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Recent Tasting Notes
The dried leaves really do have a strong aroma of dried cherries, which is incredible. That disappears in the tea itself, though. The steeped tea has a woody/nutty aroma, and a strong but not unpleasant wood taste. There’s a very faint note of rose to it, not enough to really distinguish on its own, but just enough to soften and round out the wood. Overall it’s a generic but very well done oolong. It would go with any meal or time of day.
Flavors: Muscatel, Oak wood, Rose, Wood
A really interesting tea. It’s most unique note is a grilled/toasted/smoky flavor, much more mild than lapsong souchong or genmaicha, but still definitely present. Under that is a green vegetable flavor, most reminiscent of sweet corn or fresh peas. It’s a very mild, light tea overall, but quite pleasant.
However, a warning: it is EXTREMELY easy to oversteep this tea, in which case it becomes almost undrinkable bitter. Be very careful with the temperature of your water (not yet boiling!) and the time of steeping (3 minutes AT THE MOST, preferably 2). The tea will still be very pale and look unfinished, but trust me, don’t risk it.
Flavors: Grilled Food, Peas, Spinach
I liked this tea much more than I expected to. I’m not a fan of tulsi in tea, but the basil flavor is so mild as to be almost unnoticeable. The ginger isn’t too harsh or overwhelming, but has a warm, rounded flavor. The strongest note is cinnamon. Very mild on the spice-level for a chai, but an excellent tea.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Grass, Herbaceous
Not very fruity, mostly wood with a bit of aromatic sandalwood, vanilla. touch minerally
Medium bodied with slight astringency. I steeped it in a gaiwan, but it didn’t develop with steeps.
First indian oolong and i’m not that impressed, but curious to try more. Purchased on sale
This leaf has an intoxicating fragrance. First, some freshly plucked lilies, then its fresh greens, dried apricot, and orange zest, lastly, its hot hay as a base. I poured my handful into the pot and prepared to brew. The steeped leaf is strong with wood and musk with a sweet floral character. The mix comes out smelling like ginger beer. The taste is sweet and soft with light floral tones and rock sugar. A woody base balances the light tones out; however, I note a viscous grassy undertone that creates a roasted green and burnt sugar aftertaste. The tea is moderate, and I believe this leaf smells so much better than it tastes.
Flavors: Apricot, Burnt Sugar, Floral, Ginger, Green, Hay, Orange Zest, Roasted, Sugar, Wood
This is the 2016 harvest.
The leaves give off a nice light citrus scent along with a base of corn husk, sweet potato, and candied mango. I can also hint at very light notes of tamarind, papaya, and some floral. I placed a fair amount inside and began steeping. The taste begins strong with papaya and this descends into a chestnut tone towards the base of the tongue. The brew moves with smooth watercress tastes. This brew is fruity and bold with a sweet, tangy, orange (somewhat) aftertaste. However, I would learn more towards grapefruit due to its acidity. The drink is smooth and lasting with a nice green nutty base along with brief astringency towards the end of each sip. I liked it, and I thought it to be decent.
Flavors: Chestnut, Citrus, Corn Husk, Floral, Fruity, Grapefruit, Mango, Nutty, Sweet Potatoes
This is the 2016 spring harvest.
The tea is very vibrantly green and carries a fantastic aroma. The small green curls give off scents of fruit, lemon zest, and light grass tone. I can also pick up some fragrant florals in the mix. I pulled out my cast iron and filled her up. The brew is slightly thin with a smooth sweet tone. A next sip brings a slight spiked and sweet taste on the tip of the tongue along with a moderately floral body. The brew is very light and gives a nice sweet lingering taste on the pallet. The texture is interesting. This is a great lazy Sunday warm weather tea, but it is a bit too thin for my preference.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Grass, Sweet, Tangy
initial vegetal nose. evergreen, mung bean, wood
Infused leaf is heady with lots of flowers, trees, sap and apricots. Stronger infusion yields more of a ‘pledge’ type aroma (teabox mentions citrus oil, so i suppose that’s a better term for it). Mild sweetness throughout
A very gentle grip of astringency holds this all together. very enjoyable
palate is light with a pleasant
Dry leaves: honey and strawberries. Washed leaves are very worty, malty and floral.
I used a gaiwan to steep.
Again this grainy wort aroma on the infusion, along with rose, peaches, strawberries and slight plastecene.
It’s rich on the palate with the aromas following through. medium- fine-grained astringency.
Robust and tasty
I had received this sample from nishnek a while back, but I’ve been slowly catching up on sampling teas from previous swaps.
I didn’t dwell on this one too long last night, for it was late and I had a long day of processing shipments at work. I’ve been trying to accomplish new steps at the job; to which I’ve received many compliments from the boss. He hadn’t realized that I was catching onto the work so quickly, but I simply suggested that I have had an abundance of help from my coworkers, so the work is less tedious all thanks to them. My job isn’t too difficult when understanding the processing aspect of the job; however, there are so many tiny steps and issues that arise, that it can get overwhelming and extremely tedious. Fortunately, I’m willing to learn and take many large steps to obtaining such information from the help of others.
With that whole monologue past us now….
Notes: The dry leaf has a sweet pine aroma; while the wet leaf reminds me of dandelions. The tea is extremely astringent, and it leaves you with the dryness in the back of the throat—with that dryness, there is a pine nuttiness lingering too. Overall, it’s a nice tea, but nothing I’d write home about ( << who says that?).
Flavors: Dandelion, Floral, Pine
It has a lot of rich, deep notes, but alongside that are coppery, bright sparkles. If I were to liken this to music, it’d be like a cello accompanied by a lovely child’s voice. Like something that one would play in a rustic church.
f I had to choose between dark oolong or green oolong, for me it would be green every time. I find them characterful and unique, with more variation in flavour than I’ve typically found (at least so far…) among their roasted counterparts. And that’s coming from a habitual black tea drinker.
Himalayan Shangri-la is a Nepalese Oolong from 2015. It’s a first flush, or spring, oolong comprising highly graded leaves taken from a single estate.
The leaf here is pretty impressive – they’re long and twisty, with a high predominance of downy buds, and vary from a dark khaki to the palest green-silver. The scent is lightly vegetal and just a touch floral, in the way of orchids.
Just received my order from Teabox for Diwali and this was a free sample included. From my forays into all things Indian tea from last year, Darjeeling oolongs are a softer version of the muscatels blacks from the same region but with a more pleasant complex aroma and flavor. This is a very nice representation of the oolongs I tasted previously, soft and light but with enough of a bouquet of dried apple to bring you in. Flavors of malt and plum pit and the faint rose finish the flavor profile albeit soft and gentle. Not much caffeine to speak of so I may purchase a bit to enjoy in the afternoons after some yard work and gardening.
This is so good and now it’s gone. A rich, bold Assam with a dominant brown sugar note, lots of malt and a hint of fruitiness.
Minimally astringent – this would be great with milk and sugar, but it doesn’t need it.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Fruity, Malt
I was looking at the statistics of my blog and realized that once again I was oblivious to a milestone! I totally derped over a week ago when I missed my three year blog anniversary, and four days ago I derped and missed my 900th post. That is a lot, and considering I have notebooks filled with notes that have not made it onto the blog yet (or ever in the case of some teas and companies going away) I really do drink a lot of tea and have a lot to say about it, in perspective you can say that yes I am obsessed. Also, speaking of the blog, starting tomorrow posts will be going up every other day, I am excited to see how this new schedule will affect things!
You know one of my favorite things about reviewing Darjeeling teas? Knowing the name of the estate they come from so I can google the region and ogle pretty pictures, really this region of India is so gorgeous. Today’s tea is one of those, Teabox’s Upper Namring Exotic Spring Black Tea, this estate is both old and big, so big it is split into upper and lower, and then split into three gardens, with Upper Namring being the highest. The leaves are quite pretty, marbled greens, silvery fuzz, and golden tones, they look like sunlight through summer leaves. The aroma is delicate, notes of coriander and delicate distant flowers mix with fresh green grapes and a bit of raw rice blend with a subtle honey sweetness.
I decided to be a weirdo and brew this tea pseudo gongfu style and use my clay pot dedicated to first flush Darjeeling since the poor thing was gathering dust. After steeping, wow, the leaves really woke up! Very sweet scuppernong and honey aroma blend with a bit of arugula and nasturtium flowers giving it a peppery zing. The liquid has sweet scuppernongs and delicate distant nasturtiums with a bit of lettuce and coriander, blending green and sweet fairly well.
The first steep starts sweet, but has a slight briskness to it that keeps the sweetness from becoming too cloying and thick. The first note that popped up was sweet white grapes, they have a bit of tanginess making them more like table grapes than my beloved scuppernongs. Next is a blend of coriander, lemon blossom, and a crisp lettuce note. For the finish it is herbaceous coriander and a touch of sweet starchiness and distant flowers that linger into the aftertaste.
The second steep is much lighter in both aroma and taste, the aroma being mostly distant lettuce and sweet grapes. The taste is so sweet, no briskness to be found, just dense honey thick grape juice with a hint of lettuce at the finish. This is definitely the type of Darjeeling I would recommend to someone who likes their tea sweet, or is new to the fine world of first flush, it needs a little bit of a gentle hand with temperature, but will result in a wonderfully sweet steeping session.
What a pleasant surprise…Lavender Spell Tea from TeaBox! Of course the aroma of Lavender Spell Tea from TeaBox is that of lavender and that is only ‘helped’ by the secondary aroma of sweet greens. When it comes to taste the lavender is first and foremost followed by a bit of menthol minty-ness. The best part of this tea is the combo of ingredients which is black tea, lavender, and cornflower. The cornflower – I feel – is mostly for show – but – could could possible add a bit of floral flavor to it as well.
This is one of many first flushes I ordered from Teabox. I’ve been impressed by their customer service and the quality of the tea.
This tea had a lovely fresh quality. I agree with the notes on the tea from the vendor: white flowers, green, toasted almond in the scent. The green isn’t the green of edibles, but perhaps wormwood or another garden plant.
The taste is also consistent with the vendor notes: citrus blossom, dried fig and tree fruits. But I think those words give the impression that the tea is lush and it isn’t. I also taste something like how wormwood smells.
It’s not a bad thing, but I don’t think first flush teas have lush qualities typically. Even if the scent makes you think it will be. Especially in the non-clonal types.
There’s something slightly dry and in the front of the nose that it’s unique to FF Darjeeling. Hard to describe. It is almost resinous and herbal.
All in all, a pleasing light tea.