Aroma Tea Shop
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Recent Tasting Notes
I woke up a bit early this morning to attend an 8:30 barrel tasting with our winemaker. We tasted the 2012s.
After drinking wine first thing in the morning, I felt I needed a big pot of a lighter tea to rehydrate me. I chose this one. I was in a rush to get back to work, and I thought my electric kettle was nearly boiling, so I poured the water. My thermometer said the water was only 160 degrees. Oops!
It has been more than a year since I purchased this, so it’s not as fresh as it could be, but it’s still pretty good. The liquor is a bit brownish in color, which usually is a good indicator that I won’t like it. It does have a strong pea aroma, sort of like those big mushy English peas that I don’t like, but sweeter. I can also smell artichokes and nuts. All things considered, this wasn’t a bad pot of tea.
Can’t find a steeping time for this tea so I am just going with my “tea gut” and trying about 2 minutes. At 1 mins it was still a bit too watery tasting. 2 minutes seems to be about right. I was thinking of leaving it in till 3 minutes but didn’t want to end up with bitter tea.
This is quite a unique tea. The coconut flavoring is almost perfectly balanced with the Chinese green tea. It’s good but something is bothering me about the flavor. It’s good but at the same time there is some after flavor that I am finding odd. As I sit here thinking about it I’m pretty sure it’s just the coconut. Believe it or not coconuts can have slightly different flavor depending on when you eat them. This kinda reminds me of the young coconuts we have opened in Hawai’i. Which by the way makes me more impressed with this company. I always prefer real flavoring and real pieces of ingredients to artificial flavoring.
I especially like websites that describe their teas and my tasting is right in step. The flavor and aroma of honey cannot be missed along with the sweet malt tones and a special bourbon soupcon. As advertised absolutely no bitterness and a effortless smoothness from steep to steep.
I used a 4 oz teapot with 5 gm tea. Short steeps and it lasted forever. My brother-in-law is branching into teas so that he doesn’t have that overpowering caffeine buzz from coffee he takes in the afternoon and this tea will suit him just fine.
OK, so I did my Blissed OUT TGY Gongfu style in my new Yixing pot http://yunnansourcing.com/en/teapots/1016-hongmaziniclayqieduanyixingteapot250ml.html. Awesome duo, Rogers and Hammerstein, Torvill and Dean, Sherlock and Watson, well you get the picture. It was a moment, the sun was shining, a brisk fall breeze, and my cat was quiet! I had to use my broiler pan for the tray, but after I wrapped it in a tea towel all was cool. Heated the water in again, a new Hamilton Beach 1.7L kettle (Moriarty) to 190F. Used 6g to 250ml @ 30 sec 1ststp and the result were……..not as great as in my gaiwan. Then the next steeps were a little better. It did last forever though, 10 steeps and then a plunge after lunch in a porcelain teapot for the last brew. Need to take lessons I guess or figure out the right ratio. The tea was less fragrant but still had the great mouth feel and taste. Maybe my Yixing pot is too big or I needed more leaves, I don’t know. Seemed like they were trying to pop out of the top they expanded so much. Live and learn. ‘There is nothing like first-hand evidence.’
I thought it presumptuous of me to try this tea as my first oolong tasting since it is such a highly regarded tea. I have tried a few others but not having known what they were other than TGY. I knew instantly I liked TGY and that’s why I chose this one. I immensely respect the love for tea Haymen De Luz and his wife have and their generosity in bringing these teas to us from Aroma Tea Shop. Opened the bag to see beautiful rolled bright green leaves with the essence of clipped hedge, hay and a floral note. Used 130 ml gaiwan with glass bottled spring water for brewing. 1ststp was about how I remembered the other TGYs I’ve had. 2ndstp and forward the tea just blew my mind. HONEYSUCKLE in a tea cup, who knew. I am so angry that it took to me being 54 years old before I was given this pleasure. The scent of, as Hayden says, gardenias is spot on. I know this is early in my journey into quality teas but i feel a great affinity to this tea. Thank you again Aroma Tea.
Several cups later I still love this tea. I have about one serving left and it is the last (unflavored) green tea in my cupboard. I’ve been trying so hard to earn my next tea shopping spree by using up what I have. Now I feel like I still have a full cupboard but nothing good to drink (kind of like the clothing in my closet, lol).
I have many teas that are just so-so and I’ve decided that I’m a princess and deserve only the best (haha). So I won’t drink them. Then, my husband has managed to accumulate a fair number of teas that only he likes, but he rarely drinks tea over coffee, so they sit around taking up my cupboard space, making me feel like I have more than I do. I periodically ask if he still wants to keep one or more of them and he always replies in the affirmative.
Part of my reason for earning the ‘right’ to shop for tea is so that I can justify spending money that I don’t have. As long as there is a sizable number in my cupboard, i can’t do it! boooo.
This is the strangest looking tea. The leaves look like little pebbles. After steeping for 3 minutes, only a few of them opened up (I was wondering if that would even be possible :) ) Although most of the leaves remained in their pebbly shells, they produced a flavorful cup (it’s supposed to be good for 4+ infusions, so Im sure the leaves will all open eventually). The smell reminds me of these things that my mother used to buy long ago as a homeopathic remedy for ADHD (for my bro) and anxiety (for the rest of us). I don’t remember what they were called, but they were chewy algae things. I think they were also sold in other forms, but we got the chewy things.
I would hardly recognize this as an oolong if it didn’t say oolong on the package. It has a strong barley flavor, but not the same kind that I associate with many white teas. There is also a recognizable licorice aftertaste just as indicated in the description.
Over all its a good cup of tea, but probably no one I’d have everyday.
I received a generous sample of this tea in a swap and have since finished it off. With Steepster being so buggy recently, I took a short break from logging my teas. So, now that this tea is gone and the package has been thrown away, I can’t remember who sent it to me, but I think it was Meeka (sorry if I’m wrong!)
So, about the tea: I love it (obviously, as I finished the sample). I love a bold, roasted dark oolong, all charcoal-y with a hint of sweetness, yummy :p
I think I may have underleafed a bit here as I couldn’t really taste much of anything, unfortunately! I think it just tasted like a basic oxidized oolong, nothing special. I have a bunch left from Amy oh so will have to see if I can improve my brewing methods! Looks like last time I didn’t do so well either… whoops!
Apologies – I have a bit of a tea backlog to get through because not only was my internet down most of the evening yesterday, Steepster seemed to be down as well! It was driving me crazy. So I have like 8 tasting notes/additional infusion notes written down in a Word document to paste into here (probably a good plan anyways, but it irritated me not to be able to post thing as I was drinking them).
This one’s another sample thanks to Amy Oh! :D
My notes are scarce (I was talking with/listening to drunken roommates while drinking it), but I noted that it tasted sweet and woody-ish (a flavour I find common in late infusions of green oolongs, and earlier in oxidized oolongs). I am wondering if my infusion time/temp/amount of leaf were off though; since I couldn’t access brewing parameters, I just made them up myself, and although they’re typically ok for an oolong, I think a longer infusion would have been better, at the very least. So this one tasted alright, but definitely needs some tweaking (and I definitely have enough leaf left to do that, since Amy sent me a very generous amount!) I’ll withhold a rating until then.
Thanks again, Amy!
My sister and I went tea shopping in San Francisco. Our last stop was the Aroma tea shop. The other tea shops we stopped at in Chinatown had only a few flavored teas which was a bit of a let down, but then we stepped into Aroma which had a ton of flavored teas. I chose a coconut green tea and as the gal was weighing it out she offered us a tasting of another tea. She peeked into a few gaiwans she had on the counter with wet leaves in them, choose one and poured. I sipped and at first it seemed plain and run of the mill. Then on the back part of the sip, the magic happened! A wave of sweet licorice and herbs washed over my mouth getting more powerful on the aftertaste and lingered a while. I was a little floored! The gal said it didn’t have any sweetener, it was all the licorice root that added the sweetness. Then she told me it was $39/4oz! It is good for up to six steepings and our tasting was the fourth. I must have sat staring at the wall of tea for a minute or so holding onto the last shred of my willpower before I caved and bought two ounces. On the way back to my car, I could still taste that tea and wanted more.
At home I’m discovering that to get it as strong as it was made at the shop, I have to use more tea than I am accustomed to. The gal at the shop said to use a tablespoon worth! The smell of the tea also reminds me of a medicinal chinese shop and I have always been fascinated with those stores. It’s that mixture of dried ginseng, ginger, licorice root and a bunch of other herbs. This tea is so strange and I like it! I’ll have to play around with it some more to get it to taste like the sample.
Appearance: small, thin curled grey leaf
Aroma when Dry: sweet beans
After water is first poured: vegital, soupy, sweet
At end of first steep: vegital, soupy, sweet
At end of steep: hit of green
Preferred time of day: unsure, first tasting
At first?: sour vegtial, brothy, bitter tangy close
As it cools?: gets more vegital, sweet notes mingle with the sour tang
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)?
Lingers? Yes, sour vegetal notes across the palate
Appearance: Long flat leaf tea, shades of olive
Aroma when Dry: light grass, hints of cream
After water is first poured: creamy bean notes
At end of first steep: sweet lima bean
At end of steep: clear
Preferred time of day: any
At first?: bright, soupy vegital, bean and nut notes
As it cools?: notes linger longer, sweeten, get cloying, nut notes disappear
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, sticky sweet, slightly brothy
I made more of this to compare to the Subtle Roast Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong from Verdant Tea’s Reserve Club.
This tea is very sweet and easy to drink. It has a a much more subtle smokiness than the Verdant offering, and the leaves are smaller and more tightly rolled. I have to admit that I like this tea much better.
This tea is delicious. It is definitely less smokey than the one other lapsang souchong I’ve had. That other lapsang souchong (which was Harney & Sons) was very smokey and had a strong piney taste as well. I enjoyed that cup at the Indian Road Cafe in Inwood, NYC. Gosh, I miss home!
Anyway, I can’t wait to compare this one to the “subtle roast” zheng shan xiao zhong that came in the Verdant Tea January reserve club shipment. I think I may also dedicate one of my “too big” yixing teapots to this kind of tea, as it’s not very expensive and would be good for serving larger groups of people.