5 Tasting Notes


As a fan of Japanese greens, Darjeelings, and Bai Mu Dan, I could smell this tea all day. Dry and steeped, it is sweet and bright, but with maltiness hints, like a diverse garden. It will remind you of a vegetative Darjeeling or like a green Assam, to the nose? But the first sip will send you in another direction, rooted mostly in bright, crisp greens, a grassy bite, with a hint of sweetness. There’s a woodiness too, like fresh cut Hickory, or Black Walnut. The aftertaste is wheatgrass-forward with a sweet, almost stevia-like taste near the throat. It lingers for minutes, 5 easy. Can get easily bitter with too much tea, ideal to me at 1.5 tsp.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Molasses, Sawdust, Sweet, Warm Grass

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Bright. Filling. Rain clouds. A solo fiddle in a field. Surprising.

Pre-Chingming. Pale liquor, surprising hints of toast and grain. There’s depth to this. Can work as a morning or afternoon cuppa. Some may find a bit on the astringent side, but I think it is balanced enough. Wakes up the palate, even after a cup of Keemun. Second infusion still grassy, slightly toasty, complexity subsides. Spent leaves turn strongly vegetative.

Flavors: Astringent, Bell Pepper, Grain, Sweet, Warm Grass, Toast

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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Such a smoooooth gyokuro. The umami flavor is just a hint when you swallow and let in more air. It quickly subsides and resolves in a cool, slightly sweet fruit note, mostly melon to my tongue. Did I experiment with this at 190? Yep. Was I rewarded with a new gyok experience? Yep. The leaves even gave a fairly nice second cup.

If it were a bit less expensive, this could be a sensible daily drinker.

Flavors: Green Melons, Sweet, Warm Grass, Umami

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Amidst the sweeter, smokier, heavier notes, this tea is crisp and definitely has some hints of fruit. Doesn’t remind me of cigars or ash however. So clean, very rich, doesn’t take milk well though (I’ve been known to milk a lapsang and enjoy it). Works well hot and iced. The tartness and smoke linger for quiet a long time.

Makes you want to sit outside in the morning and hear the world get in tune while you sip. Just makes me happy. My new favorite smoked black.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Malt, Smoke, Tart

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Surprisingly full-bodied. I thought it would be a bit delicate, but it works both hot and iced. Perfect for Spring. Not a “classic” Japanese green cup, but definitely not a Spring Blossom Pekoe. To my tongue, it was something a bit new. Kinda like when you first have a fresh Japanese black when you mostly know Assams and Keemuns. Loved it.

Flavors: Grass, Spearmint, Sweet, Vegetal, Wheat

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Sound designer, cognitive researcher, creative industrialist, product designer, and whole-hearted lover of tea


Charlotte, NC, USA



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