1704 Tasting Notes
I got a few humble samples from What-Cha. I thought about more, but I’m really happy to have gotten some unique blacks I wanted to try. I usually don’t like Ceylons, but this looked different enough as a eco-friendly tea without a teabag. I also like whole vanilla beans, so my basic self would like it.
Making it, it’s like a cigaretto, then it opens after hot water like a witches broom. I need a pick me up while I grade, so I put some in a kyusu and brewed it western for 5 minutes. Smooth vanilla smell, and smooth vanilla taste like a fine chocolate desert. The tea is naturally sweet with a little bit of plum, and a dark molasses-y character. It does approach chocolate territory, but that’s more from the sweeter maltier elements of the black tea combining with the vanilla. Essentially, a really good vanilla black tea….that has actually lasted more rebrews that are essentially grandpa brews of 4, 5, and 6 minutes. The flavor has slightly lightened on the vanilla, but it’s still there. I get more plum, malt, and tea in the later steeps. I’m going to brew some more up, hoping I get more.
I’m regretting not getting the 5 rods instead of the too. I really like this one. I’m impressed it has more dimension than some Ceylons I’ve had, and as per usual, Alistair and his company pick teas that tend to be less astringent and bitter. This one has just the right amount of bitterness. It might be able to take milk, but if you are a tea snob, it’s better straight because you might miss out on the cool plum and molasses notes in my opinion. I’m not ready to give it a numerical score, but 4 stars minmum out of 5 for me.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Molasses, Plum, Silky, Smooth, Sweet, Tannin, Vanilla
Finished the sample all at once gong fu with 30 sec intervals. Heavy on the walnut and floral notes, second was super sweet and savory bordering on nutty caramel in profile. Really nice to have. I’d probably rate it 83-85. It lost lustre by steep 5. Mostly woody by then. Some plum in steep 3. Busy day. Thank you Leafhopper!
Cool idea to model it after Ojai as a home town. Basically orange sangria vibes overall. IF you read the ingredients list, you know what you’ve going to taste. It’s a fruity orange hibiscus tea with elderberry and immunity fruit while giving vacation warm weather vibes. It brews up an intense pink red. Some spice, but there’s sooooo much orange. It’s not bad to have, and I like having more variety right now that isn’t just camellia sinensis based. I definitely liked Turkish Delight more. A bit expensive for a fruit tea, but one I can see newer drinkers liking very easily. I’d almost call this tea O’nge delight….there’s so much orange.
Flavors: Apple, Berry, Citrus, Elderberry, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Hibiscus, Orange, Rosehips
October’s Wanderlust blend. Definitely not quite what I expected, but I’m into it. Heavy in the fruit and rose department. I see Turkish delight tea very often on here that use black teas. It was nice to get a herbal, and I am basic. It reminds of turkish delight that I’ve had in Egypt, and it’s sweet on its own. Good with honey. You can add cream, but I bring out the rose personally more than the fruit. The cream can otherwise overwhelm it. It does rebrew really well for a rooibos tea too. It’s got a mouthfeel too, and I feel like the fruits play really well together. It’s also not a super complex tea, and I can see it be more of a summer option or a latenight book reading kind of tea. I’ve gone through it quickly. Every once in a while it’s a little too fruity, but I like herbal teas to be a good balance of fruity, so I’m not complaining too much. It borders on artificial, yet comes close to some of the Lupicia style fruit herbals I’ve had. The Tulsi accents this one with just enough fresh herb qualities parallel to mint and basil. Well, if you know what tulsi is and tastes like, then if you know ,you know.
I hope I’m not praising this too much. I really like and dig the idea. The expense does hold me back, but I think it’s better than a lot of other herbals. Definitely ranks as a better turkish delight tea overall since it knows how to balance the fruity rosy and sweet in a more juicy texture. Turkish Delight is inherently gummy and sweet, so I like this one is a little bit more the fruit juice level.
Flavors: Candy, Floral, Juicy, Mango, Papaya, Powdered Sugar, Rooibos, Rose
I thought I reviewed this one-maybe in a post with all 5 samples? Anyway, I’m not adding anything new here. It’s muddled and two dimensional compared to some of the other blends. The cinnamon overpowers everything, and I get some cocoa and herbs. It’s otherwise kind of flat and drying. There are other blends that I’d recommend over this one like Tulum. Most of the herbal blends I’ve had from Magic Hour are better than most I’ve had, but this one has a hard time breaking through. I’m so glad I just did the samples. Cream and sugar improves it a little, but its needs reinforcement on its own as a straight tea.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cocoa, Dirt, Herbs, Mud
Backlog: I had this over the weekend on a coold autumn day. Leaves are falling, and despite not having filtered water at that moment, the three western steeps of this tea were comforting. Caramel, brown sugar, maple, smoke, roast, char, and campfire smoke were in abundance. I also kept getting berry notes, like blueberries or raspberries after they’ve been cooked into crepes and pastries. Active imagination note because of association, I know. But I regret not getting more of this one despite having a decent amount of it.
People actually reviewed this one! Thank you Leafhopper!
So, I gong fu’d it for four steeps than stopped. Went friendly on the leaves. It’s actually more black tea-ish than other Milan Hong Cha’s I’ve had in comparison. Waaaay heavier on the malt department while maintaining some cherry notes. I personally get some of the more citric grapefruit oolong notes from it’s varietal from time to time in aroma and a little in taste. A little bit bitter, but dark bittersweet from “redder” (totally making it up) tannings. The overall vibe of this one is more red than other Milan Blacks too. Sometimes, it was brisk enough to adulterate with cream and sugar, but I didn’t go that far. I haven’t decided on it yet. It definitely stands out, and it may be a little too strong for me to frequently drink, I do like it.
Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Drying, Grapefruit, Honey, Malt, Malty, Red Fruits, Tannin, Tea
2021 Version from Leafhopper. I made a few mistakes on this one. I really wanted to try it from floating leaves with the promise of a fruity oolong. Making it, it’s fussy. The realy rinse produced a thin lilac flavor and aroma that didn’t produce much. Heat coaxed the sugars out a little bit. The second steep was supposed to be 30 seconds that turned into 3 minutes that was a little bitter and overbrewed, but had nice floral flavors with some fruity. The overall vibe was closer to cool whip with some vague fruitiness.
The next two were 20 and 30 sec respectively, and had more pronounced profiles that were mostly soft in flavor, but headier in the aroma department. Steep 5 had more fruit by far, drying finish, and then it lost lustre as it cooled into a grassy soup.
I’ve gotten two more cups that didn’t stand out as much. I’m really glad I got to try this tea, though I think it was a little too subtle for my preferences. Then again, I’m reverting back to old tastes for flavored teas lately and rely on oolong for too much “green dessert” experiences.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Freshly Cut Grass, Fruity, Grass, Lilac, Orchids, Twigs, Whipped Cream
Nice green tea from Leafhopper with just the right amount of L-Theanine to releive headaches. In terms of taste, it’s got more similiarity to a white needle green tea that some other Bi Lo Chuns I’ve had, and it’s smoother too. I mostly got green peas, sugar snap peas, fresh regular green beans, nuttyness, and a little bit of sweetness. I tumbler styled a light amount of these fury leaves. It only brewed well once and didn’t last past the second grandpa style, but a lighter green tea is honestly what I like more, so I’m not complaining too much.
Overall, easy for me to like and has enough sweetness to let people get into it that aren’t a fan of super spinachy green teas. Only fresh greens in this teas profile.
Flavors: Green, Green Beans, Peas, Snow Peas, Sugarcane
Thank you Brendan! I’m not going to say no to some free Laoshan. It’s actually nice to have some fresher leaves too. I was going to do this one western, but I did mug-fu. 35 seconds so far, and it’s got the typical cocoa profile and some squash thrown in there too. It is sweeter though, and I got a borwned marshmallow in the aroma. Tasting it, it’s got a little bit of a smores thing going on. Such a good black tea. There’s that bittersweetness at the end. I love aromatic blacks, so easy win right now. I’ll write more about this later.
Flavors: Bittersweet, Chocolate, Cocoa, Marshmallow, Squash, Sweet