Es un Oolong impresionante. Se nota el toque de Taiwan, que junto a China y Vietnam saca los mejores azules. Al sabor y olor es muy muy floral y fresco. Sencillamente de lo mejorcito que he tomado.
The Tea Centre
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Until very recently, I was not really a fan of Senchas as I disliked what I found to be a slightly bitter and grassy after-taste. Being advised by a work colleague to steep the tea as normal and and throwing away the first infusion – i.e. only drinking the second and third infusion – was a revelation and I got a real taste for it.
Although I was aware that Madura had its tea plantations in Australia, I was amazed to learn that we had a small cottage industry of green tea. It would make sense in hinddsight as we have similar climates to parts of India and China although not the same amount of rainfall. I had read about The Tea Centre’s Australian-style sencha which is supposedly sweeter and milder than the Japanese Sencha, and having a rather nice tin with Sencha Tea embossed on the front that was yearning to be filled, I thought I would give it a try.
Opening the packet, the tea leaves are lovely long, somewhat uneven, dark blades of tea blended with light green stalks. I brewed the first infusion for a couple of minutes and let it sit for another couple of minutes before pouring into a French espresso glass. The colour is a pale and slightly luminous lime-green and there is no particular aroma to the tea apart from the vaguely ‘fishy’ or seaweed-like smell that put me off green tea for years. As for the taste, there is still that slightly bitter and almost acrid after-taste to it which seems to be inherent in Sencha teas. This is muted somewhat when I take smaller sips with plenty of air and if I don’t push my tongue to the roof of my mouth when I swallow. There is a slightly smokiness that I haven’t really noticed before except in Gunpowder teas. The smokiness is neither a positive or negative; on the plus side, it is definitely refreshing and thirst-quenching.
I don’t think I would care for honey or sugar in this. Some lemon or lime juice would probably counter the slight acrid taste.but there is no citrus in sight, unfortunately, in the two or three weeks since my doctor has put me on an Ayurvedic Kapha-pacifying eating plan which excludes citrus-fruits . . . thankfully tea is still ‘Kosher’.
And so, on to the second infusion which was steeped for the same amount of time with water at the same temperature. There doesn’t seem to be any real change to the colour of the tea or to the aroma. The slight bitterness has mellowed into the general smokiness of the tea and that after-taste has gone. I’m still not overly enthused about this tea. Maybe I’m missing the point and the bitterness and smokiness is what people love about Sencha?
Which brings us to the third infusion. Little change to the colour, and a slight trace of smokiness remains but there is a definite sweetness now which is quite enjoyable and still very refreshing. Over all, not bad and I will definitely drink again, but it really shouldn’t take two, if not three, infusions for tea to be worth drinking. Having said that, I appreciate that some of the finest oolongs need to be ‘rinsed’ once or twice so I will keep drinking this after throwing away the first infusion and see if it grows on me. After all, I should be supporting my native cottage industry!
A very delicious, complex flavored Darjeeling.
I rarely find myself sitting at home craving a cup of orange-flavoured tea – or orange-flavoured anything, for that matter – which is unfortunate in some ways because this is a really nice little tea. A few weeks ago, I received a tin of Fortnum & Mason Christmas Tea and I had visions of drinking this tea around fairy lights and home made decoration, mince pies and dish after dish of delectable Christmas treats. This vision was shattered on the realisation that the tea was perhaps the most vile tea I had the misfortune to drink in many years. I offloaded all 200 grams of this tea onto a work colleague and the search was on for the perfect Christmas tea. For me, nothing says Christmas and Summer like cherries so I purchased a tea that was blended with cherries and chocolate but this was a bit too rich. On a whim, I purchased the blood orange blend on a recent visit to the Tea Centre in Sydney as I thought it would blend nicely with the cherry tea. As it turned out, it was absolutely revolting and the search for the perfect Christmas tea continues.
All this brings me to the Blood Orange tea. I can immediately smell the sweet, citrus when I open the packet. The tea is fairly uniform, with flecks of safflower and perhaps two or three pieces of dried orange zest for every couple of teaspoons of tea. After brewing for four minutes, this yields a strong, coppery liquor. There is no bitterness or astringency, and the taste of the orange is sweet but not cloying, with honey and vanilla tones. There is a slightly malty taste, and a nice full-bodied mouth feel. The orange taste is neither brisk nor flat, neither mellow nor bracing but perfectly balanced. The tea base is just right as well – flavoursome on its own terms, but sufficiently restrained for the oranges to yield their flavour. I’m not sure how this will taste with milk but I wouldn’t add sugar – although very lightly sweetened would make a nice dessert tea – and I definitely wouldn’t add lemon.
This rather unassuming tea will definitely be making welcome return appearances. I think this would be perfect with light cakes and biscuits for a garden tea party, and would make a nice after-dinner tea or with a dessert that’s not too strongly flavoured.
Although an avid tea drinker since the age of 19, I don’t think I’ve ever given Darjeeling the attention that the revered leaf deserves. My first experience was back in the days when Twinings teas were all available in loose leaf form – and I do mean every tea. In our humble little British outpost in the Southern Hemisphere, we had lovely little boxes in different colours for each tea with elegant fonts which more or less corresponded with the various editions of the tins. After “investing” – some would use a rather different description – all of my fortnightly student allowance on purchasing every single Twinings tea, I threw a tea party for my flatmates and one or two other friends who tolerated my various eccentricities. After sampling the usual suspects – the Earl Greys, the Irish Breakfasts, the Russian Caravans – the first unknown was the Darjeeling. I was vaguely aware that it was a former hill station during the golden days of the Raj, and that was the extent of my knowledge of Darjeeling . . . not exactly of much use when it came to the tea. We made the tea in the typical British/Australian manner – strong and with the addition of plenty of milk. Ok, not bad but somewhat weak and it didn’t marry with the tempting blurb on the box of having a “muscatel flavour” and being the “champagne of teas”. I called my Grandma for advice and was told that it is served black with a slice of lemon. Not being a fan of tea served black, we added plenty of lemon juice, drank half of it and then put the box back on display, never to be opened again.
Fast-forwarding a few years and living in England, I developed a taste for serving tea with meals. Still faithful to the Twinings brand, I served Irish or English Breakfast with the first meal of the day, and Assam or Keemun in the evening (or occasionally, Ceylon if I was enjoying a rasam or sambhar). For lunch, Twinings suggested a Darjeeling tea. If I had a small, plain meal – a sandwhich, or a salad for example – I loved having a cup of Darjeeling with its floral scent and delicate flavour. Due to my love of large, hot meals for lunch and my tendency of skipping lunch on weekends if I have a late breakfast, these Darjeelings were few and far between.
All this brings me – in my usual, florid round-about way – to this review. Of late, I have been exploring different tea regions and types of tea from green to black to flavoured/scented to pure, single estate teas as a result of the better quality water in Sydney compared to the hard water of London. Having found a Ceylon that I liked at the Tea Centre, I bought a 1st Flush Darjeeling on a whim. I vaguely recalled that the 1st Flush is usually more delicate and floral, and the 2nd Flush has a more pronounced flavour, but that was all I really knew. A 1st Flush was as good as any place to start.
The initial aroma is floral with a hint of cassia. It is reminiscent of elements of Japanese cuisine for some reason although for the life of me I can’t figure out why. The leaves are of various sizes, not uniform at all. Most of the leaves are the typical black colour, with a few leaves the colour of bark or cinnamon quills and the odd fleck of green. Brewed with boiling water for four minutes, a thin and bright liquor results. The floral aroma is still there, but the cassia has been replaced with the scent of an English gardens after a light rain – is that what they call Petriochor? Apparently “tippy” 1st Flush Darjeelings have this vegetal or grassy taste and aroma, so perhaps this is the Petriochor I can smell.
Taste-wise, it is a lightly-astringent and thin tea. The first time I tried it, the taste was somewhat musky and spicy which I was told was the muscatel. It left a taste in my mouth for hours afterwards and not a particularly pleasant taste either, but this has passed and one or two months later I am enjoying the occasional cup. The tea is a mellow, slightly fruity tea with a slightly sweet undercurrent.
The issue I have with this tea, is that it leaves me with the feeling of something being amiss. I am sure that there is no issue with the quality of the tea and maybe Darjeeling tea is just not for me. I think it is the thinness of the tea I find bothersome. Unlike a good Ceylon or Keemun, the taste of this tea is fleeting and ephemeral. Even with a Lapsang Souchong or a smoky Russian Caravan which I only enjoy on some occasions, the least that can be said is that it leaves a definite impression. I admit that this conflicts with the lingering taste I complained about when I had my first cup, but I can help longing for the full-bodied flavour of a Ceylon.
There seems to be a different recommendations in how best to prepare and enjoy Darjeeling – different water temperatures, rinsing the tea first before steeping, different ratios of tea to water, etc. – which I imagine is in keeping with the unique taste of the various estates and flushes. I plan on experimenting with different Darjeeling teas and preparation methods, because I feel as though the rewards of the perfect Darjeeling will make it all worthwhile. But for now, I don’t think I am even close.
This is a black tea with bergamot and pear. Despite the inclusion of bergamot, this does not taste like an Earl Grey with pear. Monk’s tea is apparently a recognised blend, but I am only aware of two other retailers who market a “monk’s tea”. T2’s blend is bergamot, pear and Jasmine flower and MlesnA’s is completely different (grenadine flavour, from memory).
I love the smell whenever I open the tin – a restrained candied fruit scent. The teas has tiny green flecks amongst the small, uniform tea leaves and it brews a light-coloured tea. The dominant taste is the crisp, slightly sweet, tartness of pear. I am unsure of the origin of the black tea, which has very little of its own flavour but is pleasant enough with no bitterness. I can’t taste the bergamot at all, hard as I try.
Despite the Tea Centre’s recommendation, I wouldn’t add milk to this the black tea flavour is mild and I don’t imagine milk and pear goes that well. The addition of a small amount of lemon will balance out the sweetness nicely. There wouldn’t be any need to add sugar unless that is how you would normally drink your tea. Personally, with the exception of chai and sometimes Moroccan mint tea, I never add sugar to tea and would make this tea a bit sickly sweet but to each their own.
One of my favourite teas. Not an everyday blend but perfect in the afternoon of a hot, sweltering summer’s day.
In less than three months, this has become my all time favourite tea.
Two teaspoons in 400mls of boiling water, brewed for four minutes. Previously, I have consumed with lemon and also with milk on one occasion. Lemon is fine but tends to dominate the initial taste and this tea has virtually no bitterness that lemon becomes somewhat redundant. Despite the Tea Centre’s recommendation, I wouldn’t drink this with milk again as it made a very weak cup of tea with a grey, ‘washed out’ colour.
The loose leaf tea is long, wiry strands about 2cm in length which can make it a bit difficult to measure out. The aroma is intoxicating but I just can’t seem to put my finger on what it reminds me of. The colour is a good, strong amber. On the first mouthful, the astringency is immediately apparent but again there is no or little bitterness. After a few moments, there is a definite spiciness – vaguely like a combination of clove and pepper – to the tea with a faint hint of sweetness. On subsequent mouthfuls, the tea becomes more mellow and develops a real depth of flavour.
I used to regularly drink Twinings Ceylon tea when I was in the UK and enjoyed the light, refreshing taste and it was a nice contrast to their Orange Pekoe tea. This was how I came to sample this tea. Possibly because of the spiciness and the astringency, it lacks the ‘refreshing’ taste of the Twinings Ceylon and other Ceylon teas I have tried, which is perhaps the only negative point I could make. Although I am used to this tea now, it is very astringent and I initially found the drying feeling on my tongue to be a bit excessive at first.
I often consumed the Twinings blend with food, especially South Indian dishes but I can’t really imagine that this tea would pair well with food. Probably best as an afternoon tea with a few plain, digestives or just enjoyed on its own.
One of the few teas I’ve ever tasted that tastes as good as it smells. It’s sweet, refreshing, and quite strong – though I think the strength is partly due to the bouquet of delicious things in it. This is a tea to sink into and feel awesome when you’ve finished!
having not had much experience with oolong to date, i find this tea quite interesting.
At first it was a bit strange to me, but the more i sip it, the more i like it.
The oolong part is very refreshing but the sweet creamy parts are very… mellow (i guess hence the name). So its sort of a very refreshing and relaxing tea at the same time.
Im really enjoying this tea.
If you manage to find a better smelling tea, I will give you my left arm. This one just smells more amazing than I can put into words. seriously.
And although it doesnt taste as good as it smells, it still tastes damn good. I went through my first packet of this in about 2 weeks (and when i have over 60 teas in my cupboard to chose from its done very well) and promptly repurchased it.
It has your nice classic black tea base with sweet-tart apple flavour and then a delicious creaminess aswell. The caramel pieces in it melt down so that the tea even has a very slight creamy look to it. The almond pieces also give it a nice subtle nutty flavour.
This is a definate must try for those who enjoy a nice creamy yet fruity black tea.
Oh no! i only have one cup of this tea left! hyperventilates
I really love this tea. The delicate green tea with the sweet-tart cherry pieces and the rose petals just give it a nice light floral touch. This is a tea that Ive continuously bought for years and years now. Its never disappointed me and I doubt ill ever get sick of it.
amazing. i don’t know whether the smell or the taste is better. its just so amazing. so amazing that you should not make a cup for your friends or they will end up drinking a whole packet in a single afternoon… mine did.
the best flavoured green i’ve ever tried.
I don’t drink green tea a lot, and when I do I like it to have a bit more body than is customary – hence the relatively long steeping time and the slightly higher water temperature. This is a lovely tea in every way. First, the leaves unfold into a beautiful yellowy green; I spent several minutes admiring them and later went back for another look! The infusion itself also has a slightly yellowy tinge, looking most inviting in white china. The perfume is unlike any other tea I have tried, so much so that I am having great difficulty describing it. It isn’t earthy at all – more like some exotic but very restrained herb – which I suppose it is! I must confess I didn’t like the smell at first. But, after the first sip something happens to the balance between taste buds and the olfactory system, appearing to modify both the flavour and the perfume in very subtle ways. This is probably the most complex tea I have ever had. It has sufficient astringency to sustain the interest of the dabbler (people like me), but this is accompanied by such a unique combination of taste and smell that I will certainly be back for more. I suspect that I will never really understand it, but who cares – it’s a great cup of tea!
Ok, have been on a mission since yesterday to get this out of my cupboard! Mission now accomplished. Discovered yesterday that if you make a single cup with 2 teaspoons of tea instead of just one and steep it for 5 minutes, it has flavour! So I finished off the last two teaspoons of tea this morning. Milk, touch of maltiness, nice.
Not going to bother purchasing any more English Breakfast of any kind for a long time I think.
Added a pinch of Lapsang Souchong to a pot of this to go with breakfast (pankcakes with bacon and maple syrup) this morning. Improvement! But not much.
No notes yet.
Hitting the spot this afternoon… I am so tired… hopefully this will help get me through the evening.
A nice strong soothing pot of this is going down a treat while I am (over-)optimistically hoping that the baby will go to sleep so I can do some stuff… like update my steepster log. Heh.
Had some of this again yesterday with my little bro. Tried making it a bit stronger this time. Still pretty meh.
Nice mild cuppa to wind down my evening last night! So smooth.
This was really pleasant this morning. Lovely malty flavour, very smooth.
Comforting, just what I need this morning. Malty and sweet (with milk but no sugar).
No notes yet.
It’s ok. Not rapt in it though.