345 Tasting Notes
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
Meh. Why is it so sweet?
I’m getting mostly ginger and pineapple and sweetness. A bit of an earthy undertone. It’s not terrible, but it’s not really doing it for me. I’d almost suspect it of having some sort of sweetener added… I know it doesn’t have stevia because that always tastes terribly bitter to me, but there’s a bit of a weird aftertaste.
Weird tea. The first time I tried it, it was citrus and spice and the oolong itself was pretty much nonexistent under all the spices but it was ok if citrus-spice is what you’re looking for. The second time I tried it, was overwhelmingly bubblegum. How can anything taste so much like bubblegum? I took the leaves from that hot steep and cold steeped them overnight, and now… spicy bubblegum? Not bad, just extremely bizarre. :)
Well I decided to steep this western style tonight, which might be why it ended up kind of… intense. :) 3g of leaf, 10oz of water, 80C, 2min. The dry leaves are really cool – dark green and silver in colour, rolled into little nuggets. Dry, they smell like freshly-cut grass. Wet, they smell intensely vegetal, like… kind of like canned peas? The liquor is rich, with a thick, buttery mouthfeel. The flavour is again very vegetal, like cooked spinach and peas. There’s bit of fresh-veggie in there too, but less intense. This is a very savoury green tea. Looking forward to trying it in the gaiwan next. :)
Flavors: Peas, Spinach, Vegetal
I ordered two big Golden Tips Teas samplers about a year ago (almost exactly a year ago, actually) and there are still so many I haven’t even tried yet. Gotta get on that! Golden Tips seems to be in the process of rebranding itself as Vahdam, and this particular sample bag is branded Vahdam so that’s how I’ve entered it into the system.
This is a classic assam: strong, malty, slightly astringent. There’s a hint of fruitiness/acidity with a clean feeling on the palate. The leaf is mostly dark/black, and small/broken. It’s good but not particularly remarkable. Would probably be good with milk.
I was in the mood for something gingery because my stomach has been a bit weird today. Came across this one and thought sure, why not? This is a complex herbal blend, I can definitely taste the ginger, tulsi, and citrus.. maybe a hint of floral too. I steeped it western-style for 4min and added a tsp of manuka honey, which I can definitely recommend. It’s warming and soothing and a bit sweet.