134 Tasting Notes

Decided to try out some more of the Darjeeling samples we have today. I meant to go about taking notes on this the usual way, but it was so easy to drink that by the time I realized I hadn’t taken any I was nearly done with the first steep…

That being said, the first steep is smooth, full-bodied and the flavors are very balanced. The liquor has a deep, cocoa-y scent and just a hint of sweetness.

I attempted a resteep, but mostly got bitterness out of it, so I’ll finish up with this one for now.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Smells deep and smoky.

First steep is a lightish amber. It’s smooth and smoky, and I’m getting roasted seaweed and smoked salmon. rhinkle says “watery fish.” Mineral aftertaste. The empty cup has that fruity heicha scent that fades to a light smokiness.

In the second steep, I feel like the flavors both lighten up and balance out a bit more. The liquor becomes noticeably more viscous in the third steep (especially so the more I let the liquor cool), with more of that sour fruity flavor that I associate with heicha along with the deep, roasted notes.

After the fourth steep, a nice sweetness starts to come through. Enjoyed quite a few more steeps, as well. This carried me through to the end of the day and I may be able to push it even farther.

Flavors: Fish Broth, Fruity, Pleasantly Sour, Seaweed, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g

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Been drinking quite a bit of white this week, mostly by way of endlessly using the same leaves. No complaints, though. I love white tea.

The leaves of this one are beautiful and they smell lightly vegetal dry, sweet and hay-like wet. Followed the recommendations and did this one western style, which resulted in a sweet-smelling, light-colored liquor.

Texture is smooth, thick and viscous, the flavor light and sweet in the first steep and just a bit bolder in the second steep. Enjoyable and easy to drink, and I definitely want to try this one gongfu style next.

Flavors: Hay, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Gui Fei Oolong by Totem Tea
134 tasting notes

I think it’s safe to say this is a totally new and unique tea experience for us. Had one sample of this and used all 5 grams of it. The dry, rolled leaves didn’t have too assuming of a scent, but as soon as I washed, the roasty, woody, tangy fruit aroma hit. The liquor is a nice medium gold.

The flavor is a bit hard for me to put into words immediately. That tangy flavor is definitely front and center for me, and there’s an interesting spiciness, both in flavor and sensation at the back of my throat. Fruity, floral (but light enough not to put me off), and I can tell there is some char in there, but it seems pretty subtle.

Second steep is nice and robust. A bit more woody with roasted nuts and rounded out by that tangy fruit. I feel like I am getting some camphor notes and, surprisingly, a bit of qi off this, as well.

More roasted nuts in the third steep, with a hint of creaminess on the tail end and a lingering sweetness.

Got a couple more steeps out of this before the day came to an end. I definitely would like to further explore this type of oolong!

Flavors: Fruity, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Tangy

Preparation
5 g

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I was super excited to order some teas from Georgia, where I lived and consider one of my homes. rhinkle wanted this one yesterday but I’d overheated the water, so I made it to have ready right as she arrived today.

I feel like this tea waits to assert what it has to offer. No aroma hits me in the face, the liquor is a rather unassuming, albeit deep, reddish amber. The first steep is smooth and offers a blend of tobacco, bread and malty flavors with just a hint of citrus and a subtle sweetness. The aroma left behind in my mug smells faintly of sweet citrus.

::sighs:: I swear, I should not be allowed to do western style because I always forget about the tea. My resteep went for a very, very long time, but the leaves withstood it. The citrus comes through clearer in this steep, and just a bit of bitterness at the very end, probably thanks to me oversteeping.

The leaves have expanded nicely after a couple of steeps, and they’re very intact. All-in-all, while this is different from my most preferred teas, I find it to be of good quality and it is actually quite enjoyable. My body was even able to tolerate it after having matcha this morning, so I feel nice and even right now. And, of course, I’m very happy to have tea from Georgia. Tea that is better than any tea I ever actually had in Georgia, funny enough.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Citrus, Malt, Smooth, Tobacco

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Went to bed waaaaay too late last night and I was drowsier driving this morning than I remember in a while. I don’t usually drink matcha two days in a row, but I knew it would be necessary this morning.

The more back in practice I get with preparing it, the more I am able to appreciate this matcha. I can get a pretty substantial layer of froth on top and the right amount of water cuts the intensity of any bitterness while maintaining a fresh, rich flavor. Definitely a good value!

Flavors: Creamy, Vegetal

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The more I experience Chinese black teas, the more I’m learning to appreciate black teas in general.

Steeped this one in a gravity steeper with boiling water for about 3 minutes. The result was a nice, red liquor with a deep, bready, chocolatey aroma. Each sip has a smooth texture with the taste of cocoa and bready notes, and a creamy, malty aftertaste lingers for quite a while.

I forgot about the tea during the resteep and let it go for a good 10 minutes, but I still got very nice flavor out of it without any unpleasant flavors. Definitely enjoyed this hong, seemingly more than rhinkle, funny enough!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Creamy, Malt, Smooth, Sweet

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