30 Tasting Notes
The dried leaves are a dull brown and broken in small pieces. I see some pieces of stem mixed in, though there are also some nicely curled full leaves. They have a rich, roasted scent, like the rice that sticks to the side of the pot and gets crunchy. Yum!
When steeped, the tea is a dark golden-orange. It smells of slightly charred toast and roasted nuts, and tastes like toasted rice, a full deep flavor that lingers. A very thick, full mouthfeel. There’s no astringency, even if you accidentally oversteep it. It’s a tea that holds up very well to multiple resteepings, and that gives a lot of flavor for few leaves.
I’m not actually a huge fan of Ti Kuan Yins, but this is an excellent example of the best the tea can be. It’s a wonderful wake-up tea, especially on cold, gray mornings.
(Note: purchased loose-leaf, Dec 2019. Not sure of country of origin.)
Flavors: Char, Roasted Barley, Toast, Toasted Rice
The dried leaves are pine green and twisted into small balls, like gunpowder tea. They smell vegetal, like spinach or other greens.
When steeped, the tea is pale golden green. The leaves unfurl into full, complete leaves, with occasional small pieces of stem or twig. The size of the leaves compared to their dry state is really impressive! It smells of a lovely warm toastiness, like roasted nuts. The flavor is mild with absolutely no astringency, and has notes of wood and grass.
The tea makes for excellent second and even third steeps.
I had low expectations for a mass-produced tea like this company, but this is actually really high quality.
Flavors: Dry Grass, Roast Nuts, Vegetal, Wood
The dried leaves are black, long and thin and twisted. They smell of wood and dry earth. It’s a really well-blended scent, making it difficult to pick out precise notes.
When steeped, the tea is a brownish orange. The leaves don’t uncurl as much as I expected, but stay long and thin. The tea’s scent is fairly mild, but I catch toast and a green vegetable-ness. It tastes of toast and dry earth, with extremely low astringency.
I have to admit, the price for this tea is so much lower than is usual of Darjeelings that I was convinced it had to be falsely labelled. But it tastes good enough that I don’t care if it is!
Flavors: Brown Toast, Earth, Loam, Toast, Vegetal, Wood
The dried leaves are a rich dark brown, almost black. There’s a lot more dust and fannings than I usually see in Darjeelings, but there’s some good-sized leaves too. The scent is autumn leaves and wood and malt.
The steeped tea is a deep, orangey-brown. It smells of malt and autumn leaves. The taste is typical Darjeeling: very little astringency, a bit of muscatel, some woody and dead leaf-y notes.
Overall, a very good mid-range Darjeeling. Not the best I’ve ever had, but a great buy for the price.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Malt, Muscatel, Wood
The dried leaves are dark green, mixed between small fannings and whole, curled leaves. They smell of wood smoke and baking bread. After steeping, the whole leaves uncurl beautifully and the tea is a rich orange color. The scent is chestnuts and butter and fresh grass. It tastes of toast, nuts, and honey. Not a stunner, but a really excellent everyday sort of tea.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Toast, Butter, Chestnut, Creamy, Cut Grass, Honey, Roasted
The dried tea leaves are olive-green and silver and very long. This can make it hard to pack enough into a tea strainer, since there’s a lot of air caught between them, making for an extremely mild cup of tea. The dried tea smells of wood and earth, dry grass.
The steeped tea is a very pale yellow-green. The scent is like leafy greens with a slight fruity sweetness. The taste is extremely mild, a bit like grass, with a burst of astringency in the aftertaste, which is quite nice after the previous mildness.
Overall a really wonderful tea, great on its own or with a meal.
Flavors: Astringent, Fruity, Grass, Spinach
A green tea where the fruit flavor is relatively mild – which is great for me, since I don’t like fruit teas where the extras completely overwhelm the taste of the tea leaves. Starfruit is the most prominent note of the fruit, with the mango, orange and papaya much more subtle in the background. Just a nice, well-rounded tea. I’ve only drunk it hot, but I’m sure it would be delicious iced as well.
Flavors: Citrus Fruits, Fruity
A very nice Darjeeling, without any at all of the astringency common to black teas from other regions. This actually reminds me more of an oolong than a black tea, except that it does have a noticeable element of muscatel. The taste is primarily nutty (almond more than peanut), but rich and complicated while still being fairly mild.
The steeped tea is an orangish brown. It has a very mild scent, nutty with fresh wood.
A really excellent tea.
Flavors: Almond, Clay, Muscatel
A really wonderful oolong, one of my very favorites. The taste is complex and hard to pin down in just a few adjectives. I get notes of wood, clay, the slight bitterness of apple skins, the warm summer taste of dried hay… it’s all just rich and round and I love it a lot.
The steeped tea is a reddish amber, with scents of roasted nuts, fresh baked bread, autumn leaves, and sugar.
Flavors: Apple Skins, Clay, Hay, Wood