246 Tasting Notes
This oolong blend formerly labelled as Chang-E Forever sounded very tempting, and boy, it really is a very nice oolong : although the aroma´s seem quite grassy-herbal to me (which is definitely a bad way to start to convince me ;-) ), once steeped it´s an elegant, floral tea. I cannot really encounter the apricot and citrus notes, as P&T indicates in its tasting notes :
“A gentle oolong (formerly Chang-e Forever) that melts with citrus and apricot notes of osmanthus petals for a floral bouquet with a touch of sweetness. It’s our tribute to Chang-e, the Chinese moon goddess, who according to legend lives on the moon among golden, sweet blossoms.”
2 infusions of 90s each allow you to enjoy it fully.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Tea
Golden Earl is P&T´s most “classical” Earl Grey blend, one that is not only very fragrant but also visually very nice (tea leaves almost too beautiful to steep!). P&T indicates that this blend can be infused 3 times and although I really enjoyed the first en 2nd infusion, I believe that the 3rd is not good enough. The aroma´s are strong, with the citrusy notes coming through in a natural way. Even after the second infusion, the tea leaves maintain the typical bergamot fragrance, which I can appreciate.
I bought this tea in a tin, and I must give an extra good mark to P&T for the excellent tin design so tins can be safely stacked; the branding is another very strong point of theirs.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrusy, Tea
First tea of another large order of 10 teas I made over the Christmas period. I could buy teas from this Italian company in a private sale, which mainly means at more reasonable prices! as far as I know, I´ve never tried teas from this company but I thought their own blends sounded fascinating (and different from what I´m used to).
I also bought this Darjeeling, as I´m currently trying out some different origin Darjeelings (from different companies, that is) in replacement for a wonderful one I finished (and the tea company in UK called it a day as well, unfortunately). Enjoyable enough, but far less elegant than I what I expect from a Darjeeling TGFOP. I infused it twice with similar result.
Flavors: Floral, Tea
I was so intrigued by others commenting P&T that I not only wanted to taste some samples (like in an advent calendar), I took advantage of a special offer and ordered 8 different teas! This was one of the ones I really wanted to try, as I´m an Earl Grey fan, and the addition of juniper sounds great.
I like the packaging and I love the aromas when opening the tea package! I´m not so sure about how it changes when brewed…or should I say that the aroma´s promise more than what I finally taste in mouth? I hoped to have a deeper and longer juniper effect, I guess. The tea leaves can be infused twice, with a similar result, so that´s nice.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrusy, Tea
I´m not a huge green tea fan, but I keep on tasting green teas, in the hope I´ll be able to be blown away by one ;-) …and this might well be the one!
Wow, green tea alright, but with so much complexity, good mouthfeel, nothing too subtle for me to appreciate (it has happened to me before with superb green teas, where I cannot “get it”)! The leaves are narrow and bright, and allow for a great second steep as well.
When I was deciding on the teas to order from this great tea company, I was looking into the Korean teas they offer. For a few years ago, I had a tea after my meal in a Korean restaurant, and although that one was a red tea, and in a teabag, it was great (must have been the best tea ever for me in a restaurant), but at the restaurant they couldn´t give me more information about it, so since then, I have this fascination to try out Korean teas).
This is the info on K&S T&C co :
It is widely known as ‘sparrows tongue’ for its small, sharp, pointed leaf which is a vibrant, bright green in appearance. The term ‘Woojeon’ literally translates to ‘before it rains’ as this second flush green tea is picked before the rainy season.
It is grown on the volcanic island of Jejudo which is the only place that has won a triple-crown – Biosphere Reserve in 2002, World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 2007 and Geological park in 2010 – from UNESCO in the natural environment field, making the most of the salty sea breeze and the fertile volcanic soil.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Green, Nutty
From Kent&Sussex Tea&Coffee Co website :
Sikkim 1st Flush Tea is a rare, fascinating Indian Black Tea FTGFOP1 from the Himalayan State of Sikkim. The area lies near to Darjeeling district, hence why the taste of this infusion is somewhat comparable to that of its neighbour.
It consists of a well-made leaf with ample tip, which, when brewed, boasts a bright liquor with a beautifully rounded floral character.
Only two Tea Estates lie within Sikkim. Our Sikkim First Flush Tea comes from the Temi garden, the oldest and most prestigious of the two.
Indeed very similar to a Darjeeling, but this tea already stands out when looking at its colour (copper), and in nose it seems sweeter. In mouth, it has a denser mouthfeel (I don´t really know how to describe this, but it seems you´re also eating something at the same time), which gives it a definite “morning cuppa” character ;-) .
I gave it a second steep as well, but it seems to lose quite a lot of character, so won´t do it again.
Flavors: Flowers, Sweet
When I finally could see my family in Belgium back after 22 months because of the pandemic, my sister-in-law gave me a pack of this first flush darjeeling, remembering the wonderful first flush darjeeling I had served her and my brother when they visited us in Hampshire, UK a few years ago. Unfortunately, the tea company I bought that darjeeling from is no more, so it´s difficult finding a replacement.
The German company responsable for picking and distributing this specific darjeeling is new to me, but it seems they offer great value for money, which I can appreciate a lot (yes, there are a lot of huge brands around, often providing wonderful teas at premium prices, but smaller brand names might just be able to sell even nicer teas without the posh packaging ;-) ).
The first time I brewed this darjeeling I wasn´t particularly impressed (probably comparing too much to that previous first flush darjeeling), as I thought the liquor was maybe a bit too pronounced in colour, the aroma´s not as elegant as I wanted them to be, but in mouth it´s a nice and gentle first flush alright. As the leaves are still in a bright and lively condition after one brew, I decided to steep them again, and I even think the tea grows with a second steeping! I now always take 2 mugs with one and the same teaspoon of loose tea. I tried steeping it a third time once, but there, quality and enjoyment went straight down ;-)
A final note : I truly believe that a good pouch (with zipper) is a better way of maintaining the quality of these fine teas. I shall need to drink this tea a lot and/or put the bag in a tin.
I used a tea bag “Darjeeling Finest” from Palais des Thés (one I got in my hotel when staying in Calais last time), but I cannot find the blend with that name on PdT´s website, so was looking for the description (a sweet and floral blend from the top Darjeeling tea gardens) instead and figure it must be this one.
This is definitely a stronger character sweet (malty) darjeeling to take in the morning, prone to getting bitter when oversteeping. Nice but once you´ve tried an elegant first flush darjeeling, you tend to ignore these “other” darjeeling teas ;-)
Flavors: Malt, Smoke, Sweet, Tea
I bought a big pouch of this tea and found part of it still in my cupboard …and wow, how I like it even more now! A very nice oolong, with an earthy character I can appreciate a lot, especially in the morning ;-) . In a way, it´s like food and drink at the same time, no wonder this tea comes from Africa! I also like that the leaves are big and open up so beautifully while steeping.
Flavors: Earth, Tea
Although the pouch states “best before Feb2025”, I notice a change in aroma when dry which is confirmed once steeped, namely that the wooden fibre notes are dominating the senses now. It sort of introduces a rooibos character without it being a rooibos blend.
Maybe I should steep it shorter now? Little is left in the pouch, so I cannot experiment a lot, but it´s a shame the apple character is mostly gone.
Flavors: Apple Skins, Hay, Wood