New Tasting Notes

43

This was the second black tea from Pasabong that I tried this year. Back in the first half of the year, I tried the second flush Pasabong black tea offered by What-Cha and came away from it puzzled and not exactly impressed. Unfortunately, I had the exact same reaction to this tea, though of the two, I think I may have preferred the second flush tea. This just came across as being very dark and muddled for a first flush Darjeeling black tea.

I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 3 grams of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. No additional infusions were attempted.

Prior to infusion, the dry leaf material emitted aromas that reminded me of a combination of chili leaf, hay, and wood. After infusion, I found aromas of malt and orange blossom. In the mouth, the oddly dark tea liquor provided me with notes of wood, toast, malt, hay, grass, chili leaf, orange blossom, herbs, roasted almond, and raisin. There wasn’t much of a fruitiness to this tea, though I did note something of an odd, pungent floral note accompanied by hints of cooked greens and green beans just prior to the finish. Speaking of the finish, it started off rather malty, nutty, and smooth before briefly turning vegetal and then drying out almost entirely, leaving previously absent impressions of chalk, beechnut, and raw chestnut in the mouth.

Well, as stated above, this tea did not impress me all that much. It was a very up-and- down, hit-or-miss drinking experience. I found the leaf quality to be a bit lacking and also felt that this tea did not really demonstrate many of the best qualities of first flush Darjeeling black teas. In a sense, it was unique, but not all that appealing. While I’m sure this would not qualify as the worst example of this type of tea in the world, I feel that there are better options that are very readily available.

Flavors: Almond, Chestnut, Floral, Green Beans, Hay, Herbs, Malt, Nutty, Orange Blossom, Raisins, Toast, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Lemon and Ginger by Twinings
2331 tasting notes

I’ve brought a handful of herbal teabags with me to work, and have been sipping on them all afternoon.
This one is mild and generally inoffensive, which is just fine. I just wanted a warming drink today, and this does its job.
Oddly, I think this little number will really start to shine when I catch my next cold. Its really gonna earn its keep then.

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85

008/365

More Yunnan, which is always a good thing as far as I’m concerned. I said most of this in my last tasting note, but I love the chocolate/pecan/brown sugar combination showcased by this tea. I also love it for its depth, and layers, of flavour – it’s more complex than it first appears (and so very fittingly named.) I’m sad that LP doesn’t blend any more…he’s put some good stuff my way.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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75

I have been enjoying a number of Ceylon teas lately (this year is the 150-year anniversary of teas from Ceylon/Sri Lanka), so I thought I’d add some of my favorites to my notes on Steepster. I will start with this tea.

The dried leaves are broken and machine-rolled; very black and consistent. The color of the brewed liquor is similar to that of a brown ale beer.

I steeped 9 grams of dried tea in 20 ounces of near-boiling water for 4 minutes. I attempted multiple steepings of the same leaves, but this tea does not work for multiple steeps.

The initial aroma came across as malty—bread-like, even. The initial flavor I picked up was that of oatmeal or even cooked barley, with a hint of malt to it. There was also some creamy and bread/toast-like flavors as well.

Overall, it was a very typical black Ceylon tea, and is one of my favorite teas sold by Simpson & Vail. I have come to appreciate these types of black teas as ones that have enough caffeine to move me through the day but not so much that I am up for long hours after drinking them. I appreciate the fact that I can drink this on an empty stomach and not feel ill from the tannins (unlike a malty Assam tea). This has become one of my regular teas and, given the inexpensive cost for the loose leaf variety, it doesn’t “break the bank” to have it frequently.

An enjoyable tea.

Flavors: Cream, Malt, Oats, Roasted Barley, Toast

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 9 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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drank Climber's High by The Tea Spot
2331 tasting notes

Drat, there is at least one cup more in this before it can be a sipdown.
No matter, I shall finish it off tomorrow.
This is not the sort of tea that you can have more than one cup of in a day. You’d be awake for the next week.
The flavors of this are very muddled, but not unpleasant. I don’t seem to be getting a dominant flavor at all, just hints of spice, maybe a flash of chocolate? Hmm.
Not a favorite. I’ll not be sorry when its all sipped down.

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71

A very vegetal white tea…not really what I felt like drinking. This is a sipdown, though, so that feels good. The tea is somehow light in flavor yet a bit bitter and vegetal at every sip. How it can be so strong but so light I’m not sure. It isn’t vegetal in a bad way if you like Bai Mu Dan, I’m just not really into it today.

I could taste notes of young wood, bok choy, dry oak leaf, and sedge grass (like went you prune an ornamental sedge and it smells different from lawn grass—similar to corn husk, dry hay, and dark green vegetables all at the same time.) It lost its fruity notes that I tasted in previous cups, but I think it is getting older now and losing some of its flavour.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bok Choy, Corn Husk, Dry Grass, Oak wood, Vegetal

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84

Another sipdown for this morning. I really like this blend, and I would be happy to find another little sample hidden away in one of my tea stashes. I may or may not have some, I can’t say. I’m counting it as a sipdown, though, because I think this is the last of it.

The base of Earthy, but has notes of chocolate and malt. I can taste desserty flavours of cocoa, marshmallow, vanilla, and cake. It is very decadent, and would have made a nice latte. It is also a great cup hot, so no complaints here.

Flavors: Cake, Chocolate, Cocoa, Earth, Malt, Marshmallow, Vanilla

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74
drank Golden Yunnan Whiskey Sour by 52teas
8951 tasting notes

Still not sure how i feel about this one. It’s sort of like a black tea with hints of flavour hanging around in the background. I think it’s more flavourful when it’s hotter…as it cools it changes a little and seem more black tea than anything. I’ll try adding a bit of sugar next time to see if that helps (if i remember)

Indigobloom

How long did you steep for?

Sil

whatever the instructions say? haha i think it’s 2.5mins

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76

adequate tea for today. It’s got some floral notes in the background with hints of cinnamon that are interesting, but it’s not really what i want when i pick up teas from TTC.

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74

I am going to do it. I shall finish this tin by Thanksgiving. Eeek! I am proud and excited. The end of this tin is nigh!

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80

Now, in these steepings, the smokiness is coming up which I hadn’t noticed in the previous cups of the day. Gentle smoke, mild spice, and lively caramel. Nice.

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72
drank Lapsang Souchong by Tea Cozy
2331 tasting notes

Tea of my morning.
This smells smokier in the dry leaf than it does in the cup, though its still a fairly bold flavor.
I keep waking up during the night, so the presence of a strong cup of tea this morning was a very good thing.

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80
drank Pumpkin Spice Chai by Twinings
1884 tasting notes

I only had one teabag of this, so this is a latte sipdown! It is a bit older (2 years maybe?) and I don’t really drink bagged chais very often because I prefer most herbal ones. However, in the interest of cleaning out my stash, this makes a good cup with breakfast.

Twinings uses a malty but brisk base in their chais. The cinnamon, orange rind, and clove are apparent, but not well balanced with the nutmeg. Pumpkin pie tastes best with clove, allspice, and mace in it instead of just clove. I actually can’t tell the difference in flavour if I taste the spices by themselves, but I swear pumpkin pie tastes better using all three. My grandmother’s recipe uses orange juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, allspice, ginger, and mace. I think maybe my expectation of pumpkin pie flavour is skewed by the family recipe.

Anyway, this made a really nice latte and I enjoyed it a lot.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Malt, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Spicy

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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85

Another puerh i’ve been drinking this morning and another one that i love for different reasons than special dark. This one is more bold and dark. smooth and delicious but not as creamy as special dark. I love the way this one just holds up even if you over steep it or brew western

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80

Another wee hidden and forgotten bit of tea.

The problem seems to be that the irregular-sized packets of tea that I have get squirrelled away from my usual tea traffic paths. On top of that, I often pack them up in generic unlabelled tins to contain the aromas and spices which keep the leaf safe but well away from getting used on a regular basis.

And then, I tend to keep my teas by blender and by base type so that I can locate them with more ease. QTT bases, like this one, often blend black, white, and possibly something else, so they don’t necessarily fall into my fairly clearcut boom, it’s morning and I want something frisky to wake me up immediately categories.

Ouf.

I am not complaining, of course, but rather mulling over why certain teas get overlooked.
And so it goes.

Ramble, ramble, ramble.

The slight caramellized sweetness of the sweet potato remains with a pleasant star anise finish on the smooth base. Delicious.

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89
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
8951 tasting notes

You know how you can have something and then you don’t have it for a really long time and figure maybe you were just imagining how delicious it was? Or you have something else and think it’s similar to that other thing you haven’t had in forever? Well that was me and special dark…since i’ve been hoarding it and refusing to drink up my supply. I pulled it out today so that i can hopefully spend some time drinking some of my puerh. Oh lordy….this IS as wonderful as i remember it…and those other puerhs that i’ve had are nothing like this one lol I’d forgotten how creamy? this one is…how the brew is just different from other shou that i also love. going to enjoy this one as long as it will have me today! (And give my pot a drink! it’s been sooo thirsty)

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55

This is a very tart-cranberry tasting tea, good for both hot or cold, but I personally prefer iced with a bit of sweetener. I feel like there is stevia in this one, bc it has this strange aftertaste I don’t love. It’s ok. There are better fruit infusions out there.

Flavors: Apple, Cranberry, Hibiscus, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 1 OZ / 29 ML

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78

It is supposed to be a cost-efficient alternative to Darjeelings.

The dry leaf is rather small and certainly broke but fragrant.: the smell of meadow, flowers and apricot. The wet leaf smells rather uncomplicated, of sourish grassy sweetness. The tea itself is not particularly strong on flavors – it is floral with the hint of apricot. The flavor is very muted so having a good water is important. Overall, not a bad tea, especially if you do not oversteep it but not much of a unique character there. There are certainly better Nepalese teas out there, including Upton’s.

Flavors: Apricot, Flowers, Grass

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