45 Tasting Notes

The Summer Arakai black tea is fantastic. It’s like a mildly malty Taiwanese black tea. It has the sweet, fruity, and slightly acidic character of a Taiwanese black tea with a slightly more robust, smooth, malty edge. Very enjoyable.

Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Malt, Sweet

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This is for the 2016 spring version of this tea.

This is a pretty straight-forward but very satisfying black tea. It reminds me of old arbor black tea from yunnan that is leaning just a bit into the Indian Assam territory. The brew is super smooth and dark, clearly a fully oxidized black. The aroma and flavor are mostly malt but with some fruity sweetness and a tiny carob note.

Edit: After spending a bit more time with this tea, I’m getting a fair bit more fruit and honey than I originally was noticing. Perhaps this is due to having recently been drinking more Assam black tea than fruitier/sweeter blacks, thus the non-malt notes are popping out at me a bit more obviously. This seems to fit nicely between the maltier and fruitier/sweeter side of black teas.

Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Malt

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This is certainly the highest quality Indian Assam I’ve tried, though most of my Indian Assam consumption was through bulk bins at health food stores. That’s not to say this is only good by comparison. This is clearly quality tea, though it is fairly straight forward. Malty assamica notes are clear and present, but a muscatel character reveals itself along with notes of minty herbs, as well as fruity tones I normally associate with Taiwan-style black tea. The leaves are not whole, but that doesn’t affect my enjoyment, even in a gaiwan. Nice for a slightly more refined Assam experience.

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Great fresh black tea from Nepal, purchased through What-Cha. The tea itself is quite similar in aroma to a fresh first flush Darjeeling black tea. The leaves, however, are whole and thus are a bit more sturdy than a CTC Darjeeling. The flavor is smooth with a bit of crisp astringency, and the aroma intense and satisfying.

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I purchased this tea for use in masala chai off of the recommendation of Alistair of What-Cha. It has been great for that. This morning, rather than my typical Yunnan black, I had a hankering for a malty, deep black tea. I remembered I had this on my shelf and tossed a big pinch into my gaiwan. Hitting the leaves with hot water released a plume of malty sweetness. The brew is a deep golden red color that is smooth with deep malty flavor, some sweetness, and almost no astrigency or bitterness. For me, this morning, this tea is hitting the spot.

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Now this is one WEIRD tea.

First off, this is a wild purple tea, so I know to expect weird things. Second, its a Yue Guang Bai, so I know that this is a tea that matures over even short amounts of time (months). So this review is purely for this tea, as it stands, in late April 2016, about a month after this tea was harvested.

First off, the smell off the dry leaves is COMPLETELY unexpected: beef broth, seasoned prime rib, perhaps some Mediterranean herbs. Fucking weird! Not exactly a turn on, but no way am I turning back. This is at the very least intriguing! The leaves themselves are light, crispy, and range in color from light brown, green, to purple. They are sprawling, spindly leaves dangling off of stems, some 4-leaf and a bud combo, but definitely a big mix. Low density mixture overall.

Due to the low density nature of this tea, I crammed an overflowing amount of the spindly leaves into my gaiwan. A quick rinse with 90*C water converted the meaty aromas into straight up sauteed spinach. Again a big WTF! Where’s the white tea aromas? So far this tea smells like a nice dinner, not really a white tea.

OK, so what about the brew itself? Straight up yue guang bai white tea goodness. Seriously WTF!? All of that fragrance from the leaves and not a bit of it, except for a very faint allusion, ends up in the cup itself. I’m perplexed.

Anyway, this will be a very interesting to watch as it matures over the next months+

Flavors: Floral, Herbs, Meat, Spinach


mine has just arrived, opened it and I smell sweaty socks. Wheres that emote with the guys brains melting


LOL I think it is safe to say that this tea is pretty unique.

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I’ll start off by saying that this is a wonderful tea. I’ve loved the Spring 2015, so this review is mostly to contrast against the fresh Spring 2016 batch of this tea.

Sniffing the Spring 2015 side by side with this fresh Spring 2016, there is a thick layer of ripe fruit/sweet tomato fragrance on the fresh 2016 batch, while the 2015 has more of a sharp malt aroma. These differences carry over to the brew, where the 2016 is frutier while the 2015 is maltier. The word that keeps coming to my mind with the 2016 is that is seems “ripe” (though not in the sense of ripe puer). It just seems like it is in its prime right now fresh, despite my expectation that it might need time to rest before drinking.

If you have liked this tea in the past, I can’t imagine this spring 2016 would disappoint anyone.

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Opening the bag, the scent took me by surprise. I couldn’t place the recognizable fragrance at first, but then it hit me… extra virgin olive oil. Might sound weird but its very inviting. Hitting the leaves with 90C water released a huge bloom of floral honey fragrance mixed with ripe fruit and hints of malt… really incredible. The flavor of the tea is delicate, sweet, fruity and smooth. Really enjoying this fresh.

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Initial nose off the hot wet leaves is burly, with aromatic wood and a more subtle smoked character that fades directly into a very subtle and not-ouf-of-place cologne-like perfume. As the leaves cool, this settles into a musky sweetness with hints of the initial aroma. There aren’t any sour notes to this tea, which I often find and dislike in a lot of early-middle-aged teas around 2009/2010. I also feel like the way this tea is going to age is apparent, as if its on the cusp of going somewhere really nice. The current enjoyability of this tea, and the pleasantness of the early aged character made me excited enough to purchase a cake of this for some aging. Should be a nice show over the next few years.

PS Thanks to mrmopar for this sample. Learned a lot through a trade we made.

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drank 2015 Smooch by white2tea
45 tasting notes

This is a great little tea sphere. Maybe a bit big for a single session (for me personally, in a 100mL gaiwan), but a went for it anyway. The fragrance is light, fresh, and pleasant. It’s a bit toned down, implying maybe a little bit of aging (I think this is 2012 material, right?). The tea itself is buttery, thick, and flavorful, with no bitterness on the first steep, and just a bit of drying thereafter. This reminds me a lot of the White2Tea Pin cake, which I also enjoy.

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