650 Tasting Notes
The small balls of tea resemble Irish Breakfast and for that reason I was very wary in steeping this one as Irish Breakfast steeps fast. Go over and it becomes bitter quickly. Thus far I’ve tried it hot and cold. But I like how it smells the most. Harhar. All joking aside I think I enjoy it most when it is cold steeped. The strawberry flavor is definitely the main attraction but the black tea helps really round it out nicely.
Apple Brandy. If it is as good as this tea is then I really want to try some. The dry and wet leaf have a light fruity smell. Not quite an apple smell but maybe cooked apple? It’s just a guess but I believe the black base used is English breakfast. Somewhat woodsy with different earthy notes popping up here and there. A unique blend with the fruity notes that come from the apples. Surprisingly I do not taste the brandy but then again alcohol is very hard to detect in tea even when brewed correctly.
A very unique oolong. They say its only oxidized till 45% but the leaves look so dark! It has woodsy and floral notes mixed together but not like the orchid notes in a lightly oxidized oolong, more like a flower growing out of a cedar tree that has leeched some of the cedar notes. The wet leaves have almost a cigarette smell to them. Not quite as gross as that smell but just not the nicest wet leaf tea smell.
My first few tastings were ok. I wasn’t as appreciative of it as I have been with other. However, after forgetting I had a cup left and letting it sit for a while I came back to discover it’s true floral flavors are to be discovered when cooled. The dry leaves have a very light, roasty aroma. Gorgeously twisted with care. The scent is so light that it’s almost non-existent, so you really have to stick your nose in the bag. The wet aroma reveals some interesting floral characteristics. The flavor, when steeped between 30 seconds to a minute, are mainly grassy with slight vegetal hints and a somewhat mineral after taste.
This tea brings back memories of my three week study aboard in China. While in Shanghai we were able to experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, though honestly I don’t quite remember if it was gong fu or something else. One of the teas I bought afterward came in a really cool box and I didn’t know till later but it was a ginseng oolong. Like milk oolong it’s a unique and somewhat strange tea. Starts off like a darker oolong but it’s the aftertaste that really makes it unique. Such an interesting mouth feel.
The Tea guy has really out done himself with this one. Subtle but tasty notes of vanilla. Not just your run of the mill vanilla either. It smells wonderful too. (Sidenote: I just picked up my 8 month old son and took a sip and he gave me this look and started licking his lips. I think he’s going to be a tea drinker!) Now for those who are looking for bourbon notes I’m going to warn you that they don’t pop out like the vanilla. Also if you’ve never had bourbon before you probably won’t quite know what you are looking for. The first time I discovered the bourbon it was like lightning. How did he do that! Oh I suppose I should also mention that the rooibos he uses is amazing.It is sweet and perfect for this blend.