115 Tasting Notes
My order from Upton arrived today so even though I don’t usually drink black teas at night, I was anxious to sample at least one of the teas I had purchased. I selected this tea from the batch.
It’s a Chinese tea, my favorite country source of tea, from the province of Hubei. I’ve had Congou tea before but I don’t recall ever having a golden tipped tea from there. This particular tea was recommended by Karen Park in the Upton CS dept. She stated it was currently an office favorite there and brewed up every day. I can see why! This tea is outstandingly yummy.
The aroma from this tea is wonderful. It smells almost good enough to eat. Once brewed, the liquor is darker golden color and the flavor has a slight smokey-bacon flavor. That may sound odd and even distasteful, especially to a vegetarian like me but the flavor is really good. It reminds me of a green tea I used to be able to get called Chinese Beauty Rings… green tea wrapped around chop sticks and having a slight hint of smokiness like this one. This one is a similar flavor but stronger and more complex. I highly recommend this tea!
This is one of my first favorite teas ever and still is after many years of use. I think it used to be called Guangdong Red when I first bought it but that provider discontinued it and then I found that Whole Foods carried it in the bulk section. A Silk Roads tea this is a really nice black china tea with a very nice flavor.
Today I missed my steep timer and I oversteeped it… while China black teas generally hold up to oversteeping quite well, at 15 minutes, it’s just too much and has a little bitterness and not nearly as good as usual. It’s drinkable but not recommended for what usually is a fantastic tea. I recommend a 3 minute steep and even up to 5 is fine.
This is a delicious darjeeling tea I bought from Tao of Tea in their walk-in store. The label doesn’t say which flush it is but it appears to be first flush. However, unlike other first flush darjeelings, it does not have the typical vegetal “grassy” flavoring found in other first flushes which I tend to avoid. The leaves almost look like a white tea, with a lighter green appearance with some oxidation showing in places. It almost looks like Oriental Beauty Oolong leaves.
The muscatel flavoring is subtle but nice, not overpowering. There’s a mild honey like flavor aftertaste that’s very nice. I really enjoy this tea and since this is the last of my supply, I will look forward to getting more next store visit.
While this is currently not available on their web site, this SpecialTeas tea is a favorite assam I have found that is excellent value. I look for malty assams that are bold but not astringent. I steep for 2 min to avoid bitterness. I drink it without milk or cream usually.
This tea isn’t listed on their web site store at this time but their walk-in shop had it and not in large quantity. At $8/oz it’s not your bargain tea but this grade of Keemun never is. When you find a really good Hao Ya “A” Keemun it is worth every penny. I frequent the Tea Zone in Portland and it’s been a while (years) since they last had this tea in. Not sure why. I was anxious to try this one but given my lack of ability to find a really good Keemun Hao Ya A I opted for just 1 oz. While this one is a mild version of a “good” one, it’s not top of my list. I still prefer what I get from another Portland tea shop, Tao Of Tea. They have the best I have found.