911 Tasting Notes

100

It’s shincha, baby! Woo! Guh. The smell kills me. So awesome. Faintly buttery, green, thick. It makes my mouth water. I’m seriously not one for much prep work with tea making because I’m lazy. But I will preheat a pot for sencha. Because sencha in a preheated pot? Smells deliciously awesome.

Last year this tea was a kind of sensitive to temp so I’m using the thermometer, not just the Zojirushi display. I really need a yuzamashi but lacking one, I’m using my tea cup. Water temp at 172° and into my pot it goes. Started the pour at about 35 seconds because this pot has a 10 second-ish pour. The aroma mirrors that of the leaves in the pot but milder. Not a super strong smell, but very nice.

Oh, the taste makes my tongue dance! It has a very fresh and clean taste for a deep steamed sencha. Almost citrusy. Grassy. Faintly buttery feeling, a faint hint of nutty (I read someone that mentioned sunflower seeds and can totally see that, which surprised me.) Just a faint hint of dryness left on my tongue after each swallow but that astringency just makes it seem fresher, no hint of bitterness. This strikes me as a very ‘typical’ sencha as far as taste profile goes but it’s not ordinary. It’s more regular sencha, amped up into, dare I say it? Perfection.

Ah, there is sencha in my pantry once again and I’m so pleased. Especially since this is such a tasty one!

Second Steep: 175°, instant pour. Much cloudier brew this time. Delightful fresh and citrusy, gently sweet. It’s a little bit more astringent than the first brew but I’m pretty sensitive to astringency and am still finding at a very pleasant level. So tasty.
3.6g/6oz

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Stephanie

Sounds delicious!!

Auggy

It really is – it’s sort of the quintessential ‘typical’ sencha flavor profile so I think any sencha fan would love this one. I want more! Right now! Hehe!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

79
drank Blood Orange Pu-erh by Samovar
911 tasting notes

Yesterday, I came to the realization that pu-erh and I will never be more than passing acquaintances. There is just something about the strong earthy, hay-like sweetness that comes across as cloying to me. But the citrus in this along with the gingery tingle (one that reminds me of my super-yummy Midel Ginger Snap cookies) gives fantastic balance to that super-sweet pu-erh-ness. The sweetness is there but it is lurking in the smell and under the ginger citrus. In fact, that now-subdued sweetness reinforces the ginger snap feeling. The aftertaste – sweet with a strong ginger tingle and a certain freshness – is the same aftertaste I get from my gingersnaps.

So yeah, this might smell a bit like citrus-scented dirt when brewing (though it smells like delicious citrus-peel citrus when dry) and that just isn’t the most appetizing thing, but this is gingersnap cookie tea for me. So I like it.

PS – I used my entire sample (which was around 5g) in my 10oz cup, so I did go a little heavy on the leaf. Dunno what exact difference that might make but I’d be all for repeating the heavy leafness in the future to make sure I get ginger snap tea.

ETA: The second steep is mostly ginger and pu-erh which is a little disappointing. I miss my clean, fresh ginger snaps.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78

It smells like caramelized vanilla and something heavy and almost coffee-like. The taste is unexpected – not sweet and soft like a typical vanilla but more… masculine, for want of a better word. Earthy? I can totally see Cocoa Puffs flavor they mention in the tasting notes, particularly in the aftertaste. I don’t get graham crackers so much as that undernote of whatever cracker-like thing Cocoa Puffs are made of. It has a hint of pu-erh sweetness to it but the vanilla tempers it, keeps it from being too strong. It is much heavier and bolder than I originally expected and I like it though the thickness of the flavor makes one cup plenty.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Lori

Very intriguing tea and one of my favorites…

Auggy

It is quite interesting. I think this one suffered a little bit because I inadvertently ended up having a lot of heavy teas yesterday and by the time I hit this one I was needing something a little lighter/cleaner and even though this isn’t sugary sweet, it struck me as fairly rich.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

63
drank Royal Palace Pu-erh by Samovar
911 tasting notes

I think this is a good tea – smooth, sweet, mellow – but I just can’t get behind it. That pu-erh sweetness just doesn’t sit well with me. I’ve tried to develop a taste for it, but it’s just not working. So yeah, I’ve dropped the score a lot but I’m judging on how repeatable I find it and I just don’t think any pu-erh will rank highly when I judge them that way.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75
drank Keemun by Teas Etc
911 tasting notes

This is a fairly mild Keemun. It struck me as having a lot of Yunnan characteristics – very earthy with an almost figgy sweetness. The Keemun aspect came in towards the end of the sip when there was a touch of smoke-ish acridity followed by a smooth smoky/roasty note. Certainly not a bad tea but a little mild for me. Perhaps this one would be a good introduction to someone unfamiliar with Keemuns and just wants to test the waters.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
911 tasting notes

I did a shorter brew time on my last bit of this tea to see how it goes. I think I prefer it this way – the flavors are the same but the overall taste and feel is much smoother. Tastes very cocoa-y but with almost a faint hint of smoke. S’nice.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Lori

Well Auggy, I love, love this tea…..

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

79
drank Tiramisu by Cuida Te
911 tasting notes

This smells kind of like coffee at a hotel that’s been sitting on the burner at the breakfast buffet since 6am… and it’s almost noon. So yeah, a strong coffee smell. But there’s also a wee bit of chocolate and a fair amount of woody rooibos that is balancing on that icky sour edge.

The flavor is very similar to tiramisu without the creamy and cake taste – so basically it is very coffee-like. It’s strong and bold and surprising but kinda nifty. The one concern is the post-swallow aftertaste that seems very woody (though thankfully not sour), but that decreases as continuous sipping causes the coffee and cocoa tastes to build. So good.

It’s not the best rooibos I’ve ever had but it’s pretty good. The flavoring covers up the rooibos well (versus working with it) so I find it very drinkable. Not sure if I’ll crave it but this one can go into the lineup when I need something decaf.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec
Meghann M

I wonder if adding milk would bring out the creamy cake taste of the tiramisu? Do you drink your tea with milk? I can’t remember.

Auggy

I do for my morning teas usually so totally not against the addition of milk. Though I’ve never added milk in a rooibos. Think it would work well?

gmathis

I tried milk with rooibos lemon meringue and it blended in quite nicely.

Auggy

Interesting! I’ll have to give it a try. I guess I just associate rooibos with sour wood so often that I don’t think that would match with milk. But I could see this one working. Thanks to both of you for the suggestion!

wombatgirl

I added milk to the carrot cake rooibos (and a little sugar) and it made it taste more like the cake itself

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100
drank Hawaii-Grown Black by Samovar
911 tasting notes

My little sample of this tea is gone and I’m sad. But at least I’ve ordered more! The flavor is so surprising coming from a black tea. Okay, coming from any tea because the only other tea I’ve tasted that is similar is Samovar’s Royal Garland. This is caramelized fruits and dark flowers. I gave the husband a few sips and he mentioned wanting a full cup so he could really figure out the flavors. Too bad – there is no more! A few minutes later he came in and asked if I had sweetened the tea because the aftertaste in his mouth tasted like raw sugar. Nope, that’d be the tea. So yummy.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

73
drank Caramelized Pear by Art of Tea
911 tasting notes

I’m bumping the rating of this one up a bit because apparently I find this decently tasty when made in a big ole cup. Very pear-ish in a canned-but-not-as-sweet way. I only get hints of caramel but it adds a different sweetness to it that is nice. I get a bit of the sweetness from the rooibos but none of the wood. It doesn’t hold a candle to last night’s Coconut Custard from Teas Etc but, in the big cup, I’m finding it very drinkable.
4.7g/12oz

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Kristin

I’m glad to hear that it’s not as good as the coconut custard. Maybe that will keep me from buying it. This has been on my shopping list for a long time because it has such high ratings.

Auggy

I am a much bigger fan of coconut flavoring in general compared to pear so that might make a difference. Maybe if you were a big pear fan you’d like this tons? Not that I am encouraging you in buying more tea or anything… Though Jade Teapot carries this one so you could always request a free sample of it from them. (http://www.jadeteapot.com/shop/pages.php?pageid=8)

Kristin

Do you think the Jade Teapot one is the same? I tried that one and found it to be meh.

Auggy

Yes, it is. They source their teas from Art of Tea. (I think they posted that in the discussion board somewhere.)

Kristin

Oh. ok. Cool. The pic looks different from the JT actual tea (if I remember correctly). Does your Art of Tea version actually look like that pic?

Auggy

Sorta? There were some fruit pieces in it but not near as many as the AoT pic makes it look. And they were rooibos coated (like the lump in the back of the JT pic) so it just looked like rooibos with chunks until it had steeped. I’d vote for the AoT pic being the artistic, attractive glamor shot of the tea and JT pic being the causal, informal snapshot. Hehe.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94
drank Bohea by Teas Etc
911 tasting notes

It’s a smoky tea – yay! I’ve become so addicted to smoky teas so of course I wanted to try the “original Lapsong tea.” The smell is a little sweeter than my normal lapsang but it’s still pretty smoky. The taste is milder though. It reminds me of Andrews & Dunham’s Caravan – smooth and silky and rich and heavy and smoky (but not too smoky). There’s a dark, rich, almost cocoa-like feeling to it that makes it feel decadent. Not quite a taste, but a feel. (Can a smoky tea be a dessert tea? Probably not but this one give it a good try with the richness.) It is decently mellow as far as smokiness – the smoke is there but it blends so well that it’s not like inhaling a campfire with each sip of tea. It’s heavy and rich (and silky – did I say that already?) without being overpowering or tarry. There’s a very sweet little upswing at the end – maybe sugar or honey or something floral or fruity. I don’t know and honestly, I’m not trying too hard to figure it out because I’m just so busy enjoying it. This is seriously tasty stuff and I think it needs to have a home in my pantry.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec
Kristin

I like the name of it.

__Morgana__

We learn the origin of this name in the book club book. :-)

Auggy

What’s the book club book?

__Morgana__

For All the Tea in China, by Sarah Rose.

Auggy

Nifty – thanks! I’m off to go look that up!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I’m trying to be a better tea logger and actually post semi-regularly again! I’ve let my tea tasting senses become too complacent – it’s time for some focused and attentive tea drinking!

Sometimes my notices for PMs and such have been questionable. Email me at your own risk at aug3zimm at gmail dot com.


1 – 10 – Bleck. Didn’t finish the cup.
11 – 25 – Drinkable. But don’t punish me by making me have it again.
26 – 40 – Meh. Most likely will see if the husband likes it iced.
41 – 60 – Okayish. Maybe one day I’ll kill off what I have in my pantry.
61 – 75 – Decent. I might pick some up if I needed tea.
76 – 85 – Nice. I’d probably buy but wouldn’t hunt it down.
86 – 100 – Yum! I will hunt down the vendor to get this tea!

Not that anyone but me particularly cares, but there it is.

Location

Texas

Website

http://pinkness.danzimmermann...

Following These People