1052 Tasting Notes
I did not get that much sleep, and my head feels like it’s in a fog, so I pulled this favourite from my prized hoard. And it was wonderful for a hot 30 seconds before I immediately knocked it over with my laptop (I got three sips in). I am so numb. The end (but not really, because I’m definitely resteeping this precious beverage. Ugh).
Edit – Steep Count: 2. YAY!
Also I “rediscovered” the curry leftovers from yesterday. Now I’m comfortably numb.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Malt, Roasted, Tangy, Tobacco
I passed this one on to someone else today but I had some good times with Bossa Nova. This kind of roasted oolong pairs so well with nutty flavours (in this case hazelnut). It’s kind of creamy, smooth, and sweet – giving rise to thoughts of Nutella. It’s a comfort tea but I can’t help but think it could step up its game a little (it’s kind of.. pasty textured? I don’t know).
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Floral, Hazelnut, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Vanilla
May 2021 Harvest – First Flush
This was included as a free sample in my last What-Cha order. Thank you! I don’t think I’d tried teas from Nepal before checking out What-Cha; all the ones I’ve had so far have been pretty good – this one included!
Aroma: The dry leaf smells like some kind of funky tree trail mix, like nuts, something fruity (dried apricot?), floral, and “plant” (yes, tea is plant. I am very observant). The broth is nutty and fruity like orange zest and apricot.
To taste, there are some lovely purple fruit notes, like grapes and plums. The nuts from the aroma carry over and so does “plant” (it’s a tree!). There’s also a “starchy” flavour that is like banana and/or sweet potato. Banana/plantain really comes out in the finish as it cools. It’s nice.I’m having a good time, in part because of this tea but also because I’m eating Palak Paneer and Butter Chicken (maybe I should’ve picked up some momos in spirit of this tea but I was really feeling Punjabi cuisine tonight. Life’s alright).
Flavors: Apricot, banana, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Oak, Orange, Plum, Raisins, Roasted Nuts, Stonefruit, Sweet Potatoes, Wood
Spring 2021 Harvest
I’ve this online tea buying “coping mechanism” (read: bad habit) of not paying attention to currency exchange rates. Usually, this protects my sanity and allows me to try some tasty teas. This tea though (made me cry) is lucky it tastes so good! Ha.. ha.. (I need to pay better attention to currency exchanges).
The aroma of dry leaf is a Sherbet Fountain (ie – powdered sugar and licorice, but I may be remembering those wrong). Steeped up, the cup takes on the aroma of caramel, chocolate, sweet malt leftovers (like from beer processing). I love all of these smells.
1st steep reminds me of Premium Taiwanese Assam or similar, but slightly more subtle: powdered sugar, sweet potato, cocoa, caramel, pepper/berry-citrus finish (intensity fades as cooled). As it cools, I also get mineral notes, and milk.. so much milk. I love when my teas have “in-built” milk or cream notes.
2nd steep is smoother than the first, with more mineral and milk. The lingering aftertaste reminds me of dark chocolate with (black/blue?) berries and honey. It’s such an easy drinker (which makes that exchange rate burn all the more).
3rd steep (6min) has notes of sweet potato, berries, honey, powdered sugar, and cream. Very PTA.
Steep Count: 3 (+ initial Rinse)
Anyways, this tea is super neat, checks off all of my “good black tea” boxes, and comes from a pretty cool location (we can grow tea where now!?). I’d consider reordering this again, despite the expense.
Flavors: Berries, Caramel, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Milk, Mineral, Pepper, Powdered Sugar, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
Had this too tonight because it’s tradition (not really, but just got my replenishment in mail + Mom’s Apple Pie took me back to 2011! All I’m missing is Carrot Cake for the complete set).
No, the real reason I’m drinking this is because it’s probably the No.1 most requested tea by family and friends. Anyone comes over wanting tea and sees it in the cupboards instantly wants it. Pumpkin Spice Law. Oh, well. I’m not complaining and it makes a good latte.
Bumping the rating up to 85, because despite my snobbish protests, I, umm… instantly restock this when I run out whenever possible.
Flavors: Allspice, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coconut, Nutmeg, Pumpkin Spice
Buying this was a pure act of nostalgia. This was my first loose leaf tea (along with Pumpkin Chai) back in Fall 2011! I used to own really fancy tins for both that have since gone the way of the dinosaur.. but the memories linger. Like the mistaken belief that maybe I didn’t need to buy so much food in undergrad afterall because tea was actually more satisfying, thank you (poor budget choices which still persist today). 100g of artificial candy green apple tea tin will sustain thee for 3 seconds!
Ok, so I didn’t originally love this one as I had yet to crack the “secret” of green tea in 2011 (don’t steep it in boiling temps or for long times). Years later, I’ve figured out my preferences (and kettles), and decided to steep under DT recommendations. Now, I too love this tea. Artificial apple candy aroma steeps into a wonderful baked green apple with vanilla/brown sugar and (non-barky) cinnamon notes. I remember this tea being dry, but not anymore apparently (I’m not using the m-word, but it’s a pie flavour so really it’s a bonus).
I’d get more of this (in all it’s artificial glory), actually. I also don’t understand why this wasn’t a seasonal fall staple after 2011, like Pumpkin Chai (but that’s probably the nostalgia talking).
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Cinnamon, Green Apple, Pastries, Spices, Vanilla
September 2021 Bonus/Reblend Tea
This is the bomb, and it resteeps well too. I enjoyed the original (waaaay back when), but I believe this re-blend tastes richer and smoother. Might do a more detailed note later; for now I only want to express my deep affection for Butterbeer (like butterscotch, cream soda, root beer, malty cream, and magic in a cup).
Steep Count: 3
Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Cream, Malt, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla
Oat milk makes everything better but this is still an odd and rough tea! The cardamom flavour morphs into musky, floral tobacco and back again. With a hint of pine, it’s pretty drying/astringent. The flavour combo definitely reminds me of a mix of essential oils (the ones that are usually marketed as “woodsy fresh” and “sweet manly musk”).
It’s a pretty neat and novel blend but I don’t love it.
Flavors: Astringent, Cardamom, Earth, Floral, Herbaceous, Maple, Pine, Pleasantly Sour, Smoke, Tobacco, Wood
July 2021 Bonus Tea
I’ve been hoarding this one but decided to bring it out so I could call it my second citrus flavoured Bai Mudan (White Peony) dessert tea blend for the day! While I’m starting to think this combo can’t go wrong, I do prefer this blend to August Uncommon’s more temperamental Know My Heart. This one kind of tastes like creamy lemon custard today (yes, it’s both silky and juicy enough) and that’s always a win in my book.
I don’t know whether I prefer this or Sun and Cloud Mist; both are wonderfully crafted teas with bases I enjoy. Either is welcome in my cupboard anytime!
Flavors: Citrus, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Hay, Honey, Lemon, Marshmallow