1851 Tasting Notes
I wanted some tea this afternoon, and I wanted it to be spicy and holidayish, so I went digging through my boyfriend’s mom’s small tea stash and came up with this bag. I knew that there was no way I was going to enjoy this one straight since I always find spicy chai-type teas too strong and overwhelming without additions. As I was looking for some sugar I espied the world’s largest cannister of instant hot chocolate in the cabinet, and I thought about the fact that I haven’t had hot cocoa tea in a long time. I love hot cocoa tea—basically steeping a tea bag in a cup of hot cocoa—but I rarely think to make it. It’s best with strong teas that have enough power to get through the hot cocoa, and spicy chais definitely qualify. I ended up with a tasty caffinated, spicy hot chocolate with strong notes of cinnamon and clove. I could tell even through the chocolate that the tea bag tasted a little dusty, though I don’t know if that is a characteristic of the tea or it’s likely extreme age. Still, I enjoyed it enough that I’m making a second cup.
Oh Tower of London, always there when I need you. I’m going to be traveling for the next month basically, so I will be away from my all my lovely teas. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of travelling with loose leaf (especially since I dislike using t-sacs because I can taste the paper!), so I rely pretty heavily on sachets, especially of tea that is hard to mess up. I drink a lot of Tower of London when traveling, and I travel a lot, so I rarely drink it back home, but I don’t love it any less. So glad I have an easy travelling tea that I adore!
Ahhh so busy! I am exausted but have had no time to sit and have a cup of tea, which would certainly perk me up. But I finally have a brief moment now, so here it goes.
I wanted to try this tea because it’s a flavored tea that is supposed to have a very high quality, single-estate base. Indeed, the dry leaf is dark and the leaves are long and curly with some golden tips here and there. The dry leaf smells like chocolate, but I’m also definitely getting molasses and more specifically it smells like horse feed! Basically grains covered in molasses.
Steeped, I don’t get quite the same aroma profile, but there is lots of chocolate and some honeyed, malty black tea underneath. The pairing is perfect, and that extends to the flavor. Chocolatey, rich, delicious. I don’t have time to ramble on today, but suffice to say that this tea is awesome. I was very sad to see the bottom of my cup.
When I saw this tea on the site I new I had to try it. Getting a sample of this was really the catalyst for the order. The anticipation was also the reason I wanted Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong and/or a milk oolong the other day. And even though my tasting conditions aren’t optimal with a slightly stuffy nose (but still with my sense of smell!), I can’t wait to try it.
The dry tea smells oh so sweet and coconutty, and it’s hard to tell where the creamy coconut ends and the creamy milk oolong begins. There are long strands of coconut mixed in with dark green rolled oolong leaves. After steeping the tea smells more like the slightly fruity, creamy smell of a milk oolong. The coconut is there, but kind of melding with the creamy scent.
The taste is fruitier than I expected; it’s slightly peachy with a background of vegetal oolong. It’s nutty and a bit creamy, but not as creamy as I might have expected. Also I think I should drop the steep time to 2 minutes. It’s definitely very tasty, and I think I’m missing some of the subtleties due to my sickness. I’m going to hold off rating it until I can do a proper tasting, but it’s looking good so far.
I recently got another shipment of tea samples… I couldn’t help myself! But this one should be the last one for a while. I got free shipping for this company so I took the chance to order samples of some of the teas I’ve been interested from them. I have a somewhat stuffy nose right now, but I can still smell enough I think and I really wanted to try this one.
The dry tea has notes of orange, bright bergamot, and cream in the scent. Steeped, the black tea definitely comes out to play as the main note in the aroma, accompanied by that bright bergamot and then underlayed by that lovely cream note. Most of that comes through in the taste as well. The black tea base is pleasant, and a myriad of citrus notes complement it… bergamot, lemon, orange, grapefruit, though I don’t forget it’s an Earl Grey. At the first part of the sip all I get is the Earl Grey, and then the creamy notes bloom at the end of the sip and in the aftertaste, leaving a sweetish (the licorice root I think, though there’s no distinct licorice taste in this), creamy, cakey, lovely flavor in my mouth. All in all a nice, solid Earl Grey cream.
Of the three remaining unflavored high-altitude oolongs from my sampler, the dry leaf on this one had the most butter/cream in the aroma. That’s not to say it was a lot, more like a whisper of those notes among the greenish oolongy scent. Brewed up, there’s a lot more of those buttery/creamy notes in the scent, though they’re not really sweet like a milk oolong. Somewhere in between very vegetal and very sweet, like the aroma of sweet corn. And now I just sneezed a bunch and totally clogged up my nose so I can hardly smell anything! :( Sickness not allowed, go away!
Ok my nose as cleared a bit. The flavor is richly vegetal, like thick, leafy greens. It’s very smooth and a bit buttery. I feel like it’s a bit strong (it seems a little “overcooked”) for me at these steeping parameters, which is surprising since I went with a 2 minute steep (usually I use 3 minutes for green oolongs), but it’s not bitter or unpleasant, really. There’s a hint of florals (osmanthus?) at the end of the sip. Overall a very pleasant oolong, and I do want to try it at 1 minute to see how it turns out then. I also plan on trying all of these in a gaiwan (hopefully I’ll get one soon!) with the steeping instructions Naivetea gives.
I am a little stress ball lately with a million things due at work right before the holiday. Not to mention this morning I woke up with a sore throat. UGH. I was looking through the samples I had and considered a Black Currant, but then decided what I really wanted was the last of this medley of red fruits sample. This really is a very nice blend, and I enjoy the black tea base they use as well. I really need to try more Kusmi teas!
I kind of hate that this tea is so good. I’m having the last of my sample today, which means an investment if I want more (which I will). For some reason I craved it today; well, it was this one or Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong, which I don’t have any of. Guess I’ll be resteeping the heck out of this one…
Not your typical Christmas tea! But it just might be a nice one for thinking of warmer times when it’s cold out. It’s just so bright and cheery! I love the jasmine in combination with the mango/passion in this one. This is also a black/green blend that really works. Some people might be missing some of the black tea notes, especially when brewed a this temperature, but I’m cool with them laying low in the flavor.