Golden Lion Assam 1st Flush by Tealyra

Dry leaf aroma: Malty sweet with a hint of pipe tobacco.
Wet leaf aroma: Alfalfa.
Preparation: 1.5 tsp in 10 ounces of water, brewed western style in a ceramic infuser mug.

First/only steeping: 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Pleasant malty molasses aroma with a beautiful sable liquor. While hot, the undertones are pure malt and molasses. This Assam definitely stays true to its bouquet! As the cup cools, a sugary astringent aftertaste develops. A nice, substantial mouthfeel is present thoughout the cup.

Notes:
This was a delightful Assam to start my day and I hope to be able to keep this one in stock, which is saying something for someone who has so much tea!

Flavors: Malt, Molasses, Sugar

2015 Fujian Mao Feng Supreme by Tealyra

Dry leaf aroma: Sweet and grassy.
Wet leaf aroma: Vegetal with hints of spinach and sweetness.
Preparation: 1.5 tsp in 10 ounces of water, brewed western style in a ceramic infuser mug.

First steeping: 2 minutes at 175 degrees.
This Mao Feng is delightfully mellow with a buttery and delicate vegetal taste. I detect undertones of chestnut at the end of the sip, and as the cup cools there are notes of creamy water chestnut.

Second steeping: 3 minutes at 175 degrees.
The second steeping has deleveloped a lovely creaminess and has taken on more of a water chestnut undertone. There is a very slight vegetal tang at the end of the sip.

Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Vegetal

Tea From Vietnam

I’ve placed an order for tea from Vietnam at the appropriately named teafromvietnam.com. So few people in the west get to expereience tea from this region so I am excited for this opportunity to review several delicious-sounding teas! My order includes:

Dragoncloud Green
Fish Hook Green
Golden Lily (Jin Xuan) Milk Oolong
Red Lily Black

These teas come directly from Vietnam, so it might be 2-4 weeks before I receive them. I’ll post reviews as soon as possible, I am looking forward to the experience!

Anhui Keemun by Adagio Teas

Dry leaf aroma: Cocoa and malt, with subtle dark fruit notes. 
Wet leaf aroma: Slightly smoky. 
Preparation: Brewed western style in a ceramic infuser mug.

First/only steeping: 5 minutes at 210 degrees. 
Such a delightful mixtures of aromas – cocoa, malt, dark fruit, and a subtle smoky undertone. At first the smokiness scared me after my previous smoky Keemun experience, but this is a sweeter, more subtle smokiness, not a raw in-your-face smoky. The taste is just as complex as the aroma with notes of cocoa, malt, smokiness, prunes, and something I can only identify as a biting spiciness (pepper?). The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a lingering tartness. After the cup has cooled I notice a breadiness to the flavor and the smokiness is weaker.

Notes:
It is somewhat odd to me that this tea hasn’t been reviewed in 3 years on Steepster. C’est la vie! I did a second stepping but was so stuffed up after my husband mowed the lawn that I don’t trust my nose or taste buds to accurately post notes about it. It was good though! I keep calling this tea sultry, it seems to fit.

I am still amazed at how much the same general style of tea can vary. I think this is part of my attraction and I certainly enjoy the discovery of each variation!

Flavors: Bitter, Cocoa, Fruity, Malt, Pepper, Smoke

Black Tea Merlot by Vintage TeaWorks

Dry leaf aroma: Black currants with notes of plum and a delicate floral undertone. 
Wet leaf aroma: Very much like the dry leaf aroma – black currants and floral. 
Preparation: Brewed western style in a glass infuser mug.

First/only steeping: 4 minutes at 195 degrees. 
The freshly brewed liquor has a delicate floral aroma. While the cup is hot the dominate flavor is black currants, with hints of licorice, plum and a mild floral note. As the cup cools the floral note disappears and there is a tart aftertaste.

Flavors: Black Currant, Floral, Licorice, Plums

Soula Assam 2014 SFTGFOP1 Second Flush Single Estate by Golden Tips Tea

Dry leaf aroma: Malt and hay with a hint of cocoa. 
Wet leaf aroma: Damp hay. 
Preparation: Brewed western style in a ceramic infuser mug.

First/only steeping: 4 minutes at 210 degrees. 
Brisk malty flavor with suggestions of fresh-baked bread and a pleasant brisk aftertaste. As the cup cools the bread-like notes are more prominent.

Notes:
This was my first experience with the Soula estate in India and I quite enjoyed this Assam.

Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Malt