826 Tasting Notes
I love a good Earl Grey, so I was excited to see this one in my Rare Tea Company sampler. The leaf is very finely chopped, almost like a CTC tea and has a strong aroma of bergamot. It steeps up strong and hearty with a sharp bergamot flavor; a bit too aggressive on its own, but lovely with milk. It’s not the best Earl Grey I’ve ever had and I’m not sure its worth the premium price tag, but I’ll certainly finish and enjoy the 2oz I have!
This was one of the teas I was most excited to try in my Rare Tea Co. gift set, as I haven’t had the opportunity to try many African teas. The leaf was much more finely chopped than I was expecting, almost like a CTC tea. It brews up to a rich reddish brown color with a nice malty aroma. The flavor is strong and earthy with notes of malt and stonefruit. Despite the torn up leaf, I didn’t get the anticipated bitterness or astringency; it’s smooth enough to drink without milk, though it’s also robust enough to take milk well. Overall, this is one of the best breakfast blends I’ve tried and definitely something I would repurchase!
Flavors: Earth, Malt, Smooth, Stonefruit
Having tried and loved a Keemun from The Cultured Cup, I decided to sample this (much less expensive) one from my local tea shop. Unfortunately, this just didn’t work for me. The flavor is very dark and earthy…it almost reminds me of puerh, actually…and too drying to drink straight. With the addition of milk, the flavor does smooth out a bit, with some notes of dark chocolate coming through. It’s okay with milk, but still not a favorite for me.
Flavors: Astringent, Dark Bittersweet, Drying, Earth
Just finished this one off and realized I had never logged it! TeaSource has a lot of Chinese black teas that I really enjoy and this one has been a favorite since I first purchased it last fall. The leaves are small and tightly twisted, so dark brown they appear black. The tea steeps up to a deep color with a rich and fruity molasses-sweet flavor. I can get several good re-steeps out of this one as well. Will definitely be re-purchasing at some point!
Flavors: Molasses, Stonefruit, Sweet
I am on an ongoing (and thus far fruitless) quest to find a replacement for TeaSource’s old Reena’s Chai blend. Thus, every time I place a big tea order, I tend to throw in one of that company’s chais to see if it might be “the one”. This one is…fine. A pleasant, well-balanced chai with ginger and cinnamon and a malty assam base. It smells great and takes milk well. But it tastes exactly like a dozen other chai blends that I’ve tried for other companies. Nothing special or unique here and definitely not my dream chai that I’ve been looking for. The quest continues!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Malt, Spices
Just finished off the last of this and am sad to see it leave my cupboard. This is one of the pricier black teas I’ve ordered from TeaSource, but the quality is excellent: lots of fuzzy, unbroken golden tips with a wonderful sweet, malty aroma. It brews up to a rich golden brown and sips down smooth and sweet with notes of brown sugar and sweet potatoes. Steeping Western-style, I can get at least 3 good steeps from these leaves without any loss of flavor. I’ll likely be re-purchasing this one in the future!
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
I got a Rare Tea Co. gift set for Christmas that included six different unflavored teas. This one is by far my favorite of the bunch and quite possibly my favorite white tea I’ve ever tried! The buds are very downy and brew up such a sweet, delicate fresh-tasting brew. It tastes like sugar-snap peas fresh off the vine and sips down super smooth with no astringency at all. It also re-steeps beautifully! This is definitely going on my wish list.
Flavors: Peas, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet
I wish that Market Spice would offer samples of their tea blends or even just let you order sizes smaller than 4oz. They have some wonderful blends that I love so much, but I’m always leery about trying something new from them because I know I’ll have SO MUCH to figure out what to do with if I end up not liking it. Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of those situations. I love caramel and I love pear, but this tisane doesn’t really taste of either! I do smell a bit of pear in the dry leaf, but for some reason they added cinnamon and ginger to the blend and those flavors are completely overwhelming everything else. It’s not a terrible tea, but it’s definitely not what I was hoping for.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Spices
Chocolate and cherry are both flavors I tend to steer away from in tea blends, as chocolate is often too thin and artificial-tasting and cherry tends to be either medicinal or hibiscus-tart. But this one was a pleasant surprise! It’s one of the better chocolate flavorings I’ve run across…rich and dark and just the tiniest bit bitter, like a quality dark chocolate. The cherry plays second fiddle, but provides a nice dark fruitiness that combines well with the chocolate…no hibiscus and it also doesn’t taste like cough syrup! This blend is quite pleasant straight, but I’m thinking it would be outstanding as a latte.
Flavors: Cherry, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate
I’m not generally a fan of floral tea, but violet may be the exception to that. This one perfectly balances the violet and elderberry flavoring on a rich black tea base, creating a delicious blend that does NOT make me feel like I’m drinking perfume! Another pleasant surprise from August Uncommon.
Flavors: Berries, Floral, Fruity, Violet