2727 Tasting Notes
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!
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. :)
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!
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! :)
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.
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.
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:
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. :)