This reminds me a bit of a Keemun. Mellow, sweet (whoops, just quoted the Description), faintly nutty. But definitely lighter, “greener” than a Keemun black. Very lovely.
329 Tasting Notes
…Huh. Could have sworn I’d written up a tasting note for this.
Well, long story short, this was one of the two teas my aunt sent to me while I was working up north. I found the base rather bitter, and thus wasn’t much a fan of this.
However, I’ve been using it to make London Fogs with since I got home. Milk /mostly/ tempers the bitterness, although it still makes its way through. It’s just a really cheap black tea base, I suppose.
Used this one up with one last tea latte today.
Wasn’t sure what to expect. Would the leaves be dry? You can’t “dry” honey. Maybe crystalized. Nope, I realized when I got the vacuum-sealed bag open and went in to scoop some out. Honey coated. Not leaves in a pool of honey, though. Really infused.
Couldn’t smell the honey on anything but my spoon after I’d scooped. Brewed in a gaiwan, the liquid is a cloudy, toasty yellow. Smells like a toasty oolong, no sweetness.
First Steep: Despite the obvious stickyness of the leaves, I’m not getting too much of a honey flavour. A nice oolong—not sharply vegetal, very pleasing, buttery notes. When I breathe out… Sweetness, I think, bordering on honey. As if the honey does not directly add any flavour, but somehow enhances the oolong itself so that I am enjoying this immensely.
More sweetness as I sip. I have a feeling the honey may have settled to the bottom—as it tends to do when you stir it directly into the tea anyhow. Starting to get a sticky honey taste with just a touch of sweetness.
Second Steep: Bolder taste in the second steep, as I didn’t actually rinse this. I think I’m getting more honey. Just a faint, sticky sweetness under the toasty oolong notes. I like darker, roasted oolongs, and I think the honey goes with it well.
Third Steep: Didn’t pay as much attention to this one. Still fifteen seconds. Didn’t get any sweetness.
Using up the last of this one. Accidentally used a bit too much and too long of a steep, so it’s sharp—bordering on bitter. It’s still unique and interesting to sip, and I’ve got room for many more steeps.
It’s a bitter cocoa taste. Reminds me of Dawn, but Dawn was a delicious powdery cocoa—no bitterness. The scent and taste are dark and earthy, rarely any fruityness to this tea.
I went to remove this from my cupboard as I finished it off, only to realize it was never in my cupboard to begin with.
It seems I am sipping a phantom tea.
No notes yet.
Finishing this one off as well.
I neglected to type up a steeping note when I picked it up a second time. I wanted so much to like it, and I couldn’t understand why the initial batch was so bitter. I got it in store again, and it tasted as wonderful as I remember, so I sprung for another two ounces.
I think I was write when I assumed it was something with the batch, because this one was fine all the way through. Probably one of my favourite tea blends. Grassy green and smoky, very unique—screams “Murchie’s”.
It’s up there with Library Blend as teas I will probably re-buy. Although I think I should truck through all their other green-black tea blends first.
I’ve had a smaller rolled yunnan tea before (rolled a bit smaller than a pea), but I wanted to try these out because they seem a great serving size for a small vessel.
I went in expecting great things, because I do love yunnan tea. I did one pearl for my 100ml gaiwan. Meant to do about three to four minutes, went a little over… Would have been fine with a shorter steep, though.
Definitely more on the peppery side. There’s still an undertone with a bit of sweetness, though.
Another reminder that I should browse Steepster before buying. Avoid impulse buys.
It’s not bitter, at least, from what I’ve found. Found it pleasant enough—actually this would make a nice iced tea, if the flavours weren’t so subtle that they’d probably be lost if it were cold-brewed. Perhaps brewing it extra, /extra/ strong…
It’s okay, though. My OTHER purchase, however—Stash’s iced tea powders—eeeh.
The dry smell isn’t strong, but subtle and smokey.
Did a quick rinse-brew.
First steep: Twenty seconds
Smells definitely smokey, although there are hints of a green, buddha oolong scent as well. Hard to explain. The deep, metallic scent I find they have.
It’s definitely green—definitely an iron buddha, anyhow, crisp, not as green as some oolongs. But there’s a strong smokey overtone that hits first before.
After a while, the smoke starts to taste almost sweet. Possibly a combination of the smoke and more mineral-butter-vegetal notes. Hmm.
I’m liking this a lot actually. I love smokey teas, but this is very different. In a good way. Not pure smoke. Subtle, smoke adding the right touch.
Second Steep: Twenty Seconds
Brewed darker than the first. Found this one more sharply smoky; the initial sips were sweet, but this has mostly faded.
Third Steep: Twenty Seconds
As I was brewing this steep, I got a distinct tobacco scent. Smoke seems to have dissipate in the taste, although there’s something akin to tobacco to replace it. Deeper notes. Not as green.
Fourth Steep: Twenty Seconds
Tobacco note is fading. Bit more like a new-styled iron buddha now.
Fifth Steep: Twenty Seconds
New day. Thought there were hints of smoke, but might have been mistaken. Starting to taste a bit spent, but still flavourful. See fourth steep.
Sixth Steep: Twenty Seconds
Still steeped a good colour, rather instantly, but the taste is a bit spent. Like steeping something a second time after the first steep was already three or four minutes long. Taste is still there, but most of the main notes have vanished.
Finishing this one off, finally; the last of my A&D trio to go. Perfect timing actually, as Teavivre decided to include a free sample of their silver jasmine green tea in my order.
Used up the last of this; made two cups: one for me and one for my mom.
Tea is a disk with a ridge across the diametre (like those pills that you can cut in half for a smaller dose). Brewed in gaiwan, ten second rinse.
Dry, I think I can smell the mushroom.
See below for my teatra.de blog ramble about my adventures into Chinatown to obtain this tea and others. Comes with photos!
First steep: Ten Seconds
There’s a deep, very unique smell, slightly spicy savoury. Brewed ink-black, just like the rinse.
Taste isn’t nearly as strong as the smell. Deep, earthy, puehr taste—rounded out a touch savoury, and think I’m getting a bit of astringency in the back as well. Don’t actually know what bamboo, this particular mushroom, nor chrysanthemum taste like (last one: would except floral). Savoury taste probably from the second, maybe even the first. I had a fear that it would tasted “herbal remedy” ish, but that is not the case. There’s a heavyness almost like coffee (saying this having only drunk it once or twice), without the bitterness. Perhaps the ‘roasted’ aspect? Hrm.
Second Steep: Ten Seconds
Sort of forgot about this one and so it cooled considerably before I drank it. A bit sharper, I think—but that might just be because I started drinking it later. Still savoury, earthy. Possibly a bit flatter. Hmm.
Third Steep: Fifteen Seconds
Accidentally let this one go for an extra five seconds.
Taste is sharper, mouth-feel maybe slightly gritty. Still, as always, savoury, maybe not quite as potent as the earlier steeps (done last night).
Fourth Steep: Ten Seconds
Less sharp, overall less potent. Still good.
Fifth Steep: Ten Seconds
Not much change, becoming weaker still.
Sixth Steep: Ten Seconds
The savoury essence has worn off, but the tea is still there. Still brewing rather dark.
Seventh Steep: Ten Seconds
Looks like it’s reaching the end of it’s life, here.
Finished this off. Delicious, good matcha taste, vanilla sweetness, makes a great latte or shake, but like always can be drunk plain.
I like this, for a green tea. It’s definitely different—flavourful, with many different notes. I probably steeped it a little hot.
I think this is what ‘buttery’ really is. It’s also nice and earthy (though not vegetal), with a very subtle mineral taste. Although it’s becoming quite bitter as it cools—will have to make sure I user a cooler steep time in the future.
Made some more today. Transferred the tea to a nice clean tin, and realized just how fresh it smells. It’s very potent, and reminds me of hay (although much sweeter).
This transferred into the taste this time around too. My initial sips, sweet hay. Sharp astringency already, that’s building as I drink it.
Made it with less leaf and a longer steep time today. And boiling water.
The dry leaf smells sweet and of cherry.
Accidentally left this for a little bit to talk to my sister.
Brew smells slightly savoury with a hint of cherry (not as strong as dry).
The taste is slightly mineral, wouldn’t say vegetal or buttery. A sweet cherry comes about slightly in the after taste, mostly as I breathe out. Quite slight. I think it would be more noticeable with a second steep.
Edit: Accidentally forgot about it, and it went cold. The cherry is much more noticeable cold. Mmm very nice.
This had just recently come in, first flush for 2012 (so I was told) (forty dollars! Fifty grams; I think I was tired, I don’t usually make such purchases).
First steep: One level tsp of tea leaf in 100ml gaiwan, 1 min steep (intent: lessen time, more leaf), ~90ºc water.
Wet leaf smelt fruity, floral. Very grapey.
Tasted fresh, floral, and dry (but not biter, although I knew it would become more bitter as it cooled). I don’t drink wine (or any alcohol), so I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand what muscatel tastes like, but I found it like a dry, grape fruit taste.
I was nibbling on toast as I sipped, which it went all right with (I remember a while back there being a post for a toast-and-tea pairing program, will have to check that again).
It’s got a nice tang, almost. The bitterness which came on more as it cooled is, as always (or as I always fine) like walnuts.
(dry, it was much greener than Steepster’s/UrbanTeaMerchant/TWG’s photo, but that may not be from this year)
Twisted green leaves when dry. Bits of white, red and orange mixed in as well. The leaves look very fresh when wet (although quite broken), orange mixed throughout. Many stems. Like other Darjeelings (that I’ve found) (at least with first flushes), it’s implied “black” but is only lightly withered and greener in taste, bordering more in oolong, I figure.
Fruity green, but not quite vegetal, almost fruity and savoury.
Second steep: Two minutes; still smells fruity and floral, almost like wine.
Brewed darker, and taste is much more sharp than the first. More bitter, but it may be because some of the leaves got through when I strained. Bitterness hits in the middle of each sip and trails off to linger in the aftertaste. Not getting the floral and fruit from the first steep.
Overall, not full-bodied. Light, bitter, fruity. Didn’t find a range of notes, but I’m no judge of Darjeelings. It’s nice, and I think I’ll like it on days that I can handle the bitterness. Will probably come back to it.
I’m drinking the very last of this, and trying to make it count.
This is still my favourite black to date. Made it slightly strong (using up the last of the tea leaves/fannings at the bottom of the bag), but still delicious.
Felt like something sweet so I made a latte, since this has ginger and a good, strong base. Agave nectar used, plus my hand-held milk frother.
Mmm pretty damn good, actually. Added a little too /much/ nectar, I think, but it’s delicious and sweet and with a strong ginger kick (used an extra teaspoon and steeped longer). The pu’erh makes it through the milk as well,; not fishy, gives a pretty unique taste to a latte.
Overall quite good.
Finishing off this one.
No notes yet.
A good Keemun, I think. Might have made it a little strong. No astringency, smooth and nutty, slightly smoky. Salty smoke.
Some days I’ll blend it with lapsang. But it’s also good and smoky on its own.
I think I can taste the age creeping into this one. I really shouldn’t put off finishing off my Simple Leaf teas. I love them to bits, but it’s best to enjoy them while they’re still good.
I always need the right mood for tea types. I need to be in the mood for a Darjeeling, or I don’t like it. I definitely can’t have them in the mornings. I enjoy them best in the afternoon, I think, after I’ve already had a cup or two of something else.
Still nutty—walnut—although less sharp than I remember it being. It’s still got a wine-like quality, but I’m obviously not the best person to be describing anything to do with wine, being a teetotaller.
As always, going more bitter as it cools, but not a dislikable astringency. Reminds me of the taste of the ‘skins’ on cracked walnuts. Clings a bit to the mouth afterwards.