2709 Tasting Notes
Yum. Genmaicha has been one of my favorite teas since my macrobiotic diet days. I also drank a lot of twig tea by Choice Organic; I need to get that again someday.
Anyway it’s been a busy weekend, I’m studying for a copywriting class I’ve been taking so I’ve had a little less free time than usual. I felt like I needed a little bit of ooomph to get me through the rest of the evening, but not too much. Thanks to Incendiare, I have genmaicha on the brain!
This is quite a tasty tea from Den’s. It’s very green due to the matcha element, which also adds a bit of sweetness to the mix. You definitely get that savory sort of nuttiness that just seems very soothing and gentle. I like this one and will definitely be wanting more when my bag runs out… see previous notes for more info.
I hope all my Steepster friends are having a good Sunday night!
I went out to lunch and for tea with a friend today (blog post coming soon).
The tea I choose was a raw pu-erh and it was fairly bitter for me. When I got home, I just felt like having something sweet and mellow. I steeped this with some dried pink rosebuds and it’s light and elegant, really what I wanted and needed for the afternoon. Of course this tea is also quite nice by itself.
I decided to try out this sample tea this morning. I am a fan of Tie Lou Hans, I’ve had a few and they usually do not disappoint.
I did a quick rinse of the leaves in my yixing and used around 180F water.
Steep #1: The tea liquor is an amber color and leaves smell very roasted after steeping. I found this cup to contain notes of plum, caramel and mineral with a sweet aftertaste. yummy! I gave this cup to the BF, who wanted one.
Steep #2 – Tea liquor has a delightful aroma of stone fruit. Second cup is similar to the first but I am getting a slight charcoal flavor in the mix. It is very pleasant with a lingering sweetness. Tastes very clean and soft, somehow.
Steep #3 – Similar to #2, sweetness is retreating a slight and mineral is coming forward more. Still quite delicious and going strong. I am noticing a toasted bread quality as well as a few raisin notes. Unlike the other tie lou han I have, this seems to be quite good in terms of resteep ability (note: I ended up steeping it 7 times).
Interesting for those of interested in Buddhism:
“Tie Luo Han (铁罗汉) translates as “Iron Arhat” in English. Luohan/Arhat is a term used in the many schools of Buddhism to denote a saint or a “sage” who has achieved enlightenment and is ready to escape the cycle of Samsara and enter the state of Nirvana. “Tie Luohan” is sometimes translated as “Iron Warrior Monk,” which most likely refers to the monk/spiritual practitioner doing battle with his/her desires to overcome his/her worldly attachments to attain enlightenment, rather than as an actual “war” warrior monk".
Anyway, this is a great example of a wuyi tea. If I was to have one everyday wuyi around, I don’t know if it would be this or a Shui Xian but maybe I can have them all. :-P
We went to see the film “Moonrise Kingdom” this afternoon, which was wonderful. Then had Japanese curry and veggie gyoza at this weird little restaurant called “On the Bridge”. By the time I got home I needed something to settle my stomach and decided to treat myself to this delicious pu-erh. I got 2 oz. of it a few months ago, and am trying to make it last. :-D
I made it quite dark and luscious, even a bit creamy, and I am so happy with the effects! I’m not sure if I should resteep the leaves too often since I might be awake all night, but will certainly relish the yummy tea I have at the moment. This tea is now 16 years old and it smooth and superb. See previous notes for more info.
Thanks to my tea pal Indigobloom for this sample!
Is this tea perfect for San Francisco? Hippy-dippy and kinda fruity? I’m about to find out. Speaking of fruity, I have a fruit fly infestation right now which is such a drag — I’ll have to take these leaves out to the compost immediately after I’m done! After doing a quick read of the package, I used my small Finium teacup and filter and went with 180F for 5 minutes.
My cup ended up being a medium orange and smells very fruity! The flavor is incredibly peachy and pineapple-y. It’s kind of hard to taste the oolong underneath here but it makes a good foil for the fruit. I actually like those fizzy kombucha drinks even though they are expensive. This has the slight aftertaste of one of those, it’s a fermented almost beer like quality. I didn’t know you could even get powdered kombucha, so that was interesting to discover.
When you buy a fresh kombucha drink it’s $4 a pop, so I was thinking you could mix this tea with some fizzy water and have a reasonable substitute for a lot less money. I wonder if it still has the same health benefits as the fresh tea? This would be good iced, too.
I’ve never been the biggest David’s Tea fan, but this had me scanning their website for the price. I might need some of this in the future, but then again I have a ton of flavored tea I still need to get through. Are they ever going to open up a David’s Tea in California?
It’s a nice fun, fruity flavored kinda deal. I think I’m going to try cold brewing the rest of it overnight. Me likey. Thanks IB!
I always thought that a tea labeled Tieguanyin meant it’s an Anxi oolong from China, but this tea is from Lishan mountain in Taiwain, which would make it more of a formosa oolong. Anyway it doesn’t really matter, I was just a little surprised by that.
I decided to do short steepings of this in the gaiwan this morning.
Steep #1: around 30 seconds and yielded a light yellow liquor which is very vegetal and reminds me a bit of celery. There’s a bit of a nutty quality and a slight sweetness in the finish.
Steep #2: the leaves are just starting to open up here. A bit more of a nutty quality is emerging with a nice sweetness in the background. I went to Teavivre’s website to find this tea is baked and 100% fermented.
Steeps 3 & 4: seem about the same to me. Lightly roasted, vegetal, nutty, a hint of sweetness.
This is a nice, average oolong but I can’t say there is anything about it that causes me to feel it stands head and shoulders above the rest. Might need to try giving it a cold steep to see what happens. Not my favorite tea from them so far, but still enjoyable.
Thank you for the sample Teavivre and Angel!
Tea for the afternoon… Bana does pick some very lovely shengs. I steeped this in the xiying and am having a great session drinking out of my glass mug. I wrote an extensive note on it a while back. It still seems lemony and a bit earthy, flowery. I still think the Bana sampler sets are a great deal for anyone wanting to explore a lot of good quality pu-erhs.
I don’t believe I’ve had a Huang Guan Yin before, but I like wuyi oolongs and was looking forward to trying this. Because I was at home today, I decided to do more of a gong fu preparation.
I used my little yixing teapot devoted to wuyi oolongs and did a quick rinse of the leaves.
Steep #1: 30 seconds. I got a very sweet, honey-like tea liquor that’s a medium yellow. I feel like there are some peachy notes in here as well as a slight roastedness. Definitely has a nice lingering aftertaste. Norbu compares it to a graham crackers but it reminds me more of toast with a bit of marmalade. Definitely liking it so far!
Steep #2: 20 seconds. Now the graham cracker flavor is definitely coming to the forefront. Definitely much less mineral-y and plummy than other wuyi teas I’ve had in the past. Still getting lots of honey and orange marmalade notes. Not a trace of bitterness in sight, which is great! I have to say I am finding this quite delicious.
Steep #3: 10 seconds. The lighter steep has brought out some lighter, fruitier notes, more peaches and apples seem to be present as well as a bit of butter. This is one non finicky tea.
Steep #4: Still insanely good although getting a bit lighter in flavor. Like a honey drizzled peach over a graham cracker crust. Heavenly! Flavor is still great.
I happen to like light to medium roasted oolongs and this was definitely a surprise. I was expecting something quite different but the result was great. Gets high marks from me for flavor, resteepability and non-astringent/bitterness.
I did like this quite a bit better than the Fenghuang oolong I had a few days ago. This isn’t as aromatic and flowery, but you can’t have everything in life. I have been fairly impressed with Norbu tea so far.
Final verdict: YUMMM! I’m not sure how this could get any better for me personally, so I’m just going to ahead and give it 100 points.
It’s been a hectic day so I decided to sit down and finish the rest of this sample I got from Arbor teas. This is a lovely oolong that reminds me of roasted plums with a sweet finish. Quite mineral-y too. I’m a happy camper with my wuyi oolongs, this cuppa is dreamy and I’ve gotten at least 3 good steeps out of this tea even when steeping it Western style. See previous notes for more info.