896 Tasting Notes
This is my second and final batch of Organic Long Jing from the Steepster Select sample pack. It’s perfectly fine, but not my favorite tea of this kind, so I will not be purchasing this particular version. I did enjoy the experience and will reinfuse the spent leaves this evening…
I recently learned that Long Jing actually means Dragon Well! So when we say Long Jing Dragon Well, we are repeating ourselves! ;-)
Flavors: Lima Beans
I received a sample of Downy Tip Green Tea from Teasetter. Thanks!
My first observation was that the wiry leaves looked familiar. Upon infusion, I was reminded immediately of a couple of the smokier Mao Fengs which I’ve imbibed of late. The liquor is pale yellow veering toward brown, and there is definitely more of a cooked than a fresh vegetable taste. I enjoyed the first glass, and reinfused for an equally satisfying second round. I’ll try a third infusion later in the day when I’ve passed my caffeine cut-off…
I have consumed a huge volume of Tazo Passion iced tea in the past, but today was my first serving for 2014. Hoping for many more in the months to come as the weather continues to improve until at last the layers of snow atop layers of ice atop layers of snow atop layers of ice have become but a vague memory trace in my mind as I sit sweating in front of a fan.
The concentration of my iced Passion was perfect today. Sometimes I find it overdiluted slightly, but this brew was dark and rich and red. I take mine unsweetened. This is definitely my favorite hibiscus tea—leaps and bounds better than the Zingers.
I drank three very good green teas all day long, with multiple satisyfing infusions. For the final brew of the night, I decided that I needed to switch gears, having consumed not a single flavored tea—hard to believe though it might seem. Of course, I needed to sleep, too, so I opted for Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Vanilla, a pleasant and simple to prepare herbal vanilla tea. I do need to make sure that I get my RDA of vanilla!!!
I’m pretty sure that expectations play a big role in evaluations of tea—at least for me. Now that I understand what Chun Mee is—and isn’t—I am more favorably disposed toward this Tazo filter bag organic Chun Mee. It’s not bad at all—it’s just very different from most of the teas I usually drink, and it seems to be the same type of green used in many lower-grade green tea bags. Perhaps Chun Mee is the CTC of China greens? Not sure. Anyway, I have increased my rating a bit after today’s more satisfying cup.
The folks at Shan Valley graced me with an incredibly magnanimous sample package, including a large envelope of this tea, Shan Valley First Flush Green, which has a very intriguing dried leaf form. The leaves are large and dark and hardened almost to the point of looking petrified. The scent of the dried leaves is quite assertive and almost spinachy—but more smoky than sencha—so I had no idea what to expect! In fact, I’d say that the scent of the dried tea is like a cross between sencha and Lapsang Souchong, believe it or not!
In fact, the taste reminds me a bit of the Teavivre Mao Feng (though I actually prefer this Shan Valley First Flush Green). There is definitely a darker cooked vegetable taste in the background but with some real complexity and depth and a lighter side as well. The liquor is yellowish brown—not green—and perhaps that should be expected from the dark color of the leaves. In fact, the leaves are so dark that without reading the label, I’d have guessed it was black! Only upon infusion of this tea does it become obvious that this is not a black but a green variety. I kept the steep time short and used cooler water to ensure the best possible result.
This is a solid offering from Shan Valley, and I’m looking forward to the second infusion later today, in addition to trying the other intriguing teas from this producer.
Many thanks for your generosity!!!!!
second infusion: this round was better than the first. It’s more smoky, but with lots of undulating waves of clarity and smoothness. This might be a good green tea choice for Lapsang aficionados…
third infusion: quite decent
I received a generous sample of Mountain Organic Indonesian Green Tea from Tea at Sea. The packaging and presentation were truly adorable, and I was intrigued by the appearance of the gnarled knots of dark green tea.
Upon infusion, the liquor was pale greenish yellow, and the flavor seemed somewhere between Mao Feng and Long Jing. A very nice green tea indeed—my first from Indonesia!
The leaves take some time to unfurl, so although I initially steeped for two minutes, I changed my mind and let the brew continue for another minute or so. The resultant liquor tasted very flavorful and succulent. This is definitely a high quality green tea.
I am very much looking forward to the second infusion later on today as a decaffeinated version, as there is clearly a lot more flavor left in these spent leaves, judging by their scent… So far I am impressed!
second infusion: at this point, the leaves have finally achieved their full potential—huge and beautiful like banana leaves. The flavor is excellent. I’ll try a third infusion with so much aroma still hovering above this not-so-spent tea…
third infusion: aroma and flavor still going strong. The liquor is now bright yellow!
fourth infusion: a rarity for me, but the taste is still good. I’m impressed by the huge and bountiful fully unfurled leaves of Mountain Organic Indonesian Green Tea. Who knew how much goodness was crammed into those apparently small gnarled knots! To my amazement, the third and fourth infusions were even better than the first.