189 Tasting Notes

29

Bagged
Aroma when Dry: huckleberry syrup
After water is first poured: sticky berry syrupy notes
At end of steep: bright, sweet berry, huckleberry, elderberry notes
Tea liquor:
At beginning of steep: light brown-pink
At end of steep: darker brown– pink
Staple? No
Preferred time of day: afternoon
Taste:
At first?: bright huckleberry
As it cools?: berry notes start opening up, faint tartness surfaces
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? slightly, with a woody, semi-sweet note, as it cools a light but clinging syrup aftertaste sets in

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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75

Loose
Appearance: large broken sencha leaf, bits of red safflowers
Aroma when Dry: bright, citrus, slight grass
After water is first poured: bright, fragrant citrus, floral
At end of steep: bright fruity yuzu,
Tea liquor:
At beginning of steep:
At end of steep: hints of green
Staple? type yes, still exploring companies, would restock this one
Preferred time of day: afternoon
Taste:
At first?: crisp, slightly sweet yuzu citrus, hints of grass
As it cools?: yuzu, almost honeyed kumquat notes, gets slightly grassy
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, sour, tart yuzu notes, as it cools the citrus and grass swirl on the palate
Would be better chilled

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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15

Loose
Appearance: deep green gunpowder pearls
Aroma when Dry: smoky, grassy
After water is first poured: grassy, slight nutty note
At end of steep: grassy, slightly sour
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: moss green
Staple? Type no, will accept when out
Preferred time of day: any
Taste:
At first?: bitter, harsh, grassy
As it cools?: notes get harsher, rougher
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, sour grassy notes

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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35

Loose
Appearance: deep green gunpowder pearls
Aroma when Dry: powdery mint
After water is first poured: vanilla mint icing
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: faint green
Staple? Type yes, won’t buy brand again
Preferred time of day: any
Taste:
At first?: mint candy, slight chalkiness
As it cools?: mint notes open and flatten somehow
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, very mild mint and vanilla notes

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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1

Loose
Appearance: bicolor, dark, light green Mild curl to leaf
Aroma when Dry: salty jasmine
After water is first poured: deserty jasmine floral
At end of steep: soapy, floral
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: faint green
Staple? Type yes, won’t buy brand again
Preferred time of day: any
Taste:
At first?: soap, followed by jasmine notes
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? yes, floral soap presence in the palate

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Kasumi no Chajin

yes, I have had much better Jasmines and other teas, though of course different people could respond in other ways to it.

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76

Bagged
Aroma when Dry: minty,spicy, chewy
After water is first poured: lemony, minty
At end of steep: sticky sweet, bright, minty, lemony
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: mossy green
Staple? yes
Preferred time of day: as needed medicinally
Taste:
At first?: syrupy, slippery elm note, slight stickiness, then mint
As it cools?: notes open up a bit, mints surface slightly, tea gets stickier, then much less syrupy
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? yes, lemony, minty sticky syrup notes, when hot, after cooling a bit, hints of sweetened lemony mint
Not good chilled

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89

Loose
Appearance: large bicolored brown twigs,
Aroma when Dry: earthy, twiggy, hints of grass
After water is first poured: earthy, roasty, slight twiggy note
At end of steep: warm, roasty, buttery, earthy, hints of cream
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: grassy green
Staple? Type yes, would buy brand again
Preferred time of day: any
Taste:
At first?: warm, nutty, roasty, earthy closes on a smooth, almost creamy note
As it cools?: notes get warmer, roastier, a bit buttery, then slight sour close
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? With a creamy earthy, nutty texture, bright cream close
good chilled too

Second Steep (4 min):
At first: Buttery, roasty, silky
As it cools: earthy, dusty notes surface

Third Steep (5min):
buttery, silky, salty, light broth close

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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15

Loose
Appearance: gunpowder pearls, deep green
Aroma when Dry: slightly smoky, vegital
After water is first poured: grassy
At end of steep: grassy, vegital
Tea liquor:
At beginning of steep:
At end of steep: grassy green
Staple? Type No, but will drink if offered/around might drink brand again
Preferred time of day: any
Taste:
At first?: vegital, grass notes close
As it cools?: harsh grass notes surface
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, crisp grass, vegital notes, then the harsh grass notes follow as tea cools

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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56

Bagged, might restock with loose
Aroma when Dry: Floral, jasmine, earthy, foresty, peat notes
After water is first poured: wet foresty earth, jasmine
At end of steep: deep astringent note, highlights of jasmine
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: deep clay red
Staple? possibly
Preferred time of day: afternoon, early evening
Taste:
At first?: floral, jasmine, followed by earthy astringent tang
As it cools?: astringency lessens slightly, jasmine notes brighten, peaty notes increase.
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, the jasmine note on back of the palate

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75

Loose
Appearance: med dark green knobby oolong, yellow bits of citrus, reminiscent of gummy bears in appearance.
Aroma when Dry: Sweet, fruity, orange/tangalo citrus
After water is first poured: candied tangerine
At end of steep: orange, tangerine, hinting at grass
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: hinting at green
Staple? yes, Possible Spring, summer seasonal
Preferred time of day: afternoons
Taste:
At first?: Tangy, tangerine, slight smooth finish
As it cools?: notes open up, and lighten, a vegital earthy note surfaces
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, light citrus, hinting at smooth crea,
Will revisit chilled, want to try mixed with hibiscus too.

Second Steep(4 min):
Aroma: Tangerine scented broth
Taste: light tangerine notes, brothy texture, slight salt note
As it cools? gets a woody, foresty slightly roasted texture
Lingers? yes, the salt note, and broth note closes

Third steep (5min)
Tangerine scented, flavored water

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Bio

Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
As if it is the axis on which the whole earth revolves
Slowly, evenly without rushing toward the future.
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.” ~Japanese Proverb

Tea is a cup of life.” ~Author Unknown

Tea is liquid wisdom.” ~Anonymous

tea leaves
tea loves
loves tea
lives tea
leaves tea?
never.

~Uniek Swain

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ~C.S. Lewis

Divinity is a smile or a tear drop; or yes, even a cup of fresh green tea.
-Chinese Author unknown

Tea…is a religion of the art of life.” ~Okakura

I am Chajin. A 98% Loose leaf gentleman.

When in practice, and with access to loose leaf tea, I drink tea daily. With Loose leaf, often I will stay with the same tea for 2-3 days. With Teabags I flit around between kinds a bit more, though if I am restricted to only teabags due to any kind of lack of access, I often reduce my tea to a few a week, get bored easily, and as a supertaster I am very sensitive to quality.

Being of Japanese, English, French, Welsh heritage(Southern, Texas),I have had a lifetime’s experience in true teas, in one way or another. Growing up, my mother’s cupboard was rarely without a daily go-to quality genmaicha, and a matcha for cooking. My father loves blacks, and his mother was never without a box of Red Rose Tea. My Aunt and Uncle usually had Greens,Pouchongs and Oolongs around the house. Due to location and accessibility issues, I have gravitated towards bagged tea recently, but grateful to find more options opening up for me, and it is a relief to restructure my loose leaf stash!

I think of Teas as friends…exploring new relationships, deepening established ones…having a strong circle of solid support to stand alongside you through life…I have found some of these kinds of relationships with individual teas, I am hoping to find/build more along my journey courting my current circle of acquaintances, and not get sidetracked by frivolous dalliances flirting too long with a newcomer along the way.
(Due to this point of view, I will often taste a tea at least twice before fully evaluating enough even for a first rating.)

I drink true teas, and tisanes. Among Tea,
I love my Japanese Greens, and more recently love exploring whites and oolongs, and want to rediscover Pouchongs. Mixed results so far with pu-erh and also blacks, but use blacks for chai, as well as medicinally. Limited exposure to (Chinese)red teas, but interested. No experience with yellow or purple teas.

Among herbal and floral notes, my favorites are (Seaweed) Kombucha, Mints, Ginger, Honeysuckle,Yuzu, Jasmine, Lavender, and Rose.
After all this time, I still understand unflavored Matcha, jasmine or rose fragrance in tea to be a sweet tea.

The flavors I Treasure in my Tea are the Classics/Orthodox blends, I gravitate most towards the layered and nuanced teas.
Of those I always return to Scented and “Plain”…while I do enjoy some classic flavored tea also. I feel strongly that life is to short to drink bad tea.

Ingredients you will not find in my tea stash: 1. Stevia, 2. rooibos (red or green), 3. Fermented kombucha, or more accurately, kōcha kinoko.
I am attempting to avoid any artificial flavors as well.

My permanent stash consists of mostly varieties, teas I know I enjoy at any temperature( at least 1-2 each of Houjicha, Genmaicha, Sencha, Moroccan or other Green tea/Mint Blend, Thai blend, Silk Oolong, Jasmine, Chai, and White, Matcha, Darjeeling Black..

Ginger, Lychee, Lavender, Mint, Rose, Rosehips, Hibiscus, Mugicha, and Japanese Konbu-cha (both plain, and Ume flavors) and Yuzu are among the tisanes/blends ideally in residence) I chose based on overall quality as well as how a tea’s flavor and texture holds up over various temperatures(as in can it cool and keep my interest?).
I try not to be too brand loyal, in case of discontinuance, or lack of common availability.(Of course I do have my further favorites, but I try to find a few qualifying faves to rotate through.)
I have a small collection of tea ware, collect some lines of Wade Rose Tea figurines.

Rating Legend:

100 = What I will restock first and most likely always have on hand

90-99 = Where is the Tea IV again? Soul Nourishing Teas I never want to be without.

79-90 = Daily Drinker Teas, comfort teas must haves.

66-78 = Specialty stash. Seasonal must haves, Medicinals, Teas that I love that are too expensive/rare to qualify for unrestrained consumption, or that I have to “be in the mood for”

65-50 = Acceptable, 2nd choice brands or types of of my staple kinds of tea, teas that may need reconsideration.

30-49 = Will drink if only tea around. Won’t buy personally.

48-20 = Might finish a tasting cup…For Research only.

20-1 = Why am I drinking this?….Just…NO.

1= also often a tea where the smell of it, dry, or brewed makes my physically react badly, before tasting

Rated, but No tasting note?
I have tried it prior to joining, and rated from memory. If it is in my stash, or something that got a high enough rating to revisit, I will get to an update with a formal tasting note as well. OR: The first smell or sip made me ill enough, I did not proceed with the tasting.

Favorite Companies So far:
Numi
MAJANI
Shang
Tealet
Butiki Teas
Nature’s Tea Leaf
The Persimmon Tree
Steven Smith Teamaker
Japanese Green Tea Shops
Mellow Monk
Blue Lotus Chai
Red Leaf Tea
Hibiki-an
Yuuki-Cha
O-Cha.com
Maiko
Den’s
Hojo
Aiya
-
the minimalism of tea

“Tea is a an act complete in its simplicity.

When I drink tea, there is only me, and the tea.

The rest of the world dissolves.

There are no worries about the future.

No dwelling on past mistakes.

Tea is simple: loose-leaf tea, hot pure water, a cup.

I inhale the scent, tiny delicate pieces of the tea floating above the cup.

I drink the tea, the essence of the leaves becoming a part of me.

I am informed by the tea, changed.

This is the act of life, in one pure moment, and in this act the truth of the world suddenly becomes revealed: all the complexity, pain, drama of life is a pretense, invented in our minds for no good purpose.

There is only the tea, and me, converging."


Thich Nhat Hanh: Tea Ceremony

Location

Oregon, USA

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