100 Tasting Notes
The appearance of the long and flat dry leaf is the most interesting thing about this tea. The wet leaf smells like tobacco and camphor, and the brew is golden. The first few steepings were quite light in taste and color, the later steepings start out light and sweet, then end with the tobacco and camphor notes present in the wet leaf. Overall its not unpleasant but not really interesting enough for me to purchase again.
This is actually ‘Seeyok Classic Autumn flush’ according to my package, but this seemed like the most likely place to review it. Also it doesn’t look like Vahdam carries the classic version any longer. It’s about time I started sipping this one down, darjeelings are not a favorite of mine so I tend not to reach for them too often . I don’t think I’ve had a bad darjeeling from Vahdam, and this one is okay. Its nutty to start and floral to end, a rather light cup but still enjoyable. As it cools, its becoming a bit more floral, but not cloying like some darjeelings taste to me. The second steep adds a bit of bitter dark chocolate aftertaste and is less floral. On the whole, its a nice cup of tea, I might add a bit of assam to my next brewing to make it a more interesting blend.
Flavors: Floral, Nutty
This tea brewed up rather weak the first time I drank it, so this time used double the leaf and it had a lot more taste. The tea can be steeped for 5+ minutes without getting bitter, but I’m not sure steeping longer makes for a better cup. There is definite smokyness here, not sure about the Assam or Yunnan. Sweet, burnt brown sugar lies under the smoky Lapsang Souchong; it reminds me of the top coating on a creme brulee or the sauce in bananas foster. While the caramel taste is interesting, it really doesn’t add much to the tea overall. I wanted to like this tea as it sounds yummy, but even adding honey to the second steeping didn’t change my opinion here. I won’t be drinking this again.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Smoke
This tea is very interesting, and I’m wondering if I should try blending fennel with some of my other teas that are less than complex. The tea is bright and citrus, but still tart. Its making me think of a favorite apple salsa recipe that uses green apples. I like the salsa with lime tortilla chips, and maybe that’s what this needs, a splash of lime.
For me, this smells better than it tastes, I guess when I use three times the recommended leaf I expect a bit more flavor. Perhaps this taste is a bit too subtle and delicate for me. I’m liking it better as it cools, it seems a bit more balanced, the fennel is more pronounced, and there’s even a slight hint of the black tea base. I have enjoyed all of the sample pack, but I’m not sure I’d purchase this again.
Flavors: Anise, Candy, Citrus, Green Apple
I really want to like this blend, but to me I taste the bergamont more than the Lapsang . I’m not a big fan of bergamont so that makes this blend not so tasty to me. I like smoky teas, so in sips where the LS comes through, this blend is okay. It seems like a missed opportunity to get a more balanced blend, and actually taste the beetroot or the puerh which, to me, seem more Poe than bergamont or LS (which seem rather ordinary for an author like Poe). I like the second steeping better than the first, but it still has too much bergamont and not enough other flavors for my taste.
Flavors: Bergamot, Smoke
While this is an interesting tea, its a bit hard to describe. A cross between yellow tea and lapsang? Its roasty and hay up front and smooth toasty caramel at the end. There is a bit going on here, hard to distinguish individual notes. I might have brewed this a bit strong, and the roastyness comes through. Perhaps the toasty creme brulee ending would be more pronounced with a bit less leaf. As for this cup, there is enough bitterness that it tastes like the top of the creme brulee has been burnt. The second steep is the same burnt caramel taste but weaker.
Flavors: Burnt, Caramel, Hay
I do like a nice chocolatey golden monkey tea, and this is an excellent example. I probably used more leaf than I needed, but I tend to brew strong cups of tea in the morning, and I was very happy with the flavor it produced. Is this a cup of tea or a chocolate malt milkshake? Well, the temperature would be different, but the taste is about the same. As this cup starts out as a malty piece of chocolate, it blends into slight bitter dark chocolate as an aftertaste. I’m not sure I have ever had an example of Golden Monkey that I liked so much. This is one to savor until it’s gone and purchase again when I’m passing through Fort Collins.
Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Malt
This is a strong cup of tea! Malty and coppery and astringent with a tangy aftertaste that reminds you its a robust cup of tea. I could think of blending it with another, gentler leaf, but I happen to like a strong cup of bold Assam, and this foots the bill. I wouldn’t describe it as complex, its mostly coppery and astringent, with a hint of malt. The lingering taste reminds me of a hoppy, bitter beer like an IPA. The second steeping is not quite as bold, but still has enough of a coppery, astringent flavor to be enjoyable.
Flavors: Astringent, Metallic, Tangy
A little goes a long way with this tea. SF Herb says its 4th grade dragonwell tea, and I’m not sure I could pick it out as tasting different from other dragonwell teas I have drunk before. Perhaps this tea only has a one note profile, and other dragonwell teas are more complex. It is fresh, green, tastes like cut grass. Its what I think a cup of chlorophyll would taste like. I’ve not gotten a bitter brew from these tea yet, even with questionably hot water (I get impatient). I added a dab of honey to the second steep and its quite a yummy cup to me. I do tend to reach for a black tea in the morning instead of a green tea, but I should drink more of this for a change of pace.
Flavors: Cut grass, Green
The cornflower in this tea is a bit overwhelming, the supposed malty tea base does not come through at all. Although there isn’t supposed to be any flavoring in this tea, somehow the cornflower leaves a fake aftertaste that I just don’t like. I added a dab of honey to the second steeping, and it didn’t bring out the malty base, but it did soften the cornflower aftertaste.
Flavors: Floral, Sweet