209 Tasting Notes
Knowing the nature of these balls, came into this session with no expectations. Poured boiling water from high above to rinse, let the leaves sit for awhile and then did one more short rinse. First steep was pretty weak in flavor, but once the ball opened up I got a nice balance of sweet and very, very light bitterness. Nothing super distinct, but still good! I have a couple more of these so I look forward to seeing how they differ.
First steep: 5g/104ml, 50C, 90 seconds or so
First steep of this came out a slightly cloudly yellow, with a subtle, sweet umami aroma and a matching flavor. This embodies the great umami, vegetal combination I love without that distinct brininess (which I also love). I did slightly less water and a slightly longer steep than they recommend, but I think I would have enjoyed this steep even more with even less than what I used. The texture is thick and viscous, which I love.
2nd steep: 70ml, 90C, 15 or so seconds
Much less space for water in steep two since the leaves absorb so much of it in the first steep. In the second steep, the sweet, umami aroma and flavors become very prominent. There is a nice creaminess that hints at that characteristic chestnut that Japanese greens can sometimes offer. Still very thick and smooth with just a bit of a drying sensation at the end. The very last mouthful of this steep was super creamy and sweet with just enough of a light bitter bite to remind me of the matcha truffle I recently had.
3rd steep: 70ml, 90C, 30-40 seconds
The umami has toned down in this steep, bringing the sweetness and vegetal notes to the forefront. Overall, really have enjoyed this one!
Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal
Second thing I’m trying from the #shengolympiad2017. I spilled most of the first steep, which I’m quite upset about, because what I did get to have of it tasted really good. Sweet and fruity, with a floralness that develops over a couple of steeps. Smooth, thick mouthfeel that becomes more viscous and mouth-coating throughout the session. This is a good one, and only a year old, so I definitely look forward to trying the 2010.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Smooth, Sweet, Thick
I’ve had this sample sitting around for a quite a while and no longer remember whose stash I acquired it from. I need to start making note of that.
Anyhow, poured the whole sample into my gaiwan, which ended up being just about 9 grams. Did a quick wash and let the leaves sit while I refilled and heated the kettle before the first steep.
Light gold liquor, light and sweet in flavor, with the characteristic creaminess coming through more in the second steep. Light florals start to push through in steep three.
All in all, this was a good one!
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Sweet
Drinking down the last 5g of this this morning. I was so tempted to dip into a new gyokuro or houjicha or something, but I figured I should drink my open and other smaller green samples first, plus this let me drink a larger amount at a warmer temperature.
Due to the lack or sorting and whatnot, it is a bit of a hassle to prepare this one because of the dust and fannings. I enjoy the grassy, beany, faint chestnut and light astringency, but it doesn’t stand out enough for me to necessarily crave it in the future. I also find this tea to be harsh on an empty stomach in the way that matcha is for me. All in all, though, being able to have the opportunity to try unrefined tea from a single field is quite a special thing, and it helps me to better appreciate every tea that I drink, and all of the work that goes into achieving the final flavor profiles that teas end up with.
Flavors: Astringent, Beany, Chestnut, Grass, Vegetal
Pretty sure this is the tea I was served last night when we went out for Thai. Nothing special, but it was drinkable for keeping warm in a chilly restaurant. Beany vegetal, pretty diluted, so it probably could have used less water, plus, they poured the water in the mug and brought me the teabag to put in myself.
Flavors: Beany, Vegetal
Finally got around to trying an orb of this from the #shengolympiad. Started with a couple of rinses to open this up and then proceeded to flash steep. It starts out with a floral grassiness that has a strong bite. I have to admit, I oversteeped this a couple times early on in the session, which drew out some bitterness that probably wouldn’t have otherwise been there. It doesn’t take long for it to mellow back out into something smooth and sweet. The liquor is like liquid gold and becomes even sweeter as it cools.
So I feel like, as time goes on, I grow to appreciate roasted oolongs more and more. I got this as part of December’s w2t sub box and it has been waiting to be tried. Decided to move on to this one after enjoying a session with a 95 TGY that spanned two days (and will probably keep on going) and continue winding down from the wedding earlier.
Threw 7g in the gaiwan and hit it with boiling water. First steep is super quick and the resulting liquor is roasty and sweet, with an appreciable minerality. Enjoyed relaxing with this one through the afternoon, but wish it had lasted longer!