184 Tasting Notes
When I stuck my nose into the sample packet of this tea I was very please with the aroma that met my senses…. the leaf of this tea has a gorgeous malty smell that has a deeper aroma than the average malty smell…like malt growing in shaded forest….ooooooooh! In the cup, the smell a bit brighter than dry. Dejoo Second Flush is a medium-light bodied tea with a wonderful malty flavor with a slight roasted nut and a touch of a caramel finish. It’s a bit reminiscent of the peanuts you find in Cracker Jack. There is some astringency in the cup, but not enough to completely dry my tongue after each sip…it’s just enough to make me look forward to my next sip…. of malty goodness.
Dejoo Second Flush Assam holds a bit more than the average malty cup of assam does. If you are exploring Assams, this should be on your wish list.
Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Nuts
On a sweltering 4th of July morning, this was the perfect tea to pull out of my samples that I purchased from Teabox. Assam Anandabag is lovely tea to see in the teaspoon…malty tippy goodness was my expectation and malty tippy goodness is exactly what I got! Anandabag isn’t a weighty assam tea, it is a middleweight assam with the lovely smell and taste of malt, cocoa and a touch of grain and a weeny bit if citrus. There was very little astringency which paired really well with the medium mouthfeel this tea created. It ended up being the perfect tea for a hot summer morning when you have that craving for a strong breakfast tea, but don’t want the heaviness that sometimes comes with Assams. Recommended.
Flavors: Citrus, Cocoa, Grain, Malt
This tea made it hard to drink and think. Some teas are very easy to drink and review….the flavors are like sitting ducks, just out there waiting to be identified….like a little string of decoys on a lake at gloaming. Some teas….the most INTERESTING teas deny such easy identification to the tongue and make you work for it. This Bi Luo Chun is that kind of tea.
The first thing I noticed was the creamy smoothness of this tea. Well, that’s not a flavor per se, but it was my first impression. Then, as I tried to deconstruct this tea and identify what I was tasting, my brain kept interrupting with “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm”….ok, there’s some sweet potato note but no skin on the sweet mmmmmmmmmmmmmm potato. I’m getting some light earth mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm notes and they’re really well layered with a mmmmmmmmmmmm grain note and some….some…mmmmmmmmmmolasses……..
This tea is beautifully balanced. The flavors layer with amazing intricacy, like a tapestry from days gone by. Try drinking it with your eyes closed. Bliss.
Flavors: Grain, Molasses, Sweet Potatoes, Wet Earth
This is not a typical English Breakfast tasting tea. The dry leaf smelled a bit sweet and biscuity/malty. Wet, the leaf produced a very malty fragrance with a touch of sweetness. But now that I’m drinking it, I’m not only getting sweet maltiness, but I’m also getting a cannabis note from the tea. Anyone that’s ever gone to a concert knows what that smells like. It was a surprising note for me in an English Breakfast tea. Perhaps it has something to do with this is probably the freshest tea I’ve ever had….it’s a 2014. There is a bit more than “a little” astringency to this tea as well, as my tongue felt dry after each sip. The maltiness and cannibisness (ha!) lead to a nicely balanced medium mouthfeel breakfast tea. I would not turn this away at a breakfast table, but with the cannabis note, perhaps for me it is better relegated to an aprés concert cuppa.
Flavors: Cannabis, Malt, Sweet
This keemun tastes like it has a history. An ancient history filled with with time, patience and old places. It is a deep tasting tea with a nice balance of earthy dark chocolate, a touch of smoke and a wee bit of malt. It is not overwhelming with it’s keemun flavors, but it is delicate, honest and true in what it represents. I am getting fewer top notes in this keemun that in TeaVivre’s Organic Superfine Keemun, but this isn’t a matter of quality in the difference between the teas… more than likely it’s my allergies. This is the top of the line for TeaVivre’s keemuns, so if you love the earthy goodness of keemun but don’t know where to begin in TeaVivre’s offerings, begin here.
Flavors: Earth, Malt, Smoke
This is my first shot at little balls of tea! What happy things they appear to be…like gum balls but all black! I am charmed. Since my western brewing tea ware of choice is 16 oz, I just unceremoniously dumped all the balls in the wee sample packet into the pot and steeped for 8 minutes….half way between the 5-10 minute recommendation. Well! Those wee tea balls sure opened into some larger leaves! Unexpected! (Kind of reminds me of those little gelatin capsules that had the sponges shaped like animals smooshed inside them and you let them float in the bathtub til they became sponges…) The dry smell of the leaf was chocolatey and tea-y. Wet….well, they just kind of smelled like wet leaves to me! Not quite sure why, but wet hot leaves and a touch of hot wet earth. Once in the cup, I found that the tea’s aroma had that chocolate note I detected in the dry leaf/balls, a bit of hot wet earth and just a smidgen of malt. Less malt than I was expecting by looking at the reviews, actually! The flavor profile has the chocolate and warm wet earth notes and adds a bit of a raisin middle note to it. There’s not much of a top note to this tea, so I would say that this is a deep-flavored tea for days when you need “grounding”…. something that helps you settle into the middle of your problems and start to relax to truly come up with solutions… It’s that kind of tea…oh, it’s also something they would probably enjoy in the Shire. Take your pick of the mental pictures provided above and have a cup! (I know which one you will probably choose, my precious!)
Flavors: Chocolate, Raisins, Wet Earth
Teabox offers 15 different types of assam…. 15. and I just got samples of all of them. (Hey, free shipping! Gets me every time!) Assams are my first true love (via British/Irish tea bagged tea) and so I return to them, adding them into my rotation of black teas that I’m exploring. But where to begin with 15 samples staring me in the face…..Aha! something I recognize!
I’ve started with this tea because I have something to compare it to in Butiki’s upgrade version of this tea. The Teabox version of this tea isn’t as whole-leafed or as tippy as the upgrade version I have in my tea stash, but the leaf smells of malt and apricot like the other Hattialli assam. The liquid was a gorgeous dark red….exactly what I expect from assams. The taste? This tea has a medium mouthfeel and a slight astringency to it. It is nice and round tasting. When the tea was hot I got more of a malty flavor, but as it cooled, the apricot note came to the top…quite a lovely morph, if you ask me! I will have to revisit the premium version of this tea again after having this, but I am quite happy with this tea. All comparisons aside, it is a nice medium bodied assam that would please most palates. Hattialli Estate obviously creates some lovely assams!
Flavors: Apricot, Malt
ok, i like this tea. i LIKE this tea. I didn’t want to like it, because it seems to be trending on Steepster right now (june 2014) and I didn’t want to get on the bandwagon, as I am one who bucks trends. Hard. I am also honest. This is a great tea.
This tea is what would happen if Bailin Gong Fu and Yunnan Gold Tips had a baby. A tea born to rule the universe of my mouth. AND I ONLY GOT A SAMPLE!!! It is malty, it is the best chocolate note I’ve had in a tea yet. (I added milk and the tea held up to the milk wonderfully…perhaps even bringing more roundness to the chocolate note) Bailin Gong Fu is a bit intense for me at times, and Yunnan Gold Tips is a bit understated for the mornings where I want a good cup of breakfast tea. Here… Here in my cup right now is something I feel was created just for me.
I am originally from Michigan, you know. :)
Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Malt
When I think of nonpareil, I think of sno-caps….those little chocolate candies you get at the movies that have the white beady-balls on one side. With this tea, the similarity isn’t very far off with the chocolate note, but this simplistic comparison needs to end here, because this is one complex tea!
The dry leaf had a chocolate and woodsy note that was surprising when expecting a usual Dian Hong (or at least something like it!) After a 5 minutes steep western-style, the liquid was a beautiful golden amber color, not the mahogany I was expecting after smelling the leaf! This tea smells organic….and what I mean by organic is “of the earth”. The taste was also very organic with a dark woodsy note coming to the forefront, then warm hay, wheat….then cocoa, flowers, and a touch of parched earth. It certainly doesn’t taste like any other teas I’ve had before! There is also a slight astringency, that makes you want another sip…and another, and another…..
(5 minutes later)
Now that I’ve had some time over this cup to change my expectations (from Dian Hong to the unexpected), I can understand why this is a considered to be a coveted tea. Reminiscent of Bailin Gongfu, this is a deep, rich, multi-layered tea. The bottom and mid-notes of dark wood, earth, chocolate and hay marry well with the floral and wheat top notes. It almost seems like a “Man’s tea” …. A great deep flavored cuppa for sitting on a small fishing boat on an early chilly foggy morning, not being in any kind of hurry for the fish to bite. Nonpariel Yunnan Dian Hong Chinese Red Black Tea is an unusual, extraordinary cup for when you’re craving the unusual, extraordinary places that a cup of tea can take us. Recommended!
Flavors: Earth, Flowers, Hay, Wheat, Wood
Southern California summers (which are 9 months long if we’re lucky enough to get a “winter” that seems more like a rainy mild fall to most folks from elsewhere) are enough to kill off any avid black tea drinkers desire to live. It’s hot. I know that many in warm climes there are cultures that thrive on hot tea, but at this, sometimes I’m a failure. The black teas just seems too…..too cloying. (that’s kind of like a granny word, isn’t it? :) ) Too heavy. Too much. I recently fell in love with Teavivre’s Bailin Gong Fu and knew it would be a short lived love affair, with the scalding desert winds only a month away….
Oh Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu by Teavivre, you are the most welcomed cousin of my cold weather friend!! I am sitting here with a cup, and like so many other reviewers, I looked down and there is nary a drop left…. this is an extraordinarily wonderful tea that takes the gorgeous flavor profile of Gong Fu teas and “summer-izes” it without compromise. The mouthfeel is lighter, the flavors of yam, grains and malt are less intense….and there is a summery note of warmed alfalfa here that rounds out the flavors to make a light but completely fulfilling mouthful of tea. If you are ordering from Teavivre this summer, ask for a sample of this…. the hot, heavy, scorching days of summer shall not conquer my desire for gong fu teas, even during teatime with my outdoor cats. The word Superfine says it all!
Ps: yes, tea with my cats: http://instagram.com/p/n16qIwgnLu/ It is a tea ritual here on my days off.
Flavors: Grain, Hot Hay, Malt, Yams