1275 Tasting Notes

Let me start buy saying this was purchased a while ago, seeing as it is a 2013 harvest, and I’ve only just remembered about it. I put it to ‘rest’ for a few months but have left it for the better part of a year and half. My mistake! I’ve been looking around trying to find some information on someone else doing this but when it comes to aging and resting greentea there is little to no information on it. Most say to drink greentea asap while it’s fresh and that is should never be kept for too long as it loses flavour. Well I had this in the hopes to ‘mature’ it a little to see what would happen. At this point I think all I can do is give it a try.

The leaves are a beautiful, glossy, dark green that form curly/squiggly pieces. Not bright green but not brown or dull either.

The scent is toasty yet sweet and ‘smog’ like, so a hint of smoke in it’s thickness. Also mild floral tones. Overall it’s quite strong though on the ‘mellow’ side of strong. As you keep sniffing it gets sweeter and sweeter.

It’s quite late (11pm) and I’m pairing this review with watching anime so I think I will use a gongfu teapot across three steeps. Using roughly 5g of leaf and 80C water.

Steep 1 – 1 minute
Colour is yellow.
Scent is sweet and honeyed with light toasted grass and floral tones.
Flavour is soft and sweet at first with honey, orchid and toasted grass with a buttery finish. As I continue there is some dryness in the aftertaste.

Steep 2 – 2 minutes
This steep is more floral and still as sweet and buttery. Perhaps less toasted now though if anything. The dryness is still the same but it rather adds to it’s charm. Some astringency, like thick grass.

Steep 3 – 3 minutes
Soft flavours with astringency. All that really remains is butter, mild toasted grass and sweetness now likened to sweetcorn.

This was a success for me, and was perhaps a good thing I rested it for so long. While I have not tried this specific companies tea, I have had Lao Shan green’s before and found them to be ‘full on’ and ‘thickly smog like’ at times. While that is all well and good I do think that perhaps I have to be in the right frame of mind for it. Whereas with this long rested period it’s smoothed those tones out but the sweetness mixed with toasted grass and honeyed flowers blend beautifully to create a more ‘balanced’ version of a Lao Shan green. At no point while I was drinking did I stop and think “Wow, this tastes old” or anything similar to that effect. In some ways it was comparable to an Oolong, like Jin Xuan.

So my mistake was not costly, not in the slightest it would seem. I know that the rest of this can be enjoyed in the very near future. Perhaps I can take some to a party my mother is hosting soon to show off her new summer house, see if anyone is ‘daring’ enough to try it. If not then more for me, but if someone manages to strike up a conversation about tea with me while I’m there it would make my day.

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Honey, Orchid, Sweet, Toasted

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86

I decided to re-steep last nights leaves and just in time too as Death Note drama has just released it’s second video a few hours ago. So really it’s just like I’m going to carry on from where I left off (in both senses).

The re-steep was a good call because it’s still full of flavour and strength, perhaps a little more sour and bitter. The wood and malt tones still preside with sweet and sour notes with the dry, dark cocoa finish. Just as beautiful as the first steep. :)

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86

Some quick notes on this one tonight while I stay up and watch Death Note (the drama version ie live action film). This tea came from a friend in Taiwan as part of an exchange along with some other locally sourced tea.

This comes in the large tin as pictured along with an airtight lid, meaning I can just open and enjoy asap without having to find somewhere for it to go.

The raw leaves are long, thin and curly with a sweet wood and malt scent. Subtle and toasted.

Once steeped this tea has a thick malt scent with some sweetness though also a bit dry and sour.

Flavour is not quite as thick nor sour as the smell but it does have a lot of character non the less. The malt and wood tones mixed with sweet and dry create a complex yet pleasing combination. Further sips reveal soft leather and dark cocoa notes.

It has similar characteristics to the other Sun Moon Lake tea I’ve had previously and I think for the time being this might be my ‘go to’ black tea. I’m going to keep it near my kettle for easy access. Plus perhaps my husband will get curious one morning and make himself a cup…well probably not but he may if I coerce him. I bought him a ceramic all in one steeping mug with lid so he can take loose leaf to work.

So it would seem this ended the night perfectly, and the Death Note drama is pretty awesome too!

Flavors: Cocoa, Leather, Malt, Sour, Sweet, Wood

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100

In raw form this tea smells super duper sweet and fruity! Like fresh peach juice. The Oolong balls are a nice size which comes dotted with other ingredients around them, of which I can see rose petals and ginger pieces.

Once steeped the tea is golden brown/yellow with a sweet and thick fruit scent, particularly peach and an undertone of sweet rose and flowers surround it. Pure smelling and juicy, wonderful!

Flavour matches the scent somewhat. It’s sweet and fruity with peach and strawberry like tones with flowers and milky Oolong, blended into one smooth and sweet drink. The fruit is very fresh and pure, I can almost taste the fuzz of the peach skin. It’s strength is a nice balance, not toning out the Oolong but using the milk tones to it’s advantage. Further sips reveal a touch of dryness which lingers with the sweet fruit in the after taste.

I could drink this tea any time, any where and still enjoy it as much. Therefore top marks from me (which is a rare occurrence)

For more info and pics: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/15/monsoon-blended-oolong-from-siam-tee-shop/

Additional note: Even through 3 re-steeps (so 4 steeps altogether) this tea still has lots of flavour, almost as much as the original. Another reason that is gets top marks :D

Flavors: Milk, Peach, Sweet

Tealizzy

Sounds yummy! Also, the leaf looks awesome!

KittyLovesTea

It truly is delicious, was not expecting it at all as I don’t usually get on with flavoured tea. A very nice surprise :D Looking forward to trying the other blends.

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70

This tea smells sweet and herbal, with the licorice being the strongest. It’s refreshing and rather light. The powder is khaki in colour.

Once boiling water is added it has been stirred very thoroughly.

Flavour is thick and very sweet, the licorice root grabbing my taste buds and taking them on a refreshing ride. The Mate is lightly herbal though it gets lost behind the sweet, refreshing (and overpowering) licorice and ginkgo. It has a long after taste, it’s sweetness clinging to my tongue.

I admit I’m not a fan of licorice tea in general, but this was drinkable. More than that I believe the Mate has worked somewhat to boost my energy.

Pics and more info: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/14/chi-whole-leaf-tea-sampler-review/

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74

This tea smells sweet and sour which must be the hibiscus dominating over the rose and jasmine. It is a little floral but not enough for me to pick them out especially. The powder is red in colour.

Once boiling water is added it has been stirred very thoroughly.

Flavour is mild but sweet and slightly tart. There is some dryness along with a generic herbal taste with little to no after taste. The tartness from the hibiscus is only mild and does not last long. On the whole grand scheme of things this blend is much more mild than I was expecting but at the same time I like that. Reason being I think it would translate well to iced tea, which it does say you can use cold water for this blend.

As it cools the flowers pop up with more sweetness, pure tasting ie clean though still subtle. Still a little dry but it hasn’t increased.

This blend was the one I was most wary of since I dislike hibiscus but due to it’s mild nature I found it rather pleasant. I’ve been trying to go ‘caffeine free’ a lot recently and this was a nice example. Finishing this sample will be no problem.

For pics and info: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/14/chi-whole-leaf-tea-sampler-review/

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76

This tea smells very minty and refreshing, slightly sweet but the peppermint and eucalyptus effeminately take control. The powder is dark green in colour.

Once boiling water is added it has been stirred very thoroughly.

The flavour is mild at first but explodes with fresh mint towards the after taste with a touch of bitterness. The aftertaste is of eucalyptus and definable, it’s refreshing, warming and herbal. It’s not too thick, if anything is the strongest it’s the mint which in my opinion is never a bad thing.

Compared to other brands of green mint tea (particularly those in bags) this blend is cleaner tasting though the dryness is about equal. Plus the eucalyptus makes this taste rather unique in the after taste.

As it cools slightly the strength increases, the mint now adds a soft tingle to my lips as I sip. Also the bitterness increases though not too much.

It was a nice blend, the eucalyptus was stronger than expected and I’m still in two minds about it but all in all it was enjoyable. I may try this one iced at some point to see the difference. My negative point is that I could not really taste the green tea very much, and I feel I should have considering it’s a Darjeeling green.

Pics and more info: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/14/chi-whole-leaf-tea-sampler-review/

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82

This tea smells spicy, enough to tickle my nose as I sniff. The ginger and cinnmon would be the two that I can pick out, but it’s blended together very well. I can’t smell the Rooibos and would not have known if it were not in the ingredients. The powder is dark sandy brown in colour.

Once steeped and stirred (very thoroughly) some milk was added.

Flavour is spicy yet sweet with the Rooibos noticeable but rather light in strength. That means none of the icky chemical or ‘unique’ flavour that Rooibos naturally has. Aside from the sweetness and herbal touch of the Rooibos there is some refreshing clove present with the ginger and cinnamon adding a subtle yet still spicy kick. It’s hard to pick out the ingredients specifically as such, they all blend together very well.

Compared to a tea bag this seems fresher and less dry, despite it being powdered. I also find it sweet enough with additional sweetener, which I usually have to add to my Chai. Compared to other Chai powders I have had this is more toned down in terms of strength and is lacking in terms of aromatics (cardamom etc). So this is a Chai but an extremely simple one at that, though for quickness and ease to make (including the idea of transportation, since this is travel handy) I am really liking this blend.

So a thumbs up on this one, with a possibility of me stocking some for my personal use.

Pics and more info: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/14/chi-whole-leaf-tea-sampler-review/

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76

This tea smells very herbal and dry, it’s slightly sweet. It’s blended rather well and herbal is the best I can really say. One ingredient does not stand out over the other particularly. The powder is green in colour.

Once boiling water is added it has been stirred very thoroughly.

The flavour is subtle but sweet with lemongrass and peppermint coming through towards the after taste. Herbal and some thickness to it which adds dryness but not too badly.

As it cools the chamomile comes through stronger as does it subtle sweetness. This carries on nicely through to the after taste.

This was nice enough though I have never been a large fan of chamomile.

Pics and more info: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/14/chi-whole-leaf-tea-sampler-review/

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Profile

Bio

I’m 27 years old from Leicester, England named Kayleigh. I have a wonderful husband called Richard whom I am very lucky to have in my life.

I started off many years ago drinking herbal and fruit teas which over time peaked my interest in trying new types. Eventually I began to import and sample many different teas and cultures which I still do today. My life goal is to try as many teas and ways of having tea as possible.

Tea wise my cravings change constantly from pu erh one month to jasmine green to the next and so on.

I adore cats and have four of my own called Honey, Cassie, Mr Soots and Ivory.

I also have two fish tanks which thankfully my cats have no interest in. They house an array of tropical fish and shrimp.

I am a proud vegetarian and have been for the majority of my life. When I say vegetarian I mean just that as well, no fish or seafood, no chicken now and again, no animal products such as gelatine and cochineal.

I also enjoy watching Japanese Anime and horror films.

I am always up for tea swaps so if you see anything in my virtual cupboard then please contact me.

A short list to help swapping with me easier though honestly I am not fussy and am willing to try anything. Plus the notes below are usually, sometimes I love a tea that has an ingredient I tend to dislike and other times I hate a tea that I thought I would love.

Likes: Any fruit but especially melon and orange, vanilla, all tea types (black, green, white etc), nuts (any), flowers, ginger, chai.

Dislikes: Licorice, aniseed, clove, eucalyptus, lavender.

My rating system
I have my own way of rating teas that makes each one personal. I have different categories, I rate each tea depending on what it is made of. For example: I rate green teas in a different way to black teas or herbal teas. So black, white, green, Pu Erh, Rooibos, Oolong, blends and tisanes all have their own rating system. That way I can compare them with other teas of the same or similar type before for an adequate rating. And when I do give top marks which is very rare I am actually saying that I would love to drink that tea all day, every day if possible. It’s a tea that I would never turn down or not be in the mood for. So while I agree that no tea is 100% perfect (as nothing is) I am saying that it’s as close as it comes to it. After all, in my book the perfect teas (or close to perfect anyway) are ones that I could drink all the time. That is why you will find a high quality black or Oolong will not have as high a score as a cheap flavoured blend, they are simply not being compared in the same category.

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