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Recent Tasting Notes
The tea looks like small green distinct leaves, with occasionally bright pops of yellow from the marigold petals. The scent of it is dusty and sweetly green, reminiscent of spinach. The steeped tea is a pale gold with a mild scent, mostly of basil and sweet greens. The taste is the same. Basil is by far the strongest note, with faint hints of floral and vegetal flavors underneath.
Flavors: Floral, Lettuce, Spinach, Tulsi, Vegetal
The dry leaves are large and very recognizable as distinct leaves, still dark green in color. They smell of a rich forest, with notes of wood, mushroom, and earth. The steeped tea itself is brownish-gold in color and still carries the mushroomy, woody scent. The taste is surprisingly grassy, given the depth and darkness of the aroma and color, with just a hint of that deep woodiness. There is a bit of astringency in the aftertaste. It’s a tea that really makes me think of autumn, despite being a first flush.
Overall, it’s a very excellent example of a strong, traditional Darjeeling. Unfortunately I personally prefer teas with a lighter taste, but I imagine this could be the favorite of someone other than me.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Decayed wood, Forest Floor, Grass, Heavy, Muscatel, Mushrooms, Peat Moss, Wood
The dried leaves are curled into small pearls, and smell of raw spinach with a woody note. The steeped tea is a pale gold, and smells of spinach very mildly. The taste is overall very mild and subtle, with notes of cooked greens. It is bitter if oversteeped, but when done right is a very pleasant, refreshing tea. It’s a classic green tea, and is perfectly what it sets out to be.
Flavors: Spinach, Umami
Thought I’d review this again as we are tasting the 2016 vs the 2017.
2016: peppery and vegetal
2017: more intense aromas. creamed corn, floral and mild pepper
liquor and aroma
2016: bitter vegetal.
again very vegetal and peppery. high astringency
high astringency, but not as noticeable due to the creaminess/umami. bit of a lactic quality like a sour sausage
Overall, the 2017 is more floral, mouth-filling and balanced. whether this is merely due to being fresher rather than vintage variation unknown, but fun to compare.
Apparently, I am going through a Darjeeling thing these days. I am not quite sure how or from whom this tea landed in my sample box, so my apologies to the lovely soul who sent a couple of spoons of this tea my way. Though you shall remain nameless, I appreciate you because this is a fine, yet unexpected, cup.
Here, I am picking up an appealing combination of custard, jasmine, and orange blossom on a light base, light as in black but veering in the direction of oolong green. Lovely.
Flavors: Custard, Jasmine, Orange Blossom
A very interesting mild chai. In the dry leaves, the primary aroma is cardamom. The smell of the steeped tea is soft and woody, while the taste is that of a standard green tea with a very subtle background note of spice. The almond and saffron don’t particularly come through for me, but it’s nonetheless a very nice tea which would go with most foods or times of day.
Flavors: Cardamon, Spices, Wood
The dry leaves have a woody, malty aroma. The tea itself smells of dates and wood, with a slight smoky/nutty/earthiness. It very easily becomes bitter and tannic if oversteeped, or if the water is too hot, but if you manage to brew it just right, it is a lovely, mellow, rounded version of the typical “breakfast tea” flavor. I’m not generally a fan of breakfast teas, but I do have to say that I like this one is better than most.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dates, Leather, Malt, Nutty, Tannic, Wood
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 undrinkably 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