Min River TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Yesterday when I was perusing the £1 shop I found a diamond, faceted glass (like mason jar size) with a groovy patterned lid and straw. It screamed ‘Ice Tea’ to me and I had to get one then and there. Several hours later I remembered my purchase and I really wanted to use it but had no ice tea prepared, on top of that the sticker on the bottom of the cup said it is not suitable for hot liquid. I came up with a solution, half cold water and half 70c water. Last night this was tested with another tea and it worked very well, so much so that I cold steeped a strong concentrate of it overnight (roughly 1/4 of the mug full) and left it in the fridge. This morning I was able to add 70C water to it without additional cold and it filled up again with flavour to create another good steep. Plus it must be said that the straw also keeps most of the leaf parts out of my mouth, something I sometimes have issue with when doing the traditional method of high tumbler.
So with that introduction you have some understanding of how I have steeped this tea today. Different from my usual methods but sometimes the ease of making tea beats the ceremony of it (not always but sometimes). For right now it’s the perfect method to use whilst I finish cross stitching a Christmas card for family this year. As such a simple method there are simple tasting notes. While I have had this tea several times before I can happily say it tastes similar to a gongfu or gaiwan steep. Primarily this tea is very subtle in strength but does have some dryness in the after taste, not to mention a mild sweet, grassy tone that is rather refreshing. Also just a touch of astringency and sweet pea notes. It’s a nice Mao Feng but would not say this was particularly special or memorable. Still I can’t complain, it’s nice enough and I’m thankful to be able to steep it easily now.
Plus in my cup the leaves float, which I was really not expecting.
And a picture of my cup.
Additional notes: I had to try the remainder of my sample again, since Nicole is such a fan (and she is the one who sent it over – I don’t like steeping teas less than perfectly if someone who sent them is such a fan!) I only went with one teaspoon last time and I definitely thought it was too light. This time I had a teaspoon and a half left… it really should have been two! It is much better this time. Last time it somehow reminded me of a Darjeeling. Now at the top of the medium amber cup, there is an interesting tanginess I don’t usually find in black teas except maybe the ancient/wild leaf. Then hints of chocolate, baked bread and sweet potato maybe a little smokiness and wine but while maintaining a malty sweetness. Everything I love to find in a great black tea. I can only imagine how lovely it would be with two teaspoons! Well, now I don’t have to feel guilty that one of Nicole’s beloved teas remains in the cupboard. Thanks again, Nicole! Raising the rating from a 75.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 8 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep
Another one to thank Nicole for! There will be many more to write tasting notes for. That tea package was amazing. I’ve also been drinking a ton of teas that are on the next-to-be-sipdowns list and a few were also sipdowned in the last few days. I have so many small samples of tea, but I like the variety, and just as long as they are stored well and I remember where they are, it’s under control. This one could almost appear to be a Golden Monkey, if there was slightly more gold to the leaves. Otherwise they are black, thin, twisty with hints of gold. I only went with a teaspoon this time since Nicole’s note says this one gets tough. It turned out light enough for me. The flavor is interesting. I haven’t tried enough Jin Jun Mei yet to know where this one stands. But the flavor is tangy and fruity… it actually reminds me of my favorite flavor profile for Darjeeling. I feel like I haven’t been able to pick apart flavors enough lately. The color of the cup isn’t very dark. I think I should have went two teaspoons for this one.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 9 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // Just boiled // 3 min
Finally sipping down this sample from TheLastDodo (116)!
I didn’t have a ton of leaf left, but I wanted to cold brew this anyway so I just gave it a super extended steep time – nearly two days! But even still, I couldn’t coax out near enough flavour to interest or satisfy myself today. Instead it was just like drinking the clearest, more refreshing and pure filtered water.
It disappoints me I had a hard time making this blend work for me; it’s so different that I wanted it to be one of the few green teas that I seem to really enjoy…
Cold brew, but this time with double the leaf because I thought that the last one tasted rather weak.
This is probably the dumbest thing to complain about, but I almost felt like this tea had too clean of a taste; it was so fresh, and had very strong, sharp chlorophyll and to a just slightly lesser extent chlorine notes. On one hand it made me think of swimming at the overly chlorinated pool by my grandma’s house in the summer, with the groundskeeper always trimming the pool’s lawn RIGHT in the middle of swimming lessons. It’s nostalgic but also brings up feelings of annoyance; we always hated that the groundskeeper just had to mow the lawn then – it was super loud.
And, somehow, this is still kind of weak ’cause if I even just slightly get the flavor of something else in my mouth, like lunch of work for example, than it gets really drowned out and just tastes like really, really clean water.
Thank you TheLastDodo!
Personally; I’m way out of my comfort zone here. Not only am I not really big green tea person in general (though that is slowly changing) apart from roaster greens and matcha, but I’ve never had a Tai Ping Houkui before – though the concept has interested me for a long time. Personally, I think the dry tea leaves are one of the most visually interesting and stunning of ANY tea type.
For my first tasting of this I went with a cold brew, purely because my mason jar I use was the only brewing vessel I could think of that was actually deep enough for the very long leaves – each one is nearly an inch longer than my finger, though I do have tiny baby hands so maybe that’s not saying much. I didn’t really know how much leaf I should be using for a cold brew; in the end I wound up using six or seven of the long, steamed leaves.
I’m thinking that was pretty too lightly leafed; the taste was subtle and watery. Although, there were some differences though! The liquor was a very pretty, pale green and the taste was clean and grassy with some light seaweed seaweed notes and some sharpness. There was also a touch of sweetness that reminded me of honey. Honey and green tea is a great pairing; so it definitely worked.
I can’t say that I necessarily loved it, but I also didn’t hate it and to be perfectly fair I was also a little bit strained tasting it too. I definitely plan to repeat this cold brewing process again with more leaf to see how that changes the flavour and my impression.
I’ve also heard about the tea leaves ‘dancing’ when brewed hot so that’s something I’m eager to try as well! For now, I probably wont seek out this tea type but should it happen to find its way to me through a swap or something like that I’m definitely going to be very receptive to the chance to try different company’s take on this one.
As someone who’s done so little exploration into the world of green tea there’s always something really fascinating to learn and taste! I hope to grow to love the taste of this tea type enough to want to put more effort into tapping into that pool of knowledge.
I split this one with Nicole during Min River’s closing sale. Which is too bad too, because this is one of the better Jin Jun Mei’s I have tried. And that is saying something. I have had a great deal of this type of tea, and it is still my favorite Chinese black. Nothing can beat it’s teeny curly leaves. The golden fuzzies and the deep chocolately brown dry leaf gives me a hint to what is is store for me: I am smelling sweet potato fries and lightly toasted multigrain bread.
The subsequent steepings are so nice and silky. The thick soup is a glowing golden brown. There are a lot of floating fuzzies chillen in my cha hai. I kinda like that. It appeases my hangover quite nicely. I used a strainer on top and had a nice glob of them clinging to the bottom.
As to the taste, well, you know how it goes. Malty and rich with bread crusts and milk chocolate richness and crunchy shoestring sweet potatoes. Typical of this type of tea and atypically delicious.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Malt, Sweet Potatoes
Got a sample of this in Nicole’s Christmas card!
Personally, this is wayyy too strong for me. Steeped it for a little less than what it says to steep on Here.
But yeah, it’s still way too strong. XD I can’t even pick out any flavors, it’s just really strong. Did not expect that. xD So yeah, not a fan.
But thanks for letting me try, Nicole! :D
Yum! Chocolate with a banana aftertaste but in a very subtle and not chemically induced way. It is a very nice tea and taste good for several steeps. It was an unexpected surprise sample from Min River Tea’s (Thank you!). As soon as it is back in stock I will be ordering more.
Flavors: banana, Chocolate
I’m continuing on with my Long Jing theme for this afternoon. I was grateful to have these samples sent to me by Min River, because I don’t have a lot of Chinese green teas in my stash currently, mostly just Japanese ones.
This is a lovely dragonwell. The tea liquor brews up to be very light and it’s quite aromatic. I get a lot of nutty flavor from this, as well as some sweetness… but also salty in the finish. It reminds me a bit of green beans with salt. I wish I had some more but alas… this was the last of the 2 sample packs I got.
Oh, my precious. I’m so sorry. Gong fu is not for me with you. This got way too harsh, way too fast doing it gong fu. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention or maybe I overleafed. I was watching John Wick again while doing it and I seriously love that movie. :)
First steep was fine. Second was pretty harsh and exceedingly mineral. I lumme some mineral taste but not this. So I put some extra water in the cha hai and am finishing it that way. Sad panda because I do have a limited supply of this and I don’t want to do bad steepings of it. But, the extra water makes it okay. Not awesome, mind you, but above average. So, note to self: if you take the time to read over your notes before you make this again, do it Western. :)
I fished in and got one of the tea shakers (supposedly for my mom but I can’t get it to work very well yet) and while I was at it, I picked up some of this. This is super good. Full bodied, malty and dark with no discernible smoke. I can’t say that I’ll order again without a sale but if a sale were to come around… The sales experience was super, though. Chris was very responsive and exceedingly fast with his emails.
Finishing off the last of this sample from Min River Tea. BTW, am I the only one who feels guilty if I get free samples from a vendor and then don’t end up buying anything? I should get over it.
I don’t have a lot of Chinese green teas in my collection, most of my straight/flavored green teas are Japanese. I’m not sure why this is the case as I do enjoy them. At any rate, Min River has some delicious Chinese green teas, some of the best I have had to date. I think I will go in for a 2nd steep of this one, perhaps it will mollify my immune system. See previous review for a better tasting note :)
Thanks again to Min River for these green tea samples!
This is a beautiful looking leaf, it’s very long, slender and needle like. I decided I was going to steep this for two minutes and after pulling the wet leaf out, it definitely smells of sweet cooked peas. The flavor was kind of light after two minutes, so I decided to steep it for an additional 60 seconds.
The tea liquor here is a very light yellow, like the color of cornsilk. There is a slightly sweet vegetal flavor here that reminds me a bit of corn and peas. With Chinese green teas, I definitely prefer the more robust varieties and this is extremely light. I think it would be good for a warm summer day (perhaps even cold brewed) but it’s a bit light for my particular tastes or I probably would have rated it higher. If you like very delicate teas this may be your cuppa…
Flavors: Corn Husk, Peas
Here’s another green tea from my Min River sampler pack. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Jade Eyebrow tea before. The leaves of this tea are fairly small and curly. After taking a whiff of the steeped leaves, my immediate associations are that of green beans.
The tea liquor brews up to be a vivid greenish-yellow. The flavor of this tea is very bold and vivid. I’ve been sipping on it a bit and get vegetal tones, brothiness and some citrus flavors in the finish. Something about this seems very nourishing, almost like soup.
When it comes to Chinese green teas, I tend to like the bolder ones and this would definitely qualify. So far I have been very impressed with all of my Min River samples and I would definitely consider buying a full size of this someday. Their teas seem very clean and pure.
Flavors: Green Beans
Good afternoon Steepster!
I am way behind on trying all the tea samples I got from swaps and elsewhere and I got some free samples today from Min River Tea that are green and yellow teas. Thanks to Min River for their generosity :)
This is the first tea I wanted to try. I haven’t had too many yellow teas in my lifetime but the ones I’ve had were very enjoyable. I steeped this one for two minutes in a regular teacup and it’s very tasty. I would definitely agree with the company’s description of:
“It’s rich, thick and vegetal tastes have a surprisingly long-lasting mouth-feel”.
It has a very light yellow, almost brothy appearance and is very refreshing in the mouth. Something about it reminds me slightly of artichoke. There’s a slight palate cleansing bitterness in the finish but nothing offensive in any way. This is a very tasty yellow tea and I’m glad I have more in my sample. I think I’ll go in for a second steep now…
p.s. second steep was yummy!
I work very hard, probably the hardest of anyone I know, too hard if you ask me. I feel like sitting and sampling teas in chinese fashion at a tea shop in china town is well deserved. So I go to the ‘International district’ in Seattle with my old friend and ask for the gongfu cha? The tea proprietor say in chinese ’ what you want to drink’ now I am no stranger to mandarin but I could not understand her to save my life so we just started speaking in good ol english.
To my surprise she actually had two teas she was sampling, one a aged loose leaf shu puer, and the other dragonwell green. Long story short, the tea was delicious and I had to buy zhen zhu jasmine pearl tea.
I have been exclusive to loose leaf tea for ten years, and yet the sound of the pearls dropping into the pot makes me happy.
It’s fine when you’ve steeped it long enough, I probably drank the rinse with this one because I assumed the leaves would react with the hot water faster than they did. I personally don’t mind drinking this closer to room temp. The smell of jasmine flower and the mellow tea makes for a sweet cup, simple and lovely.
I dedicated the last of the bag to a time when I really need a grade A tea so while I drank it all pretty quick there’s still a 10grams left.
I keep thinking I’ll go back to Seattle for a refill but it’s just too hard to find a place to stay, even though my friend lives there and I crashed with her once. She of course had tea with me out of curiosity rather than obsession, so I might have to find a tea place closer to SPokane. I still have to thank New Century Tea Gallery for the aposite service to me and my friend at our one on one high school reunion.