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Recent Tasting Notes
oh now, THIS is tasty! sent as a free sample with my recent order of some oolongs, i hadn’t really ever tried green tea of this style. i used my glass easy gaiwan and after a quick rinse in 175 degree water, steeped the 5g sample in around 6 oz of water for the recommended 6 seconds. it was yummy, but it wasn’t until rounds 2-5 that the tea really bloomed into a brothy, buttery, vegetal harmony. i’m done for the day, but going to put the gaiwan in the fridge and see if i can get a bit more out of this particular tea sample.
Flavors: Asparagus, Broth, Butter, Cake, Vegetal
Spring 2020 Harvest
Date of Picking: Late May 2020
On to my next Laoshan Black from Verdant. This time I made it the way I would normally steep my black teas. In the bag, it has that chocolate syrup aroma that I love so much. Baked bread while steeping, that same mineral note in the first sip that I found in the Autumn 2019 harvest. The chocolate is more forward in this cup than in the last, which I enjoy, but I also did a poor job steeping the last one so it wouldn’t be fair to compare them too closely.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Fruity, Mineral
Autumn 2019 Harvest
Date of Picking: September 2019
I made an order with Verdant a month or so ago and decided to grab a small amount of each of the Laoshan Black harvests available so that I could try each and compare them. I should have used more tea and/or more water for this one; the flavor is much lighter than I would have liked. I think I’ll resteep and see how it holds up. Holding on the rating for now.
6 ounces water + 212 degrees + 20 minutes
The second cup leaves a lot to be desired, and I’m certain it’s because I botched the first cup. There is a mineral flavor in this steep that I hadn’t noticed before, plus something else I can’t quite put my finger on. Overall, it’s far too light for my taste.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Vanilla
#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #169 overall / Tea #40 for April
Monday 4/26 — Verdant Tea 2020 Spring Laoshan Green 25g(?) pack. Last cold brew pitcher I started rebrew of leaves 4/22 for a day or so I can’t remember but then brought to work to finish tea 4/26. Strong green tea. Need to try brewing it less when cold brewing to see if the flavor can taste a little lighter. I have a lot of this since I apparently acquired some last year and I didn’t realize so then got a bunch on change of season sale at Verdant.
#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown #sipdownchallenge
Y is for…Yu Lu Yan Cha
Thank you Sil!! Turns out I have 3 “Y” teas. All are straight black teas. 2 were gifted to me from Sil and this is one of those two.
I keep forgetting about this tea and tea note. I feel that’s not the best sign for this tea. It’s good. Got a lot of cinnamon notes. Honey as well. It’s just not capturing my attention much apparently. If I were someone who drank a cup of black tea daily to get a caffeine fix in, this would be alright for that because its got just enough flavor to be delightful without being something you would get bored with. However, I drink tea for the flavor and this just isn’t standing out. Still fun to try though so thank you again Sil!
This will be my first time trying a Roi Gui. I’ve heard a lot about it from other tea people but just never tried it until I bought the Master Zhang oolong tasting pack from Verdant. Verdant is hard enough to pass buy without buying as it is but mention Master Zhang and the chance for buying increases tremendously. The dry leaf is so fresh smelling. Slightly floral, some tropical notes mixed with mineral notes. The mouthfeel on the first cup was incredible. The silkiest mouthfeel I have ever experienced. It’s so smooth. Like licking the smoothest rock. Licking a piece of silk sheets? I’ll stop. The wet aroma is slightly like buttered popcorn and baked bread of some sort… Like pudding bread. With nominal orchids and other unique florals.
Brewed Western-style. First steep was excellent—had a roasted, coffee flavor with an underlying sweetness and a warm, spiced quality. Would’ve rated this quite high, but it lost complexity on the second and third steep. Still very drinkable, but not as interesting.
Flavors: Allspice, Caramel, Coffee
An Ode to Tea, X entry!
Squeezing in another gong fu session during my weekend off. This was also a sample I grabbed from the final Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox, so thanks to all that contributed to that box and tea-sipper for organizing it! I had 5.38g of leaf and steeped in my 100ml shiboridashi.
100ml shiboridashi | 5.38g | 205F | Rinse/10s/15s/20s/25s/30s/35s/40s/45s
The rinse smelled so strongly of dirt that I admit that after having such a pleasant pu’erh experience yesterday, it was right back to dirt, swamp water, or nasty tobacco for me. And the first steep did pretty much just smell and taste like dirt. The aroma reminded me of dirt, mushrooms, and a faint BBQ smoke quality. In taste, it had that strong earthy dirty flavor, but it was much smoother than I’m used to… a “fresh” tasting dirt. A bit of a mushroomy note as well, and a flavor I can only describe as plantain (though I’ve only tried dried plantain chips once… as someone with strong banana aversion, they aren’t high on my list of must-have foods). It was almost a banana-like flavor, but veered just enough toward a potato/yam note to not trigger my extremely strong “Danger! Danger! Banana present!” gag reflex. It was easily the worst steep, because after that, the tea mellowed and tasted much less like dirt to me, and instead a smooth and refreshing petrichor note. It was a wet earth and rocks taste but crisp and lacking the vegetal “pond scum marshiness” I’m used to accompanying such flavors in pu’erh. About mid-session, a very strong oat/grain flavor popped toward the end of the sip and lingered in the aftertaste. As I approached the end of the session, I noticed the plantain/yam note creeping back in subtly amidst the petrichor.
I enjoyed this one as well! Not as much as the sheng I drank yesterday, but this was a nice session. I think the cha qi for this one is sitting with me better than the tea yesterday, which knocked me out for several hours; I feel a mellow but alert awakeness right now.
Flavors: Dirt, Earth, Grain, Mineral, Mushrooms, Oats, Petrichor, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks, Yams
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Smoke, Stonefruit
This was a good tea but seemed to suffer from a loss of freshness. Partly a result of Covid related shipping delays and partly due to sitting in cold storage for several months. I feel like delicate greens such as first flushes don’t hold up to refrigeration as well as dragonwells and sencha.
At standard green tea temperature (170 – 175 F) the tea has an odd note of overly ripe pear and banana. Upon bumping up the temperature, it went away and the familiar Laoshan flavors of soybean, fennel, and green lettuce appeared with an underlay of nuttiness.
Not terribly complex and as mentioned had lost some freshness yet still a pleasant drinking experience.
Flavors: Fennel, Lettuce, Pear, Soybean
Reading about young sheng. I got that grassiness and pleasantly bitter astringency that indicates it’s a good candidate for aging, woo. And I see what someone meant when they said it’s not so much about the taste but the feeling you get during and after drinking—the sweetness and energy really built up through the afternoon. It is my understanding that this may be what is referred to as hui gan.
Was a little worried when I read that young sheng may upset the stomach due to certain enzymes being present but it had the opposite effect on me, even as someone with digestive issues.
Looking forward to seeing this tea evolve. Gonna try this again in a little while to see if lower brewing temperatures bring out more flavor.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Grass, Mineral, Tulsi
I have a backlog of tasting notes to catch up on, so here’s the first. This was an enjoyable gong fu session with my partner. Always a delight to share tea with someone else, especially when they’re eager to try something new. I was a bit surprised that she seemed to enjoy the tea more than me considering she’s the type of person to add sweetener to everything, and well, there’s none of that here. I found it nice enough but it lacked that depth in flavor I was hoping to find. The flavors didn’t quite evolve in a significant way either, though after some time the tea became reminiscent of green beans, kind of melding a lot of the notes together which made me “get it” more. Recently I’ve found those moments are nice, when you’re sipping and all of a sudden you have that a-ha moment and learn to appreciate it.
Flavors: Drying, Fennel, Green Beans, Mineral, Nutty, Soybean, Spinach, Vegetal
Thank you Sil for sharing this one with me. It’s weird because (1) I’ve never had a TGY that wasn’t an oolong before and (2) this is a black tea that tastes sort of like a white tea. That’s also a first for me. It’s not bad but different than I expected for sure. It’s got sort of hay notes to it and like yeasty bread with some honey as well. Maybe some cinnamon. I think I like it but I don’t think I need more of it.
I’ve had a couple cups of this throughout the week, and it’s just so tasty and easy to drink.
It’s pretty unfussy and doesn’t get bitter easily. I’ve enjoyed it with while eating some salted caramel bark and it was a delicious pairing.
It’s very honey forward, with notes of chocolate, stone fruits, and a tiny bit of cassia.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Honey, Stonefruit
Laoshan Black Tea
He family spring 2020
Laoshan, Shandong, China
5g, 130 mL, brita filtered water, water off the boil
Dry leaves: chocolate, raisin
10s first steep: brewed leaves smell a little burnt. Taste: a sweet floral, very pleasant, but also deep, reminds me of coffee without the acidity.
20s second steep: similar brewed leaves. Taste: aftertaste reminds me of Chinese dried jujube dates. No other thoughts.
No more notes, except sweet potatoes at some point. Online reviewers overall seem obsessed with LB, so I had really high expectations going in, and that probably dimmed my experience a bit. I’ve been spoiled by my aunt’s mystery pack that she sent me a while back, and that had something basically exactly like this with different packaging, so I’ve already had it or an eerily similar one in the past. It’s not a bad tea per se, just perhaps not for me. Didn’t bother with more exact notes, because everything that can be said has already been said.
Flavors: Chocolate, Dates, Floral, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes
I was running low on straight black teas, so decided to grab a few from Verdant.
This is much different than most black teas that I’m used to, and seems more like a mid-oxidized oolong.
If someone had served this to me, I would swear there is honey added to it. The honey note is incredibly sweet, and tastes like an orange blossom or other floral/more mild honey. The floral notes are also quite distinct. Really enjoy this one!
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Sweet