76
drank China Rose Tea OP by ESP Emporium
1964 tasting notes

Before my package from JacquelineM, this was the only rose black tea I had. Since I haven’t had a cup in quite a while, another was in order so that I could compare it to the other rose blacks I’ve had recently. Previously I steeped this for 4 minutes, but I dropped it to 3 minutes this time to match up with the others.

This one definitely has the sweet-rose aroma, but it seems tempered by the black tea. A taste confirms that it seems to fall between Harney’s Rose Scented and Upton’s Rose Congou in that the rose flavor is sweet and floral like the Rose Scented (not herby rose like Rose Congou), but it features equally with the black tea base like Rose Congou (not overwhelming it like Rose Scented). This black tea base is malty, and almost bready, which plays well with the warmth of the rose florals. I think a four minute steep is probably better for this one since it seems a touch weak, but it’s still tasty.

All in all, this tea holds up well to both Harney’s and Upton’s, actually, and it seems like it might be what Harney’s would be like if the rose wasn’t so all-consuming. ’

Side note: I really wish all tea companies would list the origin of their black tea bases. All black teas are not created equally! I always assumed this black tea base was Chinese given the name, but it’s possible it’s only referring to the Chinese process of scenting the tea, not the origin of the tea itself, and honestly it tastes more like a Ceylon than the various Chinese teas I’ve had. Not that I can be totally sure because most of the time I’m not sure exactly what kind of black tea I’m drinking! I guess I really am going to have to break down and go through samples of varieties of plain black teas so that I can start identifying them better myself.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

…and to further complicate things it could be referring to the rose itself (there are Chinese roses, Bulgarian roses, etc etc etc). I too agree – I want to know the tea bases of the teas I drink. :) :) :)

Dinosara

Oh geez, add another layer of confusion! :D But it is amazing how few tea merchants provide detailed information on their flavored teas. That tea had to come from somewhere!

ashmanra

True, true. My favorite rose in my yard is Chinensis mutabilis, the Butterfly Rose. Any rose with Chinensis in the scientific name is a China rose, and there are many. I love how different the rose aroma can be from one varietal to another. Like tea!

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JacquelineM

…and to further complicate things it could be referring to the rose itself (there are Chinese roses, Bulgarian roses, etc etc etc). I too agree – I want to know the tea bases of the teas I drink. :) :) :)

Dinosara

Oh geez, add another layer of confusion! :D But it is amazing how few tea merchants provide detailed information on their flavored teas. That tea had to come from somewhere!

ashmanra

True, true. My favorite rose in my yard is Chinensis mutabilis, the Butterfly Rose. Any rose with Chinensis in the scientific name is a China rose, and there are many. I love how different the rose aroma can be from one varietal to another. Like tea!

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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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