141 Tasting Notes
I’ve been enjoying my Shui Teas so much that I haven’t had anything new to log for a while. I was feeling a little disconnected from Steepster so, in honor of Fall (even though it’s still 106 degrees here) I thought I’d give this one a try.
This tea (in silken sachets) has a bright fruity fragrance that deepens to an almost bitter citrus. This is true before and after brewing.
Once brewed, you’re left with a garnet colored tea. The taste is mildly flavored. From the fragrance, I expected a high level of bitterness or tartness but there’s just a subtle pucker after a slight fruit flavor. I would prefer that the tea base be presented a bit stronger, but overall this wasn’t bad.
My brain hurts. I’ve never had to concentrate so hard while drinking a tisane to decide whether or not I like it. One minute I was thinking “ewe, medicinal,” the next it was, “mmm, something you might get at a high-end spa.” I could almost feel the neurons shorting out. So, I’m not going to say if I liked this; I’ll simply give an objective description and you can make up your own mind. (I’d like to hear what others have to say after they’ve tried a sample for themselves.)
Upon opening the package, there’s a strong fragrance of eucalyptus. Once past that, there’s a citrusy-sweetness. The product is very colorful and has a lot of different sizes and shapes; it’s very nice to look at.
Once brewed, the fragrance mellows. You pick up a lot of the citrus, particularly the tangerine, but the eucalyptus periodically wafts in. The tisane is a light pink similar to watermelon juice.
The taste leans towards citrus. The apple, berry and beetroot provide a little sweetness. The flavor then ends with a tart pucker and a slight aftertaste from the eucalyptus.
This is a surprise final stop on my current world destination tea tour after hitting Florence, Paris and Tokyo. This tea is still in development, but Shui Tea sent me a sample with my recent order.
The raw tea is dark with specks of red safflower petals. The fragrance is subtly smokey, but there’s also the presence of a fine, exotic perfume. I know this is the citrusy bergamot and florals, but they combine to make something unique to this tea.
The brewed tea is utterly dark and rich. There’s some great body here and neither the lapsang nor the bergamot overpowers; they compliment each other well. This would be similar to having a citrus glazed food grilled on an open fire.
With my two favorite tea styles of all times blended, Lapsang Souchong and Earl Gray, this scores high with me.
This is a very unusual green tea. The fragrance is a cross between raisins, figs and dates and a little cereal.
This brewed to a champagne color. The flavor was close to a genmaicha with a full body and a bit of a cereal taste, but was much lighter and sweeter. The difference between toasted rice and sesame seeds is obvious. I didn’t really pick up any caramel in the flavor, but in a green tea, that would actually be my preference.
This was really fragrant; full of cherry, blackberry and vanilla with a faint underlying citrus note. There was also a mellow aged paper quality. The leaves were very dark and crumbly.
This tea brewed fairly dark. The flavor was similar to a mild Earl Gray with a touch of vanilla and it was somewhat astringent.
So far in my H&S world tour, Florence wins and Paris is a close second.
The following is a true account with absolutely no exaggeration or hyperbole.
I got home from work and pulled my car into the garage. When I got out of my car, I smelled something sweet and decadent; I thought a neighbor was baking. I walked out of the garage towards my front door and the chocolaty smell became stronger. I saw there was a sealed cardboard box sitting there. Inside this sealed box was a sealed tin of this tea. I had smelled the awesome fragrance of this tea through metal, cardboard and from approximately 30 feet away!
Upon opening the tin, the tea was black as night and smelled strongly of chocolate, caramel and creamy-nutiness. It brewed very dark and the fragrance held fairly well.
The taste was very mild but had a lot of body with a silky cream mouth feel. As with most nut or chocolate enhanced teas, I felt the flavor was at its peak after cooling just a bit. It wasn’t as pungent as the initial fragrance would lead you to believe, but it was a good representation of the flavor characters it’s intended to present.
I received a sample of this with my most recent order in bag (sorry, “silken sachet”) form. Out of the package, it was very fragrant of bergamot but it also had a strong, clean classic tea fragrance with a subtle underlying sweetness.
After brewing, I had an orange-gold liquid and the bergamot fragrance had subsided substantially. The taste was a sour-citrus, not the same as other Earl Grays I’ve had, this was distinctly more sour. The tea flavor was extremely weak. This also lacked the classic “snap,” almost effervescence, that I’ve come to expect from good Earl Grays.
As a few others have noted, my poor experience may be because this was in a “sachet” but I didn’t think this was very good in the broad spectrum Earl Gray teas.
This tea is made of green (the Stevia?) and black leaves and has a strong berry fragrance. Once brewed, it appears as a weak black tea and smells very sweet and plummy.
Sipping the hot tea, the initial taste was overpoweringly sweet. There was a very subtle fruit flavor, but the level of sweetness was too great for me. Drinking this hot again, I might mix it with a plain, strong black tea.
I took the rest of the cup and put it over ice. Now, this was really good! The sweetness seemed to have mellowed and I was left with a fruity rendition of a Southern Sweet Tea. The plum was very distinct, so it was as if I had sweetened the tea with a bit of jam.
It appears that revenge truly is best served cold.
The components of this tea are very small compared to other Genmaicha I’ve had. The fragrance is clean and aqueous; think of cucumber or watermelon rind.
Once prepared, the aroma of toasty-goodness fills the room. Genmaicha always makes my mouth water. This one sets up as a nice honey color and the flavor of the toasted rice predominates over the green tea base.
I prefer a little more of a green tea profile. One of my favorite teas is Ryokucha by Samovar. However, that one also has Matcha powder which I believe technically makes it a Maccha-iri genmaicha? For a true Genmaicha, I’m thinking this is quite good.
This one is more mellow than its older sibling First. The tea brews darker, richer and is more full-bodied than First Darjeeling. This tea is malty and sweet and lacks the citrusy snap I found in First.
This wasn’t bad, but I really enjoyed the fresh, crisp quality of First Darjeeling a little more.