98 Tasting Notes
I did like this one—it’s reminiscent of a Hunan Black I’m fond of. It’s smooth as advertised on the package and site, but with a bit more character than the Kenya Milma tried yesterday, which struck me as a very “basic” tea, although more reminiscent of Hong Mao Feng than say a Ceylon. The Malaysian Highlands tea struck me as more distinctive, which makes me prefer it a bit over the other tea—and which made my aunt prefer the Kenya. Both are good teas that stand up well to drink although I think neither is destined to become a favorite.
We’d been striking out with the teas in this order—till now. This one both my aunt and I liked. The description on the package calls this a “classic British cup o’ tea” and it does feel like a very basic cup of tea, even if not quite comparable to the types of blacks I’ve tried. It’s not reminiscent of Assam or Darjeeling certainly, not quite as characterful as Hunan Black or Black Bud, and taste more robust than a Ceylon—more as the package describes, “woodsy/nutty” than the bright citrusy note of those teas. I very much enjoyed this one, even if I wouldn’t quite put it at the tippy top of my favorite blacks.
Flavors: Nutty, Wood
So far we haven’t had a keeper among this order from TeaSource—not even close. The best my aunt would say of this was that she would drink it—which is more than she could say for the white tea (Silver Bud) or green teas (a Chinese Sencha and the Organic Clouds and Mist). She likened it to a flavored tea, which she doesn’t like, saying it tastes too flowery to her. This is definitely on the green side of oolong, and there is a flowery or stone fruit flavor to it. I don’t dislike the tea, and that’s reflected in my rating, but I have a lot of strong favorites among the TeaSource Oolongs, and I admit this doesn’t taste distinctive enough to rank among my favorites such as Big Red Robe, Oriental Beauty, Sweet Silk, Rare Orchid or Brandy Oolongs—especially since this is one of the pricier teas.
We really liked the Clouds and Mist Supreme tea—one of our favorite green teas, that got us to like that kind of tea. This organic version? Not so much. It’s drinkable—which is more than I can say about how we felt about more vegetal green teas such as Sencha and Dragonwell. My aunt thought she detected the taste of pineapple. It is slightly citrusy—a bit buttery—but honestly I found it too bland for my tastes to order again when there are alternatives I like much better such as it’s (alas) pricier Supreme Grade cousin.
My introduction to green teas were a Sencha and Dragonwell—and it wasn’t a happy one. I found both teas too vegetal—almost undrinkable, reminding me of spinach water. If a green smoothie makes you go yum, maybe for you, but not for me. Now since I have found green teas to love: Iccha Kariban, Hojicha, Clouds and Mist Supreme, Pi Lo Chun Imperial. This particular Sencha from China was described on the TeaSource site as “a little sweeter than most Japanese senchas, with a little less taste of the sea.” Unlike the Japanese Sencha Uji, I didn’t find this undrinkable, but I didn’t care much for it and won’t be ordering it again. My aunt who I share my teas with like this even less—if the white tea we tried recently tasted like “hot water” to her—well, she described this one as tasting like “dirty water.”
The description on the package calls this “very tart and a little sweet.” I’d call that truth in advertising. I actually ordered this because I read it’s good for cholesterol and thought I’d give it a shot. Well, it’s strong medicine and a bit hard to take. Very sour, a little fruity—reminds me a bit of cranberry juice. It might work better iced or mixed with juice or blended with another tea. I found it too strong and tangy for my tastes, although a little in an herbal blend might be quite nice indeed.
Flavors: Cranberry, Tangy, Tart
This may just be someone’s cup of tea—it’s not mine. It’s made with milk, and I can distinctively taste it, and couldn’t help thinking that if I want milk in my tea, I’d like to add it myself. My aunt who loved the Rare Orchid and Light Roast Tung Tings the other day, found this one “blah.” Not a tea I’ll order again. If I want a tea on the creamy, silky side I prefer TeaSource’s Sweet Silk Oolong.
This has the fruity sweetness of some oolongs and laid over Is the roasted note—earthy, tobacco-y, in a way that makes it smooth and mellow. My aunt who can be picky flat out “loved” this tea. Definitely a keeper (even if I personally preferred the Rare Orchid Oolong we first tried yesterday.