5 Tasting Notes
I’ve been drinking this first thing every morning and liking it a lot. Very gentle, like other people have said—not bitter/sharp the way other green teas can be. I guess it’s the citrus that softens the edge; I can’t really taste the gingko. It’s true that it’s an odd-looking tea: more like a variegated green-and-yellow powder than leaves. I use a pretty fine-mesh strainer (Teeli) for brewing, so don’t have the problem of getting little particles into the tea itself… that would not be so pleasant.
I read about Russian Caravan online—it was described as a blend of Lapsang Souchong and Assam—and couldn’t wait to try it, since I have always loved Lapsang… and since Russian Caravan is such a beautifully evocative name (always a plus). Also read a great review of White August’s version in a Steepster discussion. And it’s true—this tea is quite, quite awesome. It’s also true that it smells very smoky, so at first I wasn’t sure it was actually a blend—it seemed like pure Lapsang. But it’s mellower than I expected—still lovely and smoky (some reviews of other Russian Caravans say they’re not smoky at all, and I definitely wanted quite a bit of smokiness), perfect for late morning/early afternoon. I’ve been drinking this every day since my order arrived.
Just getting into Darjeelings. I sampled this at the H & S tasting room in NYC, then brought some home. I do like it, a lot… it’s on the light, mild side, and is perfect for late morning/early afternoon… plus, I think, better without milk than with. Very pretty pale amber color! And the leaves do have a slightly sweet smell, which is pleasing. It’s really different from the Assams I’ve been drinking (and which I have lots of trouble telling apart… though maybe I will get better at this over time…)—it IS mild, but has a subtle bite (tannic taste?) that the Assams don’t.
The worst name for a tea ever, but so, so delicious. It smells amazing—the chocolate and mint both stand out—and sometimes I just sniff the tin I keep in my office cubicle when I don’t have time to make a cup. It is a dessert-y sort of tea (I guess the chocolate makes that part kind of obvious) and great after lunch or dinner, both pleasantly, mildly sweet and soothing at the same time.
I’m completely new to tea reviewing (in fact, this is my very first review), but I’ll try to be specific about why I love this tea so much. I first bought some at a tea shop in Woodstock, NY… was incredibly sad when I ran out… and then incredibly relieved to find it for sale online. This tea has the perfect amount of sweetness and a lovely, subtle, caramel-y flavor. I’ve never added any sweetener—it doesn’t seem to need it—but you definitely could (maple syrup might actually be good, or raw sugar) to heighten the taste. Very delicious in the afternoon (it has a little caffeine, but not much, and I’m sensitive to caffeine after noon), and also wonderful iced.