39 Tasting Notes
Very florally and light. I tried steeping this at a lower temp than I usually do oolongs to see if it made a difference and because TFT is not very specific on their recommendations on temperatures or steeping times. I did the first two steeps at 190F and 75 seconds and then two minutes because the first steep was way too light for me. Astringent very buttery taste not altogether bad, but it just didn’t do “it” for me. Tried one last steep at 4 minutes, but was pretty unremarkable. Glad these are just samples.
Ok, I just got my 1/4 pound of this from Den’s today. This really is some delicious stuff. One thing that I didn’t have on the small sample packet but is on the 2ounce packets is that it is 2010 Shincha. It brews up fast (30 seconds) taste like buttery beany deliciousness with a hint of sencha flavor in the background. I have to add a whole bunch of new teas to my cupboard, but will do that in the morning. I have to up my rating on this stuff just a touch though because it is so tasty. Good for two steeps too!
Though I consider it sacrileges (and I am an atheist except when it comes to tea), I followed Seven Cups instructions and poured just boiled water onto my tablespoon of leaves in my Yixing. It is a very oxidized oolong with long unraveled, ragged leaves. I waited a minute (per instructions) then poured the tea. Bronze liquor that is very aromatic but kind of hard for me to taste until I let it cool down considerably. Smell is very pleasing, but a little smoky. I don’t really get any strong flavors and for that, I wouldn’t repurchase it myself. It is a good tea, just not my “cup of tea”. :) You can get quite a few infusions from this, though – my third 12 ounce cup was similar to the first.
I tried this later in the afternoon and to me there is no comparison between this and the High Mountain Anxi-style. I like the latter much better (though this is still a very good tea). The leaves smelled toasty as opposed to florally, looked a lot more oxidated, and were little B-B pellets in the package. The first steep at 208F for 2 minutes was golden, not yellow like the Anxi High Mountain. The liquor smells strongly woodsy, bready and minerally like a Dragon Well. The taste is mineral and roasted, but having just had the velvety smooth Anxi earlier, this seems more acidic and astringent. A good TGY, I am sure, but I am a biased judge because I can’t help but compare it to something my palate and nose liked so much better.
I got in my order from Seven Cups on Friday so will be logging some of those soon I hope, but this Tie Guan Yin is a good one. I followed the directions recommended by SC and did water right off the boil for 2 minutes in my Yixing which has a rather large capacity (~16 ounces) so i used a full tablespoon of dry leaves. Boy did the leaf smell good when I opened up the bag (which by the way was a resealable container – a huge plus for me right now in the middle of a tea-buying binge).
The brew is lighter than other TGYs I have tried, but very aromatic. Strongly floral scent like vanilla, mixed with what I think is jasmine and very golden-yellow, clear liquor. Second infusion smells even stronger – I let it steep for 45 seconds more. Same color and seems like even stronger bouquet of flowers smells. Just from my first two steeps I can say this is a winner and a re-order in cupboard. Glad I got the 50 gram bag rather than a sample. Going to stop writing and keep steeping.
Am I the only one who thinks this tastes like melted butter? It is very delicious. Crafty Den’s put it in as a “sample tea of month” with my first order and now they are forcing me to buy a full order because this stuff is the Shi-shi! Has the faint taste of a good sencha, but mellowed down with absolutely no bitterness.
OK, now this (a sencha) I have experience with and I can tell you I have a new favorite Sencha. I don’t have a 180F setting on my Zojirushi and so I had to catch it at 180 as it was cooling off. The resteep will be at 175 too, but Den’s recommends boiled? I have never had Sencha right off the boil and am interested if anyone has tried this and what they think.
Anyways – on to the tea. Much less bitter than any other sencha I have tasted, just a very slight taste of it at the end of your sip to offset the sweet zucchini-like taste. The second steep had all the color and particulate matter of the first but the flavor fell off quite a bit, maybe because I didn’t prepare it like Den’s told me to – off the boil for 15 seconds. Drinkable and still better than any other brand I have had in the past.
My first time trying Genmaicha so I have absolutely nothing to compare it to other than my new friend Houjicha Gold, but they are both very different from any teas I have ever tried before. The dry leaves, matcha, and rice had much less scent than either the Houjicha or regular Sencha. The brew is green of course with a roasted rice sent. Very mild compared to the Houjicha – almost hard to taste, but the roasted cereal mixed with that yummy “umami” especially on the bottom of the cup is worth concentrating on. I feel so guilty for liking these two new teas so much, but these are both getting second order. I am excited to try the Den’s Senchas I ordered too, but first must finish my O-cha organic still left in my cupboard.
I have been drinking this daily and used my “On Your Shopping List” button provided by Steepster to remind me to order more. I wish Den’s would hurry up and send me one of those promised e-mails with a coupon code. I think I’ll have to up my initial grade too…I am becoming hooked on this stuff.
Tried it at 185F for two minutes since the Zojirushi was cooling down from a 205 steep, but I didn’t think it was much different than the brew I did a few days ago. Not bad, but not worth the additional expense though Silk Road calls it “competition grade”. Maybe that grade is wasted on my uneducated palate? I still have a lot of this tea left so maybe will try a cooler than 175F steep and see how that goes.