1812 Tasting Notes
First impressions of this tea upon opening the package: It smells old, and it smells like lemon. Not a bad old, but just…aged. There was also a bit of honey in the smell.
When I poured the water over the leaves, there was a really strong smell of flowers, but not an overwhelming smell.
Steeped according to the directions on the website: 1 tbs of leaves per cup of water for about two minutes.
After a couple minutes, I started to notice a deeper oolong smell to the steeping tea. Deep and rich, it smelled wonderful.
My first of this tea was delightful. I felt like my mouth was filled with flowers but not in a bad way at all. Delicious and smooth, I enjoyed how light it felt on my tongue. Then I swallowed the tea and encountered a whole different side. The aftertaste was completely oolong, no more flowers. The oolong flavour was rich and deep, and perhaps even a tad rough (something I am sure that will smooth out after a few steepings).
I had to force myself to drink the first steeping slowly. It was so tasty that I wanted to keep on drinking it.
The second steeping tasted much like the first, but sooo much smoother. There was a definite developed sweetness to the tea as well.
This is a great tea for people who want to start drinking oolongs, but are used to the light sweetness of floral green and white teas. I was a little disappointed that this tea did not live up to much of the hype I have heard surrounding Dan Cong oolongs. Regardless of this, I really enjoyed the experience of drinking this tea and give it a 85/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
Water quality really does make a lot of difference in how good your tea tastes. This tea tastes terribly mediocre, with almost a hint of coffee, all because I made it with some hot water from a local cafe instead of my own purified water. Thank goodness this tea is so quality, otherwise this cuppa would taste horrid. As it is…it could be better.
For this review, I’ll be using a two cup teapot and the recommended amount of two tablespoons (one per cup).
While the water was boiling, I took a moment to look at the leaves sitting in the glass teapot. Crinkled and shriveled, the colours range from dark green to dark brown. They appear, in this state to be very small. The smell is rich, with a bit of what seems to be almost a spicy bite, when the dry leaves’ aroma is inhaled.
After steeping the tea for two minutes with just-boiled water, I poured a cup. The pale orange liquor has excellent clarity, and reflects light well. Inhaling the smell of the tea, I noticed that any bite that I had smelled in the dry leaves is gone, replaced by a smooth, rich aroma, with what almost seemed like the faintest hint of cinnamon in the undertone.
Taking my first sip, I notice that this tea sits very light on the tongue. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, yet the flavour is still quite rich. It seems as though just drinking this tea relaxes one immensely, clearing and settling the mind at the same time. The taste of this tea is not strong, but it has a subtlety bold flavour that grabs your attention if you let it and pleasures one’s senses. There is just the faintest hint of bitterness, but the light astringency is very pleasant.
I was eager to finish the first steeping so that I might steep it again, but at the same time I was thoroughly enjoying this first pot.
For the second steeping, I gave the tea three minutes, during which I gazed on the now-expanded leaves. Their colour was a very uniform green and of good size, though quite a few of the leaves had torn up edges, and a decent number of the leaves had what looked like bruising on them.
The three minutes were not enough. The second steeping at three minutes was much more pale and the flavour a bit flat. So I left the tea for a bit longer. At six minutes, I figured it had had enough time, so I poured another cup. Mmm, I am glad I waited.
The aroma was much the same, but the flavour tasted like it had expanded to twice the size it was before. Very, very smooth mouthfeel, the tea is absolutely delicious. Smooth, almost creamy, is the best way to describe it.
I highly enjoyed this tea and would give it a 90/100 on my personal enjoyment scale. This is one tea that is both affordable and delicious, and I would definitely recommend it.
I was really excited to try this tea, as I have a love for white teas that is unfulfilled much of the time. Tea Forte’s website says that this tea is supposed to have vanilla, coconut, and fruit flavours. To start with, I am already a bit apprehensive about the coconut, since the last Tea Forte tea that I tried with coconut ended up with the coconut taste and smell fading away quickly.
Upon opening the tea bag container, I could smell the vanilla a lot. The coconut was very prominent in the scent, though the underlying hints of fruit (mango especially) definitely came through.
The website recommends steeping 2-4 minutes, so I decided to go for a happy medium of 3 for this first steep, in a single Tea Forte Cafe Cup.
While the tea was steeping, I thought I would inspect the packaging. Inside the cardboard tea bag container, I found a lot of tea dust. The leaves in the pyramid bag had sadly looked a bit crushed and small. I also found a couple pieces of tan fuzz in the container, which was weird.
Mmm, the smell of this tea is a delicious medley of fruit and vanilla and…barely any coconut. The taste of this tea is very fruity, but not so much that it overpowers the white tea aspect. Vanilla tones float along and mingle wonderfully with the fruit, and comprise much of the aftertaste. In fact, the fruit flavour is reminiscent of a tropical trail mix of dried fruit. One can taste the coconut, but it is not prominent at all now.
Truly, it is a delicious tea. I’m not disappointed at all. The smell is sweeter than the taste. As my friend who tried this tea with me said, “You smell the flavours more than you taste the flavours.”
This tea would taste excellent iced. It is certainly something I would recommend, especially for lovers of fruity teas. On my personal enjoyment scale, I’m going to give it an 80/100. That fuzz was just really strange…
I began by preparing this tea (in my Tea Forte Cafe Cup), following the directions given on the Tea Forte (steep 3-5 minutes using just-boiled water).
When I first opened the cardboard package containing the pyramid-shaped tea bag, I was immediately struck by the very sweet vanilla smell. It was delectable. The website lists that this tea also contains coconut slivers, and, indeed, traces of coconut were certainly evident in the aroma.
After steeping for three minutes, I decided to remove the tea bag and test the flavour. Upon removing the lid, I noticed the colour was an unremarkable brownish-red of black tea. Then I smelled the tea. The scent of coconut had all but disappeared, and the aroma of vanilla had actually deepened and taken on more muted tones.
With the first sip, I was disappointed. The taste of the vanilla was barely there. I suspected this might have something to do with the length of steeping time, so I put the tea bag back in for another minute. (On a side note, something I really appreciate about the tea bag design is the stiff string, making it easy to move the tea bag around.)
This additional steep complete, I tried the tea again. This time, the vanilla was much more prominent, almost spicy. The liquid itself remained wonderfully smooth. The spiciness was actually a delightful treat, tingling a bit at the back of one’s throat as the tea is swallowed.
Sadly, the coconut that was originally smelled when the tea bag was first brought out is nowhere to be found. This could just be on account of the fact that my taste buds are not very familiar with the actual taste of coconut (which, in all fairness, I have only tasted on rare occasions). The vanilla, however, completely makes up for this lack of coconut, in my opinion. It is certainly one of the best vanilla loose leaf teas I have ever had (out of a total of perhaps three to five, as my vanilla tea explorations have not ranged very far).
I would not call the flavour itself rich, but it is certainly not mellow. This seems to be the sort of tea that could be drunk, cup after cup, all throughout one’s day. And, with the caffeine it contains, would be an excellent stimulant during long work hours.
To test the stamina of the tea, I decided to steep another cup, increasing the steep time by one minute (to bring it to 5 minutes total). The aroma is less intense than before, as was to be expected, but the vanilla smell is still deliciously pleasing. The taste is still quite good as well, albeit not as intense as the first cup. The spiciness is gone, but the smooth vanilla flavour remains.
Over all this was a very good tea. If I were to purchase it in large quantities, I think I would opt for buying the loose leaf in a canister, to allow me to vary the amount of tea used per steeping (and also allow me to more easily steep a large pot of it at once). On my personal enjoyment scale of 0-100, I rate Tea Forte’s Orchid Vanilla black tea a 75/100.
I just have one final question, that perhaps a fellow drinker, or even Tea Forte could answer… “Why orchid, and where is it?”