76 Tasting Notes
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.
I wasn’t aware herbal stuff can go bitter too, i think i oversteeped this one a little but it still tastes alright. I never had any guayusa before and this is the only sample I got from david’s in awhile. I actually only got this one because I was wondering what it would taste like.
Anyways, brews to a lighter colour than I expected; it tastes fruity and earthy. Probably better cold actually. I would say though that the papaya is really a filler ingredient that adds a lot of weight, you don’t really taste much of it but I guess any sort of sweetness you would get would be from it. It was interesting to try, but I’m still unsure what I really think of it. I can’t really say much for the caffeine either, I feel pretty normal.
Made a big batch of this iced. I had to try a cucumber flavoured tea at some point as i love the muddled cucumber martinis and such. Now when I opened my bag of this stuff, a whiff of the smell was very… compelling. I’ll fully admit this doesn’t smell like a cucumber.. well I mean… cucumbers don’t taste like much except fresh tasting. So the smell was rather strong and that lead me to be kinda concerned. So if it doesn’t taste like cucumbers, what does it taste like then you might ask? I haven’t the slightest clue but the fact is that it is drinkable. It was refreshing enough for me to drink down my cup fairly quickly.
Good thing the flavors don’t steep too intensely but are still very noticeable. I would say that it was interesting to try, but muddled cucumber martini’s are still much better.
Made a good 2L or so of this iced with some fresh mint from the garden. It does well enough as an iced tea, but really the quality of the tea is really subpar. I don’t get how many stems I saw floating around but when a tea has 1/3 of it’s ingredients as lime peels, and 1/3 of the tea as stems… we got a problem here. Oh well, I’m drinking this as if it was water.
There are two reasons i decided to get a bag of this tea. 1. I am out of straight black teas and have never had a Nilgiri or at least one that’s not flavoured or found in a teabag. 2. it looks funky. :) Actually, I would think the latter is the main reason. It literally looks like someone dumped some green tea into the mix, but really this tea is made entirely from one estate and they process it in a way that during the oxidation process, bits of leaf will fall off first leaving behind green tea like flakes. Anyways.. it is best explained in the blog post under the description.
Colour brews to a nice golden colour, lighter than a typical black. I’ve read that most Nilgiri teas are of the ctc variety and of lower quality but I highly doubt that’s the case here! It is very smooth/sweet and mildly fruity. It doesn’t quite convince me to believe that the green leaves steep well in boiling water as i do get a slightly noticeable “green tea bitter” at the first sip. This would do great as a breakfast tea, but it’s longevity is somewhat weak. After the first infusion, the second one is rather weak but drinkable. I think I could get away with a shorter first infusion to get a stronger brew the next time around, but I think I like it as it is.
The spent leaves are pretty to look at, the green and brown leaves mixed together look great together, and I’ve mostly enjoyed the brew. Camellia Sinensis is one of the better known tea stores in Montreal and they are pretty serious about their tea. Usually fairly pricey, this one was pretty fair.
Well how shall I put it, I found a bunch of these little blue bags in my basement filled with tie guan yin. The production date stamped on it says 10.25.2006, so that makes it about 5 years old. Though it is vacuum packed.. I’m sure this kind of tea is not meant to be aged, so I am really drinking some old tea. 10 means October too, so that puts this as an autumn harvest tea and that means this is a grade lower than the ones cultivated in spring. Anyways, I pretty sure this was something my parents brought back from a trip to china (which trip, I wouldn’t know).
Tenfu (same thing as Tenren) is a massive tea company so really, if anyone ends up ever getting some of this will be beyond me. That’s one thing about steepster, most teas from North America or western Europe, can be found with ease well what about that crazy amount of asians and asian countries that drink tea? Well those will most likely never be found here at all even though they represent a significant portion of the tea consumed in this world. That’s just me saying, as I drink a lot of green tea that was brought back from China, yet I have no means of listing it or any clue who made it. Luckily this bag had a little url printed on the side that lead me to the tenfu website.
Getting down to the tea itself, I tried making it gong fu style (lots of leaf, less water, more infusions) It’s a light tasting tea, not as dark or heavy roasted as some TGY teas. I’ve gone to 5 infusions and it still tastes alright. Anyone curious to try some? I think I have like 3-4 more bags of this stuff. Figure it might be more educational to some of you than it will be for me. Swap me anything that I have never tried before, I’d be down.
My third and last sample from tea licious! I think the name of this rooibos tea fits it nicely, smells great and comes out to a nice deep red color. I think this is the best one out of the three I received, I have to say it really tastes very orange-y. Good thing the hibiscus doesn’t go by and overpower the brew. It may be me, but I get hints of caramel or something, but it’s definitely something enjoyable to drink. I shall re-steep this and try it cold tomorrow, which I think should be a great drink for summer! But really, Tea Licious has great prices, and I will absolutely consider this one in face of all those expensive David’s summer teas.