326 Tasting Notes
I have been pretty lucky these days. I have had several delicious teas in a row! I guess this shows that I have been more selective in buying teas, and I begin to focus more on the quality of tea leaves rather than packaging :P
This deep-steamed sensha is amazing. Fulled-bodied, smooth, a little bit of grassy flavour that gives it a refreshing taste, and has a sweet finish. I haven’t had sencha as good as this one for so long. This is unfortunately a single tea bag from The Book of Tea (Autumn Version), which means I probably won’t be able to have this tea in the months to come after I have finished this cup…
What a lovely surprise! I love osmanthus but I had no idea this contained osmanthus. The Japanese description on the packet said it was blended with “kinmokusei” that bloomed in moonlight. My Japanese is bad so I didn’t know kinmokusei = osmanthus… :P But when I lifted the tea bag out from the packet, it definitely had that familiar sweet floral fragrance of osmanthus! I was thinking, “Wow this seems to be as good as osmanthus!”… it was only when I googled kinmokusei that I realized that it was indeed my favourite flower (for cooking) :P Haha…
Sweet osmanthus plus black tea – you just cannot find fault in this winning combination. A very soft and mellow tea with a lovely fragrance that will attract bees from your garden. :) Best enjoyed under the moon!
I am not sure if Lupicia changes the recipe for this tea from time to time? Cos the description on my Jingle Bells tea tin says “a black tea scented with refreshing grapes and fruity champagne”, which is completely to the description shown above.
The Jingle Bells tea that I have just brewed does tastes of grapes instead of creamy or citrusy. It in many ways resembles Bonne Nuit, another Lupicia blend with grape and champagne flavours, but the latter is sweeter because it is scented with berries as well. It feels a bit strange to drink Bonne Nuit hot, as if you are drinking a hot fruit cocktail. But I don’t have this problem with Jingle Bells – it’s enjoyable when hot but it will be a nice iced tea too. The grape flavour is kinda like what you get in grape soda drink, but far less artificial and sickly. Kids or kidults will probably like this ;)
I found this tea, still in its sealed bag, in my cupboard when I was digging out my Lupicia teas for tea swap! This was apparently only available in Japan for a limited time. I sent out a sample of this for the swap BEFORE I had even tried it! Just now I made myself a cup of this and – wow – I am in love!!!! ;)
True to the official description, it has a mesmerizing floral scent. It smells more like rose than jasmine to me, but it has a bit of extra sweetness that makes it even better than rose. The very same sweet floral note is present in the liquor, which is just wonderful (Don’t we all get disappointed from time to time by teas that smell great but taste bland?). This smooth, elegantly perfumed black tea does remind me of those exotic perfume shops in Middle Eastern souks… it makes me miss Morocco!! I should really brew and serve this tea with my Moroccan teapot and tea glasses next time :)
updated I have just checked the ingredients of this tea and was surprised to find that there’s no jasmine or pomegranate! Rather there’s rose, cornflower and blue mallow… no wonder it tastes so floral. But then is the official description totally wrong??
I am sorry to say this, but this is a horrible tea. The whole cup is infected by the extreme tartness of hibiscus… I can taste the woody notes of cinnamon, but it does nothing about the tartness and only makes the the tea taste even stranger. I guess I should avoid all herbal teas by Tea Forte, really.
Though not quite a fan of DAVIDsTEA, I have to admit that many of their creations are fun! This is a tea with shimmering gold sugar balls! If you serve this at a dinner party, your guests would definitely be wowed. :)
Taste-wise, this is a fairly sweet tea… the sweetness will linger in your mouth! The cinnamon flavour is strong too, so you either hate it or love it depending on how much you like cinnamon. I am not getting much orange flavour, probably because there is not much orange peel in my sample. This is one of the more likeable DAVIDsTEA in my opinion, because it is free from coconuts! :P
Beautiful name (which actually is the name of its tea plantation)… the association with stars make this tea part of Lupicia’s 2012 Christmas tea set. Sadly, it’s not a tea that I enjoy. When brewed it gave off an unpleasant metallic aroma, which led me to think there’s something wrong with the water but it turned out the water was not guilty. I was glad that I could taste nothing metallic in the liquor… in fact, I could barely taste anything!!! The tea was bland, which was rather unusual for a CTC tea. I really wondered what’s wrong…
Another chestnut tea from Lupicia – last time I tried Chestnut Green and here’s the black tea version! The chestnut flavour seems to be different in the two teas. It’s sweeter in Chestnut Green, kinda tastes like marron glacé. In Chaud Les Marrons!, the chestnut has a strong roasted, almost smoky, flavour. The black tea base also makes everything taste richer and heavier. I certainly like the green tea version more, though I think a bit of milk would make Chaud Les Marrons! pretty awesome ;)
Ok, another tea by DAVIDsTEA… oops sorry, it is by Tea Forte! Now all teas that contain coconut remind me of DAVIDsTEA because they are using too much coconut in their blends!!!
As I don’t like coconut (apparently, the excessive use of coconut by DAVIDsTEA has strengthened my aversion…), it’s natural that I don’t enjoy this tea very much. The sharp smell of coconut isn’t very pleasant and appears synthetic to me. I think it’s a waste to use “rarest Pai Mu Tan” as the tea base because coconut is so dominant that I can’t taste the white tea at all. Disappointing.
If I didn’t know this is a flavoured tea, I probably would take it as a plain green tea – the mandarin orange flavour was sooooo light when the tea was hot! In fact, the orange flavour manigested as only a trace of bitterness… which would be easily neglected. But since the green tea base was good (I love Lupicia’s green tea for its lack of bitterness and slightly sweet aftertaste), I found this tea ok on the whole. Oh yes, the orange aroma and flavour became stronger as the tea cooled. It was a bit artificial to me so I was glad that I drank the tea hot!