New Tasting Notes
Let me preface this by saying that I am a bit of a Pu stuffed tangerine, mandarin crazy man. Liu Bao stuffed too for that matter. I’ve also been a bit of a citrus nut in general especially oranges. However that being said after reading so many tastings regarding this tea I was a bit curious about what my own experience would be. In the end it was one of my most enjoyable Dark Matter 2016 sessions.
The heavy citrus added a really nice tone to the tea, perhaps taking a forefront to the leaf itself but that’s easily fixed by changing the 8/1 ratio recommended by White2Tea. The color of the liquor was between dark brown sugar and light brown sugar depending on infusion number. There was a creaminess to it too giving it a beautiful sheen as well as mouthfeel. Just over 7g of leaf with less than a gram of peel in a 150ml jingdezhen at 212F; no rinse and over a dozen steeps. I will use more leaf or a smaller pot next time around as I really would like to taste this even heavier. I also look forward to not only what this could become with some age but also to the Black Star I purchased too.
PS. This packs some seriously good after feels…
The session: https://instagram.com/p/BE7b_lnBUvR/
The citrus collection:
I have been drinking tons of this tea lately. When I pulled up the page I had to click add to cupboard. Strange, because I think I am on my second pouch of this and have another waiting in the wings.
My first note says it tasted like milk chocolate, but drinking it cold today I am tasting rich, roast grain and walnut, walnut, WALNUT.
Nice, tarty tea with great fruit notes. Just let this steep for 7 min or cold steep though. The currant and hibiscus in this can make this tea get very tart fast. But I love this iced and makes a great summer drink.
Flavors: Black Currant, Hibiscus, Mango, Passion Fruits, Tart
Very fluffy twisted and clean looking leaves in a dark and white array, very visually appealing as I’ve come to expect from Teabox. The smell of the leaves is already quite sweet, with a floral fragrance.
The brewed liquor is an orange gold, very fragrant aroma of lilies and sugar and some other flower. The taste is as sweet as the smell, with a piney pepper touch to it when hot and a juicy berry-like finish that gets stronger as it cools. The aroma lingers after swallowing and leaves a moderately dry feeling to the tongue.
A nice, mindless tea to sip and enjoy since the flavors are light despite being very prominent, although something about this particular kind of sweet is offputting to me (in my opinion, it almost tastes like artificial sweetener like splenda) and although the initial taste is strong with that sweet flavor, something, somewhere, inbetween makes this taste almost thin to me.
Flavors: Berry, Floral, Pine, Spices, Sugar
Very light floral tea with notes of lemongrass. A little soapy tasting but not entirely unpleasant. The tea comes with large flowers and fuzzy stems and leaves. Produces a pale yellow-peach colour tea. Overall, it does not have a great flavour but is supposedly high in antioxidants and is antibacterial. Much better with the addition of a little lemon juice.
Flavors: Grass, Lemongrass, Soap
So yeah, this was a 2010 green tea and I’m just getting to it now. [Hangs head in shame.]
It was vacuum sealed and stored in my magical California climate, though, so when opened, an amazingly fresh, sweet fragrance wafted out of the packet. Like sweet, buttery spinach, where the sharpness of the spinach has been filed down and replaced with sweet pea.
The leaves are amazingly fine and hair-like. They remind me a bit of gyokuro leaves but not as dark in color. These are a light, grass green, and may even be a bit finer in texture than gyokuro, though I’m not comparing side by side.
The liquor is almost a chartreuse color, and the steeped tea smells very much like the dry leaves.
The flavor is sweet and mellow. Very drinkable, very flavorful. Makes me wonder what this would have been like when fresh. I’ve been taking this with me to work the past couple of days. It’s a nice morning tea but I’m also having some now, and it’s just as enjoyable in the evening.
There’s something bright and happy about this tea. It’s like optimism in a cup.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Peas, Spinach
This is the tea that defies everything I knew about my tea preferences. I wasn’t even planning on trying this based on my strong dislike of Pom Tango and growing aversion to hibiscus teas. Add to that the presence of stevia AND rooibos and how could this tea be anything but horrible? However, it happened to be on sample and you don’t say no to samples. Well this is actually really good! Kind of a Minute Maid fruit punch vibe to it. It is sweet (and I would still have preferred if there wasn’t stevia in it, but it doesn’t ruin it) and more like drinking juice than tea, but it’s got a strong refreshing flavour that’s exactly what you want sometimes.
For some reason I thought I didn’t enjoy Twinings English Breakfast because I remember it being weak and bitter. I always take home the tea bags they give you in hotel rooms, even if I don’t like the tea, so that is how I ended up with this teabag. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Red Rose, but it was not bitter on the first steep and I thought the flavour was pretty good. It got a bit bitter on the second steep, but it was not unpleasant. I wish it was more malty, but I think if I had added milk, the tea would have been smoothed out a bit.
Overall, there was not anything that really stood out for me with this blend, but it certainly wasn’t bad.
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Nutty, Rooibos, Smooth, Spices
I found the green tea used in this blend extremely pleasant. I have a difficult time finding green teas that I enjoy because so many are bitter, astringent, or too weak. Anyway, I love the green tea used in this.
The jasmine went really well with the green tea. I normally enjoy very strong jasmine teas but I actually really liked the subdued jasmine in this because it allowed the green tea flavour to how through.
First steep was 3 minutes in very hot water with one teabag in a medium size teapot. Second steep was more flavourful because i let it steep a four more minutes. Third steep was starting to be overly tannic. The second steep was my favourite, but I think if you played with the times a bit, you might be able to get three good steeps out of the teabag.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Jasmine, Sweet, Tannin
This is a fairly interesting herbal with a lot of ingredients. The main flavor that comes through though is the ginger, probably followed by the lemon. The rest of the ingredients are not really noticeable. I like this tea well enough so it will probably become a regular night time tea for me as it is caffeine free.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 8 minutes.
Flavors: Ginger, Lemon
Honey! A delicate honey smell and flavor. It seems pretty balanced with only the slightest hint of toasty. The 3rd steep turned a red gold color that may just be one of the prettiest cups of tea I’ve seen (alas, no pictures!). I brewed this in a gaiwan but there wasn’t much of a change until the very end steeps where a bit of mineral came out. It was pleasant but I’m not sure how often I would want to come back to it as opposed to a bolder tea.
Good “go to” black tea for everyday drinkers. Although I would recommend Twinings or Four O’Clock for a better taste profile, those will hurt your pocketbook a bit more. Strong enough flavor without becoming too bitter. Better for iced tea as the bitterness of the tea is more easily perceived when consumed hot.
Mild to light flavored tea. I get a very light citrus/almond note accompanying its mild tea flavor. Agreeable both hot or iced. One of the better white teas I have tried, many tend to have too strong of a citrus flavor for my preferences. I tend to prefer non-herbal, strong black teas; however, this was a delightful change of palate. Four O’Clock has become one of my favorite tea brands based on this tea and their Breakfast/English Breakfast blend. Slightly expensive for an everyday product, but would recommend as an occasional treat.
Flavors: Almond, Bamboo, Citrus