Popular Teas from SmachaSee All 21 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
This was from one of their tasting pouches/sampler sets, 7g, it says, which I dumped all into my gaiwan and poured just off boiling water onto because I am an inebriated savage. Plus, I wasn’t all that impressed with the autobrewed version of this tea, so I’m hoping this gives me more of a punch to be impressed with.
Such dappled colored leaves. A malty scent, whoo, is this really oolong?! Add the hot water and even more surprise, this smells a lot like a Chinese black to me, folks, malty and cocoa-y and yeasty, chewy, bready. Bit of a sugar cane sweet hint to the back of the smell, but man, that aroma and the darker orange liquid makes me distrust myself. Maybe I accidentally opened the wrong pouch.
Well, drink up, who cares. Yep, that tastes like a lighter black to me, wtf. Wonderfully chocolate-y and malty with a background of a sour wood taste, confusing. Sweet really only comes in the aftertaste after you stop drinking for a bit, wouldn’t call it an actual main flavor. There’s a fair amount of astringency and bitterness to the malt if you push it around kinda rough like, too, though, very squeaky clean mouthfeel.
Overall, luscious chocolate and bread and a lovely depth to it, but no idea why this tea is known for being sweet, I’ve definitely had sweeter all around. Maybe it’s just Smacha’s offering? Or maybe I’m butchering it with the really hot water, and long steeps, it does get much sweeter and more delicate as it cools in the cup for awhile and as I lighten up my intoxicated brewing times. There’s something about it that kind of reminds me more of English black tea in the overall character, though, so I could see why Queen Victoria supposedly liked it so much, especially as heavy steeped it has a bite and bitterness like black and I suspect she dumped milk and sugar in the thing. The brewed leaf is kinda ugly, very small pieces that look pretty chopped up, but just goes to show, can’t judge a book by the cover. Not something I think I’ll be coming back to, but it was interesting to try.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Sour, Sugarcane, Wood
Not as sweet as I was expecting from the description, although there are sweet notes in there that become prominent over more steepings. The dry leaf has a very strong aroma after hot water is added, although it smells very much like the taste of the first steep and a hint of the full flavor with a bit of sweetness. The color in my glass pitcher was a beautiful deep claret on the first steep that lightened to a fall-sunset-in-the-forest hue by the end of the session.
I used Smacha’s very own autobrewer to taste this (a very nifty, stylish, and super convenient number that I’ve been very pleased with, FYI) so I’m not sure how long each steep actually counts as as it automatically filters down from the top in a slow, controlled trickle that is probably not that long in terms of steep time, although the instructions are to wait 2.5 minutes to allow all the water to flow through. It seems to be somewhere closer to the gongfu style of brewing than western brewing judging by the number of steeps I seem to get out of leaves, though.
The first steep was a full woodsy taste with a light, but full body. Just a hint of sweet, and very slightly musty in flavor. Second steep lightened up the flavors considerably, was more aromatic and with a more prominent sweet taste. Third steep was similar to the second, but with a more floral, fragant element. Fourth steep was the sweetest of the bunch and my favorite with a light taste. Fifth steep was thin, to my taste, with more aroma than taste, so I stopped there. Overall, impressed by how long it lasted for such a delicate seeming oolong!
Flavors: Floral, Sugarcane, Wet wood
Beautiful golden green color on the first steep, with a strong green tea scent. The color grew more yellow as both smell and color became lighter and more refreshing on the second and third steep.
The first cup was refreshing, savoury, and amazingly thick mouthfeel for the clear liquid that was produced. A very grassy, earthy, and quintessentially green tea taste on the first steep which brightened and turned to a light meadow and refreshing summer sunshine taste on the second. Was notably thin on the third steep, but the first two cups were a delight. I would say this had a very classic flavor profile with a remarkably full body and strong matcha taste.
Flavors: Beany, Earth, Grass, Green
One of my all-time favorite green teas. Smacha hits the nail on the head with this one for a simple, delicious brew. It’s light, slightly earthy, pale in color once brewed, and the leaves are good for multiple steeps.
Flavors: Earth, Green
Innovative and easy to appreciate.
I love this tea because it easily brings existing black tea lovers deeper into more variety within the category. It also has a lovely sweet and floral quality that gives it character.
Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Sweet