New Tasting Notes
’Here’s Hoping’ Teabox Round #4 – Tea #19
An interesting decaf choice – it’s supposedly caramel though I don’t see any of those caramel cubes. There are rose petals and apparently a little mint. The mint seems to only be noticeable at the top of the cup with mild rose flavors. There is an odd sweetness, not sure how that happens… apparently the “flavoring”. Both steeps were sweet but on the second steep, the rose and mint somehow disappeared completely.
Steep #1 // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
’Here’s Hoping’ Teabox Round #4 – Tea #17
I think I’ve tried enough nilgiri type teas to know they just aren’t the flavor for me. The dry leaves have a grassy scent to them but then the flavor is a little too light for me if I want to sip a black tea. The color of the brew is a light amber. The flavor is almost bordering on muscatel with that grassy flavor also. It is very drying to the mouth. This is a great example of a nilgiri tea, but again, nilgiri is not the tea for me!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few min after boiling // 3 min
After a looooooooong morning (involving a slashed rear tire and extreme tardiness to class), I brewed this into my Aladdin tumbler before heading to work in the afternoon. It was just as great as the first time, and fortify me to power through the rest of my day.
I was immediately drawn to this tea due to the very imaginative description of it as “green sword” tea. Images of the Green Destiny from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon flashed through my mind, along with all the beautiful art and imagery of that movie and its lush, green landscapes, and I felt an instant tingle in my mind.
This tea is not from China, however, but from India and was named because the rolled leaves resemble little swords. In fact, I would say they do even more so in person, because what you can’t tell from the photo is that each of those little slightly curved rolled leaves are an inch or two long, really long for green tea leaves. They’re quite beautiful to look at.
The scent of this tea dry is surprisingly fruity, with a tangerine and mango scent, really potent and enjoyable. After a rinse, The leaves have more of a vegetal kind of scent, with the nutty and green bean notes I’m used to in many green teas, and while the fruit aroma is still there, it is not as strong. The scent of the brewed tea is pleasantly nutty, creamy, and green. The taste is surprisingly clean and light, with a slight nutty taste and a bit of a sweet corn taste. There’s a lingering note of mango or orange. It’s mildly sweet, becoming more so as it cools, and it leaves a lingering sweetness in the mouth as well.
I should mention a few things. Firstly, that I’m brewing this tea in the Gongfu style of brewing in a thin walled porcelain gaiwan, secondly that it takes really well to this method, and last that I have gone through many phases in my enjoyment of green tea, from brewing it very strong and robust to brewing it delicate and light, and seem to have settled on a general preference for brewing it light.
The second infusion of this tea offers many of the same creamy, slightly citrusy notes of the first, but I feel the citrus taste comes through more while the vegetal flavors have backed off some.
The first infusions were so light and crisp, I decided to push the third a little longer than normal to see how it might taste if brewed more rich. It has a more similar profile to most Chinese green teas at this point, more vegetal and green bean like overall. The fruit flavors still linger at the end but not as noticably. I diluted it a bit and it came back to a soft flavor with more noticeable hints of orange.
Later infusions unfolded in a more conventional green tea fashion, but the hint of orange flavor never fully receded.
I am really enjoying this green tea. It’s quite different from any others I’ve had, and I enjoy it’s fresh, clean, crisp subtlety and fruity finish. I’m very glad I bought a bag of this. I made a pretty big What-Cha order of teas I haven’t even tried aside from one, so we’ll see how many suit my tastes. So far, this one is fantastic.
Infusion times: 15 seconds, then quick infusions of 10-20 seconds to follow.
Flavors: Creamy, Green Beans, Mango, Nutty, Orange
This is very flavorful, but pretty mild on the spice – just the way I like my chai. The cinnamon gives it a little warmth, and the vanilla and coconut a little sweetness. I was impressed that I didn’t have to add sweetener to this at all…I sweeten about 98% of the teas I drink, so that’s saying something. This, along with my Roasted Almond Chai from Tea’se Tea Shoppe, will remain in my regular chai rotation!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Coconut, Vanilla
I had some fun making this tea gongfu style in a gaiwan.
I brewed it 5 times. I drank earl grey before I drank any other tea…little kid stuff.
This is simply the best earl grey I’ve had. Definitely high quality ingredients that brewed up a high quality taste.
Share this one with your earl grey loving tea peeps.
Flavors: Caramel, Citrus, Creamy, Floral
I am not opposed to almond, but it’s not one of my primary flavor preferences. I got this as a sample from the lovely people at Adagio because I like their Vanilla Oolong.
The almond flavor is nice, but it’s a little bright – as pointed out, it feels a little almond-extracty. Adagio’s oolong is always nice, but it’s just not as strong with such a sharp almost flavor. I’ll finish the sample packet, but I doubt I’ll buy any more when there are other flavors that I enjoy more.
Flavors: Almond, Nutty, Sweet, Tea
It’s dark and rich with the cocoa being the primary flavor supported by the deeper tones of the pu-erh. It’s not strong or heavy. It smells chocolaty, but there is little to basically no chocolate to the taste. Just a thick brown molasses textured flavor of cacao filling the mouth.
Note: that’s molasses feel, not flavor.
Slight natural sweetness that isn’t defined but is, like the earthy pu-erh, an underlying structural support.
Heavy enough flavor to be satisfying. Noticeable and distinct without a strong pu-erh taste. If you’re a cocoa lover I strongly suggest it. But also light enough that it doesn’t overwhelm the palette, good for any time of day, IMO, or with most foods.
Flavors: Cacao, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Mud, Sweet
I brewed this tea twice. I have been having some fun with tasting tisanes gongfucha style.
I used 8 grams in a gaiwan with excellent results. Steeped in 5+ times.
I used 5 grams in my easy steep tea maker. Steeped it twice for about 3 mins.
Both times I found myself wondering why I don’t drink more mate. It had the exact flavor I was looking for from the name, and left me feeling the potent power of mate but not as strong as I experienced in the past, which for me was great.
Definitely try it out.