257 Tasting Notes

69
drank Houjicha Ichiban by Steepster
257 tasting notes

Stix and stems!! I had read about this one a bit back but forgot until I opened the package!! The scent of the dry leaf is hay and Earth.
The tea does not have an appealing scent as it brews. Bits get into the liquor thru my stainless little mesh infuser, lol.
Surprisingly, this tasted WAY better than it smelled. There is a good bitter (not bad) aspect with notes of cacao and over-roasted walnuts.
I definitely liked this one for the novelty!
I got the idea while drinking this to taste some cacao nibs (which I happen to keep on hand, yum) with it. This brought out more of the cacao notes.
I was glad that I tried this alone in the afternoon for a snack time and was going to eat a banana afterward. I wouldn’t taste this with a meal.
Also, if you keep your nose out of it and just taste with your mouth,,,,you get good flavors and not the scent which is very strong with hay bale.
So glad I got to try this and cannot wait to see the other reviews!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From the Steepster Select Box, February 2014

Flavors: Chocolate, Nuts, Plant Stems

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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95

The dry leaves had the scent of minerals and cacao nibs.
Brewed, the liquor is a deep auburn color and it is sweet smelling like dark raw honey.
The flavor is smoky with a lemon after taste which I wasn’t expecting!! There is a bit of a good bitterness (not bad) and astringency.
This is the first true black tea that I’ve had since I was younger with Lipton or something like that. Plus, when I had a cup of hot black tea back then, I always added milk to it. I have been limiting myself to greens, oolongs, and whites because I didn’t want a lot of caffeine jolt but rather an even and small amount of caffeine. Well, I have been wrong about you black tea because this had no more caffeine jolt than the Da Hong Pao Oolongs that I have been drinking!! I drank the entire 12 ounces and my head feels nice and even and not with a caffeine high.
So I had fun coming over to the “dark side” lol.
I am loving the Steepster Select club because it is expanding my tea horizons and I enjoyed this tea a lot. :)

From the Steepster Select Box, February 2014


Second steeping:
OK no wonder I enjoy this black tea, I have been reading about Darjeeling and found that although Darjeeling teas are marketed commercially as “black teas”, almost all of them have incomplete oxidation, so they are technically more oolong than black. Darjeeling teas are classified as a type of black tea. Modern Darjeeling style employs a hard wither (35-40% remaining leaf weight after withering), which in turn causes an incomplete oxidation for many of the best teas of this designation, which technically makes them a form of oolong.

I also liked learning that Darjeeling tea cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world (similar to Champagne in that region of France) .

Really enjoying the second steeping with more sweetness of the muscatel notes coming through and the astringency has mellowed out to be subtle though I enjoyed that lemon zest aftertaste with the first steeping, it was like I had added lemon to the tea!! I still taste a subtle amount with this second steeping. Very good!

Flavors: Lemon Zest, Mineral

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88

This was a light and easy to drink green with mainly mineral notes. The leaves are the highlight with this tea. So beautiful dry and brewed. I love to look at them, flattened raffia-like spring- green colored and light as air leaves!!
Thank u to Terri Harplady for this sample!!!

Flavors: Mineral

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
drank Laoshan Green Oolong by Verdant Tea
257 tasting notes

Smells like buttered green beans but the taste has no bean quality to it which is nice. Has a mineral flavor with a touch of butter. Interesting!!!!
Thanks to Terri Harplady for this sample!!!!

Flavors: Butter, Green Beans, Mineral

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

This is my final Valentine’s Day Tieguanyin tasting and it is definitely worthy of being the finale!!!
The scent of this tea is intoxicating. The brewed tea leaves smell like cutting open a chocolate lava cake. Vanilla, dark chocolate, rum, prune, pipe shop.
Whoa!!! the flavor tastes like you slightly burned the chocolate lava cake but you worked so hard on it, you eat it anyway and it’s pretty darn good. It also has the flavor of prune filling for cake which I love. This tea is really delicious and interesting.

The Tieguanyins have been wonderful Valentine’s Day teas!!!!! Thank you to Terri Harplady for spoiling me with this sample!!!!

Flavors: Chocolate, Jam, Raisins, Tobacco, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Traditional Tieguanyin by Verdant Tea
257 tasting notes

I have tried three different Tieguanyin teas today and this one is a little less floral but has a touch of a creamy roast so it doesn’t quite get roasty and keeps that floral edge. Very interesting.
The notes on the Verdant page say kettle corn which I can taste a less sweet kettle corn in there. Also notes of incense, berry, cinnamon, almond, and potato. Potato is there as is a cinnamon astringency but not flavor. This is definitely a menagerie of flavors!!!
Thanks to Terri Harplady for this sample because I am learning so much through tasting!!

Flavors: Flowers, Potato

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Decided to compare the Spring Tieguanyin to the Autumn because I had a sample of each from Terri Harplady!! Thanks!!!!!!

Wow!! I am definitely getting the Lilac floral taste and aroma in this one. I must say that I enjoyed the Spring one a bit better (as I do Spring season over Fall so that’s appropriate lol).
I was checking the Verdant website for the other tasting notes and I find that there is always a dominant flavor and then the other ones are very subtle. They mention honey which it does have a sweetness. Cashew, rice pudding, and anise. There is a muted, not quite pronounced creaminess so I can see the rice pudding and cashew now. There is a slight astringency in the finish so I am getting the anise.
Spring was definitely better than Fall for me but this was still delicious. I have a traditional Tieguanyin to try next in my Valentine’s Day comparisons! :)

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! This is a perfect tea for Valentine’s Day because it is like a bouquet of daffodils!!! It is amazing how they achieved this aroma. It also has a note of butter.
If I am wanting a floral Oolong, I am definitely going to look to Spring Tieguanyin because this is very nice with no astringency which is what I have experienced with some others.

Thank u to Terri Harplady for this sample!!!

Flavors: Butter, Flowers

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

I got this sample with a bamboo tea tray that I purchased.
It is their house tea and it is a good Red Robe Oolong. It has all the roasty, creamy notes of Da Hong Pao but not any sweetness.
Made a good afternoon pick me up today!!

Flavors: Cream, Espresso

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

This is really delicious green tea. Spring is yummy. I did get notes that I have been detecting in the Laoshan Green teas that I have been trying, which are lima beans and butter. But this one was lighter, cleaner, and it had notes of grains. I did taste the oat that it suggests on the Verdant website.
I used a Kyusu and steeped this six times following the instructions on the Verdant website and loved them all, however, I never detected any sweet notes of sugarcane or lychee as they had tasted. I have never tasted any sweetness in any of the Laoshan Greens I have tried so far. It might be because I like to drink green teas with my lunch but I try to taste the tea before taking a bite of my lunch.
They are delicious though, especially with a savory meal!!

Thank u to Terri Harplady for this sample!!

Flavors: Butter, Lima Beans, Roasted Barley

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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