90 Tasting Notes
Superlative Yunnan Tea!
This is, quite literally, one of the very best Yunnan teas that I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. It is sweet with notes of chocolate and caramel, as well as an apricot fruitiness. There are pronounced and pleasant rose like floral notes. There is also a mild maltiness with a subtle hint of almond. The overall best description of this superlative Yunnan tea would be Darjeeling-esque – In both aroma and taste – The love child of a tippy Yunnan and a second flush Darjeeling if you will. A single steep with a water temperature of 200-203F for four minutes worked best for me.
This tea will be a permanent item of my tea pantry for sure! Happy Earth Tea has the fastest shipping I have ever encountered, and I can’t wait to try the generous sample of premium Colombian black tea they included with my purchase!
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Caramel, Chocolate, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Rose
Adagio’s Irish Breakfast is a masterful blend of high quality, whole leaf Assam and Ceylon teas from the well regarded Meleng Estate in India and Kenilworth Estate in Sri Lanka respectively. A four minute steep at 212F produced a wonderfully complex breakfast tea with enticingly rich notes of malt, honey, baked bread, sweet fruit and a tiny bit of spice.
Some Irish Breakfast teas are in your face, brash, uncouth street ruffians with bad language, bad breath and B.O. that slap you awake! This is not one of those teas! Adagio’s Irish Breakfast is an urbane and handsome gentleman’s gentleman who graciously draws open the drapes and courteously announces in his soft, sweet, Irish accent that it’s time to awaken.
This smooth tea is quite easy to drink without additions, but is great with milk and honey too! Although a breakfast tea, this Irish blend would certainly work deliciously well at afternoon tea to revive one….gently. Naturally, it stands up to any food – savory or sweet. It was just right with my homemade, organic macaroni and cheese bake.
Adagio’s Irish Breakfast is an exquisite Irish Breakfast with real panache that has become my favorite go to tea. It’s enough to make this Anglo-Saxon Anglophile shout Éirinn go Brách!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet
Anastasia was my first tea from Kusmi and my ultimate favorite of their venerable Russian blends. In fact, Anastasia inspired me to explore Russian tea and Russian tea culture more extensively – And what a deliciously beautiful exploration it has been!
This tea makes me want to sing!
Step down from your star
I only know I love you so
Whoever you are!”
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Floral, Lemon, Lime, Orange Blossom, Sweet
Darjeeling Doppelgänger! Harney’s description of this tea is quite correct – “For those unfamiliar with teas from the Nilgiri region, this falls in between First and Second Flush
This tea, although a Nilgiri, has the best of all possible Darjeeling worlds. There is a lovely sweet orange blossom floral aroma and taste evocative of a fine first flush Darjeeling. There is a strong, and I do mean strong, muscatel grape flavor of a great second flush Darjeeling. There are notes of fruit, nuts (almond) and grain similar to an autumn flush Darjeeling. The tea is quite brisk without a trace of bitterness. Rich with good body.
This is a splendid Indian tea. If you like Darjeeling like I do, then you will love this Nilgiri. And that’s a promise!
Flavors: Almond, Flowers, Fruity, Grain, Grapes, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Sweet
I haven’t been drinking flavored teas lately and decided to purchase this little treasure at Richmond’s number one tea shop (salon de thé), Carytown Teas, which is the primary supplier for several cafes and hotels in the city. Patricia’s Blend is the creation of the shop’s kind and talented owner, Patricia Guillouard Adams, a native of France.
“Sweet and spicy, like its namesake”, as the shop’s description of the tea states, is right on point. The almond’s nutty sweetness, suggestive of vanilla, blends perfectly with the orange and spice. The flavors meld beautifully in the fruity organic Ceylon black tea base. As with most French blends that I have had, nothing is overdone. It is superb – My favorite flavored blend bar none.
So, Patricia, mon amie, I raise my mug and salute you – À votre santé! Merci!
Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Fruity, Nutty, Orange, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla
It’s a rainy weekend here in the Old Dominion. Rainy weekends call for cozy teas, and man oh man this is one cozy tea! I’m watching an old Jimmy Stewart movie on Turner Classics and sipping this. It’s very smooth with lots of natural sweetness. Lovely notes of caramel, honey and burnt sugar. Nice and malty. No rough edges whatsoever. I love that it’s organic too!
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Sweet
Nothing like a cozy camomile with which to settle in for the evening. Nice, with sweet vanilla and honey flavors. I added a bit of wildflower honey (I so love honey) that brought out a pleasant butterscotch flavor. Yummy!
Flavors: Butterscotch, Honey, Sweet, Vanilla
“Autumn Flush: The Best Darjeeling Tea You’ll (Likely Never) Taste” smugly proclaimed an October ’16 Tea Tuesday NPR story. Boulderdash! Shame on you NPR. This plain old Virginia boy has just imbibed the autumnal nectar of the Darjeeling gods!
The dry leaf had a sweet, sugarcane aroma with a suggestion of dried fruit. I used a rounded teaspoon (1.25 tsp) to 8oz of spring water. I use only spring water for fine Darjeeling. The suggested steeping time was 2-3 minutes. I steeped for 2 minutes and 45 seconds at the recommended temperature of 95C. The result was a very richly flavored Darjeeling. There was a red wine sweetness reminiscent of a fine dessert wine with notes of dates, black figs and wildflowers. Positively splendid! Hands down one of the greatest Darjeelings I’ve ever had. And NPR said it would most likely never happen. Ha! Piffle! Stuff and nonsense!
I love What-Cha Teas. They are simply the best! Very fast international shipping. Plus a much appreciated kind and thoughtful note from Alistair, who happened to mention that Red Thunder Darjeeling is one of his personal favorites. He also included a generous sample of a Nepali tea that I cannot wait to try. Thank you, Alistair!
Flavors: Dates, Fig, Flowers, Red Wine, Sugarcane, Sweet