78 Tasting Notes
It’s a cold rainy day and I’m working from home, so Book of Tea samples it is!
Wow, I really like this. The combination of the smokiness of the lapsang and the earthiness of the puerh make it almost savory? It has a very earthy-mineral aftertaste. I’m not sure how I feel about this; it’s not the best black tea I’ve ever had, but it’s such a good cold day tea and I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed something quite this earthy before—the closest thing I’ve had to this was Yerba Matte Late, and that kind of tasted like coffee and dirt. This is much better. Glad I tried it.
Flavors: Earth, Mineral, Smoke
Medium-bodied, not very astringent, and fruity! There’s a lot of raisin in here, and normally I’m not a huge fan of raisins, but I think it works here. I don’t have a lot more to say about it—it’s good, it’s black tea, there you go—but it’s pretty tasty.
Flavors: Fruity, Raisins, Smooth
So, I may or may not have received Lupicia’s Book of Tea 100 as a Christmas gift, and as a result, I may or may not have 100 different individual teas to review before the new year. Whoops :) Anyway, here goes the first sample!
I’d just like to get out of the way before I even get to a tasting review that this tea smells like the blushing sighs of angel babies. Just so everyone knows that.
The rum flavoring really pops out first, and then it’s just pleasantly sweet rummy rooibos until the caramel notes show up in the aftertaste. It’s a very sweet tea overall, and I like it a lot. There’s almost a butterscotch note to it, I think; the aftertaste is kind of creamy in a delightful way.
I didn’t think I was a huge fan of rooibos, but after this, it might just be that I either didn’t have a lot of good rooibos or was making it wrong. I really, really like this. I’m kind of eternally on the hunt for a good tea to drink before bed, and I might end up getting a tin. I think I’m going to wait and see how many of the other samples I feel that way about, though, so I don’t end up getting 100 separate tins. :D
Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Rum, Sweet
I’m not really tasting the candy that the notes suggest, but this is probably the best strawberry tea I’ve ever had. The taste is just really fresh strawberry. I think the scent is really where the vanilla-creamy notes are; it smells just as strawberry as it tastes, but it’s sweeter.
This was a sample with my order of White Christmas (that’s sort of a yearly tradition with me now), and now that I’ve had it, I wish they sold this year-round, because I’d love to try it as an iced tea in the summer. Maybe next year I’ll stock up.
Flavors: Strawberry, Sweet
Pretty tasty! I’m not sure how it compares to the Harney Da Hong Pao, but I like it. I LOVE how it smells; it’s kind of caramel alongside the Oolong Smell. I feel like there’s more tree in here than with the other version, but it doesn’t cancel out the kind of fruitiness that’s also in there. It’s lighter overall, I feel.
Flavors: Caramel, Fruity, Wood
The smell doesn’t do much for me—it’s clean and vegetal and nice, but I can’t find anything distinguishing about it. Honestly, it kind of smells like a Chinese green to me, it’s got that kind of fresh green-sweet scent to it.
It was really hard to make out the taste right after it was done steeping, while it was still hot, but now that it’s cooled down a bit I can pick notes out a little better. It’s a very mineral, savory green. I’m not really tasting the seaweed, but I can see why people call it salty. I can taste a little bit of pine in here, which is weird to me in a green tea since I’m used to oolongs tasting like trees, but it’s not really overpowering and I’m not sure whether I would have noticed this without it being pointed out to me.
I’m split on how I feel about this. On one hand, I love savory Japanese greens, and this is very salty/savory and nice. On the other…I don’t know, I think beyond that it’s kind of boring. I was hoping to taste the “ocean breeze” note in this, and I really don’t. It’s just a mild, pleasantly salty green tea, and I have Uji Sencha for that.
Flavors: Mineral, Pine
I’m back again! I didn’t abandon tea or anything, I just found myself in the inevitable part of the “liking tea whilst not rich” experience where I ran out of most of what I had and needed my money for other things.
This is a really interesting black tea. I love teas with spices in them (weirdly enough, since I’m not a huge fan of chai), and this has just enough different tastes in there not to taste like basically every other straight black tea I’ve ever had.
I’m really blown away by the number of smells and flavors I’ve gotten from different stages in its preparation! Like, I’m really bad at distinguishing interplaying flavors in tea, but they’re all both really obvious and not overpowering. The leaves smelled mostly like mint and clove (a LOT of clove, but not too much) in the packet. The prepared tea basically just smells like delicious honey with some cinnamon and maybe a little mint. And the taste is kind of earthy with a mint kick and every once in a while there’s a little cinnamon at the end.
It’s just such a cool tea! I wish I had more than a sample. I’ll probably get more come fall.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Earth, Honey
I understeeped this last time and didn’t really like it, but I tried it again today and I think it’s interesting. It’s lighter than I expected, not really delicate but not heavy, and a little astringent but not overpoweringly so. Also, it doesn’t really taste like nori, which is a first for me with Japanese greens! It’s vegetal and a little bitter, but not bad at all. Kind of a nice backup Japanese green to have around, I think, and I’m glad I bought it.
So I got this as a sample with my order of White Christmas (which, sadly, I am out of for this year already), and I’ve got it made and sitting next to me, and my best friend comes in.
I go, “Want to taste my tea? It’s strawberry champagne.”
Her: “That sounds like sin.”
Me: “It SMELLS like sin, taste it.”
I had to tell her not to drink the whole thing, haha.
Anyway, I really, really like it! I have to admit I can’t really taste the champagne, but then again, I don’t drink champagne a whole lot and I’m not that familiar with the flavor. When I smell it, there IS a fruity/grape-y flavor in there besides the strawberry, and I think that might be supposed to be the wine/champagne taste? I don’t know. However, I can taste the strawberry, and that at least is very gentle and sweet and absolutely delicious.
Yummy festive black tea and one of the best strawberry flavored teas I’ve had.