71 Tasting Notes
Received a sample of this tea with a purchase and just noticed it in my pile. Brewed two teaspoons in about 100 ml gong fu in a kyusu pot for 30 second steeps.
I didn’t notice any special flavors to this tea, to me it just tasted
Iike a regular black tea. Ceylon tea is in many tea bags I’ve had over the years. But the caffeine kick in this is pretty powerful. I had taken an ibuprofen for a pinched nerve in my back and have been doing this for days now. This tea had a sort of Excedrin effect and really boosted the ibuprofen tab.
Honestly this is the best pain relief I’ve had in days. Gonna hoard my little Baggie of this tea. Will recommend this for the caffeine because it is definitely one of the stronger teas I’ve had lately.
I ordered two ounces of this tea for a crazy low price of $3.55, along with an order of Lin’s Teaware. The Teasmith’s Lin’s collection is mostly half price right now, I find the cups amazing with their heat distribution qualities. So I ordered cups, then turned around and ordered one more cup and this tea as well as some Rou Gui I have yet to try.
This tea blasts my nose with pine smoke when I open the bag. Western style steeping produced better results for me, my gong fu just ended up too light. I tried two different infusers after that, the Eva Solo and then just one from a Nissan insulated thermos which would likely classify now as vintage since I’ve had it 20 years. Finally I just dumped some of the leaves loose into the teapot and this produced the best brew. My son came downstairs to get a brownie from the pan I baked earlier.
“Mom come out here.”
“What,” annoyed because I’m drinking tea and typing which means leave Mother alone.
“I smell a brat cooking.”
“It’s my tea.”
“It’s not your tea, just come out here.”
But it was the tea. While I was thinking of the piñon incense I used to buy in New Mexico, my son who has never been to the southwest identified the scent of Wisconsin cheesehead childhood. It is his reference. I had him smell the bag of tea, and he was uncertain. He continued to hang a little on the stairs with a little wistful and crestfallen look, he kinda wanted that German brat he smelled to be real. He felt so sure he smelled grilling. Well of course we use wood briquettes to grill, or I cut green maple branches for smoking fish.
Because of my experimenting with parameters and adding water along the way, I can’t say exactly what I used but about 2 tbsp of tea for 28 ounces of water in a 31 oz Bonjour glass teapot. This was more tea than I really needed so I dumped less than half into the pot after the gong fu didn’t work out. Brewed at 208 F, my kettle is set for that temp.
Smoke is long and loud and the tongue tingles. Sweetness from the tea follows only with the long steep. The pine smoke is strong now and needs time to integrate more with the tea. I plan to tin up this tea and let it rest. The vendor site has a couple reviews on using this tea as a rub for meats and fish prior to cooking the meat. One person dried out the used tea and saved it for cooking too.
Flavors: Oak wood, Pine, Smoke, Smoked
I wish I had read the Steepster reviews before buying this. The reviewers mention the sugar syrup or sugar whatever added to the tea. This isn’t mentioned on the website description at all. It just says sencha plus cherry blossoms and petals. What the tea really has is cherry marshmallows, like the kind of dried marshmallows in cereal like Lucky Charms. They dissolve completely in the brew. The website should have mentioned added sugar, instead it gives the impression of an herbal sencha blend, which this is NOT.
Leave it to my idiocy for not checking what my fellow Steepster people wrote. Actually it didn’t occur to me, I thought this was a new tea and wouldn’t be reviewed yet.
The tea smells like the cherry marshmallows but the cup fortunately doesn’t really translate the sickly sweet smell. The dry tea smells like a ton of flavoring and sweetener was added but maybe it comes down to controlling how many of the marshmallows you put in the pot, because the actual sencha appears to be just pure leaf.
I’ve had American Tea Room’s Sencha Ashikubo before, and for the price it is not too bad. This one tastes more vegetal in the cup than cherry or sweet. The sweetness might help with bitterness if oversteeped, but again it might change depending upon how many marshmallows you have in your brew. I could taste the spinach-y sencha and if I hadn’t smelled the bag or seen the marshmallows I wouldn’t have known from the taste that anything else was added. So that means I can stand to drink it and will likely finish the bag. I won’t buy it again, but I can at least recommend it as a pretty spring sencha that is mild and pleasant with no overpowering notes.
Flavors: Spinach, Sugar, Vegetal
I got a generous sample of this tea from klasektea.com with the purchase of teaware. I’m not seeing the tea on the website as of this writing, but it is early May and 2015 teas are just arriving in shops.
Normally I’m not a fan of Darjeeling First Flush which is really just plain wrong of me, since it is a miracle of tea processing. The floral scent of this picking is unparalleled. Having said this, for some reason this tea hit a sweet spot for me last night and I stayed up until 5 a.m. drinking it. Maybe the spring blossoms and lilacs outside got me in the mood for this fresh floral.
This tea is the bomb! It is not so cloyingly floral and doesn’t go bitter when brewed hot. I know it’s wrong to brew this much over 85 C but I usually want a little bitterness so I go 95 C. Brewed about 1 tsp of leaves gong fu in Lin’s Ceramic 100 ml teapot and cup. I continue to be hugely impressed with Lin’s cups especially, the heat distribution improves the mouthfeel of just about any tea I’ve tried. It is like a round bubble of warm tea in my mouth when I take a good sip.
Another thing I noticed is this tea lasted for more quick steeps than others I’ve had in the past. I long brewed it on steep 7 and still got a strong cup.
Flavors: Floral, Honey
This is the huang pian cake in the 2012 Chawangshop Yiwu line of cakes. I purchased it in 2014 for $12, it is now $14 in 2015. Read the vendor description carefully so you know what you are getting because the cake name is a little misleading. The tea is supposedly 1/2 Yiwu leaves, and all the leaf is supposed to have been picked prior to April 8. Leaf quality is thin and papery.
I packed a lot of leaves into my gaiwan, expecting this to be on the lighter side, which it is. The first two steeps confirm the smattering of Yiwu leaves but I notice on steep 1 that boiling water kills the tea and flattens the flavor. 190-200 is more ballpark for this. On steep 3 and subsequent steeps the other “half” of the leaves emerge with a rather ordinary plantation apricot flavor. The little Yiwu sister is chased away by her bigger and badder brother.
Not much body here, in steep 5 I’m swishing the leaves to add a little steep time. And nothing offensive in the tea, very light overall but I’m disappointed at the rather ordinary taste. I wish this had kept the Yiwu leaf throughout or even some Laotian leaf for that other half. But then the low price speaks for itself. Given the amount of leaf I used, I can probably use up this 200 g cake quickly.
Flavors: Apricot, Floral, Hot hay
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Really? I filled up my gaiwan for this…I can smell what I call “mall puerh” a mile away, that incense-y store flavor you can find in a million cakes on EBay and Taobao. This is just sad, leathery old poor quality “tea” to which a few young “white buds” have been added in as a sprinkling. Some of the tea is just black leaf along with brown, leathery leaves. You can talk to me all day long about brewing it “cooler,” but nothing will improve this leaf. I can’t believe a company online which is trying to be nice actually would put their name on this cake, but whatever. I’m a person who wants to like a tea, but I’d rather drink dandelion greens from my yard than this.
From the Sheng Traveling Tea Box.
I ordered a 100g cake of this to go with the 2013 Spring and 2014 Autumn I already own. I also am not quite believing this is really Spring pick from Jan or Feb.
The cake is rather brown and loosely compressed and looks exactly like my Autumn cake. This isn’t spring pick, it might contain some spring tea from previous years, and then pressed from loose into a cake in 2015. But it isn’t fresh spring tea. I have my 2013 Spring to compare also which I can tell was pressed fresh, it is tighter and clearly had a lot more moisture. So it is maybe spring maocha PRESSED in 2015. So I explored tea selling and relative truth in my blog post using this tea and another tea. Http://deathbytea.blogspot.com
Having said that, I like mild teas with floral Yiwu profiles, they are kinder on the stomach. The strength of this one doesn’t approach the intensity of something like Last Thoughts at white2tea, but is similar to Chawangshop’s Ban Payasi. The Ban Payasi is from the Laos side of the border, but has the same trees as the Yiwu side of the border, and the price point is lower than for a Yunnan tree. Anyway, milder Yiwu profile teas are one of the few young sheng teas I like to drink. The leaves on my new cake show browning so I know it is a blend with older tea.
I didn’t feel guilty breaking up this new Misty Peaks cake and adding it into a crock canister with the other Misty Peaks teas I have. The level of aging is about the same for them all. And hopefully they are indeed single-origin! I’ve been looking for a nice crock for my Misty Peaks tea for some time and finally found a nice one which looks lovely on the shelf.
Happily my new teapot set arrived from Camellia Sinensis, and my heart sank to find this 09 tea as the sample in the box. Of all the tea types, Darjeeling is one of my least favorite. So I approached it with some fear and trepidation. My familiar tea experiences are primarily with puerh tea. So naturally I’m far more comfortable with dirty, musty, moldy tea containing dried bugs, pods and pubic hairs. Really I am just not sure what to do with clean tea. Do I rinse it? Or is that sacrilegious?
Neon green in the cup. Tastes like sour corn. Guess I won’t be rating this.
My first note got eaten by Steepster…:(
This shou is friggin’ awesome, and I believe I got the parameters down perfect. I aired out this shou for six months. My tea pals can tell you how long it took me to learn that aged offerings need airing!! I’ve learned that the aged teas from white2tea require this kind of patience but to trust TwoDog on his choices, if it ain’t good then I didn’t air it long enough or I didn’t brew it right. The longer an aged tea has been stored in China, the longer it really needs to rest and air out after arriving to really be the best.
I brewed up this 20 g melon in 180 ml Zhuni clay teapot to let it expand but then I used about half the water! So about 100 ml water after doing four rinses. The lump of shou sticks up above the water line. I’m on day 3 STILL flash brewing past 15 steeps. Smells earthy in the pot but the taste is the reward, mushrooms, dates, cherries, cacao, thick port wine flavored brown brew of goodness and double happy dance. Brew it thick and thicker with less water, this tuo is 20 g for a reason and the makers knew what they were doing when they made these! Oh yeahhhhh….
Flavors: Cacao, Cherry, Dates, Mushrooms, Red Wine