351 Tasting Notes
I was afraid I was going to brew this tea and my poor palette would be unable to tell it from Caravan. They certainly smell quite similar. But lapsang smells VERY different once brewed. You can definitely tell that it was smoked over pine. The pine is there. Mmm, campfire. Mostly because pine’s often what we end up throwing on it. I can’t stop sniffing it. It’s very nice.
The taste is definitely weaker than caravan. But I can’t remember—maybe I steeped that one longer. Taste’s quite different. Sweeter. The pine, maybe. Still savoury. When I purchased this, the lady gave me an odd look and asked if I had ever had it before. I suppose I should have seen it coming—people either love or hate this tea. I explained that I had been meaning to try it (she let me sniff it, and it smelt as expected). Mm, I like it. I think I like Russian Caravan more, but maybe I should have just steeped this one longer. It’s got a… deeper flavour though, I think. Tasty.
I wasn’t sure how to steep this. It’s my first green-black blend (and you can most certainly SMELL it—the green and the black tea, I mean). So I went 180 degrees, at around three (ish?) minutes, just to be safe. The colour came out quite light for a black tea (as expected, I guess).
Here goes! I was kind of nervous about this one. I’ve never purchased a tea I had ABSOLUTELY no idea about. But I am a risk taker! And where better to try a tea I’d been meaning to try, than with a company I had ALSO been meaning to try!
It tastes like black tea and green tea, but I can’t really taste any of the fruity spiceness that was also mixed in there. Although I can smell it in the dry leaves, wet leaves and (to a lesser extent) in the tea. Oh, wait—I can taste the jasmine, mildly I believe. It was a good idea that I tried jasmine green tea before hand, so I can actually pick that taste out. I would steep this for longer to see what I get, but the green is JUST strong enough for me.
I get a sweetness when I sip and then breathe out. No marshmallows, but it sort of REMINDS me of marshmallows. In a weird way. I’m sure it’s just my underdeveloped palette that’s keeping me from tasting things, but somehow… this is very nice. Maybe it’s the rose that I’m tasting a bit when I breathe out. That sweetness. Ah yes, it’s a bit stronger now. Definitely there. Mm, it’s quite nice. I’m starting to become rather fond of this tea. I think I’ll try a second steep and bring that to work with me.
I think I like this one! I’ll probably keep drinking it to see what I can get out of it. It smells so pleasant and sweet, and the taste is there, I’m just not the best person to give a very accurate description of it.
I decided to try steeping this for two minutes first (I mean, I can always just put the teaball back IN), because I remember a few steepsters saying that assam teas can be very picky, and will turn bitter much faster than others. It was in for two, maybe two and a half minutes, and it already is fairly strong, surprisingly. A bit astringent, but not right out bitter. There’s a somewhat tangy, berry taste at the very back of the mouth when I sip it and let it sit for a moment.
I’m sure this could hold milk very well. I think I found my new morning tea! Except that I only got an ounce of this (just to try), so I’ll have to go back for more.
I can still taste it. Aftertaste. Very nice. Yeah, this really doesn’t need any more than two minutes.
This smells scrumptious. I got it while at the Urban Tea Merchant, and ended up leaving the teabag in there the whole time while I was drinking it. Which was for over an hour. And it didn’t once taste oversteeped. Magic!
It’s vanilla and “berries” (I didn’t know which fruits specifically until I returned home and checked their website), and you can definitely smell the fruit. The vanilla I couldn’t smell right away, but it’s sort of… hidden in there. A subtle sweetness. I couldn’t taste either at first, but the fruity taste started to come out after a while—a sort of aftertaste on the tip of the tongue, really. Very faint. Maybe this one just isn’t for me; I guess I’d need something stronger.
I actually kept the teabag and resteeped it once I got home, and the berry taste it just slightly more evident. Still no real vanilla flavour, though. Just a sort of touch of sweetness, really. I wonder how this would do in latte form; the Urban Tea Merchant offers those too, I just didn’t want to get a latte for my first time there, because I wanted to see how the teas would taste on their own first. I’m definitely going back there and trying teas until I find “Mine” and THEN I’ll spend thirty bucks on a tin. Maybe more.
The lady had actually run out of the bagged stuff, so she sent another employee off to fill one of those t-bags with the loose-leaf stuff. She said it was no trouble, although I said I could just have an Earl Grey instead.
It smelt pleasantly of vanilla (evident, but by no means strong; the smell of the actual black tea was much stronger), however I couldn’t taste it at all. At times I thought I did—just barely, at the tip of my tongue or something. But there was definitely a sort of vanillay mouth-feel. That somewhat creamy sensation I guess. Perhaps it should have been steeped at a lower temperature for longer. That may bring it out a bit more. But I’ll never know! Unless I buy some and play around with temperatures and steeping times.
I let it steep for around five and a half minutes, but I don’t really know how hot the water was when she poured it. The tea as a black was nice, but the lack of a vanilla taste was a bit disappointing.
I find when I sniff this tea, it makes me think of honey. I don’t think it REALLY smells like honey (maybe faintly), so I assume it’s just my mind going “this needs honey”.
That’s not to say that it actually NEEDS it. I’m still drinking it without, and I like it. It’s a basic morning breakfast tea. Wakes me up. Gently! And doesn’t require any additives; it’s only slightly sharp-tasting. It’s basic; I don’t love or hate it, and it goes good with morning foods. I’m drinking it bagged sadly, as no places in my area sell it loose leaf, that I know of.
I am under the impression that the image on the front of the tin is Jupiter with lips to replace it’s great red spot.
Oh, this has a wonderful smell, and a very dark, rich colour brewed. I can smell the black tea a bit more in this than in Hazo’s, which I like. Hmm, five minutes (I followed the label) might have been oversteeping it. It’s okay with a bit of honey though. I think I might like Hazo’s better, still, but it’s good. I nice earl grey. Nice tea flavour, with a bit of bergamot citrus smell/after taste.
Edit: Hmm, the second cup (but of the same pot!) is much better, somehow. Doesn’t taste oversteeped, and didn’t require any honey. Mmm.
However, on that note, this tea is fairly broken up, and my mesh tea ball is no match for it. I think I’d need something finer. Because I went to pour the rest of the pot, and a thick layer of tea-grit settled onto the bottom of my cup. More than usual.
The smell is VERY salty and smoky. Like campfire (or bacon). I allowed a few members of my family to take a smell, but non were very impressed (in fact, most were a little weirded out). I had to give up on my explanation that it’s meant to smell smokey because of how it’s made, and no it was NOT a Bacon Flavoured Tea (although I do plan on ordering that from 52 teas one day).
Once brewed, the smoky smell is lessoned, and slightly more tea-scented (slightly!). The colour is nice and dark, reddish.
TASTES smoky. A little too hot to tell, but the smoke does trail off into the aftertaste. It’s like drinking campfire. I think this is a Camping Tea. The sort of thing I would drink around the fire after a day of hiking, to replace hot chocolate. I thought this would be something that I would find too strong and would require milk with, but it’s not. I think milk would ruin the savoury flavour.
Continued: The second steep (6 minutes, no-longer-boiling water) was about as flavourful as the first. I’m sure I could have gotten one or two more steeps out of this, but I have to go to work, sadly.
I’ve never been very fond of green tea, but I got the Series 3 set because I love Earl Grey, I love smoky, bold teas, and I wanted a nice green tea for the days I’m in the mood for one (plus, that Damn Fine Teas patch is pretty rad).
The jasmine smell was very strong, but I don’t use jasmine-scented products, so my mind didn’t immediately jump to ‘jasmine soap’ or anything similar.
The jasmine carried over into the smell of the brewed tea, but not in the taste at all. Three minutes turned out perfectly, so the tea was very lightly vegetable tasting and almost sweet; quite mild (in the past I’ve made green tea too strong and I can’t stand that kind of taste). The colour was a pale green, although the drips coming off of the teaball as I removed it were a nice goldy yellow.