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Recent Tasting Notes
Pulled this to replace a recent sipdown and serve as my Ode to Tea K entry! This tea was provided to me way back in 2018 from Meowster during a cupboard clearout, thank you!
Brewed 2.8g in 350ml 195F water with a 3 minute steep. Didn’t have any time to drink before work so I had to throw the tea in a thermos and jet off, and it is hard to smell much that far down the container (I didn’t even have time to brew a full thermos…) The only thing I can say for certain is “bready” until I’m able to make this tea at home, in a cup, with the proper time to drink it…
An hour later of my thermos sitting on my desk with the cap off and this is finally cool enough to drink (these Contigos don’t mess around). I’m getting a bit of malt, a wheat/rye baked bread, spices, a hint of smoke, and an indistant citrus note that leaves the tiniest tang at the end of the sip. Some sips are slightly grapey, others don’t.
I have no idea how old this tea could possibly be by now (it could’ve already been quite old by the time Meowster de-stashed it, and I’ve added another three years onto that…) but this is perfectly servicable as a first-of-the-morning-hot-caffeine-infusion, despite the age.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Citrus, Malt, Muscatel, Rye, Smoke, Spices, Wheat
I love coconut. This tea, while perfectly adequate, is insufficiently coconutty for my preferences. (Alas. My quest for the perfect – available! – coconut tea continues.) There is definitely some coconut in there; I could taste it. But it wasn’t sufficiently full-mouth-feel for me.
Like most Upton Teas, I had no problems with this one, and like most Upton Teas, it was sufficiently indistinguishable from other teas that I probably won’t buy it again. Nothing wrong with it, just not right for me. The quest continues.
This is an interesting blend of congou and bohea that tastes most of tobacco. I’m not sure I’ve ever had the two teas separately, but Upton has some congou available that I might try a sample. This blend is definitely smooth, and can be brewed as suggested for a lighter cup, or add another spoonful for a more hearty brew. No bitterness here, but notes of toasty hay and burnt tobacco. Not sure I need more of this in my cupboard but it’s a nice mellow cup to savor.
Flavors: Toasty, Tobacco
This is my go-to Decaf Assam, and it keeps going out of stock which is thoroughly infuriating. It’s nicely malty, and I keep around for when I want my basic standard cup of tea that won’t distract me from what I’m doing, and won’t leave a cloying taste in my mouth. Takes milk nicely.
I am working on sipping this down and only have a few more cups to go, so I guess now is a good time for a tasting note!
This smells very roasty, a bit like a hojicha, and brews up nice and dark. There aren’t a whole lot of different notes to this tea, no complexity that comes out with additional steeping. I’m not sure I could distinguish this as an oolong, its certainly more hay and straw and lingering smoky notes than any floral or even big red robe tastes. It is rolled rather tightly and unfurls while steeping. Its easy to brew this one strong, but its too toasty to become bitter. I have enjoyed sipping down this bag, but won’t be purchasing any more.
Flavors: Astringent, Hay, Toasty
When you wake up in the morning what drink do you reach for? Many reach for coffee but coffee will give you a big slump when it wears off. Tea doesn’t do that. This morning I’m starting out with an unassuming Ceylon BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe).
It has the qualities of a good Ceylon tea but to be honest it doesn’t beat what I tasted at teakruthi. Still. It is nice to drink something that can be tasted over eggs and toast. Without fear of missing the finer notes.
Sipdown for National Compliment Day!
It’s National Compliment Day, and I’m giving this beautiful tea a huge shout out. It embodies so many of the things that I adore from the teas from Nepal. There is a muscatal note along with sweet hay. It’s light and clean with the slightest hint of mineral at the end of the sip. I’m a big fan of muscadine notes in tea. I know Darjeeling teas are best known for that flavor, but I feel like so many teas from Nepal showcase it beautifully. This tea is no exception. In fact, it does it to near perfection. The muscatal note is present without having an artificial grape flavor or a wine-y taste. This is a total win in my book.
I would love to pick up more of this at some point. Unfortunately Upton only sells this in 100g or larger quantities, and while I truly love this tea I’m just not in the market for 100+ grams of any tea. * sigh *
I enjoyed this one. There are notes of apricot at the beginning of the sip, and a sweet hay note that lingers at the back of the throat. There’s also the muscatal note that is present throughout the cup. Easily one of my current favorites. I’ll pick up more in the near future, so this isn’t so much “goodbye” as “see you soon”.
Flavors: Apricot, Hay, Mineral, Muscatel
Work tea #2
This is from yesterday. I picked up a sample when I placed a small Upton order a few months ago. On a whim I took it to work with me, and I regretted my decision. This is so good. I wanted to sit and enjoy it, but we had a full day of patients waiting to be seen. What I can say about this tea is that it has a silky mouth feel. There are muscatal and apricot notes followed by a mineral finish. It reminded me of why I love so many teas from Nepal.
I think I’ll go to work tomorrow and get the rest of the sample so that I can enjoy it over the holiday weekend. Or maybe I’ll sleep in and stay in my pj’s all day. Who knows?
I brewed this nice and strong this morning, it’s an almost sipdown, I think I have about a tsp left. This does make a bold cup of Assam, coppery, astringent, and just a hint of a bitter aftertaste. It’s not very complex or malty, but it is a fair example of an Assam. Don’t think I need any more of this, but it was ok while sipping down.
Flavors: Astringent, Metallic
Took two teaspoons for my 300 ml cup. Steeped for 5 minutes.
Baked bread notes were first notes I have noted. Then malty, dried fruits. Woody in the end. All together quite works well, enjoyable. Mild, even the steep was quite long.
I liked it, as it was quite strong and brisk. Woody aftertaste wasn’t a troublesome, instead it was like somehow expected flavour. Again, I haven’t noticed any soy sauce in this.
I still have something left, I think it will be around 1 tsp, which I may try gong-fu (where is my new gaiwan!?) I think it is bit behind the What-cha offer, but still pretty great, especially for the age.
Thank you derk and White Antlers.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Malt, Wood
Another tea I received from derk, but it is from White Antlers. Thank you both!
I was confused about the aroma of this tea. I have exppected some pu-erh chocolatey notes, but it is indeed rather on tobacco side as derk said. It is even bit cinnamony and raisins, which is indeed weird while it contains only black tea and cocoa.
While brewed, I had it actually pretty much same as previous rater. Yep, aiming for 4 minutes, but actually 6.
The tate was pretty much medicore bold black tea while sipping quite hot, but as it cools down, the flavours started to be interesting.
At first, I wasn’t sure if it is cocoa as it was quite raisin and maybe cherries. But as I said, it was cooling donw and when it was lukewarm I get the cocoa notes! I have expected some stronger notes and mostly I imagined it will be bit more like hot chocolate, but it isn’t that sweet and cloying hot chocolate. Maybe you think I think it is dismal for me, but actually it isn’t. I am glad it is not like that, as bar of chocolate isn’t always dominantly chocolate but good chocolate is having different flavours too. Even that cherry seems good for me.
Seems bit pricey though!
Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Raisins, Tobacco