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.
The tea that redeemed LA for me, and I am from the forest. First thing I did in LA was circumnavigate 90210 on foot. No, not star-searching. I was lost, and Dr. Tea found me. I was parched, and Special Green quenched: assertive, grassy sencha taste, with a comfy afterglow of extras: toasted rice and green cardamom, dried fruit and pepper. The ginger is subtle, just enough to round out the astringency. It all works together surprisingly well, with no suggestion of potpourri (I don’t like busy-flavoured teas), though harshly tannic if at all over-steeped. A go-to cuppa; a green to wake you up.