107 Tasting Notes
2/23/14 Afternoon tea. 5g/12oz/212F/4min 2 steeps. A very enjoyable dark oolong. I wanted a good strong tea for the afternoon, and this fit the bill perfectly. Strong roasty honey/coconut aromas in a lovely deep gold tea. It reminds me strongly of the roasted chestnuts I would buy from street vendors the winter I lived in Chicago. The second steep finished with a light astringency that was really nice.
2/23/14 Vertical tasting, thanks to the awesome guys at Eco-Cha!
I had the rare opportunity to compare the 2012 and 2013 summer crops of this directly. It was a fascinating tasting. The two teas are clearly the same tea, and yet distinctly different – like me dressed for a dinner date vs me dressed for backpacking. Okay… so I’d probably have the boots on either way… but still, different.
The standard – 3g/100 ml gaiwan/200F — starting at 10 seconds, adding 10 seconds each steep. This tea easily supported 4 steeps. It also showed brilliantly brewed western style, with 3g/12oz/200F/1min and a second steep of 3 min.
Overall – Red Jade #18 is an interesting tea. It has a rich savory vegetal umami to it unlike any other black tea I’ve had. It reminds me of sun dried tomato paste. The aroma carries cinnamon and mint.
2012 — A very twisty matte dry leaf. Deep intricate aromas and tastes. This year was Red Jade in the spice market; lots of cinnamon, clove, cardamon, and such a rich umami that my husband said it reminded him of steak.
2013 – Straight dry leaf, darker then 2012. This tea was lighter bodied and less intricate, but the flavors and aromas were darker and more earthy. The savory umami was more direct, almost smoky. A clear light toasted cinnamon note.
My husband loves this tea deeply, and wants to drink it every day. I enjoy it, but it wouldn’t be the tea I picked off a menu to drink.
2/20/14 Another Steepster Select tea. Brewed as per the packet instructions,
1 packet/12oz/212F/3.5min. A nice black tea. Very dark in the cup, with an aroma of brown sugar and wine/grape. Pleasantly astringent without being bitter. I’ll probably add milk to future cups, as suggested.