95 Tasting Notes
From the Unflavored TTB.
Prepared with a test tube steeper.
Dry leaf aroma is vegetal and salty. Wet leaf aroma has notes of fresh beans, spinach and Brussels sprouts. The liquor is pale green and medium-bodied, and tastes of beans and snow peas, simultaneously bitter and sweet. At first the texture is clear but slowly becomes creamy.
The tea didn’t survive past the third infusion, after which it tasted stale. The Laoshan greens I’ve had before were able to go up to six, but I suppose this one doesn’t travel very well for long. Regardless, I chose to rate, keeping the tea’s potentiality in mind.
I found the most enjoyable part of drinking this tea, actually, was watching the leaves in the test tube steeper while they were being steeped. They looked alive as if they were never dried. Also, after the first infusion the color changed from minty green to fresh garden green, the color of asparagus.
I should have waited until summer was over to open the packet, but I’m at the point in which I’m anxious for autumn to arrive (I miss you 3/4 of the year, my favorite season). As I soon as I cut the seal: “Faaaaall!” It smells really great! Made me want an actual caramel apple even though I preferred the candied kind. I couldn’t taste any caramel in the liquor, just the apple. This apple flavor quite sour and overpowered the base, a medium-roasted oolong, so it seemed like I was drinking – albeit very thin – hot apple cider. I’ve been drinking so many “pure” teas this past half year that my liking of flavored teas has gone down, but I enjoy this one!
From the UnflavoredTTB.
Brewed with a red clay kyusu. First infusion: 175°, 60 seconds. Second: 195°, 30 seconds. Third: 205°, 15 seconds. Forth: 205°, 15 seconds.
I reviewed this tea before, when I ordered the sampler. Thought I’d give it another go since I haven’t had it for more than year. I couldn’t smell the dry leaf very well – might have been due to the ziplock baggie – but the wet leaf aroma has strong buttery, squash, and spinach notes. The leaves are dark green and short, many broken up (not due to traveling, as I remember from the sampler packet). They produce neon green liquor which contains leaf particles, has a thick texture, and is full-bodied, flavorful, and wonderfully bitter and vegetal. If you’re interested in trying Japanese greens or want to get a general idea of how sencha tastes, I point to this tea.
From the Unflavored TTB.
Brewed Western style. The dry leaf aroma has grassy, honeydew, and cantaloupe notes, while hay appears and is most prominent in the wet leaf aroma. The pale green-yellow liquor has a light body, and is delicate and airy, smooth, and clean, tasting of sweet grass. I am inexperienced with rarely drink white tea, so no rating for this one. Nonetheless, I still think it’s good – much sweeter than white teas I’ve tried before, has a “head in the clouds effect”. It was a pleasure to finally have a tea from Malawi, and a white tea from Africa. Thank you, Single Origin Teas!
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Grass, Hay, Honeydew
From the Unflavored Traveling Tea Box.
Brewed using Western style. 4 (WOW THESE ARE REALLY BIG) pearls for 12 oz.
Before and after they were infused, the peals smelled of cocoa and malt. The liquor is full-bodied, bold, and amazingly rich with a very bitter dark chocolate taste, underneath which is an earthy note – the kind of earth that is moist after a long thunderstorm has recently passed. The aftertaste so uncannily resembles dark chocolate that I could have sworn I’d just eaten some.
From the Unflavored Traveling Tea Box.
Brewed Western style. The dry leaf aroma smells of maple syrup and caramel, and the wet leaf aroma of chocolate. I intended to use only 8oz of water but overestimated by 100% (I had just woken up….). I thought that the taste would be watered down, and to put in another teaspoon of leaf. But this tea is flexible. The liquor – orange, medium-bodied, and clear – is still flavorful with malt and bitter dark chocolate. It also has a spicy aftertaste, a little like ginger snap cookies. Delicious morning cup!
Cheri sent me this from the TEAlephone. It’s a pretty good chocolate rooibos tea, especially paired with a chocolately dessert. The chocolate flavoring is strong enough to leak out of the baggie and outdo the woody base. It also has a roasted, borderline burnt, quality after the tea’s cooled a bit.
My last sample from Green Terrace Teas.
Method: gongfu session with gaiwan. 5 second rinse. Steeping times: 5, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60.
The aroma of the dry leaf is like a freshly baked pie with an unusual mix of fruits, which I picked out in the following order: plums, Granny Smith apples, lemons, limes, and orange rinds. The wet leaf aroma is sweet with just a hint of tartness, and is dominated by plums and apples. It’s as if the leaves were asserting, “I’m a FRUIT.” Speaking of the leaves themselves, they’re surprisingly smaller, and their colors are interesting and lovely when they’re completely unrolled. Many of them are army green with rusted red patches.
By golly, what a liquor! The color of white grape juice, it is smooth, medium-bodied, bright, and energetic. I can taste every fruity note I got a whiff of and even a hint of lavender. And it’s so incredibly sweet that the sweetness clings for minutes and minutes after the last sip of each cup.
This tea is one of those that gets one thinking, “Is this really tea??” Wow, so sweet. Very fruit. I am happy to have saved this one for last. I’ve never had a Gui Fei oolong before let alone even heard of it, and although I have no other Gui Fei’s to compare this one to, I still think it’s amazing. I just finished the last infusion at this moment and I feel energized!! A final and a very big thank you to Green Terrace Teas!
Thank you so much for sending me a generous sample of this, Green Terrace Teas.
Method: Gongfu session with gaiwan. 2 second rinse. Steeping times: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 45, 60.
The dry leaf aroma naturally smells roasted, and I also caught candied caramel. After the rinse, the aroma drastically changed – toasted rice, kale, grilled zucchini, and – after the leaves aired in the bowl a bit – banana chips. The wet leaf aroma was different following the fifth infusion: a mixed juice, or maybe fruit salad, with strawberry, banana, and blueberry.
The liquor throughout the session was light gold and full-bodied, and had a wonderfully silky smooth texture. This is one of those teas you just have to let sit in your mouth. There are mostly notes of cooked dark green vegetables, notably collard greens and kale. Underneath these notes was a fruity sweetness – specifically banana at some point. Towards the end of session, when the leaves were beginning to give, the fruit disappeared and a floral quality took over.
This is my first Dong Ding oolong ever. I’ve had very good experience with it. I tend to be most affected by an oolong between the second and fourth infusions, during which, for this one, I felt like one of Dali’s melted clocks (I originally thought melted chocolate but that brings up a totally different taste when one thinks of roasted vegetables). My rating is based not on my experience – rather, lack of experience – with Dong Ding but instead on my overall impression with this individual one.
It smells amazing! Yummy mint, coconut, and chocolate. Smells exactly like a Thin Mint cookie. Unfortunately the flavors don’t transform well into the tea itself. I can taste the chocolate and the base tea – quite a bold black tea, too – but not the mint and coconut, whether it’s piping hot or warm.