167 Tasting Notes
Malty with earthy undertones in nose, light of colour after steeping for 3 minutes, no nonsense oolong in mouth. With oolongs, my stomach can tell so I need to drink this tea not too late during the day, as my digestion is busy with the half-fermented tea the rest of the afernoon/evening.
I´m not sure whether I can completely find myself in Bruu´s explanation. Here it is anyway :
What it is? Formosa is a speciality tea produced in the Taiwanese mountains. After plucking, the tea is fermented to approximately 50% and then wilted in the sun. Frequent turning of the tea in bamboo baskets during the drying process allows Formosa to develop a mild aroma and a large, wildly curled leaf.
Why we love it? Easy to prepare and remains a lovely introduction to Taiwanese tea.
Where it’s from? Taiwan. The word Formosa, meaning “beautiful”, is the word Portuguese navigators used to describe Taiwan when they caught sight of the island back in 1544.
How our drink hits the senses : Earthy with a slight minty edge and a floral waft.
The taste journey : The taste definitely builds with each sip. Simple, no fuss, no-frills classic Oolong. After brewing, the still green leaf centre with the fermented leaf edges becomes clearly visible. It is very light in the cup and has a very flowery and spicy taste.
Flavors: Earth, Malt
The Capsoul teas put their teas in beautiful tins, and this is what motivated me to try 2 teas a few years ago. Then, in another online private sale, I bought some more tins of different types of tea. And although the teas themselves might not be among the best I´ve tried, the colourful design of the labels really makes a difference too, which is especially important in these times (I´m in Madrid in lockdown since more than a week).
This tea blend is one the blends in The Capsoul´s “functional” line, this specific blend apparently to cure your cough. In nose I get a lot of mint and eucalyptus, once brewed I notice a bit of thyme (which I´ld have loved to be more present) but it stays in the line of commercial soothers some people like sucking when they have a sore throat. Personally, it reminds me a lot of those herbal infusions my mother used to prepare me when I was a kid.
Easy enough to drink, a minty touch that won´t offend nobody, but it´s a shame the loose tea is really very broken down and even with the best filter around, you get a lot of small pieces in the liquid (it´s where you can tell the blend contains rooibos). Maybe, I´ll hand this tin to my mother for its further use…
Flavors: Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rooibos, Thyme
The visual aspect of this tea is really nice : wiry leaves for the dry loose tea, a dark copper colour for the brew. Maybe not as fragrant as one would like, but this is well compensated in taste : malty, with character (stone fruit), all well balanced.
What Bruu says about this tea on its webpage :
What it is? A higher than usual grade of Orange Pekoe, consisting of very well rolled, wiry leaves. An extraordinary quality and unique taste from an award-winning estate.
Why we love it? This is a gentle, full of flavour, exquisite black tea, perfect anytime of the day. Neat black and silver leaves produce a dark amber liquor. It has a smooth deep character with stony and malty notes of fruits and molasses.
Where it’s from? Sri Lanka, New Vithanakande tea factory. Ratnapura has a lower elevation, and its geography is a transition between hills and plains. Worth a trip one day? Pick your own tea maybe? The highest estates share in the microclimatic conditions produced by the rainforests, cloud forests and high, grassy plains endemic to this region. As a result, they produce tea of a somewhat different character to that grown at lower elevations in the district. Some of these estates receive the highest rainfall of any in the plantation districts.
How our drink hits the senses : Almost chocolaty, strong and intense
The taste journey : The tea is leafy and has a glorious black and copper sheen since the soil is abnormally high in nutrients. When infused, New Vithanakande has a complex caramel flavour and has hints of forest fruits; a tea truly blessed by nature.
Flavors: Malt, Stonefruits, Tea
From Bruu´s website :
What it is? A dry white and green tea blend, with lush peachy chunks and sweet sultanas.
Why we love it? The smell is amazing, instantly your mouth begins to water with the peachy tones. Crisp and fruity initially, but super dry on the finish, just like a glass of fizz. Raise your glass with us and take delight in the sweet, ripe grape and peach notes, which are mirrored in the sultanas and reddish golden peach crunchy bits.
Where it’s from? Unlike the alcoholic beverage which is from the Champagne region in North France, this wonderful tea is produced in the Fujian province in China. The hilly territories with their red and yellow mountain soils, year round mild climate and abundant rainfall contribute to the White Tea’s unique character.
How our drink hits the senses: Crisp and fruity initially, but super dry on the finish this tea is light and subtly peachy, just like a glass of fizz.
First of all, I don´t understand all the fuzz about the fizzy drinks and imitating them, when most of the people aren´t too bothered about the quality of the champagne/cava/sekt/prosecco in the first place, but seem to only be interested in the visual effect of pearly bubbles rising up in the glass. I´m not an expert, but I do know there´s a HUGE difference between a champagne from a small and artisan vigneron and the mass produced low price versions available everywhere. So, getting to this tea blend : it´s fruity (peachy indeed), a bit on the sweet side w/o overdoing it, which makes it all quite festive and summery. The blend is well put together, it smells nicely, and it´s easy to drink. Complex? No, not really. For me it´s more punch and less champagne. A decent fruity tea , which even people who mainly drink black tea can enjoy.
Flavors: Peach, Sweet, warm grass
From Bruu´s website :
What it is? A strong, malty and aromatic leaf with a rich body.
Why we love it? Works well with a drop of fresh lemon juice.
Where it’s from? Nestled between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. Tea from the Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. When brewed, tea grown and processed in this area has a distinctive, naturally occurring aroma and taste, with light tea liquor; the infused leaf also has a distinctive fragrance.
How our drink hits the senses? Whilst sitting dry in its container waiting to become your BRUU; A strong, malty and aromatic leaf with a rich body. As the drink is BRUUing; Black but edgy.
The taste journey? The in-between we are offering excels due to its well-worked leaf, a light amber cup and an incomparable, slightly flowery, scented bouquet. A special tea with a delicate, fine taste for a perfect Sunday afternoon. A full and rounded blend.
I admit this sounds fantastic. Unfortunately, the tea liquor is light but so is everything : aroma´s and taste. I´ve tasted darjeelings which were very “delicate” with subtle but elegant aroma´s and taste, but this blend is lacking this finesse. So, just an average mark for a “just OK” tea, in my opinion.
Flavors: Malt, Tea
Maple flavoured oolong sounds pretty sweet to me, but “Maple Syrop” is actually quite balanced. However, I don´t know whether the pieces of real walnut and almond really make a huge difference in taste. (Maple) syrop-y in nose, in mouth this oolong reminds me a lot of a caramel flavoured black tea very popular (or at least it was popular 20 odd years ago) in France, called “Marco Polo”. I used to enjoy this Marco Polo a lot, especially on a Winter´s afternoon, and so, I can only rejoice in Maple Syrop being available in my tea cupboard.
From Bruu´s website :
Canada in a cup – fine walnuts and the flowery Oolong tea, the sweet maple flavour unfolds to its fullest. This composition promises exceptional indulgence!
How our drink hits the senses: Whilst sitting dry in its container waiting to become your BRUU; One sniff, I’m in Canada eating pancakes loaded with maple syrup.
As the drink is BRUUing; After the initial syrupy hit, the earthy Oolong and nuts come through.
The taste journey; It’s sweet, it’s nutty, it’s smooth – what’s not to love here?!
Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Maple Syrup
This is Bruu´s earl grey blend. In nose it definitely shows. When steeping the tea the bergamot aroma´s linger on, but then, taking out the filter, the liquid itself has sort of lost the typical earl grey smell, and in mouth it tastes maltier than other Earl Grey blends. I have no objection to this malty character, but I really love earl grey, and its typical aroma is part of the enjoyment, as far as I am concerned. So not that happy an end IMHO…
From Bruu´s website :
What it is? A harmonious interaction of the soft, slightly spicy tea basis with natural bergamot flavouring let every Earl’s heart beat faster!!
Why we love it? Very tasty. Not only the bright blue mallow blossoms give this popular English classic touch of royal flair.
Where it’s from? Mahseer is located in the centre of Assam, Northeast India, on the North bank of the Brahmaputra River in the district of Sonitpur, 20 minutes from the ancient city of Tezpur and 2hrs away from Kaziranga National Park. It is a beautiful oasis set in the midst of the Balipara division of Addabarie Tea Estate. Assam tea is mostly grown at or near sea level and is known for its body, briskness, malty flavour, and strong, bright colour.
How our drink hits the senses? Whilst sitting dry in its container waiting to become your BRUU, Diamond Black has such a floral hit. And that hit carries through as the water lands and infuses. Gradually the black tea makes an appearance. Blending! BRUUing!
The taste journey : Such an intelligent blend. The two potions combine perfectly and the order in which the palate senses each flavour leaves you wanting another sip.
Flavors: Bergamot, Tea
A second review, now i´ve taken it a few more times : mango clearly in nose, but once steeped, the tea has a greener, grassy aroma, also present in taste, with some added – subtle – citrus rounding it off. Fresh and spring-like indeed.
Flavors: Citrusy, Grass, Green, Mango
This is a tea I have been using since a while now, and it seems I just have one more cup left. I bought it in a small tea shop in Pau, France (where I used to live), and cf another tea I bought there, I assume its origin is Dammann Frères as somebody on Steepster said it could well be.
In another tasting note I wrote that I´m quite fussy about orange flavoured teas. Nothing seems to come close to the taste of a real orange, and I don´t like it to overwhelmingly smell/taste as orange zest either. I love fresh oranges (and anything that comes close, like a good clementine), but a blood orange is really the top. The extra acidity of a good blood orange makes it so refreshing (as a matter of fact, when I juice oranges which are rather sweet I tend to add a lemon or a grapefruit to get the acidity up), in my opinion.
I bought the tea for it being blood orange flavoured, and although its original aroma´s have gone, this can still be noticed when brewing the black tea : it´s primarily a black tea, with the blood orange acidity coming through in the finish. Another positive note : there´s nothing artificial about the flavour. I really should try to get another bag or tin of this tea, to refresh my observations about the tea. So long, one more cup to go ;-)
Flavors: Blood orange, Tea
A lot of people adore the combination of orange with let´s say chocolate (my brother is a big fan of Pim´s Cakes, for instance), or vanilla, and that´s great, but according to me no combination is as good as …a simple orange itself! Needless to say, I´ve encountered very few orange teas I really like. This 75% green tea (with white tea completing the blend) might be one I can enjoy more than once ;-) …and it truly smells like when peeling a ripe orange!
From Bruu´s website :
What it is? A premium blend with the aroma combination of oranges and vanilla. Deep red rose buds, bright carrot shreds and golden orange triangles will lighten up your day.
Why we love it : Teas have been selected very cleverly to create a subtle blend here. We’re pleased with this one, we think you will be too.
Where it’s from : Green tea from Kawane, Japan. Located on the mountainside on the upper stream of Oi river, Kawane is famous for producing refined, deep-steamed Sencha (green tea). Around this area, there is a nostalgic steam locomotive that still operates on the Oigawa Railway. Take the train to see the huge tea plantation from aboard, or get off the train to capture the lush scenery of this tea plantation as a backdrop to the whimsical black locomotive. Surrounded in mountains, Kawane features no shortage of unforgettable natural scenery.
How our drink hits the senses : Imagine the scent you get when you peel a ripe, juicy orange.
The taste journey : A taste with sweet notes and a special finish. A real pleasure without caffeine.
Flavors: Orange, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest