141 Tasting Notes
I was really excited when a friend in the UK sent me a tin of this tea. It’s been on my wish list for a while.
The leaves are highly mechanically processed. The leaf fragments are very uniform and almost appear to be ground. There’s an even mix between dark and light leaf particles. The fragrance is clean and crisp; almost citrusy.
Once steeped, this tea produces a very dark, almost black cup. The fragrance takes on a more malty and caramel character. In flavor, this has a medium body and astringency and is well balanced, but the finish leans more towards a darjeeling.
I don’t dress my teas, but this could take some additives. It also stands up to multiple infusions. Pick some up if you make it to the other side of the pond.
Let me start by saying that I’ve enjoyed a number of the teas/tisanes I received in my first order from ESP Emporium. (Their Ceylon Blackwood, Darjeelings and Monk’s blend were all very good.) However, they don’t appear to do chocolate flavors well.
This rooibos smells strongly of orange peel and that carries over to the brewed product. You can see small chocolate chips but they are simply not potent enough to impart flavor to the beverage. I will say that this particular rooibos was fairly good. It didn’t have the menthol-like breakdown product that is present in some cheaper stock.
This was OK. It didn’t elicit a negative reaction but it won’t make it on the reorder list either.
This is an even mix of bright green mint and dark choppy tea leaves. It smells just like a York Peppermint Patty but slightly heavier on the mint side.
The light copper colored tea smells of mint but no chocolate. In flavor, the mint is initially subdued. I can’t fully describe the initial taste but it’s not chocolate; instead, it’s just a flatness. The lingering mint aftertaste is typical of any other mint brew.
H&S does so well with the chocolate flavor in Florence that I would have expected a greater presence in this tea. It was really just a mint tea with a little something extra.
This is very similar to my favorite green tea, Rogue Wave from White August. Bangkok has very large, bright green leaves and huge pieces of dried coconut. However, it lacks the intensity of spice of Rogue Wave.
The leaves smell fresh and the coconut is readily apparent and somewhat creamy. The lemongrass is very subtle which I appreciate. I’m not a huge lemongrass fan. I can take it as an accent but not a main component.
The tea brews to a grassy, spicy, coconut blend. Just like Rogue Wave, the fragrance and taste are very similar to those found in many Thai dishes. This is another tea that is great iced.
The tea leaves are long, adhesive and a mix of dusty gray and gold. This smells strongly of apricot with a slight mossy note.
The leaves plump to three times their volume so save enough room for them to swim. This brews to a pale gold and still has a strong fragrance of stone fruit. The taste is clean, snappy and the fruit and floral notes hold up well. Unlike others that present themselves to be somewhat buttery, it appears this oo-longs to be more of a darjeeling.
I loved this tea! Darn you H&S, I see myself now regularly spending a small fortune with you.
The multicolored short, choppy leaves are slightly smokey with an underlying sweet grassy note.
Steeping produces a dark cup. The spent leaves have a somewhat unpleasant acrid smell. The tea itself, however, is a smokey vanilla caramel.
Many of the reviews here mention chocolate notes. I didn’t get that and the flavor of this tea is new to me; it was like a mild lapsang with a touch of vanilla. It’s of medium body with a slight astringency.
This is a bold tea and I like this one a little more than Queen Catherine. The more I got into the cup the more I enjoyed it.
I made this one iced again and it turned out very differently. I may have steeped it a little too long. It was still very refreshing and fruit-filled but it finished a little peppery. It also had a distinct horseradish aftertaste. This may sound a bit unappetizing at first but I had this with a cold salad containing slices of beef and it was actually a perfect compliment to the meal.
Vanilla. Yep, that pretty much says it all. From first opening the tin, to initial steeping through final sip it’s all about the vanilla.
What I really like about this tea is that the vanilla was more creamy, somehow more genuine, than your typical vanilla flavored food. It also develops a completely different character as it cools. My final sip was from a cold cup and I picked up a distinct bourbon note which has me thinking about including this in an iced tea mix or possibly infusing a bag or two into some gin.
Not bad for a bag tea.
I’m officially no longer prejudiced against bagged tea. I drank two cups of this one to make sure it wasn’t a fluke before I wrote this note.
The sachet smells strongly of peach and apricot and it oozes honey.
This steeps to produce a very dark cup of tea that smells strongly of fruit and honey. The cup is incredibly smooth and has a lot of body but the crisp bergamot provides a nice balance to the overall fullness of this tea. Even though flavored, the tea base remains strong.
This is going to become a favorite first-cup-of-the-morning tea.