New Tasting Notes
Herbal and Decaf TTB.
I’ve never had a Tulsi tea before, and after tasting this I really don’t think it’s for me. I found the smell off-putting, but I tried a couple of sips before dumping the rest. This is not an herb I particularly like. Nice to get a chance to try it without investing a lot of money into it, though. That’s what I really like about these boxes.
Yesterday, I finally finished my sipdown of the exquisite No. 9 Yunnan Full Leaf Black Tea from Steven Smith Teamaker. That tidbit has no real bearing on the present review, but I felt like sharing that nonetheless. Possibly due to my recent drinking preferences, I decided to keep the Steven Smith train rolling. This morning I cracked open the Keemun.
The dry leaves show a jet black prior to infusion and produce delicate aromas of toast, smoke, leather, molasses, and tobacco. After infusion, the resulting liquor is a dark, coppery amber and offers aromas of caramel, molasses, leather, toast, wildflower honey, tobacco, pipe smoke, and grain. In the mouth, I am picking up rather well-integrated notes of wildflower honey, leather, grain, toast, tobacco, smoke, caramel, molasses, and especially leather. The finish is surprisingly smooth and a bit rich, playing up notes of leather, molasses, toast, tobacco, and smoke.
All in all, I like this tea. Keemun has never really been one of my primary things (I really enjoy it, but I don’t tend to have it very often), but this one is approachable and well-rounded. Most importantly, it displays just enough complexity for me to savor. Still, I am grading somewhat cautiously because I still cannot really see myself reaching for this one very frequently. As a change of pace though, this is quite good.
Flavors: Caramel, Grain, Honey, Leather, Molasses, Smoke, Toast, Tobacco
Whether or not you’ll like this tea can be determined pretty simply: do you like salted caramel? And do you like your teas sweet? I like this tea with a bit of milk, although it’s not one of my favorites. My fiance LOVES this tea, however – which makes sense, because he’s obsessed with salted caramel anything. As a result, this tea has a permanent place in our tea cabinet.
Woke up early and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I figured I might as well have some tea. I won’t have time for any caffeinated tea after work so now is the time. This was a nice raw with a little bit of wet storage taste that I noticed in steep one. Didn’t notice it i steep two or three but found a little in four. There was a nice flavor to this tea. I want to use the word honey, yet I know that is inaccurate as it was not at all that sweet. This tea was fairly astringent. I noticed astringency through all ten steeps. There were also some mild notes of leather and tobacco but not noticeable. Overall this was a nice tea but it had it’s downside to it. As to qi I am really not feeling it.
I steeped this tea ten times in a 120ml gaiwan with 8.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. For those who like the flavors in aged sheng this is probably a good pick. I recommend it with reservations.
okay so I may not have much experience with jasmine teas, but I know what it tastes like, and this isn’t really it. Now that isn’t to say that it’s bad tasting per se, but I mean if it’s meant to be a Jasmine tea then it’s not really doing its job. But anyways, ignoring that, I’ll tell you what it does taste like.
This dragon pearl is very strange and sweet and tastes very strongly like bubble gum. Now, granted, I’m brewing Gongfu and I really don’t know if people do that with jasmine tea, but considering it’s a very traditional flavour, it seems to make sense that it would be. Plus, it works perfectly fine so I don’t see why not. But anyways, it has a bit of this… blandness that you can sense just behind the bubble gum, with a bit of a mellow green vegetal flavour, but not very strong or notable. However, it is cheap and I really had guessed that I’d get what I paid for with a jasmine tea, especially when it’s dragon pearls and still only like $3 or $4 for 50g USD. That’s an unreasonably low price, so I guess I’ll take the bubble gum.
Flavors: Cotton Candy, Sugar, Sweet, Vegetal
Ok, I shortened my steeping time just a little bit and man is the is yummy flavored tea. I’m generally not partial to flavored teas, but this one could grow on me. Still not sure I’ll buy it in any large amount, but I won’t hesitate to share a cup if it’s available! :)
The only negative for me is just how powerful the cranberry aroma is in the wet leaves after the first couple of steepings.
Flavors: Apple, Cranberry, Fruity, Plums
The dry leaves smell fantastic, I really love the dark cocoa, hints of fruit and espresso, and lots of mystery. I dislike the smell of the brewed liquid. To me it smells like marijuana and pavement. Luckily the liquid tastes much better, kind of like a coffee house. I can really taste coffee beans, cocoa, and a medium oolong base.I really like it overall, however I wish I could taste more cherry. I’m not getting anything fruity, I would have named this blend Urban mocha or something similar, but maybe my tea is a little older because I got the sample from someone. I do enjoy the fact that I get no bitterness from the brewed tea, because I somehow expected there to be some from the coffee beans.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Wood, Espresso, petrichor
I feel like I should be writing more reviews. I realize I’ve been only doing teas that I feel obligated to review (TTB donations) or teas that affected me strongly one way or another. My dashboard on steepster has been sparse lately, so I suspect many others are drifting into the same mode of operation.
This is a nice average sheng. The only thing that stands out is the fairly strong cha qi. I was feeling it in my shoulders after drinking about one ounce. I took a break after my second cup so can’t fully estimate its power, but it’s pretty strong. For me the feeling is more physical than mental. The tea has a pleasant toasted straw flavor, with some bitterness at the beginning of the finish and some tropical fruit that comes out from behind the bitterness late in the finish. I was going to recommend the tea as an inexpensive tea drunk, but see that it is now out of stock. Another opportunity missed.
I could smell the malty smooth tea before I even took the first sip. I love that in a tea.
Unfortunately I can’t taste orange/fruit, but there is a heavy cocoa/chocolate presence and the tea base is dark and lovely. It tastes like a good after dinner tea with the malt and strong black tea taste. This would be lovely with a touch of honey (although I think it has the perfect amount of sweetness right now) and some milk to balance the cocoa. Overall it is very pleasant and not bitter or thin at all.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Malt, Milk, Smooth
I took this teabag home from a visit with my cousin last month and forgot about it. We both have so much tea we have not even tried all the flavours we each have. It is kind of crazy if you consider how long it would take us to get through it all. I think I could go a year without buying tea before my stash would look empty.
I expected a sweet and vanilla-y tea, but I can not taste much over how tart this tea is. There is the faintest bit of fruitiness, but mostly just acidic pink liquid. I only steeped 30 seconds in slightly warm water, so I don’t think I’m brewing it incorrectly. I can’t finish the cup, I just can’t believe how sour it is. Maybe I got a bad batch?
Flavors: Fruity, Tart
From Dark Matter 2016:
Brewed this western style, boiling water, 3 min in a ceramic mug. First off this tea smelled Chocolatey amazing. In the past I tried finding ways to make rich dark hot chocolate by melting dark chocolate squares into hot water. This was how this tasted without the greasy mouthfeel, unmelted clumps, or watery flavor. It had a bit of malty sweetness and lingering full mouth flavor. I steeped again for 4 minutes and it was now brighter with a bit if astringency more like “regular” black tea. A third infusion was similar but lighter.
I wished there was more staying power to this tea, but I enjoyed this so much I looked on Life in teacup to see how much it would set me back, but I didn’t see it listed. Anyone know if it will be available?
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
I think this makes for a decent iced/cold tea.
A bit too tart in my opinion, but I like the blueberry flavour.
Be sure not to steep too long or it gets an overwhelming taste of horribly sour hibiscus. It is actually a bit sweet if steeped correctly, however.
Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Hibiscus, Sour, Tart
This is an oaken scotch infused casked tea. Rich, malty Kenyan CTC, slightly dry and heavy on the oak and scotch notes with some happy raspberry dark chocolate truffle tones not so subtly hiding in the liquor.
Five grams, 120ml Hong Seong-il pot, 212F with 10s, 15s, 30s, 45s all the way up to 3m to get the rest of the oak driven love from the curly little leaves. Takes multiple infusions well always delivering something before becoming tea water.
This could be absolutely addictive, glad I only purchased two 5amples…
This tea is relatively nice but by no means spectacular. There was a fair amount of bitterness, but not an abiding bitterness. A certain sweetness did emerge in latter steeps. I only gave this eight steeps because I didn’t want any more caffeine today but it was by no means done. I would not describe this as overly apricoty but it was nice enough to drink. I didn’t really notice much in the way of qi but I think I am feeling something. It was quite a bargain price wise, I think it goes for $18 a cake. For that price I was not expecting much but it was at least enjoyable.
I steeped this tea eight times with 7.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. The tea was not at all weak at eight steeps. It would have gone another six or seven steeps by my best estimate. This one may have potential for aging if what I have heard is true, that bitter teas age better. I have no room for it in my pumidor however, so it will have to age in the New Your climate.
Flavors: Bitter, Sweet
Very boring. Better than Lipton’s appalling attempt on an EG, but nothing to write home about. I like my EG to have a mild, smooth black base, and this one is astringent, which I find takes away from the bergamot oil. EG should be confectionlike and delightful, and this blend tastes like an English breakfast with a twist of something faintly citrus-y. A similar affect could be produced using a plain black Tetley teabag and a lemon wedge.
I’m officially a snob, I suppose.
Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Citrus