2743 Tasting Notes
I finally decided to heed Geoffrey’s advice and steep this in the gaiwan with a very large quantity of leaf.
First infusion: Steeped for 45 seconds. Aroma is very roasty. Got a thick, yellow liquor that reminds me of buttery honey, a definite bitterness in the finish.
Second infusion: 45 seconds. Leaf is now filling up half the gaiwan. I am still getting lots of bitterness although my water temp. is around 180F. I wonder if I used too much leaf but when I used less leaf I could barely taste anything at all. The only other phoenix oolong I have had is from the Tao of Tea which was much less fussy and high maintenance than this. The aroma of it is awesome but the bitterness is not appealing to me.
Third infusion: 20 seconds. I am finally getting something closely approximating a decent cup of tea. Aroma is roasty and buttery, smells better than it tastes but at least it isn’t bitter now.
4th Steep: 30 seconds or less. Just measured my water temp and it’s around 140F and still bitter. Does this tea think it’s a gyokuro? Maybe I just need to try cold brewing the rest.
Conclusion: ??? Not sure if Dancongs are not my cuppa or if there is something more to be done to make this more palatable to me. The first time I tried it with less leaf I thought it was flavorless but perhaps there is something between that and this bitter thing. I have one or two coming from other places so soon I will be able to make a better determination. I see Krystalen had to try this three times before she finally found a way to make it appealing. Gah! :(
I just went to Verdant’s website and watched the video of how to brew this tea so I will try it again.
New Leaf! lots of leaf and did a quick rinse. 10 second steep and it is better than the ones above but I swear I can still taste the bitterness. Phooey. I’m kind of… OVER IT! God knows I have done my due diligence with this one.
Give me a wuyi yancha, please…
My latest order from Verdant arrived and no, I do not need any more caffeine today but I couldn’t resist this anyway. mwa ha ha! By the way, thanks to David for answering my anxiety ridden e-mail about where my order was. I am paranoid because the mail person leaves our office packages in an unsecured location.
I read other people’s tasting notes and I wasn’t sure how to make this but in the end I decided I would have it Western style today and gong-fu it at home.
The aroma of the wet leaves is definitely malty and peppery! I’ve heard about this peppery quality before but have never experienced it myself.
The first cup I steeped for 3.5 minutes which may have been too long (because my cup is very dark), but this is pretty tasty. My first impression is of a slightly bittersweet chocolate, it’s very rich and full. I am getting the fruity element as well that others have remarked on. I can see why Verdant likens this to a lightly roasted coffee because I feel the same way about it, except it isn’t bitter like coffee can be. In the finish I’ve gotten a bit of tannin and peppery element which then slowly is transformed into sweetness, how odd. I am hoping the tannin will decrease with a shorter steeping time.
I decided to do a second steep for 2 minutes and got a medium reddish brown cup, so this is probably closer to what it should be. Definitely a rich and smooth cuppa. With the shorter steeping time I am getting more fruity notes and more sweetness in the finish, which I kinda like (okay, I am a wimp). Now it’s a bit more like caramel. Someone just commented that my tea smells like tobacco. Interesting… complex and full of flavors. Perhaps a tad bit heavy on the tannins for yours truly but we’ll see what happens when I gong fu this. :)
I have had two cups of this yellow tea this afternoon and it’s a nice relaxing tea, which is soft, sweet and forgiving. I also discovered this is good when you add two cardamom pods to it (forgive me for not being a purist). I got two great steeps out of it, I like it better when it’s steeped around 5 minutes or so. It never got bitter even with a long steeping time. I upped the rating a few points today.
See previous notes for more info…
Thanks to Indigobloom for sending me a surprise envelope full of samples! We had talked about swapping a while ago but I didn’t know one was coming. Very sweet.
This is a nice white tea full of curly leaves. My first impression when I smelled the leaves was that of a sweet honeydew melon with a few very light vegetal notes.
The tea liquor is a light yellow. I tend to steep my whites at a lower temp than some people, which I find helps to preserve a delicate flavor. The flavor of the cup is melon-y, but there is also a nuttiness present that’s really nice and a bit like a dragonwell. This isn’t as sweet as some white teas I’ve had but I don’t believe I’ve ever had this particular type of tea before. Not my favorite white tea ever but definitely light and elegant. I need to try drinking more white teas in the afternoon since they’re lower in caffeine.
Thanks for much to IB for the sample! It’s always fun trying new teas. :D
Sometimes lavender is too much for me in tea, but I don’t actually mind it here. Today is the second afternoon I’ve had a headache and I am starting to wonder if I need to cut back on my caffeine consumption. I was trying to make it through the late afternoon without any but I was practically falling asleep.
Anyway lavender is supposed to be good for headaches, maybe this will help. :-/
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. :)