Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range

When Dragonfly Tea asked me if I wanted to try their organic speciality range, I didn’t hesitate at all.

I’ve done quite a few tastings before – of coffee, tea, wine, chocolate, chocolate and coffee… I knew it was time to gather my team of professionals and fulfill the mission!

When it comes to professional execution of the process and the preparation of correct tasting notes, there is no one better than AnotherCup director Robert Henry (in the face of my fiance, lucky me!). As you may guess, a proper tasting session needs to be reported accordingly, so we couldn’t do this without our photographer Rod Leon.

Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk

Dragonfly Tea

Dragonfly Tea are a family-owned, British company with a hundred year heritage of sourcing, growing and making the very purest and finest of teas. They travel the globe to find artisan and often rare brews: some from remote gardens, and some from the most renowned tea makers. They believe in raising up the standards of the modern era of fast food and mass production. Dragonfly Tea are able to bring you the best cuppa of purity and quality by committing to traditional and sustainable methods of tea cultivation and processing.


Swirling Mist

Organic White Tea

Suggested tasting notes: Subtle and refreshing with a slight nutty taste.
Brew 2-3 minutes.

Our tasting notes:

2 minutes: The appearance is clear, and whilst brewing, the aroma reminds us of a summer’s field of wild grasses. It has a pleasant mouthfeel (body) – meaning it lingers with a subtle aftertaste – but still has quite a dry finish.

3 minutes: The 3 minute brew looks a little cloudy, reminding us of stonefruit in appearance. (Think of an apricot seed). It’s full bodied, and slightly bitter. The increased  tannins affect the finish, making the aftertaste prolonged and bitter.

Conclusion: Although the 3-minute brew has a stronger aftertaste, it tastes too bitter. The 2 minute brew of this White Tea is our  preferred choice.

Swirling Mist, Organic White Tea: Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk Swirling Mist, Organic White Tea: Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk


Moonlight Jasmine

Organic Green Tea

Suggested tasting notes: Refreshing and smooth, with a delicate floral scent.
Brew 1-3 minutes.

Our tasting notes:

1 minute: The first thing to notice obviously is the light straw appearance. The aroma is fresh and grassy. For me, this brew tasted quite light, but Robert picked out lemon and grass flavours, with a dry jasmine aftertaste. It has a light, refreshing body, allowing it to be drunk at anytime of the day.

2 minutes: At 2 minutes, the appearance changes, taking on a clear honey colored tone. The extra minute allows the sweet jasmine flower scent to manifest, meaning we picked up sweet, floral notes. It’s a little bitter – with a honey sweetness – and a very pleasant floral aftertaste.

3 minutes: This tea is slightly cloudy, with a barley hue. However, what it loses in appearance, it makes up for in taste. It’s the richest and most complex of the three, and we identified white grapes, lemon and honey. It can be described as biting through the skin of a grape which is bitter at the beginning, but once you break through, the sweet fruit juices inside are released. It smells zesty, fruity and woody, all at the same time.

Conclusion: This Moonlight Jasmine tea is a very refreshing drink. You can have the light 1-minute cup at any time of the day, the 2-minute before dinner and the 3-minute brew makes a great after dinner drink.

Moonlight Jasmine, Organic Green Tea: Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk Moonlight Jasmine, Organic Green Tea: Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk


Moroccan Mint

Organic Green Tea

Suggested tasting notes: Reviving, with the natural sweetness of real spearmint.
Brew 1-2 minutes.

Our tasting notes:

1 minute: A very clear amber colour with a light and grassy aroma. The taste of spearmint is very subtle, with a brief aftertaste.

2 minutes: This has a honeydew appearance, but it’s quite complex. I tasted cut grass, spinach and pine, whilst Robert got pine and spearmint. The extra minute brings out more spearmint and more tannins, producing a dry aftertaste.

Conclusion: The Moroccan Mint tea is very refreshing indeed and is one of my personal favourites, but we both agreed that we didn’t get enough spearmint flavour within the recommended brewing time. We tried another brew for 4 minutes and preferred its complexity and depth.

Moroccan Mint, Organic Green Tea: Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk Moroccan Mint, Organic Green Tea: Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk Moroccan Mint, Organic Green Tea: Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk


Cape Rooibos

Organic Redbush Tea

Suggested tasting notes: Smooth and full-bodies with a soft natural sweetness.
Brew 2-4 minutes.

Our tasting notes:

2 minutes: A clear, rich amber shade.  It has a honey, caramel, and light molasses flavour. 2 minutes gives you a medium-bodied drink, with a fresh yet brief aftertaste. It’s sweet, without the spice.

3 minutes: There’s a subtle introduction of  star anise here.  The appearance is darker, but still clear. Complex layers of malty caramel and spice begin to emerge.

4 minutes: This is full-on, with spicy cinnamon finally making an entrance. It has a medium-ripe plum appearance, but has all of the flavour and taste profiles of 2 & 3 minutes.

Conclusion: I personally liked the 4-minute brew of the Cape Rooibos most for its rich flavours, but Robert preferred 3 minutes. It  gives just enough spiciness, without getting too strong.

Cape Rooibos, Organic Redbush Tea: Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk Cape Rooibos, Organic Redbush Tea: Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk


Cape Malay Chai

Organic Spiced Rooibos

Suggested tasting notes: Smoothing and aromatic with gently warming spice notes.
Brew 2-4 minutes.

Our tasting notes:

2 minutes: The appearance is slightly cloudy. It has a subtle ginger and honey aroma, a brief aftertaste, and not much body.

3 minutes: This tea is starting to show its flavours. You can pick out the cardamon, ginger and cinnamon very easily. Cardamon is the overall flavour sensation, but it still leaves a ginger aftertaste. It’s full bodied and spicy.

4 minutes: The 4-minute brew is very complex and full bodied – there’s a strong sensation of ginger, cardamon and cinnamon here. The appearance hasn’t changed, but the colour and taste certainly has. Spice, spice, spice!

Conclusion: If you like a spicy complex chai with the taste of ginger, cardamon, cinnamon and sweet molasses, the Cape Malay Chai will give you all this perfectly, when brewed for 4 minutes.

Cape Malay Chai, Organic Spiced Rooibos: Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk Cape Malay Chai, Organic Spiced Rooibos: Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk


Important Notes

Tea tasting is quite different than the regular tea drinking. It’s purpose is mainly to find out how long you should brew your tea for, and at what temperature, so you know how best to enjoy it later.

Therefore, the proper tea tasting has to be carried with a few important steps in mind:

  • Use clean, preferably filtered water.
  • Don’t pour the boiling water directly onto the tea bag. Allow the water to cool down for a couple of seconds, after you poured it into the teapot. This is especially important for green and white teas, as they are from the more delicate areas of the tea plant.
  • Use clean glasses and cupping spoons to examine the colour, flavour and taste.
  • Have a glass of clean water on the side to wash the spoons between tasting each cup. This stops you mixing the teas, between each tasting.
  • Start with the light tasting teas and go gradually to the spiced ones.
  • Whilst tasting, think of the flavours you can feel, picture in your head what they remind you of, and try to record how long they last for.

Most importantly: once you found out how you like your tea, brew it for your preferred time, and enjoy! 🙂

Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk Tea Tasting of Dragonfly Speciality Range - See results on the Balgarka.co.uk