191 Tasting Notes

Smokey and musty aroma. Deep and rich flavour, but I can’t tell because my tastebuds are a bit shot from alcohol and vinegar this morning (don’t ask). Will have to try this again.

Flavors: Musty, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling

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86

Brewed pretty free and loose, not sure what temperature. This tea is really good, not bitter at all. It is refreshing, citrusy and light like a white tea.

Increasing rating to 86. Possible purchase, but it’s sold out on Teabox.

Flavors: Lemon, Vegetal

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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85

Brewed at about 176˚F for 5:00. Again, a wonderful experience and this time I got very strong notes of spicy ginger in addition to the typical white tea notes of floral and vegetal. Increasing rating.

Rating: 85

Flavors: Ginger

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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84

Aroma only came out after wetting the leaves. Smells like whisky: Tobacco, diesel fumes. Similar to the smokiness of Lapsang. But the flavour is very different, tastes clean, cleansing and refreshing with just a hint of whisky.

Second infusion most of the tobacco is gone, now it’s more of a funky savoury, vegetal, sawdust, slightly bitter-astringent flavour that is quite pleasant and drinkable. This mild tea would go well with all kinds of foods and sweets. This is the first raw pu er I’ve actually enjoyed drinking.

Rating: 84

Flavors: Sawdust, Tobacco, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling

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86

Really gorgeous, punchy aroma of raisins and dates. Thick, full-bodied liquor that can be drunk plain with only minimum astringency and a lovely, satisfying mouthfeel.

This is currently out of stock at Teabox, but I’ll keep my eye out for the 2019 harvest!

Increasing my rating to 86.

Flavors: Dates, Raisins

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 45 sec 3 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

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90

This tea has an amazing ‘aged aroma’, really ancient and calming and not too much fishy or fermented flavour. The liquor is so smooth, full-bodied and pleasing.

First infusion:
I brewed it with not enough leaf and a bit too much water I think, so it didn’t taste as strong or flavourful, but the overall effect is still amazing.

Second infusion:
Much stronger mushroom and savoury flavour.

Flavors: Musty, Peat Moss

Preparation
Boiling

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86

Wow, this experience was so different from my first one with this tea! This time I watched the timing more carefully, probably around 4:00.

First of all, I get the aroma of toasted nuts, sweet floral like honeysuckle or osmanthus. It tastes amazing, sweet; my favourite Darjeeling so far. Would rate this a 90 when drinking plain, but unfortunately does not stand up to sweet breakfast like raisin bread and turns bitter and astringent, so lowering to 86.

Flavors: Floral, Honeysuckle, Nutty, Osmanthus, Toasty

Bluegreen

I see that I have had quite a few teas from Teabox but gave not-so-high ratings to many of them. Do you like this vendor overall? I am considering trying some new sources for Indian teas but never heard about this one. Thanks!

Bluegreen

Oh, I meant that YOU have had quite a few teas from Teabox, obviously. Sorry for the confusing comment above.

Sirentian

Hi Bluegreen, unfortunately Teabox is the only vendor of Indian teas I’ve ever tried. Having come from pretty high-quality Chinese teas which I find to be less bitter / astringent, I think Indian teas will generally get lower ratings from me when drunk plain. Teabox seems a bit pricey for Indian teas where I will have to end up adding milk / sugar to many of them. That being said, Teabox looked better than the other Indian tea websites I compared them to because they label the source of their teas, tasting notes, and brewing instructions very meticulously so it was reassuring for me as an online buyer. Their teas turned out to match the website description accurately, and I found a really excellent white tea, oolong tea, and darjeeling out of the samples I tried. You can always start with a bunch of samples to see if you like their teas first. I ended up purchasing a full-size of their Mangalam Gold assam tea for a high tea party I was hosting, and am happy with it.

Sirentian

May I ask what other sources of Indian teas you currently use?

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80

Wow. Trying this again while travelling and I don’t have access to my precision kettle, so I just used water about a minute off the boil. This has a heavenly aroma (malty, palm sugar, floral rose, inedible waxy tropical fruit) and the taste of the liquor actually lives up to its fragrance too. This along with the Mim Oolong from Teabox has convinced me that Indian oolongs are sorely underrated. What a pleasure to have a low-maintenance tea that can be brewed so forgivingly, compared to my finicky Dancong oolong I tried this morning.

Increasing rating to 80.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Floral, Malt, Rose

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62

Smells lovely, like classic English Breakfast tea. Unfortunately, the flavour is quite weak and this is designed to be drunk with milk and sugar to accompany food.

Brewed at 191˚F.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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65

Liquor aroma: Malted sugar, Red dates (Jujubes) not Medjool

Palate: Tastes more like Medjool dates. Pretty good on its own, starts with only the barest hint of astringency but the more you drink, the astringency builds up and I eventually had to add both milk and sugar.

Brewed at 189˚F for 4:00.

Flavors: Dates, Malt

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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