58 Tasting Notes

75

I don’t know. I feel like I still must be doing something wrong because this tea just does nothing for me. Assam isn’t my preferred black tea and now that I think about it, I can’t name any that stand out to me. Maybe there is nothing there in this tea or maybe there is and I’m just not capable of appreciating it.

My partner loves a good Assam and seems to really enjoy this which makes me think it might just be me. Perhaps I need a crash course in Assam appreciation.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
58 tasting notes

Woohoo I have been looking forward to drinking this cup of tea. Brewed western style as per the website (*see note at end). Sniffing the dry leaves I get cocoa and malt (pretty much milo for those Australians here) but also baked potato skins. Huh? I didn’t expect that.

First steep?
This first steeping has the aroma of baked potato skins, there is some cocoa there and it is malty too but mostly potato. Having read a lot of other reviews in anticipation of trying it, I was expecting much more cocoa than I am getting. The flavour is quite intense and also predominantly potato skins to me, not exactly what I was expecting or something that I’ll always go for but it isn’t necessarily bad. There is also a pleasant sweetness and smoothness in the mouth which I really enjoy.

Second steep?
The aroma of this is more like what I was expecting, chocolate malty richness, mmmm… There is still a bit of that baked potato starchiness floating around in the background but not nearly so much. This steeping for me also introduced a subtle spicy note, I think cinnamon, which is a great companion to the sweetness and cocoa which is coming through much more strongly now.

Third Steep?
This round isn’t as intense but has the same yummy qualities of the 2nd steep. I’d describe this steeping as malty and sweet, with a touch of vanilla. There is also a pleasant floral note towards the end of the cup that I didn’t get in the previous steeps.

My verdict so far?
I love trying new teas and haven’t tried a tea like this before so have really enjoyed the experience. If it wasn’t for the first steep I’d have ranked this higher as I loved the later steeps. I have enough leaf for at least another session so will revisit my ranking then.

This is a tea I’d love to own because it is so different and those later infusions so yummy. It is the kind of tea I’d love to make for friends so they can experience it too. A huge thank you to Sil for sharing it with me :D

*I wonder if I used too many leaves and that is what went wrong with my first steep? The verdant website says 1 tablespoon to 1 cup and after the season I measured my teacup to find that it only holds 150ML or 2/3 of a measuring cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

Awesome! So happy you enjoyed it :)

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75

I know I said I’d be drinking Laoshan Black today but I wasn’t feeling so well and since I only have a sample, I don’t want to waste it on a stuffy nose day.

As for this tea. I still haven’t worked it out. I was hoping that it would wow me but it hasn’t and I’m continually adjusting how I brew it hoping to find a sweet spot. I’ll give it a proper review and rating after a few more trials.

On a side note apparently the Joonktollee tea estate also produces a green assam tea which I’d love to get my hands on someday to try.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
58 tasting notes

Verdant don’t ship to Australia so I am getting to taste this tea thanks to Sil who has very kindly sent me a whole range of samples to sip through. Thanks again!

Sil offered to send me these teas because I posted in the discussions that I wasn’t convinced that Verdant teas were as good steepster made them out to be, I mean, can any one company on a website that ranks hundreds really be performing so well without some kind of bias? I had no way of knowing because I had no way of trying Verdant teas.

So what do I think of this tea and Verdant after my first tasting?

I’m impressed. This is a really lovely tea with complex flavours and that natural sweetness that I just adore in tea. I tend to separate my teas into two camps, the “pick me up” teas and the “chill out” teas, for me this is a chill out tea. Probably not the best choice for right now as I have a thousand chores and some grocery shopping still to do and not many hours left in the day.

This tea is obviously of very high quality and if it an indication of the quality of all Verdant’s offerings, maybe I was wrong. I also have a sample of the coveted Laoshan Black which I am really looking forward to trying.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Sil

woohoo! looking forward to seeing what you think of them. Golden fleece is not my favourite of the bunch so it’ll be interesting to see what you think of others heh

Bonnie

One thing I learned right away about Verdant Tea’s was to follow their brewing instructions online for each tea and not what I normally do with other tea’s. I prefer this tea in a gaiwan but Laoshan Black is way better western style by the pot with enough leaf. Hope you don’t mind me making comments, but I’ve been drinking these tea’s for almost 2 years.

Sil

bonnie – yeah that’s probably one of my only complaints, the generic brewing instructions on the back of their packages since most of their teas don’t follow those instructions to be the best they can be haha

Bonnie

I’m always telling people to ignore those instructions and go to the website! It’s soooo important! Every tea has it’s sweet spot for brewing although I know what to do if there are no instructions.

alice

Of course I don’t mind your comments Bonnie :). I looked this one up and followed the online brewing instructions (western) because the instructions on the back didn’t look quite right to me. I’ll definitely try gongfu brewing for this next time on your recommendation. I’ll give the the Laoshan Black a whirl in the morning too as it is what I’ve been most looking forward to.

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82

I am still surprised by every sip at how citrusy this tea is. Such an uplifting drink!

I think 85C is better than the 80C I brewed this cup at, 85C has a more intense flavour but not too bitter or astringent.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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86

I’m drinking this with milk tonight which seems a bit indulgent given the price, I don’t know, I just feel like fine teas should be drunk straight to really appreciate the subtleties. At the same time since Keemun is the base of a good English Breakfast it also seems appropriate to drink with milk.

This is a world away from your typical english breakfast but delicious with milk all the same. It is sweet, malty and floral with an earthy pine aroma . When I’m craving something sweet I sometimes take my tea with about a quarter of teaspoon of sugar and this tea has that sweetness without needing to add any sugar.

I’ve enjoyed this tea straight a few times and I’m surprised by how much I enjoy it with milk too. I’d love this to be an everyday drink if only it wasn’t so damn expensive.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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90

I was trying to brew this to get a tiny bit more astringency out of it. I upped the temperature by 5C and steep time by 30 seconds and I’m sipping a completely different drink!

I got more astringency than I bargained for, less sweetness and a fuller bodied almost malty flavour. Overall the flavours are much flatter than my previous brew and astringent enough that if I don’t chug it down while still very hot, I’m not going to enjoy it as it cools. Next time I’ll stick to 85C and try 3 minutes.

It just goes to show how temperamental some teas can be.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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82

First off this tea has a beautiful soft straw colour and a fruity/citrusy scent. It really smells amazing. It is a green style darjeeling and you can definitely pick up those vegetal notes but they are far more delicate and subtle than in something like a japanese green tea. Even if you don’t usually like green teas, as long as you don’t mind a bit of astringency, you could probably enjoy this. It isn’t suitable for milk and great by itself but if you wanted to add something, lemon would be a nice match.

In Perth after weeks and weeks of rain it seems like today spring is finally here and this tea is just perfect to sip from a glass cup in the sunshine.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90

Finally have this one at home. I’m not great and describing the more subtle tasting notes in tea but this is hands down my favourite tea right now. It is smooth and sweet in the mouth with that musky 2nd flush darjeeling taste.

The slight smokiness that I experienced last time is gone and I wonder if the cafe hadn’t quite washed out the pot after some russian caravan. I like it even more on this tasting so never mind :)

I know that 1st flush darjeelings command a higher price and more prestige but I haven’t come across one that I like more than this. I do have a new one in my cupboard to try later this week so we’ll see.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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67
drank Apple Pie by The Tea Centre
58 tasting notes

I reordered this since my last review because I found myself craving it but I am less enthused this time around. I am still enjoying it but this batch is sweeter and less tart. I keep longing for the sourness of my last packet.

Maybe I just scooped up too many of the sweet caramel lumpy things in this steeping.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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I am fond of tea and like to draw teapots.

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Perth, Australia

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http://www.genushumanusalice.com

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