28 Tasting Notes
Another tea I put off reviewing. Kind of mediocre. It’s fairly smooth with some light astrigency and bitter notes. Not much complexity here, and a touch on the bland side, but I won’t hold that against it as I prefer my ‘staple’ teas to be smooth and basic. I agree with another reviewer in that it tastes like a black (basic assam) tea….and actually reminds me of lipton tea but with a tad more complexity and some sweet honey notes that finish up at the end. Honestly, this tea isn’t all that memorable or enchanting (no cha qi) so I won’t order again because there are too many teas out there which have more to offer. What could be expected for the price? ….. the economical price might make it good for Kombucha or as a basic staple. It held many steeps.
Flavors: Astringent, Honey, Pepper
I took a lot of time studying this tea before reviewing. It was like riding a bronco. At first, I hated it, and was annoyed with how temperamental it can be ( I over steeped it many times). However, as time went on and I figured it out a little more I came to enjoy its complexity and energy. 175F for 4 minutes is the sweet spot for me. It is extremely astringent and bitter overall, heavily spicy, but with a mild body. The soup produced is a medium golden color. Tastes mostly of black pepper with a basil/cilantro aftertaste – there is a tinge of smokiness throughout but not the type of smoke you would experience in a Lapsang souchong. The energy of the tea is invigorating and refreshing; and of special note. I’m not sure I will order anytime soon, but I could see myself ordering it down the road as an evening tea. It was an interesting experience overall.
Flavors: Astringent, Herbs, Pepper, Smoke, Spicy
(2016 version) This tea is robust and full bodied. The extreme malty flavor hits your palate immediately and stops quickly. It has a slight smokiness with mild chocolate notes to it. The aftertaste is a lingering vanilla sweetness. I do like this tea, however, it is outshined by its cousin the “Classic Laoshan Green Tea” in just about every category:Flavor, Complexity, Body, etc. so I will probably not order the black version any time soon (as the green spoiled me) but I would recommend this tea to others. If you are trying to decide between the green/ black; the black is not as heavy as its green counterpart IMHO. The green is very savory and heavy while the black is more laidback and sweet. Either way this is worth the price and I’m glad I tried both for comparison purposes. The cha qi is fairly energizing.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Smoke, Vanilla
It’s not a bad tea, but not memorable either. It’s simple, not complex, and has a semi sweet/honey mid taste with subtle mineral notes. It’s a bold but not very flavorful tea. For a gold tea it’s just not sweet or complex enough for me. I find it pretty bland in taste. The price tag on it isn’t justified . Someone else might find it ‘amazing’ but this just sat on my shelf until all my favorite teas were gone (and reviewed). Even now I barely had the desire to give it a review. It is not a horrible tea but if someone secretly stole this from my cupboard I probably wouldn’t notice. I had no desire to experiment at all with this. It isn’t a picky tea though…and is smooth.
Flavors: Honey, Mineral, Smooth
2nd purple tea varietal that I’ve tried. I like it. Medium fullness in the mouth. Has slight green apple notes to start and then finishes with an Agave (‘malty honey’) aftertaste which lingers on for a while. It is slightly astringent and a bit sharp but no bitterness when steeped at 185 F for a few minutes. I will tweak this review a bit later, as I don’t feel like I have the full grip on it yet.
Flavors: Astringent, Green Apple, Honey, Malt
(Spring 2016 version of this tea). I expected to come out loving this tea, as I have had other milk oolongs before and I have to say I that I don’t particularly care for this tea due to: inconsistency, bitterness, easily over-steeped, requires two tsps (for me). It’s very inconsistent in that even when I steep it the same way it doesn’t always taste the same. I found that I only liked it when I steeped it at 190 F (2 tsps) for two or three minutes. It gets a bitter aftertaste if it is over-steeped, and when under-steeped there is no flavor there. When I get it the way I want it it can be a very nice tasting tea with a good creamy ratio (marshmallow/creme brulee sugar flavor) and no bitterness….but it takes a lot of energy to get it to that point and then it’s only that way for one steep. I might try it at a different season but hesitant to waste money on it again.
Flavors: Bitter, Marshmallow, Milk
The version I’m reviewing is the Autumn 2016 version. Really excellent tea, tastes more expensive than what it’s being sold for. Primarily chocolate with malty undertones. Has a scent that resembles the cannabis plant. Not super complex, but tastes amazing, and has a bold feel (for any beer drinkers) like a stout in tea form. The price + taste will make this a regular for me.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Plants