The Tea Table
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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea was too smoky for my taste. That being said, if you like that kind of tea, they’re great for individual servings of tea – I imagine they’d be great to use at an office, where having a full compliment of equipment for brewing tea is difficult.
To me, this tea is a perfect substitute to coffee in the morning. I brew enough for a 12 oz. travel mug before setting off to start my day. The spice and creamy bitterness leaves a tingle in my mouth and a spring in my step! I love this tea with brown sugar and vanilla almond milk in lieu of creme.
Fairly certain this came as part of my Tea Table tea of the month club membership. It was still unopened until today. I’m working from home today so I have more leeway in tea selection and preparation method than usual. Still, I think this will be my last black tea of the day.
The tea has a strong, malty smell in the packet, like an Assam despite being a Ceylon. And despite the “fannings” designation, the leaves look attractive, though small. They look to me like extra long, extra thin rye seeds.
The liquor is a deep reddish brown. The aroma has more of the malty smell of the dry leaves smoothed out by steeping, and a fruitiness as well. The description says plum, and I definitely get that note. I might have said grape as well, as there’s something a little like wine about the aftertaste.
I don’t get the Assam-like maltiness in the flavor, and instead get the spicy fruitiness of a Ceylon. I get the plum note in the flavor as well, along with some astringency and an occasional back of the throat bite. It has a medium body and a fairly smooth mouth feel with some substance to it despite the astringency.
I think no. 2 will like this one as he likes the very solidly “tea” tasting unflavored blacks. My guess is this would make a good iced tea, too. Lots of flavor in this one. Pure Ceylons don’t usually rate astonishingly high with me as I prefer the China blacks in general, but this one is really nice for its type.
Enough flavored blacks for one day. Now for something unadulterated.
I had to add this one to the database, but unfortunately The Tea Table no longer offers it so I can’t provide a picture. They do offer something called Kings Golden Monkey but from the description it’s quite a different tea.
This dates back to my Tea Table tea of the month club. Overthem00n introduced me to the Tea Table and they’re nice people with a good selection of yummy teas.
The dry leaf is a pretty mixture of dark and golden leaves and has a smoky fragrance. It reminded me of the smell inside one of our local barbecue/steak places combined with something that’s close to chocolate. The steeped liquor is a lovely copper color as mentioned in the description, and the aroma of the steeped tea has a fruity thing going on. A little raisin, maybe a little plum.
The tea is smooth and mellow and retains some of the hints of chocolate from the dry leaf. It’s brisk and definitely medium-bodied. I get a slight astringency but not enough to make it not refreshing. It doesn’t leave me thirsty. There’s a slick, slightly thick mouth feel to the finish, and something suggestive of grain—its a maltiness, but not a sweet maltiness so much as a grainy one. I am not sure which grain though. It’s a little like wheat, a little like rye.
And I just noticed that none of the grains I might have picked (including wheat, rye, or just “grain”) are among the flavor options. (Whine. Whine. Whine.)
This is a really tasty black tea that I’ll enjoy exploring over time.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Stewed Fruits
I may have gone wrong when brewing this one. I used more tea than the package called for, as I usually do because I like a strong, robust flavor. But because this blend contains so many spices, brewing it extra strong makes the flavors too overwhelming and muddled. The brewed tea ended up being extremely fragrant, almost floral. Not what I was looking for, although the deep reddish-brown color was gorgeous.
I was glad to see that the cinnamon did not outshine all the other flavors, however. I’ll definitely give this one another proper try, using only 1tsp per 8oz water. No rating until I can brew a good enough cup.
I bought this tea knowing full well it wouldn’t taste anything like baked goods or truffles or whatever they say it is “supposed” to be. I found the idea of a pseudo-Indian savory tea really intriguing, so into my cart it went!
The smell of the dry leaves is incredible. And I almost understand the name: the very first whiff is very much like buttery baked goods, and then you get a big hit of that cumin. It’s so intriguing, I spent a long time just smelling it! It tastes very interesting: the spices come out well and are almost chai-like, there’s a nuttiness from the pistachio, the cumin almost makes it savory but there’s a creamy vanilla-like texture that brings it back to sweet. I don’t really know how to rate this one so I am just going to leave it off: I really enjoyed it, but it’s a very very odd tea and definitely not for everyone. I plan on mixing some with a rose congou and sweetening with honey to create more of an Indian dessert feel!
Backlog: I had some of this last night, and I found it to be a little disappointing, really. I suspect it is because it’s a rather old sampling. The tea, overall, tasted rather dull and lackluster. I didn’t taste much from the osmanthus, and the green tea just kind of was meh. I didn’t even finish the cup.
And because the sample was a little aged, I won’t rate this numerically, as I don’t think it would be a fair representation of what this tea might be like fresh.