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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea was the first Japanese tea I ever purchased, albeit certainly not the last. From the heavenly-smelling dry leaves comes a light, smooth, and slightly nutty tea that always pleases. This is one of my favorite afternoon teas.
3T loose tea
Hakuji Porcelain Tea Pot – 360ml
Original Bohemia thick, taller porcelain coffee cup: richer aroma than
thin Meissen asian wine cup
Simple (Ceylon?) note of later infusions, as with initial ones, became more pronounced as tea cooled.
Lovely bright blue flowers against black tea.
Did not do well with milk.
Became a different cup, if still soothing, with milk & sugar; much as a fine bourbon neat becomes a different drink as a Manhattan.
Made this English style with milk, and very strong on the leafing. It’s very smoky but also slightly floral in the aftertaste. Has a nice brisk bite of bitterness too. It’s the consummate breakfast tea, really— the kind of tea that you’d drink whilst preparing yourself for a busy or potentially stressful day. It’s reassuring and bracing and no-nonsense.
Smells good in the bag, I keep sticking my face in there and enjoying the aroma. It actually kind of smells almost more like a Chinese tea to me. The leaves are cut very small, and expand greatly while steeping.
Taste: it has a somewhat typical UK breakfast flavor, but i’m getting spice-like notes that remind me of clove. Pretty refreshing iced.
This one surprised me with a surprising smokey/bbq flavor that I was not expecting (that is not a negative). Very robust and strong. From the smell i was thinking it’d be very Yunnan tasting, but this tea kind of has its own thing going on. I think it is good on it’s own, but I can see why they recommend milk with it, which I am going to have to try.
Oh snap, first tea review in a year! I took a long tea buying break to try and drink down my supply, and a year later my cabinet is still overflowing with tea…a good problem to have I guess.
I got this and a bunch of English/Scottish/Irish breakfast style teas for iced tea during the hot days of late Summer (if you read my old reviews, I turned into an iced tea fiend the past couple of years). This is the first one I’m trying of the batch. It’s a winner. Brews up strong nice and quick. Smooth for it’s strength. Tastes nice and malty to me, which I expected. Kind of gives my mouth a drying sensation on the tail end. I’d definitely buy it again, if there isn’t anything similar selling for way cheaper.
a great tea!
when i smell the leaves dry, they have a musty peachy smell.
when i smell the leaves wet, they have a sweet peachy smell.
when i smell the brewed tea, it has a sweet peachy smell too.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste sweetness, floral and peaches.
i rate this tea a 100 because its just awesome.
Flavors: Floral, Musty, Peach, Sweet
After being thoroughly impressed with the scents of this tea as well as the flavor of the first few sips, I quickly encountered disappointment—not with the tea itself, but with the fact that, in steeping with boiling water, I seem to have burnt the tea. In spite of the burnt flavor, I could tell that this is a great tea; I will have to wait until I find a better steeping temperature before I can recommend it, however.
After my highly disappointing first tasting of this tea, I decided to try using a reduced steeping temperature this time around. The results were a marked improvement—the astringency was reduced significantly, allowing me to get a much better sense of the flavor of the tea. I was still not particularly impressed, but it was much more palatable than my previous tasting.
I accidentally purchased two samples of this tea (I purchased a sample of it, not noticing that the “Introduction to Fine Tea Sampler” that I ordered at the same time also included a sample of this tea), so I was very much hoping that I would like it. Unfortunately, I was severely disappointed with my first tasting—the flavor was bland and boring, and the beginning of my second cup was quite bitter. I hope I can find a brewing method that produces better results; otherwise, these samples may sit in my cupboard for a very long time.
From dry leaf to final sip, this tea evokes all the best of autumn campfires. The dry leaves have a strong and wonderful aroma of wood smoke. This odor passes directly through to the cup with very little modification. The smoke odor and flavor are strong but never acrid. I did find this infusion to be a bit watery and plan to extend the steeping time to 4:15 for my next tasting. A hint of sweetness is left on the palate for a pleasant finish. I will certainly purchase more of this tea when the sample packet I ordered has been depleted.
Flavors: Campfire, Smoke
I think I finally found the right preparation for this tea. Unfortunately, my sense of smell is severely compromised due to sinus issues at the moment, so I still can’t fully appreciate this tea. From what I can tell, the flavor is much better-developed than in my first tasting, but the astringency of the second tasting has been avoided.
In my first tasting of this tea, I noted promising flavors that seemed underdeveloped after steeping for 3:30. For this tasing, I steeped for 4:00, which seems to have swung the pendulum too far in the opposite direction—those underdeveloped flavors were completely masked by an unpleasant bitterness that was completely absent in my previous tasting. I will continue to experiment with steeping time and temperature for this tea, but for now, I still cannot recommend it.
I chose this Darjeeling for my first tasting of a tea from Upton’s “Introduction to Fine Tea” sampler. My steeping time of 3:30 seems to have been a bit too short for this tea—I detected delicate hints of greatness that seemed not to have fully developed. For my next tasting, I will give the steeping a bit more time.
The dry leaf has a fruity scent with robust nutty undertones. The wet leaf had a fairly weak scent when hot, but cooled to a pleasantly sweet, fruity scent with floral notes. The cup was a light reddish brown; the mild taste hinted at delicious fruity and nutty flavors that I hope will develop more fully with a longer steeping.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Nutty
This is one big ass piece of sheng for a pot. The compression of this must have been amazing because it would not open after 6 brews… I eventually was a jerk and stabbed it a bit to break it up.
Overall the leaf is beautiful, the aroma is almost unnoticeable, and the taste does not offer anything that would qualify as great in regards to taste of tea. It may be decent, but doesn’t stack up to it’s appearance.
I remember this tasting like nothing but slightly green water when I first tried it. I had followed the directions on the package with one heaping teaspoon of leaves, but these leaves are really broad and long, making it a thin teaspoon. I think I super underleafed the first time, so I didn’t review it.
Today, I finished the sample off with a gong fu session, but I still didn’t have quite enough leaf, so I’ve only been filling the gaiwan half full. It’s still going much better.
My rinse was originally supposed to be a first steep, but 15 seconds was just too short and tasted like nothing again- over the fat-fat horse it goes!
First steep, 30 seconds: White sugar sweet and mid-hi floral flavors. Lilacs in the aroma cup! Reminds me of Verdant’s lilacy Spring tieguanyin, with added sugar.
Second steep, 45 seconds: Slightly green, but sweeter and lilac-ier! Very nice session with this one today!
Third steep, 1 minute: Still going strong, a bit greener, still so sweet! The nose is just amazing on this one, so thick and floral!
Fourth steep, 1:15: Still sweet! I’m really enjoying this! Fat horse isn’t getting any!
Fifth, 1:30: Greener, but still sweet! Fading just a bit.
Sixth, 1:45: Fading, but still so saturated with flavor! If this was still for sale I would consider it.
It’s basically like a nicely floral bao zhong, and I’m super into it!
Flavors: Floral, Sweet
Black tea is a taste that took me a long time to acquire (I am a longtime drinker of greens and oolongs), but after thoroughly enjoying my last several cups of a tin of Prince of Wales, I decided to order samples of several other black teas. Upton Tea included a bonus sample of this tea in the order, and I decided to taste it first. In general, my impression of the first tasting was of a palatable but very ordinary black tea—inoffensive, but not particularly memorable.
The dry leaf had a pleasant, slightly fruity, but rather weak scent; the scent of the wet leaf was overly sour when hot, but became enjoyably sweet and fruity after cooling. The cup was very dark and quite strong, but not at all bitter. My palate did not detect any unique flavors that would draw me to purchase more of this tea, but that may change with a second tasting.