1908 Tasting Notes
I’m not very experienced with pu-erhs and this is the first cake-style one I’ve ever tried. I got three of those little cakes (cakelets?) courtesy of oOTeaOo, but I forgot about them for awhile and they got lost in the back of my cupboard and only resurfaced now when I did a major cleaning-out.
The cakes are surprisingly hard – I tried to break one in my hand and found I couldn’t. It smelled very earthy and rather pungent – a bit like manure maybe, or soil enriched with manure.
I gave it a 40 second rinse like I’ve seen people recommend to clean off the tea and open the cake up. Despite the rinse, the brewed tea was still super dark like a cup of dark roasted coffee without milk. I didn’t steep it for very long – only one minute and the result was a flavour that was surprisingly light when compared to its appearance. It has a distinctive earthy flavour with some mildly bitter, tannic notes – it actually seems to intensify a bit after I swallow each sip.
More steeps to come. :)
This actually tastes a LOT like my Xaouen tea from da.u.de – sweet and tropical-y with rose overtones and a hint of citrus. The rose isn’t as prominent in this blend though and the apricot flavour, which is fairly distinct, is new too.
This is another tea I’m keen to try iced.
This is another review I’m writing up for Mike of the ’It’s All About the Leaf’ tea blog. Check it out here: http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/
I discovered upon opening the package that the leaves of this tea were considerably larger and more ‘whole’ than the leaves of the First Flush from Goomtee Estate that I also sampled from this same company. These leaves were an interesting and attractive-looking mix of dark green and silver, almost as though they were the buds of a silver needle white tea rather than a black tea. But then supposedly Darjeeling teas get fermented less than most blacks, so it makes sense, I guess.
The smell was sweet and hay-like with some floral notes, though brewed it took on a toastier aroma. It had a more typical Darjeeling flavour than the Goomtee first flush did – resplendent with muscatel flavours, though with considerably less of the drying astringency you’d taste in a later-picked Darjeeling. It was sweeter too, which becomes more noticeable as the tea cooled, and it had a nice, full flavour that lingered in the mouth and kept me from forgetting about it. As it cooled it also took on some fruity characteristics, with an interesting nutty undertone.
Of the two First Flush Darjeelings I’ve tasted now I think this one is my favorite of the two, although in my opinion both are excellent, complex, and interesting teas.
It goes decently enough with milk, as it helps take offthat astringent black tea edge. But it also kills a lot of the fruity grenadine flavour, unfortunately. This tea might be better drunk plain with a bit of sweetener, maybe. I’ll see about trying it that way next time.
I drank it with some skim milk this time which seems to be a good way to go for all of Adagio’s flavoured black teas as it tones down the (rather harsh IMO) Ceylon base Adagio uses and lets the other flavours come out.
From what I can taste, chocolate is still the dominant flavour of this tea, but I’m getting the fruity notes better than when I drank this tea plain. There’s also a hint of floral rose which I couldn’t taste before. I still wish the strawberry flavour were stronger, but I’ve noticed that even Adagio’s plain Strawberry tea is quite weak as well, so it might be a question of quality as opposed to amount in this blend.
I was expecting a finer-leafed tea, not something with leaves the length of my finger. It wouldn’t fit into my tea scoop and I don’t own a scale sensitive enough to measure by weight, so the amount I used was pure guesstimation.
It smells like boiled hay pure and simple – it makes me feel a bit like a horse or something. XD It tastes rather like boiled hay too – sweetish, grassy, and fairly mild, although that might be due to the amount I used rather than the natural flavour. I’m getting a hint of the same tang I taste in the bamboo shoots that are sometimes added to stir-fries. I’m not a fan of bamboo shoots, but coming from the leaves it’s not as objectionable a taste.
According to the package bamboo tea is supposed to help cool the body and it actually seems to have helped a bit – though that might just be wishful thinking on my part – the weather here has been disgustingly hot for the past couple weeks. Hence why I haven’t been drinking much tea.