104 Tasting Notes

90

A strong, black tea—a blend of Assam and Yunnan. There is an earthy, malty, and spicy flavor to it, most likely malt from the Assam and earthy and spicy from the Yunnan leaves. But the two varieties of tea blend well together and each add their own flavors to the mix. It’s interesting that I can taste both the Assam and the Yunnan as separate flavors within the tea as I concentrate of its flavor. Overall a very enjoyable, strong tea that I am glad I purchased!

Flavors: Earth, Malt, Spicy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
gmathis

Been quite a wile, but I remember liking this one!

teepland

gmathis: Just read your tasting note on this tea — glad you found it appealing as well!

gmathis

Good grief…I just looked back, too. Ten years? (Confound it, I’m getting old!)

teepland

Ha! I just appreciate all the years of advice and recommendations you’ve posted on here, gmathis! :)

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95

A sample I received with a recent order from Upton. I’ve never had Colombian tea before, so I was interested in trying it.

I can’t remember having a tea blend that is as smooth and creamy as this one! I can taste hints of cocoa and honey in the liquor, but they are just slight enough to be there. Otherwise, it is a truly remarkable, smooth black tea with almost no astringency. I’ll definitely purchase more of this in a future order!

Flavors: Cocoa, Creamy, Honey, Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
gmathis

Definitely making a note!

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75

Sample that I received from a recent order from Teabox. The flavor is very typical for a Darjeeling: strong muscatel flavor with a slight hint of cherries. Astringent.

It’s a very pleasant tea but nothing spectacular. I’d certainly drink it again, but I don’t know if I’d order a large quantity to keep on hand.

Date of picking: November 26, 2020

Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Muscatel

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 9 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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95

Brewed 9 grams of dried tea leaves in 20 ounces of near-boiling natural spring water for 4 minutes.

Dried tea leaves were broken with very little stems. Very light and tippy. More green in tone than I expected.

Resulting liquor is light and golden—much lighter than I expected.

The flavor has strong floral and fruity notes with tropical fruits, cherries, and a slight hint of grapes and raisins most identifiable. Astringent.

This tea is absolutely wonderful! Light, but with a wonderfully full mouthfeel. I am enjoying this on a slow morning, but it would be better as an afternoon or evening tea, I think. I will gladly order more of this in the future.

Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Raisins, Tropical

Preparation
9 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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75

Brewed 9 grams of dried tea leaves in 20 ounces of near-boiling natural spring water for 4 minutes.

Dried tea leaves were broken and had some stems.

Resulting liquor is a smooth reddish-brown, like copper.

Flavor has a slight astringency, with hints of molasses and raisin. Enjoyable and refreshing, but definitely not a favorite for me.

Flavors: Astringent, Molasses, Raisins

Preparation
9 g 20 OZ / 591 ML
Sierge Krьstъ

This is the one I wanted to get but caught with another vendor dealing with brexit muse, just wanted to tick off high from Malawi thylo dark

derk

Oh my gosh, that sounds like a caffeine overdose for me. Do you enjoy African black teas, teepland?

teepland

derk: honestly, this was the first single-estate African tea that I’ve had. I’m definitely interested in trying more!

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85

Dried leaves are broken and slightly tippy.

Brewed with spring water—4 minutes at near boiling.

The liquor is a bright reddish-brown. I picked up strong flavors of dates and malt with a woody and clover honey undertone, but very little astringency and no bread/toast, which surprised me for an Assam tea. This isn’t as heavy as other Assams, either, so this can be enjoyed throughout the day—not just a breakfast tea.

This is certainly an enjoyable tea that is a welcome addition to my cupboard.

Date of “Packing” (unsure about picking): May, 2021

Flavors: Dates, Honey, Malt, Wood

Preparation
6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
gmathis

What a treat! I’ve rarely had the opportunity to enjoy a bunch of leaves that fresh.

teepland

gmathis: I made a mistake when I wrote the original post (I’ve edited it now). I read the bag incorrectly and thought it listed “date of picking” as May, 2021 — it actually merely said “date of packing” was in May. So, I actually have no idea when this was picked! :/ I checked the other Teabox tea that I reviewed last week and it noted the same thing: date of “packing” instead of “picking”. Since packing is quite a different step than picking, I made sure to edit the posts to list this appropriately.

gmathis

Considering that most of my current pantry stash is older than a couple of my cats, I’ll bet you’ve still got me trumped on freshness ;)

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90

I’m a big fan of Margaret’s Hope second flushes, and this one did not disappoint.

We recently installed a new water softener at our house. Since installing the water softener, I’ve noticed a diminished quality to my teas, so I wanted to experiment with this tea that I am familiar with.

I brewed this on two separate occasions. The first time, I brewed using filtered tap water that had been run through the softener (which uses salt to soften the water) and allowed the water to come to a boil. The second time, I brewed using spring water and stopped the heating process just before reaching boiling.

Both occasions revealed the usual astringency and muscatel flavor of the tea, but the flavors were much more pronounced with the spring water. I also had the flavors of apricots and wet rocks with the spring water — flavors I was expecting and hoping for. Neither of these flavors came out with the filtered, softened tap water, but there was a very strong taste of raisins with the softened water.

I am glad I ran the experiment with the water, as it helped me to realize what I am missing when I use the softened, filtered tap water. I think the naturally-occurring minerals in unsoftened water add so much to the tea. I am going to avoid using softened water going forward and try out various waters to find the ones that add the most to my tea experience.

Anyway, this tea is as excellent as it has been in previous years and am looking forward to enjoying it again all summer long.

Date of “Packing” (unsure about picking): May, 2021

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Muscatel, Raisins, Wet Rocks

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 9 g 20 OZ / 591 ML
ashmanra

Didn’t enjoy my first Darjeeling because I wasn’t making them right, mostly. But a second flush Margaret’s Hope was the first one I enjoyed, so it has a special place for me. Still my favorite.

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95

When I first started drinking tea regularly, it was Assam teas that brought me in. This is a perfect example of why they hooked me!

This tea is still one of my favorites. I purchased a large quantity of it back in 2018 and it is holding up well, even four years after picking.

This is a malty, full-bodied Assam tea, with hints of oats and caramel in the flavor. An excellent breakfast tea and a delight for any Assam fans.

Date of Picking: June, 2017

Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Caramel, Malt, Oats, Toast

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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60

Just received this from Vahdam over the weekend and was excited to try it. Brewed western style for just over four minutes.

The flavor was okay — nothing special. There’s a slight muscatel flavor to it — nothing further. I expected more, based on the price they are asking for it.

I haven’t been impressed with teas from Vahdam lately and this is an example of why. They started off delivering wonderful teas about 4-5 years ago, but recent shipments just haven’t had the same quality, IMO.

I’ll finish this off but won’t order it again. I’ll try blending this with another Darjeeling to see if I can enhance the flavor a bit.

Date of Picking: July, 2020

Flavors: Muscatel

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90
drank Keemun Snail by Harney & Sons
104 tasting notes

I went for a run first thing this morning, and today is the final day of the Bundesliga season, so I am now watching soccer. An excellent morning so far, so it calls for an excellent tea.

I brewed it western style for just over 4 minutes.

This is so smooth and creamy — no spice to it at all. Slightly astringent but in a good way. I taste cedar and sweet potatoes as flavors.

This is definitely one I savor on special days — even if that “special” day is as mundane as today. Happy Saturday, all!

Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Creamy, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 9 g 20 OZ / 591 ML
gmathis

Mundane special days are the best.

Tiffany :)

I also had a nice Saturday; weather was nice, went to car wash with boyfriend for his car, got to spend time with my family as a group for only 2nd time since March 2020 (other time was July 2020), and my soccer team Columbus Crew had an away match – and we won! :D I did not however drink as much tea as I should have.

Not a big black tea drinker but this tea sounds nice – might have to get a sample next time I make an Harney order.

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Profile

Bio

Husband and father. Librarian. Soccer fan.

My tea habits generally depend on my mood and the season but, in general, my preferred teas are black teas, especially those grown in Sri Lanka and India. I will occasionally drink other types, though.

Unless noted in my review, I brew my tea western style and do not use additives (milk/cream, sugar, etc.).

I am definitely not an expert when it comes to tea, so I apologize if my reviews differ from the experiences you’ve had with any of the teas I have logged.

Please feel free to contact me and let me know if you have a favorite that I have to try! :)

My grading for tea:

100: Perfect.

90, 95: Excellent.

80, 85: Very good.

70, 75: Good.

60, 65: Okay.

50, 55: Meh.

40, 45: Not so good.

0-35: Awful.

Location

Northwest Indiana, USA

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