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Recent Tasting Notes
B is for…Blissful Harmony
This is one of my oldest teas so it is nice to get this sipdown in. I am grateful to teakruthi for sending this my way but this remained in my stash the longest of my teakruthi teas because of the combo of black and white bases. I don’t love mixing bases and this is no exception.
That said, it’s not a bad tea but it’s not for me. It’s a touch coppery on the tailend of the sip. Before that though, I get stonefruit flavors and the slightest bit of honey today. It’s also fairly nutty with a touch of hay from the white tea. Now I am cutting the note short because my nephew has both grabbed my tea and my laptop.
I have decided to brew this one on the gloomy morning.
It smells wonderful, very tropical, sweet and fresh.
I brewed two teaspoons in 300 ml and 80°C water and I have used ball strainer. That’s not the best as the pieces of tea are quite big and thus can’t grow completely.
But in taste it wasn’t that perfect. It has got a quite mineral and typical green Ceylon tea taste. As well quite drying unfortunately. On the other hand, the fruity notes are delightful and well present — mostly as an aroma: very tropical and I noticed mostly pineapple and strawberry. Hints of mango as well. In taste mostly pineapple and the base. Quite unimpressed overall, maybe the notes of base were too strong for me. But I can imagine drinking it iced or cold brewed! Maybe I had just unlucky spoons.
Flavors: Drying, Mango, Mineral, Pineapple, Strawberry, Tropical
Instead of Alice (see derk’s note) I decided to brew this one today.
And honestly, I was afraid this one would be too dessert-like to me, though I was craving some sweet one this afternoon. But I have hoped it won’t be that bad.
After opening the pouch, I needed to let the tea “breath” a little as it was highly aromatic! I took about two teaspoons, with quite a nice combination of black tea with contrast white and yellow safflower petals.
It was just right amount for my 300 ml cup and I steeped it for around 3 minutes but haven’t measured exactly today. It has got similar colour as pictured.
I am not sure which note is stronger, if the bergamot one or vanilla. But they work very well together nad both are very nicely present.
The citrusy note of bergamot is tingling a bit, but feels natural and not artificial. Kind of pleasantly sour too. On the other side of spectrum there is sweet vanilla note, coating whole mouth with vanilla custard; while it’s hot drink. Again, a natural feeling of it. Kind of unfortunate, the base is so hidden of flavourings and thus I haven’t noticed that much. But this tea is one of the dessert ones I will drink when craving for some sweet one. Similar as Lemon Kandy.
Flavors: Bergamot, Pleasantly Sour, Round , Vanilla
Apparently they tweaked the recipe and it’s much less fiery than you guys noticed. I certainly received a pouch with peach (which isn’t that super fresh as on Izzy’s picture and some ginger, but much less of it than in pictures.
But in taste it isn’t a trouble! I notice both — a juicy peach with little fiery aftertaste of ginger. Bold and malty tea base. Well done! I can imagine being it blast for ice tea.
Again an example of well blended tea, because it delivers my favourite way of blending… there is the flavour expected, but as well the base tea. 4 minutes are a bit too much, I need to tweak it a bit. Not sure if I want to drink this tea in cold days (as today, it’s sunny, 11°C, spring-like) or prepare it cold-brewed and then drink it iced.
Flavors: Ginger, Malt, Peach
SIPDOWN 93 6 sessions total of 20 grams.
Ohh, damn! I just went off this tasting note and it refreshed afterwards, so a few lines lost. Autosave would be a nice feature.
Anyway, a sad sipdown. Mostly because it is well made. A nice lemony taste, a bit on the candy approach. Well, it’s Kandy, afterall. I know, it is a region in Sri Lanka, but I am pretty much sure it was chosen on purpose.
The base tea is nice, somehow quite malty, but not overpowering the lemon pieces. Those are genuine and they taste really good. Although the citrusy scent is very strong, it isn’t that strong in flavour. It’s that well blended that you could notice both — lemons and bold base together, but they are rather cooperate than fighting each other.
It is a simple blend somehow, but so well done, that I am considering getting more than 20 grams I had in sample pack. And it’s quite cheap and fresh!
Flavors: Lemon, Lemon Zest, Malt
I was craving for citrusy black tea this morning. And when I saw a Alvin’s of San Francisco Earl Grey, I knew it’s not it. So I picked a fresh batch (crafted 8th December) of teakruthi teas, I bought myself, but it’s only second tea I have opened.
I used 5 grams. I wanted to do it western, but my ball strainer was too small. So I just decided for grandpa and just after I have filled the cup with water, I thought I should use empty bags I actually have. Well. 5 grams for grandpa sounds terribly strong. But caffeine needed in the morning… it was just right I guess.
As I have opened the bag, I was thrilled with lemon zest and lemon candy aroma. Very fresh and feeling a bit juicy.
Brewed… I was truly afraid that I used too much leaf; but apparently not. It was delicious, lemony taste. Malty base. It’s like the iced teas, but not overdone with sugar. Actually it doesn’t contain any sweet stuff and just pure lemon pieces, marigold flowers and tea. That’s something I highly appreciate.
Certainly need to re-brew with less leaf to see more from the base; but still great.
Flavors: Candy, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Malt
My brother wished for a tea. I showed him a pack of teakruthi and told him, it should be similar to his box for Christmas (which he keeps in the office, but he’s rather working from home recently). He decided for this one, used two teaspoons and I decided to try it as well. Also two teaspoons, for typical 300 ml. He complained about his upset stomach and wished that this tea will help him. I said that it should! But his choice was completely random!
Anyway, prepared as teakruthi suggests; so long, 9 minutes steep.
I have to agree with SkySamurai, star anise is indeed the star here. I can’t notice green tea at all; there is lemongrass note strong too, quite herbal, but overall… it works. Lemon? Yeeeah, it is here too. Lemongrass and lemon balm. Indeed both.
Good for intended profile — cleanse. But not really sure about the flavour profile. Again quite a unbalanced — way too much star anise, little of actual tea. Could be worse, especially as of cleaning/detox blends!
Song pairing (and article): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwtdhWltSIg; https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/r-e-m-losing-my-religion-story-behind-song
Flavors: Anise, Herbs, Lemongrass
teakruthi was kind enough to send me this tea to try years ago. It got lost and so I am trying it now. As an earl grey, I wasn’t overly excited for it but it didn’t smell overly floral and had a nice vanilla note so I hoped for the best. I am surprised though that this is rather bland. Some light bergamot and vanilla but mostly milk seeing as I had this as a latte.
Truly a unique tea. The liquor brews up to look like a black tea but the dry leaves definitely look like a white tea. It is a very light tea. Wet earth notes. No aroma for the wet leaf. Just the steam hitting my nose. Flavor is very slight as well. You really have to dig to understand what is being tasted. Accidental one hour steep. Not too astringent but odd medicinal flavor.
The water isn’t in the kettle but I need to start this note now because the dry aroma is mind-boggling. It is all over the tea wheel. White pepper, floral, vegetal, herbs. It’s hard to put my finger on any one note. The leaf is gorgeous. Fuzzy and a mix of different oxidation colors. The wet aroma is stable hay. Farm hay. It always seems to be that note with white tea. It steeps up fairly sweet within the first 30 seconds. Honeysuckle and a light touch of honey. The mouthfeel is incredibly silky. The package says up to 3 times but if steeping gong fu style you can go far past that. However, if steeping gong fu also keep in mind that each steep is shorter. While you could easily steep this to the recommended 4 to 6 minutes, try it at 30 seconds and then at each 30 seconds after. The sweetness hits within the first few minutes and then transforms to more hay and slightly earthy notes.
I’m exhausted so if partway through reading this and it doesn’t make any sense, you know why. This is a really unique blend. You see black tea blended with tons of different things but silver needle doesn’t tend to see as many mixes, much less both being mixed together. The first steep is the best with slight malt, honey, and savory earthy notes. In a gaiwan it is best steeped 10 – 30 seconds. Extra time allows for too many tannins and a strange astringency.
This one started off with a really enticing aroma. Sweet peaches, zippy ginger, and a slightly odd medicinal note that made one feel they’d be cured just by drinking this. Cured of what? I have no idea. But give this a whiff and you’ll see what I mean. I’m not big on the taste. I could see this being great for anyone with a sore throat but it’s not really a flavor I enjoy if I’m not sick.
White tea is the unexplored, underappreciated part of the tea world. I too vastly underappreciate it. Especially one that comes from Ceylon. I wasn’t expecting much to be honest. I wasn’t very impressed with any of their green teas so I assumed the white would be marginal at best. I was wrong. This is fantastic. I’m currently drinking it gong fu style with water that could probably be warmer but the flavors I’m getting are sublime. The first few were filled with floral notes of jasmine and gardenia. The third infusion is earthy. Incredibly soft on the palate with no astringency. You can definitely steep it up to 6 minutes but make sure to try it at least every minute because the flavors at each are great.
The aroma is a bit grassy but mainly filled with hay notes. Like the hay you find in a stable or barn. And over roasted vegetables.
The differences that one can find from one plant is astounding. Even the region of Ceylon, which is generally known for its black teas, has a variety of different types. Take a Ceylon green, a Japanese green, and a Chinese green and you will get many different flavor profiles! It’s amazing! So far in all of the Teakruthi samples I’ve tried I have discovered most to have astringency but this one doesn’t have a bit. There is a bit on the second, though I am also using a smaller steeping vestibule. A unique mix of woodsy and earthy notes. Some nutty notes here and there. Wet forest floor in the wet leaf aroma after steeping but the most amazing smell as soon as the water touched the leaves. (There needs to be a term for this) Instantly my nostrils were filled with wet warm jungle. Like I wasn’t standing in my kitchen anymore. What an amazing feeling that was.
My afternoon ritual general involves a green tea of some sort. But this unassuming blend is perfect for any time of day. Light on flavor with gentle woody notes. Wet forest floor filled with twigs and a few leaves. The aroma is balanced and fair. Nothing too crazy. Soft hints of hardwoods and treebark. A tea like this is not suited for milk or sugar but for those purists like myself who like a cup that has refined flavor and nothing to sit and overthink about. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit and sip and not think about every little flavor and aroma in the cup.
Mint lovers rejoice. Black tea lovers rejoice! If you were looking for the perfect marriage between the two, this is it. The golden amber liquor shines but the aroma of the dry leaf and the wet leaf dazzles the senses and calms the soul. The dry aroma is strong with mint. It’s overwhelming. Mint to the face! The wet leaf aroma tones it down a bit with woodsy notes but the zap of mint in your nose is enlightening. The flavor is much of the same. Wet wood notes and the tang of mint. Palate will feel slight astringency and freshness all at the same time.
I am really enjoying today’s tea. It does have a bit of a bitter edge, but it’s tamed some by a little honey and cream. It was too much for me straight/plain. I thought it might be too much lemon for me, but it’s really a nice amount. I’m not usually one to drink iced tea with lemon, so I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it hot. Turns out I’m a fan!
6 ounces water + 212 degrees + 5 minutes
Steeped a second time, same parameters. Equally as good as the first cup, no loss of flavor or strength. I would have tried for a third but it was getting late in the day and I needed to give up the caffeine for the evening.
Flavors: Bitter, Lemon
There are certain black teas that are off-putting to me. Instead of tasting the usually earthy notes, I taste wet dog. The smell of wet dog is pungent and you can’t get it out of your head once you smell. But eventually, I settle into the cup and notice the flavors. This one has compost and wet forest floor. It is slightly astringent but still has a nice mouthfeel. The wet leaf aroma is very nice. Deep wet woods after a nice misting rain.
Why do they call Star Anise, Star Anise? Because it’s shaped like a star? NO. Because it is the star of the show! This is a star anise tisane with green tea. Sorry green tea you are a sidekick here. You round the cup out nicely along with the lemon friends. But for the most part, everything is about Star anise. I’m feeling cleansed.