257 Tasting Notes
While this tea still sits on more of the umami green type of flavors that I find seem to be a common occurrence (at least with the BTTC black teas that I have tried), it is subtler and has more depth, nuance, and complexity to it.
In fact, on the first steep, I didn’t notice the slightly vegetal flavors in this tea. On the second steep though they seemed to come out. I was getting ready to dismiss this tea as another one of “those kind of teas.” I am glad that I didn’t as this proved to be much more. While this companies black teas haven’t been real impressive to me, this has been one of the better of the bunch that I have tried.
I think this is a masterful job of roasted oolong in that the roast is very slight. Don’t get me wrong, heavily roasted, charcoal-y oolongs are some of my favorites. However, this one was done I think with an eye on balance. It sits right in that in between space where every sip I’m left wondering what I tasted more: the roast or the florals.
Where you DO get a lot of the charcoal is on the scent of the brewed/wet leaves. Smells delightful.
No matter which way this tea leans, it carries with it a creamy nuttiness that I adore. Very smooth and tasty.
Now on the second steep, more of the roasted flavors become a bit more dominant. I’m interested to see if this swings back to more floral after a few more steeps.
After about 6 steeps, I should say that this tea does end up tipping into the more roasted column. Which is A-ok with me. But it isn’t too heavy handed. A really solid tea overall.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Nutty, Roasted
I just came here to say that this tea impressed me so much that I just made a full (2oz) order despite me having spent waaay too much money on tea just a month ago. I have been fretting ever since I tasted it that this tea would get sold out and I would never get my hands on it again. So, despite my already full tea cabinet, this was one I absolutely HAD to buy more of after a sample.
Broke off a chunk of this and threw it in the gaiwan. What I noticed in the first steep (after a rinse) is how clean the flavor is initially. Granted the tea hasn’t properly broken up yet but it is a promising, smooth, clean start.
Second steep (10 sec) gives off more of that classic rain soaked earth scent with a cinnamon red color in the liquor. The flavor is still very clean with absolutely no hint of fermentation. The wife agrees with me. Very nice.
Third steep (15 seconds) and I might be slightly distracted from getting accurate smells and tasting notes as my wife is cooking gingerbread cookies and the smell wafting from the oven is intoxicating. Mmmm… Oh, right, tea. The color is darkening to a chestnut brown. The flavor is a classic ripe but very clean. I have a feeling this is going to be the norm for this tea. Classic and clean.
OMG I just got a sample of the finished gingerbread cookies nom nom nom. They actually pair very well with this tea. Not sure if it is the cozy joy of the season or the slight tea buzz coming on but happiness is abundant here in this moment and time.
Yes, I will end it here but for now, it is a very good, consistent, and fairly priced option. I appreciate the clean flavor it provides.
*Edit: Another hour or two later and this tea is still going strong. It is a bit lighter but I am on close to the 10th steep at about 90 seconds and it is still sweet, smooth, and very drinkable. Uptick in the rating.
This tea is slightly better than the Sabertooth in that it has slightly more sweet malt flavor. It seems to last a bit longer in my gaiwan, as well.
The scent off the dry leaves and brewed liquor didn’t seem too intense but the scent of the wet leaves is where I could pick up something similar to a cookie dough sweetness and in fact can still detect it in there after my 5th or 6th steep. And while the liquor flavor was nothing that blew me away, it is showing staying power in that what it has lost in flavor it is making up for in creaminess.
I appreciate that. Thanks, cute little red fox that adorns the packaging.
Flavors: Malt, Sweet
One of the first things I’ve tasted from Bitterleaf. This is a solid and unobtrusive black tea. It has all the right characteristics and fits the bill. In my opinion it isn’t one that stands out and makes you pay attention but it is a good tea to drink with a group over good discussion.
Wow. This is absolutely a wow tea. I was shocked at how buttery, creamy, and smooth this tea is from the first steep onward. Like, audible noises of delight while drinking it. I think my wife and children thought me a weirdo. (Lets face it. They’ve thought that long before this little stint)
There isn’t much more to say about this. It is buttery. Feels creamy on the tongue and throat. There are some floral aspects to it but not strong. Which is great because I’m not a huge floral oolong guy. I’m kind of in love with this tea and now I understand the price tag on it. And now I’m contemplating ordering much more than just a sample of this.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral