2007 Tasting Notes
This is another tea from my swap with DaisyChubb! Be prepared to see a bunch of notes on teas from that swap, heh.
I wanted to try this one because of the Earl Grey + red fruits (basically) flavoring, which would be similar to the bergamot, red fruits and jasmine tea I brought back from Argentina (minus the jasmine, of course). I read some reviews so I’m not expecting much bergamot flavor, but I did get a bright hit of it in the scent of the dried leaf along with a decent amount of berries. Right after brewing the tea smelled like black tea, berries and bergamot in that order, but after cooling a bit the berries take over. A lot of strawberry, a hint of raspberry and black currant.
The first sip on this was incredibly bitter! So disappointing. Remember that I’m very sensative to bitterness in teas, and someone else had problems with bitterness, so I should have known better than to brew it at boiling, I guess. Beyond the bitterness I can taste that it is very, powerfully fruity. Even without the bitterness this doesn’t seem like quite the right flavoring for me. The black tea base also errs on that side of whatever black that I really don’t like the taste of (and often that’s where the bitterness is coming from).
The first time I had this one I really enjoyed it but I felt I hadn’t put in enough leaf, that the flavors weren’t strong enough. I also brewed it fairly cool based on the instructions on their website, instead of where I would usually brew an oolong (especially a dark oolong). This time I’m pretty sure I have an appropriate amount of leaf, and a slightly hotter temperature, and also I’ve tried a lot more dark oolongs since this one, which was one of my first. I wanted to try this one again because thepuritea is having a 15% off sale right now until Nov 15 (use the code FALL), and I’ve been wanting to try some of their other teas (even though I really don’t need more tea right now).
So! This is very floral for a dark oolong, which isn’t surprising because it is scented with osamanthus flowers. The aroma I get from the steeped tea is dark and roasty, but with a definite sweet, floral note. I don’t really get the stone fruit aromas they mention, but the florals are sweet enough smelling to almost be fruity. That sweetness doesn’t carry over to the flavor/mouthfeel, which is actually more minerally (a character I’m starting to see in dark oolongs especially after having Verdant’s Big Red Robe). There are some toasty firewood flavors, and I do pick up a bit of a unsweetened cocoa note (not chocolate, but actual unsweetened cocoa powder). The high notes at the back of the sip are floral with bit of fruit. Revisiting this one, I’m less taken with it than I initially was. It’s still a very nice tea, and one of my favorite dark oolongs I’ve had, but I still don’t totally adore dark oolongs in general.
I have a sample of this thanks to DaisyChubb! I have returned from Las Vegas and even after sleeping a ton yesterday, I’m still exhausted, so I thought maybe this would be a good pick me up. I have a roasted maté with chocolate and almonds from Argo Tea that I haven’t had in a long time, but the aroma of this steeped really reminds me of it. Chocolately, almondy, roasty. There’s also another note in there that must be the raspberry, because it’s a bit berryish, but only faintly. It doesn’t stick out, really.
First I tasted chocolate and nutty almondy flavor (not almond extract/marzipan flavor, but more acutal nut flavor), but there was a note I couldn’t really identify at first that threw me off. I think it is the raspberry, but it didn’t really taste like raspberry. Then I read some reviews on here and now am definitely noticing a distinct banana flavor. It’s pretty tasty and I’m enjoying the cup, but there’s something about the fruit combo in there that’s throwing me off. I feel like I might prefer my roasted maté sans fruit. Also things that taste like bananas (that aren’t bananas) aren’t really my scene. But I’m glad I got to try this one, and I do feel a bit more awake now!
This tea is much the same in composition and overall feel as the other teas I’ve had from his company, though I would say this one is closer to the vanilla tea than the Earl Grey, which I feel was more successful than these other two. Like the vanilla, the tea base on this has a tendancy to get bitter, though this one lacks the creamy sweetness to smooth it over. The passion fruit flavor is fairly tart, but also has a mellower side which keeps it drinkable. These are so far decent enough teas and at least a step up from the conference teabags I would likely be having otherwise.
This morning I picked up this tea, one of the few other options at the coffee shop (I was disappointed that they don’t have any of their oolong teas for ordering; no doubt because they only have sachets at the shop). I steeped this for approximately 3 minutes, definitely not longer, and it still had a faint bitterness at first, though that faded as it cooled a bit. I’m getting the idea that the teas from this company are highly flavored, but so far they’ve been high quality flavors (if only the same thing could be said about their tea base). The vanilla here is strong but rich and a bit creamy with definite caramel notes. Unfortunately the black tea base has a tendancy to get bitter, and even when it’s not it’s not really that tasty. But a decent wake up tea this morning.
Hey I figured out how to use the sliders on my iPhone! Turns out my problem was trying to actually slide (silly me) them instead of just tapping. :p
There is something about conferences that just puts me to sleep in the afternoon, even if I haven’t been up really late the night before. I went on the search for a cup of tea in the vast maze that is the Paris Las Vegas hotel and found a takeaway coffee stand. The Paris seems to use Harney tea bags, because they also had them at the coffee service this morning for the conference. Normally I would be glad about Harney teas, but these are tea bags, not even sachets, and I don’t really like Harney’s Earl Greys anyway. Oh well. Like the Supreme, this is very lightly bergamotty tea that takes most of its flavor from it’s base, which in this case is pretty smooth but not my favorite blend. But it’s drinkable, and I’d still take it over the bags many other hotels provide.
Well I’m stuck here in Las Vegas for the next few days because I’m at a scientific conference. I wasn’t really expecting a lot of tea options in the area so I was pleased to find this coffee shop that also has “the tea leaf” in its name. They have more options for take away than your typical coffee shop but to start I decided to try their Earl Grey. It’s a pretty decent tea; nothing to write home about but definitely drinkable. There’s only one other review for this on Steepster and it’s a pretty bad one that complained about the stong bergamot. Yes, this is a bergamotty tea but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, at least to me. I love bergamot and prefer my Earl Grey with robust bergamot, as long as it’s done well. Here it’s not bitter or astringent, but pleasant and citrusy. The black tea base is smooth and pretty tasty. As it cools the bergamot does get a bit astringent, so this is one of those teas that’s best enjoyed hot.
This is one of the few Teas’ Tea varieties that I haven’t tried (that I would want to) so when I saw it here at JFK I grabbed it for the flight. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. This tea is not for the floral faint of heart… it’s really jasminey, which means I’m a fan. The jasmine’s fresh though and not soapy or perfumey, with that flavor of honeysuckle sweetness (even though it’s unsweetened). There’s a bit of a bite from the green tea, which provides a nice, slightly grassy background. Definitely a tea I would readily buy again.
(No rating because I dictated this review to my iPhone and the sliders don’t work.)
I wanted to try this Earl Grey again and finish up my sample; it’s inclusion of lavender excluded it from the straight Earl tasting a few days ago. But I did have that Earl Grey Choice by Zhi Tea that also has lavender then, so I thought it would be nice to compare. Once again I was left with not quite enough leaf in my sample pouch, but last time I had this I thought it was a little weak so I didn’t want to take a chance on that again, so I brewed it in an 8oz mug instead of my 12oz Kati cup.
It’s still a remarkably light tea at 4 minutes, but I’m also really enjoying it. The tea base is oh so smooth, and the bergamot and lavender are perfectly balanced with each other and it. The bergamot is bright and citrusy without being astringent, the lavender is floral and soothing without being too herby or soapy. This is definitely going on the to-order list.
Mmmm. No more disappointing teas today, ok? I thought about going back to a known favorite, one I can always count on like Harney’s Jasmine Pearls or Paris, but I still wanted to go through old samples. This one blew me away the first time I had it, so that’s a good sign, right? There ended up being a little less leaf than I would normally use left in the pouch, so I steeped it for an extra minute (but still within the 2-4 minute steep time on the package instructions).
Still really delicious! I think the flavors are a little lighter this time around, but I totally love them. Buttery, sweet, baked coconut macaroons in tea form, with a lovely, slightly floral, green (very green!) oolong accompanying it. This one is definitely one to buy a whole tin of.