218 Tasting Notes
Aroma only came out after wetting the leaves. Smells like whisky: Tobacco, diesel fumes. Similar to the smokiness of Lapsang. But the flavour is very different, tastes clean, cleansing and refreshing with just a hint of whisky.
Second infusion most of the tobacco is gone, now it’s more of a funky savoury, vegetal, sawdust, slightly bitter-astringent flavour that is quite pleasant and drinkable. This mild tea would go well with all kinds of foods and sweets. This is the first raw pu er I’ve actually enjoyed drinking.
Flavors: Sawdust, Tobacco, Vegetal
Really gorgeous, punchy aroma of raisins and dates. Thick, full-bodied liquor that can be drunk plain with only minimum astringency and a lovely, satisfying mouthfeel.
This is currently out of stock at Teabox, but I’ll keep my eye out for the 2019 harvest!
Increasing my rating to 86.
Flavors: Dates, Raisins
This tea has an amazing ‘aged aroma’, really ancient and calming and not too much fishy or fermented flavour. The liquor is so smooth, full-bodied and pleasing.
I brewed it with not enough leaf and a bit too much water I think, so it didn’t taste as strong or flavourful, but the overall effect is still amazing.
Much stronger mushroom and savoury flavour.
Flavors: Musty, Peat Moss
Wow, this experience was so different from my first one with this tea! This time I watched the timing more carefully, probably around 4:00.
First of all, I get the aroma of toasted nuts, sweet floral like honeysuckle or osmanthus. It tastes amazing, sweet; my favourite Darjeeling so far. Would rate this a 90 when drinking plain, but unfortunately does not stand up to sweet breakfast like raisin bread and turns bitter and astringent, so lowering to 86.
Flavors: Floral, Honeysuckle, Nutty, Osmanthus, Toasty
Wow. Trying this again while travelling and I don’t have access to my precision kettle, so I just used water about a minute off the boil. This has a heavenly aroma (malty, palm sugar, floral rose, inedible waxy tropical fruit) and the taste of the liquor actually lives up to its fragrance too. This along with the Mim Oolong from Teabox has convinced me that Indian oolongs are sorely underrated. What a pleasure to have a low-maintenance tea that can be brewed so forgivingly, compared to my finicky Dancong oolong I tried this morning.
Increasing rating to 80.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Floral, Malt, Rose
Liquor aroma: Malted sugar, Red dates (Jujubes) not Medjool
Palate: Tastes more like Medjool dates. Pretty good on its own, starts with only the barest hint of astringency but the more you drink, the astringency builds up and I eventually had to add both milk and sugar.
Brewed at 189˚F for 4:00.
Flavors: Dates, Malt
Out of the 5 assam black teas I’ve tried from Teabox so far, this and the Mangalam Gold are the only ones that can be drunk without milk (i.e. not bitter on its own). Subtle malty Assam aroma, slightly fruity and floral like a Darjeeling. Nice flavour of dates and wood with no astringency. The only thing is, if you like your Assams strong and robust with that distinctive flavour, then you probably wouldn’t like this tea.
Brewed at 194˚F, as per the very precise instructions.
For the affordable price, I would consider buying a full-size of this tea.
Flavors: Dates, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Wood