15 Tasting Notes
Aroma starts as a very strong dried apricot, malt, light floral like rose, sherry. The liquor is very pale straw yellow, almost clear. Predominant flavors are sweet, peach/apricot, clover honey with a touch of astringency as the number of steeps increases. Eventually the aroma adds notes of dry autumn leaves and minerals, and then starts to fade around the fifth steeping. Flavors are pretty consistent throughout, adding sweetness, minerals, and a touch of vegetal something in the background. The aftertaste is almost unreal, lasting practically forever, and can make further steeps seem to lose flavor though I suspect it’s taste desensitization from the near continuous aftertaste. It’s very sweet, honey and apricots, and just lingers on.
Wonderful tea for a contemplative afternoon.
180F, 150ml Gaiwan, 30s x3, 60s xN, 5g
Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Cherry, Floral, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Peach, Rose, Vegetal
Early aromas include mineral, leather, old books, cherries, with a sweet, round, possibly apricot flavor that is a bit musty, but with no astringency or bitterness. Additional early steeps present strong minerals, light cherries, paper. The physical composition is much more leafy than the twiggy ripe pu erh from the same year/producer. Very little mustiness as steeping continues, with some faint damp earthiness. Much paler compared to ripe, a tawny port color. Aftertaste is not very long, but apricot is predominant, with a little tannin. Later steeps bring an aroma of wet hay, campfire, and a little bitterness enters the flavor.
Petered out around 7 steeps
7.5g, 150ml, 92C, 1x rinse, 15s + 3
Flavors: Apricot, Campfire, Cherry, Earth, Hay, Leather, Mineral, Musty, Paper, Round, Sweet
A decent black tea, somewhat weaker in flavor relative to similarly marketed brands (e.g. Barry’s Gold Blend, PG Tips). Something of a spice character, maybe nutmeg, clove? can’t quite place it — very floral relative to the competition as well. Decent for an afternoon cup maybe with a snack, but won’t really stand up to food.
Flavors: Floral, Malt, Spices, Tea
Pretty solid simple supermarket tea, nice bold flavor with a little metallic or green something taste over the top, compared to similar tea (e.g. Barry’s Gold Blend, Red Rose). Stands up well to milk and sugar, and makes a fine breakfast.
Flavors: Green Beans, Malt, Metallic, Tea
Decent puerh, didn’t last as long as I might have expected, 8 steeps was about the max I could see taking this today. Initial blast of musty basement, old leather books, camphor, dark bread, pipe tobacco gives way over several steepings to a sweet maple sugar or rock candy with old rotten apple aromas and a cinnamon flavor and cooling effect on the tongue. Dark red color, relatively twiggy in composition, very low astringency, the aftertaste does not linger very long.
Solid choice, might leaf a little heavier.
150ml gaiwan, 7g, 100C, 10 steep plus 10 each addl steep.
Flavors: Apple, Bread, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Cinnamon, Dust, Leather, Maple, Musty, Paper, Toast, Tobacco, Wet Earth
Daily breakfast tea, in a big travel mug with low fat milk and a bit of sugar. It’s a proper “tea” flavor, good Assam punch that stands up to breakfast whatever it may be that day, and is a bit of a comfort tea. Uncomplicated, tasty, good malt and tea flavors.
Flavors: Malt, Tea
Aromas of dry hay, slightly floral, butter, malt, vegetal, broth, wet stone. This tea keeps it’s aroma close to the leaf, as the liquor itself has only the very faintest floral quality.
This faintness carries into the flavor, which starts very inoffensive and in some ways not even present at first, but the aftertaste unfolds delightfully with floral and malt notes, and a strong suggestion of pear, with very little astringency and no bitterness at all. Later steepings bring more toast or malt flavors into the initial taste, and that long aftertaste continues to evolve as a more sugary flavor as the pear fades.
A very nice tea, possibly could stand to brew a little bit hotter next time.
170ml gaiwan, 5g, 80c, 40s+15s addl steep.
Flavors: Barnyard, Butter, Floral, Hay, Honey, Malt, Pear, Sugar, Toast, Vegetal, Wet Rocks
5g, 170ml Gaiwan, 95C, 30s + 10s per add’l steep
This is a nice, straightforward Tie Guan Yin — leading with a strong aroma of rose petals, paper, a little bit of grass or vegetal brothy aromas, the initial steeps have a round mouthfeel without a lot of the flavors that the aromas promise. In the third and subsequent steeps the flavor starts to open up and this tea starts to show up more floral, round, notes with a little butter and just a hint of astringency on the backend. The aftertaste isn’t terribly long, and it’s quite pleasant.
Overall, a strong showing.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Grass, Paper, Rose, Vegetable Broth, Vegetal
Gaiwan 150ml, 90C 15s + 15s addl steep
Leading aroma of musty basement, prunes, campfire, brussels sprouts, after the first proper steep the mustiness clears and adds a broth and and mineral aroma. The tea is very pale, light straw. Light pipe tobacco aroma. Flavor of hotdogs(?), campfire, sweet, a little bitter, very light astringency. mouthfeel is brothy. As steeps continue aromas of paper, applesauce, cinnamon appear, and the flavor just gets sweeter and rounder. Never any significant astringency, faint bitterness. The hardwood campfire flavors increase, almost barbecue-like, maybe a touch of fig underneath.
This is a very nice tea, easy to drink, comforting.
Flavors: Apple, Broth, Campfire, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Fig, Meat, Mineral, Musty, Paper, Vegetables
This is a really nice, balanced oolong, with strong aromas of rose, apricot, minerals, smoke, toast and autumn leaves. The flavors are well balanced and the mouthfeel is round and full, without any bitterness and only a bit of astringency. In later steepings, 5 and up, the tea takes on a very startling sweet character that really emphasizes the apricot flavor, which lingers practically forever. Great tea with good staying power. I stopped at 9 steeps, and while the aromas faded significantly, the flavor probably could have kept going.
150ml gaiwan, 5g, 85C, 20s +10-15s each add’l steep.
Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Malt, Mineral, Rose, Smoke, Toast, Wet Rocks