536 Tasting Notes
Got this as a sample pouch. The dry leaf smells delicious – like butterscotch cake – but steeped up, the tea has so many weak, competing flavor notes that it’s just confusing. There’s something buttery and something vaguely fruity — I guess it COULD be the maraschino cherry, but really who knows? — and maybe something that’s coffee-ish, but nothing’s working together. I think this would work a lot better if the buttery note was turned up. As it stands this is just vaguely sweet, muddled tea.
This tea falls right in the middle of the black tea spectrum. It’s not at the gut-punch strength of a breakfast tea, but it’s a lot more flavorful than the ‘light’ afternoon teas. I think I like it better than the Crimson Ceylon that was my go-to whole-leaf black tea before I tried this one — but unfortunately I don’t have any of that in the house right now so I can’t do a steep-off. Anyway, this is nicely balanced and has a smooth finish. I think I could actually serve this to anyone because it has such a ‘classic tea’ profile — good quality, but nothing fancy or weird that would scare off a novice tea drinker.
I oversteeped this by a few minutes and it was incredibly bitter. A little sugar fixed it though, and now it’s amazing. This would make a great breakfast tea. It’s very hearty and rich. This is one of those teas that’s designed to be taken with milk, but I didn’t add any and it’s still great. Will definitely get more of this one.
This is nice, but just doesn’t quite come up to some of the other AliShan I’ve tried. They’re usually very smooth — TeaAve’s, I remember was particularly silky. The floral and vegetal notes are here, but to me the balance feels off. It’s just a bit more orchidy than I would like. I’m still experimenting with water temperatures, but so far, the floral notes always come out dominating.
It’s not bad at all, just not a favorite.