11 Tasting Notes
Wet, spongy earth. Steel, iron and sun showers. Trees and mushrooms follow. Nothing raw or herbal in this cuppa. At the same time, I found it approachable for a pu-erh, on the sweet rather than fecund side of earthy, and might just brew it for a pu-erh n00b on a chilly autumn day. I myself drank it in the Tea-luxe window, and enjoyed two steeps to my pot.
Pu-erh is my favourite tea, precisely because it is intense. I was unsure what I would make, then, of a supposedly “milder” pu-erh — but this cup was subtly but distinctly earthy-mineral, with a faint flowery-sweetness that I would normally expect in an oolong. This has carried through across several steeps, at which time I’m writing this! Overall very mellow and just the right pu-erh to follow a week of holiday kitchen-richness.
I drink it with pizza! So there you go: subtle, no. The orange really is over the top, and the liquorice is actually pronounced to the degree it lingers on the tongue. Not re-steepable, incidentally. But good with pizza.
I have a cold, you see… normally I’m not at all the fruit tea type, but when the mood strikes, I like my tisanes on the herbal, even bitter, side of fruity. This tea succeeds: flavours of crab-apple, cranberry, lemon and rind, with some wicked hibiscus. Luscious plain, or with a touch of honey. Beats the snot out of the Belfast cold, speaking both weather and health-wise.
I take this tea places. It has a silky texture and great depth of flavour: wild honey, dried roses, a hint of cedar, and a puehr-like moss and stone undertone. The aftertaste is mildly tannic, a welcome reminder that I’m drinking tea, not hot water! It is fantastic as a wake-me-up or bedtime cuppa, and right now it is accompanying a slice of not-too-sweet apple bread. Very flexible, this is my staple darjeeling.
This quality chamomile was full-flavoured without being astringent; just loads of floral, apple-scented, knock-you-out chamomile. My favourite from the Steep line so far (I bought a mixed packet from a hotel room pantry) but really, I’d have a hard time purchasing it again, before my standby bulk chamomile from a reliable herbalist.
Not strong enough.
Kid stuff. This was a mild green, faintly sweet and grassy in balance, and inadequate weight for my tastes. I prefer more viscosity, which this tea just didn’t provide, at both 2 minute and 4 minute first-steeps. This tea tasted like the tail-end of a strawberry aqua fresca, after the ice has long melted into the last traces of crushed fruit. This could be nice chilled, with honey and a touch of lemon.
A clean and refreshing [break from espresso]. Faint rose delight candy aromas above a steadfast mild black. Sweet without sugar, floral without cloying. Not complex, but nice.