2727 Tasting Notes

90

Backlogging – I enjoyed two steeps of this after lunch today and it was wonderful. See previous notes for more info. Also I noticed my notices are fixed now – thanks Steepster!

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

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95

Thank you Garret for your generosity in sending me this sample. It’s always
difficult for me to review raw puerhs because I know often times they can
benefit from aging and will improve over time.

1st steep – 2 minutes: This tea is certainly ready to drink now which is great
for a raw pu-erh. It’s a lot more delicate and a bit sweet compared to other
shengs I have had. I’m picking up on a light camphor note and the orchid, yum! Clean and delicious with only a tiny hint of a sour quality (common with young
shengs). It will be very interesting to see what age does to this cake but I
don’t know if I’d want to wait 10 years to drink this. hee hee!

2nd steep – 60 seconds. This cup is a bit lighter due to the shorter steeping
time. Compared to the Mengku gifting raw it is quite delicate and light. I can
almost taste the pristine mountain air in each cup. Interesting that this is a
high altitude tea since it reminds me ever so slightly of an oolong. It’s even a
bit… buttery? I kid you not. how delicious.

3rd steep – 90 seconds. Flavor is still going strong. I really like the fact that this tea isn’t really bitter like some shengs I have tried. Now that the leaves have opened up I’m getting more vegetal notes with this one.

It’s so good and really a great value for the cake. I am getting one as soon as the tea budget allows, which will probably be next month if I am good.

Rating is based on my personal enjoyment factor which is very high!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I’m with you! Who can wait?!

TeaBrat

I have some definite impulse control issues – ha!

ScottTeaMan

here here.

Garret

Oooohhhh… I thought you’d enjoy that! I look forward to being able to get you some of the cakes that are getting pressed this week of that new mao cha that I got on this last buying trip!!

Tea is the one thing that makes me want to be immortal. I stand in my pu’er vault and I see all these cakes of tea, and I wonder “is it possible that I’ll still be alive and making my own tea when this cake is 50 years old?”

Here’s to good food, working out, tea drinking, meditation and a nice pour of organic tequila to keep me rockin’ and rollin’ for another 50 years. 95? That’s totally doable!

May you each live long and healthy lives!!!!

ScottTeaMan

Thank You…….you too!

TeaBrat

Thanks Garret! This was so nice!

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78
drank Sencha by Harney & Sons
2727 tasting notes

This is a sencha sample I got from Harney and Sons so I thought I’d check it out this morning since I’m in the mood for a green tea again. I got the loose leaf sample and not the teabag version.

This was steeped via regular infuser mug method for about 90 seconds, I find the flavors of sencha are more enjoyable for me if I keep the steeps short and then they can be steeped 2-3 times.

A very vegetal steeped leaf that smells like spinach is what I encountered in this cup. The spinachy flavor continues in the tea, which is light and sweet but also has a tad bit of bitterness in the finish, and yes, seaweed in particular a bit of wakame.

I much prefer the Ichiban sencha from Harney over this one but it is also 3x as expensive!

This is a good choice for an everyday green if you don’t mind a bit of bitterness, I am sensitive to it due to my acid reflux issues. I personally prefer the milder Japanese greens like gyokuro and fukamushi senchas… but I will certainly finish off the sample that I have. :)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec
CHAroma

Wellllll, Ichiban Sencha does mean “The Best Sencha.” ;)

TeaBrat

It certainly is good! :)

ScottTeaMan

THIS IS A GOOD EVERYDAY SENCHA! [oops…….why am I shouting?].

TeaBrat

My favorite everyday sencha is still Sencha Chiran form Lupicia. :)

ScottTeaMan

HHmmm now I have to look that up :=))

ScottTeaMan

That’s more ’spensive, Lucy. Is it worth the price ^^??

Missy

Acid reflux is like heartburn except that its stomach being released into the throat right?

TeaBrat

@Scott – to me it is because it’s sweeter and mild
@Missy – yes. It doesn’t bother me all the time fortunately

Missy

err stomach acid^

ScottTeaMan

A good resteeper??

ScottTeaMan

Lucky Dog…….Lupicia is so close yo you.

TeaBrat

you should be able to get at least 2 good steeps out of it. I’ll send you some if you want to try it. :)

Missy

do you ever have problems with honeybush? I find that I can drink rooibos all day long but my first cup of honeybush generally cause lava to rise up my throat.

TeaBrat

Missy, I have not had problems with honeybush, peppermint and chocolate both bother me tho’

ScottTeaMan

I love Jalepenos, but they usually cause probs for me, and sometime chocolate. :-|

Missy

Very interesting. Thanks for answering. That was a personal question. :D
I’ll have to watch for the chocolate so far it doesn’t seem to bother me but that may just be my love of chocolate blocking that part of the experience out.

CHAroma

@Missy, Acid reflux and heartburn are two different things, so I wouldn’t be too concerned. I have acid reflux, and I really only get it when I drink a giant glass of water before bedtime (or eat chocolates or mints before bed). Then I’ll wake up with what feels like strep throat because acid crawled up my esophagus while I was sleeping and burned my throat. Sleeping on an incline helps acid reflux, but it wouldn’t do anything for heartburn.

Harney & Sons The Store

If you’re looking for a nice bridge between this Sencha and the Ichiban, I’d recommend you try the Kagoshima Sencha. It’s quite tasty.

TeaBrat

Dear Harney & Sons The Store, thank you for the suggestion. I am a regualar customer so I will try that the next time I order something. :)

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86

We finished the last of this today. It was good but I have a lot more black tea to drink so I will hold off on buying more for a while. :)

Will Work For Tea

“I have a lot more black tea to drink so I will hold off on buying more for a while.” – If I could tell myself that and adhere to it, my cupboard would be more manageable! :)

TeaBrat

ha – me too. my cupboard overfloweth but am trying to get better. ;)

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93

I believe this is the last of my samples from Shang Tea… I am sad to see them go! Everything I have had has been good so far.

I didn’t even dump my whole package in the cup as instructed so I was surprised to see this tea liquor a dark yellow color. I did smell the wet leaves and they remind me of sweet clover and hay.

I am not so great at picking out flavors but luckily Ang. has written a great tasting note before me. :) I don’t believe I have ever had a white oolong before this. I am surprised to find the tea has the sweet and fruitiness of the white tea but also has some of the butteriness/nuttiness of a green oolong. This is exceptionally smooth and rich but at the same time maintains a sense of relaxed lightness that I often find in white tea. Between this and the jasmine tea i had earlier I am feeling quite elegant and content.

It also resteeps well…

I just checked the price of this one – $13.50 for 2 oz. is not that pricey at all and is a luxury I could definitely afford… mmm. On the list it goes!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

I agree, it is a reasonable price, and sounds delicious!

TeaBrat

It was very good! Shang has great teas…

ScottTeaMan

I’m working on my current stash of whites for now.

TeaBrat

Me too. :-p

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85

I got this as a free sample from Mandala Tea and was by and large cursing my luck because I don’t really like most jasmine teas, I find them to be overdone and soapy and perfumey.

As far as jasmine goes this is on the better end of the spectrum for sure. I used a small handful of pearls in my infuser mug and it was fun watching them open up. I love the aroma of this and wish I could take a bath in it. I was holding my nose up to the steeped leaves and found it very relaxing. When I am feeling wealthy there’s a jasmine shower gel I like from Lush called Flying Fox and I find it sooo soothing.

The tea liquor is a light yellow and it smells nice sitting alongside me this afternoon. Good for a relaxing moment. Oftentimes jasmine upsets my stomach even though I love the way it smells, so I’ve been trying to take small sips of it here and there. It’s very light and sweet and the jasmine is fairly sublte and not too overpowering. I am picking up some light vanilla and creamy notes which is making this nice. Those of you who are really into drinking your jasmine need to check this one out.

As always I am grateful for the sample but probably won’t buy any… I do have anxiety at work sometimes so I’ll have to see how I do with it. Might be good for medicinal purposes, hee! :)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 45 sec
Cheryl

“It’s not you, it’s me” : )

TeaBrat

ha. I actually thought this and the Teavivre jasmine pearls were both ok.

Bonnie

I have a LS with popped Jasmine flowers and they mellow the flavor a bit. Can’t taste any floral either.

Garret

Hi Amy! Had I known you weren’t into yasmin I’d have never sent that to you. We sell a ton of them to other shops and all over. I included them last time because I saw a reply that you had made to another who had reviewed our jasmine pearls stating that you hoped to try them someday. No more jasmine for you, I promise!!

TeaBrat

Ha- Garret it is not your fault! This is one of the better jasmine teas i have had so consider that a compliment! :)

ScottTeaMan

May this tea calm your anxiety. :))

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79

I like gunpowder tea but I’m not sure what the difference is between the different grades and brands, this is a finer tea than the standard gunpowder according to Upton, so here goes nothing.

Steeping method: infuser mug, 1 heaping teaspoon of tea pellets…

Tea liquor is an olive green with a bit of brothy thickness. The steeped leaves smell mostly vegetal, like boiled greens. This is definitely on the full bodied and robust spectrum of greens. It has a smooth mouthfeel, very vegetal with notes of green olive, a slight bit of pungency in the finish. There isn’t a lot of smoke in this gunpowder which is too bad, I like mine to be a bit smoky. Mild astringency. This wasn’t bad but I don’t think I’ll need to buy anymore beyond this sample.

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

I think I’m drawn to the name! Not a clue about what it should taste like! You are brave…thinkin that with that name it should cure you!

Scott B

It does do well infused with their Egyptian Spearmint though.

Bonnie

Will she be able to dance like Steve Martin?

Scott B

I just had to see if you had rated any teas a 79 since 79’s got left off your rating system :)

TeaBrat

@ScottB – oh you’re right, I had to go in and fix that!

Scott B

I’m sure the 79’s are happy to be out of ratings limbo :)

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90

My allergies are going haywire this morning – yesterday it was raining and today it’s sunny. I just checked Weather.com and the pollen count is high today and will be for the rest of the week. MEH!

Anyway when my allergies are bothering me that’s a good time to focus on green tea. I decided to revisit this one this morning and I need to finish it off anyway because I’ve had it for a while. A delicate tea with the flavor of peas this morning. See previous notes for more info.

achoo! =)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Bless you!

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88

I believe this is the last of my samples from RTR this time around.

I was fairly excited to try this as I really liked their phoobsering oolong. Instructions said to use 2 tsp. for a cup so I ended up dumping the whole sample into my 18 oz. teapot and following their recommendations which said to steep for 5 minutes at 200 F.

My tea liquor is a light orange and I’m drinking it out of a glass mug. You can’t help but notice the intense flowery aroma coming out of the tea. I am definitely getting lots of roses!

The flavor of this is nice, it’s a super rose-y type with lots of juicy fruit. As the tea liquor builds up in your mouth you get a sensation of a sweet candy like coating on your palette. Fruit notes are definitely that of nectarine or peach. There is a slight spice note here too that can be prevalent in dareelings. There’s a tiny bit of astringency but nothing too worrisome. As the cup cools down I am getting a slick, slightly buttery sensation from the cup. If I had to do this over again I would probably use a little less steeping time because the tea got quite intense. If you’re a fan of darjeelings this is one really worth checking out, although I rather preferred the more delicate nature of their phoobsering.

I also came across these photos of the sungma estate and the people on it, which are quite wonderful:

http://www.gavingough.com/2011/03/sungma-tea-estate-darjeeling/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Nectarine or peach sweetness sounds good. I often find that astringency (if it is there) is more noticeable as the cup cools.

Good link= another bookmark!

ScottTeaMan

Duh!…….I just noticed this was an oolong. :))

TeaBrat

yep – I definitely made it way too strong & would have tried for a resteep but I had to go to work. :-/

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Yesterday was my One year Steepster anniversary and I am almost up to 1000 tasting notes, egads!

I haven’t been drinking a lot of pu-erh lately but today it’s raining so I thought this afternoon would be great time to try this sample cake I got from Mandala. According to traditional Chinese medicine, Pu-erh is a good cure for internal dampness.

I broke off a chunk and put it in the infuser mug after a quick 10 second rinse and then steeped it for about 60 seconds. I got a medium reddish-brown liquor. This seems like a very clean tasting pu-erh… a roasted coffee aroma with very earthy & mushroomy flavors and a creamy feeling in the finish.

My second steep was for about 90 seconds and this time I got a much darker infusion. This pu-erh now reminds me of coffee even more. I really think I used way too much leaf in my infuser basket so I decided to dump this infusion out and go for one with a little less time. I wasn’t really wanting such a dark tea so I resteeped it for 30 seconds and liked it a lot better this way. I really think that pu-erhs should be more of a reddish-brown color instead of black so if mine are very dark I know I probably used too much tea.

I’m not sure I am ready to give this a numerical rating yet due to the errors but I am enjoying it. I think I will retry this on another day with a smaller leaf to water ratio. It is warming me up and nice for this icky weather…

Still going strong after 4 steeps but I will probably end here. :)

Bonnie

Happy Anniversary! My sister-in-law told me it was raining in San Jose…odd for June! Hope you have many more successful tea journeys in the coming year! Steepster wouldn’t be the same without you!

TeaBrat

thanks Bonnie. :)

Missy

Yay for one year!!

ScottTeaMan

Happy Anniversary Amy. May your second year bring you many more tea adventures! :))

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj7LRuusFqo

…….In midnights & cups of coff [eh hem] TEA! :))

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0bNq4goMx4

CHAroma

One thousand teas in a year?! Holy cow!!

Cheryl

Cure for internal dampness? Hmm…
Happy anniversary … keep up the good reviews : )

TeaBrat

@CHAroma – some of them are repeat tasting notes, I am sure
@Cheryl – I’m skeptical too but whatev. :)

Invader Zim

Over 1000 in one year!! That’s a lot! Happy anniversary!

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Profile

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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