644 Tasting Notes
Two bags left. So far I am not impressed. I’ve had 3 cups and found each to be lackluster. A truly boring cup of tea with nothing but a slight astringency and minimal grassy flavor. I’m truly disappointed because I was hoping for the volcanic terroir to impose some interesting characteristics… but this is just a plain cup of blah…
This is the 2018 harvest. A marvelous cup… or three. Only 5g of the sample so I used the whole thing in one go to aquire the most flavor. Should probably be writing down the sipping times but then I feel like I focus more on the time and less on the flavor. This doesn’t have the roasted notes like you would find in a hojicha, I find them a bit more subtle. Though they really come out in the aroma when using an aroma cup set. Also sensing some strange green pepper notes every now and then. No astringency just a smooth flavor and mouth feel. So many unique flavors on ones palette with this tea. Sometimes I taste chocolate notes other time floral notes. Tomato? So unique!
I find most Christmas teas, like the other two of the 2018 seasonal collection, are heavy in flavor. This one, however, is quite light. It has a citrusy appeal that gives you a clean mouth feel but without the heavy astringency sometimes found by combining both black tea and citrus fruits. If you tend to drink tea a lot you will be able to detect the subtle nuances of flavor this tea adds to your palette but those who don’t drink tea much or at all they will most likely find this to be too light. I personally am not a big fan of this type of citrusy tea and don’t appreciate the unneeded flavoring but I do think this could appeal to others.
When you spend a good penny on tea you really want it to taste like heaven is in your mouth. Unfortunately, this pretty penny tea just isn’t doing that for me. When I first opened the lid I was hit with a medicinal aroma. Not at all what I was expecting. Then again I’ve never smelled a Lotus flower so I had no idea of what to expect; just assumed it would have that sweet floralness to it like Jasmine. The green base has a somewhat roasty flavor to it that blends really well with the lotus flavor but for the most part is overpowered by the lotus.
Shangri-la is defined as a remote, beautiful, imaginary place. So one would assume that when using this name for a tea they are suggesting it is a beautiful tea, with beautiful flavor. Utopian tea. This unique tea, while classified as a black tea is more akin to a Darjeeling. Though all Darjeelings are currently classified under black processing they are actually processed slightly different and that is what leads to their uniqueness. The difference is in two parts of the processing stage: The wither stage, which is longer than black, and the oxidation stage, in which the leave will not be allowed to fully oxidize like black tea does. If one was trying to determine what type of tea this was simply by looking at the leaves they may find it tough going as Darjeeling leaves are greener in color then black leaves. This tea in particular has gorgeous rolled leaves of slight greens, browns, and whites. The aroma is simply, shangri-la. Pleasant and beautiful. The flavor is equivalent. Clean and refreshing with floral and slight vegetal notes. One of the main reasons this tea will probably not be considered a Darjeeling, at least for now, is because it is not grown in Darjeeling. Only a tea grown in Darjeeling can be called one.
Jasmine in green tea is as well known as milk in coffee. And yet despite how many companies sell it not all poses the quality that Rakkasan does. Upon opening your bag you will find beautiful tea leaves; dark green. The scent of jasmine will consume your sense of smell. Enjoy it now because the smell fades as it is brewed. For the best jasmine flavor try it first at 2 minutes. Seems to me that after 4 minutes the jasmine flavor is somewhat diminished by the tannins. If you are a fan of honey in your tea this is a good one for it as it brings out more of the jasmine.
I’ve seen some good reviews for this tea so I had my hopes up but honestly I am not enjoying this tea at all. Maybe I just added the wrong amount of ingredients in my cup but the taste I am getting is not buttery or any hint of maple syrup. Maybe a bit citrusy with a weird tropical splash of coconut.
With a name like MASCULIN I’m sure no one knew quite what to expect with this one. To be honest I really thought it was going to be a Lapsang Souchong. Either way I don’t like this one or the later mentioned tea. But I’m going to drink it all because we could all use a bit more vitality in our lives. If tea were a man this would be him. Mix him with Lapsang Souchong and you’d get a real outdoors gentleman. For once the rooibos isn’t the star of the show. Generally, rooibos takes over whatever is put in the tea bag with it. Even the ginseng is somewhat undertoned by this woody flavor. I’m assuming it must be the maca.