2743 Tasting Notes

88

This is a very interesting tea! I got a 10g sample of it from Norbu. The tea uses jin xuan (milk oolong) source materials but is processed like a green tea. I wonder if this is how that other tea from the Bird Pick is processed too? Anyway, the leaves here are a bit longer and wiry and not rolled. There are some stems in the tea but that’s the way the Taiwanese drink it, I have heard.

I steeped this for about 3 minutes at 180F. This tea has a very creamy and fresh green flavor. I am also picking up on a bit of a floral quality here. It’s nice and gentle and pretty delicious! Breakfast this morning is a bowl of bananas and raspberries and this is a nice accompaniment. It’s not as buttery as the Bird Pick tea but I am finding it very pleasant. I think this would be a very popular tea if more people tried it – give it a shot! The samples from Norbu are a bargain.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

It’s been a long time since I have had any Norbu Teas in my stash! Reading all of your tasting notes makes me ponder an order :)

TeaBrat

I am enjoying my teas from them, a lot!

TeaEqualsBliss

I especially used to like their oolongs and some pu-erhs – they really shine in those teas!

TeaBrat

Do you remember which pu-erhs you liked? I have the ye sheng wild tea log but haven’t tried it yet.

TeaEqualsBliss

I can’t remember them all but I do recall the Lao Mansa Sheng Pu Erh – it was when I was first getting into pu erhs and it was mellower one to handle at the time. I think my Norbu Pu Erh experiences were about 2 years ago :)

Missy

ohhh a mellow pu erh. I shall have to look that up for my journey into pu erh. :D

ScottTeaMan

I will try Norbu…….eventually! I’m trying to reduce my current stash a little.

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94

Monday morning? Is that you? How did you get here so soon?

I chose this to drink this morning, was somehow in the mood for it and not exactly sure why. Today I added a smidge of raw cane sugar. I like this tea! (see previous notes). Today it seems softer and even fruitier than I remember — I might have steeped it for longer before. See previous notes if interested.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank HOUJI-CHA Tea Bags by Maeda-en
2743 tasting notes

I have some loose leaf houijcha at work but I wanted some today at home, so I picked up this little package of 10 teabags in Japantown. This is a mesh teabag which is a little bit better than the paper ones. This houijcha is made from roasted sencha.

The instructions on the package say to steep for 30 – 60 seconds, but that seemed a bit light so I ended up going for 90 seconds in the end. The aroma is delightful and flavor is pretty good. It has a very caramel, burnt sugar flavor but I’m detecting a tiny bit of vegetal bitterness in the finish. The other houjicha I have is a loose leaf from Den’s Tea that’s made out of roasted bancha. I have to say I prefer the Den’s version because it is sweeter and more aromatic (and it’s loose leaf, which makes a difference as well). But this is still a nice everyday tea, and good for the evening because there’s less caffeine. I need to try cold brewing it sometime! Yummy!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Alphakitty

I really love Den’s Houjicha! And as a flavor it seems to be getting pretty popular, my local Japanese mart actually has houjicha flavored soft-serve.

ScottTeaMan

HOORAY HOUJICHA!! :))

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92
drank Wen Shan Bao Zhong by Naivetea
2743 tasting notes

I haven’t had this tea in eons and I have no idea why – it’s wonderful!

I’ve been gong fu’ing oolongs mostly, but I have my copyediting homework to do soon, so I thought I’d just sit down and brew myself a small pot. This tea is very smooth, flowery, sweet and a hint of creaminess like coconut milk is present. I was worried this might be getting stale/old but it still tastes wonderful to me.

I re-steeped this also Western style for 4 minutes and it still has a lot of flavor.

Lately I’ve been wondering when Naivetea is getting their formosa oolong back in stock, it’s been ages from what I recall. Naivetea does some lovely oolongs…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
2743 tasting notes

Now that I have a proper freezer that I can actually use for making ice, I am sure more herbal tisane experiments are coming!

This ended up being delicious: mix equal parts plain organic tulsi, spearmint and lemon verbena. Brew hot and pour over ice or refrigerate. It’s delicious… :)

ScottTeaMan

Amy, do you think you’ make actual iced tea or stick to cold brew. It’s interesting how I used to ice hot tea, but since I’ve been cold brewing lately, I like it better. I prefer cold brewing in the fridge, because it just tastes better to me-not watered down like iced tea can sometimes be. It just takes sssoooo long and I can be impatient at times! ;-))

ScottTeaMan

what happened to my LL’s? you’ll

TeaBrat

Cold brewing is great but today I didn’t have enough time, I wanted instant gratification!

ScottTeaMan

I know whaat you mean…hehe!

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78

This is a 10g sample I recently got from Norbu Tea. I more or less picked it at random but now after looking at it closer, I see that it’s a Pre-Qingming tea. I think this just means it was picked very early in the spring.

I decided to steep this Western style so I used the glass teapot for 3 minutes with water that was 180F.

The tea liquor is very mild and light yellow in color. It reminds me a bit of the pre-chingming Snow Dragon I was graciously gifted by ScottTeaMan. This is a very mild and gentle green tea, the tea liquor is very soft with some light vegetal notes of artichoke and perhaps a bit of cucumber.

It is nice but I generally prefer something more robust and flavorful. It isn’t bad, it’s just not my “thing”. I think I will try gong fu’ing the rest of this sample at a later date to see what difference that makes.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87

The first cup of the day. This tea is proving to be quite a versatile mixer for experiments, today I mixed it with some ceylon from the Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants. Drinking it with soymilk and sugar for the full-on eye opening experience.

By the way I have a bit of news, I got a new refrigerator/freezer from my Landlord. The old one must have been over 30 years old and still requires a manual defrost. The new one is beautiful, compared to what I am used to. I feel like such a modern woman. ;-)

Missy

yay for new fridge/freezer!

CHAroma

Awesome, congrats!

TeaBrat

Matcha popsicles!

ashmanra

Woohoo! You go, girl!

TeaBrat

I feel like such a part of the 20th century! :-D

ScottTeaMan

The newer ones don’t last 30 yrs though…….but enjoy the marvel of 20th century tech! :))

Bonnie

Whoopie! I love a new appliance!

Bonnie

somehow that sounded wierd ;/

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91

Post yoga drink – I blended an equal part of this green tea with some original tulsi from Organic India and I am quite liking the results. I don’t think tulsi would blend too well with Japanese green tea but it’s pretty good with this Chinese green. The savory, vegetal qualities here mix well with the cooling mint tulsi. I’m trying to increase my tulsi consumption!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89

I have to say what I know about matcha is pretty much nothing. I’ve been resisting the urge to get the whisk because I wasn’t sure I needed a new toy. So I was happy to find one in my Steepster select box, along with a sample of this matcha.

We did get a little card with instructions, which were easy to follow. Yesterday morning I whipped up two batches of it, it took me a bit to get the hang of the whisk but that’s ok. By my second attempt, I noticed the matcha was nice and frothy. But I do see needing a matcha bowl in my future. :)

It’s a very nice, green bundle of joy. The tea is very flavorful, grassy and has a bit of bitterness. This morning I blended some with raspberries and soymilk. I found it needed a touch of sugar. Most of my experiences with matcha have been that they are slightly bitter so that isn’t unusual. I can see how this will be great for making smoothies! And for cooking!

Thanks to Steepster and Obubu for this fun treat!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 15 sec
noordelijk

Matcha shouldn’t be very bitter when you drink it, actually more on the sweeter side. Could be a result of this special kitchen grade matcha.

BTVSGal

Yeah it was a little bitter to me as well.

TeaBrat

I don’t know, everytime I’ve had a matcha it’s tasted that way.

ScottTeaMan

I’ve only tried one batch of Matcha and it had some bitterness. I don’t know if I’d pay for premium Matcha, but a good Sencha or Gyokuro!! Ooohhhh Yeah! :))

Mark B

Summit matcha doesn’t have much in the way of bitterness, unless I use too much tea or the water is too hot. I don’t have much matcha experience, but from the half dozen or so that I have tried, it sets the bar for me. Check it out…

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75

I realize I am spoiled with local tea options compared to some other folks. A few weeks ago I was in Rainbow Grocery and noticed they have a bulk tea selection. In the bulk tea jars were a bunch of mini touchas from Pure Puerh! I know they are based in Northern California so I shouldn’t have been too surprised.

This is the other green toucha that I didn’t buy from them at the San Francisco Tea Festival. Now that I have my dedicated Yixing teapot, raw puerhs are becoming a good weekend drink for me. You fill up your teapot and can re-steep many times. This one mini toucha claims you can make 12-14 cups of tea out of it!

Steep #1: After a quick rinse I steeped this for around 20 seconds and got a very light infusion, which is slightly woodsy and a bit sweet. I’m picking up on a light fruity flavor too, like apple. There’s a slight bit of bitterness in the mix but so far I am not finding it too overwhelming. My infusions are fairly small, I’m getting around 4 oz. of tea for each one.

Steep #2: 30 seconds. The color is a bit darker than it was before and a definite smoky aroma is starting to emerge. Still, I am happy that this is not too acrid or rough for my palette. As far as bitter-sweet goes, I can handle it.

Steeps #3 and 4: 15 seconds. I did them together in the same glass mug. The tea is hitting more of a stride here and starting to settle down somewhat. The flavor is getting to be a little more mellow, still woodsy, smoky and slightly sweet but less of a sour quality.

Steeps #4 and 5: at first I thought the bitterness was receding, but as my cup was sitting here cooling off, a big wallop of it hit me when I began to sip on it. Might try to use ½ the touocha next time, 8g is likely too much for the small teapot.

One thing I have noticed about sheng pu-erhs is they are very good for the digestion; I suppose it must be this bitter-sweet and green quality. Without being gross, I find they have an almost purgative effect at times.

I think perhaps this tea could benefit from a little aging, but I have no idea how well touchas age. In any case I will probably not be too tempted to pick up any more of these in the future. It’s a typical young sheng, kinda sour and wild. That’s the nature of the beast you’re dealing with.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

Sounds like a good adventure and a reminder about the effect of younger pu-erh’s stimulant benefits. :)

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Bio

My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

Location

San Frandisco

Website

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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