15 Tasting Notes

93

This is an excellent example of an aged pu-erh tea. The taste is very true to the description: complex, very smooth, and without a hint of astringency. The notes I find in the flavor are decaying leaves, wood, earth, dates and leather. Quite earthy in fact. The tea has a wonderfully rich amber-brown color even on the first steeping. The whole experience of drinking this tea is like walking through a deciduous forest after a heavy rainfall.

There is a lot of energy in this tea as my head seems to be in the clouds now after a couple of infusions.

Overall this is an excellent tea and a good place to start exploring aged pu-erhs.

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85

This is my morning cuppa. When I want to start the day right I turn to this tea. For this tea I don’t use any fancy porcelain or count my infusions. I just put some in a teaball (gasp!) plop it into a nice mug and pour boiling hot water over it and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then I add a splash of milk and some sugar (double gasp!) and the resulting brew is sweet, warm, with strong flavors of malty-carameliness. Then I can say that I am ready to start my day.

This tea is not overly exceptional on its own by any means and lacks a certain depth, which is why I am only giving it 85. But when it comes to my daily brew I don’t need an exceptionally perfect tea. I just need a good solid tea to mix with milk and sugar and this is it. I’ve tried others but I keep coming back to this one. A must have staple of any tea-head’s cupboard.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Kukicha by Rishi Tea
15 tasting notes

This is the first Japanese green tea that I have had. I had no expectations going into the sitting besides to have a different experience.

I rather enjoyed this tea. The taste of this green tea is much different than greener oolongs. The tea was savory with flavors of bean and grass, very mouth-watering. The texture was also very smooth and creamy. Very mellow and approachable. I infused it in a porcelain gaiwan, using enough tea to cover the bottom and then some. It lasted maybe 3-4 infusions before drifting into a light and sweet grassy water.

I’m not sure where Rishi Tea site within the pantheon of Japanese green tea providers, but their kukicha provides quite an enjoyable afternoon drink, if a little short.

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79

You come to expect a fair amount of the same thing with these greener style of oolongs: orchid floral notes, a light sweetness and not a whole lot of infusions. This tea however offers up a little more.

The name almost perfectly describes this tea. Like a late afternoon in early May before the heat really sets in but leaves you with a sticky feeling nonetheless. The aroma is floral with strong vegetal notes and a little malty as well. The tea ‘soup’ is quite smooth and fills the mouth nicely. It has a very well-rounded flavor that doesn’t just sit in the top of the mouth and disappear after swallowed. The aftertaste leaves behind a very comfortable malty-sweetness, but only just. A friend who I shared this with also described notes of mulberry leaves, although I’ve never had it so I’m taking his word for it.

But, like other green oolongs this one is somewhat shortlived. Only about 4-5 infusions. Maybe I should use more leaf. Smooth, sweet, and very, very comfortable. All-in-all not a complex tea, but one that offers something different in the way of green oolong.

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60

The first real oolong tea that I had outside of a Chinese restaurant was Tie Guan Yin. I’ve had many different types from many different producers with varying results. This one, unfortunately, was one of the worse ones.

The aroma of the tea was incredibly tantalizing: sweet, buttery, honey-floral scent that filled the nostrils and lifted the spirits. However, the promises made in the aroma were not fulfilled in the taste. In fact, there was very little taste at all. The very thin body, although smooth and pleasant, had very little depth. I enjoyed smelling the tea more than I did drinking it, which sort of defeats the purpose of preparing tea.

This tea seems better off freshening up a room than pleasing the tongue. I guess this is the problem with the more modern ‘green’ style of TGY.

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75

This tea wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. It has the typical flavors of a sheng pu: peachy sweet over a tobacco bitterness and a little smoke. The first infusion is tasty with a robustly bitter aftertaste. The second infusion becomes surprisingly more harsh, not really sure why. Turns much dryer and very shengpu-like. I was hoping to taste a little bit more age in the tea but that was not the case.

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79

This tea gave a very unexpected experience, as far as puerhs go.

The leaves are a nice teal-green with white flakes throughout. I detected a sweet malty peach aroma from the leaves and expected a typical sheng pu: peachy and a little harsh but pleasant; however there was none of that. Instead, after the first rinse, the aroma was malty and creamy like that of milk tea. I was totally blown away by how different this puerh tasted. The flavor was very complex from the first infusion: tastes of grains, honey, anise, beans, and licorice. A very savory tea with a lot for the tongue to ponder. The mouth-feel was very smooth and creamy, full-bodied and not a hint of dryness.

Even though the tea had some very good qualities, I have to say in the end I did not enjoy it very much. The red-tea, ceylon taste was just a bit too weird for me. Just not my ‘cup of tea,’ if you will. However, definitely worth a try.

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90

This was the first tea I brewed in my new yixing teapot, and I’m very glad I chose this tea for that honor.

The tea itself steeped a nice clear red-brown color with the scent of chinese medicine, golden raisins, and earth. There was also the scent of camphor in the lid of my yixing pot. The mouth-feel was very smooth and full-bodied without a hint of dryness or astringency. After two infusions flavors of anise, jujubes (chinese date not the candy), and a honey raisin-like sweetness appear on top of a nice woody, earthy bitterness.

The tea lasted went on for 10 infusions and then started to loose its strength. Overall a very good tea: good, complex flavor; full-bodied and smooth; lasting strength; and pleasant chaqi. Too bad the cake isn’t available anymore.

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Architecture student using tea as a diversion to keep my sanity.

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Austin, Tx

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