167 Tasting Notes
It´s for teas like this that I appreciate my water boiler with temperature control between 60 and 100ºC. To be brewed with water at 80ºC? No problem.
But, although it makes drinking white and green teas a lot simpler and straight-forward, I managed to forget about this tea for quite a while.
On the little card Whittard´s adds to the tea pack, it says the tea is “a supremely fresh and lightly fragranced tea with a hint of spring morning sweetness”. Indeed, in nose the loose tea is quite delicate with a sweet touch to it. In mouth it´s very easy going and light, nice enough without the grassy aspect of a lot of green teas, or the strength of most black teas. Honestly, I expected more from it.
To be honest, I´ve already finished this tea well before writing this review…so I´ll limit my personal review to saying that it was another very decent breakfast tea with good body.
What follows, comes from Bruu´s website :
The story : In January 2018 the BRUU team got a special invitation by the Sri Lankan Tea Association to visit one of its premier tea estates run by Sri Lanka’s number one tea taster Eranga. Even better, they allowed us to fly the tea immediately back to the UK to guarantee freshness. Usually, in Sri Lanka, all tea has to go through auctions, which can add months between the time it is picked and when it ends up in your cup.
What it is? Usually, in Sri Lanka, all tea has to go through auctions, which can add months between the time it is picked and when it ends up in your cup but not this one, we flew the tea immediately back to the UK to guarantee freshness. It is a masterpiece created by Sri Lanka’s number one tea taster!
Why we love it? A blend from the higher and lower regions of Ceylon delivering a light, refreshing flavour with real body.
Where it’s from? Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC produces the best of high-quality Ceylon Teas in Sri Lanka. The estate is managed by Eranga Edodawella, awarded the Best Tea Taster in Sri Lanka. The plantation strategically plants trees around the tea bushes to cast timed shadows each day.
How our drink hits the senses : A refreshing smell, unlike your traditional black, it has a light aroma, it isn’t trying to overpower itself, almost closer to a light Oolong…..but wait, here it comes, after a few minutes that leaves uncurl and wow, flavour hits the senses!
The taste journey : We love this tea, it is so luxurious. You won’t want to add milk to this, it already has a creamy profile owing to the cooler region it is grown in. It’s naturally sweet and packed with character.
Three years ago, I tried a sample the people from Le Palais des Thés offered me when buying some other teas, and I reviewed the tea saying that it was like drinking a polo mint, so I liked it and would buy me a pouch.
In meantime, I did buy me a pouch of this minty green tea, and until this week I had only really taken it hot. As stated in my first review, I really like that it´s minty without being a sugar bomb. This week, I´ve been cold brewing it as well, and today I even had both, to compare.
I admit I adjusted the way of coldbrewing in this case, reusing the tea leaves from the hot brew and adding another teaspoon, for the cold brew…also, the temperature of the water might have been a bit higher and the steeping time quite a lot longer…but the resulting iced tea is really nice : like a “menthe à l´eau” with all the freshness of the mint and lacking the siropy touch of it, so just keeping what I appreciate most of it. And yes, I score it slightly higher than the hot brew as well.
This came as one of the “golden tea pouches” Bruu offers with every episode of its monthly tea subscription. As I´m not a great fan of green teas, I sort of put it aside, to try it earlier on today. And it sure came as a nice surprise, as I fully agree to what is indicated on the discover sheet : “Our Sourenee has sappy, grassy notes, overlain with soft fruits and a deep grapey aroma.” it´s this grapey touch that I can appreciate here.
All of the info Bruu gives about this tea online :
What it is? An early second flush of roasted green tea.
Why we love it : Due to the altitudes, tricky growing conditions and limited space, the Darjeeling district only produces 1% of India’s tea, at just 8,000 tonnes each year. This makes our Sourenee extremely rare, as it’s one of only a few estates able to produce a green Darjeeling tea.
Where it’s from : The Sourenee Tea Estate, Mirik Valley, India. The estate has an elevation of 700-1300m above sea level. The soil in that region is a stiff red loam with clay.
How our drink hits the senses : These leaves never cease to give out such scrumptious scents. A real unique green tea that oozes quality.
The taste journey : Grassy notes, overlaid with soft fruits and a deep grapey aroma. The well twisted green leaf provides an earthy undertone.
Flavors: Grass, White Grapes
This is a tea I bought last year but didn´t use as it was intended (as an iced tea). The sunny weather has arrived, so it´s the prefect time to pick this year´s fruit tisane to be used as iced tea (I replace part of my daily water intake over Summer by a fruity iced tea).
I already know I´ll want to stock up on this one : the dried fruit base is good quality, intense in taste (every single time I steep it, I tend to use less tea, I might even be tempted to make a “concentrated” batch to dilute with water), and the touch of “Jamaican rum” gives it an extra “bite” I can appreciate. It never tastes overly sweet nor does it taste artificially.
The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co recommends “Brew using boiling water and infuse for 10 minutes.” I tend to prepare the pot, leave it to infuse, and after a while, I take out the paper filter with the loose tea; I then fill the bottle I keep in the fridge every time I take a glass from it . When the tea pot is empty, I make another batch, which is then ready for when the bottle in the fridge runs out ;-)
Flavors: Fruit Punch, Red Fruits, Rum, Wood
I´m not 100% sure this is the cardomome black tea I´m having these days, as I actually bought it quite some time ago, in an independent tea shop in France, by the weight, so I only have the aspect and name to guide me.
I´m decided to finish the loose tea I have been “stockpiling” the last few years, and this one was kept in a closed tin, so there´s actually still some nice aroma´s (the sweet touch of the cardamon) to be observed. Once steeped, the strength of the black tea is complemented by a subtle but enjoyable cardamome (sweet, nutty) flavour.
Nice as a late morning drink, nowadays – in corona lockdown times – when I return home from my permitted morning walk .
Flavors: Cardamon, Tea
I actually finished the pouch before writing this review, oops. Enjoyable, but nothing extraordinary. The fruit pieces are big, which makes taking the right amount to steep tricky.
So, mainly giving the information from Bruu´s website :
What it is? A lovely, delicate green and white tea blend form a sturdy base for the variety of large fruit pieces and generous helpings of rose petals.
Why we love it? Tropical papaya flavours and juicy orange notes have been perfectly combined in this fresh green tea blend. Sweet berry notes add a very special, delicious touch to the cup.
Where it’s from? Shizuoka is widely known as the green tea capital of Japan and is responsible for over 40% of Japan’s tea production. The almost magical beverage boasts many benefits, and it is often touted as a contributor to the longevity and health of the people of Shizuoka. There are several great view spots of Mt.Fuji in the city which creates an amazing contrast with green tea leaves, blue sky, and white snow.
How our drink hits the senses? One sniff and we’re drinking cocktails on white sandy beaches.
The taste journey : Once the ingredients have infused, the tropical fruit taste is trying to dominate the cup, but the green and white tea blend start to come through to unify the drink. Sweet and fruity.
Flavors: Flowers, Green, Orange, Tropical
I´ve had this tea a few times the last couple of days, always taking it hot, and I´m not sure whether this is my favourite way of having it : I believe this could be far more enjoyable when iced over Summer. It might be because of its high content in hibiscus (40%), which tends to overwhelm the other ingredients. I noticed that this is particularly so in mouth, as the dry infusion smells of coco, even in a subtle way of piña…overall, I therefore think the naming of this blend as “piña colada” is a bit far fetched.
Looking now at the descriptive of this infusion on The Capsoul´s website, I also notice the recommended steeping time and temperature are WAY different from those indicated on the tin : online it says 5-6 minutes at 95ºC while I steeped this tea for 2 minutes at 70ºC…considering this isn´t a real “tea” as such, I guess it´s not that important, but it sure gives me a bad impression.
Waiting now for the Summer to arrive and to try this as iced tea…
Flavors: Coconut, Hibiscus, Pineapple
Citrusy when opening the tea pouch, in a fresh way (it reminds me of when the lemon trees are in bloom). Once steeped, the loose leaves open up nicely and that´s a lovely sight, with the pink peppercorns and the orange peel slices to complete the “painting”. The tea is the colour of a sweet white wine, and in nose now the peppercorns come through with the bits of pomelo. Spicy taste but very balanced. A blend which works for me!
From Bruu´s website :
What it is? Discover hidden treasures in a fine green/black tea blend, red peppercorn pearls, golden orange peel nuggets and as the highlight, exotic, colourful pomelo slices ═ everything but a curse.
Why we love it? Punchy and sweet, with a fiery heat from the peppercorns. Smooth and velvety, just as you would imagine a Caribbean kiss of a pirate from the Caribbean tastes like on stormy waters
Where it’s from? The humid climate of the Sichuan province, China, lends itself well to the production of tea. From a distance, the tea farms could almost be mistaken for rice paddies. The most popular tea styles in Sichuan are green and black.
How our drink hits the senses: Punchy and sweet, with a fiery heat from the peppercorns. As you’re drinking there’s a genuine warmth, perfectly blended, with a big ol’ citrus punch. This tea is smooth and velvety, just as you would imagine a Caribbean smooch!
Flavors: Citrusy, Grapefruit, Orange Zest, Peppercorn, Spicy
Let me start by saying I´m not a big fan of chai. Most of the time the cinnamon just overwhelms me entirely, so it´s OK for one cup (running up to Xmas, for instance), and then I need a (long) break to drink anything…apart from chai.
Yesterday, as I felt like having a cup in the evening while watching a movie, and it had snowed in the morning, so I thought I would give the chai sample Bruu added to its January subscription box a go…and I really enjoyed it : balanced in nose, nicely copper coloured and quite soft mouthfeel with the orange peel finishing it off, a lot subtler than most chai teas I´ve tried before.
I imagine I´m not the only one having enjoyed this tea, as it is now part of Bruu´s collection. They say about it as follows :
What it is? It is extremely rich, luxurious and malty which works perfectly with the cinnamon and orange. Most chai teas contain many complex ingredients, but this Bogapani tea can hold itself with just three.
Why we love it : The tea bushes on the Bogapani plantation are well established, and so the harvest is consistent year-round. More established plants also produce better tea leaves and this Assam is no exception.
Where it’s from? Assam, a state in Northeast India, is well known for its tea production along with its rich culture and vibrant environment. For example, tea is so important to this culture that they even have their own festival to celebrate it, called the Assam Tea Festival, held in November.
How our drink hits the senses : Most of Assam focuses on mass-produced tea, but this Bogapani is reserved for the luxury end of the market. In appearance, the tea is a light brown cup, which will work well with milk and even a touch of honey!
The taste journey : Bogapani is rich and malty, whilst the added cinnamon and orange peel give it a sweet aftertaste; making it perfect for a winters day to get you in the mood for Christmas. The tea is from the higher quality June harvest and utilises the fresher, fine-needle leaves.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Orange Zest, Tea