348 Tasting Notes
I’m drinking this western-style tonight, which is probably heresy, so… serious pu-erh people, avert your eyes. ;) 3g in an infuser basket with my 10oz mug, boiling water (but it cools down to low 90’s pretty soon after hitting the mug), steeps of 3min, 4min, 5min, etc. I forgot to rinse (seriously, avert your eyes, this is ridiculous).
For the first couple of steepings, the primary flavour was that earthy “shou pu-erh” flavour, which made me think that I must just completely lack a palate for pu-erh because I wasn’t tasting any of the other flavours listed. The texture/mouthfeel of this tea is pretty cool though, definitely light and silky-smooth, and then creamy in the aftertaste.
A few steepings in, the earthy/musty flavour has decreased substantially, and a light sweetness is coming through, accompanied by some fruity notes. I think I’m getting a bit of that minty-ness in the aftertaste as well. I’m glad I stuck with this tea and am looking forward to trying it gongfu style. :)
Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Smooth, Sweet
The website says this is an assam blend, which is interesting, because I would have guessed that there was some darjeeling in there as well. The dry leaf has a really lovely aroma, all floral and woodsy. By contrast, the aroma of the brewed tea is pretty mild. I find this to be a fairly smooth, slightly sweet tea, with malt and floral and grape skin notes – it definitely has that “Indian black tea” character. There is a touch of astringency in the finish, not unpleasant, just a slight drying in the back of the throat. I didn’t feel particularly inclined to add milk to this, which I found a bit surprising for a breakfast blend. Nice to drink, but not overly interesting.
Edited to say: I tried it cold-brewed overnight, and that brought out some surprising fruity notes! It was fairly light, not very malty. Are we sure this is an Assam blend?? :)
Steeping this one western-style this morning, so I’m probably not getting the full experience, but it’s still very tasty. :) Creamy, malty, and slightly sweet to start out, and then a fresh fruity tartness kicks in. Sweetly floral, like honeysuckle, in the aftertaste.
I had some friends over to play a boardgame (Lords of Waterdeep, highly recommended), which meant that I had to clean up, and in particular had to clear alllll the crap off my table. So now they’re gone and I have a nice clean table, which means I finally have room to set up my kettle and gaiwan and associated paraphernalia. I’m testing out the new gaiwan that I got from Verdant as well (this one: http://verdanttea.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/gaiwan_dripglaze_springblossom_110-LARGE.jpg). It’s bigger than the little 100ml one that I’m used to, which is now missing a lid thanks to my dog. :/ It holds anywhere from 120-200ml depending on how full I fill it. I think it’ll be very useful for when I have friends over for tea, but it’s a bit too large for just me. I’m also still figuring out how to pour from it without spilling everywhere, lol.
This is a really lovely tea, though! The aroma when you first open the bag and stick your nose in is amazingly sweet and fresh, and the aroma of the wet leaves is similar, but more vegetal and beany and savoury. The first few steepings in particular were very sweet and creamy, and I can definitely see where the “vanilla soymilk” comparison comes from. As the steepings progress, more soybean and then crisp vegetal notes arise, but very little astrigency or bitterness. I was expecting it to be energizing, but I’m actually finding it to be quite relaxing. Wow, these fresh spring harvest green teas have been a bit of a revelation to me, because I usually favour blacks and oolongs, but this and Verdant’s Dragonwell were both super delicious.
Flavors: Creamy, Garden Peas, Soybean, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal
Not surprisingly, this one is also delicious cold-brewed . :) I’m getting mostly vegetal and floral notes, like alfalfa hay and spinach and some kind of flower (note to self: go around smelling alll the flowers until you can identify those floral notes). Also some butter and nutty… walnut? notes. It’s quite refreshing. I went on a big oolong kick back in the spring, and then I kind of took a break from them for a while, but I think they’ll be common cold brews this summer.
My Kickstarter tea arrived! I’m drinking this western style, because my dog broke the lid to my gaiwan. :( (Did I mention I have a new dog? I love her, even though she is a tiny bit destructive.) Anyway, the tea. This is quite a nice high-mountain oolong. It has a lovely sweet, fresh aroma, and the taste is similar: lightly vegetal, sweet, crisp, with a creamy mouthfeel and a cleansing sensation to the palate. It’s not overly complex (or maybe I’m just not appreciating the complexity this evening), but it’s very nice.
Flavors: Creamy, Sweet, Vegetal
Ohhhh man. This was so worth the horrible exchange rate, and paying extra for shipping so I could get it sooner. YUM. I tend to be pretty “meh” about green teas in general, but this is my first time trying a really fresh green tea (and a Dragonwell, at that) and wow, does it ever make a difference.
I went with 3g of tea in my 100ml gaiwan. 80C water, initial steeps pretty quick, like 5-10 seconds. The first steeping was clear like water, subsequent ones were a pale yellow. The scent of the dry leaves when I first opened the bag was amazing, and the scent of the wet leaves is even more amazing! Rich and sweet and vegetal and… spring. The taste of the tea is amazingly sweet, with light vegetal notes and a lovely creamy mouthfeel. Ugh, soooooo good.
Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal
This one is from a Tea Sparrow box a few months ago. I’m sure I’ve had it hot, but I guess I didn’t write a tasting note. Anyway, cold steeped this one overnight and it’s pretty delicious. The strongest flavours are the sencha and coconut, with just a bit of nuttiness. Now I need to try it again steeped hot so I can compare properly. :)