1812 Tasting Notes
The shape of these rolled oolong leaves was reminiscent of an Alishan oolong I once had – small, compacted clumps of leaf. They carry quite a vegetal smell, almost more like a green tea than an oolong. I started out by steeping two teaspoons of leaves in two cups of water for three minutes.This resulted in somewhat of a weak brew, so I put the leaves back in for another minute or so (I like my oolongs stronger).
This completed brew is delightful. Light and creamy oolong scent with just a hint of that original vegetal strength with a bit of peppery smell too. The liquor is a very bright and clear light brown, and the taste….ooooh my. Light and soft, it caresses the tongue while still putting out moderately bold flavours including floral, vegetal, and peppery notes all wrapped into one tasty package. If this oolong went to school, it would be said that it was a very well-rounded individual, as this is a very well-rounded tea, encompassing a variety of different flavours that all serve to complement each other.
The second steep brought out the floral notes in the tea to a much fuller extent. The taste overall mellowed out a lot and brought out a bit more of the vegetal side as well. I could easily see this tea going for at least one or two more steepings. I really enjoyed this tea, and am giving it an 80/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
Looking at the dry leaf, I loved how the tiny flowers were mixed in with the tea leaves. What was a bit disappointing was how crushed the leaves were. This might have been partly due to shipping, though few of the other teas I received at the same time were like this. Regardless, the dry leaf has a wonderful dark oolong smell with great flowery notes.
Steeping some of this tea as per the website directions (3 minutes, 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of water), the finish liquor has a pleasant aroma of a light oolong with great floral tones. The smell of the flowers diminishes yet improves, at the same time. My first sip, however, did not impress me. It tasted very flat, for an oolong, and the flowers did not come through at all. Not to be put off, I continued on with my tasting. The flavour grew bolder as I continued to drink the tea, and I gradually became aware of the subtle flavours imparted by the flowers.
Over a couple steepings, this tea grew to be quite pleasant. The moderately light flavour would make this tea a good accompaniment to some light appetizer dishes, such as a cheese and cracker plate. I enjoyed this tea, but one must have patience with it to get the most from its leaves.
Wow, what a delicious medley of fruit scents that is being held in the dry leaf of this rooibos blend. Sweet and juicy notes mix together with a slightly tart undertone. Steeped, it remains fruity in smell, with some nutty scents mixed in. The liquor is bright and clear and light red in colour.
For all the intense smells, the taste of this tea is very much muted. Regardless, it has an all-around fruity flavour that is strong, but does not overwhelm the taste of the rooibos. This alone was a welcome change from many other rooibos fruit blends I have tried. The tea also manages to keep the tartness to a minimum (again, very much appreciated).
I quite enjoyed the fact that the ingredients were so well balanced. None of them seemed to overwhelm the complete flavour of the tea, leading to a pleasingly blended finish. This was a great drinking experience, for which I give this tea an 80/100. I am really glad I tried this tea.
My first reaction to this tea was that it smells very sweet and a lot like potpouri! The scent of roses blends nicely with the fruity smell of mango and the sharp scent of jasmine.
After four minutes of steeping, the previously strong aroma really mellows out to a pleasing blend of primarily jasmine and mango scents. My first sip seemed to be entirely roses, followed by hints of tropical fruit and some jasmine. Quite pleasant, if not a bit much in the way of flowers. Taking a bigger swallow, a myriad of flowers and the mango taste flooded my mouth, though everything seemed to be tinged with the flavour of roses. There really is not much taste of rooibos in this tea, as it is overwhelmed by all the other tastes…and it really is okay. I see no problem with that (excepting that one of those tastes is sadly not rooibos).
To be quite honest, I cannot say this is something that would have caught my eye and held my attention if I had seen it in a tea shop. Perhaps it would have required a second glance at the ingredients and at the tea itself, as it is very attractive, and unique looking, both in the dry leaf and in the list of ingredients. It is tasty, the flavour is quite pleasant, and I believe it is a tea that some will very much enjoy. As for myself, I give it a 75/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.