761 Tasting Notes
I have not been on here in quite some time, but thought I’d put up a quick review for this one, seeing as I have had a lot of it lately as I have had a chest infection. It’s pretty much the only tea that I’ve been having for the past few weeks, though I have begun branching back out a bit more now that I am recovering.
I first had this tea when I was at my friends’ restaurant for Christmas dinner (it’s closed to the public Christmas Day and only friends, family, and staff are there). I received Alchemist Brew as a white elephant exchange present, but as it has hibiscus, and I am sensitive to it, they let me pick up a different one with a discount as I couldn’t exchange, even though it was fully sealed. Whatever. I opted for this one, in one of the larger tins, and I am glad I got so much.
While I am not a huge fan of rooibos tea, I can handle it here because it’s muted by the ginger, lemongrass, and green tea. Ultimately, this is a lemony ginger tea, but I really enjoy the way it is blended. I was able to get a second and sometimes third steep from it.
It’s not a remarkable tea in terms of flavour and combination, but it is done well and does the job well when you are not feeling well. I am halfway through the tin and I expect to refill it when I’m done.
Flavors: Ginger, Lemon
I really only went to David’s today to get a matcha and look at the new matcha blends, but in the corner of my eye, I spotted this one and remembered there were a few new straight teas, and without looking at the profile, just decided to get 14g. The guy said it was similar to the Nepal Black, which I think I had liked but it’s been a while since I had it, and he said it was smooth that he was fine drinking it straight. I was able to drink it straight after a 2:30 minute steep. Hot, it went down pretty easily, but it was not til it had cooled some that I picked up on the mint notes. I can’t say that it’s exactly like mint, but I did have a sort of cool feeling at the end of the sip, and the cool feeling is probably what is the mint note. I’m on to my second steep. I might add milk to it, and maybe hint of maple…
I recently finished my second sample of this tea that Angel sent. It was glorious, just like the first time. I steeped it many times. Sadly, it’s been a bit since I had it and struggle for the words to describe it as my memory of it blurs into the “I like it a lot” category. Odd that I like something that I can’t describe what I like about it, but that is how it is. All I can say is that it’s good and you should try it.
I picked up a small bit of this because I was concerned that it might be too tart, but I am pleasantly surprised that it isn’t. I actually really like this tea. I’m having it unsweetened and it’s pretty mild to me, but I am definitely picking up the walnut flavour. It’s this warm and nutty note at the end of the sip. The orange is definitely there, though not too overpowering, but it does become more dominant as the tea cools down. Same with the tartness. I do wish that the walnut was a little stronger. As far as the scone taste, I can sometimes taste it as a butter note, perhaps from the white tea base. I’m really happy that I gave it a try. I’m definitely going to get more.
Flavors: Orange, Walnut
We had some visitors come up from the states Friday and Saturday, and we did a lot of the traditional tourist things with them, per their request…high tea at The Emptess, Butchart Gardens, and Craigdarroch Castle. We spotted a few teas in the gift shop at the castle at the end of the tour. There were only a few options, but my friend and I both liked two of them each. We decided that we’d go halvesies, with each of us getting a bag, and splitting it up into some small ziplock bags rather than two bags each. So I got his one, and she got Dark Knight…a chocolate mint black. I’d never heard of this company before, and they had a few other honey based or related products like soap and lip balm. Turns out that it’s an island based company, too.
Anyway, I’ve just steeped a cup of this because 1) it smells so good 2) it’s caffeine free, so good for the evening, and 3) and it’s feeling a little bit like fall out there today, and I felt like a hot cup of this would be like a warm hug… and I was right! It’s really good! For those who are keeping score, I’m not a huge fan of rooibos, but green rooibos is better, and beyond that, I prefer honeybush over rooibos…and this is a honeybush. The aspects of most rooibos that I don’t like as less pronounced in honeybush. The flavour that dominates this tea is definitely the mango. The citrus is more of a subtle taste that is more of a bright note in the tea. My mouth is watering and it feels juicy. The tea is straight, without sugar or milk, but at some point it might be something I try if I want an indulgence. A little sweetener and some milk as a latter is probably in my future. I feel like while I have some organic cane sugar, a nice orange blossom honey would wa nice touch. A nice local honey for local tea…
I definitely like this tea and will probably get more in the future, if I can get it from the gift shop without the tour. I could also order it online too…it’s good for supporting local businesses, especially ones that promote bees the way this one does
Third steep. All of the steeps have gone down so easily. Not bitter or astringent, just smooth and tasty. Even without milk and-or sugar. I’ve got one serving left in my sample pack. It’s a definite favourite, and once I have a little money flowing again, this is one that is going to be ordered in a larger size.
I recently did a tea swap with kim and the Japanese blacks and this white had caught my eye. I’ve only ever really had green tea from Japan before. From the selection of teas from the swap to try, I picked this one, because I was not in the mood for a pu erh or a black, and some I wanted to use a gaiwan for, but I was not in the mood for a session. As it has been a decently warm day, I also wanted something lighter. So, I picked this. I may do the rooibos one later, but I have to get 2 cups of my medicinal herbal tea in as well.
So I went to the website to grab some steeping parameters, because I am totally unfamiliar with Japanese whites. The directions said to use 1-1.5 tsp per 8 oz/200 ml with 190F/85C water and steep 3-4 minutes. I was using a 10oz cup, and my sample was about 2 tsp, so I opted to use the whole lot. I steeped 3 minutes because I thought I might have used too much leaf, but then thought I could add water if it was still too strong with the 3 minute steep.
The tea brewed up darker than I was expecting, which might be the amount of leaf used, but might also be this tea, as I don’t think I really overdid it with the leafing. One of the other tasting notes says that this tea is almost like a darjeeling, and I can agree. I almost feel like it is a mix of a darker oolong and a white, because it does still have a hay type of taste, but it is heavier and a bit more bodied than a normal white (possibly closer to a white pu erh). Despite the word heavy, the tea feels a bit delicate at the same time. This tea is not bitter or astringent, and it is smooth. It is like a contrast of tastes, almost.
I’ll probably try to get one more steep out of the leaves and see how that is. This is a very pleasant tea to drink…it is very easy to drink, and I am grateful for the chance to try such a rare tea.
Third steep, and I used a half teaspoon of organic cane sugar. Maybe it is the lingering salty starchy taste from the buttered popcorn I had just before this cup, but I feel like I am getting cinnamon raisin toast, Or a cinnamon raisin bun. I can’t say I am actually tasting cinnamon, but I think the other flavours fill in enough of the profile that I can almost see the peppery notes more as spice notes instead. The smidge of sugar here does bring out the sweetness and tone down astringency, of which there is some, but not much in the unadulterated sip.
Enjoying this third cup perhaps best of all. The leaves in my steeping basket are now quite large, and almost an olive green colour. I am very curious to see how this tea will turn out if I do a cold brew. I’m thinking for a 16 oz mason jar, I should probably use the whole second packet?