5 Tasting Notes
I’m admittedly, not a huge japanese tea fan (they’re very finicky to make), but I really enjoyed this, I used the traditional low temperatures and short steepings, and made 3 steepings 30 seconds, 1:00 and 1:30 from 2.8 Grams over approximately 200ml of water. The second steeping was a little too long, and the tea was slightly over steeped, but still very good. I liked it’s nice nutty, smooth notes, but it still maintained a strong sencha/japanese green taste. Highly Recommended.
It’s an okay standby tea, fairly light considering the kind of black tea it is, not great for consumption on it’s own and benefits greatly from being blended and or adding milk and sugar. Tasty, but there are other similar black teas at this price point I like a good bit more.
My overall impression of the DHP is that the roasted-wood flavor of the tea, is always present in the tea, although it diminishes over time, it is quite pleasant, and drinks very smoothly, from start to finish, with minimal astringency. While immediately pleasing with how smooth it is, it rewards the attentive drinker with sweeter floral flavors in the background.
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Vietnam has been a country near and dear to my heart ever since I visited it in my junior year. Beautiful scenery, kind people, and good food; that legacy for me, lives on in this tea. Vietnam is located directly south of china, and east of India by a much larger margin than one would believe by the taste of this tea.If one were in a blind taste test, one might easily mistake the Yen Bai, for an Assam, because of its cocoa taste with a strong muscatel and generally warmer flavor. However the Yen Bai yields a more balanced cup, and is far less dark than many Assams. The actual mouth-feel of the Assam is incredibly full, and remarkably smooth, as is the finish of the tea. My preparation was quite simple for the tea, as it usually is for a black tea; I loaded up a tea filter with 2 teaspoons of the tea, set my kettle on boil, and steeped the tea in a 16 oz. teapot for the recommended 4 minutes. I took out my filter, and poured a half-cup of tea, to do an initial taste. While one could take milk and sugar in this tea, and I’m sure it could easily stand up to both, I believe, as I do in most cases, it is unnecessary, the tea is perfectly smooth enough on it’s own to drink uncut.
This is a great tea, and compared with some of the high price tags around, quite good for the money you pay.
Recently, I was given some American Classic Tea. Currently this is the only tea grown in the continental United States. The tea confusingly says Loose Leaf Tea in a Pyramid Bag, which is a direct contradiction. In many ways this is a traditional red tea, dark color, single infusion, and elements of bright citrus, perhaps too bright, as I’m about to explain; with a full mouthfeel. What makes this tea unusual, and I am unsure if this is because of the tea itself or the packaging that it arrives in, is a strange sour/sweet metallic taste in the forefront of the flavor profile. While not immediately bad tasting, it is very strange compared with, well any other tea I’ve tasted, as if the tea were almost completely devoid of tannins.
How I brewed it:
In terms of brewing trials, I brewed the tea two ways, once in a mug, for 3 minutes, and a second time, where I removed the tea from it’s bag, and brewed it in a gaiwan (lidded bowl) for roughly one minute. Because I got the strange metallic flavor in the first trial, I decided to try making in the gaiwan, sans bag, to see if that removed any of the metallic brightness, which it did not.
Overall, due to the almost unpleasant brightness, I’m going to give the tea a fairly low rating, however it did fulfill the other criteria of being a basic red tea, and by no means is it totally undrinkable, however, there are many, many other better bagged teas, with less ostentatious and incorrect marketing, that are far cheaper and less pretentious.
From additional readings, it seems that it really is primarily used to make iced tea, and sweet tea at that, where one really only uses tea as a carrier for syrup, and the ultra-brightness would likely work quite well.
Origin: Con. US
(Indian + Chinese crossbreed?)
Type: Red (Black)
Packaging: Pyramid Bag, Foil Packet
Plantation/Company: Charleston Tea Plantation, owned by Bigelow
Time 2-4 minutes
Temperature: 205-210 F