1851 Tasting Notes
I haven’t had this tea in a while, so I thought I’d give it another go. I’ve enjoyed this one in my past tasting notes, but clearly not so much that I am craving it constantly. I based my brewing parameters this time on my last successful cup, so I’m hoping it comes through nicely.
The steeped tea smells nice, but there’s something about this coconut that seems odd to me now that I’ve had some other nice coconut tea. Maybe it’s just the combination with the chocolate, but it’s a bit less fresh, light, tropical (ironic considering this is “carribean”). Don’t get me wrong, it tastes great. Very chocolatey, and the coconut adds a creaminess. It doesn’t really scream tropical to me, but it does very clearly say “Mounds bar”. Definite yum.
Another oolong from Golden Moon. I loved the other orchid oolong that I’ve tried, so it was a no-brainer to get a sample of this one. The dry leaf has a strong scent but it seems lightly scented, if that makes sense: unlike most flavored/scented teas it seems, this one smells primarily like the vegetal green oolong with only a hint of sweet floral aroma to it. Looking back, that actually matches up with the other orchid oolong I tried (the Orchid Oolong from Tea Lux).
That one became very floral when brewed, but this one less so. The florals pick up in the taste a bit, and even provide a lingering sweetness at the tail end, but I wouldn’t consider this to be a highly floral tea. Just a breath of florals, really. It’s mostly the vegetal green oolong, slightly nutty, a bit roasted, and the florals fold in like they were always part of the tea, like it was natural and not scented at all. Overall a nice, tasty tea, but not quite right for my palate.
Inspired by my successful cold-steeped Earl Grey Cream a few weeks ago, I decided to try cold steeping this one. Delicious! I really like a cold steeped Earl Grey Cream. The bergamot is bright and fruity, and the vanilla is very creamy, and they play so well together. Bergamot seems to come out strongly in cold steeping, as does vanilla, and in combinations with other flavors sometimes they can overwhelm everything else, but paired together they work very well. I’ll definitely be returning to this one often.
I was feeling kind of bleh this morning, and at first I didn’t know if I even wanted any tea (I know, crazy!) but then I decided this lemon-ginger green might perk me up a bit. It’s totally working: lemony and a bit gingery, it’s settling me down just fine. This will probably become my go-to tea when I need something with ginger.
In my new quest to try a bunch of different kinds of oolongs and discover the joys of unflavored varieties, I ordered this Imperial Formosa to try. It may just be the first of its kind that I’ve tried; I don’t have a lot of background in these things. I have to say, the dry leaf smells pretty different from all the other oolongs I’ve tried so far, though I haven’t tried many dark ones yet. It’s very woodsy, and has an aroma that is familiar to me but that I can’t place right now. The directions say to steep for five minutes, which I’m a little worried about (I don’t steep anything but herbals and rooibos for five minutes), but I did it anyway.
Steeped, the aroma is much more familiar as an oolong, albeit definitely a dark one with a rich, almost black-tea type aroma and maybe a hint of a floral note. Honestly, based on the smell of the dry leaf I didn’t expect to like this tea very much, but I am enjoying it. It doesn’t blow me away, but a nice cup. It’s a bit roasty, a bit nutty, the slightest bit vegetal, with a tiny floral note at the end. I feel like that slightly sweet note that oolongs often have is lurking in there, but hasn’t been let out. Tasty, but I prefer oolongs with a bit more florals.
Cold steeped. I’m not quite sure what to make of the flavors of this one when cold steeped. Definintely vanilla, definitely jasmine, but cold steeped they combined to make some other flavor I couldn’t really place. Almost minty, perhaps? Not one of my favorite cold steeps, but still decently tasty. I think I prefer this combo in its incarnation as a Monk’s blend with the added bergamot.
I took the day off yesterday and spent it out and about, hence my lack of tea notes. This is the last black tea I have to try from my Golden Moon order, and I can see that it seems like I will like this tea, or just think it’s too weird.
The dry leaf gives the aromas of what I might expect: intensely pear, with a strong accompanying note of rich, floral honey. It smells a bit like a pear hard candy, with actually a hint of “green apple”. I dunno, I can’t quite place the particular aroma that smells like a candy I’ve had before.
Brewed up, it smells much more like the black tea base. As it cools a bit I get more of that honey and pear aroma from the dry leaf starting to take over the cup. As to the taste, you can count me in the fans of this tea. The aroma of the dry leaf is pretty faithfully translated to the flavor, but with a lovely black tea base that fits in well with the flavors. It’s a bright base, and not especially malty, so that it reminds me of a darjeeling. I would consider the pear the primary note, with the somewhat floral honey backing it up. This honey reminds me of eating comb right from the beehive: it’s fresh and dark and wild (and delicious). I don’t find the tea “weird” at all, like many others, but perhaps that’s because the flavor is already one in my repetoir. I’m really enjoying it and it’s one I would probably keep around.
This tea smells amazingly good dry. Someone else mentioned coconut macaroons, and that is exactly the smell of the dry leaf. Not just coconut, but a baked coconut meringue, or perhaps a recipe that uses sweetened condensed milk for the base instead. I want to eat them, but I know that they will not taste like that.
The brewed tea is a very light greenish yellow, and the aroma has come down a notch. It’s not quite so bakey, but still definitely coconutty. I’m still getting some slightly buttery-creamy notes, but they’re tempered by a lightly floral green aroma poking through.
Mm, wow, this is one of those teas. You know the ones… you don’t have many expectations, and they smell good but not outstanding, and then you take the first sip and they just blow you away. This tea is coconutty, yes, but also buttery and creamy and sweet. It’s toasty while being fresh and vegetal. It’s deliciously smooth and it leaves a lovely aftertaste of coconut macaroons hanging out in my mouth. This is the kind of tea where I just think: this tea is truly delicious. It is not merely a coconut tea, this tea is more than the sum of its parts. More, please.
The last time I had this tea I really disliked it for being way too bitter, despite my best efforts. Now this is one of those times that I wish I could rate each tasting individually, because cold brewed it has none of the problems that I encountered in the hot brew. I’ve bumped my rating up, but not by much, because if I can’t finish a cup of the hot brew a good cold brew isn’t really enough to redeem a tea in my eyes. It is, however, a great way to use up a sample like this that I otherwise would have tossed. I even considered doing just that after my last cup, but I’m glad I didn’t because it did make a tasty cold brew.
The tea is creamy and bergamotty with a decent, solid black tea base. The bergamot is fruity and citrusy, and combined with the cream and the cold it really does remind me of something like a creamsicle (except, you know, not orange). I hadn’t tried an EG Cream cold steeped yet but I don’t know why, because it is a really tasty combo.
Well I had to try the rose black from Golden Moon, and I figured I’d have my sample sooner than later since I just had some Harney Rose Scented recently. The dry tea certainly smells powerfully, sweetly rosey. This isn’t an “herbaceous” rose, it’s definitely a sweet candy-type rose.
Brewed, the rose scent is a bit more subdued, but still very present. I think its moreso that the black tea is making itself known but also melding very well with the rose. The taste is powerfully rosey very much like Rose Scented. I think I’d have to try them back to back to really suss out the differences. It is actually perhaps a touch less sweet than rose scented, but I could be making that up. As it cools it actually does get more herbaceous rose, and less similar to Rose Scented than Rose Congou. This one doesn’t remind me of turkish delight as much, though it is tasty. I’m finding it’s difficult for a rose black to really distinguish itself, and that does apply to this tea. Delicious, but not extraordinary enough to make me seek it out over other rose blacks.