2802 Tasting Notes
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.
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!
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…
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.
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. ;-)
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!
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!
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.
3/4 of the red tea sampler from jing tea shop. I wanted something this morning I could drink without additions.
The leaves are very dark, thin and wiry. I put a pinch in my glass teapot and then steeped for 3 minutes. The tea liquor is a medium orangish-brown. The aroma of the tea is cocoa, while the flavor itself has a rich nuttiness which reminds me of walnuts, and a touch of honey. Others have commented on the citrus, and I am also picking up an orange peel type of flavor here and also a touch of spice. It reminds me ever so slightly of a fine cognac.
The tea is rich and smooth with almost no astringency and certainly no bitterness. A slight sweetness in the aftertaste. Since I’ve had a few dan cong oolongs recently I’m trying to see what the resemblance might be, but am not picking up on a lot of parallels right now.
A lovely and delightful treat, for the morning time or anytime. It almost seems like you could make a decadent dessert out of this one. Perhaps it would be good as a pudding or as an ice cream.