1095 Tasting Notes
Thank you Infussion Tea for this generous sample!
When Infussion’s parcel arrived, my parents took one look at the Polish address and said you didn’t… No! I didn’t! This was a kind free sample from the company. I haven’t ordered a big box of expensive teas from overseas… Yet. I’m looking at you, Mariage Frères
I’ve had Dragonwell from a few places now so I was stoked (do people still use that word?) to try another! Infussion’s Longjing reminds me the most of Silk Road- not too dry and not too buttery. The Dragonwell from David’s Tea is so dry and nutty it makes my mouth pucker, while a cup from Andrews & Dunham’s is like butter on my tongue. The first steep of this caused neither of those reactions.
I don’t have a gongfu pot here or own a gaiwan so it was Western brewin’ style for me. The first steep was noticeably roasted and vegetal with some slight nuttiness (don’t ask me to name the nuts). The cup was also somewhat astringent as the water temperature was likely too high. Not bad for a kick. It came off a little strong but this is one of those teas that taste a lot better if you let it sit for a few minutes before drinking. Lowering the temperature sometimes helps with reducing astringency or bitterness.
At this point I was thinking it was OK but not sure if I would want to order this particular one again. Then I second steeped it. More roasted butter nut soft veggies!!! This is how I like my Dragonwell- mellow. I’m a wimp.
Before steeping it smells like pomegranate and black current juice. After steeping it luckily mellows down a bit and I’m able to pick up more of that vegetal, buttery white tea. Instead of following the packet instructions, I steeped “a small spoonful”, in my Perfect Mug, in low temperature water for about 4 minutes.
I can pick up citrus qualities from my cup, although it’s nowhere near as extreme as my Silk Road Earl White- a tea with a real overload of citrus and bergamot. Earl Black is more like a tame, almost flat, juice that may have seen a squeeze of citrus; just enough to give it a sour note.
It has a similar body to Big Apple from David’s Tea. Buttery mellowness, a little bit of fruit pizzazz, and some other notes that indicate that all the ingredients at one time or another came from a plant. The texture is oily. Astringency is almost nonexistent. Somewhat pasty, flaky, doughy when it cools down.
Comforting buttery qualities make me really like this but it isn’t a Super Adventure 9000+ Tea. The oil may seem ill-fitting with the fruity flavours at times, too.
I’ve never had a blackcurrant tea so I am personally highly amused and won over by this, although bergamot and strong flavoured it is not. The tea was also pretty lackluster on second steep.
“Day three” of 52teas advent. This note seems to be malfunctioning on multiple levels. Sorry!
the dry leaves are like a cross between delicious lemon meringue pie and fabric softener.
The liquor has more of a sanitized leafy scent but the taste is all lemon dessert for me. It’s a multiple part tasting experience: sweet and soft (marshmallow), lemon, sugar, then tart astringent green leaves. Aftertaste is very sour, as if I had just bitten into a lemon. I’ve had many kinds of citrus teas but I’ve never actually had one that seems to channel lemon flavour. By default this is the best lemon dessert tea I’ve ever had…
The downsides are that the sanitizer/freshener quality gives it a chemical funky taste on some notes. The multiple flavours may be jarring and the green tea brisker than what some may ideally want.
I don’t know, but this tea makes me want to embrace a soft white kitten, while eating lemon meringue pie and walking on fluffy plump clouds. At least, I think it’s the tea that makes me want to do that. It could be the lack of sleep. Possibly.
“Day two” of 52teas twelve day advent.
I’m not a huge fan of the smell of this one; it reminds me of those medicinal powdered dairy energy drinks. The liquid has that chalky Tums quality to it too- like the fruit ones. Maybe it’s because I haven’t slept in the last twenty-four hours but I think I like the “healthiness” of this more than I would on another day. Although, quite possibly, the opposite may be true and my grogginess may be hindering my appreciation for it. Will definitely try it again tomorrow.
Besides Tums, this also reminds me of a banana & pineapple flavored Orange Julius, which I don’t mind at all. Still not a huge winner for me at the moment, though.
This tastes increasingly better and less chalky when it cools down- more like its smoothie namesake.
I’m finally home for the holidays with my folks and I’m so excited! All the tea I ordered on the Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales was delivered here so coming back after semester finals was doubly anticipated. I’m running around with all these tea parcels and my father is just shaking his head. He told me that all he needs is his Red Rose. He’s missing out…
I didn’t know where to start but I figured I should get caught up on my 52teas advent calendar first.
Ah, my first cup ever, from this company! It’s funny that in all the times I’ve eyed the 52teas website and the various crazy “food items” I never imagined I would actually be able to smell or taste the tea in the blends. Yet, here the black base is unmistakably prevalent beneath a layer of fluffy cotton candy aroma. Neat! The scent that wafted from my advent packet makes me feel like it’s my birthday, or something equally exciting. Still, I’m somewhat skeptical; it smells so very airy and sugary but it has such a strong base!
I steeped it for two minutes. First impression is that it has a bit of an astringent nip! I was half expecting this to be over the top, artificially sweet, and the other half expecting it to be all bitter leaves. I’m pleased that it actually falls somewhere in the middle. The first notes are nippy but then it mellows down into a smoother black before finishing with a soft cotton candy brush. Melted caramel notes.
I’m torn on whether or not I love it. I’m disappointed in the astringency but I’m also happy that this is more a black tea with some unique flashiness than liquidized cotton candy that may have rolled in some tea leaves. I also appreciate that the flavour is prevalent and vivid without being overwhelmingly, nauseatingly sweet. It gets points in my book just for the subtle finish and true “tea-ness”.
I need to experiment with the rest of my sample. Maybe it would go well with milk? Iced? Iced latte?
This is more of a (temporary) farewell than a tasting note. I have two full pots of tea beside me to help me get through this fifteen page paper. Yuzu Temple is one of them. Honestly, I don’t think this one is going to get done on time but I can only keep working!
The citrus is strong with this one and at times it has salty and peppery notes. It has that sticky, cleaning, invigorating quality that you may notice in fruits of the same variety. It can be somewhat overwhelming like a perfume if you don’t keep it in check. I accidentally poured some into my cup that had previously been filled with English Rose and they surprisingly weren’t as oppositional as you would think. Hope the sweet and floral perfume overload doesn’t make me feel faint. It can do that sometimes. Need. TO. Be. Awake!
Anyways, I’m already excited to resume reading everyone’s tasting notes on the 16th! No sooner because I don’t want to see any spoilers for the twelve days of tea from 52teas. I don’t get to open mine up until I’m back on the mainland for the holidays. Happy tea drinking, everyone! :)
I went to David’s Tea today specifically for a tin of this and guess what? They were essentially all out! I still managed to get 92 grams worth but only in the result of emptying the wall tin of all its tea dust and white chocolate crumbs…uhh… Maybe I should have forgone all of the “special bits”, as my server put it, and saved myself a few extra dollars. I was hoping to be in the position to ask for extra rose buds too. I really love this tea.
That love appears to be a very subjective feeling for this tea, however. It makes sense, but I hadn’t realized the emotions that the strong floral notes rouse up in people would be so “strong” as well. Personally, the aroma alone is enough to make me skip in happiness. It makes me nostalgic too and reminds me of the rose flavoured Turkish Delights that my dad and I both enjoy around Christmas. I actually bought a box of Turkish Delights the other day but there were no lemon ones and too many crème de menthe ones. Disappointing
The first time I had this I liked it so much that I re-steeped it three times! Tonight’s cup isn’t as good as that. The excessive white chocolate residue made this particular steep rather scummy. It’s also slightly bitter which is probably due to me over-steeping it and the tea powder. It’s still has the ideal creamy, floral, and sweet profile so I will do second steep.
The white chocolate helps to offset what would otherwise be a very perfume-like drink; flowers cutting through cream. The fragrance’s sweetness is doubled, I feel, from that same chocolate, however. English Rose has a very dominant personality and, while I’m on the ‘pro’ end of the spectrum the sheer decadence and richness of it prevents this tea from being a drink I have on hand 24/7- just like how Turkish Delights are not a food to eat all day, every day. It’s more like something I want once every couple days
I’ve noticed that all the teas I went for today (Banana Dream, Ceylon Star, and English Rose) have white chocolate as an ingredient. I guess I like white chocolate.
The bitterness has actually nearly vanished after cooling down for a few minutes. Success!
I put off trying this toffee scented tea for the longest time. It smelled yummy, it just wasn’t something I particularly wanted to drink- especially in the context of all my other teas.
I finally got around to trying it today, along with sending out the majority of my parcels. In both cases (tea trying and parcels) I don’t know why I put it off for so long! Parcel sending is easy and this tea is tasty.
This teas has an imbedded natural sweetness that reminds me of Glitter & Gold and makes me feel reluctant to add anything else to it. It ends on a reminiscently salty note with a tad bit of astringency. It tastes exactly like salted caramel and is truly only missing the texture.Now I want some plain toffee. I really noticed the black tea on the first few sips when it was still hot.
The only downside is the flavour and scent are somewhat strong for me at times and makes me slightly lightheaded but I can overlook that.
Now, on to my last fifteen page essay of the semester. Maybe that will be easier than I thought too. Fingers crossed!
I’ve wanted to try this one since people began to post notes about it here on Steepster; the coconut, chocolate and star anise pairing had me intrigued. The last teas I tried with anise was Merry Cranberry and, while I wasn’t a huge fan of it initially, I’ve been craving to try it or something similar again since I ran out. Today I bought a 50 gram bag of this on impulse so I guess I better like it a little..
Wet leaves are 90% anise but the liquor has a pleasant cocoa scent. The flavour seems to be a compromise between the two with a dash of creamy coconut. The coconut and the chocolate components add a natural creamy sweetness while the anise gives it a soft licorice-like nip. I added some milk to my second cup and I’m picking up some discrete chocolate orange notes. There’s no orange in the tea so I don’t know where that comes from- probably the Ceylon?
From the remnants of a can that I should probably throw out, I added some pure warm coconut milk to my remaining glass which really just acts to strengthen the already present coconut, as well as to ascent the astringency and spiciness. Not noticing the chocolate orange bit anymore.
Despite my animosity to all things licorice I really enjoyed the pot of this with my kimchi soup. I don’t think I’d drink this regularly because of the anise but I definitely wouldn’t pass it by if it was offered.
This tea exemplifies the impact of steep time, temperature, and pre-existing biases to the tasting experience. It reminds me that my first impression (also, second and third) may be wrong.
Every time I drink this tea I feel differently about it. Today it wasn’t bad: citrus-y but drinkable with milk. It’s a very vigorous, bergamot-driven earl grey that may be appealing to some :)