2743 Tasting Notes

57

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…

Kittenna

I suggest you read my second/third tasting notes on this. I had major problems; found that a 15s infusion worked best. Geoffrey wrote a nice long comment to me about it as well.

Kittenna

Uh, totally just saw my name near the bottom, so assuming you already read them.

TeaBrat

Ha – thanks Krystalen! Yeah I have messed this up twice now already, what a bummer!

LiberTEAS

Not all teas are for everyone! We all have different palates and every tea tastes different to every palate.

And… don’t necessarily give up on all Dancongs just because this one didn’t work out for you. There may be another out there that’s more to your liking.

TeaBrat

@LiberTEAS – thanks. I feel bad writing such a pissy tasting note but I was quite frustrated by it all!

ScottTeaMan

I tried a this Dan Cong from TeaSpring 4 yrs ago:

http://www.teaspring.com/Feng-Huang-Dan-Cong.asp

I found it to be really good, but tempermental steeping. I kept the first 4 steeps short- 30s, 45s, 45s, 45s. I enjoyed the astringency. Upton Tea had a Dan Cong I reviewed that was alot less fussy, and quite delicious!

http://steepster.com/teas/upton-tea-imports/23902-zo97-feng-huang-dan-cong

I thought I sent you some, and you seemed to enjoy that FHDC Amy. :))

Autumn Hearth

Sigh, I really liked this one when I first tried it in an oolong tasting with a friend back in February and based on my tasting note I was going to order more this weekend with my $10 off coupon since its low stock. However I tried it again today, 5 infusions and only enoyed the first one which really should have been the the rinse, the other were too astringent for me, the second was like putting out an incense stick with my tongue. There were some lovely smells and I did pick up on a bit of orange, but I found those other notes I don’t like in some Dan Congs. The funny thing is I was brewing western in Februaty and gongfu today, I didn’t have as much leaf as recommended, but I can’t imagine that resulting in a smoother less astringent brew. Sigh, a bit disappointed but glad I can apply more money to to the shu I want.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

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. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Kittenna

My first cup of this was for 1.5 minutes, and it was fabulous and I wasn’t having an issue with tannins (apparently I’m not a fan). However, it was a touch more astringent than the Laoshan Black.

TeaBrat

@Krystalen – thanks, I think I will need to try it that way soon!

Kittenna

Boo, I didn’t get your response in an email (just chanced by it). Time to figure out if that’s a bug or something else.

TeaBrat

hmm, I don’t have Steepster notifying me about stuff like that, it would be way too much mail for me!

Azzrian

I have some of this on the way :)

Scott B

Amy, when you say peppery, do you mean like black pepper or cayenne pepper or a bell pepper?

TeaBrat

I think black pepper… or perhaps white pepper is more appropriate

Doug F

I just received my order of zhu rong yesterday also, with a nice sample of Laoshan white thrown in.

TeaBrat

I love white teas, I think they added it to the site right after I placed my order. It sounds good!

Bonnie

I did take the Laoshan White to 5 steepings and I have half my sample left! Worth going the full cycle! It pulls you back because the flavor lingers.

Doug F

I’ll keep an open mind on the white—I have never been a big fan but it’s been a while since I tried one, so who knows?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

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…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

It’s a sipdown! I cold brewed this yesterday so I could have it with my lunch. I think I like it even better this way than hot. I’m a bit sad to see it go but I have more green tea in my stash I need to drink before it all goes stale.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85
drank White Butterfly by Teaopia
2743 tasting notes

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

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

Those leaves look awesome! Very unique.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

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. :-/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
CHAroma

Sometimes you can get headaches from not drinking enough caffeine if you’ve been having a lot lately. Like withdrawal headaches. It happens to my fiance periodically.

Bonnie

Too true, even if your headaches are small migraines caffeine would be good for it!
Could your headaches be allergies? I’m allergic to rooibos. I’d cut out herbals first if you’ve been drinking more than usual. I’M not a know it all but I am allergic to a host of things.

TeaBrat

I definitely think the headaches are related to days when I drink too much caffeine. I can’t remember a day in recent memory when I haven’t had enough. :-P I do have allergies, Bonnie. I take Zyrtec almost every day at this time of year and it seems to help.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78
drank Sencha by Harney & Sons
2743 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. :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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. ;)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer