Choice Organic TeasEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
‘No surprises’ dark oolong blended from Chinese and Indian leaf. Robust (yet flat) for an oolong with malty and woody/autumn leaf foremost and a playful cherry candy flavor. The cherry flavor is more pronounced in aroma. Medium body that finishes pretty clean and dry but can get bitter if oversteeped.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Candy, Cherry, Dark Wood, Malt
Pilfered from the shared kitchen stash. 2 bags to 16oz boiling water, steeped for a long time.
Sweet cocoa-carob-vanilla caramel-cinnamon aroma. Same in taste. Velvety smooth, sweet without having sweeteners, fresh herbs and spices. The cinnamon was warming but never biting. Great body for an herbal chai-type blend (lots of ingredients!) with a clean mouthfeel.
I had another Choice Organic Teas reishi mushroom (matcha green) teabag a few weeks ago that was disgusting and tasted like burnt dirt despite being fresh. This was not that. Very very good blend.
Yesterday’s lesson that bled into today: Clean your grill’s grease pan!
Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Mineral, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla
Today is warm and sunny! I’m celebrating by drinking bagged green teas, haha!
First time I tried this, I followed the directions and it tasted like burnt dirt. Steeping matcha and sencha for 5 to 8 minutes with water initially boiling does nobody any favors!
This time, I steeped at 175F for 3 minutes. You see my “38” rating for this tea? I assigned it after drinking burnt dirt. Three minutes today produced a brew with the color and opacity of 38. On my screen I see a putrid yellow-brown. 38 reminds me of things only babies are capable of producing. Now think about looking down into a cupful of 38. Do you want to drink 38? Do you?
I do not. But I did. It is still gross. Tolerable at lower temperature and less time but it’s still 38. Maybe even lower but somewhere still in that color-rating span.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Burnt, Dirt, Earth, Marine, Straw, Thick
Summer has landed like a hot, wet sack of mosquitoes; therefore, this one went straight to ice this morning. It isn’t a typically astringent Darjeeling (some of them make me feel like I’ve been licking Scotch tape), so it’s a good thirst quencher. Grapey but not champagne-y.
And, to borrow a leaf from Martin’s notebook, here’s today’s musical pairing:
(My dad would be so pleased :)
Of late, convenience trumps elegance, so I have been swigging away at bagged teas. Found this Darjeeling at my sister’s house when we were cleaning (more on that in a minute). I’ve had Darjeelings that are so dry they shrivel your tongue, which is why they don’t get much airplay at my house. This one doesn’t fit that pattern. It’s got that fruity grape peel thing happening, but it’s round instead of sharp and squiggly. (I’ll let you figure that analogy out yourselves :) Incidentally, Choice does a great bagged kukicha as well.
Sister’s house. I mentioned elsewhere that she passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly last month. It’s been a hard loss; it has taken a while to even want to handle the words aloud. However, my brother pointed out that her piano had been recently played and the hymnbook was open to “I Know Whom I Have Believed.” She did, and I do, so all will be well. I brought home a carload of her recipe boxes (priceless), exquisitely appliqued quilts (even more so), her Pillsbury Doughboy t-shirt, and several boxes of tea to sip in her honor.
A tea bag from Derk again. Thank you!
Need small caffeine boost, though it is 7 pm. I hope it contains a caffeine, but not so much.
Let´s see, steeping for suggested 4-5 minutes. Colour reminds me bit black teas, quite dark copper. But in aroma it is a oolong for sure. Probably some roasted kind. In aroma I noticed honey too, maybe mead. Smell is promising.
Taste is bit weaker, but still very nice. Bit more malty, like some kind of Assam tea. Quite distinctive. Certainly an oolong, if I did blind test. Maybe it has nutty aftertaste? I am trying to find out.
I would suggest just shoter steeping time, otherwise quite fine! An organic is certainly a plus.
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Nutty
Don’t have a lot to say. Gunpowder green base tea. Peppermint and peppered green bean aroma, tastes strongly of cooked green beans and spearmint. Salty-tart, a faint smokiness that blends very well, light non-penetrating bitterness, some astringency. Warming in the ears, cooling in the chest with minty burps. Second steep is too astringent. Might play with timing for the rest of my sample.
Of note, I bought this bulk. This is ‘Moroccan Mint Green.’ Choice Organic Teas also makes a bagged version called ‘Green Moroccan Mint’ which has the same ingredients as this tea plus lemongrass.
(Western, 3g, 8oz, 190F, 3/4m)
For those of you whose tea choices are seasonally driven, this is a nice transitional summer-to-fall option (it was foggy and 72 most of the morning—yum!). It is roasty-toasty, woodsy, and sweet. Good on ice as well.
I love the notion of using all the scraps of a tea plant to make something tasty. My mom was a quilter and saved scraps; I do the same with remnants of my paper crafting projects—and quite often, the pieced-together leftover is just as pleasing as the original. That applies to this humble little kukicha as well.
My first brew of 190 degrees for 5 minutes created a slightly bitter oolong whereas my second brew I opted, again, for 190 degrees but shortened the steep time to 3 minutes and experienced no bitterness.
Smell-wise, I picked up hints of cinnamon and herbs in scent but the taste was a straight forward oolong tea.
This is a tea I feel stands on its own or as the base to a flavored brew. Also, I did not find the need to add any sweeteners or milk to make it drinkable. Overall I was pleased with it and would drink it again.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Herbs
Had some of this at a vegan shop in Canada, and it was not bad after two boiling minutes. The 12 oz was a good serving size, and it was a usual malty black tea with a little bit of nutty and floral nuance. I can see the muscatel thing people talk about it, but that is expected from a black tea. Serviceable indeed.
Wonderful for relaxation before bedtime. Bergamot is known to improve sleep quality— I was not let down when I woke up the next morning! It could be just the placebo effect, but I’m also biased in how much I love tea and enjoy knowing and feeling the benefits of tea. Side note: very soothing with a bit of milk mixed in.
Flavors: Citrusy, Spearmint
This is exactly what I am imagine liquified blackberries would taste like. Excellent hot or iced. It toes the line of being too tart, but never crosses it. There is a ripe sweetness to it and I find that when I add honey, it becomes too sweet and tame. Perfect just the way it is!
Flavors: Blackberry, Fruity, Jam, Tart
If you are looking for a smokey tea this is a good one to try. They did a good job with this Yunnan-Lapsong blend ratio… straight Lapsong is too smokey for me and the Yunnan pulls it down to a point of acceptability while maintaining the richness and character, minus the too-intense smokey bite. Its still a very smokey tea and needs to be stored away from others.
Compared to Samovar’s Russian Blend it is smoother and richer, with higher and more diverse flavor notes. The samovar is more of a frank, charred smoke, while this one is more of a burnt/roasted cedar. Both have a background sweetness which is a great component. They are both very good teas if you enjoy smokiness. I drink both of them straight. For the money, and the organic aspect, I’d go with this one.