350 Tasting Notes
I decided to sort/reorganize my teas, which resulted in finding a lot of little samples of this and that and going “holy cow I really need to finish these”. So, nice caffeine free sipdown here, though I’m pretty sure some of the flavour has been lost over the years. A little bit sweet, a little bit creamy, a little bit spicy, generally quite pleasant.
I’m visiting my brother and sister-in-law and helping myself to their stash of random loose leaf tea that they never use. ;) This is a decent rooibos chai, nothing to write home about. Very cinnamon-heavy, as others have said. I can taste cinnamon, and rooibos, and maybe if I really concentrate a hint of ginger or vanilla but that could just be wishful thinking. Nice enough tisane to drink before bed.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Rooibos
My first Canadian-grown tea! I bought a sample (10g for $35 y’all) mostly out of a desire to support the company, and also because I was really curious to know what it would taste like. Pretty great, as it turns out! Very fresh, crisp, vegetal flavours and aromas. Slight sweetness. Little to no astringency. Comparable to a nice long jing. I’m impressed.
Flavors: Green, Vegetal
My brother got me a 3 month subscription to the Amoda tea box, and I just got my first box! This is the only unflavoured tea in the box, and I actually really like it. It’s a dark, roasted oolong so it brews up a warm orange colour and has some lovely toasty aromas and caramel flavours. It reminds me of more of a chinese black/oolong tea than any indian tea I’ve had before, though there is a juicy fruitiness and a slight floral character that does remind me of a 2nd or 3rd flush darjeeling. It’s interesting! I like it.
Flavors: Caramel, Stonefruit
After many many months of looking over at it, thinking “wow I haven’t had a proper gongfu session in ages”, I finally got the tea tray and gaiwan out and used them to make tea! It’s amazing how I can develop these weird mental blocks about things where something seems like “too much trouble”, so I procrastinate forever, then when I finally go ahead and do it, it’s no big deal.
8g of tea is a LOT for my 100ml ruyao gaiwan from White2Tea so I’ve basically just been steeping this all afternoon. It’s a good black tea, medium bodied with a bit of astringency. Malty, somewhat floral early on, but in later steeps it develops a kind of “generic black tea” flavour. Not unpleasant, but also not very exciting? I did really enjoy the whole tea ball concept though, so I look forward to trying some more of them. :)
So I bought a sample of this years ago, and then lost it in the back of a cupboard, and recently found it again. Thought it might be a bit old and stale, but nope! I opened the package and it had a bit of nice roasty/floral aroma. Measured some out into a steeping basket, poured on the hot water, was standing there setting the timer when the aroma rose up out of the mug and smacked me in the face. I actually said (out loud, we’ll say it was to my dog) “damn, that is some good fricken tea!”. As I sit here sipping it, the aroma is a complex mixture of flowers and like, carmelized fruit, honey-drenched pastries, just yummy. The flavour is light and sweet and with only a hint of that mineral note I associate with rock oolongs. Lovely. :)
This is a darjeeling that doesn’t taste like a darjeeling? It reminds me of a Chinese black, like a keemun. Rich and full-bodied, surprisingly chocolatey in the scent, malty and fruity in the flavour. An aftertaste that lingers. It’s good!
Again, not exactly the right tea but close enough. I’m drinking:
Vahdam Jungpana Exotic Darjeeling Organic Summer Black Tea
Date of picking 2nd June, 2015; Grade FTGFOP1
This is nice, the scent is complex with floral notes along with something sweet and biscuity. The flavour is similar, but with a lot more of the grape skin note that I assume is muscatel, and some general malt and light astringency, like oh hey this is a black tea from India, hi. Some lingering flowers in the aftertaste (some sips more than others, I don’t know why). It’s interesting, I like it.
I have a slightly different version of this tea, but I’m too lazy to make a new entry. :) Finally trying to get through all these Golden Tips/Vahdam samples! So here is what the sample label says:
Vahdam Avongrove Premium Darjeeling Organic Summer Black Tea
Date of picking 4th June, 2015. Grade FTGFOB1
The dry leaf smells like a darjeeling, quite floral. The steeped tea has floral notes as well, and a slightly spicy note. The flavour is a bit lighter than I expected, lots of floral and fresh green, like freshly cut alfalfa hay. There is a slight astringency developing as I get about halfway through my mug. This is nice, I tend to drink more Chinese black teas, but when I drink a darjeeling I always think “yeah, I like these too!”. My thing is that I’m not sure I differentiate between different darjeelings very well? First vs second flush, yes, but would I be able to distinguish this from another summer darjeeling? Anyway, I’ll try a few more today, see if anything becomes clear.
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Green, Hay
Drinking this one western-style today, and I’m impressed by how sweet it is. Malty, earthy, faint notes of spice and citrus, but mostly a mouth-coating sweetness reminiscent of honey or brown sugar. Delicious.