251 Tasting Notes
I finally finished the 4oz tin I had of this today. I honestly won’t miss it much. Since I’ve tried more flavorful Keemun teas from other vendors (I really like Keemun from Teavivre in particular), I don’t feel the need to keep this around. This tastes kind of like toast on steroids, but isn’t particularly full-bodied or complex to my palette. It was a good and inexpensive starter breakfast tea, but I’d prefer Scottish Morn any day of the week.
I spent all afternoon with this one yesterday and it is my first pu-erh in probably 2 years or so. The only other experiences I’ve had were from David’s and a local store-bought one, both of which I PASSIONATELY DESPISED. Why would I want to drink stinky fish-dirt tea?!
Just wanted to give a background on my lack of good experiences with this kind of tea. The thing is, I love trying new things and I didn’t get how so many people love pu-erh when I absolutely hated it. I decided to give it another go. And this time purchase one that I had carefully screened for offensive fishy notes.
The dry loose (no cake on this one) leaves are tightly rolled, dried, almost powdery-looking. They are dark with lighter golden-brown hues mixed in. I don’t know how other pu-erh teas feel, but this one was heavier in my hand than the loose leaf black teas I am used to. It smelled a bit like a blend of dates and earth, but not in a moldy way if that helps (sorry!).
I brewed it with my lovely and delicate TeaVivre gaiwan and the steeped tea is a deep red-brown clear liquor. It is very aromatic with more of the prominent dates and earth fragrance- almost reminds me of piles of leaves after the rain.
The initial flavour is straight up walnut (with the shell and all) blended with a brown sugar sweetness. It still has the earthy background, but it makes it feel thick and full-bodied on the tongue instead of like a dessert. I followed the brewing directions exactly for this with 30/15/30/45/2 min/5 min and each time I was able to enjoy the walnut, brown sugar, earth combo, though it became notably weaker towards the end. I didn’t give this a higher rating only because I was desperately looking for the vanilla/cream/camphor notes described on the WP website and I didn’t find them. That said, I still really enjoyed it. Next time I am going to try Western style brewing and see if I can find those missing notes. As many of you know, I love true vanilla and even the faintest taste would be wonderful in a tea that is already a pleasant way to spend a rainy afternoon.
TLDR version: I used to think I hated pu-erh. Now I don’t. This one tastes like walnuts, brown sugar, and earth. :)
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Dates, Earth, Walnut
Another sipdown. I have a number of teas that I am finishing off, but most I don’t plan to re-order (like this one). While I do think this tea hits the buttered rum flavoring pretty spot-on, the coconut ultimately throws the whole thing off. I’ve made real buttered rum before and while it is ridiculously rich and has the sharp edge from the rum that this tea manages to pull off, I just can’t do the sweet and tropical note. I do love that it is organic.. but can we just drop the coconut please?
David’s is really hit-or-miss for me much of the time. I love some like Pumpkin Chai, but many others come across as artificial or strange to my palate. There seems to be random coconut in many of their flavored blends. I wish I could order tiny samples since there aren’t any shops within driving distance. Maybe someday!
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Rum
Sipdown. I would describe this one as “meh.” I think I don’t like the base very much for the flavoring. This sencha is pretty oceanic/seaweedy and it is kind of a bizarre cross with very sweet things like dried pineapple and candy brittle. It isn’t terrible, but it actually doesn’t taste exceptionally nutty either now that I am thinking about it. Maybe misnamed and a questionable combo both.
Flavors: Caramel, Fruity, Ocean Air, Seaweed, Sweet
Comforting is a word I would use to describe this tea. I made a 64oz pot of it and my husband and I have been sipping the lightly-honeyed cocoa maltiness for a few steeps now. I am totally hoping to order more now that I’ve found my groove with wee snail yums, but I really, really, really want to get Rivendell with my next order, too. I wanted to order it with both of my last two orders and its been out of stock forever. Since my favorite flavored green from Butiki is gone now, I need a vanilla or creamy replacement. Any suggestions?
For the Redditors-TL;DR: I like this tea. And I want Rivendell or something like it really bad.
I had one more sample of this hidden in the side of the cupboard, so time to enjoy it. Sipdown, but I may need to order this next time. Naturally sweet and malty with a hint of sweet potatoes, honey, and smoke, it is very likable, particularly for an organic black. I think I may ever so slightly prefer the taste of some of the non-organic Keemuns from TeaVivre, but I would still go for this one because I prefer to purchase certified teas whenever possible. Happy Saturday!
Perfect Christmas morning tea. Minty vanilla cream meets smooth black tea with a hint of malt. Now I’m trying to decide which tea to make an eggnog latte with this afternoon or if I should just dive in with a spiced rum-nog. I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season!
Flavors: Cream, Malt, Mint, Smooth, Vanilla
Having a lovely straight black this morning. This tea has notes of roasty dark chocolate and malt without much else to the flavor profile. It reminds me of Laoshan Black, but without the complexity of honey, grains, etc. and with a touch less cacao. I realize that makes it sound not as good, but it really is very tasty in its own way. Sometimes simple is best, and yet very satisfying this morning. Makes for a fine breakfast cuppa!
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt, Roasted, Smooth
Very good tea! Today I am getting a more roasted nut vibe from my last sample pack along with the smooth green savory broth. Excellent for an organic Dragon Well. I am so glad I ordered a large tin of this or I would be writing another sad sipdown note this week, lol.