35 Tasting Notes
I hadn’t read any reviews of this tea prior to my first cup, and was very surprised. I get a smokiness from this tea (but, of course, it’s not smoked). That may be what others interpret as “fishiness,” as the descriptors for this tea are all over the place, I see. It has a rather tannic bite as an aftertaste, but is pretty smooth otherwise. The wet leaves smell very grassy. Overall, very good. I won’t make a mad dash to buy it again but it’s enjoyable.
I purchased this and Onomea’s standard black tea from their website, and tried this after having first tried the standard black on the previous day. I can’t say that I notice much of a difference between the two, and in fact may prefer the standard black a bit. However, that still makes this tea extraordinary for a black tea. It is very smooth with dominant notes of cocoa and honey, with a bit of a mineral taste that I didn’t get from their other tea.
I purchased tea from this estate in Hawai`i a few years ago and it was the single best tea I’ve ever had, so I decided to buy it again. There must be something about those volcanic soils and ocean air. My second purchase proved me to be correct the first time around – it is still the best black tea. Ever. And this is just their standard black (review of the koko ki to come). I purchased it straight from the company via mail order, as it’s a little cheaper than buying from a tea seller middleman.
The dried leaves smell honey-sweet, and the tea is true to its name (“ono” means “delicious” in Hawaiian, and “mea” means “taste”). The strongest notes are honey and malt. On top of that are cocoa, caramel, and a little orange. I didn’t time my first brew, but it was not very long – a minute at most, and the liquid was a light amber. The next infusion was longer and I began to taste the tea’s potential to be robust. Then the caffeine took effect. This tea can pack a punch.
I don’t know why I waited several years to purchase this a second time. I guess because shipping is not cheap, but I may just buy in larger quantities in the future. I visit Hawai`i often, and I hope to visit this estate sometime.
This is my gold standard for black tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Orange
I like Numi as a company for their fair trade practices and support of organic farmers. Fortunately, I also like their teas. As I wrote in a prior review, I have tried to enjoy loose-leaf puerh many times but generally have a distaste for it. I do, however, love Numi chocolate puerh and I was anxious to try this one. The cardamom is very intense. I have to say, iI really don’t taste the puerh at all. I like cardamom a lot, so this is okay with me, but it’s not as balanced as their other blends.
I generally stay away from Teavana, especially since they were purchased by Starbucks. However, last night I began an internet search for Indonesian black teas, as for the past few years I’ve been trying to find (or remember) such a tea that I purchased from a now-defunct tea company, and I think the tea came from Sumatra but it could have come from Java (this is one of the best reasons to use Steepster – to remember what you drink!). It was robust without being acidic, malty, and delicious. My internet search showed this tea at Teavana, so I signed up for their email program to get a $10-off coupon and made my way to the mall today to check it out. This tea is very similar to the one I recall – smooth, robust, and malty. I’m on my second cup and definitely feeling the caffeine.