15 Tasting Notes
Not your ordinary Kukicha (Camellia Sinensis is careful to also mention the other Japanese name for this tea, “Bocha”), this tea steeps well 2-3 times, shows pleasant hints of tropical fruits, lots of body, and is naturally sweet. No kelpy to allusions Sencha here, this tea stands on its own. I’ve tried many, have only come back to this Kukicha, again and again.
Flavors: Bamboo, Floral, Peas, Tropical
What happened? I haven’t tasted “bad” tea since I pulled a bag of Lipton from water poured by a coffee carafe on an airline. I’m an oolong fan and have played with them all, but steep after steep, I was treated to a lovely light sensation that promised li shan, then dropped me with the thud of a taste I can only describe as dirty metal. This is not cheap stuff. Did I wind up with a poor crop? I was hoping to visit again and splurge on the Li Shan Wu Ling, but no more. Sadness.
For me, the best Ceylon out there and I’m a loose leaf snob. I’m not quite sure why bergamot is mentioned in the tea description on Steepster, but I can tell you that there is NO bergamot in this tea. They save that for their English Afternoon. Caramel sweetness, nice bloom, mild astringency. I agree with the other taster that this is morning stuff. I don’t know why but it seems to be very high in caffeine.
I tend more toward flavor and quality than “name,” but this delivers on all counts. Eight black teas carefully blended to produce one amazing cup of tea. I also tend toward single source over blends, but this breaks the rule again. Caramel-like sweetness, loaded with aroma, and a subtle kick that pleases. The blender deserves an award, or at least a meal at The Fort.
Update: the first time Harney’s has let me down, and with my fave no less, Li Shan. Yes, they are pricey, and that in itself can be a good source of complaint. However, this year’s Li Shan is a shade of its former self. That is the cause of my despair and lowering of their rating. 6/28/13
The gold standard. Pay a bit more but count on consistency. This is the only Li shan I have tasted that blossoms after the floral notes to reveal amazing base notes of lychee and citrus. Bliss.