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Recent Tasting Notes
I am working on sipping this down and only have a few more cups to go, so I guess now is a good time for a tasting note!
This smells very roasty, a bit like a hojicha, and brews up nice and dark. There aren’t a whole lot of different notes to this tea, no complexity that comes out with additional steeping. I’m not sure I could distinguish this as an oolong, its certainly more hay and straw and lingering smoky notes than any floral or even big red robe tastes. It is rolled rather tightly and unfurls while steeping. Its easy to brew this one strong, but its too toasty to become bitter. I have enjoyed sipping down this bag, but won’t be purchasing any more.
Flavors: Astringent, Hay, Toasty
When you wake up in the morning what drink do you reach for? Many reach for coffee but coffee will give you a big slump when it wears off. Tea doesn’t do that. This morning I’m starting out with an unassuming Ceylon BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe).
It has the qualities of a good Ceylon tea but to be honest it doesn’t beat what I tasted at teakruthi. Still. It is nice to drink something that can be tasted over eggs and toast. Without fear of missing the finer notes.
Sipdown for National Compliment Day!
It’s National Compliment Day, and I’m giving this beautiful tea a huge shout out. It embodies so many of the things that I adore from the teas from Nepal. There is a muscatal note along with sweet hay. It’s light and clean with the slightest hint of mineral at the end of the sip. I’m a big fan of muscadine notes in tea. I know Darjeeling teas are best known for that flavor, but I feel like so many teas from Nepal showcase it beautifully. This tea is no exception. In fact, it does it to near perfection. The muscatal note is present without having an artificial grape flavor or a wine-y taste. This is a total win in my book.
I would love to pick up more of this at some point. Unfortunately Upton only sells this in 100g or larger quantities, and while I truly love this tea I’m just not in the market for 100+ grams of any tea. * sigh *
Work tea #2
This is from yesterday. I picked up a sample when I placed a small Upton order a few months ago. On a whim I took it to work with me, and I regretted my decision. This is so good. I wanted to sit and enjoy it, but we had a full day of patients waiting to be seen. What I can say about this tea is that it has a silky mouth feel. There are muscatal and apricot notes followed by a mineral finish. It reminded me of why I love so many teas from Nepal.
I think I’ll go to work tomorrow and get the rest of the sample so that I can enjoy it over the holiday weekend. Or maybe I’ll sleep in and stay in my pj’s all day. Who knows?
I brewed this nice and strong this morning, it’s an almost sipdown, I think I have about a tsp left. This does make a bold cup of Assam, coppery, astringent, and just a hint of a bitter aftertaste. It’s not very complex or malty, but it is a fair example of an Assam. Don’t think I need any more of this, but it was ok while sipping down.
Flavors: Astringent, Metallic
Took two teaspoons for my 300 ml cup. Steeped for 5 minutes.
Baked bread notes were first notes I have noted. Then malty, dried fruits. Woody in the end. All together quite works well, enjoyable. Mild, even the steep was quite long.
I liked it, as it was quite strong and brisk. Woody aftertaste wasn’t a troublesome, instead it was like somehow expected flavour. Again, I haven’t noticed any soy sauce in this.
I still have something left, I think it will be around 1 tsp, which I may try gong-fu (where is my new gaiwan!?) I think it is bit behind the What-cha offer, but still pretty great, especially for the age.
Thank you derk and White Antlers.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Malt, Wood
Another tea I received from derk, but it is from White Antlers. Thank you both!
I was confused about the aroma of this tea. I have exppected some pu-erh chocolatey notes, but it is indeed rather on tobacco side as derk said. It is even bit cinnamony and raisins, which is indeed weird while it contains only black tea and cocoa.
While brewed, I had it actually pretty much same as previous rater. Yep, aiming for 4 minutes, but actually 6.
The tate was pretty much medicore bold black tea while sipping quite hot, but as it cools down, the flavours started to be interesting.
At first, I wasn’t sure if it is cocoa as it was quite raisin and maybe cherries. But as I said, it was cooling donw and when it was lukewarm I get the cocoa notes! I have expected some stronger notes and mostly I imagined it will be bit more like hot chocolate, but it isn’t that sweet and cloying hot chocolate. Maybe you think I think it is dismal for me, but actually it isn’t. I am glad it is not like that, as bar of chocolate isn’t always dominantly chocolate but good chocolate is having different flavours too. Even that cherry seems good for me.
Seems bit pricey though!
Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Raisins, Tobacco
The dry tea smells so berry-vanilla(?) syrupy sweet and medicinal that it frightened me. Delay no more, I brewed it up last night and again this morning. The steam smells the same with a metallic iron addition from the hibiscus. The taste is very tart with hibiscus, some iron. Berry tastes swirl around in the magenta brew, notably the concentrated syrupy taste of elderberries with some blueberry and also strawberry, which is not in the tea but maybe as a flavoring? I do not taste grapes, which are in the blend and noted by Martin. The berry notes linger after the swallow. I feel like it’s a bit cooling with a throat-opening quality beyond the hibiscus bite. Good for one steep, maybe 2 if you shorten the initial steep time but the second brew comes out very pale and much weaker tasting in comparison.
This is definitely not for those with a distaste for hibiscus. I find it enjoyable, though, and am happy that it passed from White Antlers’ cupboard to mine. It’s one of the better berry-hibiscus brews I’ve had.
Flavors: Berries, Biting, Blueberry, Hibiscus, Medicinal, Metallic, Strawberry, Tart, Vanilla
Uh oh, this is tart. In aroma of loose pieces. I notice mostly hibiscus, and never noticed it that much as in this one. Mastress Alita, something for you maybe? Let’s see.
It brews, after 8 minutes steep, dark red colour. It brings memories of cheap and fruit teas from my childhood, on summer camps, at my grandma’s flat, even at home back (now) and then.
Back to the tea. Aroma is as well tart. Much less luckily and I note grapes. Surpringly sips aren’t tart, it is rather quite juicy and enjoyable. It’s quite simple drink, I believe making it iced would be great.
Good one… for evenings. Bit too tart for my taste.
Managed to write few more pages on the thesis. Mostly I managed to make one page with images with subcaptions! Happy with the progress today.
Tasting note 800? How?
Flavors: Grapes, Tart
This must be a revamp of an earlier reviewed tea as this one clearly includes natural flavors and not artificial ones. Needless to say I really enjoyed this tea. I was first struck by the luxurious smell of tropical fruit amongst the chai spices. A gander at the contents of the sample revealed nice long pieces of coconut amongst an almost potpourri of a chai - just what I like in a good chai.
One taste of the tea confirmed two things to me: I’d
1. I probably under-dosed the steeping basket (my husband had heard me puttering around the kitchen and asked if he could cadge a cup along with me- I quickly added more chai and water to the teapot). It could be stronger but that’s probably my fault and not the teas. Upton’s so good about giving exact directions/suggestions for steeping. Oh well, try again I guess.
2. I knew I wanted to order a full bag of this stuff. Even under-steeped I knew this was a really nice chai - a really nice departure from the usual chais. Our go-to chai, is the Bollywood Chai from Reluctant Traders (a tea I have yet to review here —my bad-) which I’d purchased because of raves and because RT does such powerful work sourcing direct from growers and working towards equity and real fair trade). It’s just a solid classical chai. But it’s nice to have a few chais to reach for and a tropical chai with fruit is the tea I didn’t know I needed (or wanted).
Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Cinnamon, Coconut