38 Tasting Notes
(4g/4oz/175; wash, then 30 sec infusion, +10 following)
Dry leaves have very savory green vegetable aroma, not sweet at all. Wet leaves after wash add roasted/smoky scent. 1st infusion (30 sec) is dark gold, almost brown. Taste is of savory broth, almost meaty, with a hint of smoke on the nose. Just a touch bitter, and finishes with a very slight astringency; not unpleasant, though, as it balances the savory notes. Taste of infusions 2-4 remain consistent. Flavor is interesting but not especially complex.
(4g/4 oz/195/30 sec, 15 sec resteep)
Dry leaves smell sweet from the green tea, but wet smell primarily of toasted corn. Tea smells buttery & toasty. First steep (30 sec) is light gold in color, nice blend of mostly savory & a touch sweet in the caramelized roastiness. Very soothing & pleasant. Scent of lightly buttered popcorn is delicious. Second steep (15 sec) is similar with just a tiny hint of astringency at the end. Third steep (30 sec) still good, maybe just starting to lose a little flavor. Easily did 5 infusions without serious loss of flavor.
I’ll have to remember this one when cold season starts – it would be very comforting.
(Gongfu, 3.5g/5oz, 175, 10 sec +5 following) Dry leaves smell sweet & lightly vegetal. Wet leaves bring a touch of toasted spinach aroma.
Steeps 1-3: Aroma is of lightly buttered cooked green vegetables. Flavor is delicate, sweet, & vegetal, with a slightly thick & buttery texture. After first infusion, sweetness recedes a little while vegetal flavors grow more prominent. Remains smooth, no bitterness or astringency. After third infusion becoming a little weak.
Steeps 4-6 (30, 60, 120 sec): Not much different but definitely less strength. Longer steeps still smooth & pleasant. After 6, put leaves in ~8 oz to cold brew.
Update 1: not much left in leaves for cold brew, so iced tea was refreshing but fairly washed out.
Update 2: (Western style by pkg directions: 2.5g/8 oz/175/3 min)
Definitely not as interesting as gongfu. Aroma is similar (sweet, vegetal, pleasant), though muted. Flavors overtaken by strong green vegetable aftertaste with fair amount of (not totally unpleasant) bitterness. Prepared this way rates about 65.
Update 3: Tried cold brew from fresh – this was the best by far. Sweet & grassy refreshing, but also with umami notes of cooked green vegetables & nuttiness. Delicious – rates 90 this way.
(5g/4 oz/208/10 sec +5)
Dry leaves smell sweet & vegetal. (5 second wash.) Wet leaves bring out a little more spinach/kale, and more sweetness. Brewed gongfu, 5g in 5 oz water just off boiling for 10 seconds, adding 5 seconds each infusion after. Steeps 1-4: pale yellow color, sweet & buttery aroma. Taste is delicately floral, a little creamy, and lightly sweet. Not much green vegetable taste at all, though the smell of the wet leaves at first suggests this. Very pleasant overall, very smooth with not a hint of dryness or astringency for the first several infusions. Sweetness gradually diminishes but florals become more prominent. A bit of dryness & astringency just barely start at around 5th steep. 5-6 begin to suggest an acidic fruit in the aftertaste, like peach? After 6, still smooth, creamy, and very floral. Placed leaves in 8 oz water for cold brew.
Update: Cold brew is good. Rather than florals, the flavors are more of green grass (but pleasantly so).
(5g/4 oz/205/10 sec +5)
Really enjoyed this. The dry leaves smelled toasty & a little sweet. Did a rinse, then brewed 5g in 5 oz (per Verdant’s directions) in just-off-boiling water for 5 seconds. The color was very pale yellow. Flavor was faintly sweet, a little toasty, with a woodsy & dry effect at the end. It also tasted fairly diluted, so this infusion seemed more like a second wash.
For the 2nd-4th steeps, I reduced the water to 4 oz & started with 10 seconds, adding 5 each time after. The sweet & floral aromas & flavors really started to jump out in the second steep and increased each time after. Each infusion also became smoother, and notes of hay or sweet grasses came out in the third, and some mineral in the fourth. By the fourth I was thinking that it just tasted “yellow” – golden honey, dandelion, hay – and sunny. And the wet leaves between infusions smelled heavenly!
I’m sure there’s a lot more in these leaves, so when I ran out of time after 4 steeps, I put them in 12 oz water to cold brew overnight. Hope to get few more infusions still.
Update: Cold brewed in 12 oz overnight after initial 4 steeps. Flavor is a little muted compared to hot, but still good.
(5g/5 oz/208/10 sec +5)
(Prepared gongfu style, about 8 steepings.) Enjoyed the smell of the dry leaves (sweet, earthy, toasty). First few steepings start off light, almost thin, but a little creamy. As it cools off, richer flavor of buttered green vegetables starts to come through. Further steepings get slightly richer, but also dryer. Flavors started to wash out after 8 steepings. I have the leaves cold brewing in fridge for tomorrow. Overall, probably a little too delicate for me. I kept waiting for the flavors (which were good, but light) to stand out more.
Update: Cold brew steep with 10 oz water with leaves after initial 8. Flavors about the same, but a bit more refreshing cold. Good way to finish off the leaves.
5g tea, 6 oz water, 175. 10 second 1st steep, +5 seconds following
Dry leaves have strong, fresh, but toasty green scent – reminds me of homemade kale chips. 1st steep – very sweet vegetal smell, but still with toasty note like kale chips or roasted green vegetables; taste is savory, smooth, a little buttery. 2nd steep similar, but ends with touch of dryness. 3rd steep is less roast-y so sweetness stands out more, a bit more dryness & touch of astringency at end. [Stopped after 3rd, set leaves on tea towel for later.]
Update: After gongfu tastings (3 steepings), placed leaves in 12 oz water & refrigerated overnight. Iced was good, refreshing, with pleasant vegetable flavor. Toasty notes gone, though whether from the original steepings or from being iced, not sure.