406 Tasting Notes
This tea makes me happy. It reminds me very much of one of my favourite JJM’s that I bought from a now closed aliexpress store. While that tea was a little sweeter and more resilient this tea shares with it the good balance of tart fruit and malt, cereal notes, and cocoa which make it a great all day tea.
The dry leaf is quite pretty although it does not look quite as tippy as the picture and smells strongly of malt and cocoa.
My first steep was in the lower 90°C range for around 45s which resulted in a Maple coloured brew. Later steeps were short steeps at boiling which brought out more of the red tones in this tea. My steeping times were (45, 10, 12, 20s, 2min and 7minutes).
The tea smelled of hints of the upper tones of malt, cocoa, honey, plums, and cream.
I captured flavour notes of a smooth, slightly tart mix of malt, oatmeal, barley, and cocoa, with longan, plum and faint citrus notes, honey with cream, and hints of a slightly green floral note with bits of cinnamon in the first steep. Honey lingered in the aftertaste.
Subsequent steeps added notes of lychee, cream, sugar, cucumber water, cocoa butter, and mineral notes to the above. The early steeps at boiling had more assertive flavours and were more astringent. Throughout the steeps the tea maintained a medium density. Altogether a very nice all day tea.
This Assam casts off scents of baked goods, citrus a hint of sweet potato, cocoa and spice.
It brews to a deep red orange.
The first sip is full of spice over the deeper tones of malt, mixed with cocoa, charred crust and a bit of sweet potato. This opens to a mix of red fruits and citrus blended with molasses, malt and a bit of bread. This one has a dense mouth feel. There is a mild bitterness that tempers the sharp fruit. It is not overly sweet. This is not an Assam that is rich in honey or dried fruit. In fact the fruit references a tart red wine. What it does have is a good blend of malt, spice, tart fruit and grainy bread notes. It reminds me a little of pumpernickel, or a dark crust artisinal brown bread. It’s a little like breakfast in a cup.
Edit. The second steep is a little sweeter with a bit of apricot among the other fruit, spice, bread, cocoa and molasses notes.
I just had to cups of this pleasant tea. I have decided that it would make a nice travelling tea as it did not get bitter when I over steeped it a little and it has very little astringency.
The leaf is mostly dark with scattered greenish gold buds and a few rust coloured leaves scattered here and there.
I steeped one teaspoon in 225ml of 95°C water. The first steep was over three minutes.
The tea brewed to a beautiful orangey red and smelled of sweet potatoes, malt cocoa, honey, soft and spicy sweet floral notes and red clover nectar.
The tea had a denser body than some Nepali teas I have had and a soft flavour. I detected notes of: honey, sweet potato, a spicy complex floral ranging from rose to spicy clover, cocoa, a light hint of muscatel, plum, cream, and malt. As it cooled it developed pastry and cherry notes.
The second steep of 3.45min. Tasted of cream, oatmeal, honey, sweet potato and malt with cherry, hints of cocoa and a spicy floral towards the end of the sip.
Altogether a nice and pleasant tea.
This is a nice example of a classical Keemun. It brews to a nice red colour and has the classical fruity red wine notes blended with a really nice floral spice mix with honey and grain notes to tie them both together. A bargain for its price and better quality than I expected in a grocery store tea.
This tea is one of the maltier versions of a jinjunmei I have had. The first time I had it I used my standard method for jinjunmei’s ( boiling water 5-10s steeps) and the tea overpowered me with the tart upper tones of malt so this time I steeped 1 tsp at closer to 90°C for @1 minute.
The result was a tea that smelled of smoke spice, cocoa, honey, cream, plum.
It yielded a flavour full of grainy notes mixed with cocoa, caramel and a light dose of wood smoke, with hints of malt and plum and cream.
This is a tea where temperature matters. If brewed at higher temperatures this tea becomes very malty and the cocoa and caramel notes are masked. Caramel and plum notes strengthen as it cools. The tea has a nice full body and is heavier in body than many of the Fujian blacks I have had.
The 2nd steep( 2minutes) tasted of malt, caramel, cocoa, plum, and smokey notes with grain accents.
The 3rd steep was similar.
This tea could easily yield more steeps.
The leaf is very similar to the picture with dark blades with golden tips and buds scattered throughout and had a smell of molasses malt and cocoa.
Although I prefer the other teas I have from this seller. This is a nice, good value, malty tea.
I definitely prefer it brewed at lower temperatures where the malt is balanced by the other flavours.
Jay Shree Tea and Industries Ltd which owns the Meleng Tea Estate describes this as a strong and sparkling tea. Having tried this steeped a couple of ways I can agree with this. I can get a delicious cup using only 1 sugar spoon worth of tea (@1.5g ) steeped for only 2.5minutes.
This tea has mid-sized wide dark blades with a very liberal scattering of saffron to gold coloured tips. The dry leaf smells if the sharp upper tones of malt and cocoa.
Once steeped the tea is an orangish red that is approaching the red tone of a Keemun.
The steeped tea smells of currants, barley mash, malt, hints of spicy floral, honey, and hot lemon.
I found that using more leaf and longer steeping times emphasised the tart fruit and malt notes of this tea. Using less leaf and shorter timings resulted in a sweeter and more balanced cup.
1.5 sugar spoons:
@3min.Smooth yet tart, upper tones of malt with the deeper tones underneath supporting the tea. Honey, currants, tart red fruit, grainy notes underneath, hints of cracked wheat, hints of orange and spicy floral notes. Honey and deeper tones become more apparent as it cools with plum and orange mixed with deeper tones of malt and a hint of blackcurrant and cocoa.
2nd steep sweeter and spicier with hints of lemon, cherry, along with more apparent deeper malt tones. The flavour is more rounded and balanced. . Mild to medium astringency. A bright, tart tea.
3rd steep 4 min. Similar to second and still very potent with a bit more cocoa and honey. This tea could easily yield another steep.
1 sugar spoon:
Using less leaf and a shorter steep time ( 2.5 minutes) resulted in a less tart and more balanced cup with the base elements more apparent in the flavour and a hint of yam. The natural sweetness of this tea is also note apparent with the cocoa mixing with honey and the floral notes in away that reminds me of some Keemun.
The astringency in this tea does create a texture that may come off as sparkling to some palates or as woodiness to others.
Altogether this is a bright and fruity and spicy Assam with a sweetness lying underneath. It is a very resilient and well made cup.
Last night I made a variation of this recipe for Turkish Apple Tea after dinner. It made a nice caffeine free option for every one and brought back memories of my brief time in Turkey for me :-)
1 Medium sized orange
@ 4-5 apples
A couple of cinnamon sticks and @ 5 cloves.
You quarter the fruit and toss all of it and the spices in a mid sized pot and then top it with water simmer the fruit for at least 10min, sweeten to taste and then save the liquid and squueze out the liquid from the fruit and you’re left with a nice, slightly ciderish tea with a citrus tinge. Everyone liked it so I guess it was a success:-).
This is quite a lovely tea to start my morning with. Its scent and taste are remarkably consistent, it’s quite smooth and well balanced and is rich enough to take milk. The leaves are dark and wiry and even though its a broken leaf tea, they are still a good size.
The brewed tea is a nice mahogany colour after being steeped for 3.5 min in 225ml of water using about 1 TSP of leaves.
At first sip the top notes are of sweet potato, lemon-orange, cherry a hint of cocoa, lemon, and a deeper spice note. Underneath this is the deeper tones of malt and a sugar cane note.
As it cools malt moves forward a little bit and blends with the sweet potato, honey, spice notes and cherry dominates the fruit notes. It is slightly tannic but not overly so. Overall the flavour and texture is a rich fruity/malty/smooth tea. It makes a nice and comforting tea for winter and a nice addition to my collection of Ceylons.
This tea was another gift to me from Capital Tea Ltd! Now, having just tried it, I wish I had sampled it before placing my most recent order because I really enjoyed it.
This tea has long wide and very loosely twisted hand rolled leaves that range from greenish gold furry buds to chocolate and reddish brown. The dry leaf smells of honey, cocoa and malt.
I brewed roughly one teaspoon in 225 ml of 95°C water for 3 minutes. The resulting tea was a medium amber tone.
The brewed tea smells of citrus notes above deeper warmer spice notes, floral notes and hints of nuts. The impression is warm and spicy overall.
The tea tastes smooth on the tongue. My first impressions are of a bright green note dissolved in dark honey with a touch of molasses, quickly dissipating into a hint of cocoa, dried, fruit compote, hints of almond, sandalwood and a touch of amber. There are upper notes of citrus and muscatel notes. It kind of reminds me of the bright light citrusy notes of a pinot grigio. This tea had a good balance between the warm and enveloping and the bright natures of the flavours. The tea manages to be both rich and sweet and light at the same time.
The second steep (3.5min) is just as sweet with stronger spicy floral notes present among the notes listed above and a very distinct muscatel scent and a slightly deeper body. This steep left a freshening feeling at the front and top of the mouth.
The third steep (5min) is not quite as sweet but still rich and spicy in flavour.
Overall I was rather won over by this teas rich sweetness and spice. On to the wish list it goes.
The leaves of this tea are rolled and much darker than this photo suggests.
My leaves are mostly dark olive green to chocolate brown and smell of fall leaves. This is a medium roast oolong produced in North Thailand sourced from a family run enterprise.
I decided to steep my tea using a gongfu method and used 1 TSP of tea in 100ml of water.
I started out with a 3s rinse which I decided to drink. I am happy I did so because it tasted of baklava. It’s flavour was all honey and nuts ( particularly pistachio) and pastry.
I then chose short steeping times to start out with. My times were: 5,10,15,20,25,30,40,60,90s, and 3,4 and 6min). Altogether I made 12 steeps plus the rinse of this tea.
5s scent: honey, pistachio, pastry, hint of something sharp like a currant and fall leaves.
flavour: cream, honey, with fruit, slightly tart yet creamy hinting to mango tempered by something softer like apricot. Pastry and pistachio up front before fruit and honey develop faint hint of fall leaves.
Aftertaste of honey and fruit.
1Os cream, mineral notes, fruit, with hints of citrus rind added to above, pastry, pistachio
15s cream, honey, fall leaves, pastry, fruit, nuts, spice, bits of malt, hints of bitter veg.
20s honey and pastry, pistachios, fall leaves mixed with bitter veg, cinnamon, cream, malt, apricot.
25s roasted grain, leaves, and walnuts, cream, honey and apricots, malt and faint tinge of bitter veg, spice.
30s pastry and nuts, apricot, cream and spice. Hints of malt.
40s apricot, cream,spinach, nuts,pastry, spice.
60s minerals, apricot, cream, hints of ash, sweet and bitter veg, faintly floral with good spice notes, honey. Tingling on the tongue., hints of oatmeal.
90s similar to above.
3min similar but no ash, more sweet vegetables with cream, apricot and honey.
4min. Similar to above with a floral element.
The finished leaves are a fairly uniform deep olive to milk chocolate colour. Some of the leaves show signs of insect distress.
I am not always a fan of mid roast Oolong’s but I really liked the nutty, sweet pastry like notes in this one. I really enjoyed it.
Siam-Tee suggests that when using longer steeps this tea has a profile approaching a Da Hong Pao. I will have to try that in the future. As for now I’m glad I tried it this way. I have never had a tea taste so naturally of baklava before.