51 Tasting Notes


So I’ve wanted a houhin style teapot for a few years now but never looked in the right places. I remember them using this teapot for Gyokuro and other delicate Japanese teas at TeaSmith in London. Anyways, since I was ordering the teapot, I had to order some new tea to try with it, right?

My teapot and “Kame-Jiru-Shi” Gyokuro arrived today. I was not disappointed! The teapot is just the right size and the built in mesh strainer is perfect for Japanese greens. I’m worried that the steel strainer will “age” with regular use, but we’ll see.

The tea itself is amazing, of course. The first infusion was so sweet, one might mistakenly think the drink was sweetened with a drop of honey or something. The leaves are a deep emerald green and beautiful. I’ve not had any other Gyokuro tea from O-Cha so I can’t make a direct comparison; However, this is probably the best Gyokuro I have tasted.

I’ve been very impressed with everything O-Cha. I think I want to make an order with O-Cha.com every 6 months for all of my Japanese tea needs. The steep delivery cost from Japan is well worth the qualiteas they offer.

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Q: Is this a wonderfully tasty Chinese “black” tea?
A: “Hao Ya”!

Q: How many decent infusions did I get from my leaves this morning?
A: About 8.

Q: How does this tea compare to similar Keemun black teas?
A: Very uniform leaves create a smooth infusion with focused flavor.

Q: How many minutes should I wait before ordering some of this for myself (and all of my friends and family…)?

A: Zero minutes.

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Perhaps someone reading this may be hesitant to take a “kiwi tea” seriously… I know I was reluctant when I first heard about Zealong.

Don’t wait; get some sooner rather than later! This is a great example of all the good qualities of a Taiwanese high-mountain type oolong. In fact, I’d pick this tea over many “green oolongs” that I’ve tasted. In addition to the fabulous taste and aroma, the completely unfurled leaves are large and uniform, so this tea gets points for aesthetics as well. I look forward to trying the other versions of Zealong soon!

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drank Arjuna by Zhi Tea
51 tasting notes

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drank Karigane by TeaSmith
51 tasting notes

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drank Sencha by TeaSmith
51 tasting notes

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A great “yan cha” style oolong that has a wonderful mix of a roasted flavors and fruity notes. I am always surprised at how much this tea fades after the first two infusions. With such a steep drop off in flavor, you may find that infusions 3+ require an unusually large increase in steep time. You can also experiment with more leaf. Personally, I don’t recommend rinsing this tea at all, but this is just a preference.

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So I’m not the biggest fan of RoT, but when I am at Panera or somewhere that serves it and I have a tea craving, I usually go for the Mango Ceylon. The other one I really like is the green tea with ginger and peach. Like I said, I don’t drink these every day, but they get the job done in a pinch.

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So I’ve neglected Steepster for some time now! I feel like I need to make up for that somehow…

A tea enthusiast since 1999, I enjoy the experience of sitting and drinking tea.
As a life-long student of tea, I learn something new every day about the vast world that is Tea.


Evanston, IL

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