257 Tasting Notes
Had another session of this tea this morning. I brewed two pots and put them in my big thermos, grabbed two clay drinking cups, went outside and met my friend Rose for a 3.5 mile trail walk. We sipped on this throughout and it was delicious, warm, and comforting on a beautiful, albeit a bit overcast, fall morning. This has been one of my favorite black teas this year.
I’m not even sure if there is any left on their website but you should totally get some if you are into delicious, earthy, malty, and tasty black teas. Or not. Leave it for me to re-order. That works too.
Pulled this tea back out this morning. It has been a while since I’ve taken off a piece of the cake. I’m finding that I tend not to drink puerh as much during the warmer months. But Autumn is officially in full swing here in Michigan and that means more puerh will be consumed.
This tea really is a star. After a rinse, the first two steeps are very smooth and sweet. After that there is a slight bitterness that comes into play but not a bad bitterness. That could also be due to my heavy leafing on this session. Sometimes a chunk gets broken off that is slightly bigger than you anticipated.
There is a well rounded taste that compliments the rest of the tea. The woodiness and earthiness mingle with a creamy, slightly oily texture. My god is it drinkable. As in, you won’t want it to end. This was my first cake purchase and I’m very glad to have it in my possession. Uptick on the rating.
Flavors: Bitter, Cedar, Creamy, Smooth, Wood
Finishing off the sample I had of this. Sometimes you just have stock piles of tea and some of the smaller bagged samples get lost in the clutter. This is what happened here. But boy am I so glad I found it/remembered it because, once again, this tea is fan-freaking-tastic.
I say this as someone who likes Earl’d teas well enough but doesn’t really purposefully buy them. This is absolutely one I would (will) buy. The base is high quality. It lends a depth of flavor that is not matched in most EG’s.
Gong fu style yielded about 5 good steeps. You could stretch it to a few more but the flavor starts to become weak past that.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Bergamot
Thank you to SuperStarling! for this sample.
This is definitely a SMOKY tea. The scent out of the bag is like fire place ashes smoky. I was a little nervous brewing this up that it would be too much in the mouth.
My worries are slowly dissipating. Don’t get me wrong. This tea tastes smoky. There is no getting around that. But there are other flavors there as well. Specifically a sweet malt, and a bright black tea flavor. I’ll state this once again. You need to like smoky teas in order to even consider trying this. If you don’t like smoky teas and you try this, you’re not going to have a good time. But it is a flavorful smoke.
Flavors: Malt, Smoke
I don’t know if my sample got too old really fast or what but I tried brewing this up last night and it didn’t do anything for me. It was thin in color and taste. The taste reminded me of what liquid cardboard might taste like. It wasn’t gag inducing or offensive. It was just… bland and watery. Unfortunate because I really enjoyed everything else from this tea company. Just not this one.
This is a pretty solid, if not remarkable, tea. All the elements are there. A nice coconut flavor. The Assam gives it a good background to work with. The bitterness factor is low to none if you steep it correctly. I bet I could make this really pop with a splash of some coconut coffee creamer. I can almost hear some of you gasping and clutching at your pearls. I get it. I often like my tea unadulterated as well. I could make an exception for this tea though.
Flavors: Coconut, Malt
Thanks to SuperStarling! for this sample.
So, uh. Whoa. This tea. The smell is that meaty smokiness of bacon bits with a hint of pineapple. It didn’t completely put me off but it did make me pause to wonder what I would actually drink as long as someone called it tea.
I brewed this up and let it cool for a few minutes, per package suggestions. The scent mellows a little. The flavor isn’t quite as strong of bacon (facon) as I anticipated. There is actually more pineapple flavor than I expected. Having said that, I’m not sure if it would be better or worse to be just straight up bacon. I’m very confused by all of this. I don’t like it really but I don’t HATE it. I actually think the execution of pineapple bacon was decently done considering it is tea… but I guess it just isn’t for me? I am actually getting that familiar tangy bite-y tingle from the pineapple’s bromelain so that is interesting.
To recap, slightly smokey bacon on the back end, pineapple on the front end. Overall, not for me. I thought I would enjoy it since I like bacon and pineapple pizza but let’s face it. Tea and pizza are like polar opposite mediums for pineapple and bacon.
Also, I’m surprised bacon isn’t a pre-existing flavor profile that we are able to choose. Is it weird that I am surprised that isn’t an option? I probably should be surprised if it WERE an option. This tea has me not knowing what to believe anymore.
Flavors: Meat, Pineapple, Smoked
Thanks to SuperStarling! for this tea sample. You are the best (tea) friend ever.
I am brewing this up after a quick morning trip to a local farmers market. We needed to stock up on some essential groceries (bread, milk, fruit, ect). And I did that. But then, on my way out, I saw these huge potted mums of all colors. Big triumphant bastards. Like, they come up to my waste (I"m 5’9" so that is semi impressive. For the flowers, not me) and are wide enough to hide a small child or two toddlers. I bought 4 of them. I like them. My wife loves them. She’ll squeal with delight. Win win.
Back to this tea. This smells nice kind of like a vanilla cupcake. The package says to brew it for 4-5 minutes. Whoa there black tea. I’ve been burned enough times to know that when you creep into the 4 minute territory, you’re gonna have a bad time. Bitterness comes out to play and that isn’t fun for anyone. So I let it go for about 3:30 as a compromise.
Well, I probably could have let it go 4 minutes. As is, it is a nice vanilla black tea with no hint of astringency or bitterness. The vanilla plays in nicely. The mouthfeel is a little thin but it doesn’t really take away from the tea. And it could also have been my fault for not listening to directions. Either way, this is a really nicely done vanilla black tea. It is something one could sip on and not have to think about it too much.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cake, Vanilla
Thank you to rosebudmelissa for this sample (and really the whole box of samples she sent me. I told her I enjoyed ginger and she really delivered!).
I have been getting a little more into herbal teas lately. I was diagnosed with IBS (along with my ulcerative colitis) this summer and caffeine is kicking me double time. It used to be when my UC was in remission, I could have caffeine with relatively few side effects. Now, with IBS, even when my UC is in remission, caffeine still can affect my tummy. SO, even though I prefer my dark, roasty teas, lately I will alternate in a ginger type herbal tea so as to limit my caffeine consumption. It’s really unfortunate but what are ya gonna do?
This tea is very pleasant. The ginger is there throughout the sip but not in an overpowering way (though, that is subjective since I am a ginger freak. What seems mild to me is probably strong to some others). The lime also gives it a pleasant citrus tang in the middle of the sip. There is a nice throat coating that kind of reminds me of licorice (I guess I should have read all the ingredients first to know if licorice is actually in here) but doesn’t have a noticeable licorice taste.
Overall, this is a tea I could drink often, especially when I need to give my stomach a break.
Flavors: Ginger, Licorice, Lime
Almost to the end of this tea. Probably about two sessions left. I picked this one out because it has been dreary and rainy for the last 5 days. A covenant has been broken. A new ark needs to be built. But a slightly smoky black tea is just what the doctor ordered for a rainy fall day.I do have to say though that this is enjoyable because it is such a lightly smoked Lapsang. I mean, honestly, if someone brewed this for me and didn’t tell me what it was, I wouldn’t guess Lapsang. It mainly tastes like an earthy black tea. A delicious one at that. I had ordered two other teas (3 in total for those counting along at home) from Joseph Wesley and they all have been fantastic.
Flavors: Earth, Malt