419 Tasting Notes
The dry tea scent reminds me of sweet tarts, tart and sugary with that tone that separates them from rockets. Brewed on the other hand this smells like my grapefruit puerh that I got from big-active ( a polish company). It has dry tangy scent from dried orange rind, something that’s a little bit earthy and gamey and a spicy sharp citrus tone underneath. The base tea smells fruity, with malt and biscuit. The fact that I can usually discern the base tea underneath the flavouring is one thing I’ve always appreciated about Nina’s teas.
After a three minute brew, there is a nice balance between the base and the flavouring and the tea is a deep orangey red.
I taste dried grapefruit rind over top a warmer sweeter fruitier tone that ranges towards the red grapefruit flavour mixed with a plum note from the base. A biscuit note from the base binds the fruit note to the malt lying underneath. Despite the citrus tones the tea remains smooth and mellow when steeped around 92°C, with only a mild astringent note. Altogether a pleasant tea that was warmer and richer than I was expecting. Thanks ’Laurent and Nina’s for the sample!
This tea was a pleasant confection of fruit beginning with longan dominating over a plum note and than switching dominance during the later steeps, consistent cocoa notes, butter caramel, that morphed to honey in the middle steeps, and ended in cane sugar, a roasted grain note, cashew butter, and malt that really only became strongly apparent in the later steeps and blended well with the plum cocoa notes. The early steeps were really buttery in texture and the flavours blended well together creating the impression of a sweet nutty, caramel cocoa confection with a bit of tartness. The broth does become thinner and slightly astringent in later steeps. Although this is a light tea it really does have a nice intensity flavours with my favourite steeps being perhaps the second and third one.
I steeped one heaping TSP of this tea at 92*C in 225 ml of water. The leaves are long, dark roughly wound, wiry strips that smell of cocoa and longan. My steeping times were 60,60,80,120,180,240s and 5 min. Onced brewed I had a golden broth touched by brown which became redder in later steeps. The tea smelled of longan, butter caramel and cocoa. Altogether a nice light tea. I especially like the nutty tones and the way the tea blends the cocoa, longan and caramel tones so that neither becomes dominant over each other. Thanks boychik for sending me the fall 2013 harvest for me to try. I am happy I have some of the spring tea heading my way!
I found myself scoping cadeau-deco-vendome ( A Dammann reseller) so I figured that this is as good a time as any to dig into the samples that Sil sent me.
This tea smells like butter, roasted hazelnuts and vanilla and has a light maple wood coloured broth after steeping at 1tsp/225ml/4min/95°C.
There is a lovely roasted hazelnut note with a touch of a wood in the flavouring, as well as a touch of butter caramel and a warm vanilla tone. The flavouring blends well with the base tea which is slightly fruity with a cocoa note and is relatively innocuous except for providing a light astringency and a medium body. The flavouring is light and subtle as is the tea itself.
Thanks for the treat Sil
The pretty mahogany coloured broth of this tea yields a tea that has a good dose of malt and biscuit, joined with plum, a light floral spice and a tone that is slightly nutty in scent.
The tea has a distinctly fruity top note full of a prune and raisin note, with a biscuit and nutty tone dividing it from the bitter tones of malt underneath. There is a floral tone apparent if you allow the tea to aerate in your mouth. To strengthen the fruity tones, keep steeping times shorter such as under 2:45. Brewed at under 95°C the tea is mildly astringent. In general, a nice robust classical tea but not as smooth or as sweet as some of the ceylons I have had.
This tea is from one of the local companies I know of that specialise in Ceylons. They produce this tea from a single tea source ( which I take to mean as an estate or region). They also produce green teas, flavoured blacks, and some interesting new cultivars of white tea ( in their exotic tea range). http://rhinoteas.com/shop/.
The tea comes in a great double lidded canister. The tea can be found at several independent grocery stores in Mississauga and they also have a retail outlet near Bloor and Dixie.
Opening up the bag, i was greeted by the rich scent of cocoa and molasses, which eminated from the pile of golden, downy, corkscrews of the biluochun black tea contained within.
They looked like this: http://instagram.com/p/pCIOe-mKxW/
or for better pictures go to the product description:
I used 1 TSP of leaf/170ml Taiwan/@ 92*C and brewed it 8 times (60,45,45,60,90,120s, 180s, 5 min)
After an initial steep of 1 minute I had a just deeper than sepia brown broth with a gold a greenish brown ring at edges of the cup, with some bubbles on top while brewing. Future steeps had a warmer honey brown coloured brew with the surrounding ring.
This tea had a scent of cocoa, molasses/ dark honey tone, sweet potato, light spice cinnamon touched with nutmeg, a hint of citrus, a hint of clover.
This tea consistently maintained cocoa, dark honey, and malt tones. It also had roasted sweet potato, clover flowers, cream, citrus, plum, amber and spice notes. Generally the cocoa, honey, malt and sweet potato notes generally competed for dominance. The first steep tasted very much like scalded milk hot chocolate and was very creamy. Overall I am very happy with this tea!
1 min. Cocoa, floral clover note, dark honey, hint of spice from a smoke/ roasted note, almost an amber tone, which as it cools develops into a tone that when mixed with cocoa reminds me of hot chocolate made with scalded milk. hint of citrus and the brighter tones of malt, slight hint of cooked plum it feels creamy on the tongue.
45s Roasted sweet potato, cocoa, honey, citrus tones of malt, plum, cinnamon, cream. There are stronger chocolate and malt notes, with hints of clover and dark honey/molasses. It feels tingling from spice tones in the front of the mouth. Sweet potato note mixed with cocoa, citrus and plum tones and opens up to a cream tone that blends with the other flavours. this steep is much more tannic than the first one.
45s. Cocoa, roasted sweet potato, honey, citrus floral note, spice, and plum, before opening up to the deeper tones of malt.
60s. Roasted sweet potato, honey, malt and citrus tones, cocoa and spice.
90s. Malt, cocoa and honey, sweet potato, citrus tones, less spice.
120s, honey, sweet potato,slight floral , malt, very faint touch of cocoa.
180s. And 5 min. Malt, honey, cocoa.
The tea smells fabulous with sweet potato,cocoa, the brighter tones of malt and the spicy tones of gardenia, sharper tasting sweet berries and a touch of honey.
The dry leaf is mostly chocolate brown broken leaves with scattered golden tips
Once brewed it yields a red toned broth
There is a light flavour at first that is slightly vegetal with the bitter tones of malt, but this quickly dissapears and you get the heavier tones of malt, cocoa, and gardenia, that then sweeten into fruit, honey and cocoa notes. As it cools sweet potato is present in the first notes as well as a citrus note, and a hint of floral. Allowed to cool further the fruit notes come to the forefront with the sweet potato and the berry notes are more distinct.
The tea resteeps quite well, with sweet potato, citrus and malt notes more apparent.
I brewed this tea at around 92°C for three minutes and there is a mild astringency and a cooling feeling at the top of the mouth. There seems to be more caffeine in this one than Tiger Assam as I feel it buzzing in my upper arms. I am quite enjoying this mix of floral spice, fruit, cocoa and bitter tones. I might actually prefer it to Tiger Assam.
Thanks Sil this was a perfect first cup for today!
This tea is a lovely mix of sweet notes and cocoa, with light floral notes, a hint of orange and a bright nature hidden under the warm sweet tones.
The dry leaf is a roughly wound blade with silver tinged golden buds and grey black to brown dusty leaves.The tea brews to a young oak colour with scents of cocoa,molasses, malt, honey, spice, and a hint of yam. I brewed the tea 4 times, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Dexter for this lovely tea!
Sweet at first with honeyed tones, followed by a bit of oatmeal mixed with bittersweet chocolate. Malt lies very lightly underneath. There is a hint of plum and a very light floral ( almost rose) mixed together. A hint of something crisp and bright like the upper tones of malt is present. The tea is mostly cocoa, mixed with honey and a light grain note underneath as it cools . It is warming at the front of the mouth, with a nice medium density and a moderate dose of caffeine.
2 min. Bright malt, with a floral tone out front, followed by molasses, dark malt, cocoa and oatmeal and a touch of sweet potato. Cocoa, dark, malt and a citrus grain note, with honey become dominant as the tea cools.
3 min, sweet potato,cocoa, a hint of molasses, a touch of orange,grain notes, malt. Brighter flavour than previous steeps, sweet cocoa tone is not as rich. Malt tastes heavier and deeper as it cools.
4 min fading bright vitamin c notes and a vegetal, plum note on top, hint of sweetness. Hints of honey malt and a reference to cocoa as it cools.
Maybe not as resilient as some Yunnan’s I have had as the flavour seemed to really fade after the third steep, but the flavour is really rich and comforting.
This is another tea I’ve had to a while.
The dry leaf has brown, black and grey leaves , with scattered golden tips.
I used one heaping TSP/225ml.
After 3 min the tea brews up to deep mahogany brew.
The tea smells comfortingly of biscuit, light sweet red fruits, tempered by plum, honey, spice with a slight presence of vanilla and honey, with the deeper tones of malt underneath.
First impressions are of a smooth, sweet and light Assam. Light fruit and honey are in the first sip, with biscuit notes deepening into a malty slightly deeper fruit tone base. Spice and vanilla are underneath. There is a slight light floral tone in the lighter top notes. Pleasant and probably a nice Assam for those who have difficulty with heavy tannins and astringency as this tea is lighter in both of these for an Assam but has enough texture to have a nice density in the mouth. Despite honey being quite present in the initial sips, this tea does not have as sweet an aftertaste as some of my Assam’s. A citrousy malt note becomes more present as the tea cools and a sharper tone develops in the tea. I think when I first had this I used less leaf as I remembered feeling that this tea was too light in flavour, but with a heaping spoonful this is quite a pleasant tea.
Buoyed by Dexter’s glowing review of this tea, I finally drank this tea last night.
It has quite a lovely rich, warm flavour. The first steep tasted a little like Chinese grocery store oolong in the orange tin if perhaps a little less nutty but subsequent steeps were much rounder, and richer in flavour with good roasted charred notes, balanced with caramel, cinnamon, stewed black cherries and apricots, cocoa, fall leaves, vanilla cream, and mineral notes. The first steep does have that odd mauvish colour that Dexter noted. Pretty tasty if you like dark roast teas.
The dry leaf is like the picture appearing very dark brown to black. They are heavily charred. The tea was well packaged as the nuggets remain solid and tightly wrapped in shape as I think the level of roasting may make them prone to crumbling.I steeped the tea 9 times at @95°C after a rinse (40, 35,40,50,70,90,150s, 4min, 6 min), 1.5 TSP in 170ml Taiwan.
The broth was a eddish grey tinged brown for first steep, more red tinged golden brown for others.
40s. Scent Charcoal tinged roasted grain note, caramel, sweet dried apricot mixed with cherry and plum, hint of fall leaves spice note
Taste Toasted grains up front opening to brown sugar caramel note, hints of fruit and leaves layered in bbetween, bitter cocoa mixes with sweet sugar in the aftertaste. black cherry like fruit note becomes stronger as it cools and charcoal moves to the background.
35s scent roasted note, caramel over cherry with cinnamon, cocoa, fall leaves.
Taste Roasted note blended with much stronger cocoa note and fall leaves, over caramel, stewed black cherry and cinnamon.
40s scent. fruit, spice and caramel, moving to the front combined with the cocoa, roasted note moving into background
Taste Caramel, cocoa, with roasted notes over stewed cherries and cinnamon, leaf note gone.
50s. Taste Roasted note caramel cocoa, fruit heading more to dried apricot.
70s taste . Roasted grain, cocoa, caramel, joint of warm fruit with cinnamon. Black liquorice tone in aftertaste.
90s. Taste same as above with a little vanilla cream and the caramel notes are mellowing, but the tea is quite sweet, with a hint of roasted ash note, less fruit, and more cream, cocoa and mineral notes
150 taste sweet notes fading, roasted grain notes, cream, and mineral notes, with fading caramel and cocoa.
5min taste cream, cocoa,roasted,notes,vanilla, caramel., mineral note.
6min taste continuing to fade but still flavourful.
The spent leaves are charred in such away that even though they have unwound the blades remain mostly wound and are curly not flat leaves are dark chocolate brown.
A really nice warm tasting tea!