2343 Tasting Notes

74
drank Kukicha by The Tao of Tea
2343 tasting notes

Japanese green tea day is slowly coming to an end here on the tea drinking homestead…

A bunch of years ago I was very interested in a macrobiotic diet and they recommended drinking twig tea as a coffee substitute so I am quite used to this stuff, but the brand I used a lot was Choice Organics Twig tea.

This is very nice, a smooth mellow cup reminiscent of toasted grains, wood and a touch of molasses. Slightly brisk. It’s a good choice for bedtime due to the low caffeine content. I steeped this for about 2.5 minutes at 180 degrees but might steep it longer to see what happens. A very comforting brew, delicious and rich. A great choice for the evening hours after dinner.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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64
drank Gen Mai Cha by Silk Road
2343 tasting notes

I wanted to get a different genmai cha to compare to the stuff that I’ve gotten in the past from Maeda-en. I know that the Silk Road Teas have a good reputation and I got a bit of this at the local Whole Foods this afternoon in the bulk section.

I believe this blend has slightly more green tea than what I am used to. And I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of whatever green tea this is here as the base. I am getting a bit of astringency/bitterness which is one thing I am not fond of about senchas. It does have a nice nutty quality and I like the brown rice but in my opinion it’s just ok. If I was on a desert island with no other Japanese green tea I would be happy with it, I’m sure. Of course now I am spoiled after drinking gyokuro this morning!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Some Gen Mai Cha teas use bancha tea which is a smoother green without the Sencha bitterness. You might want to try steeping at 1.5, or even 1.0 minute to cut down on astringency. This might increase your enjoyment of this tea and maybe up the rating too.

TeaBrat

thanks – I will look into it

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100

I was very excited to try this after my new found appreciation for Japanese green tea…

When I opened my sample package to smell the leaves are so fresh it is like smelling a bunch of spinach. I brewed this up in my glass mug for about 2 minutes using cooled boiling water.

I have to say I am in heaven! This is a beautiful greenish gold color with slight “bubbles” in the brew. It has such a creamy mouthfeel, it is VERY buttery, slightly grassy and creamy. Truly delicious. Another tea I would rate at 500 if I could because it sort of blows the other teas straight out of the water. I only got a sample of this stuff, and YES it is expensive but I am getting more. It would be very expensive for an every day tea but nice to drink on the weekends or when you needed a pick me up. It is very energizing and refreshing. A++++

note: I got four steeps out of it before I gave up and put the leaves in a smoothie. they are so mild you can eat them with no problem.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I got a sample of this from butiki. I know it’s one of the worlds greatest teas….

TeaBrat

nice! I hope you like it. mine was fantastic…

Charles Thomas Draper

36.50 for 5 ounces is not bad for a super premium

TeaBrat

I have def. seen more expensive ones – I have no idea if they are better or not.

ScottTeaMan

I love bubbly, frothy teas like that…..YUMMY! I agree, for a tea of this quality, that is a really good deal for 5 oz-especially if you really enjoy it like you do Amy.

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82
drank Decaf Carol by Lupicia
2343 tasting notes

A very nice decaf offering from Lupicia for the holidays. I received this free (loose leaf!) sample at the store recently.

There is so no question that this is what my boyfriend calls a “gummy bear” tea. It’s so so sweet and festive though and the strawberry flavor really comes shining through. The coconut and vanilla round out the flavor very nicely. Ok, it is hard to taste any actual tea here especially after I added soymilk. But what a delicious, low calorie dessert drink! Lupicia does strawberry well – I also suggest trying their strawberry and rhubarb tea if you are a fan of strawberry tea. =)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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90
drank Nepali Oolong by The Tao of Tea
2343 tasting notes

It has been a very kind day to me today from the World of Teas…

I bought this a little while ago but have not had the chance to try it out now. I appreciate that this comes from a small farm in Nepal because this is an area of the world I would like to continue supporting. I got the small wonder tin of this tea which was only $4 an ounce. Truly a bargain.

This is a lovely amber colored tea, indeed it is buttery, I am getting a bit more nectarine than plum. It reminds me of the honey phoenix which I also got from the Tao of Tea… This is tasty and toasty with a rich mouthfeel. A hint of buttered toast with jam. A mellow and relaxing cup…

In the interest of full disclosure I like most plain oolongs I have tried, even the one served at the Chinese Restaurant down the street!

LiberTEAS

This is an awesome Oolong!

TeaBrat

I am enjoying it a lot!

Charles Thomas Draper

The price is right. Sounds delicious.

TeaBrat

It was a pleasant surprise. I only wish it was organic.

ScottTeaMan

I’ve always wanted to try an Oolong from Nepal. Maybe I’ll order some when I order their Mei Li~~how beautiful that would be…and delicious!

TeaBrat

you should try it… it’s so inexpensive you don’t have much to lose. I have liked all of their oolongs so far.

ScottTeaMan

I think their Mei Li is very reasonable too. OK, so I want to place orders with Tao of Tea, Tea Vivre, maybe some from Rishi….WOW, I’m gonna have to pace myself… :))

TeaBrat

you’re an addict just like the rest of us.. ;-)

LatteTeaDah

This sounds like the kind of oolong I enjoy, on the buttery side. Will definitely have to try it out!

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87

I needed a bit of a pick me up this afternoon, feeling kind of in the doldrums. This definitely seemed to do the trick.

It is a wonderful smelling tea – did you ever have oranges and stick cloves into them during the holiday season? So festive and bright! I really like the orange here, it reminds me of a satsuma mandarin. There is a bit of clove and cinnamon but is more subdued. Again I am thinking this is a black ceylon which actually works quite well in this combination. I do feel much more cheerful already!

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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93

I have to say that lately I’ve been thinking about the psychology of tea cups and this has led me to an interesting observation with this tea today.

Side by side I am comparing the taste in a glass mug vs. a japanese cast iron teacup. The tea I am drinking out of the tea cup (it’s black) tasted darker than the tea I’m drinking out of the glass mug. I am a kook.

Anyway it is back to the glass mug for now. This is a lovely light amber color now. I don’t believe I have ever had a golden leaf shu before and I am in for a real treat. This is another tea which is nothing like the traditonal pu-erhs I’ve had in the past. It is much lighter in color and has quite a delicate flavor. I feel I need to sit down and really appreciate it rather than just slopping some tea in a mug.

This reminds me ever so slightly of kombucha or cider which I attribute to the fermentation (and kombucha is made from tea, after all). But no sourness is present here, just a nice minerality combined with a rich beautifully aged tea. I am getting sandalwood and earth. I kind of wish I had not read Verdant’s notes on this tea before drinking it but I am reminded also of a swimming hole deep in the woods somewhere but with natural and clean water. Very surprising for a pu-erh. I will be eager and happy to try anything else that comes out of the Xingyang workshop!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Ninavampi

Psychology of tea… I love the way tastes and enjoyment can be influenced so much by external and internal factors. I feel that my mood also influences how much I like or dislike a tea. I am going to have to dry a dark colored tea cup to see what happens… : )

TeaBrat

Lately I have been very fond of the glass mug, I like to see the color of the tea I am drinking. :)

Ninavampi

Same! I love my glass teacup! Yay for double walled bodum!

ScottTeaMan

I’ve been enjoying glass as well, but I can’t seem to find my Jenaer Glass cup/saucer. I love it. Very high quality German glass company. Mine is older and was manufactured in Germany, but now the glass is made in Germany & molded in Romania I think. So it is not 100% German crafted unless you buy older pieces.

I hope I can find it. it just feels so perfect in my hand. You may be able to find older pieces online. Another good german Company is Finum:

http://www.finum.com/company.htm

I’m stuck on german glass, Tetsubin teapots-real Tetsubin, made in Japan. Yixing clay teapots. USA or English bone china. I think I’m the kook! :))

TeaBrat

Those Finum cups look beautiful! I need some – lol!

ScottTeaMan

I guess I’m tired of buying “Made in China” everything. If I can’t find anymore Jenaer glass, I’ll buy Finum, or from this French glass company Rochelle glass. Amazon used to stock it.GGGRRR!!

Charles Thomas Draper

All of my tea is from China. I can’t help that. i must admit I try to buy American whenever possible….

TeaBrat

those La Roche cups are cute – believe it or not I have some goblets I use for wine glasses that must be from the same company, they also have bees on them!

ScottTeaMan

Hhahaha….do you like the quality?
Where did you get them?

ScottTeaMan

Target carries La Rochere.

TeaBrat

They came from a french store in SF

ScottTeaMan

How’s the quality?….I’m still searching for Jenaer cups and smaller glass teapot. I think they made a 20 oz teapot.

ScottTeaMan

I hope the Finum teapot infuser is removable. I would like to brew some larger leaf teas & display teas without it.

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96

It is shaping up to be a pu-erh kind of a day for me so perhaps I’ll get around to trying most of the things in my Verdant shu sampler pack very soon!

I steeped about 1 tsp of this in 8 oz boiling water in a glass mug

When I smelled this steeping, my first thoughts were: bourbon and cherries! So naturally I was excited to try it… ;)

Upon taking a sip, the word out of my mouth is “wow!” This is a pu-erh? It does not taste like any I have had before. It is exceptionally smooth and clean. I am getting cherrywood mixed with honey with only the tiniest hint of earth. It is a beautiful dark amber color which is almost red. This reminds me a bit of some dark oolongs I have tried.

Later steepings are getting lighter and more sweet with a hint of caramel. It is delicious.

Another fantastic offering from Verdant… this is going on my shopping list now!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

After the ’98 weakened the other night I added this and it was a treat….

TeaBrat

I love it… :)

Charles Thomas Draper

I am drinking the Purple Pu’er I got from Butiki. I need to tweak it a bit. Still good. I followed her directions and tis a wee bit light for me tastes. Little brogue there….

TeaBrat

I am very curious about http://www.puerhshop.com/

ScottTeaMan

I’ve always wanted to try the Pu erh cakes, someday I will. This looks like a good place to do so. This one intrgues me. :

http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main_page=product_reviews_info&products_id=62&reviews_id=9&zenid=d9rbrtk3rdsc0m4kc01i317ra0

TeaBrat

I will go to a local tea shop and do some pu-erh tastings soon, better than picking random stuff from a website I think.

ScottTeaMan

Yeah, that’s just one advantage of living in SF! I’ll be looking for your reviews and comments.

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77
drank Cinnamon Cookie Puer by Lupicia
2343 tasting notes

wow- when you brew this up it smells exactly like a cinnamon cookie, I wonder how Lupicia does it…

This is kind of a pu-er for people who don’t really like pu-erhs since it is so heavily masked with other things. There is lots of sweet cinnamon here as well as some vanilla-y and coconut-y type notes. I love cinnamon so I enjoyed that aspect of it pretty well. Pu-erh was an interesting choice for the base of this tea – it does add a malty and earthy note here. This would be good with some biscotti to dunk in it. It is a tad bit too sweet for me, especially in the morning. I will need to try this as an after lunch or dessert tea instead.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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94
drank Mango Lassi by Butiki Teas
2343 tasting notes

Thanks to Butiki , this came as a free sample in my Butiki tea order…

Wow, I am impressed! This does not taste at all like rooibos, I can’t believe it’s not honeybush?? A very faint sweetness here with juicy mango -mango is one of my favorite fruits. I can perhaps taste a tiny bit of cardamom and calendula. A very yummy dessert tea! I put soymilk in mine and it totally hits the spot. Yeah, I would definitely buy this! Its super good!

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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

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