42 Tasting Notes
This is the first Lapsang Souchong I’ve ever had and I’m not sure how it compares to non-organic Upton version. Its so interesting for me. I can’t smell this and not think of my grandpa’s cabin in the pines on the Olympic peninsula. My grandpa’s cabin had a wood burning stove for heat year round and during the summers we would help him split wood to get ready for winter. I can just remember sitting on his log splitter and splitting wood with the crisp damp Pacific Northwest air wrought with the smell of pine and smoke from his fire. He smoked a pipe and a bit of tobacco smell is also woven through this cup The tea is extremely smoky in the leaves with slightly less in the brewed cup. It is wrought with bits of mint and menthol and a touch of toasty sweetness. I don’t think I could drink this every day, but I want to drink it every time I want to remember my grandpa and the wonderful summers at his cabin.
This is an interesting one for me. I don’t typically drink herbal teas, so this is unusual for me. It has a lovely cinnamon aroma and a pale yellow green brew. The taste is obviously very herbal, but dominated by the cinnamon with a touch of spiciness and almost menthol like notes. I like it for every once in a while, but I don’t love it.
This is the third Ceylon I’ve ever tried and two out of three have been great. This is one of the wonderful ones. Like most Ceylon the leaves are twisted wiry tendrils that are a bit dark. This one has chestnut colored leaves interspersed. The smell of the leaves is dark like dried currants and raisins with a touch of aged leather smell. The tea is an explosion of flavor with vanilla, spice and fruit and wisp of smoke. Tastes great sweetened or unsweetened. There is a lovely orange spice to the smell of the brewed leaves. I am not sure whether I like it more or less than the Malikkanda that I have a tin of . . . very close. I’m starting to swing away from Darjeelings toward the lovely Ceylons.
This is the nicest Jasmine I’ve had in a long time. It has the beautiful scent in the cup and leaves, but it doesn’t follow into the taste. You know how with a bad Jasmine you feel a bit like you’re swallowing perfume; good news is this is the opposite of that. A good clean, smooth green flavor that is light and not overpowering. The leaves are rolled snail style and unfurl into little yellow ribbons.
Perhaps Pu-erh is not for me. The fannings are finely ground and look a lot like coffee grounds. The smell is very rich and dark with sort of an earthy twist. Brewed the leaves smell faintly fishy and fermented with a sort of loamy, mossy aftertaste. It doesn’t taste strong in the generic Assam tea sense, but brewed it is a dark chocolate that looks more like coffee. I can’t quite put my finger on the taste as its somewhere between a fermented peat and a malt. The smell is remarkably soy sauce like. It doesn’t quite taste like tea to be honest. Almost like coffee with none of the bitterness or caramel sweetness. I think what I don’t like is that it tastes almost savory to me though the addition of sugar helped. I have heard pu-erh is an acquired taste and I’m not sure right now if it’ll grown on me or grate on my nerves.
Foremost this is a very smooth black tea. There is no acidity or bitterness and only this lovely bright black tea flavor. That sounds very generic I know, but I really can’t think of any adjectives that I usually use for tea. No fruit or spices that I notice. The mouth feel is similar to a mild less smoky Keemun or a less complex and fruit forward Golden Monkey. The leaves are quite large and twisted and expand to a deep chestnut on brewing. I admire the quality of this tea, and I will definitely drink up my sample, I’m just not tempted to buy it. I get a hint of apple skin and dried fruit in the aroma of the leaves. A very mild and nice afternoon or morning cup.
This is one of the better flavored black blends I’ve had lately. As other people have noted it comes in a cute black Alice in Wonderland tin. I still wished it had a bit more tea flavor, but I didn’t find it as bitter or acidic as most blends. It says Indian tea and I’m assuming Assam, but am not quite sure. I like the flowery fruity bits with hint of ginger. This is a very good summery tea and I liked it even more iced. The fruit flavor is quite sweet so it doesn’t really need sweetener. I found it was tasty with a smallish teaspoon and a longer steep didn’t make it bitter. A nice tea overall.
I made a batch of this on a hot day and tried it both iced and hot. I much preferred it iced with no sweetener. I tried different steeping times and it had much more punch and flavor with a much longer than prescribed steeping time — toward 5 minutes or more. The predominant flavor for me is orange with other herbs and the tea taking a back seat. Its very lovely and fresh tasting. I also noticed you could do quite a few steeps.
This is nice tea, but nothing special. It definitely does not live up to the delightful Upton Mao Feng Imperial though seems similar to their Jade Pekoe. It has a mild honeyed flavor, but not much smoke or deeper flavor. The leaves seem to be broken into small pieces, which I didn’t expect. I don’t catch any spice or fruit really. It is just a plain jane non-offensive tea that I probably wouldn’t have even pegged as Keemun had it not been listed on the package as that. It is not bitter, astringent or mineraly which speaks well, but probably best looked at as a bargain tea.
The smell of the brewed leaves and brewed liquor is lovely with a nice fig-like tobacco smell with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. The taste is extremely smooth and nuanced. Not quite as complex as the smell from the actual leaves, but still nice. There is no astringency at all and it almost seems like a less smokey Keemun or a mild Assam. I think I could drink this every morning . . . its quite excellent and tastes lovely with a breakfast pastry.