108 Tasting Notes
The rich aroma of peat and mushrooms, followed by a taste of sweet earth makes this a really special tea. The umami mouth-feel lasts for ages after a sip. This puer is one of the best examples of why an older Sheng can be similar to, but much deeper than, a Shou.
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What a treat in the cold depths of winter. I’ve come to realize that despite the appearances of a “twig tea” there are indeed different quality grades of Hojicha. I’ve had many a Hojicha that tasted burnt, watery, or old. I have to say, without any bias, that Dobra’s Hojicha is one of the best I’ve found. It’s a touch sweet, plenty roasted and mouth-filling, without any off-notes. I tend to get about 3 infusions from a pot at around 2 minutes apiece, which is respectable as well. I’m not always in the mood for it, certainly, but when I am it’s just the right body-warmer and mind-clearer.
I must thank Teavivre for sending me this sample to try. It reminded me how rarely I actually make green tea for myself lately. Partially that has to do with the season (it’s -19C outside right now) but it also has to do with my tea collection. Green teas last so much less time in storage than oolong and puer that most of my drinking at home is within those two venerable categories. The result? I forget how important the proper water temperature is for a classic green like Dragon Well (Long Jing, Lóngjǐng, 龙井, or 龍井 — I love the traditional character for Dragon).
I played around a bit with the temperature to see if I could find the right balance. First, 75C for 45 seconds. The wet leaves have the aroma of dried figs and moss in the rain. The taste was of coriander and rosemary with a bit of osmanthus flower, quite pleasant. The texture is powdery a bit, drying the front of the tongue (I associate this with Lóngjǐng) and full bodied in the mouth. There’s a gentle sweetness in the aroma and the aftertaste.
For a second infusion I tried 60C water for 1 minute. The tea definitely had a lighter body from the decreased temp. I detected much more of the aroma in the taste this time: more grass and figs and less of the rosemary. My third try was 80C for 1 minute and I noticed that it was sweeter this time with some black cherry in the taste and less grass.
Read my full review here: http://someteawith.me/2014/01/03/premium-grade-dragon-well-from-teavivre/