110 Tasting Notes

73

Hot-brewed and then stuck in the fridge for three hours. The liquor is the color of magenta and smells of raspberry and hibiscus. It tastes sweet and refreshing like lemonade – a boon on cool summer evening after a hot and humid day. It’s also not tart, which is a plus considering the hibiscus. However, overall, it does taste a little weak, the aftertaste especially so. I would need at least two teaspoons in order to have the desired strength.

Thank you, Good Life Teas, for the sample!

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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84

This is a good chocolate rooibos tea and makes a great dessert tea, so as long it is paired with a chocolate dessert (which, I’m sure, would overpower the tea). It smells really nice. The chocolate flavoring is prominent enough so that it stands out but not so much that it overwhelms the rooibos.

Thank you, Good Life Teas, for the sample!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74

The dry leaf smells of bergamot. Mmmmmm. I was originally going to have this without milk or sugar, but I had to add it after taking a couple sips. The base tea – probably due to some of the leaves being crushed to a powder – is very malty, even bitter. And I couldn’t taste any cream. A third of a teaspoon of sugar and splash of milk did the trick for me to temper the bitterness. The bergamot delightfully pleasant and light – in no way overbearing like some Earl Grey’s I’ve had. The milk brings out the creaminess and the vanilla.

Thank you, Good Life Teas, for the sample!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89

Brewed in a shudei kyusu. Steeping times: 1 min, 1 min, 2 min, 2min

The delicate dry leaf aroma smells of seaweed and snow peas, while the wet leaf aroma is more punchy, with notes of squash, pumpkin, and zucchini. Dark green leaf bits drift in the electric green liquor. The first infusion is thin, very sweet and gentle, light on the tongue and stomach. Fruity aftertaste, cherries or mango. The infusions thereafter are richer, having a thicker texture and yielding bold vegetal flavors similar to those in the wet leaf aroma. Aftertaste is hay-like, freshly cut and dewy grass.

This is my first shincha, so I have no idea as to how it compared with others, but I think it is delicious. It was a change from the usual Japanese greens I’ve had.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
Cameron B.

Sounds very lovely! Especially in such an appropriate vessel. ;)

KiwiDelight

You should totally give this one a go. I’d send you some but I drank the last of it :[

Cameron B.

I’ve never ordered from Upton but I will definitely consider it.

KiwiDelight

+1 pt for their sample prices.

pyarkaaloo

am dying to try some Shincha! (that’s 1st flush sencha right?) both Hashiri Shincha & Lupicia’s Shincha…now this one sounds fantastic as well..

thanks for your lovely review. will simply have to give this one a try.

KiwiDelight

Yep, 1st flush!

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85

A sample from my first order from Mandala, during the Great Sale. Prepared gongfu style with a ceramic gaiwan. 5 second rinse. Steeping times were 5, 5, 5, 10, 15,20, 30, 45, 60, 120.

The dry leaf smells of mushrooms and earth, and the wet leaf of mostly freshly baked bread with raisins. Some chocolate, after only the rinse. Throughout the session, the liquor was rusty red, medium-bodied, silky smooth, and a little thick in texture. There were earthy notes at first, but these disappeared later, when I mostly tasted whole wheat bread, somewhat sugary. Not a hint of coffee-like bitterness or astringency. This shu is mild, even gentle, though the after effects were not weak, and I felt my energy strengthen yet calmed.

I forgot I did a session of this not two weeks ago. My notes said mostly said that it was earthy and coffee-like, and that there were mushrooms (taste-wise). Weirdly incredible how my palate changed. I didn’t even drink shu between then and now o_O

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
TheTeaFairy

So true that our palate trains quickly :-)

KiwiDelight

I’m not the only one?? That makes me feel a little less crazy!

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95

Brewed with glass test tube steeper. Steeping times: 45, 60, 75, 90, 120.

The leaves are dark green and long and twisty, like gnarled branches in an old forest. They are perfect for the test tube steeper. I liked watching them become enlarged and turn into a lighter green. Very alive and plant-like. The dry and wet leaf aroma alike are thick with vegetal and buttery notes. After the second infusion, the wet leaf began to smell like dried pineapple. The liquor is bright green with fuzzy particles, yet clean with a bright personality. Texture is a little creamy. Flavors of spinach, bok choy, and sugar snap peas are present, and the aftertaste is predominantly floral. Overall, the feeling is fresh and clean. Good for all year round: complements warmer months, evokes spring warmth during winter.

This is the only Wen Shan Baozhong I’ve had, but I really like this. One of my favorites of Yezi.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Cameron B.

Yay, someone else thinks of gnarled branches when they see leaves! :D

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85

This is from the review contest winnings. Thank you, Angel and Mary!!

After having only a cup of Tanzanian black tea in the morning and some coffee with lots of milk and sugar a while ago, I needed something clean-tasting, something light on the tongue. I thought of green tea but remembered this Silver Needles that I still needed to try. Not a white tea person, but I rolled with it.

Brewed grandpa style. How wonderful to look at the leaves in the glass tumbler!

The aroma of the dry leaf consists of sweet grass, sweet hay (mmm barns), and honeydew (love that fruit!). At this point, I already know I’m in for something.

The liquor is so light-bodied that it is air. It is air. It feels like air. It tastes like air. Clear, fluffy air that has a sweet grass note. By gum, it really is FLUFFY.

This not-a-white-tea person was completely taken by surprise. Considering some things, though, I’ve never really had good quality Silver Needles until now but I feel like a rating is needed for people who are also not white tea drinkers. Holy mackerel, did I well in choosing to drink this now. Thanks again, Teavivre!

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
K S

Before tasting this tea, my experience with white tea was limited to tea bag stuff from the likes of Stash. I thought white tea was just a lighter tasting tea similar to black. Who knew there were melons, cucumbers, and hay in leaf? This is an awesome tea.

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Method: gongfu-style with gaiwan. 5 second rinse. Steeping times: 5, 5, 10, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 45, 60

Dry leaf aroma has notes of cooked mushrooms and various spices (I could make out cumin, paprika, cloves, and coriander). Wet leaf smells like green beans. First infusion is light, tastes of sweet grass with a peppercorn finish. Second infusion is similar, though the aroma of the wet leaf at this point has changed to peppersteak. Third infusion is sweeter and grassier, very sheng-like.

I can’t discern any change in taste in the fourth and later infusions. I do know for certain that I like this one more than the other shengs I’ve had from Teavivre.

I actually have no idea how I got a sample.

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Stephanie

Heh, mystery sample :)

KiwiDelight

It finally happened to me.

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85
drank Karigane #22 by Tea Wing
110 tasting notes

Received this from a swap, forgot who it was from ._.

Brewed in my shudei kyusu. Steeping times: 30, 60, 15 (at boiling).

The dry leaf purely smells of dried seaweed, while the wet leaf smells like boiled vegetables, mostly zucchini,and some asparagus. The liquor is bright green, full-bodied and thick with buttery and vegetal notes, finishing with a almond/hazelnut flavor. No astringency, no bitterness. Kind of sweet.

Man, this tea is so rich that I felt full only after drinking the first infusion, and I had eaten breakfast nearly an hour before. I’ve never had that sensation from drinking a Japanese green before.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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86

I’ve only had one variant of Earl Grey ever and that was Teavana’s Earl Grey Creme a couple years back. And the only vanilla tea I’ve drunk was from Bigelow . This one smells soooo good. Vanilla works incredibly well with bergamot. I smelled the leaves while they were steeping and thought, “I could go for some vanilla cupcakes now.” First I drank the tea straight. I tasted the base tea – malty, astringent – and bergamot flavoring more than the vanilla, which takes over in the aftertaste. With milk and sugar, the malt and bergamot disappear, so it’s like drinking plain vanilla-flavored tea. I like this tea both ways, but I just love the vanilla more. I need to save this for autumn. It’d be even more comforting then.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

I began drinking tea because its complexity fascinated me. I love learning about the history, the manufacturing processes, and its place in various cultures.

My favorite teas are Japanese greens, and my favorite herbal tisanes are peppermint, lavender and chrysanthemum. I’m beginning to get into Wuyi oolongs and Chinese blacks, and am always open to exploring African teas. The only teas I truly dislike are fruity tisanes and the ones that have too much fruit. (Hibiscus, you’re alright if you’re cold.)

I’m an MFA graduate (nonfiction writing, specifically about nature), and an amateur birder as well as a tea enthusiast. I also like exercising, Tolkien, and Ancient Egypt (for the time being).

How I rate (I’m so used to the American grade system…….):

96-100 I absolutely adore everything about it. One of my absolute favorites. Like ambrosia!!

90-95 Superb quality and very enjoyable.

80-89 Delicious! Pleased with the overall quality.

70-79 Simply, I like it.

60-69 Overall “meh”. Not bad, but not terribly good.

0-59 NOPE.

If there is no rating – I don’t feel experienced enough to rate the tea, or said tea goes beyond rating.

Location

Westchester, NY

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