84 Tasting Notes
After reading my initial review (really more of a horror story) about my experience trying the Tamayokucha green tea from Two Leaves and a Bud, I received an email from the Marketing Coordinator of the company. She was sad to hear about my terrible experience and wanted to ensure that I had an opportunity to make the tea myself for its full true effect.
I just received the package today and was excited to see more than just a few samples of the Tamayokucha, but some of this Assam as well as the “Better Rest Blend” herbal tisane. As I have been quite in the mood for a black tea lately, I picked out one of the Assam samples and brewed it up.
The liquor is a lovely deep amber color and gives a nice malty, bitter aroma. I first tried the tea plain and found it surprisingly smooth. The bitterness in the aroma was mellowed quite a lot and left more of a sweet after-taste than I anticipated. I added some sugar and milk and this was transformed even further into a particularly delicious breakfast tea for me.
Despite the fact that it is a bagged tea, it actually rivals some of the loose breakfast blends I have. Well done, I say!
I received a sample of this tea with my order for the early release Zealong Black. So thank you to Jo for sending it along!
The dry leaf is large and full. It has a sweet malty flavor that I find very pleasant. The wet leaf is smoky and reminds me slightly of a Lapsang Souchong. So at this point, I’m perhaps a bit concerned. I detect a semblance of the same aroma with the liquor.
The liquor is a very light amber. It is much lighter than likely any other pu-erh I’ve indulged in. The first infusion definitely carries the smoky flavor I was smelling earlier. It is woody and reminds me most of a hardwood, I would say.
I can’t say I’m overfond of this first infusion. It leaves too much of a malty, smoky aftertaste for me. With more than a moment, there is something mellower that comes out, but I can’t quite identify it.
The second infusion smells more strongly of smoke, but the flavor in the tea is certainly more mild. The maltiness comes to the forefront and this has become a much smoother tea already. I would almost say mildly chocolatey undertones are present as well.
The third infusion has lost the maltiness, but not the smoke. It is sweeter and of a more crisp flavor now.
Overall, I suppose this isn’t my favorite tea with too persistent a smoky flavor. Yet I did enjoy trying it out and can think of a few friends who will enjoy trying this with me sometime as well.
I went ahead and picked up a sample of this tea along with a number of others from Tea Era when I saw that their samples are just $2 each. I’m an absolute sucker for a tea vendor that sells samples. I’m much more likely to purchase from you in the first place, and infinitely more again in the future.
I’m not normally one for flavored teas, but that was the bulk of their offering, so I decided to give a few of the more intriguing ones a whirl. I love pomegranate, so threw this in the lot!
I decided to prepare this tea gong-fu style. Now, if you read the steeping instructions, you’ll now know that I directly disregarded them. There’s a very good reason for that…. I felt like using my gaiwan. I KNOW! Best reason ever, right?
The dry leaf is perhaps a bit too tightly packed into the sample pouch and the leaves, which are already a bit smaller than I have come to expect, have broken a bit from the pouch. They have a sweet fragrance, though. I’m pretty sure it’s the vanilla and pomegranate. The wet leaves are especially fruity. You don’t really get any of the vanilla, but all the pomegranate. However, I keep saying “pomegranate”, but without reading the description I would not have pinpointed that. It’s almost more… citrusy than that.
In any case, I did at least brew this for longer than I would a typical white tea, closer in accordance with the instructions. Unfortunately, upon tasting, I feel like that was perhaps a mistake. The liquor is a nice amber color and has re-captured the mellowing vanilla. However, it’s a bit bitter and astringent from brewing overlong on my part. For now, I’ll leave it without a rating since I clearly was the cause of the poor flavor. I’ll get it better next time!
And I’ll even follow their posted instructions some day, too!
I really do enjoy pu-erh teas and this one is pretty high on my list. Especially of the ones that I can identify, seeing as I have a few at home I just can’t figure out what company made them!
In any case, it’s been another long, stressful day at work and I felt the need to relax. I had just eaten a large lunch and clocked back in when it became eminently clear that I needed some nice pu-erh to help keep my stomach settled and my senses alert.
Once it was brewed, I smelled the tea and actually said out loud, “Yes! This is exactly what I need!” It was sort of silly. I guess it’s a good thing there aren’t too many people near my desk.
What I love most about a good pu-erh like this is how it transports me. I smell the tea and have a sip and I’m camping in the woods, huddled in a warm sleeping bag as a fallen tree falls apart eaten by termites next to my tent. * sigh * This is where I want to be right now. And this is where I feel like I am when I enjoy this tea.
This is actually my third time drinking this tea. The first was in the Vital Tea Leaf shop with Kenny in Chinatown. After that, I purchased a decent amount of it. The second was just yesterday with a small group of coworkers and we all sat around enjoying this tea very much.
Today, I am enjoying this tea once more and the light, springy aroma of the liquor is perking me up nicely! The liquor itself is extremely light in color, even lighter than most green oolongs I come across. The tea itself is somewhat vegetal and mildly grassy. Most of all, it lightly plays in the mouth with a simple, pleasant, and almost sweet flavor.
I’m definitely fond of this tea and perhaps will like to try other Iron Goddess options from Vital Tea Leaf someday. When talking with Kenny, he described this as a good “everyday” oolong. I think he is exactly right about that!
Upon seeing the opportunity to get an early release black tea from a plantation that specializes in Oolong… I couldn’t resist the offer and spent perhaps a few dollars more than I ought to have in order to be a part of this.
The leaves are large, dark, and gorgeous to me. The scent of the dry leaf is full-bodied and sweet. But not sweet in a sugar or fruit sort of way to me. It’s sweet like a handful of grain.
I opted to brew this gong fu style first in a 100 mL gaiwan. Each infusion was around 1-2 minutes (depending on the infusion), so perhaps I will try this again gong fu style with shorter infusions.
The liquor is a deep amber with a surprisingly mellow aroma. As Dorothy noted, it definitely is malty with a touch of barley. Drinking the tea is smooth. There is no astringency or bitterness to my palate. At first, I couldn’t quite identify what I was tasting. It was robust but mellow. There was a heartiness without being too much.
After a while, I realized that tasting this tea reminds me of tasting craft beers. There are a lot of the same flavors working their way through the tea as I have experienced in beer. It’s almost like there’s a very light hoppy after-taste that I find especially pleasant.
I’m looking forward to trying this again with shorter infusions and again in a western style pot.
I’ve been on something of a “light and mild” tea kick lately. This is very odd for me considering my normal tastes (pu-erh, dark roasted oolong, and black teas). Yet all day yesterday while I was in the office, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking of this Bai Mu Dan sitting lonely (okay, maybe not so lonely) in my cupboard at home. Remembering how the caffeine from the white tea is more likely to send a jolt of electricity (in a good way) through me, I decided to pull out the tea, freshen the water in my electric kettle, and leave it all in plain sight for the morning!
I prepared this tea gong fu style once again. My senses were a bit dulled by having just woken, so I won’t describe the aroma and flavor in as much detail as before, but you can see my previous log on this tea for those details!
As I expected, this tea provided a fresh clarity to my morning and the briskness of the flavor brought my palate alive! I definitely enjoy this tea still and even brought some to keep in my tea drawer in the office so I can utilize its inspiring flavor while stuck at work!
My first whiff of the dry leaf in the pyramid bag was a little strong. The bergamot is perhaps stronger than I would prefer (a non-regular Earl Grey drinker). The brewed liquor is a nice deep amber and the aroma is similar to that of the dry leaf.
My first few sips were when the tea was freshly brewed and pretty hot still. The lemony bergamot really packed a wallop and I wasn’t particularly fond of it. It had a vaguely soapy, almost Pine Sol-like after taste for me. I let the cup sit a bit and the tea cooled. Once it was in the “pleasantly warm” category, I tried it again and basically all of the bergamot overkill had passed into history.
I think this will make a nice iced Earl Grey in the summer months, but I think I’ll pass on future hot cups.
Thanks again to Two Leaves and a Bud for sending along this sample for me!
I used to drink this tea very regularly. In general, I find that Mighty Leaf tea is a solid brand that can be found locally most anywhere. If it’s not in your main supermarket, it can typically be found at a local co-op or natural foods store. After drinking the Goji Green Tea from Two Leaves and a Bud yesterday, I remembered this tea and wanted to try it again for comparison.
However, it has been quite a while since I’ve partaken in any and I must admit that I’m a bit disappointed. Maybe my tastes have been too highly tuned and become too used to more natural teas, but it’s sort of bland to me now. There is that light sweetness from the “tropical” aspect of this tea, and I do still think it’s a pretty solid tea for being in a bag as it is, but I guess I’m just a bit underwhelmed.
I know I’m comparing it in part to my previous opinion of it, which was quite high. So that has bearing on this rating, absolutely. I’m sure I’ll be having more in the future in either case. It still is a nice tea!
This is actually the second time I’ve tried this, but I was unable to write a review sooner.
The liquor itself is very light in color, even lighter than many of the greens I’ve had in the past. The aroma of the tea in the cup was very mild, almost non-existent. However, the wet leaf aroma is pungent and almost earthy. I’m having trouble finding just the right word to describe the this scent.
As for the tea itself, it’s a very mellow green tea. A very light background note of roasted flavor, but it’s almost not even noticeable.
This tea is very nice a subtle, but I’m not sure I’d drink it too regularly. I don’t care too much for green teas and usually enjoy a heartier flavor, so this may be in part related to the fact that I’ve had a lot of green and white tea today and none of the stronger flavors I normally consume in such vast quantities.