433 Tasting Notes
The tea smells like warm raspberry syrup and vanilla, slight hint of rooibos,faint dry woodiness, followed by a cool vanilla cream dominated raspberry, leaving a warm sweetened raspberry coulis aftertaste, leaves a drying freshening feeling in the mouth. Despite my initial description the rooibos is quite well hidden by the flavouring but acts to add depth to the tisane. The flavouring is
not as strong as the almond marzipan and chocolate mint rooibos.
I find that this tea requires a little more leaf than I usually use for Zen Teas Rooibos’, but it re-steeps really well and has a really pleasant flavour if you love raspberry desserts.
I have a feeling that this tea bought at one of my local independant grocery stores was brought back while on a vacation in Ireland, because the packaging is not like the other bewley’s teas the store sells. Its in a cute octagonal red tin with a print of their iconic Grafton street shop on the top. So I bought it, partly because the tin brings back memories.
This is a loose leaf blend of several grades of Darjeeling. The dry tea smells of raisins, hay, with a spicy floral note. It brews to a slightly redder tone of deep orange and smells of a spicy sweet, floral, hint of hay, almond, muscatel, and a hint of malt.
The tea tastes of almond, apricot, prune, grape, with a slightly powdery cooler floral, bitter vegetal, and malt notes. It is moderately astringent. It has an aftertaste of spicy floral,
apricot and almond notes. The tea is much sweeter if brewed at a lower temperature and becomes more lemony and astringent when brewed at boiling.
The dried leaves are quite pretty with long twisted wires of brown grey
and almost a camel colour. They smell like a slightly lemony raisin. Imagine my surprise that when first brewed the tea tastes and smells of chips and vinegar. It has malt tones and potato tones. I also smell lemon, a hint of rosemary and a hint of that spicy tone of some yunnans. It doesn’t taste vinegary just to be clear. It brews to a nice orangey brown. It is smooth with little to no astringency with a hint of artichoke, and bitter floral tone.
After the first steep the tea retains its malt with hints of potato, but is much sweeter (indistinct but slight reference to honey). There are hints of cocoa. It is smoother, and feels tannic at the front of the mouth but buttery over the rest. The tea has fading bitter vegetative note and citrus notes.
By the 4th steep indistint sweet flavour dominates, others fade but there are still aspects of malt, honey, cocoa, and a slight floral note with a slightly fading buttery mouth feel.
It retains a honey flavour, with hint of cocoa into a 7th steep, though by the end of this series it tastes more like dilute honey water.
The spent leaves are large and entire and smell of malt and chocolate.
This tea requires longer steeping than my indian teas of usually 4-5 minutes.
Considering my first impression of this tea it was quite fitting that I began drinking this tea on Good Friday. It certainly has an interesting variety of flavours and the leaves hold value for their money as they hold up to many steepings. I’m not sure that this would be an everyday tea for me but I would like to try some other Nepalese teas.
Comparing this to the the other raspberry green I have, I’m not sure which is my favourite now. The other one has a more complex and interesting mix of flavours, but this one has a sweeter base and tastes more of fresh berries and is slighly tarter. Both are really nice. This one would probably be nice iced.
I decided to add some sugar to this time to see if it would make the fruit flavours pop. Interestingly it did just the opposite. It muted the base making it just taste like a malty black tea and it masked the fruity so that the tea tastes more like a heavier breakfast blend. So I guess I wont do that again. Part of what makes this interesting in the contrasting flavours of the fruit mixed with spicy flavours of the base.
Pear, it seems, is a hard flavour to replicate in a natural tasting way in teas, at least according to the reviews that I’ve read on this site. This tea actually doesn’t do that bad a job at it. It does it by combining apple and fennel which actually works to create a taste that is somewhere between baked pear and a bosc pear when the flavourings are well blended together. However I don’t really get a feeling or taste of cream in this tea. This is a gunpowder green tea crossed with silver needle style white, and I suppose that this base could produce a creamy feel if steeped properly. However the green tea used here is quite aggressive and bitter even when steeped at short intervals. The white tea looks quite nice though with lots of silver hairs. Both teas were sourced in Sri Lanka.
The tea brews to a nice light saffron yellow. There is a nice balance between the tea and the flavouring with both remaining present. The tea base is lightly astringent, providing a bit of a tang like you would get when eating fresh fruit, it has a faintly bitter vegetative quality to it. The fruit flavour ranges betwween apple with fennel and pear. When the fennel mixes with the apple flavour it really does
taste like pear, The tea is pleasant but I think that the suggested brew time of two minutes would make this tea overly bitter. The tea still remains slightly bitter even with shorter 40s steep times but then the fennel becomes more dominant over the fruit. At the second steep the green tea softens, becomes silkier, and slightly sweeter. The Flavouring remains consistant. Not a bad effort, I might like it better if I add sugar to tone down the bitterness, but It would have been nicer if the tea had been made with a sweeter base tea.
Dried leaf mostly dark, twisted and wiry with some lighter brown leaves and a few golden tips, highly aromatic, smell of spice (hints of rosemary), raisin and a hint of smoke and leather.
The brewed tea smells of spice, leather, hint of smoke, sour fruit like and unripe plum crossed with green mango. On the tongue the light smoke and leather joined with the sweet/sour unripe stone fruit flavours and was followed by smoke/charcoal taste with citrus/malt tones and a faintly floral. It was mildly astringent and highly tannic. If oversteeped and leafed it tastes bitter, woody, slightly smoky with notes of espresso, a hint of leather, savoury spice, and of sweet and sour fruity notes layered on top of bitter notes. The fruity notes open up to freshening feeling at top of mouth. Astringency increases with steep time. There is a faint floral notes in the
An interesting but not overwhelming flavour.
This tea smells completely different from the dried lemon grass I sometimes get at the supermarket. The dry bagged tea smells incredibly fresh, almost green and slightly floral, with a hint of fresh cut cedar wood. The tea brews to a dark yellow. The flavour is a slightly spicy green fresh taste that lacks the sour taste that dried lemon grass can have. The flavour has a hint of lemon verbena, and the flavour of candied lemon rind. The spice references cinnamon a little in that it is mild and sweet. All together the tea has a fresh clean taste with a hint of lemon.
I’ve been a little under the weather today so I’ve been experimenting with various versions of Chai.
So far I’ve done one with Bai Mudan, one with a cheap darjeeling and two versions of Kashmiri Chai made with Samovar green tea, next I’ll probably make ginger tea with an assam.
The white chai included bai mudan 3 pods of cardamon, 1/2 inch of cinnamon stick, white pepper cracked, 1 arm of star anise, and ginger. I added two much cardamon this time, but otherwise it was pleasant, but mild and smells of baking.
The darjeeling chai had similar spicing but tasted of lemony mild ginger and pepper with gentle spice, the tea base underneath left hints of almond and peach, lemon and a bit of malt and was faintly floral.
The Kashmiri Chai was spiced with cardamon and cinnamon, I added a pinch of baking soda and salt to experiment with pink tea. I made it two ways, steeped to which I added crushed almond and boiled.
The steeped tea brewed to a peachy green colour and tasted of crushed
almond, bitter spinach ,a faint hint of sweetness from the tea base, cardamon and cinnamon. It tastes light on the tongue, especially at the front of the mouth. It does not taste of salt and soda.
For the boiled tea I added the tea, spices and water appropriate to amount of servings, and a pinch soda and salt. I boiled the tea so that 1/4 to 1/3 of the liquid was lost, I then added back the
lost water and boiled it 2-4 minutes. The boiled tea is a dark, opaque, browny red. Taken of heat if you add milk, it goes pink. The tea is smooth and looses the heavy tanic feeling of the steeped tea. I was surprised how dark and red the tea goes considering this is
made with green tea.
The dry leaf has big chunks of chocolate and lots of coconut, but not a lot of tea. It smells strongly of cinnamon and chocolate with a touch of coconut. It brews to an aged oak brown.
The taste does not live up to the smell, it tastes thin and watery. The cinnamon is still strong. The chocolate has melted leaving a film on the top of the tea and it adds a sweet flavour, but it tastes a little stale and waxy at this point (I bought this tea before christmas). Perhaps this flavour is the result of the cross between the coconut and the chocolate. There is a hint of vanilla. Aspects of the flavour remind me of Ovaltine. The base is well hidden but may be contributing to the sweetness of the tea and be contributing a hint of bitterness. The cinnamon has toned down since I first bought this. I think I prefer it’s intensity now then when fresh. This tea actually tastes better than I remember it tasting, before I had to cut it with a yunnan in order to be able to drink it, but it still tastes very thin. I think it needs a larger percentage of actually tea in this blend to support the flavouring. As it is I am unlikely to repurchase this.