107 Tasting Notes

79

From the Unflavored TTB.

Method: Test tube steeper. 1st infusion 5 minutes, 2nd 10 minutes.

First I was surprised that the steeping instructions recommended a five-minute infusion. Then I was surprised to see that the leaves were rolled and looked similar to a lightly oxidized oolong. These were perfect to watch in the test tube steeper. Their color change from lightly brown and muted dark green to a green that look alive as the plants in the backyard garden.

I think this one was beginning to fade – I didn’t get much from the dry leaf aroma. The wet leaf aroma has notes of seaweed and rice. The liquor is pale yellow-green and clear. Texture is creamy. Medium-bodied with sweet corn and floral flavors. The aftertaste is citrus-y and kind of prickly. A very interesting green tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
Mandy

I did this gongfu style, 1 tsp, 4 oz water, 185 degrees,45, 60, 80, 100 seconds. If you have enough left, its definitely worth a try that way, I haven’t had it recently, but it was my favorite before!

KiwiDelight

I finished the sample, but I’ll keep the idea of having it gongfu style later on.

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From the Unflavored TTB.

No yixing teapot of my own, so ceramic it is! 5 second rinse. Steeping times: 10, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 120.

I’m inexperienced with shu pu-erh. So what did I get? Mostly EARTH. All around. The wet leaf aroma, however, also contained gentle notes of plums and grapes. Such a lovely combination! I kept sticking my nose into the bowl.

At first the color of the liquor was copper, which then deepened to dark orange. The intensity of the flavor throughout the session was basically shaped like a percentile graph. The first infusion was light-bodied and a little astringent, and the earth was muted. The second and third infusions were more developed: full-bodied, flavorful with coffee and bitter notes. These notes in subsequent infusions became softer, and inevitably weakened.

I like this. I wish I were more experienced to get more than just earth and coffee. Also, I think I prefer shu to sheng (is that weird?). Mostly for the taste, but especially for the effect. As soon as I finished the first infusion I felt as if this tea were giving me a hug. And then halfway through the session I felt serene yet energetic. Every time I heard the water boil for the next infusion I ran to the sauce pan like a puppy.

“Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee I like teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea”

Preparation
Boiling 10 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Sarsonator

Love this review!

KiwiDelight

Thanks! x3

Stephanie

Mmmmm puerh

TheTeaFairy

Tea hugs. The best.

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82

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
TheTeaFairy

I also love this tea in the test tube!!

KiwiDelight

It’s so nifty.

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78

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!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tea Sipper

Yep, I wish it were autumn all year. :D

Tealizzy

Me too! I love autumn! Counting down the days until I get to go back to Apple Hill (September)!

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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.

Preparation
1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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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

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tea Sipper

Another favorite white tea.

Single Origin Teas

Malawi is an amazing country. I still haven’t visited yet, but the post cards and letters I get with the tea really do paint the most beautiful scenery. I also love that there are so many different estates that are making tea in the orthodox style.

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87

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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84

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!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Single Origin Teas

I like to think that the spice flavor comes from growing in such a unique country!

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76

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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96

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!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
mj

This sounds amazing! Want!!

KiwiDelight

I could click to the recommend button a hundred times. Such an “Oh my God!!!!” tea.

Stephanie

It is a leaf-hopper tea! You might enjoy other leaf-hopper teas, Kiwi :)

KiwiDelight

I didn’t think tea could be any more fascinating. Neat stuff!

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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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