618 Tasting Notes
T&C TTB Round 2
The packaging is good. Nice and thick. I could actually smell the tea in the package despite having been in a TTB. This is very vanilla. The black currant may be making the bergamot seem sweeter. Either that or this isn’t a terribly strong bergamot. Regardless, it is a very nice blend. Very similar to H&S Paris, which is probably what they were going for. :) Overall, I prefer H&S but this is very tasty.
T&C TTB Round 2
This may have suffered from being in the TTB, I don’t know. Initial thoughts on smelling the liquor is pu-erh. Being CTC it was pretty much an insta-steep. As soon as I got the water in the cup I took out the infuser basket. It was okay. I didn’t get much of anything like others have noted. It was just similar to some not very good pu-erhs (the reason I haven’t expanded much into them). Dusty, odd and drying.
Okay, I needed to follow the directions, I guess. I was a little nervous about steeping a Ceylon type of tea for 4-5 minutes. But at 3 minutes I get a pretty standard, unremarkable tea with none of the notes that other reviewers have noticed. Gonna have to try it again. Longer time, maybe more leaf.
Soooo glad I caved in a recent sale and bought the YS teas on my wishlist. This is just an amazing tea. I notice this time that if I slurp and aerate the tea, I get a very light hint of smoke and dust. But if I just drink it like a heathen like I normally do, there’s no smoke, only cocoa and malt and yum.
This is really very nice. Extremely cocoa, little bit of woodsy, not smoky enough that I notice. Smells malty but not excessively so. A moderate strength with lightness in the sip, if that makes any sense.
I liked it at about 1.5 minutes, although even at 3 it wasn’t overpowering, just a bit stronger with more mineral tang.
I get the wild peppery taste and the tobacco. It’s not bitter but there is a distinct mineral-y tang to it as it steeps for longer periods (And wow, does it get dark when you let it go for more than about 3 minutes! It’s almost black!). The scent is lightly smoky and heavily malty, especially when dry.
I don’t get any subtle notes from this. It’s fine but I have had other Dian Hongs that I prefer. This was part of a group order though and it was super nice of them to include bags for the tea we were splitting so that each of us would have a labeled bag and instructions! So high marks to the company, even if this particular tea is not my favorite. :)
And I think the instructions as printed are somewhat off. The English translation may not be quite right. 6 grams is not the same as 4 teaspoons. I think that 5 grams = 1 teaspoon. The instructions say 6 grams (4 teaspoons) to 1/2 liter of water. That would be either 4 teaspoons per 16 ounces (which is pretty close to how I would normally steep my teas) or 1 teaspoon per 16 ounces (which would be very light for me), depending on which is correct. :) So I may not have hit the recommended parameters. I used 1 teaspoon for 6 ounces. Maybe I overpowered the more delicate notes by overleafing.
I did this by little glass teapot method. :) 30 seconds, 60 seconds, much more seconds. :) Overall, I preferred the 60 sec steep to the others. 30 was far too light and more than a minute was too strong for me.
I let this one leave my cupboard for awhile but no longer! I find I have slightly more descriptors for it than I had a year ago (and wow, how time flies!).
This has a honey smell of hay, molasses and oats. It smells like horse feed. I used to love that smell… It was my one of the things that made getting out in the freezing winter to feed the horse worth it (other than the horse, of course!). So this tea brings back memories of a very long time ago it seems.
The flavor is malty with molasses and honey both. A wonderful Assam.
I can’t be the only one who has tasted this tea… But it doesn’t seem to be in the database, so…
I wish I had tasted this generous sample that was included with my previous order before placing my Black Friday order… This would have been on the order without a doubt. Mandala has so many lovely teas of this kind that I will admit I find it hard to distinguish between them. Not because they are so alike, but because my powers of description seem to be so limited!
This smells (and tastes) like a deep, dark chocolate and a savory broth at the same time. Like an 85% dark chocolate but without the winey notes often found in that. My husband thinks I’m crazy – sitting here with my hand wrapped around the top of this tiny cup, exhaling so that the steam fogs my glasses and then inhaling the scent of this tea! There is a dusty hay note in the background as the steeping time increases and a roundness that reminds me of not very sweet fruits. Not a bit of bitterness or astringency.
I really can’t tell you how much tea I used – half of the sample. I think about 1.5 teaspoons. I should get a scale to be more precise, I know. I steeped in my little glass pot and tasted at 30, 60 and more seconds. I think I prefer 60 seconds but even up to 5 minutes and more, this tea is simply wonderful. And the leaves are beautiful! Fuzzy wuzzy twirls of tea!
Update: If I slurp like you are supposed to the most magical thing happens and I start tasting the floral notes! Amazing!
Hm. I’m not really sure what to say about this. It smelled like smoke in the package. I was extremely hesitant about trying it. I was going to give the whole sample to my mom since she likes smoky teas. But, since this was a free sample from Nannoushan, I knew I had to try it and review it. I’m not going to give it a rating, though, since smoky teas are truly not my bag.
The smoke flavor is much less pronounced than the smell leads one to expect. I get some maltiness but a whole ton of savory, brothy notes. Almost like smoky beef broth. I feel like I should have carrots and other veggies in this for a soup! This is the only tea I’ve ever had that reminds me so much of soup.
I would not reach for this, but I will finish this cup. It’s… interesting.