Nuwara Eliya OPA Pure Ceylon Black Tea from The Tea and Herb Co. Ltd.

On August 29th of 2013, I tasted a sample of Nuwara Eliya OPA Pure Ceylon Black Tea. This sample was provided by The Tea and Herb Company Limited, located in North Mulleriyawa, Sri Lanka.

According to documentation provided by my contact at The Tea and Herb Company Limited, the Nuwara Eliya growing region of Sri Lanka is located in the center of the hilly countryside, where the elevation is high. At this altitude, the temperatures are lower, causing the tea bushes to grow slowly and produce unusually small leaves. The geography of this growing region can cause the weather to be dramatically different from estate to estate, as the two different climatic systems of the east and west balance one another. 

This particular sample of Nuwara Eliya OPA was produced from tea leaves out of two estates: the famous Lover’s Leap and Mahagastotte (Pedro Estate), and the Court Lodge Estate. Just opening the bag has me excited to brew this tea up and dive in.

Let the journey begin…

 

Tea Analysis and Review Form

Date: 08/29/2013

Product Name: Nuwara Eliya OPA Pure Ceylon Black Tea

Purchased From: The Tea and Herb Company Limited

Origin: Nuwara Eliya region of Sri Lanka

Type of Tea: Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Black

 

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

Nuwara Eliya OPA Dry leaves

Aroma: Fruity (ripe fruit), Floral, rich, room-filling. This tea has an exceptional aroma. Unbelievable. 

Dryness: Very dry. Leaves crack in to fine crumbles.

Color: Black, brown, some reddish tips, even a little green and purplish. Eye catching and beautiful.

Texture: Smooth twisted leaves.

Size, Shape, Length: Fairly uniform length average 3/4 inch (19 mm). Leaves are mostly twisted and curled. 

Unique Characteristics: The aroma is exquisite, and the leaves are very colorful and eye catching. I cannot wait to brew this tea.

 

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water: 24 oz (700 ml)

Amount of Tea: 10 grams

 

Tea Liquor Evaluation

First Infusion:

Nuwara Eliya OPA 1st Infusion

Water Temperature: 200°F (93°C)

Steep Time: 2 Minutes and 0 seconds.

Aroma: Flowery (Dandelion), fruity, very aromatic.

Color: Lively golden-yellow. Clear. Transparent.

Taste: Flowery (dandelion) is the most noticeable taste. There is certainly a fruity taste, which seemed like a combination of plum and grapefruit (a strange combination – I know). Very smooth with a pleasant aftertaste of light bitterness and dandelion.

Comments: Of the three samples from The Tea and Herb Company that I have tried thus far, I have been a huge fan of two of them, and an average fan of one. This is definitely one of the samples that I am a huge fan of. Very flowery and fruity, while still maintaining enough of a black tea taste. Great body and aftertaste.

 

Second Infusion:

Nuwara Eliya OPA 2nd Infusion

Water Temperature: 200°F (93°C)

Steep Time: 2 Minutes and 0 seconds.

Aroma: Flowery (dandelion), fruity. Slightly lighter than 1st infusion.

Color: Remains a lively golden-yellow, slightly lighter than the 1st infusion.

Taste: The taste of dandelion flowers is still most apparent, with the fruity taste leaning more toward grapefruit than plum. Lighter overall taste and body, but still very tasteful and pleasant.

Comments: This is a very good 2nd infusion. Despite the lighter body, enough taste remains to make this a highly enjoyable cup. I am confident that a third infusion will still be worthy of brewing and consuming.

 

Third Infusion:

Nuwara Eliya OPA 3rd Infusion

Water Temperature: 200°F (93°C)

Steep Time: 2 Minutes and 15 seconds.

Aroma: Flowery (dandelion), fruity. Smells sweeter than the 2nd infusion.

Color: Lighter but lively golden-yellow. Clear. Transparent.

Taste: Lighter overall than the 2nd infusion, but retains a flowery dandelion and light fruity grapefruit taste. Body is lighter, not much aftertaste.

Comments: Definitely an infusion worthy of consuming. Much lighter, but still acceptably tasteful. I would not attempt a fourth infusion, however.

 

Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

Nuwara Eliya OPA Infused Leaves

Color: Some fresh leaf green, but mostly lighter brown to brown leaves. Brown stems.

Aroma: Still flowery and lightly fruity.

Size, Shape: All fragments. Some larger fragments of about 1 inch (25.4 mm). Leaves have some durability, but not enough to suggest that a fourth infusion would be worthwhile.

Unique Characteristics: Some leaves look very fresh. The aroma is still pleasantly fragrant.

 

Final Comments: This is one journey that I plan on taking many times over. The aroma of the dry leaves, liquor, and wet leaves were all very attractive. The dry leaves were eye catching and colorful, yet obviously a black tea. The taste was a nice combination of flowery and fruity, with a touch of bitter at the end. This tea would make a great blending base for a high quality blend. However, I am perfectly content drinking this tea all by itself. This is a great Ceylon black tea. I am very happy to have had an opportunity to try. Thanks again, Tea and Herb Company. This tea is highly recommended.

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Teaneer Flow Green Tea from Tealet Teas (Vijayalakshmi Natural Farm)

On August 28th of 2013, I tasted a sample of the Teaneer Flow Green Tea. This sample was provided by Tealet Teas. To learn more about Tealet Teas and their products, please click here. This particular tea will be available during Tealet’s monthly auction in September of 2013.

This tea was grown and processed by the Vijayalakshmi Natural Farm located in Nilgiris, India. According to the grower’s profile on the Tealet Teas website, the estates which grow the tea bushes are at an altitude of 2,200 to 2,400 feet above sea level. Since 2008, this farm has been dedicated to only using biodynamic methods to grow tea bushes. The teas produced by Vijayalakshmi Natural Farm are mostly sun-dried until the final drying step, and are not processed on rainy days. To view the grower profile on Tealet’s website, please click here.

Let the journey begin…

Tea Analysis and Review Form

Date: 08/28/2013

Product Name: Teaneer Flow Green

Purchased From: Tealet Teas

Origin: Vijayalakshmi Natural Farm, Niligiris, India

Type of Tea: South India Green

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

Teaneer Flow Green Dry Leaves

Aroma: Fruity (dried fruit), Vegetal (fresh cut grass)

Dryness: Moderately Dry. Leaves crack in to coarse crumbles.

Color: Dark green, brown spots, few silvery tips.

Texture: Smooth, dry leaves. No uniform twisting noticeable.

Size, Shape: No uniformity to leaf sizes and shapes. Longest leaf at 1 Inch (25.4 mm).

Unique Characteristics: Leaves appear to have some level of oxidation, whether intentional or not. The brown spots tell me there was oxidation. The smell is very pleasant, and the variety of colors is eye catching as well.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water: 8 oz (237 ml)

Amount of Tea: 3 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation

First Infusion:

Teaneer Flow Green 1st Infusion

Water Temperature: 175°F (80°C)

Steep Time: 1 Minute and 0 seconds

Aroma: Fruity (grape & cherry), Vegetal (fresh cut grass).

Color: Gold. Clear. Transparent.

Taste: Fruit (cherry and grape), Vegetal (spinach) are the three most apparent tastes. A very mild astringency. Body is smooth with a pleasant lightly fruity aftertaste.

Comments: This is a very mild and fruity green tea, with less astringency than most Chinese and Japanese varieties. The aroma is delicate and sweet smelling.

Second Infusion:

Teaneer Flow Green 2nd Infusion

Water Temperature: 160°F (71°C)

Steep Time: 1 Minute and 0 seconds.

Aroma: Fruity (Dried fruit, raisin), lightly cherry.

Color: Lighter golden. Clear. Transparent.

Taste: Lighter overall than the 1st infusion, but the fruity grape and cherry flavors were still apparent, with a lighter fresh spinach note. Body was slightly lighter.

Comments: I should have just kept the water temperature at 175°F (80°C). I lowered the temperature to see if I could pull more of the subtle flavors out, but ended up just pulling less taste all together. I will stick with the higher temperature for the 3rd infusion. Anyway, the taste was still good, just lighter, but that was my fault more than the teas.

Third Infusion:

Teaneer Flow Green 3rd Infusion

Water Temperature: 175°F (80°C)

Steep Time: 1 Minute and 15 seconds.

Aroma: Fruity (dried fruit, raisin).

Color: Light gold. Slightly darker than 2nd infusion. Clear. Transparent.

Taste: Light fruit (grape, cherry, raisin), Very light spinach. Lighter body and less aftertaste.

Comments: Light taste, similar in body and strength to the 2nd infusion. Higher water temperature did make the 3rd infusion strong enough to taste as good as the 2nd infusion. I would not expect a fourth infusion to be worthwhile.

Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

Teaneer Flow Green Infused Leaves

Color: Mixture of fresh green and brown leaves. Brown stems.

Aroma: Fruity (raisins), Earthy (wet leaves).

Size, Shape: Some full leaves, but mostly fragments. Some bare stems. Pluck appears to be one to two leaves. Not much uniformity in shape or size.

Unique Characteristics: Pleasant aroma, a fresh leaf look, more durability than expected. A fourth infusion may be possible.

Final Comments: The Teaneer Flow Green is a unique, flavorful, and high quality tea. For the tea drinkers, or future tea drinkers, who do not care for the astringency of other green teas, this tea could be a good solution. Along with the fruity flavors that are most abundant, there is a level of vegetal (spinach) taste and aroma that certainly gives this tea a green character. The brown spots that are obvious on the leaves signal that some oxidation occurred during the processing of these leaves, which puts the true classification of this tea in to question. Regardless, the taste is very pleasant and high quality. This will be a pleasing tea to the novice and the veteran drinkers alike. As always, since this tea is a break from the usual Chinese and Japanese green teas, I would highly recommend it to anyone. It’s an opportunity to journey in to a new region of green tea.

Doke Rolling Thunder Oolong Tea from Tealet Teas (Lochan Tea Ltd.)

On July 30th of 2013, I tasted a sample of the Doke Rolling Thunder Oolong Tea. This sample was provided by Tealet Teas. To learn more about Tealet Teas, please visit their website by clicking here.

Tealet has built personal relationships with tea farmers from multiple countries, including Japan, China, Nepal, Taiwan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Korea, as well as the United States, and continues to search the planet for high quality farms to work with. Tealet provides a direct connection between tea buyers and the tea farmers, allowing tea buyers to purchase high quality teas, as well as giving the tea farmers an international platform from which they can sell their teas. Rather than simply seeing a certification stamp for organic teas or fair trade practices and deciding to do business based on those certifications alone, Tealet is committed to farms that demonstrate exceptional transparency in their farming and production practices. Certifications can be expensive, and many small artisan tea farmers are not able to afford them. Therefore, even if they do practice organic farming and fair trade ethics, which many of them do, they may not have the “credentials” to display. However, their teas are often times a very high quality and unique product. Thankfully, companies like Tealet are aware of the reality of the organic and fair trade certification programs, and have decided to do their own homework on tea farms. Thus, they have sources that provide teas that are not like what the other companies often offer.

This particular sample was sourced from the Lochan Tea Limited Company, headquartered in Darjeeling, India. Lochan Tea Limited runs a farm called the Doke Organic Farm, which is where this tea was grown and produced. The Doke Organic Farm is located in Pothia, Kishanganj, India. The Doke Organic Farm was established in 1998, and has become a very productive farm since then. It is known for it’s White Teas, and are experimenting with other types, such as this Oolong. For additional information on Lochan Tea Limited, please click here. For information specific to Doke Organic Farm, click here.Now, on to the review.

Tea Review and Analysis Form

Date:  07/30/2013Product Name:  Doke Rolling Thunder Oolong TeaPurchased From:  Tealet Teas

Type of Tea:  India Oolong

Origin of Tea:  Doke Organic Farm in Pothia, Kishanganj, India

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

Doke Rolling Thunder Dry
Aroma Sweet, Malty, lightly floral.

Dryness:  Quite dry. Leaves crack and coarsely crumble.

Color(s):  Light green, dark green, brown, some silver tips.

Texture:  Smooth, twisted leaves, no rigidness

Sizes and Shapes:  Some whole leaves, some buds, some curling. Most leaves range in length from 1/2 inch to 1 inch  (1.25 cm to 2.54 cm).

Unique Characteristics:  Some leaves have a silver line that run the length of the leaf. Quite a few silver tips present.

Sample Measurements:

Amount of Water:  8 oz (237 mL)

Amount of Tea:  3 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation

First Infusion:
Doke Rolling Thunder inf 1
Water Temperature:  190ºF (87.78ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 0 SecondsAroma:  Rich malty aroma, sweet, perhaps a very light floral hint.

Color:  Golden Amber, transparent.

Taste:  Rich maltiness, jasmine floral notes, smooth mouth feel, medium bodied, no bitterness.

Comments:  The rich malty flavor of this oolong was unexpected given the fresh appearance of the dry leaves. The taste is unique, in a very positive way. The second infusion may have a slightly better balance of malty and floral tastes.

Second Infusion:

Doke Rolling Thunder Inf 2
Water Temperature:  190ºF (87.78ºC)
Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 0 Seconds

Aroma:
  Malty, sweet, floral hint a bit more noticeable. Malty sweetness is slightly lighter in strength.Color:  Slightly lighter golden amber, transparent, clean.Taste:  Lighter malty sweetness, jasmine floral notes are more prevalent, smooth mouth feel, lighter body.

Comments:  Although the overall taste was noticeably lighter in the second infusion, I did find the overall balance of  tastes to be better, as the malty sweetness was very rich in the first infusion. The floral notes of jasmine were more  noticeable in the second infusion, and combined with the slightly lighter maltiness, provided a nicely balanced cup of  sweet and floral tastes.

Third Infusion:

Doke Rolling Thunder Inf 3
Water Temperature:  190ºF (87.78ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 15 SecondsAroma:  Overall lighter malty aroma. Floral and vegetal hints.

Color:  Lighter golden amber, transparent, clean.

Taste:  Light malty sweetness, floral notes lighter but still noticeable, light vegetal notes, very light fruitiness.

Comments:  Despite the lighter overall body, the taste was still pleasing and refreshing. The dissipating maltiness, combined with the light floral, vegetal, and fruity notes make this a light but enjoyable cup. However, I am not sure if  the fourth infusion would be worth drinking. The tastes seem to be nearly if not completed exhausted.

Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

Doke Rolling Thunder Wet

Color(s):  Half fresh green, the rest light brown to brown.Sizes and Shapes:  Some buds, a few whole leafs. Mostly broken leaf fragments. Some stems.

Unique Characteristics:  The leaves appear very fresh and almost alive. Some of the leaves were whole with a bud intact. Smell of the leaves is very malty. It actually reminded me of the smell of trub leftover after brewing beer. Yes, I  tried brewing a few beers a year or so ago. I decided to stick with tea! The trub smells very malty and sweet, and so  do these infused leaves. Despite the light taste of the third cup, the leaves still have a durable feel. Perhaps they can  take on a fourth infusion.
Final Comments:  This is a very unique oolong in many ways. From the fresh and wondrous look of the dry leaves to the rich aroma and tastes of malty sweetness in each of the three infusions. Even the smell of the infused leaves was unlike any other oolong tea that I have experienced. It is difficult for me to compare this oolong to the Chinese or Formosa oolongs that I am more familiar with. This oolong is something different in many positive ways. I think this could be a very popular style of oolong if more people were familiar with it.

Aged Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea from Lin Family Farm

On August 27th of 2013, I tasted a sample of Aged Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea. This sample was provided by Linda Lin from the Lin Family Farm. I am not certain if this farm has a more official name. Linda, if you read this review and have more accurate information, please feel free to comment or contact me, and I will update the post accordingly.

From what I understand, the Lin Family Farm is located in the Anxi county of Fujian province, China. This family specializes in the production of Ti Kuan Yin oolong. They recently decided to begin selling their products internationally through a web-based tea shop. At the moment, the tea shop is displayed in Chinese only, so if anyone reading this review is interested in purchasing tea from the Lin Farm, please contact me and I will put you in contact with Linda Lin.

This particular sample of Aged Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea was originally produced in the autumn of 2003. Only recently have the Lins decided that this tea had aged enough to be sold. I consider myself fortunate to be one of the reviewers of this unique tea. On an unfortunate note, I was too eager to try this tea, and totally forgot to take a picture of the dry leaves. Just imagine a highly oxidized oolong with long, hearty stems. Now, on to the review.

Tea Analysis and Review Form

Date:  08/27/2013

Product Name:  Aged Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea

Purchased From: Linda Lin and the Lin Family Farm

Origin:  Anxi county, Fujian province, China

Type of Tea:  Chinese Oolong

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

No Photo Available. My apologies.

Aroma:  Vegetal (cut grass), Earthy (Barnyard Hay), slight hint of burnt wood.

Dryness:  Moderately dry. Leaves crack in to a very coarse crumble.

Color:  Brownish-green to dark brownish-green leaves. Brown stems.

Texture:  Some smooth rolled leaves, some rigid rolled leaves. Very dense, tightly rolled leaves.

Size, Shape, Length:  Various sizes of tightly rolled leaves. Some crumbs, some long bare stems.

Unique Characteristics:  The aroma of these dry leaves was the most unique. The description above may lead some to believe that the aroma is unpleasant, but that is not true. The aroma is very interesting and can be enticing to fans of pu’er teas or lapsang souchong style teas.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water:  24 oz  (682 ml)

Amount of Tea:  10 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation:

First Infusion:

image

Water Temperature:  190ºF  (87.78ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma:  Earthy (barnyard hay), char (tobacco), robust

Color:  Golden-Yellow,  clear, transparent.

Taste:  Mouth filling, robust taste of barnyard hay, tobacco, and dandelion. Earthy aftertaste.

Comments:  Among the most unique tasting teas that I have ever tried. Definitely not a tea for me a novice tea drinker, but I can definitely imagine acquiring a taste for this tea, much like the acquired taste for pu’er or lapsang souchong.

Second Infusion:

image

Water Temperature:  190ºF  (87.78ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma:  Not quite as robust as 1st infusion.  Barnyard hay, tobacco.

Color:  Brighter golden-yellow.  Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Mouth filling, less robust, earthy (barnyard hay), char (tobacco), floral (dandelion).

Comments:  I liked this 2nd infusion better than the 1st. The balance of this 2nd infusion was better, with a less robust taste.

Third Infusion:

image

Water Temperature:  190ºF  (87.78ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 15 seconds

Aroma:  Very slightly lighter than 2nd infusion. Barnyard hay, tobacco,  dandelion.

Color:  Golden-Yellow,  like the 1st infusion. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Lighter overall, in a positive way. Earthy barnyard hay, floral dandelion. Tobacco taste has dissipated. Feel is becoming smoother.

Comments:  This infusion is better than the 1st infusion,  but not as good as the 2nd infusion. However, I expect this tea to provide multiple subsequent infusions.

Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

image

Color:  Leaves are uniform dark green,  stems are brown.

Aroma:  Smell of burnt toast and wet wood.

Size, Shape, Length:  Mostly large leaf fragments, long bare stems ranging from 1.25 inches (31.75 mm) to 2 inches (51 mm) in length. Some fully intact leaves.

Unique Characteristics:  The leaves appear to be nowhere close to being exhausted. The leaves are not close to being fully unfurled, are quite durable, and can probably provide at least two more infusions. The aroma is also very unique.

Final Comments:  Don’t let the nomenclature for the aroma and taste deter you from trying this tea. I can honestly say that this tea was unlike any tea that I have ever tried. I see this tea being a new favorite for fans of pu’er, lapsang souchong,  and other earthy and robust varieties of tea. This sample introduced me to an entirely different taste and variety of oolong. I am very pleased that I had an opportunity to explore this rare and unique tea that took ten years to mature. Thank you,  Linda Lin, for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to trying your family’s other varieties of ti kuan yin, as well.

Thank you for taking your time to read this review. Please leave a comment and start a discussion.

Uva OP1 Pure Ceylon Black Tea from Tea and Herb Co. Ltd.

On August 26th of 2013, I tasted a sample of Uva OP1 Pure Ceylon Black Tea. This sample was provided by the Tea and Herb Company Limited, located in North Mulleriyawa, Sri Lanka.

According to documentation provided to me by my contact at the Tea and Herb Company, whom I have very much enjoyed working with, the Uva tea estates in Sri Lanka were some of the original estates owned by Sir Thomas Lipton. The teas produced on the Uva estates were the ones that Sir Thomas Lipton used to convert Americans in to habitual tea drinkers. There are multiple estates (or Garden Marks) in the Uva region that supply tea leaves for this particular black tea. These estates include Dickwella, Sarnia-Plaiderie, Glen Alpin, Demodera, Adawatte, Shawlands, and Aislaby.

Now, on to the review.

Tea Analysis and Review Form

Date: 08/26/2013

Product Name: Uva OP1 Pure Ceylon Black Tea

Purchased From: The Tea & Herb Company Limited

Origin: Multiple estates in the Uva region of Sri Lanka

Type of Tea: Ceylon Black (Sri Lanka)

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

image

Aroma: Sweet, smells of ripe fruit, with a touch of lemon. Very pleasing aroma.

Dryness: Very dry. The leaves crack in to a very coarse crumble.

Color: Uniform black, with many leaves exhibiting reddish-brown tips.

Texture: Smooth, tightly rolled leaves.

Size, Shape, Length: Uniform tightly twisted and wiry leaves with length of about 0.75 inches (19 mm). Leaf fragments and stems.

Unique Characteristics: A very pleasant aroma with a noticeable lemon smell. Uniform leaves in color and size. Nice reddish-brown tips.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water: 8 oz (227 ml)

Amount of Tea: 5 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation:

First Infusion:

image

Water Temperature: 200ºF (93.3ºC)

Steep Time: 3 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma: Brisk, a smell of lemons is apparent.

Color: Bright amber. Clear, transparent.

Taste: Very brisk, mouth-filling taste. Notes of lemons all the way through the aftertaste. Mildly bitter. Full bodied.

Comments: The first sip of this tea almost made my face pucker. The taste of lemons is apparent, even through the aftertaste. This is a very tangy and brisk black tea. I can honestly say that the taste of this tea reminded me of a Lipton Brisk Iced Tea, sans the numerous grams of sugar.

Second Infusion:

image

Water Temperature: 200ºF (93.3ºC)

Steep Time: 3 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma: Lighter smell of lemons, still brisk.

Color: Slightly lighter amber than the 1st infusion. Clear, transparent.

Taste: Lighter overall, but still a brisk and tangy taste with lemon. Body is lighter than 1st infusion. Same lemon aftertaste.

Comments: Despite the lighter overall qualities of this infusion, it still made a good quality cup.

Third Infusion:

image

Water Temperature: 200ºF (93.3ºC)

Steep Time: 3 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma: Light lemon aroma, lightly brisk.

Color: Very light amber-orange.

Taste: Light overall. Slightly lemony and tangy taste. Lighter body and aftertaste.

Comments: The taste of this 3rd infusion is good enough to drink, but I would not expect a 4th infusion from these leaves.

Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

image

Color: Mostly greenish-brown leaves, brown stems.

Size, Shape, Length: Leaf fragments and stems. Hard to develop an average length or size.

Unique Characteristics: The infused leaves have a light scent of lemon. Leaves are not very durable, suggesting that the leaves are mostly exhausted.

Final Comments: As I mentioned earlier, it is very possible to compare the taste of this tea to that of the popular Lipton Brisk Iced Tea. I know I am being repetitive, but the best way to describe the taste of this tea is brisk and lemony. It is certainly unique from other black teas that I have tried. I can certainly see this tea being popular with tea drinkers who like adding honey, milk, or sugar. I think these additives may give a very pleasant and refreshing balance to the natural taste of this tea. It could also be a good choice for the black tea drinker who is looking for a different taste than many other common black teas. Thank you, Tea & Herb Co. Ltd. for giving me the opportunity to taste a tea from the historic region that Sir Thomas Lipton once owned.

Jushang Oolong from Tealet Teas (Goe Tea)

On August 25th of 2013, I tasted a sample of Jushang Oolong tea. This sample was provided by Tealet Teas. To learn more about Tealet, please visit their website here.

This particular sample of oolong tea is sourced by Tealet Teas from the Goe Tea farm in Jushang Nantou, Taiwan. According to Tealet’s grower profile on Goe Tea, the Goe family has been growing and producing oolong teas for hundreds of years on their family tea farm. You may view Tealet’s grower profile on the Goe family here. Unlike the majority of high mountain oolongs from Taiwan, which are usually lightly oxidized, this particular oolong is more heavily oxidized. Highly oxidized oolongs are a personal favorite of mine, so let’s get to the review.

Tea Analysis and Review Form

Date:  08/25/2013

Product Name:  Jushang Oolong

Purchased From: Tealet Teas

Type of Tea:  Formosa Oolong (Taiwan)

Origin:  Goe Tea in Jushang Nantou, Taiwan.

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

image

Aroma:  Roasty, char, robust. Great aroma.

Dryness:  Very dry, but the density of the rolled leaves makes them difficult to break or crumble. Once broken, the leaf very coarsely crumbles.

Color:  Dark greenish-brown to brown. Some lighter green spots.

Texture:  Most rolled balls feel smooth, but some are rigid. Very dense and dry feel.

Size, Shape, Length:  Mostly tightly rolled round balls. Size of balls range from that of a small corn kernel to a kidney bean.

Unique Characteristics: The rolled balls are extremely tightly rolled and dense. The aroma is very pleasantly roasty, almost bakey, and charred. The tea is noticeably oxidized to a higher level.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water:  8 oz  (227 ml)

Amount of Tea:  5 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation:

First Infusion:

image

Water Temperature:  190ºF  (87.78ºC)

Steep Time:  1 Minute and 30 seconds

Aroma:  Rich, room filling baked and roasty aroma. An orchid floral scent is apparent also. This is a beautifully well rounded and layered aroma.

Color:  Golden-yellow. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Roasted nuts is strong, with orchid floral and sweet toffee notes. Smooth, almost buttery, and mouth filling feel. Roasted nuts and orchid aftertaste.

Comments:  This first infusion is absolutely incredible. The layers in the aroma and taste were very apparent and unique. A great balance of roasty, char, sweet, and floral notes. This is a perfect example of why I love higher oxidized oolongs. Awesome tea.

Second Infusion:

image

Water Temperature: 190ºF  (87.78ºC)

Steep Time: 1 Minute and 30 seconds

Aroma:  Roasted nuts, orchid. Aroma maintains rich and room filling aroma. Amazing.

Color:  Golden-yellow.  Clear, transparent. If anything, the color is slightly darker than the 1st infusion.

Taste:  Roasted nuts is still the strongest flavor. Orchid floral notes are slightly stronger. Sweet toffee taste is the same or slightly stronger. Smooth, almost buttery, and mouth filling feel. This infusion had a better balance of tastes. Aftertaste was more floral and toffee, and less roasted nuts.

Comments: Overall, I liked this 2nd infusion a little more than the 1st. The balance of tastes was better, and the orchid and toffee notes stood out more. I continue to be amazed by this tea.

Third Infusion:

image

Water Temperature: 190ºF  (87.78ºC)

Steep Time:  1 Minute and 30 seconds

Aroma:  Roasted nuts,  orchid. Maintains a strong aroma, slightly lighter than 1st and 2nd. Still a great aroma.

Color:  Lighter golden-yellow. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  A lighter overall taste than the aroma portrays. However, still quite tasteful. The roasted nut taste is still the most noticeable. The orchid and toffee notes are lighter, but still apparent. Body and mouth feel are lighter, as well as the aftertaste.

Comments:   The aroma was strong, but the taste was lighter than expected. The taste was still very good, and I would expect one or two additional infusions to be possible.

Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

image

image

Color:  Uniform dark green leaves with brownish-red edges.

Aroma:  Fresh wet leaves, light char and floral fragrance.

Size, Shape, Length:  Many nice fully intact leaves from 1.25 inches (31.75 mm) to 1.75 inches (44.5 mm) in length. Some clippings and bare stems.

Unique Characteristics:  This tea had a nice amount of fully intact and fairly large leaves. The edges of the leaves were nicely brownish-red. The durability of the leaves is more delicate than I expected, leading me to believe that a fourth infusion may be possible, but none further.

Final Comments:  I am truly impressed with this tea. The taste profile was well rounded and layered. The aroma of the dry leaves and liquor filled the room with a great roasty smell. The infused leaves were nicely shaped and sized, with a uniform color on the edges of the leaves. This tea was a perfect example of why I love higher oxidized oolongs. I will be keeping a close eye on this auction next week. I would love to add this tea to my personal collection, and be able to offer it to customers to open their eyes to the beautiful world of higher oxidized oolongs. Thank you for offering this tea, Tealet. This is another awesome product.

Thank you for taking your time to read this review. Please leave a comment and start a discussion.

Ancient Black Tea from Changsha Nutrahealth Bio-Tech Co. Ltd.

On August 24th of 2013, I tasted a sample of Ancient Black Tea. This sample was provided by Changsha Nutrahealth Bio-tech Co. Ltd. Changsha Nutrahealth is based in Hunan province, China. They specialize in a variety of industries, including the tea industry. To view their webpage, please click here.

Unfortunately, I do not have much information regarding this tea. If my contact from Changsha Nutrahealth has any useful information on this tea, please contact me, or leave a comment on this review, and I will be happy to revise this post. What I can say is that I was very excited to review this tea the moment I opened the sample pack. What an amazing aroma of citrus peel and cocoa hints.

Now, on to the review.

Tea Analysis and Review Form

Date:  08/24/2013

Product Name:  Ancient Black Tea (NH2048)

Purchased From:  Changsha Nutrahealth Bio-tech Co. Ltd.

Type of Tea:  Chinese Black

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

image

Aroma:  Rich citrus (orange peels), hints of cocoa and spice. Incredible aroma.

Dryness:  Very dry. Leaves crack easily, coarse to fine crumbling.

Color:  Black, some light to dark brown.

Texture:  Rigid, very dry twisted leaves.

Size, Shape, Length:  Twisted leaves, some curled, average length of 3/4 inch (19 mm). Longer leaves at 1.25 inches (31.75 mm).

Unique Characteristics:  Amazing room filling citrusy aroma. Some very long leaves.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water:  8 oz (227 ml)

Amount of Tea:  3 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation:

First Infusion:

image

Water Temperature:  200ºF  (93.3ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma:  Rich citrusy (orange peels), some earthy qualities.

Color: Lively copper. Clean, transparent.

Taste:  Citrusy (orange peel), full bodied and mouth-filling, mildly bitter, light cocoa hints, citrusy aftertaste.

Comments:  This first infusion lived up to the expectations that the aroma of the dry leaves created. The aroma of the liquor was rich and appetizing. The color was bright and lively. The taste was quite possibly one of the best black teas I have had yet.  I have no doubt the second infusion will be great as well.

Second Infusion:

image

Water Temperature: 200ºF  (93.3ºC)

Steep Time: 2 Minutes and 15 seconds

Aroma: Citrusy (orange peels), slightly lighter than 1st infusion.

Color:  Lively copper, slightly lighter than 1st infusion. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Citrusy (orange peel), slightly lighter than 1st infusion. Earthy hints are becoming noticeable. Retains full body and mouth filling taste. Mildly bitter. Citrusy aftertaste. Very light cocoa hints.

Comments:  Overall a lighter brew than the 1st infusion. Despite the lighter characteristics, this is still a very tasteful and enjoyable infusion. I would take this 2nd infusion over many 1st infusions of other black teas. However, I am concerned that the 3rd infusion may lose too much character.

Third Infusion:

image

Water Temperature: 200ºF  (93.3ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 30 seconds

Aroma:  Citrusy (orange peel), lighter than 2nd infusion.  Slightly earthy.

Color:  Retains a lively copper color, although noticeably lighter than the 2nd infusion. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Citrusy (orange peel) flavor is becoming more of an earthy and ripe fruit taste, like peach. Very mild bitter. Retains full body and mouth filling taste.  Aftertaste remains citrusy and fruity.

Comments:  This notice 3rd infusion had a very different array of tastes, and I mean that in a very good way. The citrus taste was still present, but the earthy notes became much more prominent,  and a peachy taste appeared in a very noticeable and pleasant way. Awesome 3rd infusion. Completely unexpected.

Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

image

Color:  Mostly uniform brown, some brownish-green.

Size, Shape, Length:  Many large, mostly intact leaves attached to stem. Some clippings. Average length of 1.25 inches (31.75 mm). Longest leaf about 2 inches (51 mm). Leaves are broader and longer than more common black teas.

Aroma:  Citrusy (orange peel), sweet.

Unique Characteristics:  Some very long, broad leaves with long stems, suggesting that these leaves are from older (ancient) tea bushes rather than younger bushes. Very sweet, citrusy aroma. Leaves have some durability, but it varies from leaf to leaf, suggesting that there are leaves from different farms or varietal bushes. A fourth infusion may be possible.

Final Comments:  This was a very unique tea with great characteristics. From the moment the sample bag was opened,  to the last sip of the 3rd infusion,  I was very impressed by this tea. The price tag is high for a black tea, but the quality of the tea is high as well. I have to admit that I wish I had more information on this tea. The lack of information is the only negative part of this review. However, I find it very important to know as much as possible about the teas that I review. That being said, this is an amazing tea that would be very suitable for special guests or occasions. Great product, Changsha Nutrahealth. One of the best black teas that I have tried.

Spring White Tea from Tealet Teas (Hawaii Rainforest Tea)

On August 23rd of 2013, I tasted a sample of Spring White Tea. This sample was provided by Tealet Teas. For more information on Tealet Teas, please visit their website here.

This particular sample of Spring White Tea was sourced from Hawaii Rainforest Tea in Kurtistown, Hawaii. The owner of the farm, Mr. Bob Jacobson, grows four varietals of camellia sinensis and camellia assamica and blends these four types to make this white tea. All tea plants are grown on Mr. Jacobson’s land using organic fertilizers. To view Tealet’s profile on Hawaii Rainforest Tea, please click here.

Now, on to the review. Note: This review will follow a slightly different format, as this is the first review posted on the WordPress platform using a tablet.

Date: 08/23/2013

Product Name:  Spring White

Purchased From:  Tealet Teas

Origin:  Hawaii Rainforest Tea, Kurtistown,  Hawaii, United States of America

Type of Tea: White

Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

image

Aroma: Sweet (honey), floral, dried fruit.

Dryness:  Moderately dry. Cracks easily, but little to no crumbling.

Color:  Light to dark green, brown, and silver tips.

Texture:  Smooth. No rigid sides or edges. Leaves are not twisted or rolled.

Size, Shape, and Length:  Many full leaves and buds are present. Some breakage. Average length of leaves is about 1 inch (25.4 mm). Leaves are not rolled or twisted. Appears to be one leaf with bud on shoots.

Unique Characteristics:  The dry leaves are beautiful,  with almost a shiny quality. The array of colors is eye catching as well.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water:  12 oz (341 ml) of filtered tap water

Amount of Tea:  5 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation

First Infusion:

image

Water Temperature:  175ºF  (79.4ºC)

Steep Time:  3 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma:  Floral, fruity.

Color:  Golden-yellow. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Floral (orchid), honeylike sweetness. Slight earthy hints. Delicate and smooth mouth feel. No bitterness. Light aftertaste.

Comments:  Very fresh sweet and floral taste. You can really taste the environment that this tea was grown in. This is a perfect example of how tea can absord the tastes of the plants living around it.

Second Infusion:

image

Water Temperature:  175ºF  (79.4ºC)

Steep Time:  3 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma:  Floral, dried fruit, slight honey.

Color:  Golden-yellow. Clear, transparent.  No difference from 1st infusion.

Taste:  Floral (orchid), sweet (honey), earthy, delicate and smooth feel. No bitterness. Light aftertaste.

Comments:  Very little to no difference in aroma, color, or taste between first and second infusion. High quality second infusion.

Third Infusion:

image

Water Temperature:  175ºF  (79.4ºC)

Steep Time:  3 Minutes and 30 seconds

Aroma:  Lighter overall. Floral, dried fruit, honey. Very pleasant, yet light.

Color:  Golden-yellow,  slightly duller than 1st and 2nd infusions. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Lighter overall. Floral (orchid), honey, and dried fruit. Delicate and smooth. No bitterness.  Very light aftertaste.

Comments:  The third infusion was noticeably lighter, despite slightly longer steep time. However, the taste was still very pleasant, and I believe a fourth infusion could produce a worthy cup.

Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

image

Color:  Mostly uniform brown with some lively green leaves.

Size, Shape, Length:  Many whole leaves with bud attached. Some fragments. Average length of shoots with leaf and bud is 1 inch (25.4mm).

Unique Characteristics:  It is easy to see the difference in the leaves from the different tea varietal bushes that were used to make this tea. Some leaves are noticeably larger with longer and thinner buds. The look of the infused leaves is similar to a Darjeeling. The leaves are very durable and strong, leading me to believe that additional infusions are possible.

Final Comments: The taste of this white tea was easy to differentiate from its Chinese counterparts, and very similar in look to some of the lightly processed Darjeeling first flush teas. The taste and aroma were very enjoyable, and persisted through all three infusions. This is certainly a unique tea in many positive ways. I cannot really think of any negative aspects of this review. Another great tea from Tealet Teas and Hawaii Rainforest Teas.

NaturaliTea Japanese Black Tea from Tealet Teas (NaturaliTea Co.)

On August 2nd of 2013, I tasted a sample of Japanese Black Tea. This sample was provided by Tealet Teas. To learn more about Tealet Teas, please visit their new and improved website by clicking here.

Tealet has built personal relationships with tea farmers from multiple countries, including Japan, China, Nepal, Taiwan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Korea, as well as the United States, and continues to search the planet for high quality farms to work with. Tealet provides a direct connection between tea buyers and the tea farmers, allowing tea buyers to purchase high quality teas, as well as giving the tea farmers an international platform from which they can sell their teas. Rather than simply seeing a certification stamp for organic teas or fair trade practices and deciding to do business based on those certifications alone, Tealet is committed to farms that demonstrate exceptional transparency in their farming and production practices. Certifications can be expensive, and many small artisan tea farmers are not able to afford them. Therefore, even if they do practice organic farming and fair trade ethics, which many of them do, they may not have the “credentials” to display. However, their teas are often times a very high quality and unique product. Thankfully, companies like Tealet are aware of the reality of the organic and fair trade certification programs, and have decided to do their own homework on tea farms. Thus, they have sources that provide teas that are not like what the other companies often offer.

This particular sample of Japanese Black Tea was sourced from the NaturaliTea Company, in Fujieda, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. According to Tealet’s website profile on NaturaliTea, this small family run tea farm has been operating for about thirty-six years, and uses organic and natural tea farming practices. The Japanese tea industry is best known for their green tea production, but many Japanese farmers are experimenting with black tea production. Knowing that each region produces its own distinct taste of teas, I was quite excited to try this Japanese Black Tea. To view Tealet’s grower profile on NaturaliTea, click here.

Now, on to the review.

Tea Review and Analysis Form

Date:  08/02/2013

Product:  Japanese Black Tea
Purchased From:  Tealet Teas
Type of Tea:  Japanese Black TeaOrigin of Tea:  NaturaliTea Company, Fujieda, Shizuoka, JapanTea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

NaturaliTea Japanese Black Tea Dry Leaves
NaturaliTea Japanese Black Tea Dry Leaves
Aroma:   Sweet, malty, lightly cocoa, vegetal.Dryness:  Quite dry. Leaves crack easily, break in to coarse crumbling.Color(s):  Dark brown to black. Stems are light brown. No golden tips.

Texture:  Fairly smooth, twisted, curled leaves.

Sizes and Shapes:  Appear to be all leaf fragments and stems. No full leaves. Average length of 1/3 inch (8.38 mm).

Unique Characteristics:  The aroma is certainly different than black teas from other regions of the world.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water:  8 oz (227 ml)
Amount of Tea:  3 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation:


First Infusion:

NaturaliTea Japanese Black Tea - 1st Infusion
NaturaliTea Japanese Black Tea – 1st Infusion
Water Temperature:  205ºF  (96ºC)
Steep Time:  3 Minutes and 0 secondsAroma:  Mildly malty, vegetal.Color:  Lively amber.

Taste:  Malty, but not overpowering. Medium body. Vegetal, grassy, some bitterness. Lingering aftertaste.

Comments:  The initial infusion of this tea highlights the region that this black tea originated from. The vegetal taste,  and what I perceived as bitterness, reminded me of a Japanese green tea. Definitely a unique twist on black tea.

Second Infusion:

NaturaliTea Japanese Black Tea - 2nd Infusion
NaturaliTea Japanese Black Tea – 2nd Infusion
Water Temperature:  205ºF  (96ºC)
Steep Time:  3 Minutes and 30 secondsAroma:  Lightly malty, vegetalColor:  Slightly lighter amber than first infusion.

Taste:  Lighter malty and vegetal tastes. Less bitterness. Lighter body and not as strong aftertaste.

Comments:  The taste of the second infusion was overall noticeably lighter than the first. The positive side of this being the reduction of bitterness. This second infusion did not have the punch that the first infusion had. For some tea drinkers, this is an improvement. For those who like the punch, the second infusion will not be as good as the first.

Third Infusion:

NaturaliTea Japanese Black Tea - 3rd Infusion
NaturaliTea Japanese Black Tea – 3rd Infusion

Water Temperature:  205ºF  (96ºC)

Steep Time:  4 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma:  Very light malty.

Color:  Orange – light amber.

Taste:  Lighter overall taste and body than the second infusion. Less bitter, less vegetal. Lighter aftertaste.

Comments:  I am not sure if seasoned tea drinkers would consider the third infusion a worthy cup. The taste is quite  light in comparison to the first, and even second, cup. The photo illustrates how much color alone this infusion lost. I  do not believe it is able to produce a fourth infusion.

Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

NaturaliTea Japanese Black Tea - Infused Leaves
NaturaliTea Japanese Black Tea – Infused Leaves

Color:  Light to dark greens, light to dark brown.

Sizes and Shapes:  All leaf fragments, some stems. No full leaves.

Unique Characteristics:  Looks just like a Japanese green tea looks post infusions, just oxidized. Slightly malty aroma.

Final Comments:  I am always happy to try a new type of tea. This Japanese Black Tea was just that. It was certainly different than any other black tea that I have tried. If you enjoy Japanese green tea, and also enjoy the more common black teas on the market, then I think you will enjoy the Japanese Black Tea, since it resembles tastes from both of those two tea types. Since black tea production is relatively new to Japan, I believe it may take some time before their black teas are as widely accepted and appreciated as some of the more established varieties. However, I expect the Japanese to quickly develop many interesting and tasteful new twists on traditional black teas. Although I cannot say that this tea is an instant favorite of mine, I can say that I will be looking forward to trying more Japanese black teas. Please do give this tea a try, and perhaps you will be introduced to an instant favorite. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to sample this tea, Tealet Teas and NaturaliTea. I am looking forward to sampling your other products within the next couple of days.

Hawaiian Aged Roasted Black Tea (Koko Ki) from Tealet Teas

On July 29th of 2013, I tasted a sample of Hawaiian Grown Aged Roasted Black Tea. This sample was provided by Tealet Teas. To learn more about Tealet Teas, please visit their website by clicking here.

Tealet has built personal relationships with tea farmers from multiple countries, including Japan, China, Nepal, Taiwan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Korea, as well as the United States, and continues to search the planet for high quality farms to work with. Tealet provides a direct connection between tea buyers and the tea farmers, allowing tea buyers to purchase high quality teas, as well as giving the tea farmers an international platform from which they can sell their teas. Rather than simply seeing a certification stamp for organic teas or fair trade practices and deciding to do business based on those certifications alone, Tealet is committed to farms that demonstrate exceptional transparency in their farming and production practices. Certifications can be expensive, and many small artisan tea farmers are not able to afford them. Therefore, even if they do practice organic farming and fair trade ethics, which many of them do, they may not have the “credentials” to display. However, their teas are often times a very high quality and unique product. Thankfully, companies like Tealet are aware of the reality of the organic and fair trade certification programs, and have decided to do their own homework on tea farms. Thus, they have sources that provide teas that are not like what the other companies often offer.

This particular sample is sourced from the Onomea Tea Farms in Hawaii. Onomea Tea Company is fairly young, being established only about ten years ago. However, they have quickly become a respectable tea producing company. For more information on Onomea Tea Company, please check out their website by clicking here.

As described on the Tealet website, this Hawaiian Grown Roasted Black Tea has been aging since 2010. This black tea has no flavoring added to it whatsoever, and I can assure you that it does not need any additional help with the flavor. It is quite pleasantly tasteful all on it’s own.

Now, on to the review.

Tea Review and Analysis Form

Date:  07/29/2013

Product:  Hawaiian Grown Aged Roasted Black Tea (Koko Ki)Purchased From:  Tealet TeasType of Tea:  Hawaiian Black Tea

Origin of Tea:  Onomea Tea Farms in Hawaii, United States of America

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

Dry, unsteeped leaves of the Hawaiian grown Aged Roasted Black Tea.
Dry, unsteeped leaves of the Hawaiian grown Aged Roasted Black Tea.

Aroma:  Rich, Cocoa is most prevalent. Also has a nutty hint, most similar to almonds.

Dryness:  Quite dry. Leaves crack easily, but do not completely crumble.

Color(s): Dark Brown with numerous golden tips. A nice consistent color.

Texture:  Fairly smooth, twisted and curled leaves. No rigid feel.

Sizes and Shapes:  Length of leaves average 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch (1 to 2 cm). Some leaves curled, others straight.

Unique Characteristics:  Nicely crafted twisted and curled leaves with a consistent dark brown color and many golden tips. A rich and pleasant aroma of cocoa and almond.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water:  8 oz (237 mL)

Amount of Tea:  3 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation:


First Infusion:

Hawaiian grown Aged Roasted Black Tea - 1st Infusion
Hawaiian grown Aged Roasted Black Tea – 1st Infusion

Water Temperature: 205ºF (96ºC)

Steep Time:  3 Minutes and 0 Seconds

Aroma:  A strong nutty aroma, with some cocoa hints. Rich and pleasing aroma.

Color:  A beautifully perfect amber color. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Nutty at first, followed by a pleasant mineral taste, ending with a sweet cocoa note at the back of the tongue. The aftertaste is pleasant and lightly bitter. The liquor has a smooth, medium body.

Comments:  This first infusion had a very pleasing taste profile, from nutty to minerally to sweetly bitter. This was a very enjoyable cup of tea.

Second Infusion:

Hawaiian grown Aged Roasted Black Tea - 2nd Infusion
Hawaiian grown Aged Roasted Black Tea – 2nd Infusion

Water Temperature:  205ºF (96ºC)

Steep Time:  3 Minutes and 0 Seconds

Aroma:  Nutty, cocoa, this infusion had a very light fruity hint in the aroma.

Color:  Still a beautiful amber color. Clear, transparent. Very little noticeable difference in color between 1st and 2nd.

Taste:  Remains nutty at first, with a mineral taste, then cocoa with a light and sweetly bitter finish. Maintains a nice,  smooth body.

Comments:  I barely noticed any difference in color, taste, or feel between the first and second infusions. The aroma  was slightly different, with light fruity hints in the second infusion that I did not detect in the first. Another great cup.

Third Infusion:

Hawaiian grown Aged Roasted Black Tea - 3rd Infusion
Hawaiian grown Aged Roasted Black Tea – 3rd Infusion

Water Temperature:  205ºF (96ºC)

Steep Time:  3 Minutes and 0 Seconds

Aroma:  Earthy and mineral aroma. Pleasant but different. Aroma of nuts, cocoa, and fruit are much lighter.

Color:  A lighter shade of amber than the first and second infusion. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  The nutty and cocoa tastes have become lighter, and the body is lighter overall. Tastes of earth and mineral have become more apparent. A slight fruity and sweet aftertaste exist.

Comments:  There was a noticeable difference in aromas, color, and tastes between the second and third infusions.  The third infusion had an interesting and pleasant taste of mineral and earthiness, and was less sweet than previous  infusions. This was an interesting contrast to the other cups, but still a good tasting cup.

Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

Hawaiian grown Aged Roasted Black Tea - Infused Leaves
Hawaiian grown Aged Roasted Black Tea – Infused Leaves

Color:  Mostly uniform brown leaves with some green leaves mixed in.

Sizes and Shapes:  Many full leaves, appears to be one leaf and a bud. Some broken leaves.

Unique Characteristics:  Very nice tea leaf specimens. Full leaves with bud. Leaves still have a durable feel, indicating that these leaves were not completely exhausted of infusions.

Final Comments:  Black teas are not usually on my list of favorite teas, but this Hawaiian grown Aged Roasted black tea (Koko Ki) is now on that list. Of all the black teas that I have tried, I have to say that this one is definitely in the number one or two spot on my favorite black teas list. From the dry leaf aroma, uniformity in color, and abundance of golden tips to the smell and taste beautifully amber colored liquors, this black tea was a true pleasure to sample. I just pray that I will be able to find more of it soon, because this sample will be finished very quickly. Thank you, Onomea Tea Company, for your work on this great tea, and Thank You to Tealet Teas for deciding to work with Onomea to offer such a product.