200 Tasting Notes
Out of the 5 assam black teas I’ve tried from Teabox so far, this and the Mangalam Gold are the only ones that can be drunk without milk (i.e. not bitter on its own). Subtle malty Assam aroma, slightly fruity and floral like a Darjeeling. Nice flavour of dates and wood with no astringency. The only thing is, if you like your Assams strong and robust with that distinctive flavour, then you probably wouldn’t like this tea.
Brewed at 194˚F, as per the very precise instructions.
For the affordable price, I would consider buying a full-size of this tea.
Flavors: Dates, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Wood
Okay, I brewed this in a teacup at 176˚F for 5:00 and this time it wasn’t bitter. I don’t understand what went so wrong the first time.
Tasted like a milder chai tea, nothing special. Goes well with milk. Increasing my rating to be fair, but I still wouldn’t buy the full size of this.
When I opened the packet, I was like Oh god, wayyy too much ginger. But after steeping, I discovered that first of all, I love tulsi (this magical Indian basil that I’ve never had before) and the sweetness counters the ginger. There’s a licorice note to it too that I adore and makes it even more candy-like. I’m glad I discovered a wonderful new caffeine-free tea option for evenings!
Flavors: Anise, Ginger, Licorice, Sweet, Tulsi
I can definitely smell the malted sugar and cocoa notes, but no vanilla and it’s not as amazing as I envisioned when I read the notes.
Quite bitter / astringent, and I get an unpleasant tannic aftertaste that lingers on my tongue for a long time even after drinking it with milk.
Brewed at 194˚F for 4:00. Will try brewing it at 190˚F next time.
Flavors: Astringent, Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Tannin
Brewed at 185˚F for 4:00, and it’s actually less bitter than when I brewed it on the lower end of the range, at 176˚F! Lovely for the afternoon since it’s low-caffeine and it complemented my oyakodon lunch very well, I’m glad I tried .
It doesn’t have much flavour on its own, I get a bit of smoky nutty sweetness, but pairs well with savoury food.
Increasing rating to 75.
Flavors: Nuts, Smoke
Red dates (jujubes), malty sugar, stewed apples. Smells lovely, reviving for the morning.
Light astringency, nutty, not much other flavour. Even after adding milk, there is still some astringency. Definitely needs sugar, or to be paired with a sweet breakfast food.
Brewed 2.5g in 7oz of water at 186˚F for 3:00.
Flavors: Apple, Malt, Nuts, Stewed Fruits, Sugar
I have the Spring 2015 harvest, and this is almost a sipdown already but I’ve been drinking and loving this tea so much especially in the past year now that the flavours have fully developed.
Dry leaf: Powdered cocoa, sweet passionfruit
Liquor: Smells divinely floral, like sweet creamy gardenia or orchid. The tea tastes sweet and tangy, tangy like coffee or fruity Madagascan dark chocolate, with the typical Yancha notes of chocolate but less pronounced ones of mineral and wet rocks. Amazing.
I remember when I visited Tea Drunk in NYC and the cheapest Wuyi oolong on the menu was this Qi Lan, so I thought of it as an “inferior” Wuyi. How wrong I was! While my favourite Wuyi oolong is probably still Da Hong Pao, Qi Lan is a gorgeous lighter, floral alternative on days when you don’t want something so heavy or roasty. I like the Qi Lan even more than the Shui Jin Gui and Rou Gui varietals I’ve bought from Yunnan Sourcing, but since it has been a while I should revisit those to see if they’ve aged as beautifully as the Qi Lan has.
Flavors: Chocolate, Coffee, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Passion Fruits, Stonefruits, Tangy