Joseph Wesley Black TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Samurai Travelling Tea Box – Tea #36
This was my first tea of the day today – I had it during a quick instagram live with Arthur from Arthur Dove Tea where I was the “featured guest” this morning for his Sunday live show Biscuits and Brew.
I picked it out because I remembered reading a post of his once about his Banana Fudge tea and how he didn’t want to name is “Banoffee Pie” because he didn’t like the sound of the word. That stuck with me a lot – I remember as a kid I had what I thought was a pretty irrational hatred of words/names with lots of ‘P’ or ‘T’ sounds (good thing I got over that, because that would make drinking tea pretty challenging). Something about those two letters said out loud made my skin crawl – the word “poppy” was the worst.
I’ve never heard/seen someone else express a similar sentiment, so that stuck with me.
So why does this tea relate to that? It’s the reverse experience – something about the sound of that stretched out ‘ee’ noise makes my ears sing, and I’ve always especially loved the sound of vowels (any vowel) transitioning into the letter m. I can’t explain it; it just sounds nicer in my head.
The tea was nice too; I described it on the live as quite woody/savory with subtle pine/smoky notes to it (but not smoky like a Lapsang) and that welcome and familiar hint of jammy fruit undertone – in this case a subtle black currant. It probablys ranks somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, in terms of keemun I’ve tried. The mouthfeel was really nice though – hint of astringency at the top of the sip but short lived.
Yum! So good.
Fruity, malty, delicious.
Of course I’m having it with milk. And hot, even though it’s fairly warm out today.
So warm, in fact, I’m planning to take myself out on a picnic dinner! I made a couple things on my lunch break, and will need to mix up my limeade and fry up my marinating chicken before I head out. I’d do iced tea, but I don’t really have much in the way of fruity teas. I can no longer have apple, so my go-to selections are not good options.
Tea Advent Calendar – Day 20
Ooo, more Joseph Wesley! And a Chinese black tea too, which tends to be one of my favorite types. This one ranks up there with some of the best I’ve tried. The dry leaf is full of beautiful, unbroken twisted dark brown leaves with a heavenly scent of malt. It brews up to a rich, reddish brown liquid with a robust flavor of baked bread and malt and just a hint of fruitiness in there somewhere. It’s smooth and sweet and easy to drink…my first cup was gone before I knew it, but the second steep was just as good!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Fruity, Malt, Smooth, Sweet
Tea Advent Calendar – Day 18
I’ve recently discovered that I like smokey black tea and I’ve never tried anything from Joseph Wesley, so I was excited to see this one in today’s Advent calendar pouch. And I wasn’t disappointed! This is a lovely Lapsang Souchong. The base tea is rich and nuanced with notes of mineral, malt, and dark chocolate and the smokiness level is just right – present, but not overpowering. I did notice a slight dryness at the end of the sip that kept me going back for more but left me a bit unsatisfied when my cup was finished. Thankfully, this re-steeps beautifully, getting smoother over time but not losing its flavor. I may have to add this to my collection at some point in the future!
Flavors: Astringent, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Mineral, Smoke, Smooth
I put off trying this tea for a few years because I though it was smoked. I hate the heavily smoked versions of this tea.
This one though is very good and I taste no smoke at all.
205F, 2-4 min, at work
Very fruit forward – cherry, berry, bright; little bit of malt, caramel, and smooth. I’m torn between savoring and drinking it quickly. Berry aftertaste lingers on after each sip. This was a great tea!
Flavors: Berry, Caramel, Cherry, Fruity, Smooth
Made a cup using this recipe from oh, how civilized. A luscious cup with the extra cream. I did add more brown sugar than she recommends. I love my tea sweet. :)
I’m struggling to stay away today after yesterday’s Thanksgiving festivities. Everyone had left by 6 pm and I was in bed before 9:00, but I’m still fighting to keep my eyes open. Caffeine it is. Enter this Assam by Joseph Wesley. I added just a bit too much honey, but this is really a very flavorful cup. Rich and chocolaty.
A limited edition tea from Aug 2016. Sipdown.
It had been unopened until just before Christmas, so it was still relatively fresh. Dry leaf smells of fresh linen and hay.
Western: 12oz, 2min, 212F
Honey, linen, clover flowers, pollen. Like a fresh open field during summer? Quite good.
Flavors: Floral, Honey
I can’t believe I’ve never reviewed this tea as I’ve had a tin of it for a while and have drank it a few times here and there. It is a nice Saturday morning around our crazy house. My wife and I were able to sleep in a bit. The 12 year old is gone at her dads. The 7 year old is up in his room playing with Legos and the 1 year old is contentedly (for now) crawling around and playing. So, it is a rare moment where I am not having to cater to anyones immediate needs. My wife is getting ready to go to work though so I’m sure this moment will be up soon haha.
This tea’s dried leaf didn’t have a big smell to me. Actually, a bit of a fairly common black tea smell which, for me, usually smells like a mix of malt and cardboard. Doesn’t sound appealing, I know, but I’ve learned that the cardboard smell doesn’t necessarily equal cardboard taste. The dried leaves are small and thin but with a high quality look to them.
Upon a flash rinse (done to my blacks to try to knock down a bit of the caffeine), the smell rising up was a malty baked bread with a hint of sweetness.
A quick 10 second steep…The flavor of the tea is mostly the same as the smell with a slight hint of something… savory? I do mean slight though. Almost undetectable but just enough to give pause and try to discern what it is. There is certainly a warm brightness as well. The tea color is a wonderful burnt orange. It also pairs very well with a Great Harvest cinnamon bread ;)
There goes the wife to work, there goes the baby letting me know his displeasure, and there goes this review :) Overall, a wonderful tea that I will continue to enjoy.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt
this is honestly the most perfect black tea, fight me.
I have been keeping this for ‘special occasions’ which is something that is very arbitrary, like I made some this morning to take to work because I just felt like…NO. let’s not go to work and instead send the boss an email to say that we* are simply Not Able to come. Not Able. what we ARE able to do is go right back to bed and sleep for one hundred years. those were my feelings this morning, but I went to work anyway. my fingers turned gray because of the books I’m working on, it wasn’t worth it even though this tea is perfect in every way.
anyway, this tea is malty-dark chocolatey-figgy-goodness. marshmallow-y smelling and beautiful. I hope that one day it will be restocked, but I don’t think much has been restocked from Joseph Wesley, which is a shame bc those were some of my favourite teas.
*the royal we. but here it just means me & my cat. hhhhahahahaa.
sometimes I find surprising things in my tea cabinet. I don’t remember ordering this, but there it was, unopened (but for how long? how long have you been in there, lil assam?). I’ve been drinking this on and off for the last month and I really love the malty richness. this is going with me to work (iced) tomorrow.
OK – second attempt. Gongfu this time, and overleafed it. Much stronger this way, more flavorful, but a bit too tannic for the first couple of steeps. I guess I went too far. Still, I ended up going thru about a liter of hot water, about 5 or 6 infusions, before it got weak. So, there’s definitely a balance I need to strike here. I’m thinking next time I’ll stick with gongfu method, pull back just a bit on the leaf, and go with extremely short infusions at first. Wondering if I’ll ever find the sweet spot on this one, but it’s fun to try!
Another one of those “finally opened this one up” teas. I am incorrigible.
The flavor was a bit light, despite following the vendors instructions, so I may need to overleaf a bit, or maybe brew it longer, or maybe at a higher temp. I guess I’ll need to play around with it. The bread-y, malty, honey, earthiness was very much there as expected, and if it was just a bit deeper I would deem this almost perfect. Thought about gongfu-ing it but went western with it. Second infusion was markedly weaker, but still very enjoyable. Looking forward to future experimenting with this.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Honey, Malt
I really enjoy this tea, which is surprising. My first experience with Lapsang Souchong actually led me to create one of my most popular dishes on my menu at my restaurant, Lapsang Souchong Braised Shortribs. After purchasing some to try, I realized that it was far too smoky in flavor to be enjoyable. I didn’t want to throw it away so I decided to cook with it. However, this Lapsang Souchong was very pleasant to drink. It had a very light smokiness which not only allowed me to enjoy the other earthy flavor components but rather complimented them.
I’ve been hoarding this tea along with many others. I guess that is what happens when you are in the “must try all the teas” mode and you obtain a large swath of tea. But I’ve also been hoarding this tea because it is delicious.
Though I may have found another reason. I think Joseph Wesley tea is no longer a thing? Which is sad because I always really enjoyed everything I’ve bought from there. Can anyone else confirm that this is the case?
Either way, even a few years old, this white tea is subtle, slightly fruit on the upsip (which might be a word I just invented?) with a hay like note, and immensely drinkable.
Flavors: Fruity, Hay
I purchased this tea as a part of my second order with Joseph Wesley Teas. In each order, I have tried some of the “special edition” offerings that are around for a limited time. And both times I have been very pleased.
In fact, I think that this changing/rotating specialty teas are really some hidden gems and help make this particular tea supplier stand out. That is not to say the regular teas he offers aren’t good. They are and very solid at that.
This tea stood out for the crisp clearness of the flavors imparted by the leaf. A subtle hay and fruity sweetness. The leaves themselves are vibrant in green and silvery white and carry a mild floral scent but not in a perfumed way. Very natural and earthy. Really nice example of this style of tea.
Damn, the chocolate notes and fig are coming nicely. This is a sad goodbye, and one in which I’m dangerously high on caffeine. I am having such a huge euphoria right now. I need to keep in mind to use less leaves if I ever drink this again ‘cause hot damn it’s smooth.
This is why it is so highly rated. I was happy with it before, but now I deeply enjoy it. The chocolate notes are super rich even into the later steeps. Sorry, tea snob vocab. IT IS A SMOOTH TEA THAT IS CREAMY AND ROASTY. I am so lucky to have another tea that is very close to this one ’cause damn I would be desperate if I did not have some. Talk about getting a quick fix. #caffeineaddictproblems.
Man, hawkband1, you are helping me get through my wish list. I really can’t thank you enough. :)
This one was a lot like a Jin Jun Mei. It was a very leathery and smooth black tea with a distinctive sweet potato taste. I got some cocoa notes, but they were not as strong as the buttery sweet potato ones were. Very bready, too, like rye. I definitely enjoyed this tea and got six steeps gong fu starting off with 20, going on from 15 to five minutes at the end in largely increasing increments.
I was surprised that I did not get the vivid notes that are on here. Marzipan? Interesting. At the same time, I did write leather lol. Caramel I also get. I recommend this tea to for someone newly trying it and for Chinese black tea lovers. The leaf size is also great because they are medium, so they’d be easier for tumblers, metal tea balls, or disposable tea bags. The price for the tea is also not too bad considering the quality, though there are some I admit that I’d prefer.
It’s so awesome to have a roommate open to trying tea…and listening to my lecturing about terroir. I got him to try a Bao Zhong and he really liked it. This was all the while we were watching Legend of Kora. He wanted to get through the series since he was a huge fan of the original Avatar. I liked the original more of course, but I warned him that Kora could have been better if the execution of its ideas were better. It infused so many political ideas central to East Asian “modern” history and had interesting dialogues about spirituality and industrialism, but they were not developed to their full potential. The true Iro, Andrew, had to listen to me rant about this on Facebook lol.
So with my roommate’s liking of the Bao Zhong, I used this tea to push him a little further in the world of oolongs. He liked it, but was satisfied with one cup. Fortunately I brewed the remaining leaves even better bringing out a little bit more of the honey floral notes. I saved the rest for this morning and put it in the fridge – which I should not have done to preserve flavor consistency- but the cup certainly was not bad for the sleepy morning. I’m at least alert enough now for a few push ups before the full morning workout. Arms, chest , or legs with a pinched nerve….hmm…
Thank you so much hawkband1! I’ve always wanted to try Joseph Wesley, but I’ve never had the courage to buy from them. And I agree with you on this one. It was very oily for an oolong. The dry leaf reminded me of a tropical candle. I did a western brew of half the package for the first time losing track of the minutes. It turned out pretty nice, emphasis on the green and florals. Buttery and thick with a little bit of sweetness like a honey or cinnamon sugar butter. Surprisingly crisp both in the first steep and later steeps. Very grassy, but very refreshing. Light color, heavy body. Nice sweetness on the roof of my mouth even after drinking. Yielded five solid brews western. The last one had a distinct vanilla and grassy taste.
Again, thank you so much!