19 Tasting Notes
I’m going to be honest, the main reason I went with Imperial Breakfast is because I saw that even though this blend has many different ingredients which all have different prices, the blend costs the same as it’s lowest priced ingredient (I think). I like to feel like I found a discount, as tiny as it is.
I’d say this is a solid blend. There is a mild chocolate taste and smell to it. That’s all I can really say about specific taste. With Verdant tea, I’m always tempted to keep steeping the tea past its limit. I think I can safely say with this particular tea, if you use 3 grams of leaves and a 1/2 litre of water for each steep, by steep 8 you are going to have some gross tasting tea. It’s good stuff, but don’t be greedy like me.
I guess this tea deserves a review from me since the quality of it has surprised me. Despite coming from such a huge tea company the taste isn’t all that bad.
I am reviewing the loose leaf Irish Breakfast and not the bagged tea. I have no proof, but It does make sense that Twinings would put a lower grade tea in the tea bags and save slightly better tea for the loose leaf. The people who buy the loose leaf on average will be much more critical when judging.
The tea is primarily CTC with a few flat broken leaves, not very impressive looking. It steeps fast, but is very manageable, I find I get 5 steeps each time.
I’m not great at finding nuances in flavours so I’ll leave that for other reviewers, I’ll just say that it is Irish Breakfast and is quite addictive as it should be.
I should also say that since it is much cheaper than the usual black tea I drink, I am inclined to use a lot more leaf and make it nice and strong.
I think I have to disagree with the other reviews on this page. I found this tea’s taste quite on par with it’s amazing smell. Just like any good tea, it has a flavour that is hard to explain. Teaopia describes it as fruity which is a technical term I don’t like because if it actually tasted like fruit I’d find myself adding sweetener. I was actually about to buy another 50 grams of Milk Oolong instead of this but I’m glad I decided to try this instead, The Milk Oolong wasn’t bad but more of a novelty in comparison. Tea always seems to draw me in with novelties and it doesn’t take long to realize what I actually want to be tasting is buried under the flavour that drew me in.
This is definitely the finest tea I’ve ever had to date. So I’m treating each leaf as if it was worth it’s weight in gold. It isn’t really that expensive though, cheaper than Red Bull for sure when one sees how much tea just a few grams of leaves will produce. This tea came as a free sample to me for buying a completely different tea and I’m grateful for it. I steeped it 8 times and every steep was fantastic except the last one which I may have over-steeped. The very light color and soft taste of the tea that gets produced may have you wondering if it is actually black tea, tea like this might really need a class of its own.
In order to steep a tea 8 times I actually need to right down my plan on paper or I’ll be hopelessly confused half way through. I firmly believe that every steep after steep 1 needs to be done as soon as possible in order to avoid a moldy taste in the last steeps.
A lot of people are going to review this tea on how it tastes so I think I’ll be a bit different and focus on how it made me feel. It made me feel quite weird actually. Tea is a drug after all, and for some reason the first time I made this tea my face started to feel funny and immediately afterwards I got the feeling of being stoned. My mom had some too and she just could not sleep afterwards. The second time I had the tea, I just got a very mild head-rush and the sense of relaxation and peace. This might be a great tea for meditation since it makes me alert and relaxed at the same time. Ok, maybe I am a little stoned this time, such an interesting tea this is. I’ll probably write more on it later.
After reading many tea reviews on this site I guess the proper term for what I felt was “tea drunk”, but I’ve never been drunk before so I guess I relate it more to being stoned. I’m currently waiting for more tea from Verdant to arrive in the mail, my expectations grow the more I read on Steepster.
It’s hard not to respect this tea given the name “Fine Champagne” and the beautiful, full, puffy leaves that it is made of. Also hard to find any flaw in the taste as well, except that it might be too smooth a drink, I might prefer more of a bite. I’ve noticed a strange chocolaty taste in Taiwan oolongs like this one, and I can’t say I completely like it since it gives the feeling that I’m drinking an extremely weak chai tea.
In conclusion I have to say that this tea is in no way bad, but it is very unremarkable for a tea I respect enough to steep 5 times. Oolong has acquired a huge reputation as a great tea, but something falls short in this tea for me. I guess I’ll rate it the same as I rated the Temple of Heaven Gunpowder tea, for now it gives me the same indifference.
I just purchased this tea and I am waiting for it to come in the mail. What drew me in was it was on “clearance” and is “age-able”, I plan to give it to someone with more self discipline than myself for Christmas. My question for now is, How does one age this particular tea? Should it be air-tight or open to air? And where would be a good place to store it?
Hi- Thanks for picking up some yabao for the holidays. This Yabao actually reminds me of holiday time, mulling spice, baking, pine trees, etc. In terms of aging, leaving them slightly open to air in a non-damp environment away from smells is best. However, they can stay in the bags they came in, especially if they are opened up once every few month to get some new air in. Yabao changes slowly, but it does become deeper over time. Some silver needle white teas and white peony are aged in China as well. I am looking to get in a good candidate for aging.
I hope that whoever you give this to has fun with it. Yabao is a pretty unique tea.
Thanks for the quick reply! I will probably print all this out and put it with the gift. I have wondered for some time if aging wine was something I would want to try, but aging tea actually seems less risky, more rewarding, and much cheaper. $15 for 3 ounces of tea is really cheap when compared to wine.
Going by the reviews on steepster some people don’t quite enjoy the tea, as with any tea. So I’ll have to brew some at the Christmas party to see who would actually enjoy aging this tea.
I assume room temperature is best for tea, but from what I’ve read control over moisture, smells, and air flow is more important than temperature. Some pu’erh is good stored with lots of moisture and air flow, and some needs to be air tight and with no moisture. Yabao is a unique tea with very little info on the internet so I had to be sure, dry + air flow doesn’t sound too hard.
Perfect! Not only did I buy on the last day it was 50% off. I think I got the last of the 2009! The webpage says it’s 2010 now.
Perhaps this tea needs to be blended with other teas to reach it’s potential in taste. Today I mixed it with some oolong (Teaopia’s Fine Champagne) and it really added strength to the oolong. And the savory-vitamin taste that I noticed before was very hard to notice in this brew. This could also mean that the Assam SF Budla Beta requires a bit colder water to taste it’s best. I steeped it as if it was pure oolong, disregarding that it was half black tea.