1992 Tasting Notes
I got this tea in Argentina in September of 2011, so you can do the math that it is an old tea. It’s also a tea that once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Once again, I will say how amazed I am that a CTC leaf tea can be so smooth. Overleafed with extra long steep? Yes please. The flavor on this one is fading slightly I think, but it’s always been a mild tea. Perhaps I should bump the leaf/steep time again. Now it tastes mostly like red fruits, with a hint of jasmine and some very light citrus from the bergamot. Still delicious.
An old tea, and one I always underestimate. This is a really almondy tea, perhaps the most “almond extract/marzipan” tea that I have ever come across. It doesn’t have much else going on: it’s almond, and that’s enough. I do wish it wasn’t a black/green blend… it’s kind of unnecessary and makes proper steeping difficult. As such, there were hints of bitterness playing around the edges here, but the sweet almond was enough to overwhelm them.
I have very little of this tea left (perhaps only one more serving), and while I don’t think it will be a restock it is worth noting if you like almondy things.
This is another ancient tea in my cupboard, and one I mostly keep around for when I’m feeling somewhat ill (lemon, ginger). Fortunately, even though the creaminess of the “lemon drop” and even the flavor of the green tea has faded over the years, the lemon and ginger notes are still pretty strong, perhaps even stronger now than they were before. I apparently brewed this one without checking the temp on my kettle so I brewed it a bit hotter than I normally would, but it didn’t seem to effect it. Guess it’s still a good one to keep around for sick times!
Now this tea is old AND I have a lot of it. Still more than 60g. I think that’s because my love of flavored greens has waned in recent years, so I rarely reach for it. Even so, this is one of the rare flavored greens that I do enjoy.
Yeah, it’s definitely aged. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t taste like jasmine macarons with mango confiture filling anymore. Sad. I wonder if I could elicit mroe flavors in a cold brew at this point. I really should not buy green teas in anything larger than 50g, which makes buying them from the French tea companies difficult since they only sell in 100g amounts. Ah well.
This tea, along with the next, was technically acquired at the same time as Coquelicot Gourmand in Paris, and as such they are all the same age. I just manually added this one to my cupboard after that one.
I also recently restocked this one, but I didn’t mix the old stash with the new. I should probably just use up the old (probably 15g) with some cold brews since I have another 100g of this. There is still a lot of flavor in the older leaf, but it lacks a bit of subtlety. It’s pretty much all bright! passion fruit! pineapple! and none of the jasmine. Still, I drank this one up easily and happily.
This is certainly one of the oldest teas I have, and I know exactly how old it is: 2 years, 7 months. There is only a tiny bit left of the 100g I brought back from Paris.
And this one is showing its age a bit. I mean, it’s still delicious, but muted. Amazingly, it still has a lingering sweetness to it. Like poppy candy with marzipan cookies. I have written a lot of notes on this one (like many of my oldest teas), so I feel at a loss to say more about it. It’s always been a comforting friend, and I will be sad when it is gone.
Flavors: Flowers, Nuts
Isn’t it satisfying when you go back to one of the teas you loved really early in your tea career, and it is still amazingly delicious? That is true of this tea. Just lucky to stumble across a good one early, I guess. This is so tasty: nutty and chocolatey in a really awesome way, with a light sweet caramel underneath. A chocolate tea that does it without chocolate chips! I love that. And even if this is an older tea, it is still very flavorful and aging well.
ETA: Wow, the first part of this tasting note must not have copied when I had to resubmit it. There was another paragraph! Anyway, that one basically said: This is the oldest tea in my cupboard, or at least the oldest continuous tea in my cupboard. I actually have two tins of it, and neither are the original that I got years ago.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Nuts
After having a gongfu session of this on today, I have to give it a big meh. For my tastes, it doesn’t hit all the buttons that I want in an unflavored black tea.
However, if you like Yunnan blacks, and robust teas, you may like this one. It’s a Yunnan that edges toward an Assam in overall robustness (though with a distinctly Yunnan flavor)
Two-for-one review: I had this tea gongfu yesterday, and now I am drinking a cold brew of it.
I feel like both the cold brew of this tea and the gongfu bring out more oolongy character than the western steep of it. The buttery, snap pea flavors of it are joined by notes of apricot and a fruity sweetness. It really sets itself apart from the Laoshan green tea in these preparations. The iced tea is so delicious and refreshing! It seems like there is almost the lightest hint of roasting in it, but it may be just a buttery cooked-greens sensation. Quite tasty. Thanks again to MissB for sending this sample!