966 Tasting Notes
The first thing to pique my interest in this tea was the appearance of the dry leaf. Some of the longest leaves I have ever seen for tea. It has that fermented taste of a sheng with rich earthy notes. Very smooth mouthfeel. Somewhat bready. A few honey notes, but it’s not the sweet honey many know, it’s closer to a Manuka honey. The astringency starts to come out past one minute. Reminds me of some Ceylon greens with a slight metallic note. An interesting spicy note happens at 3 mins and above. It’s somewhat hard to describe. The wet leaf aroma is a bit fishy with seaweed and fish market notes. The liquor smells of slight miso, umami, and seaweed. With more time I could see this one developing some very interesting complexity. I will store this and see if it will produce some different notes.
H’mong Kings was a Rakkasan favorite of mine for a long time. But then I tried this one, which is similar, but honestly, I think this is even better. This is a fantastic tea. Everyone has different palates and you may not like it as much as I but you need to give it at least 2 – 3 tries. This is now my new favorite Rakkasan tea.
Dry Leaf Aroma: Slightly smoky. Dry wood. Dried Pine.
Wet Leaf Aroma: Wet rainforest floor. Smoked wood chips.
Liquor Aroma: Miso soup, vegetal, slight seaweed, woody
Flavor: Vegetal. Smoky. Asparagus. Slight umami. Slightly bitter.
Can’t believe I haven’t added a tasting note for this tea yet. I love it. Right from the moment you open the bag and are greeted with tiny hairs covering the interior you know it’s going to be good. The dry leaf is a mix of mainly curled and twisted leaves along with a few stems. A mixture of muted shades of green and those adorable silvery hairs. The dry aroma will whisk you away straight to Vietnam where you can taste their woks and the food they eat but all done subtly. The wet leaf aroma is much more in your face. Steamed asparagus, stone fruit, and a minerality that transfers to your palate as you smell it. The flavor is vegetal, steamed green beans, woody, green wood, and minerality that leaves you feeling slightly like you licked a rock.
What makes a chai good is subjective. Just like many things in life. I prefer a spicy chai. So when I walked by the Sofull Chai table I was skeptical because of sugar and sweetness. I discovered that the owners actually went to Imdia and love a good spicy chai as well. So naturally I had to buy some. Now why Lavender? Why not? I can tell you right now they blended it masterfully. The Lavender is gorgeously smooth and doesn’t try to overtake the chai but instead makes the mix smoother. If possible try to make this the way they provided on the tin or follow their YouTube.
After visiting New Zealand I fell in love with blackcurrant flavored teas. The problem was I could never find one as good as what I had there. This is closer but still not quite there. It has a nice touch of astringency without being puckering and the flavor is so close. I feel the blackcurrant could be a smidgen stronger.
Not all black tea is the same. It is amazing how different tea can be from country to country, city to city, and even how different they can be depending on how the farmer processes it. This Keemun is medium in leaf size so it will brew quickly but not quite as quickly as smaller-leaf tea. The dry leaf aroma is woody and pleasant. Mainly bark and mulch. The flavor is not quite as deep as I was expecting but it has a soothing woody note of deep woods, slight sawdust, and green wood. The flavors change a bit with the second steep. A bit musty, slight roast, a bit of malt, a touch of rye bread, and multigrain bread. Soft mouthfeel. I actually am enjoyed this second steep more then the first…
There are two other ingredients in this tea but the main flavor is peppermint. While I’m not huge on peppermint this blend is decent. The mouthfeel is soft but also a bit tangy which I find a little odd. Ah, though it does have ginger and especially Jamaican ginger which has a nice kick. It all makes sense now.