74 Tasting Notes
Thanks to Indigobloom for sending me this! I think I slightly oversteeped it, and there was a hint of bitterness. I added half a teaspoon of sugar into the mix, and bam solution fixed. It’s been awhile since I tried to sweeten any tea at all. The mate looks like it’s just been mixed with orange peels. Smells are that of orange vicks candies and some lemon, and it basically tastes like citrus overall. Some mate undertones but really mostly citrus. I’m glad it doesn’t taste like the funky tangerine flavoring I’ve been experiencing in some teas. Overall its good, not super AMAZING but good. I wouldn’t mind a few more cups of this.
Got around to drinking some herbal stuff, this was from the memorial day sale.. $2 of 1oz! And what, do I see there’s saffron inside? STEAL! Anyways, drinking this hot. Plenty of a mix inside as it seems. It smells like stride gum. Literally. Orange colour, slightly tart citrus and minty and maybe a slight floral quality to it. I like it, and at this price was certainly worth throwing in with my order, hell I might even get more next time. I think this might even be good cold. For those of you worrying, the hibiscus doesn’t really overpower here, it’s been awhile since I had the urge to have a herbal tea, this one didn’t disappoint.
Been busy recently, finally managed to make a cup of tea this morning… Well this tea before shipping costs were added on, came out to be about 4USD for 100g. I don’t know but that’s insanely cheap for a first flush darjeeling. Honey brown brew, slightly astringent if oversteeped and more malty than fruity. I would have more to say, but my thoughts are currently eluding me. Overall, great value from Lochan teas.
Another tea from Indigobloom, This one looked rather interesting. Shui Xian oolong with a whole jumble of stuff in it. It reminds me a bit of the Forbidden Fruit from David’s. Overall it is very nutty, with a rather smoky taste. I fully expected this to be a rather sweet tea, seeing the caramel pieces, but really I’m not quite sure what good they did, because clearly it did not melt and looks just a whole as before steep. I can’t really taste the jumble of the other ingredients much at all actually. The quality of the Shui Xian is better than that of David’s, and though there are awfully large pieces of twigs, there are rather bigger pieces of leaf. Instructions say to steep for 1min, but unless you’re using boiling water and packed a gaiwan full.. I don’t really see the point.
Wow a tea from Kenya! I would have never imagined… thanks Indigobloom! Recently with all my exploits with darjeeling teas I think I have understood this word acronym game. GFBOP stands for Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe. So this is neither a first flush, or a tippy grade tea. Doing some research online, I found out that this tea comes from a high altitude plantation of above 1800m.
Colour is a deep golden brown, very similiar to some darjeelings again. There is no astringency at all with this tea, the malt does come through, but stops short of being caramel. Overall, it is very sweet and very easy to drink. The floral tones only came through from the dry leaves and not so much after the brew. What comes out to the end is that it really lacks the character of darjeelings but as it is grown at similar altitudes, it does taste relatively similar. Though it is not at all a bad tea, there’s not too much that stands out beside coming from Kenya, it would make a fine breakfast tea.
Thanks to Indigobloom for sending me this! I needed a black tea this morning to wake me up, and decided on this one. I have found ceylon teas to have a pretty sharp citrus taste that can go astringent really quickly. This tea was very identifiable to be of a ceylon black but the strawberry complimented it quite nicely. The super fruity Earl’s Garden from David’s was one tea that did not do it well, and the result ended up pretty bad. Strawberry flavour was not overpowering, which was great, and a hint of cream followed. I felt this one did not need any sugar or anything, and should work pretty well with milk.
Now let me say, at first I was quite skeptical of ordering tea from ebay but DTH’s rather nice and complete set of teas and decent prices lured me to try some out. I was really after a comparison between this and hand picked oolongs from another vendor. I opted for a Jin Xuan variety because I was hoping to get that nice milky undertone to the tea. DTH also sells its version of a “milk oolong” but I was afraid of it being that of being flavoured instead of natural.
I was also unsure if this was from this year or last year as DTH tends to lie about these things, the product description for all teas were updated to 2011 harvest at the same time. Mostly i was impressed that it actually came in a box and was vacuum packed. Again, my friends at the Canadian Border control had decided to open my tea for inspection. Anyways, I just dumped my 100g out into a freezer proof ziploc bag. For the most part it comes in nice intact pieces, but there are some small fragments and dust (about 10% of it all), I just dumped out the dust in the trash..
Brewing came about in a gaiwan, and it went to 7 infusions before I gave up on it. First 2 were slightly floral but not quite as much as it smelled. Mouthfeel was rather weak, and I didn’t get any milky taste or anything out of these. Light bodied and pretty much consistent brews for the most part. I did note that these come from Ali Shan which depending on what elevation it is grown at could be something of a higher quality. The tea came out rather plain, but decent quality. Nothing comparable to the high mountain stuff, but is alright as an everyday tea. Mostly, the leaves uncurled to full stems and leaf in full portions and produced light and really uninteresting brews. I got really bored by the 7th round, and while I’m sure it could probably go 2-3 more times I stopped and threw it out. Quality-wise though, it’s better than the typical oolong you would find at a mainstream North American tea store.
This is a sample I received with my order, I decided that I need to dispatch this one as fast as possible as it smells like perfume, and literally was changing the smell of all the teas around it! I’ve had rosebuds with green tea before with some degree of success but it has never smelled as strong as this! In fact, when i opened up the package I received from Chi of Tea, this was the only smell I got.
Tea appearance is broken sencha pieces, safflowers and rose petals, and some rosehips i think. It tastes literally like perfume. I don’t taste anything but rose, with a sweet aftertaste. I’m sure there is someone out there that would like something like this, but this is fringe undrinkable. I don’t think adding sweetener will help, it’s already pretty sweet. I don’t see this working as an iced tea either. Again, there are ways to get rose and green tea to work nicely, but not when it smells and taste like perfume. (You might ask, well how do you know what perfume taste like?) I’ll leave that to you to figure out :)
Fresh tea straight from India! I’m actually pretty impressed it only took three days to arrive here. Before I begin, my experiences with first flush darjeelings is quite limited. I browsed around, curious to find somewhere to start. Most vendors have most of this stuff relatively high priced and depending on the garden it comes from, price fluctuates a lot.Out of a few websites, Lochan offered the cheapest available, so i went ahead and grabbed the cheapest and most expensive one they offer. (In truth though, i can’t say $8 for 100g is anywhere near expensive) Sites such as Thunderbolt and Tea Emporium charge up to and around $30 for a Thurbo first flush. Figuring I didn’t have much to lose, I put in an order. Story goes, that the wonderful folks from FedEx opened up the package from Lochan and opened up the tea too! Thankfully they only one they ripped open was the free masala chai they threw in with the order (a generous 50g too I must say) but I really didn’t care much for the chai at all so I was glad it was the only one they opened.
On to the brew, nice golden colour not getting much muscatel flavours. This one is really light tasting, a hint of malted barely sweetness and slight astringency. No spiciness from what I can tell (supposedly some first flush darjeelings have this flavour profile). It was not as fruity as I was hoping for, but still makes a nice cup of tea. The leaves are mostly broken but not dust like small. I’m actually currently preferring my Nilgiri Parkside from CS more than this, but as far as value goes Lochan has done fairly well. I cannot comment on how this would compare to a higher grade darjeeling and I am curious to find out really, how much of a difference it would make.