Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tea Journeyman Indonesian black tea (PT Harendong Green Farm)

This was a great black tea.  Just to be clear, I mean it matches the type of tea I like, not that it's an exceptional grade of tea or an unusual or rare style of tea (probably some of each and more true of the latter, but not the point).

I've come to like the idea of a vendor having their say, but as far as flavor goes it's this (link to source page here):  

The aroma and taste boast sweet, fruity, and woody qualities. With a medium body, a clean, juicy texture, and a mildly brisk character

The tea!

My own tasting notes and review:

Primary flavors:  cocoa, drifting a little towards cinamon, with dark cherry and natural sweetness.  Trace of earthy element, dark wood, maybe towards peat.  No astringency.   Slightly muddled flavors combining with earth / peat flavor element, not completely "clean."  

Overall impression would probably depend on taste preference,  also feel / "body"of tea emphasis.

I liked it,  based on liking that style.  I had the impression I might've liked it more than the site review would justify; this is just what I like.  I love diversity in drinking teas but I could let green teas and lightly oxidized oolongs drop for awhile based on drinking such more oxidized teas.

Unflavored, high mountain, what else

It reminds me a little of the Vietnamese black teas I've been drinking lately, soft black teas with distinctive flavors, rich wood and earth tones, and with some fruit element, quite good balance, and natural sweetness.  Really what's not to love.

The "clean" reference in the web page and my own notes is a bit odd, especially pointing in the two different directions.   There is definitely nothing objectionable in the tea, just pleasant flavor elements, and a good texture (juicy; sure), so what I meant by it was a reference to a subtle character element, the feel of the tea.  It's hardly a flaw, just the slight room for improvement.

I sort of didn't "get" the briskness either, which I associate with both the crisp flavor (mineral element, sort of) of Ceylon black teas (Sri Lankan) and the sharp astringency associated with that (not completely connected, but somehow linked).  But then I guess the concept could be used in different ways, and it's not as if I'm classically trained in tea tasting.

Related next steps / postscript:

I've been drinking one other nice Vietnamese black tea, not so different than one I reviewed not too long ago, and also an exceptional more oxidized / darker roasted oolong.  It will be interesting to reference those back to this tea.

How to brew:  seems boiling water would work too

I also bought two other teas from the Tea Journeyman site I really ought to get to reviewing:  a white tea and a Ceylon black tea.  Both were nice, all three very different and distinctive, good examples of the types with their own individual strong points.

On a related note that online shop is closing, and teas are being sold at close-out pricing, so if this sounds good check it right away.  The pricing seemed ok to me but not exceptional since I've been spoiled by Asian pricing (the Vietnamese teas I've yet to review are close enough to free, and maybe just a little better per my own preferences).

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