416 Tasting Notes

83
drank Aged Beauty 1979 by J-TEA
416 tasting notes

Here is another aged tea that my dog tried to eat…

Definitely getting sick today. Blah. My nose is only mildly runny, but I’m sure it’s affecting my senses at least a little bit.

The leaves look nothing like an oriental beauty. They’re all black, and don’t have that mixed “calico” tea look. I did do a quick rinse. The tea liquor becomes colored very fast, like puerh-fast, which surprised me.

This is an unusual type of tea, for sure…But I wasn’t a huge fan. I also did get a note of green peppers when I first brewed this tea, some black pepper, there was also an earthiness, some mushroom-y notes, and a lot of clay/pottery…A chalky flavor without the dry texture, if that makes sense (ETA: this is called “minerality”, duh). I’ll definitely try this again when this cold passes. I’ll be brewing a lot of flavored teas until then, I guess.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Kittenna

I am also sick. It’s awful. Boo to colds!

CharlotteZero

Feel better soon! Mine’s on track to be gone just in time for work on Monday. :-(

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50

Drinking a mystery Taiwanese green oolong. I put it in a beautiful cheery bark caddy, so I must have deemed this a “worthy” tea, but, of course, I can’t remember what the heck it is. Silly me.

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89

Drinking the very end of this grandpa style. This is another tea my dog ate. He seems to have preferred aged teas and puerhs. (Damn his good taste!) I’m finding it a challenge to describe teas recently, because it seems so many notes appear again and again, but the proportions are what makes the difference. This still seems like many quality roasted oolongs I’ve had, but what sets it apart is a mild fruit-snackyness. It doesn’t seem like anyone else noted this fruitiness, so maybe I’m delusional or getting sick. Don’t care, still enjoying it.

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96

I first tried the Arya Pearl from Canton Tea Co. I’ve fallen in love with it, and it’s become a cupboard staple, something I never want to be without. Sometimes I think I prefer this tea after it’s aged and mellowed out a bit, but it’s definitely very nice when it’s young too. I don’t really like the way it’s described on the American Tea Room website. This tea tastes to me like flowers after a rain, and fresh, ripe green saturn peaches, and maybe only a touch of pepper. Other years, it has had notes of vanilla ice cream. The best part of this tea, and what many of my favorite teas share in common, is the long-lasting aftertaste (or “finish”, as we’d say in the wine business). My mouth is full of flowers and fruit for a long time after I drink this tea.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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95

So delicious. Happy national coffee day or whatever. #teamtea

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Kittenna

Hahahahaha.

TeaExplorer

This is one of my favorite black teas. Ever. The Spring 2014 harvest was slightly better than the 2013, but both were excellent. One of the few I order in the 250 gram size.

CharlotteZero

I’ve been curious to try the spring 2015. I’ve been trying to find any websites (in English) which discuss the differences between different “vintages” in tea regions (whether Fujian or Darjeeling, etc) like they do for wine.

Dexter

I can only speak for YS ZSXZ, but I LOVED 2013, liked 2014, hated 2015 when I first got it. Now that 2015 has a couple months “age” on it, it’s much better more like the 2014 but not quite as chocolate and not as nice as 2013. This is just my opinion and observation. :)

CharlotteZero

Thanks. Hm. Maybe I’ll wait for spring 2016 to buy more of this…

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91

Revisiting an old favorite. Had a cupcake and some donut holes for breakfast this morning. When I go off my diet, I go waaay off my diet….

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91

This is pretty solid. Very busy/lazy today. This is one of the teas my dog attacked/ate recently. Dachshund-approved flavor.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78

I was so pleased that I was able to google-sleuth this and the name of this tea and a picture! I was really intimidated by the smell of the dry leaves. They smelled very nutty, almost chocolatey, and very umami, almost like seaweed praline- a very strange combination. Thankfully, when this tea is brewed, those notes mellow out and come together in a really nice way. The sweet nuttiness becomes more of a roasted grain flavor, and the umami is toned way down. It has a nice sweetness to the aftertaste, but this tea is still pretty foreign to my palate. I’d bet this would be a wonderful tea to have with a meal.

ETA: The tin has a really odd design on it…It’s an open-mouthed frog, chasing a rabbit (who’s wielding a branch over its head), chasing a monkey?

The picture on the tin is this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga Known as the first Manga.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 22 OZ / 650 ML

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88

This was recommended to me by a high school friend on Facebook. I don’t have too much to say about it, mostly because I’m too lazy this morning. :-P It has that umami, almost brothiness, that I associate with gyokuro. It is not really vegetal at all, definitely does not have that “steamed spinach” characteristic, which is a huge plus in my book. It is also quite creamy (a descriptor stolen from this note: http://steepster.com/Shadowleaf/posts/58925 which also taught me what the term “netto” means). This is definitely one of my favorite Japanese green teas.

On a side note, I wish I could log more of the Japanese green tea that I drink. My parents and our Japanese business associates are constantly giving me gifts of green tea, but I almost never can tell what the heck it is. :-/

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 22 OZ / 650 ML

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This was part of the Amoda Nepal tasting box. $5 of the price of the box went to benefit the victims of the earthquake this year, so it gave me a “good” excuse to buy more tea. I’m really liking this tea a lot. The flavorings are mild, and you can still appreciate the base tea, which is fresh and vegetal. I’m looking forward to tasting this tea again when I’m not painting my nails (the citrus from the nail polish remover I’m sure is overwhelming some of the aromas and flavors that are there.)

Unrelated: I’m newly obsessed with the Hae Min Lee case since discovering the Undisclosed podcast. I anxiously await the second season of Serial and the results of the testing on the forensic evidence (will it be made public regardless of the results?)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
keychange

I was obsessed with that as well. And do we know yet when the next season will start?

keychange

Wait, you mean the serial podcast right?

CharlotteZero

I haven’t seen anything about when the next season is going to start (except for the vague “later in 2015”), but it’s been recently released that the subject of next season will be Bowe Bergdahl. I’m now trying to avoid learning anything new about that case, so I can really enjoy the second season.

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Bio

Tea means so many things to me, it is so deep and it is revealing new meaning to me all the time.

Tea is a mindfulness practice, and a doorway through which to explore different philosophies, cultures, and historical times. Tea is hospitality and a way of communion. Tea is an art, a ritual, and a tradition. Tea is a complement to the foods I eat (preferably vegan desserts) and is something I enjoy collecting and curating.

I love to swap, or even just send people samples, so if there’s anything in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message!

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San Francisco Bay Area

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