Elephant Chateau

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Recent Tasting Notes

65

STTB Tea

Reading the reviews, this reminds me a lot of cherry (the real fruit, not the candy flavour). Oddly, I wouldn’t call the taste of the brew fruity. I found it dark, too tannic for my tastes, but complex. I found it bitter, not really my taste for black teas. There were mineral notes but not like roasted oolong mineral flavour. The dry leaf smells like cherry juice, which is neat. Not bad, but not really something I’d reach for if I had this in my cupboard.

Flavors: Bitter, Cherry, Mineral, Tannic, Tannin

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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40

Samurai Travelling Tea Box – Tea #23

As I mentioned in another tasting note from the TTB, I wanted to make sure I included some straight teas in what I sampled – this is new to me and sounded intriguing so here we are…

The leaf has an interesting visual appearance compared to a lot of commercial Ceylon blends that make it to the North American market – more open/flat and flaky leaves; quite brittle and delicate. I guess that’s what makes it “extra special leaf”. Without doing some digging, I’m not totally sure whether this is high/mid/low grown but my guess would be lower…

Steeped up Western style, it’s… nice?

There are no off notes to me, but it’s quite flat tasting and there’s no body to the cup either. The top of the note has some slight sweetness that reminds me very loosely of honeyed graham crackers, and that’s about where any interesting element of the tea stops for me. After the initial flavour passes, there is nothing to follow through – and the finish, while clean, is just kind of boring? No linger tastes or mouthfeel.

I’m thinking it’s probably low grown now, just because my experience is that low grown Ceylon black tea has less range of flavour (typically) and is the smoother/flatter taste as well. There’s no way that this could hold up to milk or cream, but the neutral flavour does make me think that maybe it could be repurposed as a tea base? There’s nothing here that would compete with whatever you wanted to layer over it – it just wouldn’t contribute either.

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65

From the Samurai TTB.

I was a little bit on the fence about whether to try this one, since it didn’t really have much of an aroma. Also the mineral notes that Shanie O Maniac mentions in her note didn’t appeal to me much. But I woke up this morning and wanted a good black tea with breakfast so I decided to give it a go.

Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my breakfast fantasy. It’s not bold enough and there is something lacking in the flavor that I just can’t place. There is a roasted quality that’s interesting though – it reminds me of an oolong actually. Oolongs aren’t my favorite, so maybe that’s why I’m not digging this one so much.

So yeah, it’s not bad but it’s not great either. Still, it’s a bit of a caffeine boost to help get me going this morning, which I sorely needed.

Courtesy of tea-sipper. Thank you. :)

Flavors: Drying, Roasted

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
tea-sipper

Yeah, the high Steepster rating on this one might set up many disappointments…

Shae

Yep, the high rating was part of what convinced me to try it.

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100

This was my first Nuwara Eliya tea, and it’s impressive. Definitely recommend it if you like lighter aromatic teas.

Found it’s available online https://www.amazon.com/Black-Tea/dp/B08669VSP1/

Flavors: Flowers, Jasmine

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
100

Using this recipe for fresh vanilla bean tea.

Ingredients:
1 Ceylon Vanilla Bean
4 Cups of Water
5-10g Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea
4 Tsp of Sugar

Instructions:

- Heat up 1/4 cup of water and the sugar on the stove in a saucepan.
- Slice 1 vanilla bean in half and scoop out the seeds, adding them to the water and sugar.
- Add the bean shell as well and allow the mixture to heat for 5-10 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
- In a separate saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
- Add the tea of your choice to the water and allow them to steep for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the vanilla bean from the sugar mixture and add to the tea.
- Remove (strain) the tea leaves and stir the mixture thoroughly before serving.
- Enjoy your cup of vanilla tea!

Delicious and fresh ceylon vanilla beans – https://www.amazon.com/Whole-Vanilla-Bean/dp/B07ZXNRBJ5/

Ceylon loose leaf tea used – https://www.amazon.com/Ceylon-Black-Tea/dp/B07F59NYRF

Flavors: Flowers, Tea, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 10 g 20 OZ / 591 ML
EC

Due to the extra large size of the bean and high vanillin content, we found 3/4 to 1 Vanilla bean appropriate for a sensational vanilla tea experience. A full expression of the vanilla’s unique character with a background of Ceylon mountain leaf and light tannins.

Note: Leave the vanilla bean in the tea after steeping. The nose is absolutely glorious, there is no substitute for fresh high grade vanilla (raw & organic) and your senses awaken for the treat.

When adding sugar, you find a multiplier of the vanilla profile’s flavor giving sweeter highlights to key vanilla notes that we all enjoy with a background of unique Ceylon depth. It really speaks to the overall quality of the vanilla bean and tea leaf combination.

EC

Due to the extra large size of the bean and high vanillin content, we found 3/4 to 1 Vanilla bean appropriate for a sensational vanilla tea experience. A full expression of the vanilla’s unique character with a background of Ceylon mountain leaf and light tannins.

Note: Leave the vanilla bean in the tea after steeping. The nose is absolutely glorious, there is no substitute for fresh high grade vanilla (raw & organic) and your senses awaken for the treat.

When adding sugar, you find a multiplier of the vanilla profile’s flavor giving sweeter highlights to key vanilla notes that we all enjoy with a background of unique Ceylon depth. It really speaks to the overall quality of the vanilla bean and tea leaf combination.

EC

Simply high quality organic tea, high quality organic vanilla, sugar & fresh water.

“The best things in life are not complicated”, they were right….

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74

Thanks so much for the tea, Elephant Chateau! I’m so sorry the review is so late but I’ve tried it MANY times. The sample from Elephant Chateau was big enough that I’ve been experimenting with this tea, steeping multiple ways. So this has been the tea I’ve been drinking most frequently. First, if you were to ask me what my least favorite black tea type is, I would say “Ceylon”. It is never the flavor profile I like from a black tea. BUT I shouldn’t say “never” because this is not a typical tasting Ceylon. It is much different than most Ceylon teas I’ve tried— and luckily much tastier. The leaves are bigger, twistier, mahogany colored with a hint of scarlet and sometimes green leaves. It’s odd to see some of the steeped leaves in the basket turn green? The green leaves look like an oolong or green tea. Maybe this is why the flavor is so odd for a black tea? No matter how I steep it, the color of the brew is pumpkin amber. I’ve tried everything from one teaspoon to three teaspoons for a mug, which I don’t think I’ve done with many teas. However, if using three teaspoons, I definitely don’t suggest using boiling water (it was a little bitter on the second steep when I boiled it). Three teaspoons expanded to almost the entire steep basket. But I think I prefer the flavor when I use two teaspoons. This tea is so hard to describe no matter how I steep it, but I would say the main note is squash and sometimes hints of cinnamon. But the only note I seem to get is squash… maybe other palates are better than mine. I apologize I can’t puzzle this tea out. But I wanted to post a tasting note already. So this is very good for a Ceylon but I do wish the tea had more depth.

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100

Makes a tasty ceylon cinnamon tea brew, we use the tea cut version of this or ground and strained.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Honey, Spicy

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 5 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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95

(drank a few more cups before reviewing)

There is a definite hint of jasmine in the maltiness that I’m tasting but its hard to pin down.

I didn’t expect this to be good iced (with no sugar or milk), however it is delicious.
I recommend 3.5 grams of tea brewed in half the water for 3 minutes and immediately iced.

Flavors: Jasmine, Malt, Potato

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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100

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100

Elephant Chateau’s Nuwara Eliya is a superb quality Ceylon Tea. You get an intimation of this from the beautiful black envelope-package in which it comes. The reason it is a large envelope is because the extremely fresh leaves inside are fluffy and full. This is unusual to find in many Sri Lanka teas, and Is a good sign. More frequently, Sri Lankan teas in the marketplace are broken leaves, often broken into little pieces, or even fine pieces. The one exception to that for me has been New Vithanakande, but this tea presents an even better leaf that speaks to its quality.

The tea is light when brewed, and quite refreshing, no doubt in part to the freshness, but also the unmistakable quality. I have had two distinct types of Nuwara Eliya, one with a sweet Assamica roundness, and others with a Sinensis (China) astringency and clarity. This tea (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MG569D5) falls into the first category, with a tempered “fullness” and sweetness that you’ll find in a First Flush Assam. I found that when you use less leaf you get a lighter taste, reducing the maltiness, but still with satisfying flavor.

Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

Ok, full disclosure. This tea was given to me as a free sample from ECT. Here is my honest review.

I was initially concerned upon opening the tea. The loose leaf had a strange smell to it, but I attributed it to my not being familiar with Ceylon Black tea. So I brewed it at the following parameters. 2.5 tsp for 16 oz water, boiling temp for 4:30 minutes.

Taste is… well it is certainly tea. I’m getting metallic undertones, but the base flavor is decent. I’m getting hints of cherries, tannin flavor, sweet potato, roasted notes, and something I can’t put my finger on. The more I drink it the more I like it. As it cools down, the metallic undertones are fading and it’s taking on a bold yet somewhat mellow flavor. Strong black tea flavor in this one. Hmm, overall, I would likely drink this again when I wanted a change from my traditional golden tips. It’s not bad. It’s not the best tea ever either, but not bad. I would rate it a solid B.

Flavors: Cherry, Roasted, Sweet Potatoes, Tannic

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80

Disclosure: This was a freebie from the company, promoted in the Steepster forums.
I added nothing to it. It’s very smooth, with caramel and floral notes. It has a nice complex flavor for a black tea brewed western style. Thanks for the free tea!

Flavors: Caramel, Floral

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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100

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Cinnamon, Honey, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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100

First attempt at low temperature brewing of this black tea with 4 infusions (30 seconds each) to explore the profile that emerges.

I am pleasantly suprised by the outcome at 90 degrees (which I hear is quite a low temp for black tea).

- Personally enjoyed the 2nd and 3rd infusions the most at these temps especially.

- The bitterness and astringency I generally associate with black tea is non-existent with this high altitude variety at this temperature and the hidden aromas-flavors (flowery bouquet) are easier to appreciate.

- I get a very light citrus, mostly floral flavor with a beautiful light orange colored syrup. Very smooth, which is characteristic of the region this tea originates from (Nuawara Eliya from the product description).

Next attempt I will be using a variable temperature tea kettle to really pinpoint some other temperatures and will expand more on the details of each infusion.

Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Rose

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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99

Very floral and fruity, much more than I initially expected. A morning tea favorite at our house.

Flavors: Caramel, Fruity

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
the soft roots

thanks for sharing

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100

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Flowers, Honey

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

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