5 Tasting Notes
The leaves are black, full, and uniform as they are sprinkled into the tea pot. The fragrance is malty, slightly smoky, loamy, slightly sweet and herbaceous. Steeping at just one teaspoon per six ounce cup in 205 degree fresh water for three minutes creates a beautiful dark red amber tea with a smooth and balanced aroma. The taste is smooth but full on the tongue, solidly astringent although not puckering, slightly tangy and sweet, and leaves a long finish on the palate. This, to me, is the quintessential taste of tea. Everything else should be compared to this. It is also an outstanding value as provided by New Mexico Tea Company at $0.24 per six ounce cup (or less if purchased in volume). After enjoying this tea I felt invigorated and focused with many memories of enjoying excellent cups of tea around the world.
Flavors: Green Wood, Loam, Malt, Smoke, Smooth
The dry tea is black full leaves of uniform size with many golden tips and a malty, slightly smoky aroma. In the cup, the tea is honey-amber in color and has a balanced, woody and green herbaceous fragrance. It has a thick mouthfeel (at one teaspoon per six ounce cup steeped three minutes in 205 degree fresh water), is smooth, balanced, and delicate with a pleasingly astringent mild bitterness. The taste includes a touch of saltiness and sweetness, no sourness, and finishes with an even stronger mouthfeel on the palate. Overall, for taste, aroma, and value, this is a superb black tea for mornings or afternoons. I enjoy it with a little sugar and just a teaspoon of milk. It comes from a single estate, Doomur Dulling, in eastern Assam, and is an STGFOP (Special Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe) meaning it has the highest quality leaves of its type and the highest proportion of leaf tips.
Flavors: Malt, Wood
The tea leaves are whole and black with some broken leaves among whole cloves and pieces of cinnamon bark. The aroma of the tea in the canister is bright over a malty base with a balance of apricot and cloves. Although I could not detect the specific fragrance of cinnamon, the dry tea had a sweetness to its aroma that must come from the cinnamon as well as the apricot flavoring. In the cup the aroma is bright and balanced, sweet with apricot and just a little cinnamon and cloves. After a five minute steeping, the taste was balanced but delicate with a thin mouthfeel, just a touch of saltiness, slightly tangy, and sweet, with mild astringency. The liquor was honey amber. After enjoying the first cup of this tea, I felt relaxed, calm, and had had memories of running among our apricot trees as a child. Location and circumstances of growth and production unknown. Value: $0.31 per 6 ounce cup.
Flavors: Apricot, Cinnamon, Cloves
The tea leaves are full, uniform, and black with an earthy herbaceous aroma of wood and grass. In the cup the tea is a honey amber hue and has the same malty aroma with wood and a touch of mushrooms. The taste is smooth, balanced, with a savory feel on the tongue, slightly salty, pleasingly astringent, with a slight sweetness. The finish on the palate is smooth and malty. Cost: $0.32 per six ounce cup, sourced in part from Yunnan.
Flavors: Mushrooms, Wood
The dry tea is uniform black full leaf with dried yellow marigold petals and has a malty, woody aroma with vanilla and bergamot orange. In the cup the tea’s aroma has less bergamot and almost no vanilla. The taste is weak, thin on the tongue at 1.5 teaspoon per cup, and unbalanced, with the bergamot washing out the vanilla. It has a mildly salty taste, is pleasingly astringent, tangy, and mildly sweet, with an annoyingly strong and prolonged bergamot finish. Afterward I felt energized but distracted by the lingering bergamot on my palate. Value: $0.20 per six ounce cup. Location and circumstances of growth and production unknown.
Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Vanilla