302 Tasting Notes
Dry, this one smells like coconut sunscreen—not the most auspicious of beginnings! Steeped, though, it’s PTA with a delightful hint of toasted coconut. I don’t get much banana, but that’s okay. I still have a bit of this one left, but given coconut’s tendency to go soapy I’m thinking I better drink it up soon. I’ll miss this one!
This tea, more than any other I’ve tried, really did taste like pumpkin. And butterscotch, and spices. There’s something about Butiki’s coffee flavoring, though, that tasted off to me. I can’t describe it, but I noticed it in Coffee Ice Cream too. While I didn’t care for that blend, I still enjoyed this one quite a bit.
Thanks for this sample, Cameron B.! This is another Assam I’d been curious about but hadn’t wanted to commit to, since it’s only sold in one—very large—size. It’s strong and malty—though not quite as strong and malty as I’d expected it might be. There’s a strong raisiny note, with a fair bit of astringency thrown in to keep the sweetness in check. This is a nice Assam, but since there are other good options that can be purchased in smaller quantities it’s not necessarily something I’d purchase—4.4 oz. is a lot!
Thanks so much for sending me this sample, Cameron B.! Chestnut isn’t the kind of flavor I tend to go for in teas—it’s usually all about the fruits and florals for me—but the rave reviews piqued my attention. Plus, I do love roasted chestnuts. This sample comes at the perfect time, both because we’re getting into chestnut season and because I’ve just finalized my plans to go to LA for Thanksgiving! Century City Lupicia, here I come!
So, this tea. It doesn’t really taste like chestnut to me. It’s sweet, with maybe a bit of caramel, but there’s nothing as rich as chestnut here. This blend reminds me a little bit of Nina’s Japon, which I liked well enough but didn’t fall in love with. The sencha base is, predictably, somewhat grassy, and it comes through pretty strongly; as in Japon, it goes better with caramel-ish notes than I might’ve guessed. It’s not bad, by any means, but not what I’d hoped for either.
Lupicia fans: do you follow the official instructions to use boiling water with every tea, or do you steep their greens at a lower temperature? I turned my kettle off just before boiling, and I’m wondering if the high temperature was too much for this one. Fortunately I have enough for a second cup to test my hypothesis.
My first green Assam! I wasn’t really even aware that anyone was producing green Assams until donkeytiara offered to send a sample of one in my swap package. Naturally I had to try it, Assam fan that I am. And it’s pretty good, though not at all what I expected. It’s on the lighter side, yet still quite vegetal. It’s more like one of the grassier kinds of Chinese green than it is a sencha, I think. There’s quite a bit of astringency—even by my astringency-loving standards!—and I think it could easily be too much for those who prefer more delicate greens. What there isn’t is any resemblance whatsoever to a standard black Assam. I don’t know why I expected there would be, or what kind of similarities I was expecting, but it’s not here. Nonetheless, this makes for a pretty good cup, and while I wouldn’t go out of my way to get more of it—there are plenty of other greens that tick the same boxes this one does for me—I certainly wouldn’t object to drinking it again. Thanks for letting me try this, donkeytiara!
Very sweet, with a hint of raisin and lots of caramel. I can see why this is a favorite for so many on here, but, weirdly, I prefer my black teas on the harsher side—this Assam actually reminds me of some of the popular Chinese blacks I haven’t cared for on grounds of having too much in the way of sweet dessert notes going on, though I can’t think which ones exactly. Thanks for the sample, Cameron B.! I’m happy to be able to knock this off my wish list, since it’s a tea I’d been curious about for a while.
This is bright and sweet and very lemony—there’s something almost candy-like about the lemon, though it’s in no way artificial. The base is smooth and works well with the crispness of the bergamot. This is one I’d definitely consider picking up when I need to replenish my Earl Grey stash, and from a company I’d like to support too. Thanks for the sample, Nicole_Martin (I think)!
I got this from moraiwe in a swap over a year ago but am just trying it for the first time now—whoops! I’d been curious about this one because I adore jasmine but have never tried it paired with a black base before. In this case, the base has that typical Yunnan chocolate thing going on. Though I know it’s a favorite for a lot of people, it’s not for me. Still, this tea is pleasingly well-rounded, with some nice malty notes and a hint of pepper to balance the cocoa out. There’s a bit of astringency, which I don’t mind at all. And, while I think I do prefer jasmine with a green or white base, I’ve got to admit it works surprisingly well with the Yunnan. I’m really enjoying this cup quite a bit, and it’s been the perfect thing for a lazy weekend afternoon of soup-making and sorting out how to prepare freelance invoices. It’s just as well I haven’t fallen in love with it, though, since thepuriTea is long gone now.