104 Tasting Notes

drank Himalayan Gold by Capital Teas
104 tasting notes

I look forward to my infrequent work trips, mainly because I have the opportunity to visit tea shops and cafes, something I don’t have the luxury to do here in my culturally alive but tea bereft area. On a recent trip to DC, I stopped into Teaism and had a nice cup of Golden Monkey and then bought a tin of this Himalayan Gold from Capital Teas.

I have to say, I have quickly become enamored of this tea. Of course it has the same general profile as a darjeeling, but with a lingering sweetness—Oolong-like in its floweriness—that sets it apart from its more astringent cousin.

I only wish Capital had more unflavored teas to choose from; I would certainly purchase from them again.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

This looks like Himalayan Gold from Nepali Tea Traders (non-profit) in Denver. They source tea from farms in Nepal, sell direct and wholesale. This is one of my favorites in their line of black tea’s. www.nepaliteatraders.com The sample sets are a really good way to try their tea’s if you enjoy tea from Nepal. (I don’t mind plugging a non-profit that helps the farmers!)

Doug F

I noticed the similarities between the two and had always meant to try teas from Nepal tea traders. Thanks for vouching for them.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
104 tasting notes

My first foray into Mandala teas and I couldn’t be more pleased. This is a delicious, aromatic and refined tea that reminds me of an Old Tree Bohea. A mellow chai-like spiciness mingles with a honey-inflected sweetness to create a perfectly balanced cup. I can’t wait to try my Mao Cha and the two samples that were generously included with my order.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Garret

So very happy that you enjoyed this tea. I really appreciate you taking the time to write about your experience with it. Thank you. We have had some customers enjoy this tea at 195 degrees as well as 205, 208. It’s a pretty versatile tea, for sure. Enjoy the mao cha, my friend!

TeaBrat

this IS good!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

As the note says, a lucky find. The liquor is clean and smooth—not fishy at all—which allows the spearmint and mushroom flavor to shine through. A little bit of cherry rounds out the robust profile. A really excellent 10-year-old Shu for everyday drinking.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Tea of the afternoon is this refined, sophisticated tea that really blossoms in the back of the throat with a blend of cinnamon, chocolate and citrus.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Glorious tea. Like eating cotton candy and chasing it with the best Assam. There’s an upgrade? How is that possible?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

This is just a really solid Assam that I enjoy more and more with each cup. It isn’t the least bit bitter and has a more pronounced cocoa flavor than most Assams I’ve had. Not a lot of leaf is required to get a tasty and memorable cup.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

97

I’ve been drinking Shengs for a while now, but other than a couple selections from Verdant tea, most of my purchases have been moderately priced cakes and samples; they’ve been enjoyable but I felt it was time to really explore the upper echelons of raw pu-erhs and from what I learned, Tea Urchin was the place to go. I bought four samples and Eugene generously threw in a fifth and suggested I start with the manzhuan. This is a young tea and I bought these samples with an eye to getting a cake and aging it.

The first couple of steeps were sweet and complex with that lovely eucalyptus taste and a fruity base. Successive steeps became quite bitter (as I expected) but still very rich and tasty. Quality Shengs also generate heat and energy in the throat and chest and this one was no exception. I was buoyed along during the day on a steady tea high.

With this sheng—and, I’m sure, with my other more expensive samples—I feel like I’m crossing the borderland from tea to precious elixir.

Doug F

Still delicious and complex, with a tart, fruity sweetness reminiscent of apricots and grapefruit. The real deal!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Organic Korakundah by Butiki Teas
104 tasting notes

As a passionate tea drinker, I’m always looking to expand my horizons. One of my growing interests has been green teas from places other than China and Japan, specifically those from Ceylon and Mainland India. I find them to be more robust and fruitier with a pronounced peach/plum taste. This one from Butiki deserves a wide audience; it’s quite complex and hearty but still fruity and clean. An excellent selection.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Puerh Tuo Cha by Butiki Teas
104 tasting notes

Usually, when the term “pond scum” is mentioned, it is done derisively. But this ripe pu-erh is reminiscent of pond scum in a positive way. Unlike pu-erhs that make me think of a piney forest floor, this one has an aquatic herbalness that reminds me of swimming in the pond at my childhood home that was fed by a cool spring and was ringed with watercress.

Add to that a leathery aroma and a sweet finish and you have a satisfying tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Interesting description…well stated.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
104 tasting notes

I’m used to teas within a certain broad category having similar taste profiles: teas from Yunnan can be placed along a continuum that includes honey, malt, a little spice, chocolate; darjeelings taste like darjeelings; Keemuns—leather, red wine, tobacco. I rarely have a cup of tea and think, “Wow. I’ve never tasted anything like this before.” You know where this is going. My first sip of the Mi Xian was truly distinctive. There was a pleasant perfume taste/smell, but what lingers is . . . how can I describe it, the smell of a summer garden in the hot sun, specifically, the way mature tomato plants smell. This earthiness was entirely different from that of a ripe pu-erh, which evokes mustiness and decay. This tea suggests the fullness of the late-summer harvest, the lazy drone of dragonflies, corn and tomatoes on the table. A really original and intriguing tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
June's Flame

A lovely description! This sounds amazing!

MissLena

Awesome description!! I am having a cup of this right now too and after reading this I am enjoying it even more! :)

Doug F

Thank you! I can’t wait for my next cup so I can explore some more.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I love tea and living in a place that is cold or cool nine months of the year, tea is a constant source of warmth and education. I always drink tea straight and rarely drink flavored teas or Tisanes, except for the occasional Rooibos. I’m a proud father of two young boys, an avid skier, motorcyclist, reader, and runner. I have a doctorate in English (dissertation on Emily Dickinson.)

Location

Maine

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer