14 Tasting Notes

81

This came in small silk/synthetic tea bags, and a wealth of flavour and woodsiness oozed through them. Alas my packets are gone!

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63
(Writing a while after.)

This cake proved impossible to break by hand, but when carved up with an Opinel it made good, dark, earthy tea. I didn’t reuse the leaves, being mostly en voyage at the time, but imagine they would have allowed many infusions. Large, slug-like leaves to scare sweet friends!

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71
drank Citron Pu Erh by The Teahouse
14 tasting notes

The pu erh itself isn’t exceptionally fabulous (good, rather), but it’s very well-balanced with the citron through all lengths of infusion. As the trader suggests, it’s not too sweet, and I find it adaptable and amenable to travelling, being rich and refreshing at the same time.

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec

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28

Increasingly dusty (see previous tasting note): eventually I gave this one away.

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33
drank Rose Congou by Narien Teas
14 tasting notes

Undistinguished black tea overscented with roses. My grandmother discovered that it’s greatly improved by lemon, however the excessive fruitiness in this case completely overwhelms the tea.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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57
drank Pu Erh by Narien Teas
14 tasting notes

A loose, frosted pu erh like old khaki. It leaves slightly slimy-looking black-green nuggets in the pot, which I’m personally rather a fan of, and retains the same evocative scent of old boxes in the cup as it does in the packet. What little bitterness there is is superseded by an almost floral aftertaste, which comes out in a longer brewing time, and improves the tea. Rich (though not especially for a pu erh), and mellow.

Preparation
4 min, 30 sec

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62
drank African Rooibos by Narien Teas
14 tasting notes

The stock picture for this tea is misleading: it’s not red, but a fresh-hay mixture of green and straw and red-russet. It produces a refreshing, unfamiliar herbal-scented brew the colour of golden honey; I like it better for not being over-cured, but that may just be the batch I’ve found. Pleasing, but not a staple.

It does indeed have floaters.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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28

An unimposing rooibos with barely-noticeable bergamot. The tea itself has a pleasant floral honey scent, but it suffers from being individually-bagged. The leaves are a nearly uniform autumn reddish-brown, and it produces a golden-red brew. I find it underwhelming and disappointing; it’s currently being used up in my cupboard rather than delighted over.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Assam Mangalam by Narien Teas
14 tasting notes

Deep, warming, strong, and comforting. The secondary bitterness is equally smooth, if bitterness can be, and transitions into a lingering, astringent sweetness. Rather an instant fan of this tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75

I keep this because occasionally people ask me for ‘normal’ tea. It’s very surprisingly good, has a wonderful roundness of flavour, and is balanced enough to drink weak as well as dark. The leaves are cut to be absolutely tiny but very uniform, so it steeps quickly into a builder’s tea. It lacks bitterness, can be bought in and around Somerset from corner shops, and is a favourite of a friend of mine to drink dark with milk and biscuits.

Preparation
Boiling

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