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Recent Tasting Notes
This is an absolutely wonderful tea. It has a strong floral aroma and flavor which lasts for several 2 minute brews. There is no grassy or bitter taste at all and the virtual absence of caffeine makes it a great evening drink which will not disturb your sleep. It is also a high grade tea at a good price.
Flavors: Creamy, Green Apple, Sweet, warm grass
I wanted to do some black tea sampling and ordered several samples from Narien Teas. They arrived this morning, and I was surprised at the generous sample portions. I even weighed it, and I got about 27 g of this for $2. Awesome.
This is a nice, solid Assam. Bold and rich and malty, quite peppery/spicy but also a little bit sweet.
This was actually better than expected. To be fair, I’m not a fan of nutty or grassy teas and I did steep this a little bit too long, but I will definitely give credit where credit is due. Although slightly bitter, it is very forgiving and clean despite the error. I don’t really get the hint of pine or sandalwood though. Overall, it’s not bad.
I’m highly disappointed with this tea. I’ve steeped this as many ways as I could think of with varying times and temperatures, but this tea never shows anything interesting. In fact, it produces more bad than good in the cup. It tastes like burnt wood, smoke, and roasted nuts, and has no balance to it. The flavor is pretty one-dimensional and only gets less intense throughout subsequent steeps. It’s overly bitter, and this never goes away no matter how many steeps its been through. The liquor’s texture is heavy and leaves a thick aftertaste. It has nearly no sweetness to it, and if it comes out at all, it’s not until at least the seventh steep gong fu style. While the taste can become overly potent even with the shortest steep, the aroma of the wet leaves is even more so. They’re extremely pungent, piney, and smell as though the leaves were roasted and fired for far too long. Finally, I can’t help but notice the careless misinformation in Narien’s description: “ferment.” Unless I’m mistaken, I’m pretty sure they mean “oxidize.”
I’m pretty happy with this sencha. It’s very sweet, vegetal with undertones of soy beans and a smooth and mellow liquor with a pleasant astringency and a tad bit of bitterness in the first steep or two. However, the flavor is quite one-dimensional, and doesn’t evolve much between steeps, although it does grant several. Compared with the poetic description on Narien’s site, the flavor of the tea I received did not add up. The aroma is of fresh steamed greens and has a subtle acorn-like scent as well. My largest complaint is the amount of tea dust. After steeping, the liquor appears murky and looks as though it was infused with saw dust, and causes the liquor to have a thick and heavy, and almost milk-like mouthfeel. However, the wet leaves appears very even, are of a bright green coloration, and seem quite healthy. They also have a nice delicate, silky feel to them. It’s a nice tea to sip with a snack for a very cheap price, but if you’re looking for a unique tea experience, I would look elsewhere.
Silver needle is my favorite these days. Love the aroma. I tend to steep mine longer on some days because I like it really strong. Almost looks like black tea when I steep it at work for a couple of hours. Narien seems to have 3 white teas for sale, but I have only tried this one. I like it.
The stock picture for this tea is misleading: it’s not red, but a fresh-hay mixture of green and straw and red-russet. It produces a refreshing, unfamiliar herbal-scented brew the colour of golden honey; I like it better for not being over-cured, but that may just be the batch I’ve found. Pleasing, but not a staple.
It does indeed have floaters.