2774 Tasting Notes
I also owe my sample of this to Narwhalclub! I’ve been wanting to try this tea for a while after I read about it in “The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide”.
This was very smoky and I was already scared of it since you could smell it through the envelope… :)
I steeped this for 5.5 minutes and then let it decant according to the instructions of the website. I was not overly generous with the leaf – I had about 2 teaspoons for a 16 oz teapot. I knew I wanted to share this one with my boyfriend. He says it reminds him of cigars or single malt scotch, specifically Laphroaig.
I don’t drink scotch (ick) but I agree with the reviewer that mentioned this was like barbeque sauce. It’s smoky but also a bit sweet at the same time with some molasses/honey type of flavors in the finish. I figured this would knock me over with smoky flavor but I’m happy it isn’t too strong. I never thought I’d find a Lapsang Souchong type of tea I would even remotely tolerate, but this is good! It seems like according to the other reviewers it is also a bit on the lighter side. The flavor is a bit intoxicating the longer I sit here and sip on it. I might have to pick some of this up someday…. and on the list it goes… :)
This came as a free sample in the Lupicia newsletter and anyway I am just in the mood for green tea today somehow.
This is one of those mesh pyramid bags which are great but I don’t know if these are the biodegradable kind. Inspecting this somewhat closely to me it looks like a sencha. I steeped it at 170 F for 2 minutes. It is very interesting because the sencha is kind of grassy and vegetal but the strawberry flavor is light and sweet. Some of Lupicia’s flavored teas seem almost gummy bear like in the flavor (like the apple I tried recently) but this was a bit more natural in my opinion. Although I enjoyed it I can’t help but feel like the strawberry and the green tea are almost competing with each other for attention. And why would Lupicia recommend you steep this in boiling water, I have no idea. Maybe it’s a bancha…
Regardless, I do not think I need any more flavored green teas right now… but this was a fun one to try!
Having a sample of this tea from Bana this afternoon.
Steeping method: xiying teapot after doing a quick rinse
First infusion: 45 seconds. earthy, slightly musty, a hint of smoke and bitterness. Shiitake mushroom aroma. hmmm
Second infusion: 60 seconds. Color is now darker. The tea has a very round mouthfeel and whatever bitterness I was sensing is now gone. The liquor is a gorgeous reddish brown. The flavor is very mild and soothing, woodsy. A tiny bit of sweetness present. Somewhat lighter in flavor than some other shus I have tried recently and a bit uninspired in terms of flavor, but definitely no offensive aromas/flavors.
Third infusion: Sweetness and richness is increasing with no noticeable loss of flavor. I am getting a bit of fruitiness along with some more wood sensations.
Not my favorite shu from Bana so far but still very nice, I enjoyed trying it. I think this would benefit from a few more years of aging perhaps.
My morning cuppa. I raised the rating today by a few points. With a thermometer and a timer it is much easier to control the outcome of this tea and it isn’t as astringent now as I remember. It does seem fairly grassy, marine and a bit sweet with a hint of bitterness. Perhaps it has umami… see my previous notes. I love the vivid color of this! bright green with tiny little bubbles….
The second steep at 170 F was nice too… a bit sweeter and milder.
I still prefer the sencha chiran from Lupicia. :)
I decided to switch over to this – I think I was in the mood for something girly. I haven’t had this tea in a while and I can’t quite place the blend of flavors, vanilla, flowery, lavender something or other? It’s quite sweet and aromatic, a nice choice to just wind the evening down… it is very flavored I admit.
Thanks to Dinosaura for this sample…
I think I might like darker oolongs better than most people but wasn’t sure what to expect with this. I have been doing my steepings in the gaiwan for around 30 seconds or so.
First steep: very roasted quality, aroma is a bit like burnt sugar and vanilla but flavor is lagging, I don’t think my water was hot enough either
Second steep: the sweetness is starting to come up a bit more along with some nuttiness. reminds me a lot of buckwheat or roasted barley and a bit of the hojicha I had a few days back. There is some tobacco is the aroma for me. Interesting.
Third steep: Very toasty, a bit smoky… I am still getting these burnt sugar/honey like flavors but it isn’t evolving into much more. It does have a bit of a bitter aftertaste…
I’ve enjoyed it but probably is not going to go on the must purchase list. I can’t help but wonder if I would appreciate this more on a cold and rainy day, I think I’ll save the rest of my sample for a time like that. This was fun to try but sadly, I’m losing interest. It tastes like someone charbroiled it, which is kind of the point, really but maybe not what I was in the mood for just now.