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4 Tasting Notes

90

I am still relatively new to the world of Oolong teas, but as it stands right now I am very impressed with this tea. I find it an absolute pleasure to drink. And the price is very reasonable too!

The smell of the leaves in the bag is, as some have already noted, quite mild. But it’s once you add some hot water that this tea really impresses. One of my favourite things about brewing this tea is the wonderful scent when the first whisps of steam rise from the cup upon adding the water. The aroma is very much one of springtime: floral, with a bit of grass, and a touch of honey. Instant relaxation – on a good day approaching blissful escape from the troubles of the world. All in a cup!

I always make an experience of drinking this tea. It’s not the sort of thing you pour into a travel container and drink on the go. Definitely one to enjoy with a good book or even on its own. I like to sit on my balcony in the evening and listen to the birds with a cup of this. I find it a very relaxing tea.

My experience is that steeping with water that’s too hot (i.e., boiling) or steeping too long will produce a somewhat bitter taste and spoil the aroma. I can usually get three infusions from the leaves before the flavour starts to go.

As far as the pure experience of drinking tea, this is probably my favourite. Love it, would recommend it, must always have on hand.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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65

I’ve just finished my bag of this tea, and I was a little disappointed in it. I know it’s generally gotten and lot of love, and definitely a lot of hype. That probably has something to do with my disappointment. It just set the expectation a bit too high I suppose.

It’s not that there’s anything specifically wrong with it, so I can’t give it a failing grade. The chocolate comes through just fine, and the chili flavour does (provided you let it steep long enough). Once, in an effort to get a bit more chili kick I added a few dried chili flakes to the mix. Let’s just say I never did that again. In all seriousness though, I think the main thing I found a bit lacking was the chai itself. It just seemed a bit weak to me, and as much as I drank it I always found it to be a bit wanting.

Would I recommend it? Maybe. Would I get it again? Probably not.

Final verdict. Good but not great. If you’re going for the comfort drink a nice thick hot chocolate might be a better bet.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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85

I know there’s been some discussion (and anger!) about reformulation of the classic Twinings Earl Grey. I picked up another tin a couple weeks ago, and I still think it tastes great.

This is my favourite old standby. It’s that always good tea that I keep coming back to again and again. If I’m not sure what I’m in the mood for, this is always a satisfying cup.

If HM Queen Elizabeth II still puts her name on it, it’s good enough for me.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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80

I was actually pretty surprised at all the hate this tea is getting. I am really enjoying it.

First of all, the smell. I admit, it was a bit unusual. However, I thought describing it as garbage was a bit harsh. It was a bit of a fermented smell and made me think of wine – red wine I think, but I’m no connoisseur. I understand that dried figs are about 50% sugar, which means they ferment easily. Whether this was intentional or not, I don’t know.

I found that the brewed tea did not have any unpleasant odour. The smell was quite fruity and yet also earthy at the same time. An autumn fruit smell as opposed to spring or summer fruit smell if you will.

I found the brew well balanced as far as taste goes. The orange bits did not overpower the rest of the flavours as orange sometimes does. The cinnamon was complimentary, but just complimentary. I didn’t feel like I was drinking a cup of it. The fruity (fig) taste was clearly there, but I could still taste the tea underneath. I added a little brown sugar for a bit of extra sweetness and it seemed to bring the flavour out a bit more.

Overall I was quite impressed. I found this to be a very pleasant tea to enjoy on a winter day. Solid thumbs up.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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Caronport, SK, Canada