New Tasting Notes
In my new tea panic, and my resolution to drink more evening teas, I grabbed this out of the sample bowl.
And, obviously this has been in the sample bowl since last Christmas time, which is highly embarrassing. What took me so long? Especially since I love gingerbread, and just plain ol ginger.
But it turns out my trepidation was correct, because if someone had given this to me blind, and told me to list the ingredients, I would have said Rooibos, and maybe a touch of spice.
And that’s it. No gingerbread flavor to be found. None. I drank it without paying any attention to it, which I’m sure was not its intention, but here we are.
Ah well. Another one out of the sample bowl, and out of my cupboard.
And so, er, well, the first batch of the autumnal teas I ordered arrived yesterday. It both filled me with delight, and made me panic a little, as now my cupboard is very, very full indeed.
So, squashing the urge to rip open my tins and burrow into my new teas, I decided that it was the day to finish this off.
So I did.
Goodbye Carol! It was lovely while it lasted.
The autumn flavors call me…..
Hello Tea Friends!
Today I will be reviewing some Dian Hong Cha from Teabook. If you are new to tea then here is some translating: Dian – Shorter version of Yunnan, a province in China known for tea growing. Hong means red which refers to it’s colour, in China it’s known as red tea but in Western countries it’s a black tea. Cha literally means tea. So it’s Yunnan Red Tea. This tea is also known as Yunnan Black or Yunnan Red but as there are many different types of black/red teas produced in Yunnan it can be a little confusing using the generic naming. This is why Dian Hong is most commonly used for differentiation.
Personally I do love a nice Dian Hong, they tend to have more tippy golden buds in general, assuming it’s of a nice quality. For this I have no idea until I open it, so let’s get to it. Actually first before I rip the top off the sachet like a monkey peeling a banana let me mention the sachet itself, Teabook sell these sachets in pre weighed bags to make it easier for drinking and transportation. Each sachet is 3g.
Opening the packet I can see some thin, dark leaves with a couple of golden tips. Altogether 3g is around 10 pieces of loosely broken leaves. They bare a dry, wooden scent with some sweetness. I say 3g but the sachet weight is included in that too.
Steeping this Western style: 2-3g into a 320ml glass cup with infuser for 3 minutes boiling water. Usually I do three steeps with Dian Hong in a teapot but 3g is not enough for me to do that to my desired strength.
Once steeped the tea is golden red in colour and bares a very mild malt and wood scent.
Flavour is very mild at first, further sips reveal a hint of sweet malt. There is some drying in the after taste that coats my tongue somewhat. The strength does not increase but the sweet, honeyed malt remains. It’s only noticeable really toward the after taste.
I am torn at this point. I do not want to write a negative review but I do need to be honest. While there was nothing wrong with the tea I personally (and I stress personally) believe that 2g loose leaf tea is not enough for a cup. If I had some Dian Hong whilst relaxing at home I would use 4-5g for a Western brew and 6-7 for a gaiwan. Both would be suitable for multiple steeps at that level of strength.
So the sachet idea is good but it should be at least 5g of tea in my honest opinion. That way it could be Western steeped or used in Gaiwan/Gong Fu Teapot and would be happy in both instances. Perhaps 2g is good for new tea drinkers adjusting to the taste of loose leaf, though even then I would recommend a higher dose.
Apologies to Teabook but that is my brutally honest opinion.
Until next time,
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Flavors: Fruity, Sweet
A standard supermarket black tea in the Middle East. It’s drinkable & quite a bit better than the ubiquitous Lipton Yellow Label which dominates the region, but not quite up to Twinings level. But it’s cheap, and frequent supermarket promotions push the price down even further.
I haven’t actually ever had a pumpkin spice latte from the coffee shop, mostly because I can’t drink coffee because a few hours after drinking coffee, I have a terrible tummy ache. I’m not sure exactly why it affects me that way but it does and it’s actually one of the things that turned me from coffee to tea. I always enjoyed tea but I really got into it after I couldn’t drink coffee because I still needed a caffeine buzz and after I got to understand how to properly brew the different types of tea and such – I found that my enjoyment expounded.
This is the tea of the week this week – and it’s so good. As I eluded to above, I’ve not ever had a coffee shop Pumpkin Spice Latte – but I have had other pumpkin spice flavored things (because they’re everywhere!) and I decided that I should create my own interpretation of the phenomenon that is Pumpkin Spice Latte.
I love the genmaicha base – it’s sweet and nutty and it melds wonderfully well with the pumpkin notes. There is a warm set of spices to this but it’s not aggressively spiced. The marshmallow root and vanilla bean add a nice creaminess to create the “latte” flavor so you don’t need to add dairy to go latte with this!
Just really YUMMY!
Flavors: Creamy, Pumpkin, Spices, Toasty
Upon opening the box the bergamot aroma is very fresh and strong. Unfortunately, it doesn’t transfer to the brewed tea. There, the bergamot is barely noticeable, you can smell only bland base tea with slight generic flower notes.
The taste is very bland, very watery, with almost no Earl Grey character whatsoever.
Yes, Netto teas sold under the “House of Tea” brand are nothing special, but they are generally quite drinkable. Their “Earl Grey” is an exception… The good news is, it cost me only 3 Danish kroner (promotional price) ;)
This is crazy rich in vanilla flavor. I made a tea smoothie and it is super tasty. The frozen banana and strawberries paired wonderfully with the creamy vanilla flavor. Then there is a small dose of milk chocolate goodness swirled throughout the drink. There’s also the slightest honey drizzle hiding in the cup. Mmmm mmm good. Alas, there is only 1 tsp left so no more smoothies but this was definitely a great choice.
I should mention, it took having to buy a new blender to make this a thing. Thank goodness for Wal Mart since all the blenders near work (aka at the Bay) were $100+.
Re-review of this tea.
When I had this tea 2 years ago I liked it fairly well as a latte. I dunno if they changed the tea or if my tastes have changed (prob both tbh) but here are my findings:
way 1: plain cup: approx 1.5-2 tsp steeped 5.5 min in 8oz of 200F water: smells amazing, but tastes strongly of wood. This rooibos/honeybush blend is woodier than usual rooibos? Didn’t finish the cup.
way 2: 4 “perfect spoonfuls” (approx 10 tsp) steeped 5min in 8oz of 200F water then mixed with hot, frothed 1% milk: VERY strong wood taste. but milky! Gross. No pumpkin cheesecake taste in the least. Had to mix some anise milk powder (dutch treat- look it up) do I didn’t dump this down the sink. Even then it’s JUST palatable.
Giving the rest of the tea away to the first Canadian (sorry, I only have those stamps) who wants it. I can’t believe how much this was not like pumpkin cheesecake.
Flavors: Rooibos, Wet Wood, Wood
This tea is so good!
Yet again, I’ve had a hiatus from serious tea. And also again, I have turned to Whispering Pines to break the hiatus. What can I say? I’m a sucker for inspirational names and tea stories. :p
It has been so long since I have used my Gaiwan, that it had collected debris, despite the lid being on it. I cleaned it out, threw some of this tea in without measuring, poured some water at 200F in and waited about a minute. I wasn’t being to particular about parameters. I was just desperate for some tasty tea! And my tea brewing skills have gotten rusty anyway.
But this tea survived my hasty technique and it tasted amazing. Like an ancient forest in the late afternoon. The first steep was bright, peppery maybe, woody, but with an air of secrets and mystery. I steeped it again for three minutes. The second steep was less bright, with a heavier mouth feel. Very smooth. I liked the first steep best, but next time I have this tea I will have to be more careful about parameters and give it the proper attention Brenden suggests! Stay tuned!
So I do NOT drink Pu Er tea. I am just not a fan because to me it tastes like dirt. However, I do try to taste everything that people send me which is a fact my tea twin, Roswell Strange knows. So, when I saw pu er in my tea and music package, I was not overly excited. In fact, I am so dumb in the ways of pu er that I managed to burn my hand trying to rinse this. Stupid me decided to hold the filter in one hand and pour the near boiling water with the other and of course there was splashing and missing and essentially just a lot of pain. So yeah, it was not a good start but not only did RS send this to me, she took the time to pair it with a song so I figured I will suck it up and see how it goes.
As far as pu er goes, this isn’t too bad tbh. I wonder if my taste is compromised since I have a bit of a cold and if that is playing a role here though usually when thats the case, I don’t taste anything at all and yet I am tasting stuff here. To me, its leather. So this is going to be a weird description and I have no idea why but this makes me think of a brown/tannish belt. Smooth and refined. The kind men wore in like the 60s. Somehow, the tea combined with the song is just creating that image. I honestly doubt that is why Roswell Strange paired them and I am thinking the cold meds might be messing with my head but that is honestly what I am coming away with. Do with that what you will :P
Thank you Roswell Strange for yet another share and yet another fun song and tea pairing.