1160 Tasting Notes

90
drank Tulsi Sweet Rose by Organic India
1160 tasting notes

Bought a box for work. Seems less rose forward than the bag I snagged from my aunt months ago. Grounding tulsi has a stronger presence.

Still love it and still taste colors. Vibrant!

I’ve been buying bagged teas for work even though I have a desk now, a spare electric kettle at home and enough loose leaf to provide endless cups to our little army in the back corner. I’m starting off as a tea messenger of sorts, spreading the good word by providing some fresh, high quality tea bags. It’s always unsettling venturing into new territory as a stranger (weirdo is more like it), but I bring gifts of peace and goodwill. I found common ground with one of the back-corner denizens, and from there it is spreading quickly <3

Leafhopper

It’s great that you’re spreading the word! I remember it being a big deal for me to venture into the world of loose-leaf tea using a tea ball, so teabags are probably a good place to start.

Evol Ving Ness

I find DAVID’s teas steeper pretty good, and painless for cups and pots, when you are ready for the next step.

ashmanra

You probably know this already, but I have found that if someone says they really just drink coffee or they have never particularly liked tea, they seem to fall hard for puerh. That has been my tea padawan experience so far. Keep up the good work! Spread that tea love!

Evol Ving Ness

Ashmanra is the expert on this. All those tea and cake visits and afternoons!

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80

I don’t want to say how great this sencha is for my preferences knowing there are only 25g bags left at What-Cha, but oh, look what I have done.

What sets this apart from pretty much every sencha I’ve had (which truthfully isn’t a lot because it’s not a preferred type of tea) is a very smooth and colloidal body with an oily, coating mouthfeel. I was not expecting that! It has a light dried flowers-sweet grassy-corn husk-nutty flavor with a deeper, wheatgrassy-seaweedy nuance, something to anchor the taste within that body. A gentle cooling finish. First infusion can leave a little burst of peach in the aftertaste. The tea doesn’t taste bitter but a mellow bitterness eventually surfaces throughout the mouth. Now at the bottom of my second bowl, my tongue tingles with a pleasant salty-metallic excitement!

This evening, with my first preparation of this tea (btw, all but the few chopped stems sinks), I am getting a drying catch in the throat, so I’ll have to use less leaf next time. Regardless, this is quite interesting, hefty and soothing. Being from Okinawa, I guess this tea is out of the normal range of sencha offered by most western-facing vendors. Worth a try!

Summer 2020 harvest

Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Corn Husk, Drying, Floral, Metallic, Nutty, Oily, Peach, Salt, Seaweed, Smooth, Thick, Wheatgrass

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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82

A note to say goodbye. I was going to try to hang onto these for a long time but I didn’t have the patience. An inattentive mind can be a virtue.

After 3 years, I don’t think there’s been much change. Still a good tea. It is lower toned than when fresh. Nectar-silky body with clean, delicate tones of creamed honey, tobacco-malt-yam, melon, dates, cream and butter, eucalyptus cool. Probably more aromatic than flavorful, which in the nose, it also has a Cabbage Patch doll baby powder-powdered sugar-soft vanilla scent that I get in Yunnan white teas. Such a unique note.

These dragon balls were formed too tightly to unfurl on their own. Good tea to grandpa if you can pull the leaf apart.

Flavors: Beeswax, Butter, Cream, Dates, Eucalyptus, Honey, Malt, Melon, Nectar, Powdered Sugar, Smooth, Sweet, Tobacco, Vanilla, Yams

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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Kiki is home again for the weekend and watching an old Great British Bake Off show.

How’s the tea?

“Very good! Lemony, berry-like. Raspberry, blueberry.”

She’s preoccupied but happy as could be with the show and her tea.

Of course I had a few sips before I handed it off. Hibiscus isn’t acrid at all. Lots of raspberry and ‘forest strawberry’ kind of flavor, artificialish but good. The aroma is too strong for me and very perfumey. Kiki likes strong. She like fruity. She likes hibiscus. She likes to be punched in the face with flavor and aroma, so this is a great tea for her.

ashmanra

Aw, she is loving being home! Enjoy, Kiki! It is always so good to get back home.

derk

It was nice to have her back for a few days :) She’s a good soul.

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Finally getting around to the Chawangshop teas I purchased maybe 3 years ago.

An exploration of Mengsong pu’er. The Mengsong here is blended with Jingmai material.

I’ve been nursing this over the course of the day since past experience with Jingmai teas has often left me feeling spun. It’s been forceful yet kind.

The tea makes its first impression with a cooling eucalyptus overlay. Stonefruit and citrus tones. Deep, and buttery-cooked-plum sweet. The sweetness is moderate, not as rich as Yiwu teas can be. Underlying astringency becomes more pronounced but never out of control. Initially, it lacks bitterness but it develops at an adequate pace. Like the astringency, never out of control.

Maybe this tea gets its punch and strength from Mengsong, but the flavor profile reminds me more of Jingmai. The aroma is developing and the liquor is pouring a brownish-orange color. The dry leaf is darkening. It seems like it was pressed medium-tight but water loss has made peeling layers off an easy task. This is a solid tea. Nothing amazing but for where it is in its age, it’s doing mighty fine :)

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Citrus, Eucalyptus, Fruity, Peat Moss, Plum, Smoke, Stonefruit

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I love a good Wuyi zheng shan xiao zhong. It seems like this style of richly flavored, mineral and structured red tea has increased in popularity since I started drinking loose leaf 4 or 5 years ago. I see it offered now by most online vendors.

This tea has fallen flat in its 4 years of existence. The floral notes I love have vanished, which is common with age. It really needs to be pushed with heat and time to get that rich cup I crave from ZSXZ. The typical for me notes of lychee, apricot, honey, cinnamon and cream are watery. Chocolate does make a nice appearance when pushed but to the detriment of a cedary woodchip bite in the throat.

Well, this is the last tea from a Leafhopper swap. Your generosity, Leafhopper, has made this stupid year bearable! I got a lot of older teas, which I’m absolutely not knocking you for (my own collection has some age-related issues). Instead, with your unwanteds, I was able to find some treasures, like a few 5-6 years old green teas (who knew!). And you were so kind to share some of your more valued teas, like a few immensely flavorful Darjeeling second flushes and my favorite green Shan Lin Xi oolong to date. Thank you, thank you <3

Flavors: Apricot, Biting, Cedar, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cream, Honey, Lychee

Leafhopper

I’m sorry to hear that the Lapsang degraded with age. It smelled good when I took it out of the bag, so I thought it would be okay.

I enjoyed reading your reviews of the teas and apologize for how many older ones I included. I really do have issues with my “tea museum!” It’s too bad I hadn’t opened my Wuyi Origin teas and all those 2021 oolongs before I sent that package. I’m glad those older green teas found a good home!

Evol Ving Ness

“Tea museum!”—absolutely accurate in my case. Adopting this phrase if I can recall it as needed.

derk

No need for apology! I agreed to try some old ones out of curiosity :) How are the sipdowns coming along? Any reduction of artifacts?

Leafhopper

Evol Ving Ness, thanks, I like that phrase myself. It’s disturbingly accurate.

Derk, a few artifacts have been removed from the collection, but they’re always being replaced! I’ve been on an oolong kick lately, so my spring 2021 oolongs may not be joining the permanent archive. :) I’ve found a cache of your samples that I’m also sipping down. Do you have any idea how to brew that Japanese black tea from Liquid Proust?

derk

Glad to see your 2021 oolong are getting the love they deserve :)

Fair warning, I’m totally clueless with Japanese teas!! I did 1g:100mL western style which is my standard for red teas. 90C since it’s a ‘Darjeeling’ for 4 minutes. Maybe start with 3min if you want 2 steeps? It seemed to brew out quickly, so a 4min steep was plenty flavorful but I don’t think it left anything for second steep.

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A very structured tea! June 2020 harvest.

There’s a lot of fruitiness between apricot-orange and savory osmanthus as the main show. Infused in that fruitiness is the classic summer, bug-bitten crystallized and honeyed muscatel flavor with a soft, sweet cinnamon-allspice overtone and a strong eucalyptus-lemongrass-mineral undertone. While there is a gardenia florality that diffuses over the main attraction, the bottom, low-toned notes hold a lot influence. Autumn leaf, sap, wood and malt give a stable, prominent base to the fruit, flowers, cinnamon-honey-muscatel, eucalyptus and lemongrass. Sometimes, in those bottom notes, I get some umami.

This tea has strength in many facets. The aroma is beautiful, a little pushy, as I’d expect it to be, with honey, vanilla, osmanthus and wood. With each exhalation, the fragrance returns. Like the aroma, it is also forceful. With each breath, I feel like I’m taking another sip from the cup and my body simultaneously cools and warms. The texture ranges from juicy to creamy to tingly to tannic. The tea responds best to longer infusions and has great longevity. It seems to transition smoothly out of its initial ba-BOOM character and ends on woody and lemongrass notes.

One other thing is the way this tea makes me feel – it’s summer late afternoon in a cup.

Flavors: Allspice, Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Cinnamon, Citrusy, Creamy, Drying, Eucalyptus, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Gardenias, Hay, Honey, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Orange, Osmanthus, Peach, Sap, Savory, Smooth, Straw, Sweet, Tangy, Tannin, Umami, Vanilla, Wood

Veronica

Everything about this tea sounds beautiful!

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April 2021 harvest.

By this point, I’ve determined that of all the green teas I’ve had, lighter Chinese green teas are my jam. The ones that are clean and spring water sweet with nuances of flowers, vegetables and nuttiness. Hints of citrus and spice (in this case, green peppercorn) are always welcome. Those with minimal bitterness, astringency, grassiness and beaniness. This one follows the trend of being delicate and I find it delicious and good for my body.

Whether it’s a Lu Shan Yun Wu or, like this, a Huang Shan Yun Wu, I would consider this style of green tea among my favorites.

Thank you for the freebie, What-Cha :)

Flavors: Cashew, Floral, Flowers, Garden Peas, Green Beans, Lemon, Mineral, Orchid, Peppercorn, Smooth, Spring Water, Sugarcane

tea-sipper

Yep, my jam too. :D

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76
drank Constant Comment by Bigelow
1160 tasting notes

It’s been a long time since we last met, Constant Comment. Years. Twenty?

I can’t say more than has been said here, with nearly 200 tasting notes posted to Steepster.

This tea brings me joy.

Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Citrusy, Clove, Ginger, Orange, Round, Spicy, Tannin, Tea

gmathis

Makes me smile every time I see somebody enjoying it. Also makes me think it should be on my grocery list.

Martin Bednář

I am sorting tea bags into my collection today and saw it there! I never tried it though.

Todd

Probably the best bagged tea I would drink for free in an office! Aside from Fujitsu, where they carried Yamamotoyama teas, including houjicha…

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50

If I take the bag out at a respectable time, it has a light black tea taste like standard fare sinensis varietal with some lemony tang. If left in due to inattentiveness, it develops some earthiness and the lemongrass becomes a smothering top note. Not my cup. Only lemongrass done lightly passes the derk test. Going for a respectable steep time makes an inoffensive, if boring, cup.

Flavors: Earth, Lemon, Lemongrass, Tangy, Tea

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Bio

If you’re an aspiring or current tea grower, let’s talk! I am slowly beginning a tea farm here in Northern California. Currently growing are young plants pulled from the ground and gifted to me after a visit to Fairhope Tea Plantation in Alabama. The parent plants are sinensis variety from a defunct Lipton research project. I’ve also started seeds from Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina. The types include Camellia taliensis, an assamica variety, and 3 sinensis varieties including “Small leaf” “Large leaf” and “Black Sea.” To learn how to process tea into different styles, I plan on traveling to China and Taiwan if/when COVID becomes a relative non-issue. I’m taking Mandarin classes to aid in this journey.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came, following a lone tin of some Tie Guan Yin oolong many years prior, in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most. Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently.

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes.

One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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