87 Tasting Notes
I am not familiar with green teas that India produces, I remember trying some of them in the past but don’t have any memories regarding taste or smell or even something beyond the fact that they were green. Since I love Darjeelings a lot I decided to branch out and ordered a bunch of samples from Upton.
This Korakundah fellow is the first I’m testing and it is kinda scary because the dry leaf smells awfully strong of fish. It isn’t a fresh fish smell, more of smoked fish but it doesn’t exactly improve on the aroma. I know some people think that green teas have fishy qualities and now I can understand why they would say that but it’s the first time I encountered it myself.
Fortunately the brew doesn’t stink as badly as the leaf does. That’s where the smoked fish comes in. I’m getting a lot woody smoke, about the same amount as average Gunpowder has. The fish is finally subdued and the tea actually tastes very vegetal and slightly bitter, with the astringency that lingers in the mouth after each swallow.
Overall I’m not impressed (if only by the fish) and not even slightly pleased so I decided against resteeping it.
Maybe the first flush Darjeeling I just drank is clouding my judgment but I am not uttering any ‘ooohs’ or ‘aaahs,’ that’s for sure.
The aroma coming from the tin is very Darjeeling-like and absolutely delicious and I couldn’t wait to brew some. My excitement ended as soon as I took a sip. The tea tastes surprisingly bland, it’s some sort of generic dark oolong with a hint of muscatel which is discernible if you try real hard to find it. Or maybe I’m even imagining it because I know it’s Darjeeling and it is supposed to be there.
This is my first Wuyi oolong so I can’t really judge its quality or how it compares to other Wuyis but here goes…
I feel overwhelmed by flavor. Especially in the first infusion. It’s like drinking dirt mixed with burned wood and decomposed fruit. It’s very earthy, strong and sweet. I can’t pick out any particular fruit but the sweetness is cloying with the lasting aftertaste. I spent some time trying to figure out what exactly it is and the closest I get is canned sweet corn. I love sweet corn and can eat it right out of a can but it just doesn’t seem to work well in tea.
On the positive side the leaves keep going even after the 3d infusion and I might actually get a few more out of them but I’m stopping here.
Will I be trying more Wuyi? Absolutely but I’ll stay away from this one.
I have nicknamed this tea Gunpowder Light. It has Gunpowder taste and aroma but is sweeter and less heavy on the smoke aspect. The dry leaf also looks like loosely rolled Gunpowder pellets. Once steeped, it fully unrolls and I can see that all the leaves are broken into small pieces.
Overall this is a very generic Chinese green tea and I’m glad I have a sample tin.
Dumping the rating further…
There must be something wrong with me because everyone else here seems to adore this tea but the old perfumed lady keeps coming back as I gradually go through my sample. I have 5 jasmine tea samples on hand right now and this one is the worst. It’s the most artificially and perfumy scented and I’m really getting hard time trying to even like it. The more I drink it the more I detest it.
I like TeaGschwender’s herbal blends because they are usually not fruity but I wish this one had more fruitiness to it. I can clearly see apple bits in the mix and there is a decent amount of them but I can’t taste them at all… absolutely nothing.
The tea is very herbal, in fact it is herbal to the point it seems almost medicinal. It’s neither minty or bitter or sweet, it’s just ultimately herbal. Did I say herbal again?
New white tea offering from Upton.
I was surprised to see how many silver buds this tea has, it looks almost like Silver Needle but for occasional White Peony leaves. The flavor is less impressive though. It’s light and mellow but lacks character overall. It’s hard to tell what tea exactly I’m drinking – it has both Silver Needle sweetness and dryness of White Peony. The dryness seems to prevail and pushes sweet notes to the background.
This tea has no personality whatsoever and this is what I call totally forgettable. In order to write this review I have to constantly sip on the tea because I keep forgetting what it tastes like as soon as I swallow it.
I’ve been looking for a perfect Jasmine for a long time and tried a lot of teas. Most of them left me disappointed, they were either too sweet or too heavy or too perfumy. This one is as close to perfection as it gets. I’ll refrain from giving it 100 for now because I might find a better tasting tea but I seriously doubt it.
This is how Jasmine should be done. It’s a bliss in a cup. It smells absolutely natural – fresh jasmine flowers that haven’t been picked yet and are blooming on a bush surrounded by lush green leaves. I definitely get some bitterness but it is light and blends well with the flowery aroma.
The brew is very refreshing, it feels thirst-quenching and at the same time leaves my mouth dry and I’m craving for more. The description is right to the point saying that the taste is crisp, it is very accurate. It’s green, crisp and fresh. I’m not getting much sweetness though, maybe just a tiny bit on the background which is a good thing for me because I didn’t find it to work well with jasmine flavor in other teas and discarded them for this same reason.
I like Genmaicha a lot. To be honest, it is my favorite Japanese tea so far. I enjoy a few cups of sencha occasionally when I’m in the mood for it but Genmaicha really makes me happy, especially in winter.
So… I was craving it the other day and it turned out I had ran out of my all-time favorite Den’s Genmaicha and didn’t have another brand on hand either. I went to my local Teavana store to get some to tide me over while Den’s order gets here only to be told that Teavana doesn’t carry it anymore… Apparently Teavana did some changes to their tea line-up recently and now it consists 90% of fruit-flavored stuff. Well, too bad for Teavana.
Then I remembered that there was a Peet’s store close by and I saw some loose-leaf teas there before. The smallest size they sell is 4 oz so I have a lot of Genmaicha now. Unfortunately it is no good… I mean it’s drinkable but much inferior to Den’s. Aroma is weak, roast rice taste is wishy-washy and the worst of all it is astringent. THIS I can’t stand in my Genmaicha, it is supposed to be sweet and creamy.
I guess I’ll keep this as a back-up for now, at least the tin it came in is nice.