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Recent Tasting Notes
Liquor aroma: Malted sugar, Red dates (Jujubes) not Medjool
Palate: Tastes more like Medjool dates. Pretty good on its own, starts with only the barest hint of astringency but the more you drink, the astringency builds up and I eventually had to add both milk and sugar.
Brewed at 189˚F for 4:00.
Flavors: Dates, Malt
Out of the 5 assam black teas I’ve tried from Teabox so far, this and the Mangalam Gold are the only ones that can be drunk without milk (i.e. not bitter on its own). Subtle malty Assam aroma, slightly fruity and floral like a Darjeeling. Nice flavour of dates and wood with no astringency. The only thing is, if you like your Assams strong and robust with that distinctive flavour, then you probably wouldn’t like this tea.
Brewed at 194˚F, as per the very precise instructions.
For the affordable price, I would consider buying a full-size of this tea.
Flavors: Dates, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Wood
When I opened the packet, I was like Oh god, wayyy too much ginger. But after steeping, I discovered that first of all, I love tulsi (this magical Indian basil that I’ve never had before) and the sweetness counters the ginger. There’s a licorice note to it too that I adore and makes it even more candy-like. I’m glad I discovered a wonderful new caffeine-free tea option for evenings!
Flavors: Anise, Ginger, Licorice, Sweet, Tulsi
I can definitely smell the malted sugar and cocoa notes, but no vanilla and it’s not as amazing as I envisioned when I read the notes.
Quite bitter / astringent, and I get an unpleasant tannic aftertaste that lingers on my tongue for a long time even after drinking it with milk.
Brewed at 194˚F for 4:00. Will try brewing it at 190˚F next time.
Flavors: Astringent, Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Tannin
Red dates (jujubes), malty sugar, stewed apples. Smells lovely, reviving for the morning.
Light astringency, nutty, not much other flavour. Even after adding milk, there is still some astringency. Definitely needs sugar, or to be paired with a sweet breakfast food.
Brewed 2.5g in 7oz of water at 186˚F for 3:00.
Flavors: Apple, Malt, Nuts, Stewed Fruits, Sugar
Brewed at 185˚F for 4:00, and it’s actually less bitter than when I brewed it on the lower end of the range, at 176˚F! Lovely for the afternoon since it’s low-caffeine and it complemented my oyakodon lunch very well, I’m glad I tried .
It doesn’t have much flavour on its own, I get a bit of smoky nutty sweetness, but pairs well with savoury food.
Increasing rating to 75.
Flavors: Nuts, Smoke
Smells divine, malted candy with that funky earthy smell similar to a Yunnan black tea, but with even more complex floral notes.
Unfortunately the flavour of the tea is slightly bitter and astringent. It tastes floral in the sense of chewing on a flower, not sweet but instead getting the bitter juices of the plant that is not meant to be eaten.
Brewed at 176˚F for 4:00.
Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Malt, Wet Earth
This is my first ever Nilgiri tea.
The dry leaf smells like Chinese green tea, sweet and vegetal. Tea liquor smells more like white tea, fruity and slightly floral, with steamed corn (as it says on Teabox’s website). It tastes fresh and sweet, no bitterness, a lot like sweet corn, maybe corn soup?
This tea is very good, and I am a huge fan of corn, but I am being very selective about how much green and white tea I buy every year now so I doubt I’ll buy the full size of this.
Brewed at 177˚F for just under 5:00.
Flavors: Floral, Vegetal
Wow. Trying this again while travelling and I don’t have access to my precision kettle, so I just used water about a minute off the boil. This has a heavenly aroma (malty, palm sugar, floral rose, inedible waxy tropical fruit) and the taste of the liquor actually lives up to its fragrance too. This along with the Mim Oolong from Teabox has convinced me that Indian oolongs are sorely underrated. What a pleasure to have a low-maintenance tea that can be brewed so forgivingly, compared to my finicky Dancong oolong I tried this morning.
Increasing rating to 80.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Floral, Malt, Rose
Okay, I’m trying this again by correcting the brewing parameters I tried last time.
Brewed at 194˚F for 4:00 in about 7oz of water. At 4:00 the astringency is a little improved, though there is still a lot of dryness on my tongue. At this point I’m wondering if it’s something genetic that’s wrong with me, so I’d still advise you to sample this tea if you’re interested. For me, I’ll stick to my Chinese oolongs and Taiwanese 18.
Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Wood
Aroma like a subdued version of the Taiwanese 18 tea––malty sugar, maraschino cherry, and woodsy. Which is strange because this Red Thunder Oolong is a Darjeeling tea, and 18 is an Assamica hybrid.
Tea liquor is astringent and woodsy. Awful dry mouthfeel, feels like I’m sucking on hay and herb stems. When I hold the liquid in my mouth for longer, I get the slight impression of a tangy fruit tart. But honestly the mouthfeel is so unpleasant that I ended up throwing out half the cup.
Brewed at 187˚F for 5:00. Will try brewing at higher temperature next time, and/or for a shorter time.
Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Hay, Malt, Wood
Okay, I brewed this in a teacup at 176˚F for 5:00 and this time it wasn’t bitter. I don’t understand what went so wrong the first time.
Tasted like a milder chai tea, nothing special. Goes well with milk. Increasing my rating to be fair, but I still wouldn’t buy the full size of this.
I was sceptical of the idea of a green tea chai, and sure enough, I didn’t like it very much. The spicy flavour is nice and not as strong as masala chai, but the green tea portion of it tasted overbrewed, bitter, and astringent like steamed vegetables (even though I brewed it at 177˚F). If the idea of green tea chai sounds good to you, then by all means go for it, but it’s not for me.
To be fair, I paired it with a pineapple tart I was eating and the combination was pretty good… but mid-way when I tasted the bitter green tea I spat out the mouthful of tea.
Brewed for 5:00 in 6oz of water at 177˚F. Might try brewing this at a higher temperature, 180 or 185, but I’m predicting it will probably taste even worse. I wouldn’t buy the full size of this.
Flavors: Almond, Cloves, Fennel, Vegetal
I’m not going to rate this tasting because I accidentally used 8oz of water, poured out 3oz of it and had to top up to 6oz of water, so some of the flavour literally went down the drain.
Love the aroma––lovely floral mixed with honeyed sweetness. The liquor, though not as flavourful, tastes great as well.
Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Honey
Let’s start with the positives. Lovely orange blossom, malty sugar, licorice aroma.
Unfortunately I over-steeped it for maybe 20 seconds (over the recommended 4:00) and it’s quite astringent. Tastes a lot like cucumber water, slightly spicy maybe from the fennel, but also kinda musty, which is unexpected in a black tea. Not my thing.
Flavors: Cucumber, Fennel, Licorice, Malt, Orange Blossom
Brewed at 187˚F for 5:00. Very lovely, savoury, complex white tea that’s different enough from Chinese white teas to merit a full purchase.
Cotton candy and Hay. Smells so much sweeter than Chinese white tea
Notes of Melon, Celery, Floral. Smooth, no bitterness or astringency.
I was actually eating walnuts with yoghurt at the time I drank this, so couldn’t taste the walnut notes in the tea but I’ll look out for them next time.
Flavors: Celery, Cotton Candy, Floral, Hay, Melon