172 Tasting Notes
I prepared this gongfu style. Two teaspoons of leaf in a four-ounce gaiwan, with boiling water. First steep twenty seconds, and subsequent steeps of fifteen seconds. One of the reasons I love preparing tea this way is that the aroma present in the wet leaf of a gaiwan is so much more concentrated and wonderful, and the aroma is a huge part of the experience of tea in my opinion. When a lot of leaf is steeped in a small brewing vessel, the aroma becomes a completely immersive experience.
The aromas personally I picked up in the steeped leaf were those of tree bark, caramelized sugar, light notes of dark chocolate and faint remnants of what once was a floral smelling tea before years of aging. Time has really turned this into an incredibly interesting and sensory tea.
The aromas matched the taste, except for the taste was more mellow and refined than the aroma. The flavors blended together completely in harmony. It was smooth and silky, musty yet refreshing. The flavor was heavy and deep, yet light and fresh.
Very interesting tea, I enjoyed it a lot.
I’ve been eyeing this for a while and I finally got it for my birthday. Although I did not get mine from Mandala (sorry Garrett), I figured I might as well use this thread.
I love this thing. I was REALLY starting to slow down on drinking tea just because I didn’t feel like going downstairs and going through the hassle of heating the water on the stove and all that. This thing is a lifesaver. The hot water is there when I need it, no hassle necessary. There are even different temperature settings perfect for every type of tea (208, 195, 175, and 140). It keeps THREE LITERS of water at the perfect temperature, all day. A simple press of a button and you’re only minutes away from a cup of tea. It’s great for gongfu brewing and also wonderful for western style. Now I can drink tea all day without having to heat water.
I highly recommend that anyone who is serious about their tea should get this device.
Sipping on a cold brewed glass of this, because although it’s a bit chilly outside, the heat is cranked up a little too high for my liking in here. Absolutely delicious. It’s vegetal and sweet, a little nutty, and incredibly buttery when cold brewed.
But I must admit, the real reason I am posting is because I just found out that I’m getting a Zojirushi water heater for my birthday on the thirteenth (I’m turning 18). I am SO excited. I’ve been slacking big time on tea drinking lately just because I’ve been tired from work and school and didn’t feel like making tea, and this is gonna change everything. Hooray! :)
Second place in my “Butiki green tea face-off” goes to… Spring Twist! This was yet another fantastic tea from Butiki.
One thing that really struck me about this tea was how much it reminded me of my beloved Laoshan White from Verdant. It really is very similar in flavor, the only difference to me is that this one is maybe a little less complex and a tad less sweet. The flavors in this one also reminded me a bit of the Huangshan Mao Feng that I had earlier. I get the same sort of corn flavor and fresh juicy vegetal flavor, only this one is lighter in body than the Huangshan Mao Feng. I also taste a little bit of a floral and fruity note in this tea on top of the vegetal, corn, and nutty flavors. This is delicious.
And as I side note, I tried this one cold-brewed, and it is absolutely one of the best cold-brewed teas I’ve every had. It was so silky, smooth, sweet and refreshing – and the buttery nature of the tea came out even more.
Thanks, Stacy, for another wonderful tea. I will review the rest of the teas in the green tea face-off tomorrow.
I had a little “Butiki green tea face-off” on this stormy day. I brewed up and compared this, Butiki’s Spring Twist, Dragon Tip, and Sencha Superior and determined that this was my favorite out of the four.
The leaves are beautiful. I always love when a particular tea’s leaves are large and uniform, it’s a sign of high quality and lots of care being put into the tea’s handling. And I also love the fact that this tea is organic.
As for the taste, the biggest thing that comes to mind is how incredibly fresh it tastes. It’s extremely vibrant, juicy, and mouth watering. I get a great, juicy vegetal sweetness melding with flavors of sweet corn and raw nuts. There is also a bit of that “buttery” taste that I love in green tea. This is an absolutely fantastic tea and will definitely go on my list of tea’s to re-order. It’s really brightening up this dreary day.
It’s hurricane madness over here on the east coast! We’re in the beginning stages of the storm and people are freaking out. There have been emergency broadcasts on virtually every channel, stores everywhere are closed and sold out of virtually every commodity, I have off school today and tomorrow and everyone’s locking themselves in their houses and preparing for the worst.
In the midst of all this insanity, I thought a cup of tea was in order. I haven’t had much luck with this one so far, but with the low price of it in mind I suppose it’s not so bad. I’ve just found that with this one and Boston the flavors just seem very artificial. But today it’s behaving a little better. I added sugar this time and it’s pretty decent. It’s reminding me of a cup of hot chocolate with a little bit of nut and tea flavor mixed in.
This is another matcha that Azzrian sent me and man, this one is good. This is about as close as flavoring can get to tasting like real cookies and cream. While it’s good on its own, my favorite way to enjoy this particular flavor has been adding it to my daily vanilla Spirutein shake. It makes the shake taste AMAZING and helps give me a great boost in the morning.
This is a sample I received from Azzrian, thanks Azz. I’ve been very curious about Red Leaf’s flavored matchas as a lot of people really seem to enjoy them. I decided to brew this one up today as it’s a beautiful day, nice and cool while still being sunny and bright. This matcha really seems to fit that mood.
I wouldn’t say the watermelon flavor is exactly natural tasting, it’s verging on candy-like but it still tastes bright and fresh somehow. Despite the matcha being “starter grade” in this particular matcha, it’s still smooth and only has a little bit of bitterness. Really, I don’t see the point in paying for a high-quality matcha as an option for a flavored matcha anyway.
But this one goes down smooth, it’s nice and refreshing, and most of all it’s just a nice change from the typical tea-fare. Thanks again Azzrian, I’m gonna have to order some of Red Leaf’s matchas for myself.
I was a little skeptical of this tea before trying it, and that’s because I was a little disappointed with the Laoshan Green when I tried it. I mean, it was a good tea, I just think that Verdant’s poetic descriptions can get my hopes a little too high sometimes.
This one, however, was even better than I thought it would be. This tasted how I imagined the Laoshan Green would taste. This was what I wanted. It’s extremely smooth with luscious silky mouthfeel. The prominent notes are green beans and maybe a little bit of spinach (but not in the same way as a Japanese green). Besides that, there’s a pleasant mineral taste that fades into a sweet, delicate finish. But there is more to this tea flavor-wise that I just can’t put my finger on. There’s something enchanting about it. It’s the definition of refreshing, and this has been my go-to tea lately for moments of calm and meditation. It just puts me in a great, relaxed state of mind.
I absolutely LOVE this tea.
This is another one of my favorites from Butiki. I was really intrigued with the fact that this is from Kenya, it’s something totally new to me and it’s very cool that I was able to try it.
First of all, I must say that the dry leaf is absolutely gorgeous.It is composed of large, twisted and evenly graded leaves. There’s a lot of consistency in the size of the leaves and not much dust or fragments. The color of the leaf is about half dark cocoa and half golden, and the golden portions have a sort of fuzzy appearance. And when you look at the leaves in a pile they seem very “fluffy”. I don’t know, I’m just a sucker for the visual appeal of golden-tipped teas.
As for flavor, this tea is EXTREMELY unique compared to other black teas I’ve had. It’s actually very hard to put into words but the best I can come up with is notes of oak and other fragrant wood, along with a slight fruitiness and very slight cocoa notes. There is absolutely no bitterness or harshness to this tea, it is very smooth and drinkable.
My description doesn’t do this wonderful tea justice, it’s really something you need to try for yourself, and I would highly recommend trying it. I know that it was a new experience for me.