16 Tasting Notes
I picked up a sample of this higher quality sencha the last time I was at Le Palais des Thés. The employee sholdn’t have asked me if I wanted any free samples, because preparing them all kept him busy for quite some time.
So today I was in the mood to try something new. As soon as I emptied the sample bag into my clay kyusu (love that high pitched “cling” sound as the dry leaves hit the pot) I started to notice very fresh aromas of cucumber and freshly mowed grass. Sweeter and hay – like aromas appeared when I poured hot water over the leaves. After a minute I poured the tea into my tall glazed ceramic cup (that I made myself). At this point, the prevailing smell was that of cotton candy or bubble gum – strange as it may sound.
As for the taste itself – it was silky smooth, light and only slightly bitter towards the end.
The final verdict – I am not sure. While I like this tea quite a bit, I am stil a newbie and I am not really good at telling apart different taste and aroma nuances. But what bothers me at this tea is the price. I do not thnk it is really worth 15 EUR per 100 g, especially if you are a beginner (as I am). I have drank much cheaper teas that were equally good for me. But I am aware that many sencha enthusiasts would be able to appreciate this tea much more.
This is quite a good tea. At first, it will surprise you with sweet aroma, which changes into nutty and vegetal (namely asparagus) as the aroma unfolds. It has a smooth feel in the mouth, but leaves a slightly astringent lingering aftertaste.
Even though it is a good tea that I would recommend, I think it is a bit expensive (15 eur /20 usd) for the quality you get.
Flavors: Asparagus, Chestnut
A sample of cheaper sencha from Le palais des thes. Wonerful lightness, fresh aroma and vividly green colour. The underlying nutty aromas made me lie down on the floor with empty upside – down cup on my nose, just smelling what is left in the cup.
Flavors: Chestnut, Grass
A decent pu erh. The first cup was a bit boring, since I steeped my 4 g sample for only a mnute. The second cup was somewhere between sweet and savoury tastes, with only a hint of earthiness. Quite “light” for a pu erh. It would work well as an everyday drink, I suppose.
Sweet ginger flavoured sencha. A terrible combination if you ask me, and a reminder why I prefer non flavoured teas. The ginger’s “bite” completelly overwhelms the aromas and flavours of sencha. The smell is great, but when tasting it, I can never be sure if the bitternes comes from ginger or from tea. I do not recommend that tea. At all.
Green Darjeeling. Now that’s something you don’t see every day.
I was given a sample of this tea when I was browsing trough tea collection of my local Palais des Thés shop. (Of course, I went there just to look but bought some Tie Guan Yin anyway). That was few days ago.
So today I was in the mood for something green and decided to try this one. Dry leaves had a lovely rich and somehow sweet aroma. They were also weirdly dark in color and had some hay straws here and there.
After steeping for little less than a minute in my lovely clay kyusu I poured myself a cup of beautifully yellow liquid with woody and slightly “toasted” aroma. Too bad that the taste was disappointing. It was slightly sweet at first, but then unusually bitter and mouth – drying. I thought I may have used too hot water, so with second infusion I was more careful. But the unpleasant itter taste didn’t go away. For the third infusion, I reduced the water temperature even more. And this time, it was much better. It was smoother, still slightly bitter, but much sweeter. Maybe I screwed up the first two steepings with too hot water.
All in all, I would say that this is an above average tea. Lovely aromas and appearance, but gets bitter quickly and leaves very little room for mistakes.
Flavors: Flowers, Nuts, Wood
There are so many things that I love about this tea … A single nugget will yield around a litre (if not even more) of tea, with each steep offering you a new experience. I have made five steeps so far, and the nugget is still intact somehow, so I reckon I will be able to make at least four more.
1st steep: 3 minutes, 1 dl of water, cooled to 80 degrees C. (Before that I “washed” the nugget in hot water) The colour war bright, aroma and taste very chocolat-y, quite like some other more oxidized wulongs that I had tried.
2nd, 3rd and 4th steep: tea is getting darker as the nugget is falling apart. Chocolate aromas are diminishing in favour of sweet and slightly bitter overtones. It is starting to remind me of black teas. Really tasty at this point.
5th steep: I may have left it for a bit too long. Almost three minutes. The tea got unpleasantly bitter and somehow earthy. Almost like pu erh. Still ok though.
Even though I am still “mid-session” I am confident to say that this is one of the best teas I have tried so far (but keep in mind that I am still newbie when it comes to teas).
I really like this tea, but I’m not sure why. It is one of those experiences that you just enjoy, without actually knowing the reason.
The first steep was bright in colour and mellow, light in taste, since the “nugget” still stuck together. Tne next one was darker in color and very aromatic. I find it hard to describe the aroma and taste, but it reminded me of black tea aromas and spices. The aftertaste was somehow sweet.
I will be definately coming back to this tea in the future. Nice.