1601 Tasting Notes
With the first steeping of this unique tea, I could tell this was going to be an awesome pu’erh. Unlike other mini tuocha I’ve tried, this one did not make me wait one, or even two infusions, to reveal to me its delicious earthy tones. The first steeping produced a light brown liquor with a light earthy aroma that also smelled faintly of tobacco. The flavour was rich, even with this first infusion, hinting at even stronger flavours to come. The smoky, earthy liquor was mellow from the beginning, sliding smoothly across the tongue. I was really impressed that this was only the first infusion and yet this tea was giving so much.
The second infusion steeped darker and stronger, smelling woody in addition to earthy. The taste became strong while still not overwhelming. Something of note which I found interesting was the fact that while there is much flavour upon first sipping the tea, very little aftertaste remains behind. The earthy rich flavour of this tea very nearly drove me to distraction as I contemplated it and sat thinking, completely forgetting for a few minutes about the review I was writing.
During infusion three, things changed. The tea went from being the colour of milk chocolate to being a dark brown, akin to dark chocolate. The aromas of the tea grew in intensity, and the flavours increased in strength, lending large amounts of dark, woody flavour to the tea. These flavours reach out and grab ones attention, seeming to strive toward drawing the consciousness into them. Mmm, delicious.
Infusion number four held a certain small degree of bitterness while continuing to carry those flavours from previous infusions. I stopped after four infusions, quite pleased with how this tea had turned out.
I would give this tea an 85/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
To begin this review, I have to say that I’m a bit of a sucker for pu-erh sold in bird’s nest form, just because I think it looks really cool. However, I will attempt to not let this affect the bias of my review. Soooo, without further ado…
The dry tuocha smelled dark, dark and rich. Its very earthy scent had a touch of spicy notes to it as well. Wet, it had spicy and tobacco tones about it.
I chose to infuse this using multiple short infusions of about 30 seconds each.
First infusion: The liquor was still very bright and clear, a light brown in colour. It smelled faintly of the dry tuocha. The taste is very light, and I wonder if 30 seconds is not long enough. It certainly does taste earthy though. It is not as spicy as the smell led me to believe.
Second infusion: This time, the brown liquor deepened and darkened in colour, while maintaining its brightness. The scent is now very earthy, with almost a bit of fishy smell to it. Mmm, the taste has deepened. Full-bodied, the liquor tastes earthy and mellow. It goes down smooth, as though it barely brushes the tongue and throat.
Third infusion: The colour of the tea is now a deep brown, nearing dark chocolate in colour. The aroma has not changed much, but the flavour is much stronger and feels more mature. Very delicious at this point. I am quite enjoying this tea and I wonder how long this tuocha will last.
Fourth infusion: This cup was just as enjoyable as the third and had the same strength and characteristics. It seems as though this tea could certainly continue with more infusions. When I have more time, perhaps I will give one of these tuocha a test of how long it can last.
I loved being able to try this tea as it continued to grow and mature in taste and aroma. I truly cannot wait to drink it again. I rate it an 85/100 on my personal enjoyment scale!
The dry leaf smelled strongly of peppermint, which quite overwhelmed any scent of rooibos that might have existed in the dry leaves. Steeping this with normal rooibos steeping guidelines, the peppermint scent blossomed even further with the addition of the hot water.
This tea steeped a lovely deep red, with the aroma of peppermint dominating its smell, but allowing through a bit of rooibos scent. After my first few sips, I am immediately struck by the fact that it really just tastes like pure peppermint tea, with a slightly mellowed undertone. I do not really taste any rooibos, which I was certainly hoping for. Regardless, it is a good tea, and the flavour is not too strong, but this tea has very little about it that really makes it stand out above other teas.
This tea is actually unlisted on Suffuse Tea’s website, so I hope that using typical rooibos steeping methods will be sufficient for this tasty-smelling bagged tea. While the dry leaf smells predominantly of rooibos, there is a faint hint of orange aroma lingering in the background. This is a good thing, because otherwise I would have worried that I had merely gotten a teabag of plain rooibos, and this would make for a very incorrectly labeled review!
I poured the steeped liquor into my favourite teacup, took a whiff to see what aromas had been released in the steeping…and was immediately disappointed. Rooibos Orange? Where was the orange? I couldn’t smell it at all in the brewed tea. Taking a sip of the tea, I still failed to taste much other than the rooibos itself. There was a slight taste of something un-rooibos, but I cannot say for certain that it was orange. I drank half the pot, got two other people’s opinions, and still…no orange.
For the sake of consistency, and giving the tea the benefit of the doubt, I went ahead and made a second pot of this tea with fresh dry leaf. Sadly, this turned out exactly like the first pot. Great rooibos flavour with a hint of something very un-rooibos, but not quite orange.
This tea smells very heavily of jasmine. And by that I do not mean just a light aroma of jasmine flowers. I mean the heavy, sticky sweet smell of concentrated bunches of jasmine. Of course, not to judge a tea by its dry leaf aroma, I went ahead and steeped it according to the directions on the website (1 tsp per cup, 3 minutes, 80 degrees Celsius).
One thing I noticed as I was putting dry leaves into my teapot was the amount of extra broken pieces mixed in with the pearls.
The aroma of the freshly-steeped tea carries none of that same overwhelming jasmine scent. In fact, the smell of jasmine is almost more of an undertone now than anything else, which is something I found immensely interesting. The pale liquor has beautiful clarity, but I know, I know, you all really want to know how it tastes!
The jasmine is back! And with a passion. My first sip was a burst of floral flavour in my mouth…or rather just the flavour of jasmine. Thankfully, it is subdued enough to make this tea pleasant and worth drinking. The medium body of this tea comes mainly from the jasmine, I suspect, as imagining this tea without it would leave it quite light. Overall the flavour is very smooth, with just a light touch of a bite from the jasmine.
This is a good tea and a very reasonably-priced jasmine pearls.
As the single package I received contained no instructions for brewing, nor were there any immediately available on the webpage for this specific tea, I chose to utilize typical rooibos steeping for this tea: 1 cup of just-boiled water with a steeping time of five minutes. This tea came in a individually-wrapped tea bag, which really did not have much scent while dry. However, from the second I poured the steaming water over the tea, I could smell the delicious mixture of chamomile and spearmint wafting up from my cup.
The smell of the freshly-brewed, bright red liquor was dominantly spearmint. The rooibos could be smelled a bit in the undertones. Nevertheless, the spearmint was not overwhelmingly strong, which was pleasing. It was just a mild, delicious aroma.
Even after steeping for five minutes, the taste of my first sip did not strike me as being very strong, yet it was quite full. Whereas the spearmint dominated the smell, chamomile dominated the flavour, spreading throughout the mouth quite excellently. The aftertaste was a mixture of primarily spearmint with hints of rooibos lurking in the background.
Overall, this was an enjoyable tea, but not something I would be quick to buy again were I shopping for tea.