2809 Tasting Notes
I really just got these for everyday drinking at the office and whatnot. These are small raw green (sheng) touochas. I did a quick rinse and did my first steep at 60 seconds and the second at 2 minutes, both with around 180 F water.
These are nice and inexpensive – I got a whole bag for $6.50 which has 20 or so pieces in it (I did not count). The flavor is mellow, earthy and malty. With the shorter steep I was picking up some apple flavors but with the longer steep I got some slightly bitter flavors. They claim these are aged but I don’t know for how long, they still seem kinda young. They are of good quality as you can see the long leaves unfurl with only a bit of broken leaves. Amazing how they were able to compress all that in a little cake.
I liked this, good for every day, not as astringent and sour as some sheng tou chas I’ve had but certainly nothing as complex as their loose leaf sheng pu-erhs.
Thanks so much to Jillian for this one who answered my swap request for some more green darjeelings to try! I’m sorry abut the now defunct Simple Leaf because I never got to order anything from them but at least I get to try this one.
This reminds me a lot of a Chinese green tea and I don’t think there’s terribly much about it which would cause me to suspect it’s from darjeeling. It is nutty and slightly vegetal, very mild in flavor with some astringency in the finish. I think I am picking up a few delicate spicy notes – or is that just wishful thinking? In any case I was just sitting here reading JacquelineM ‘s note thinking I might try cold brewing some of this as well. I generally prefer my green teas to be slightly more flavorful but this wasn’t bad at all.
This was a recent purchase for me at Red Blossom, it almost felt like they were trying to talk me out of purchasing this one, after reading the description I am a little scared… lol. Regardless the only other gunpowder I’ve had was Numi’s and I liked that version.
I steeped this gong fu style for only about 30 seconds, I think that was probably enough for me, I’m not sure it would need to be much stronger. The smell is smoky and very nutty and the flavor is definitely assertive, must be the strongest bodied green tea I now currently own. I’m not normally a huge fan of smoky teas (or of pungent ones)! I am getting walnuts, smoke and some hearty green vegetal notes, roasted artichoke or even brussels sprouts. It also has a nice richness which I can only liken to olive oil. If green teas were like musical instruments this might be the tuba… lol. I think without the slightly sweet richness playing a part this would almost be unbearable but it works.
I did get a second steep put of this and I’d imagine I could even one more perhaps.
Anyway since I’ve been drinking so much sheng lately I’ve gotten used to some of these flavors. The BF who normally doesn’t have much of a reaction to green teas thought this one was good. I cannot see drinking this first thing in the morning or with a stomach ache, but it would be good in the afternoon, or perhaps with a meal. Definitely recommended for adventurous types & is much stronger than the Numi teabags. :)
Here’s yet another sample from my Le Palais de Thes gift set.
I decided to try this with my boyfriend this morning since he likes Earl Grey much more than I do. I think we both agree that this doesn’t smell and taste very bergamot-y so I actually liked it for this reason. It’s fairly subtle and allows the flavor of the yunnan black to come through. This is one smooth and delicious tea that I can just sit and drink plain which is unusual for me and a black tea. Pretty good, but I think I would just skip the bergamot altogether and go for the grand yunnan. :)
I think if you were expecting something like a typical strong Earl Grey you’d be a bit disappointed in this one. If you like lighter bergamot type teas (like Paris from Harney and Sons) you might enjoy it.
I think this came as a bonus in my swap with TheDJBooth, so thank you for letting me try it!
I’ve read that rooibos is good for coughs and chest troubles so I was curious to try this one, given the way I’m feeling tonight and I’m low on other rooibos blends besides. I steeped this for 5 minutes at 212F. When I first smelled the leaf steeping it was like cough syrup for sure. But then after I let it sit for a while and cool off, it isn’t too bad. I usually add soymilk to my rooibos blends which helps me like them a bit more. I really don’t think this tastes anything like cabernet, it has the familiar smell of wet socks or something but the flavor isn’t terrible. Mildly grape with flowers. Sorry I’m kinda picky about my rooibos blends but I always appreciate a free gift. :)
I really enjoyed this one, sometimes flavored green teas can be iffy because the flavoring has a tendency to overpower the tea. I’m pretty sure this is a Chinese green tea of some type, lovely sweet flowery aroma. The flavor is very delicate and reminds me a little bit of pears and honeydew melon, although the description on the website says watermelon, kiwi and peach. A bit of sweetness in the finish but not nauseatingly so. Uplifting in a gentle sort of way. I don’t tend to keep a lot of flavored green teas around and I would certainly consider this one, but it would take me forever to go through a 100g bag of this.
Now that I’m feeling a bit energized I need to get of the house for a while before I go stir crazy!
A sample I purchased, I love the aroma of the wet leaves after brewing – wood smoke and lemon. Very nice!
Overall, I think PuerhShop has done a good job of describing this one. It does seem to be aging nicely and shedding off bitterness. It does have a bit of smoke present in the flavor. I am finding it slightly tart, a bit of apple cider notes. Some definite astringency is hitting me on the back end. I might have to spend some more time with this one but for me, personally I’m not sure it’s a keeper. Would I buy a whole cake? No. It’s 8 years old now and I’d say it still has a way to go and I’m not one of those people that collects pu-erhs for the purpose of aging them. I prefer some of their milder shengs I’ve sampled recently but I suppose it depends on what you are looking for.
3rd and 4th infusions are starting to mellow out a bit and are getting sweeter and fruitier, but I am still on the fence a bit about this tea.
Prepared gong fu style
Thanks to ScottTeaMan for sending me a generous sample of this (the 2010 version)
So my cold has now moved into a chest cold (ugh), I think my taste buds are back but I may come back and revisit this one soon when I am a bit healthier. I steeped it at around 190 F for 3 minutes, I am guessing. I’m getting some light spicy notes in addition to very fruity ones. I am getting sweet grape, for sure, not muscatel per se but perhaps some white grape. I know this is supposed to be a green tea but it the color, when brewed, really just reminds me of a first flush darjeeling, it’s a light amber.
I always worry about excessive astringency with the darjeeling region teas but this one seems more on the mellow side which I am enjoying this morning. I think I would also like to try cold brewing this to see what happens. Thanks again for the great sample Scott…