197 Tasting Notes
This has been a wonderful accompaniment to Wimbledon this summer. Really well balanced tea. I was a bit concerned about the mate component, but it adds something to the tea and doesn’t dominate. The strawberry flavour is not synthetic like it can be. It all melds together into something that seems sophisticated and almost designed for the Wimbledon fortnight.
Wow, this is great. I didn’t even realise tea was grown in Korea. When you brew the tea, it’s a natural golden yellow colour. The processing of steaming and roasting gives it a really interesting flavour. Even after three pots (the leaves re-steep really well!) I find it hard to describe. It’s certainly earthy. The roast flavours are there but it is nowhere near as strong as your average houjicha. It would suit someone who likes oolongs, houjicha, genmaicha, that kind of thing. Struggling as I am to describe the flavour, the only thing I can think of is sawdust. That sounds like a terrible insult but it’s not. I’m picturing my Dad’s garden shed when he had a carpentry project on. It’s homely, it’s musty, it saturates your tastebuds, and it has the life of the trees distilled down into powder. God, that doesn’t make any sense at all. Just try it for yourself, you will love it.
I wasn’t particularly excited about the idea of an oolong flavoured with ginseng. I brewed a pot and wasn’t initially sure what to think, so I passed it to my girlfriend. She screwed up her face really tightly when she took a sip, but I don’t think she’s too keen on oolongs in general. I think it’s a nice earthy oolong, and the ginseng adds some winter warmth to it without being too strong as a flavour on its own. I imagine having it with shortbread or hot cross buns or something like that. As the tea cools a bit, the flavour kind of separates out slightly and comes to the fore a bit more. I haven’t had much ginseng before. I find it a nice round flavour and a good addition to the tea. A final thought though: would I rather have oolong on its own or with ginseng in it? Unfortunately I’d rather have it on its own.
It’s taken me years and years to finish this tea, but mainly because I had 500g to start off with. At times i found this tea a bit too strong and bitter, but as long as you don’t use too many tea leaves or brew for too long, it usually turns out well. I actually found that I preferred drinking it when made with a tea egg for a single cup of tea. I think possibly it’s best when it’s really hot, and also much easier to keep an eye on the amount of tea leaves to use when using a tea egg. A strong flavour, a good everyday tea.
It’s just not my cup of tea. I don’t enjoy the chocolate in it. It dominates the tea flavouring without making it better. The little hearts are very sweet, and I think it would make a great gift at Valentine’s day or something, but I’m not personally a fan. On a related note, I recently tried a tea with cocoa in it, and that was really good. I’ve had a few chocolate teas in the past, and this is probably one of the better ones, but it’s just not something that I really like to drink
Really excellent blend. It’s good with milk, and it’s the right strength for me – great with a little milk but not too strong. It’s got a lovely round flavour to it.
Some of my friends insist on teabag tea. This is one of the few teas that is very close to something like Tetley, only much nicer and smoother. I’m sad it’s run out.
This is not your average Ceylon. I’ve got an average Ceylon, and it’s nice, but it doesn’t blow me away with interesting flavours.
This, on the other hand, is so full of flavour that it’s hard to believe it is a Ceylon. As the description says, it’s got a slightly chocolaty hint to it, but it’s more that it just smells warm and inviting and cosy. Sniffing it is like sniffing a fruity red wine, and the colour is deep orange.
The flavour is just as good. The astringency comes through a little more, and it’s probably best with a spot of milk. I thought I was an Assam man for strong black tea, but this might just change my mind.
I’ve had a good sample through the Canton Tea Company’s tea club, and saved the last cupsworth (if that’s not a word yet then it should be) for the right moment. Well, I’m sitting in the conservatory with the rain pattering on the roof, with the cat on my knee, and this is the right moment. Yum
This should have been my perfect tea. A first flush darjeeling with a twist of Earl Grey. But somehow it just doesn’t quite work, and it was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe I was building it up high in my anticipation, to a level where it could not match.
The bergamot has a very suspicious role in this tea. It sits there, dominating in its uncompromising way, as if it’s trying to hide something. Of course, in a first flush darjeeling, there is nothing to hide, but the bergamot is too strong for it, and the special-ness of the darjeeling is not allowed the space to impress the taste buds.
It’s not horrible, but I’d rather just have a Darjeeling and an Earl Grey separately and not on top of each other.