32 Tasting Notes
A lot more savoury and less bitter than I was expecting, especially as I brewed this tea with near-boiling water. I really like this tea – it has a surprisingly strong taste for a sencha, very vegetal and buttery as you might expect, but with more umami than I would have expected. The taste becomes less rounded and more bitter as the tea cools.
There’s a great natural sweetness to this tea, I was surprised at the strength and the depth of the flavour was considering this is a supermarket bagged tea. There’s a mild grassiness at the start of the mouthful, which turns smooth and almost buttery, and ends sweet with a very slight hint of licorice. Overall, it’s a really lovely chamomile that I would recommend.
I really, really like this tea. It’s very full-bodied and Assam-y and it smells a bit like Ovaltine, which I suppose makes sense given the strong maltiness to the flavour. I’ve been drinking this with sugar to counterbalance the slight astringency of this tea. It’s a great everyday tea, I got a few bags as a sample and I’m definitely going to have to buy more once I’ve gotten through them.
Dry, this tea smells very strongly of strawberries, and of very little else. The scent of the infusion itself is very different: there’s an odd vegetal note in the scent that I assume to be the bamboo. There are notes of mint and strawberry (not at all as overpowering as in the smell of the dry leaves) which mix very well.
The taste is very complex. There is a definite sweet note of the strawberry mid-sip, but it’s not as strong as the smell would suggest by far. The coolness of the mint comes through as an aftertaste, which is very pleasant and refreshing. It’s very smooth, with no astringency. I definitely think the mint helps in this regard. I don’t really know what bamboo tastes like on its own, so I can’t really pick it out: there is definitely a vegetal element to the taste, but as this is a sencha-based blend I can’t rule out that this is the grassy taste you expect of Japanese greens.
I like it, overall. The flavour lasted well through three infusions, prepared as I would a regular sencha. It’s definitely a good summer tea – I haven’t tried it iced yet, but I may put the rest of my sample to this use.
The first infusion I made of this was very weak – the ginseng powder coating didn’t dissolve enough to let the leaves unfurl much. I tend to do short steeps of a small volume of oolong, but for this tea I think a much longer steep is required just to give the ginseng time to dissolve.
Because the infusion was so weak, the oolong flavour couldn’t really shine through, which was quite disappointing, but I was pleasantly surprised by the aftertaste (Angrboda calls it licorice-y and I think this is an accurate description).
The second infusion was much better, having a really nice orange-brown colour and smelling sweet with an odd woody note that I can’t quite place. The taste is slightly earthy, and the licorice aftertaste is more subdued with this infusion, but it balances out the slight astringency of the oolong nicely. I ended up with lots of bits of ginseng at the bottom of my teacup though, so the last few sips were a bit powdery.
I bought this as a sample, and I’m not sure that I would buy more. It’s not bad, but it’s not the level of awesome that makes me want more. The difficulty in getting the first infusion right isn’t helping either: perhaps if it was oolong with separate ginseng pellets, rather than oolong coated in ginseng, it would be easier to get the flavour balance right.
I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time, so I finally ordered some sakura tea from Obubu Tea.
The tea has a very delicate cherry scent, with a salty undertone, and tastes similar. The taste is much stronger than I expected from a single blossom: uniquely floral and refreshing, mildly sweet, with a hint of salt. You can also add the salted water you soaked the blossom in back into the tea to taste, which makes the flavour stronger and saltier.
If you have glass teaware, I recommend using it with this tea so that you can watch the blossom unfurl itself when you pour on the hot water. You can get several infusions out of each blossom – I’ve drank this tea several times now and usually get four or five infusions out of a single blossom.
My first thought was that this Dragon Well isn’t as pretty as some others that I’ve had in the past: the leaves seem smaller and not as yellowy as I’m used to. They’re a deeper green when dry, but when the tea is infused the physical difference of the leaves don’t seem to make much difference. That said, this went bitter on me the first time I brewed it: I normally brew Dragon Well for 3 minutes, but for this one, 2 to 2.5 seems to be long enough.
The liquor is very fresh-smelling and vegetal: I like my teas a little grassy, so for me this tea was great, but if you aren’t a fan of that sort of taste then this isn’t the tea for you. The tea itself tasted much like you would expect Dragon Well to taste, if a little more astringent. Over all, I can see this tea becoming a regular for me :)
Let’s face it, it’s not good.
The rose flavour doesn’t stand out all that much, the taste is indeterminately fruity more than anything else, and the fruit flavour overpowers the tea. And every now and then, a really odd, artificial taste that I can’t place comes through. I’ve drank this four or five times, but now it just sits at the back of the cupboard because I really don’t like it at all.
It got to quarter to nine tonight and I just really wanted chamomile tea, so I picked up a box of this from the Co-Op. Usually I would have wanted whole chamomile flowers (they look so pretty brewing in a glass pot!) and not teabags, but I ran out last week :(
As far as chamomile goes, you can’t really get it wrong. This definitely wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but it was good enough for me. It produces a really beautiful golden liquor and smells absolutely wonderful. The only fault I could find was that the taste is rather flat – maybe I’ve just been spoiled by some really fantastic chamomiles in the past, but this tea doesn’t have the same complexity of flavour that I’m used to.