139 Tasting Notes
I really wanted to like this tea. I drank it a few times before at work before this review, but never took any notes. I was down to one of my last cups of this tea, so I wanted to jot down some opinions for future reference. They were overall not very positive.
The aroma of this tea was pretty sweet (almost sickly) vanilla, but I didn’t mind it too much. What I did mind was this sweetness was very strong in the tea as well, almost completely overpowering the black tea base and bergamont flavouring, which is supposed to be the hallmark of earl grey teas.
I also found these tea leave to be unusually sensitive. I more a little more than a single teaspoon of leaf into the strainer (and even ended up scooping a little bit back out because I didn’t want to over-leaf it) and it still brewed dark in just over a minute. I took it out as soon as it did (couldn’t have been more than 2 minutes), and the tea ended up predominantly bitter with a weird vanilla background flavour. Idk, maybe I was making it wrong, but the tea did not convince be in the least to waste any more of my energy to help it taste alright.
Drinking this one at work. Really pleased with the hearty vegetal body and slightly tangy aftertaste. Strong and plain green teas are one of my favourite types! Smells lovely and grassy while brewing, I would say like dry mowed grass on a hot summer day. Light greenish yellow when brewed. Very delightful.
Drinking that one unlabelled tea I have from the Christmas gift box my mom gave me. It’s black tea with coconut flakes. Pretty good in my opinion. The tea is a little bit astringent, but if I put in enough leaf and don’t leave it to steep for too long then it can be avoided (mostly). The coconut comes in as a subtly sweet aftertaste, also helping to combat the bitterness. Pretty average tea, but unique and good enough that I would drink it until it’s finished.
Reuniting with an old favourite of mine. I haven’t had this tea lately because I’ve been drinking tea at work a lot for the past couple of months, so much so that I don’t feel like drinking it at home very often. I’ve gotten back into enjoying a lot of tea recently, especially after re-organizing my tea cupboard nicely. It’s so much more relaxing seeing nicely put on the shelf instead of the hap-hazard piles of tea I had a couple days ago!
Oh, Buddha Bamboo, you still smell so enticingly delicious. So crisp and fruity, but in a deeper sense than just “fruit”! There is a wonderful mix of aromas that this tea gives, so I cannot identify what it is exactly about it that makes it so enjoyable to breathe deeply. It’s kind of a sweet and fruity mix, with some other subtle undertones that give it much more depth.
I gave it lots of leaf for this brew, but I forgot that I like to leave it in extra long to tease out all of the subtle flavours that don’t get a chance to make it into the tea in just a few minutes of brewing. I’ll have to remember that for next time; good thing I still have enough leaf for a couple more brews.
First time drinking a longjing tea. This one was given to us by one of my boyfriend’s Chinese customers. It came in a pack of 4 Chinese teas: longjing, olong (green variety I think), pu’er, and jasmine green. They were in a very nice gift box with Chinese artwork, and made for a lovely gift. The tins are very nice too: each a different colour with more Chinese artwork on them.
First impressions: wow, what a long leaf! I’ve never seen tea leaves that are so long and flat. I read this is one of longjing’s distinctive features, and I must say, I don’t even know how the tin could fit all of it. When I tried to pour it out of the plastic bag that was in the tin, it wouldn’t all go back in! I was left with maybe a third of the bag that wouldn’t fit. I guess the position of the long leaves are to blame.
Brewing the tea turned it in a very light yellow colour, and the aroma is delicate and similar to sencha or other pure green teas. Flavour is not very distinctive, but consists of a grassy profile with a lighter body than I am used to green teas having. Usually they leave a pretty strong aftertaste, but I don’t really get any of it from this tea. I actually like the more hearty green teas, so this one I find to be a bit on the weaker side. However, it is still good for a green tea. Next time I will try to add a bit more leaf and get some more flavour out of it.
I’m drinking the last of my Holy Tulsi today as my throat has become slightly sore, and I want to drink something health-promoting to hopefully ward away sickness before anything gets too sickly. I am considering ordering more from Herbal Republic, but they do tag on a $7 shipping fee, and they are a bit too far from me to pick up locally (since I transit). Since I only want to get one tea, and the shipping would effectively double the tea’s price I will probably have to do without Tulsi for a while until I’m either in the area or can justify the price!
Tea is still yummy as ever, and has helped me (I’d like to think it was the tea, anyway) with sickness in the past.
This tea is my enigma.
I cannot discombobulate the strange aroma and taste with the fact that I am essentially just drinking slightly flavoured water! I mentioned yesterday that when I first opened the sample box, the smokey aroma really shocked me. I knew from reading reviews on Steepster that lapsang souchong was one of those “fringe” teas that you either loved or hated, but I had no idea what to expect once I actually got my hands on some of it.
Upon further reflection yesterday night about my strange and puzzling new tea sample that wafted its aroma from its box all around my kitchen, I realized that the smell it reminded me of campfire smoke. Exactly this. I could almost see the smoke spewing out of the little box (which, incidentally, I also realized looked like cigarette packs, lol…) if I took a deep breath of it.
I brewed it after work today, still having no idea what to expect in terms of flavour. When I poured the water over the teabag, lo and behold: smoked salami. What the hell are you talking about, you might ask? I have no freaking clue. When this tea was brewing, I swear to you it smelled like heavily smoked, delicious meat. Some sort of salami or even smoked salmon maybe. My stomach grumbled because I got hungry from the aroma alone. It was beginning to be difficult to be content with the yogurt/fruit snack I had decided to prepare for myself along with this tea.
Needless to say, I was hesitant in my first tasting. The aroma died down after a while as it cooled down (or maybe I just got used to having it around me), and it went back to a less enticing campfire smoke smell. If I had to describe what campfire smoke tastes like, I’d pretty much just hand you some of this tea. Even in my mouth, I can barely get around the smokiness to catch a hint of the black tea underneath, although I do have fleeting glimpses of it if I concentrate hard enough. It’s not unpleasant per se, I just don’t really know to enjoy this weird new sensation. Maybe one day I will become a lapsang souchong appreciator. For now, I will let this tea puzzle me from inside a box.
Another sample box I grabbed from Murchie’s the other day. This one also powdered, but had better brewing results than the CBC Radio Blend. First time trying Keemun, so I’m not sure if the quality of the leaves here is going to significantly change my experience of it (as opposed to if I’d have tried it in loose leaf). My first tasting of this tea is positive, however; the flavour profile is malty and delicate, with a slightly smoky flavour in the background. Reminds me a little of assam tea – bold, smooth black tea but a bit more “grungy”.
I also got a lapsang souchong sample from Murchie’s, and oh boy – when I opened that sucker, I was blown away by the heavy smokey/tobacco aroma. I’m a little scared of trying it later today (or tomorrow), but really intrigued. I’ve never encountered a tea like it before.
Visited Murchie’s yesterday for the first time, and decided to go ahead and buy a few samples, as I didn’t know when I’d get to be near a Murchie’s again anytime soon. This is one of the teas I grabbed, as I remembered reading good things about in on Steepster. They were selling them in small boxes of 10 tea bags. I asked the girl working there if the bagged tea was still full-leaf. She said yes, but seemed unsure. ‘Lo and behold, it is not full leaf. I am rather disappointed by that, because I am not interested in powdered tea. If I was, I’d still be drinking Lipton.
The tea itself brewed very quickly. Within a minute or two, the colour was dark and I had to take the tea bag out. This happens with all my other low-quality powdered tea, and did not inspire much confidence. Aroma was rather light and a little bit citrusy.
I can barely taste any jasmine in the blend, however. The black tea is astringent and dominant in the flavour profile, following a slight lemon-ny twinge. It’s not too bitter, though, so still drinkable. Overall, it seems to brew like an average run-of-the-mill powdered black tea. Little bit disappointing, but I guess I did go in with high expectations.