603 Tasting Notes
Not sure if it’s just me or whether this is what the combination of rooibos and Earl grey is supposed to taste like, but I just couldn’t get into this tea. The aromatics were certainly inviting. Potent aromas of cinnamon bark, lemon peel, and orange from the leaf. I steeped this in a tea bag as Rooibos isn’t easy to strain well. The brewed tea was far from enjoyable. It tasted medicinal with a strong star anise like flavor accompanied by notes of clove, root beer, and menthol. All flavors which I otherwise enjoy but here it just tasted weird. I may need to try this with a little milk and sweetener as it’s just not doing it for me on it’s own.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Medicinal, Menthol, Root Beer, Star Anise
Didn’t love this one as much as previous Kamairichas I’ve had. This one tasted like a middle of the road Laoshan green tea. It’s heavy on the grain and bean flavors. Notes of soymilk, chestnut, lima bean, and corn silk. While not a bad tea by any means, I miss the fruitiness and fresh flavor of better Kamairichas.
Flavors: Beany, Chestnut, Corn Husk, Grain, Lima Beans, Soybean
One of the teas I brought back from Canada. This one is unbelievably good. The smell alone is just divine. Like a freshly baked cinnamon roll. Brewed at boiling for 5 minutes. On it’s own, it’s cinnamon forward but not offensively so. More like cinnamon spice oatmeal. A touch of sweetener however transforms it into something like cinnamon buns or an apple fritter donut. Would have never expected something this mouth wateringly good from a fast food chain.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon
Another humble bagged tea that far exceeded my expectations. At $1.49 for a box of 30 teabags, it’s some of cheapest tea I’ve ever bought yet surprisingly good and a better value than similarly flavored loose leaf teas. Very tropical tasting with notes of honeyed peaches, mango, and papaya. The fruitiness is reminiscent of an old Teavana favorite, Fruta Bomba. Don’t taste the green base but for a tea at this price point, that’s probably a good thing. Can’t wait to try it iced.
Flavors: Honey, Mango, Papaya, Peach, Tropical
Sipdown. A wonderful session marred only by my pocket pipe kyusu slipping from my hand during cleaning and shattering. Sigh. I love mini teaware for solo sessions especially with pricier tea like gaoshan. Luckily I have my 50ml shibo to fall back on which I’ll now need to be extra careful with.
This was the last tea from my Wang Family Tea order. I have to say, I‘ve really enjoyed all of the high mountain oolongs I tried from Wang. Not only were they all good but I noticed their tea didn’t go stale as quickly. Green oolongs usually deteriorate within a few weeks. I took me nearly 3 months to get through this one and it suffered only minimal loss of freshness.
Dry leaf smelled like pear and lily. Upon placing in a warmed gaiwan, kettle corn and magnolia aromas appeared. More florals and a scent of honeycomb following a rinse.
The tea starts off light and fresh, building body as it progresses through steeps. Luscious spring flowers with notes of orchid and daffodils. Not too thick texture or heavy body but elegant and understated.
It’s best when gongfu steeped but is also nice western style or when all of the infusions are combined.
Ran out of loose tea while visiting family in Canada last month and they offered me their stash of bagged tea. This was a massive collection of random teas and tissanes ranging from plain commodity tea like Pukka to exotic Arabic Wild Thyme tea. I sampled a bunch of them and this flavored tea from Tapal, a Pakistani brand, was one of the ones I enjoyed most. It has a light but natural Alphonso mango flavor, my favorite kind of mango. It’s not as intense or juicy as higher end flavored teas however the subtle sweetness and flavoring is really nice and leaves you wanting more.
This has been my go-to for iced sencha all summer long. It’s refreshing and tastes reasonably good iced. But truthfully, the reason I started having it iced is because I didn’t know how to properly steep it hot. The steeping instructions from O-Cha resulted in a murky brew with a generic, salted grass flavor. I couldn’t taste any of those sweet grass and umami notes from the leaf aroma.
After some Googling and thanks to the tasting notes on this site, I was finally able to have a good session with it. Used 4g of leaf for 100ml and steeped 3 times: 1m @ 155 F, 20s @ 160 F, and 45s @ 165 F. Keeping the temperature low and leaf quantity high is the key here. The resulting brew had a sugar pea sweetness mingled with spring grass and pronounced umami. It has a mildly bitter but pleasant edge to it and the umami lingers into the aftertaste.
Flavors: Snow Peas, Umami, Wheatgrass
Spring 2020 harvest.
Been a while since I’ve dabbled in yancha. The oily texture and heavy roast usually turns me off but this one has a unique flavor that’s just delightful.
The lovely aroma of roasted peaches and chocolate surprised me. The aromatics resemble a dan cong more than a typical wuyi oolong. I brewed it grandpa style as I usually do with this kind of tea. It has a familiar but gentler taste of wet rocks with floral accents and a fruity finish. Notes of brown sugar and hazelnut. Glides across the tongue smoothly without any ashiness.
A quite refined and elegant yancha with a lot of aromatic complexity and lingering fruitiness.
Flavors: Fruity, Juicy, Peach, Wet Rocks
Picked this up from TJ Maxx as I needed a cheap and convenient bagged jasmine green for homemade taro bubble tea. It certainly served the purpose but I was surprised at how good it tastes on its own. It has a fresh, clean jasmine flavor without the bitterness or weird taste that low grade jasmine tea usually has. You don’t really taste the green tea base but that’s fine by me. I just want the flavor of pure jasmine flowers in my cup.
That said, it’s best to throw out the teabag after a couple of minutes as it infuses quickly and turns astringent if left in the mug. In a side by side tasting, my Yunnan Sourcing jasmine dong ting bi luo chun still blows this way but it’s not really fair to compare it to a loose leaf tea. By bagged tea standards, it’s more than serviceable.
Finished this one up a couple of months ago. Another very nice Wang family tea that offers a lot of florals that shift and evolve from steep to steep.
The rolled tea leaves are gigantic and dark green in color, emitting an aroma of apple and flowers. Following a rinse, coconut and tropical fruit emerge. The tea begins with creamsicle, flowers, and mineral accents. Lily of the valley and daffodils bloom in the second infusion. This is followed by more floral notes of gardenia, perfume, and a little honey. It begins fading after the 5th infusion but still offers a pleasant syrupy flavor.
I also prepared this by combining / stacking the infusions together. The result was a sweet and rich floral bouquet. Not as thick though and lacks some of the top notes. Nevertheless still full flavored and tasty.