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Recent Tasting Notes
Here’s Hoping TTB
This one will wake you up in the morning! It isn’t a CTC, but it drinks like one: strong, malty, and rather bitter. I didn’t care for it straight, but it made a pretty nice morning brew once I added a splash of milk.
Flavors: Bitter, Malt
Thanks for this one, JakeB! The only black tea in an amazing tea box! I can’t wait to try everything. The leaves here don’t look like a CTC but the sharp flavor certainly tastes like one. Yowzas. It must be a kick of caffeine! Possibly I shouldn’t have used a teaspoon and a half. I will try one teaspoon next time and thankfully I didn’t use two. Not much of a tasting note this time around, but I shall retry it.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Next day with one teaspoon: This one is much tamer and actually tastes like ASSAM this time. And it definitely is less bitey. I’m not sure if I particularly loved either way it was steeped though. I’m surprised it gets an 87 rating from others. It’s so odd there is such a difference with a teaspoon or a teaspoon and a half but that is what makes tea FUN… all the different variables of parameters.
I’ve tried a number of teas from Golden Tips lately, but this is the first one that I’ve considered a miss—it really isn’t to my tastes, despite my love of herbal tisanes. The flavor is mild, tasting mostly of cinnamon and dust. It’s an odd combination really and one that I haven’t found entirely appealing. While this blend does contain a number of ingredients I generally love—rose petals, lemongrass, licorice and mint—there are just as many ingredients that I’m either unfamiliar with or have found I don’t care for. It looks like this tea is destined for my giveaway box, hopefully one of my friends will enjoy it more than I have.
You can read the full review on my blog:
I have to say, I’m a huge fan of the green teas that have been coming out of India the past few years—they’re a welcome alternative to the traditional Chinese and Japanese greens. The flavors tend to be light and slightly sweet, quite different from what I’m accustomed to. This particular tea leans more towards sweet and floral—depending on the temperature of preparation you’ll even see an undertone of citrus. The bright, refreshing flavor is just what I need to chase away some of the dark gloom of a cold winter day.
You can read the full review on my blog:
I’ve been drinking this at work, and it’s a fairly decent Darjeeling. The leaf includes small black clippings with some gold spotting spread throughout. The brew is a well rounded cuppa with some brief malt tones. The drink carries a sweet woody base with a smooth body and some slight spice. I was not picking up any floral or flowery tones. This is a good basic daily drinker. The cup isn’t bitter and tannic, but it wasn’t something to rave about. This is a nice basic black that helped get me through the day.
Flavors: Malt, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Wood
First and foremost, thanks to Nicole for being my first tea swap partner and sending me this tea. It is always nice to have someone show you the ropes and give you a boost of confidence going forward and she did this for me.
So, I tried this tonight as soon as I got it. I even made breakfast for dinner and it paired as good as I wanted it to. My wife and I both drank two full teacups worth.
It was so good. A deep orange tinted liquor. Malty/woodsy scent. Bright, smooth, slightly malty, slightly fruity flavor. I expected some of the puckery bitterness but none appeared. Loved this tea.
On this most frigid of nights with a gentle coating of snow and an endless supply of warm tea, I am researching Slavic mythology. It just seems apropos, but there is a reason for it, I am looking for a perfect name. Studying mythology is one of my favorite past-times, and I like to refresh my memory ever so often, the reason I went with Slavic is I want to name my new teapot something Slavic and earthy, either a nature spirit or forest god, conveniently there are a lot of options, it is all about matching the pot to its mythical figure.
Today we are looking at a quite pretty tea from Golden Tips Tea, Okayti Silver Needle Darjeeling White Tea. Hailing from the Okayti Tea Estate, this silver needle is hand picked in the early morning and is really very pretty, but I am such a lover of fuzzy teas. I also have a great fascination with trying Silver Needles from regions other than Fujian, it is a passion of mine. The aroma of the surprisingly gray under the silver fuzz leaves is very fresh, notes of lettuce, pepper and sage, cucumber, and tarragon as an afternote, it is a very herbaceous tea with only a hint of sweetness.
I decided to steep this one in my steeping apparatus rather than in a gaiwan. The aroma of the wet leaves is a blend of melon, specifically honeydew, and sage with fresh bok choy, pepper, and tarragon notes at the finish. It smells very fresh and herbaceous, with the green notes accenting. The liquid is sweet with notes of honey, hay, bok choy and lettuce. At the finish is a touch of sage and pepper.
Tasting this tea is quite nice, it is mellow and sweet, with a smooth yet ticklish mouthfeel. Gotta love those fuzzy trichomes, they tickle ever so slightly, which I enjoy immensely. The taste starts with gentle sweet hay and honey with notes of melon and dried apple. It then moves to slightly yeasty bread and sage, and then onto the finish which is bok choy and lettuce. The aftertaste is a gentle honey that does not linger for very long, but at the very end there is a slight note of apricot which I found surprising. I only had a small sample of this tea, only enough for a cup, I would love to get my hands on more so that I could try it Grandpa/Bowl style and in my gaiwan, clearly I will have to go shopping!
Here’s Hoping TTB R5 #5
I just realized I haven’t spent a weekend at home for 6 weeks and January isn’t looking much better and I have this poor neglected TTB sitting on my kitchen counter that I need to start powering though in order to get it back out on the road and travelling again and so I’ve decided that I’m only drinking tea from the box for the next 5 days so I can deliver it safe and sound to the post office for its next journey early next week.
I’m (re)starting with the straight blacks, my third favorite tea type, and this morning a nice malty assam sounded pretty much perfect since its below freezing here at the moment which is very unusual for my part of the world….
This is a delicious breakfast tea, it would be perfect with toast or a slice of hot banana bread smothered in melted butter… oops, now I’m making myself hungry…. Strong, robust and super malty, this was a delightful breakfast treat and it worked perfectly with a splash of milk!
This one is from Nicole – thank you! Here is another Darj I really like. Not only did the dry leaves here smell syrupy somehow, but the liquid brew also looks like maple syrup! The flavor is the closest thing with a Darj too. It’s sweet and fruity, vibrant and perfect. The second steep tasted almost the same. I’m always so tea spoiled!
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons // 17 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
This is a very nice chai blend. I tried it straight at first, at it was quite good – robust, malty assam CTC base, good blend of spices (lots of cinnamon, cardamom, a bit of heat from the ginger and pepper). Then I added some sweetener and milk, which made it even better. Tasty tasty. :)
I think this is the one I received in my secret pumpkin gift from Flyawaybirdie. It doesn’t say 2nd flush on the package but this is the only one that came up when I typed in the name of the tea.
I boiled my water and waited around 2 minutes to try to obtain the 180F suggested by Flyawaybirdie. There was a note included with these stating, “I know you haven’t been feeling blacks lately. Hopefully these can change your mind”. Flyawaybirdie has given me hope for plain blacks. While this definitely tastes like a black, there is something tasty lurking in the cup. I don’t even have to sweeten it! Thanks for giving me the chance to try this :)
Oooo… The package smells divine. Molasses, malt, hay… Yum.
Steeped it turns into mostly exactly what it smells like. Molasses, malt and hay. Add a bit of astringency but not to an unpleasant level and this is quite a nice cup. Smells deep and rich. Add a dollop of cream and this becomes heavenly. One to add to the list for the next inevitable order.
mmmmm another delicious tea from Nicole I am really loving this one today. This is a really great malty and yet not bready, sort of tea. I don’t want to call it sweet, because that’s the wrong way to describe it…but there is a lightness and almost sweet like quality buried in the malt. thanks so much for sharing nicole!
Another Arya sample, this one a green tea. Date of picking: Nov 20, 2014. Grade FTGFOP1, Invoice DJ 132.
The dry leaves are greenish-brown, with a herbaceous and fall-leaf aroma. The liquor is sweet and vegetal with a lot of grassy and leafy notes. I’m still getting hints of that herb note but can’t quite identify it. I tend to associate green teas with spring, but this really does seem like an autumn tea, weirdly enough. Tasty, but not exceptional for me.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grass, Herbaceous
the 2014 FF pluck from my subcription box tasted average.
This review is for the 2015 FF- and soooo much better than last year’s flush.
Floral, with a buttery note. Even got hints of coriander and a greenish sweetness.
Excellent FF. Don’t oversteep!
Flavors: Butter, Coriander, Floral, Fruity, Sweet
lovely Nepali FF. Bought 300gr, on a whim, – you rarely can go wrong with Nepali teas IMHO –
This one was made for my taste buds. Lemon zesty, delicate floral tea, with a bit of astringency to finish off with. Love the slight bitterness kick in the end.
Smells devine and tastes a-ma-zing.. A keeper.
After a bad experience with a milk oolong from DTH, this was my first (the second if we take into account the milky oolong) oolong.
It has become my favourite tea (not taking into account black tea and shou pu erh).
Is sweet, smooth, with a floral and wood touch. Is soft. I really recommend this tea.
Flavors: Floral, Smooth, Sweet, Wood
Cold Brew Sipdown (114)!
Cold brewing this tea brought out some pretty bizarre flavours – definitely ones I didn’t experience with the hot, Western style mug I made. Sure, it tasted malty with cocoa notes and maybe even raisin/raisin bread notes? But there was another very strong drawn out flavour that seemed very foreign to my palate and impossible to place.
It was like…
Earthy, but also kind of mildew-y and vegetal? In a way it reminded me of wet, rotted wood, actually. I skimmed all of the tasting notes currently up for this tea to see if anyone else tasting something comparable to that; beelicious mentioned tasting mushroom. I can’t actually eat mushrooms (allergies) so I don’t have a frame of reference for that flavour, but I suppose that could be it?
It weirded me out pretty badly though, so should I revisit it this tea it’s going to be hot and not this way again. I’m distancing myself from super freaky foreign flavours that my gut says ‘will kill me’, even if the odds of the leaf actually coming in contact with mushrooms are astronomically insignificant.
I made this tea last night; it’s a very aesthetically pretty tea with lots of golden tips throughout. I’d say the ratio is probably somewhere like 1:3 of the leaf is tips which certainly isn’t bad. The brewed up liquor was very dark; almost opaque in colour actually. To me, that definitely signified that this was going to be a strong, full bodied brew.
And it certainly was; in fact it was a little rough in addition to have a strong, brisk flavour. There were definitely very characteristic Assam flavours present like malt and a dark chocolate. It was a little bittersweet; perhaps in part from the chocolate notes and maybe in part because of the rougher overall mouthfeel/taste of the tea. This is possibly from over steeping, though if that’s the case then I’d say I only very slightly oversteeped – which would mean this is a more finicky/picky tea.
Other notes I found present were a kind of coffee grounds flavour, and somewhat of a ‘stale’ graham cracker flavour. Overall, not the smoothest Assam but good regardless. I think it’d definitely be a good candidate from a splash of milk, and morning consumption rather than evening.
I wanted to review this one on SororiTea Sisters but I couldn’t find the tea company it’s from online; if anyone can point me in the right direction that would be appreciated.