519 Tasting Notes
This is what I took to work today. We’re getting the outer edges of Hurricane Sandy, so the world outside is gray, cold, and very windy. The perfect day for something that smells and tastes of woodsmoke.
I’ve reviewed this tea before, so I won’t go to lengthy detail, but this was pretty perfect for today. Like I’ve said before, it smells more smoky than it tastes. Underneath the smoke, there is the delicious taste of Fujian black tea. Mmmm.
So, for a week, I couldn’t find my metal infuser and I was incredibly frustrated. I finally caved and bought myself a new one on Amazon, plus some Harney & Sons consolation that I had been wanting for a long time. The day after I ordered it, yes, I found my damn infuser. Of course.
Anyway, I’m still very happy to have this pretty blue tin in my cupboard. I popped it open and it smelled amazing. Strong! Peppery! Lemony! The bergamot isn’t as strong as their Earl Grey Supreme, but it’s still definitely the dominant flavor. This is a perfect standard for Earl Grey. Not too bitter, not too astringent, on a satisfying black and oolong blend. And also not so heavy on bergamot that your mouth goes numb.
Again, about the bergamot, Harney and Sons have set a bar for me. They use this Italian bergamot that just makes other blends taste cheap to me.
So, I decided to give this another go with the same leaves. This time, it got a longer steep time and hotter water. I wanted to see how this liked being treated more like a traditional black tea.
The liquor came up a bit darker, but not by much. Not amber or anything like a regular black. More like the picture shows here: http://www.nuvolatea.com/upload/product/14l.jpg It smells more like a black tea. Heartier, with a hint of smoke. The taste is slightly more toasted and astringent, but oddly not much different from the first infusion. It seems like the more I treat it like a black tea, the more it tastes like one, and the same when I treat it like an oolong. But the change is very subtle. Interesting.
My first thought when I picked this tea to try was “Oooh, black oolong. Now this is interesting.” Honestly, as long as I’ve been here at Steepster, I had somehow never heard of such a thing. I ripped open the little packet and inspected the leaves. Dark and thin, rolled into long narrow strips. It looked like a fine black tea with a few hints of golden brown here and there.
I treated this one gently as well, and may or may not have used a bit too much water in my ceramic teapot. The liquor is a pale tan, and smells like black tea with a hint of sweet fruit. The taste is very, very interesting. While it does have hints of floral, spring-like oolong, I can taste the black tea oxidization more. It’s caramelly and much more robust than a traditional oolong. Malty, even. Like a light golden tip tea… sort of. This is hard to describe and delightfully complex, and I love it.
Also, after checking the website to see how much this tea is, it’s listed as $60HK for 50g… I was horrified at how expensive it is. But then I checked a converter on Google. It’s only about $8 USD. Whew!
Giving this a try iced, since even through we’re halfway through October, it’s still pretty warm here in Atlanta.
It makes a pretty refreshing iced tea, I have to say. The caramelly flavor I described previously really comes out when it’s chilled. Same with the creamy pumpkin. Also, I can somehow taste the tea base better this way, too. Not sure why. I think next time I make this iced, it’s going to get a splash of milk, too. Should be a nice treat!
Thank you very much for this tasting opportunity, Nuvola Teas! They sent me a small sampler, and I am very excited to try all these high grade teas.
The leaves of this tea are lovely. Glossy and dark green, rolled into little nuggets with their stems on the outside. They smell delicious and springlike, with a hint of sweet creaminess. I’m still getting into oolong, and this seemed very promising.
I was gentle with it, brewing it just under 185 degrees for a minute and a half. The resulting liquor was a pretty pale green that smelled faintly nutty. I allowed it to cool for a minute or two before tasting. It’s an absolutely pristine flavor… somehow rich and mildly vegetal. The creaminess I smelled translates well into the taste. So smooth. There’s also a gentle floral taste in the background that I mostly taste when I breathe out. I think I like that part the best.
In all, this is a very complex and tasty oolong. I made a cup for myself and my brother, and almost wish I had kept it all for myself!
Why did I wait so long to taste this tea?! Maybe I was waiting for fall? Anyway, I got in a trade with QueenOfTarts almost a year ago.
This is great stuff! Much, much better than the Pumpkin Spice Adagio sells. The most prevalent spice in it seems to be cinnamon, as the ginger is more subtle. The pumpkin flavor is surprisingly realistic! Like pumpkin pie filling, especially with the touch of nutmeg. It really makes me think of Thanksgiving. Also, there’s a taste of caramel, to me at least, though it could be my imagination. I can’t really taste the actual tea in it, as it’s buried beneath layers of delicious spices. I’m going to have this as my breakfast tea until I run out.
Best pumpkin tea I’ve tried so far!
I’m still sick with this stupid cold! I am well over two weeks into this thing now. I have Nuvola teas to review, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to taste them well enough, so they’ll have to wait. Ugh.
I snagged this from work because I thought the ginger in it would help. While I can taste it, I don’t think there’s enough in it to really do anything medicinally. Also, I don’t remember it being this boring. Something about it tastes sort of artificial to me now. Like Peach Nehi. Lowering my rating a bit.
This one is the last of the teas from First Oriental Market that I snagged and hadn’t reviewed yet.
Both the dry bag and the tea as it steeps smell very much like a puerh. I guess I should have expected that when I read “tuocha” on the package. I was more excited by the word “yunnan”. But there’s no fishiness in the scent, at least, while I let it cool to a drinkable temperature.
The taste is pleasant and complex. It’s definitely a puerh. Sure, something about its flavor reminds me of the beach, maybe a bit of seaweed, but it also has that flavor of yunnan that I love so much. Like fruity bread and hay hiding in the background. But at the same time, it has that coppery puerh-ness that I’m not sure if I’m used to. I’m so torn!
Also, I might have oversteeped just a little bit. If you try this, don’t go with my preparation time!
My senses of smell and taste are starting to come back, so I decided to try something new. I picked this up at my local Asian market a few weeks ago, as I had my eye on it before.
It’s a standard black tea with a distinct puerh flavor. It falls on the bold side, and brews up dark. The flavor is hearty and smooth with just the barest hint of bitterness. It definitely tastes aged to me, with that woody, musky taste, much like a puerh. Something about it reminds me of creeks I used to see in fall, when they would get dammed up by autumn leaves. Honestly, I’m surprised at how much I like it. Especially since Lipton makes it, of all companies. Of the black bagged teas I’ve tried from the First Oriental Market, I like this one the most.