiscent, but peach mixed with floral is killer. And oolong is my favorite tea base, pretty much ever. I want a perfume that smells like this stuff, dry or steeped. I want a candle of it. I want to smell it all day long.
I steeped two teaspoons of this tonight, grandpa style, in my Bee House pot, and had more cups than I could keep track of. Very lovely and light. Lots of roasty rice notes, a hint of astringency but very little, and green tea taste that shifted between sweet and vegetal. Really lovely.
Flavors: Astringent, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Vegetal
Spears are us, or it is in the case of this tea. They are beautifully twisted and shaped, unusual cocoon style pieces with a chocolate like scent and a high black shine. It doesn’t sound like I’m describing tea, does it? Well in a way it doesn’t feel like it is either, but I’m soo looking forward to trying it.
3 spears in 200ml Gongfu
Time I was recommended is 5-6 minutes so I will stick with that
6 minutes later and I have an extremely pale brown tea liquid. It smells mildly malty and wooden with a slight herb tinge. Flavour is also oddly herbal, I am not sure what though… But despite the delightful oddness of it I must admit it’s pleasant tasting.
Another steep to see if it unleashes more flavours, the leaves are tightly wrapped so I feel it needs to open up more. After another few minutes it’s still mild but I can taste more sweet malt tones. Definite cocoa tones too.
Ok another steep, please open up leaves! Ok after ten minutes it’s still very light. So time to double up, it now has six spears in! Another 6 minutes or so to wait.
That’s a bit better, more floral now than before, though still sweet and malty dominating tones, albeit on a still very light scale.
It certainly is an usual tea, both in appearance and taste, but it’s subtly is just not for me. Sorry Blue Unicorn Reserve, you sound awesome but I just don’t love you.
I had the herbal tea Spicy Pear ages ago. I left a review on here commenting that I really liked the fruity mixture but it was missing something, and thought a white tea would be good. Tealux must have been listening because when I went to order last time this tea was there. I’m just now getting around to trying it and I have to give it the thumbs up. It’s still more of a herbal tea since there’s not much white tea in there but the white tea give it a body that was missing before. There’s popcorn in this too. There was a big piece of popcorn when I put in in my infusier. I am getting that white tea base along with the apple/pear juicy flavour. Just a hint of cinnamon. Not sure if the popcorn adds anything to it but it certainly is good. Light on caffeine too.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Pear
Transitioning to straight teas slowly, it seems. How I realized this?! In my last Tealux order only ONE tea was flavoured, the dragon lychee pearls, which I have to say are a must have. All the rest are pu’erh and unflavoured teas. Monkey tips and white buds and the likes, and this one of course.
I get no grape (like Dexter did) but this tastes entirely like a black tea to me. The leaves, however, are gorgeous. Loooong long leaves. Longest I’ve ever seen. Exclamation crossed my lips upon opening the bag. Also, gorgeous as it is, I must say it ain’t exactly ruby :). More like brandy. I saw not much difference between steeps. I have yet to have the time to steep 7 times like some hard core drinkers but I did it three times. Three back to back 8 oz cups is hard corer for me!
In others news, I’m in love. During my last Jann Arden concert two days ago I became aware of this amazingly talented singer who was part of her band. And seriously, once I googled said singer and further realized how talented (and hot!) she is, I am smitten. Seriously, if you can spare a “like” in her Facebook, you should. And she has her own website, however bare it is at the moment allisoncornell.com
Yo, I even bought her iTunes album. Yes, I’m Hashtag OCD :)
Thanks bye :)
I like this. Umami, vegetal and sea weed notes from the gyokuro, and a nice roasty note from the rice. There’s also a hint of soapiness, but not strong or bad.
Oh and then right there at the bottom of the cup, honey notes!
Flavors: Honey, Roasted, Seaweed, Soap, Toasted Rice, Umami, Vegetal
Oh, so much better this time around!
First cup steeped 3 min at 90C, and it’s quite perfect. A touch more floral and perfumey at the start of the sip than other milk oolongs I’ve had, and then rich, creamy, buttery goodness. I like this a lot.
The second steep of these leaves had less floral and cream and more vegetal notes. Not quite as interesting but still tasty.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Perfume, Sweet, Vegetal
The dry leaf is tightly rolled with some long stems, and dappled green and almost violet.
The steeped leaves unfurl to almost fill my steeping basket. They smell creamy and buttery with notes of roasting and toasted bread.
The liquor is a deep golden colour and smells even richer, and creamier than the steeped leaf.
The start of the sip is intense and a touch tart, with a hint of bitterness and astringency. After that intense spike though, there’s not much to it. We shall see once this cools a bit how the flavour develops.
As it cools more of the buttery notes develop and it gets richer and more multidimensional, but it’s still not great. I’m pretty sure I oversteeped this, sadly. I’ll have to give it another go with a shorter steep or cooler water.
Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Cream, Roasted, Tart, Toast
Another sample from Dexter!
This is a lovely evening cup. It’s got sweet, floral notes on the nose, and the start of the sip is a touch floral and roasty, almost perfumed. The finish is long, tangy and vegetal, quite a departure from the sip.
Not a stand out to me, but a very pleasant oolong.
Flavors: Floral, Roasted, Sweet, Tangy, Vegetal
Yay, I have so many new and untried black tea samples now (thanks to Blodeuyn)! I was sad because I didn’t have any more new teas to drink in the morning. Huzzah! This one is first because I really want to try more Assams, although I have a sneaking suspicion that it’ll be very close to the Taiwanese Assams I’ve already tried, just based on the smell. But onward, to tea! The leaves are large and supple, definitely shorter but thicker than the usual creepy tree branch teas. Dry scent is incredibly sweet with lots of honey, along with cocoa and malt. I brewed mine for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
As soon as I poured the hot water over my tea, I smelled cinnamon. Oops… I may have used the same infuser that I used for Snickerdoodle last night! :x Luckily for me, the brewed tea itself does not smell strongly of cinnamon, so I think it’ll be okay! Brewed aroma is very strong brown sugar with malt and sweet dried fruit notes (maybe a touch of cinnamon?). Yummm… There’s definitely a tad bit of cinnamon here, and I don’t know whether it’s inherent in this tea, or whether it’s from the infuser… Either way, it goes beautifully! This tea has a little bit of an earthy undertone, which I wasn’t expecting. However, on top there is a layer of lovely dark brown sugar flavor, along with fruit and malt notes. Oh man, I really hope that slight cinnamon flavor is meant to be there, because it pairs beautifully with the brown sugar. I suppose my next cup will tell me! :P
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Earth, Hay, Malt, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes