866 Tasting Notes
Day 1 of Advent Calendar.
This is one of the teas in the calendar I had not tried before.
On first sniff of the tea sachet it smelled strongly of green tea, maybe a bit bitter with strong artificial strawberry scent.
The brewed tea initially tasted quite bland and thin and my first thought was that I needed to add some sweetener. After the tea sat for a bit in my travel mug it thickened up quite a bit. The green tea base is quite creamy and buttery. Slightly vegetal and astringent in the aftertaste. No need to add sweetener becuase the tea also has transformed into hints of sweet strawberry, albeit artificial strawberry. On every few sips I feel like I get a kick, like the kind you get from tart pineapple. I don’t seem to taste any other fruits but the overall taste is vaguely tropical. I think the cornflowers are what is giving the tea the thick feeling. I anticipated it to have a bit of pastry flavour but I am not getting any of that today.
A decent start to the next 24 days.
I received this one free from Joseph Wesley. Thank you so much Joe!!! It is greatly appreciated.
For the most part I don’t usually like Darjeeling. It seems to always taste like ash or dirt or a mixture of both to me. It doesn’t matter whether it is high or low quality tea. I haven’t been able to figure out why most Darjeelings taste bad to me but every once in a while there is one that I don’t mind. There are a few blends of Darjeeling I do quite like, Red Tailed Hawk from A&D is one of them.
First off, I love Joseph Wesley’s packaging. It came in a cardboard tin, the tea was in a sealed package inside the tin with an additional card with brewing instructions.
The dry leaves are small, dark and uniform in shape and colour. This tea is pretty. The smell of the dry tea is quite sweet. Maybe a sweet floral type scent, floral more like honeysuckle vs rose.
The tea brews up a reddish brown colour. The scent is still the sweet floral. There is also that slight scent of ash that I often get from darjeelings. This tea tastes quite good. It is definitely on the small list of darjeelings I like. The tea is crisp and clean. There is a strong sweetness, and a light honeysuckle type floral flavour.
While the tea is hot, I quite enjoyed it. There was a very slight but pleasant drying on the back of my palate after each sip. I found after it significantly cooled, the pleasant dryness turned into an astringency that I didn’t like. The ash flavour also became more dominate in the cooled tea with a long lingering aftertaste.
I definitely like this tea while it is hot. I am sure I will be able to manage drinking it that way :)
Another sample from the amazingly awesome Scribbles!
On first smell of the dry tea, I get strong vanilla and cake/pastry notes. Which I found odd for a keemun but I am keen to continue.
When the hot water first hit the tea, the smokiness of the keemun wafted up. It was sweet, slightly smokey.
In order, the first flavour notes I got from this tea were: malt, smoke, tobacco. Delicious. There are definitely light undertones of vanilla cake. The smokey flavour was quite light. There was a very natural sweetness to this tea, that complemented the smoke flavour. The tea liquor was thick, it was moderately bold, there was no astringency which was quite nice (and also a surprise).
My all time favourite teas are Assams, but keemuns do come in a close second.
Thank you to the lovely Angel for sending me some oolong samples :)
The dry tea looks like clusters of darker green tea. The scent it a bit cabbage-y. It very much reminds me of a long jing green tea scent.
I have had this tea before, and looking at my review, I feel like this is a totally different tea. To be honest it probably is a different tea as it would be from a different years harvest. I also brewed it differently.
The tea brewed up quite nice. The clusters did not fully unfurl which indicates to me there are many more steeps to come.
This tea is very lightly floral, but there is that nice vegetal flavour similar to the long jing. It is smooth, slightly buttery. I am not getting any astringency that I picked up on the first time I had this tea.
Again, very impressed with Teavivre as usual :)
Another sample from the Awesome Scribbles!
I was looking for just a straight black tea this morning. I couldn’t stomach the thought of a flavoured tea for some reason. No matter, I picked this one.
This tea is interesting. I am getting a lot of earthy tones, slightly mushroom. I immediately wondered if this one was blended with a pu-erh tea, but it doesn’t seem to be. It is thick, bold, malty and slightly sweet, sweet only in the way a black tea could be sweet. Still getting lots of fresh soil, earthy tones. Which is not terrible, just not what I anticipated from this tea. I could imagine how good this te would be with milk, but I went for straight black as I usually do not add any milk or sweeteners to my black teas.
Not my favorite Joseph Wesley tea so far, but it is still good, just not to my taste.
Another sample from the awesome Scribbles!! She sent me a few Joseph Wesley teas to try in addition to all the Assam teas that she scent me.
When I first smelled the dry tea, there was a very strong scent of cinnamon and sweet fruit. I think there was some scent contamination from how it was packaged, I left it in an envelope with other fruity flavoured teas.
However, after it was brewed, the cinnamon scent was gone. There was a very sweet potato scent to the tea, slightly vegetal, a bit malty.
I quite like other Bailin Congfu teas and this one doesn’t disappoint. The liquor is thick but it is not bitter or too bold at all. There is a slight spice, which I am unsure if it is supposed to taste like that or if it was the contamination, but either way, I like it. There is the sweet potato flavour but also a hint of some fruitiness, makes me think of dried fruit. I feel like I am getting a bit of burnt flavour, kind of like burnt caramel without the over the top caramel sweetness, but also it makes me think of charcoal.
This one did not disappoint. I am very grateful to Scribbles for sending me these great teas to try. I think I am starting to like this Joseph Wesley character :)
Ok this should be my last review on this matcha, for now anyway. I have now tried it cold shaken so I think I have done my due diligence in reviewing this one.
I used 1/2 tsp for approx. 6 oz water, I added 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of white sugar. It took a little more shaking than usual to get it to fully dissolve, which is ok, I am pretending that was part of my exercise routine for today :) It frothed up very nice and was a dark but still bright green colour.
It tasted very smooth, no bitterness or astringency at all, it was slightly sweet vegetal. It could have used a bit more matcha, I will have to play around with it to get the right proportions,
I am super happy with this matcha, which is pretty obvious by my raving, ha ha. I think for a cold shaken, I would not need to use this specific brand name of matcha, but it is the best I have found so far in regards to versatility with a good price point and excellent quality. I also like how I can determine how much sweetener, etc, to mix in with it versus using a pre-mixed sweetened blend.
Made this one as a latte. Sooooo good! Ha ha.
I used 1 heaping tsp of matcha and about 1/2 tsp white sugar. I dissolved that in a little bit of warm water from the kettle. I then frothed up about 3/4 cup of 2% milk and added it to the matcha.It made a delicious emerald green foam. It pretty much tastes like a sweet, slightly vegetal, smooth green tea/matcha latte. No bitterness at all (even when I let it sit for longer than 3 minutes – see my previous review). There is a bit of matcha sediment gathered at the bottom of the cup but I would say that is normal for any latte.
So I have been looking for a new supplier of matcha. I found I was having trouble getting the quality for the price point I wanted. So a supremely long time ago, back when I first joined steepster, some old steepsterites who do not seem to be around anymore, used to recommend Hibiki-an. So I thought I would give it a try. (And I was not disappointed by the company at all).
Please see my post from the official what did you get in the mail thread cut and pasted here: “As many of you know I am a total sucker for “the tea experience”. It doesn’t matter what kind of experience, just any experience will do. All a company needs is cheeky marketing or to send me a toy or button with my tea (Hello A&D) and I am totally sold. OK so I just had to come here and rant and rave about my recent purchase from Hibiki-an that just arrived today. I ordered some new matcha’s to try. First of all, quick shipping from Japan, and it was free. The package arrived as a very thick and sturdy green paper bag (will be super easy to recycle). It was sealed perfectly, not to little tape and not so much you can’t open it without a chain saw. It was supremely labelled in both English and Japanese and the customs declaration was very clear, and as a result it was not opened and violated by customs officials. So I open the outer green package and inside there is a beautiful colour patterned paper bag that is sealed with a decorative sticker. Inside that bag (which was also very easy to open so I didn’t have to wreck the cute paper bag) were little boxes which contained vacuum sealed packages of matcha. They didn’t need to be additionally packaged in little boxes, as far as I’m concerned matcha isn’t really ruined by squishing. I also got a beautiful post card and an English pamphlet on how to create traditional style of matcha. Super impressed :) I am sure I will be ordering more from them, I really want to try their tea treats.”
I ordered the house matcha and also the superior grade, just to try. I mostly use matcha as cold shaken in the mornings, mostly due to ease of use.
When I first opened the vacuum sealed package, the sweet slightly vegetal smell wafted up to my nose. It was delicious. I was surprised at the remarkable emerald green colour. I had some other matcha I bought from local store. But even as cold shaken it was so very bitter. It at one time appeared green to my eyes. But when I compare the colour of that one to the Hibiki-an matcha, there is no comparison. The local matcha almost looks dreary muddy brown-green. I very carefully cut open the Hibiki-an package and then when I tried to dump it into my matcha canister the fine emerald green powder sprayed all over my counter and floor. I really didn’t lose a lot of the matcha but it was a pain in the you know what to clean up.
I thought I should try this one hot. The recommendations that came from the company were 2 chasen (1tsp) whisked in 70 ml of 170F water. I mixed 1tsp in an estimated 70 ml of water. The recommendations are to drink it within 3 minutes or it will get bitter. My problem is that it was still too hot. I am sensitive to hot temperatures and often have to let my tea sit quite a while before I drink it. So on first sips it was so super delicious, but way to hot for my mouth and tongue. Nice and smooth, slightly vegetal, and just the right amount of sweetness. It did get quite bitter towards the end but only because I was unable to drink it as fast as recommended. I will have to make a smaller amount next time so it will not feel so hot. I will mostly be drinking this as cold shaken anyway, the review will come in time :) , but I will also probably try a latte as well.
If this is just the house matcha, I am quite excited to try the superior grade!
I find it funny when there are teas that are added to the Steepster database but there are no reviews or limited information added. It makes me wonder who added it or why it was added if the information is incomplete. Anyway….
This was a free sample with my last Dammann order. The dry and brewed tea smells strongly of verbena. There are strong mint and verbena flavours over top of a lighter citrus flavour. The citrus leaning more towards lemon than lime or orange. This is a hard one to describe because this tea has no sweetness to it, but it is not astringent or bitter or sour, I have no word to describe that part of it. The mint lingers a long time in the aftertaste.
I was a little scared I would not like this one based on the ingredients but it did not turn out too bad.