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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a very unique tea, and perhaps very different from what people envision tea is. It is a smoked, black tea. It is rich and savory. This isn’t a tea that one should add cream and sugar to. I simply brew it and sip at it, enjoying its smoky tones.
I scored it so high because it is a very different. While brewing it, those gorgeous, smokey smells tease the senses. I highly recommend this tea if you want something different, and if you like smokey flavors.
Okay, so I cheated and picked all the anise pieces out of my cup. (I put them back in the bag, so the boy will have an extra anisey cup when he comes to visit…) And then I brewed it pretty strong, with boiling water. But it’s good! The pear is subtle, but it’s there. Sweet with just a hint of spice. Goes well with my (slightly disappointing) rum caramel chocolate bar. :)
This is a nice sized sample in a sealed packet. Too much to be sipped down in one sitting. It’s enough for two servings.
This has a faint orange fragrance in the packet, and I don’t smell tea underneath. The leaves are dark with curls of orange peel among them.
After a rinse and an initial 15 second steep in the gaiwan, the liquor is darker than I expected, sort of a natural honey color. There’s a dark oolong stonefruit aroma with a slight citrus note.
I get what Rabs said about this, there’s an earthy flavor. Even after a very short steep it’s almost bitter, which is disappointing. I get not much in the way of orange flavor. It’s very faint. It could be a fair amount stronger without running the risk of overpowering the oolong base.
Second steep, 20 seconds. The liquor is darker, a sort of brandy color. More orange in the aroma, along with the typical dark oolong toastiness. Still not much orange in the flavor, and as dark oolongs go, this one doesn’t seem to have a lot of flavor to the base, either. It’s not bitter on this steep, but it doesn’t have much complexity.
Third steep, 25 seconds. The flavor has opened up some. There’s a bit more orange flavor, and a rather pleasant, thick mouthfeel. Some astringency and some peach-pit notes starting to emerge from what seemed before a sort of generic woodiness. A slight bitterness at the finish.
Fourth steep, 30 seconds. Pretty much the same as the third.
I may fiddle around with this through a few more steeps, but it’s not doing much for me. It’s drinkable, but it doesn’t bowl me over.
Flavors: Orange Zest, Stonefruits
Sipdown no. 132 of the year 2014. A sample. Made in the gaiwan with short steeps starting at 15 seconds after a rinse.
In the packet, the leaves are so dark they look like black tea leaves. They smell a little like wood.
After steeping, they yield a caramel colored liquor that has a brisk, fruity aroma with a toasty, almost smoky note.
The flavor is more interesting and alive than the other dark oolongs I’ve had recently . (Those were all from Adagio.) I can see what they mean by the chocolate note. It’s not as strong as the chocolate notes one finds in black teas, but it’s there. It’s not a sweet chocolate, more of a dark beany one around the edges. Very nice. The fruitiness here is more complex than in some dark oolongs where you basically feel like you’re sucking on a peach pit, and that’s the single note stonefruit flavor. This one isn’t as woody/stoney, and is more reminiscent of the pulpy fruity part of an apricot.
It doesn’t change as much from steep to steep as I’d expect, but the smoky notes come out around steep three, as does a little astringency which is interestingly coupled with a soft mouth feel.
There’s a smoky, woody aftertaste. The steeped leaves are chocolate brown and have a mild woody scent with a sharp fruity note.
If I didn’t have about a thousand other oolongs to taste, I would put this on the shopping list as I think it merits playing around with a bit more. As it is, while I like it quite a bit, it isn’t completely knocking my socks off screaming “drop everything and buy me!”
Sipdown no. 112 of the year 2014. A sample.
A colorful, geometric (because of the lemongrass), attractive mix. The dry leaf smells very minty, with a little citrus.
The liquor is tawny, like a dark lion color. The aroma is herbal—mostly minty.
Mine is a little on the thin side, and as I’ve used my entire sample I can’t go back and adjust leaf/water/time and temp to test whether this was just a one-off result or a general characteristic of this tea. I mostly taste the mint and a little lemon. I don’t taste much black tea, but I do get an undercurrent.
I can see this being a really nice iced tea, and I think I’d quite enjoy it hot as well if I could get it a bit stronger. There’s nothing at all offensive about it—on the contrary, it has a really nice mint flavor that’s mellowed slightly by the lemon and vice versa.
I can’t rate it extremely high based on this one experience, but I like it well enough to put it on the wish list if I ever get out of lockdown and order from Teas Etc. again.
Sipdown no. 97 of the year 2014. A sample.
The name leads me to believe this will have a passion fruit flavor, though there’s nothing in the ingredients (or even the tea description) that says so.
Out of the packet, the pretty blend of flower petals and tea does smell like passion fruit, or at least it smells like other passion fruit black teas I’ve had.
Steeped according to directions on the tiny sample.
There’s a fruity aroma to the tea, which steeps very dark. A really beautiful, reddish brown color. I want furniture this color.
The flavor is fruity as well, though the fruit represented isn’t tasting like passion fruit. It tastes a bit like grapes, a bit like berries. I can get a sort of a passion fruit flavor out of it if I concentrate.
The tea doesn’t represent itself to be passion fruit, so I can’t really fault it for giving only the barest suggestion of passion fruit. Once I take that bias out of the mix, I can enjoy it for a tasty fruity tea with notes of berry, grape and sometimes a fleeting bit of citrus. The black tea base is pretty astringent, but otherwise not very remarkable.
I’ve had better fruity teas, hence the rating. But this is tasty and I wouldn’t turn it down if offered.
Water: 500ml at 180°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Dry Leaf Smell: poptpouri, sweet, fruity, weird chemical after
Steeped Tea Smell: sweet, fruity, peach pineapple, hint floral
Flavor: smooth, silky, sweet, peach, pineapple, vegetal after taste
Aftertaste: vegetal, floral
Liquor: translucent yellow-green
as usually, teas etc has delicious teas
Rating: 3/4 leaves
Today is a happy day. I stayed up late last night finishing the final exam for my summer class and am officially done! It was an online class, but was so much more work than I was expecting so I am relieved that it is over. Now I have three weeks left of summer to enjoy before starting nursing school. I plan on reading a ton of books, drinking a ton of tea (hopefully getting through all of the untried teas in my cabinet) and having one last beach trip with my mom. :)
This tea is from The Traveling Tea Box. I didn’t get a chance to try it until now since I wanted to get it in the mail before leaving for the beach last week. When I opened the little container a sweet florally scent wafted out. There was a little hint of Earl Grey in the dry leaves, but none at all in the tea liquor. The flavor is very floral. The aftertaste is heavily of rose with a light note of bergamot. I added milk and sweetener this tea became a smooth cup. It’s primarily jasmine and rose flavored, but I can taste the bergamot peeking through every once in awhile. I would love this tea for the scent alone, though, so it’s a winner!
-Dry blend has large black tea leaves and twigs with pink and yellow rose petals.
-Dry leaves smell floral with a hint of Earl Grey. Tea liquor aroma is heavily perfumey with jasmine and rose notes.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium orange brown color.
-Floral flavor with an astringent finish. Rose and light bergamot aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. A smooth cup of mostly jasmine and rose flavors. Little hints of bergamot noticeable.
North American Tea Champion: 2012, Third Place
World Tea Champion: 2009
Brewed per Teas Etc. recommendation: 1 level tsp. / 8 oz. / 212*F / 4 to 5-min. – without sweeteners, milk or cream.
Dry leaf: various length, dark brown with many golden tips
Fragrance: Reminded me of fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear & dark coppery
4-Min.: The tea was very smooth and full-bodied w/o any bitterness or astringency. The rich malty character and caramel-like sweetness are easily appreciated.
6 min. Resteep: Produced an enjoyable cup.
Impression: This is a very smooth, malty, full-bodied Assam with a caramel-like sweetness. An excellent breakfast tea!
Thanks to Beth Johnston at Teas Etc. for providing this free sample.
I am enjoying this white tea iced. The flavor – combination of pear and star anise- is quite pleasant and refreshing. Star anise is an ingredient in 5-spice powder and garam masala. I would not expect to find it in a white pear tea but this combination actually works.
Opening the bag results in a sweet, fruity, spicy aroma which is quite nice. The smell of the cold liquid is not nearly as intense but the flavor is strong, unusual, and pleasing to the palate.
I recommend this as a nice summer beverage!
For me, this tea is undrinkable. When you open the bag there is a strong, offensive aroma
- kerosene-like. Nonetheless, thinking that it might just be me, I decided to go ahead and brew a cup. While the smell has softened a little, it continues to smell bad. The taste is very bland. Where is the Peach!?!
Overall: Undrinkable due to the terrible smell of the tea.