92 Tasting Notes
First cup of the day – last cup of my sample! I still really like this. It’s slightly smokey without tasting too organic (ie grass, dirt etc) which is my preference. Don’t be afraid of the smoke – this one is really very light, and suitable for someone new to smoke teas. It’s on my list for a possible larger size, but I’m not ready to commit – it’s lovely, but really a but light for me.
My first lapsang! I’ve been steeling myself for it all week, trying other smokey blends until I felt ready to try this one. The dry leaves smell like jerky – yup, I definitely get jerky. I like smoked things, so I persevered. I steeped 4 minutes and then added my usual aount of cream/sugar before trying (not brave enough to try this without!) It smells intensely smokey, but the actual taste is a little more mild. I get black pepper and a little sweetness – it’s very nice! I tried a second steeping of the leaves, but I wasn’t very impressed with the results. I’m excited to try more smokey teas!
Hmm… a bit earth and a tad smokey. I’d prefer more smoke and less earth. It tastes a bit like hay smells, if that makes sense. Not my favorite keemun, but I finished the cup.
I seem to have bought a lot of smokey teas lately. I find that I’m developing a taste for them ! This tea, however, was just ok. It’s neither smokey nor bold, but rather a polite afternoon tea that gives the impression that someone is smoking a pipe… it another building. That’s ok – in fact, it’s a perfectly nice tea, it just doesn’t excite me the way I was hoping. I have more smokey teas to try – maybe it’s time to break out the lapsang?
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Really nice! I love roses and I love chocolate, so this is a nice combo. The roses taste sweet in this blend. The taste is very floral – I get more rose than chocolate, but the chocolate is there, keeping the rose from tasting of perfume. At 5 minutes the taste is perfect. I am slightly allergic to roses, so I get the sniffles when I drink this, but occasionally it is worth it!
This is a lighter assam. The taste is sweet and light, without the appearance of a lot of malt (even at 5 minutes!) I prefer a stronger assam in the morning, so I will keep this as an afternoon tea. The flavor has a delicacy which is lost on my sleepy tastebuds – for an assam it’s really almost light! Recommended.
I prefer for my morning tea to be strong. I have a few favorites, but many breakfast blends are what I would consider to be rather timid brews. Not this one! The flavor is strong and malty, with a hint of smoke that dissipates as the tea cools. Assam is my favorite tea, but I have not been in love with Yunnan. It’s lovely with the assam – I get the nice smoke and sweetness without the earthy taste that has made me uncertain about Yunnans. I was doubtful about the 5 minute steeping time recommended by Upton, but it was perfect. There is no bitterness, and I doubt the tea could have achieved this amount of flavor with a shorter steeping. This may make my cut for breakfast teas!
I love Irish breakfast, so I threw this sample into my last Upton order. I steeped for 3 minutes – I usually err on the short side with a CTC tea like this – they get bitter in a hurry! My opinion – eh, it’s just all right. Not a lot of nuance, but that’s ok in a breakfast tea (it’s all I can do to make tea without spilling water on myself in the morning!) It could be stronger. Based on the ratings here, I’m going to give it a try at 4 minutes.
I took the advice of my fellow Steepster-ites and changed the way I steep this. This time I lowered the temp and steeped much longer – about ten minutes. I’m also no longer ill, so I don’t suspect my tastebuds are off.
My conclusion? Well, it’s definitely better this way. I can taste the chocolate, and at 5 minutes I absolutely could not! Unfortunately, I still get raisin from this tea – really, really strong raisin. Maybe malt just tastes like raisins to me when the tea is hot? It definitely gets less strong as it cools off. My husband thinks it tastes like chocolate – he doesn’t get the raisin taste at all. I think it’s a personal issue with me and malt. On the other hand, I think I’ve finally figured out why I don’t like beer – that malt! I gave the rest to my husband – he loves it, so there you go!