28 Tasting Notes
20 second rinse. I am following Verdant’s recommendation of a lower water temperature (190 F) and a longer steep time (starting at 1 minute, adding 30 seconds each time).
The first steep is pretty boring, though I did not have a long enough rinse to break apart the tuocha. It tastes primarily of hay, slightly sweet.
Second steeping: The tea has turned dramatically darker, now more of a reddish amber color than the first steeping. It is a little more bitter than the first steeping. It has a much thicker mouthfeel now. It tastes like hay still, but also a little of sweet char, like you get on grilled fruits.
Third steeping: No interesting new developments, but I’m kind of digging these long but frequent steepings. It inspires me to wash my dishes while I wait.
Fourth steeping: This has lost its thick mouthfeel but tastes pretty much the same.
Fifth steeping: The tea is starting to fade. It is more mineral tasting and much thinner. The color has also lightened up.
Overall, it’s fine.
The dry leaf smells roasty sweet, like hojicha candy. It also tastes mildly sweet and roasted. It kind of also tastes like a jujube tea that I have tried before. The last half of the cup is very slightly astringent.
This is not very boldly flavored. It is interesting and different. I would drink this tea again and will finish the 1 oz packet that I purchased, but I do not think I will purchase more of it. It just doesn’t have anything that really stands out about it.
Hoo boy, does this steep up dark and opaque. I received this in a Tea Forte “single steeps” sampler set. Maybe my sample was a little stale? This is not a very strong tea. There’s not a lot of nuance here. It’s a pretty average assam.
I added some milk and a pinch of sugar to the second half of my cup. It brings out a slight caramel flavor, but this really still doesn’t taste like much. I normally steep my black teas at a slightly lower temperature to avoid astringency, but this probably needs to be prepared with water near a full boil.
Leaf: Dry, it smells bright, with malty undercurrents. Wet, the leaf smells sweet, almost fruity. About half of the long, thin leaves are a pale gold.
Water: Bubbles are formed on the bottom of the kettle and began being released.
Amount: I used approximately 1 tablespoon of tea for 8 oz of water.
1 minute: The tea is a deep, dark brown. It tastes very malty.
3 minutes: The tea is now a rich amber color. It still tastes malty, but there’s a slight flavor with it that is almost slightly fungal.
Leaf: Short little folds of tea.
Water: I wasn’t paying attention, and the water got closer to a boil than I intended.
Amount: I used approximately 4g of tea in 8 oz of water.
1 minute: The tea is a beautiful, bright red-orange color. It has a very thick mouthfeel.
3 minutes: The tea is a darker brown than before. It still has the thick mouthfeel. It is slightly bitter, I may have oversteeped it. It is ever so slightly acidic.
Leaf: Whispy little twists.
Water: Below boiling, bubbles were formed on the bottom of the kettle and had just started being released.
Amount: I used approximately 3g of tea in 8 oz of water.
1 min: This tea is a dark red-orange color. It smells earthy and tastes slightly tangy.
3 minutes: The tea is now a rich red brown. However, it doesn’t taste like much, but that is likely because I ate a piece of candied ginger just before drinking the tea.
Leaf: Huge tightly rolled balls, approximately the size of a small marble.
Water: I let the water get really hot, just under a full boil.
Amount: I used 4 balls for 8 oz of water.
5 minutes: The balls have completely unfurled. The tea is a medium shade of amber. This tea is hot! Sipping on it, there is nothing that special about it. It tastes very similar to the black tea that they have at a lot of the Chinese restaurants on my college campus. However, I let it cool for a few minutes, so I could actually drink a full mouthfull, and the flavor is much more complex. It is very malty, with just a hint of a sweet, caramel-like flavor. It’s very rich and thick.
10 minutes: The tea is a lighter, caramel color. It has exuded most of its nuance in the previous steeping, unfortunately.
Leaf: These are beautiful twists of gold.
Water: Below boiling, small bubbles were formed on the bottom of the kettle, and on about half of the surface area, the bubbles were releasing.
Amount: Whoops, I overpoured and ended up using the whole 7g sample for 8 oz of water.
3 minutes: The tea is a deep reddish brown. It has a bright flavor, though it’s slightly acidic. After sipping the first half of the cup, I forgot about it, and it cooled to room temperature, and wow. It is really thick and creamy and malty. Fantastic.
5 minutes: Again, the tea is a dark, reddish brown. However, it must have not had a very significant taste, because I didn’t have any notes on it. Maybe I was still too blown away by the cold tea.