Norbu TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Sipdown no. 197. A sample.
I am slowly but surely making headway in the oolong sample department, aided by the fact that many of these are single-serving size samples. (Say that 5 times fast.)
This has the tightly rolled medium to lighter green look I expect from this type of tea, but what’s interesting is the aroma of the dry leaves. A really gorgeous floral note in there. Again, it makes me want to say lilac, though I am not great at identifying individual floral notes except for rose, gardenia, and jasmine. I rinsed it and steeped in the gaiwan at 195 beginning at 15 seconds and adding 5 seconds each time.
1. Light, greenish yellow, clear color. Milky, light floral aroma. Mild, light, green taste with a hint of butter and a floral aftertaste.
2. Yellower in color. More milky than floral, and there is a vegetal note. Folks have found asparagus and cabbage notes in this. For me it’s more cabbage than asparagus. Come to think of it, cabbage can have a note that straddles vegetable and dairy. There’s a slight green piquancy to it, as with cabbage so I think that’s what I’m tasting here. But I love cabbage, so to me that’s a good thing.
3. Color is more golden and less green this steep. The aroma has turned quite buttery. The dairy/vegetable straddle note is there and more intense this time, with flowers in the finish.
4. A straight up yellow color. Definitely cabbage in the aroma, more on the green side than the dairy side with that sort of nutty flavor quality that cabbage can have. It’s pretty complex, though. The flavors seem to change from sip to sip, sometimes they’re more heavily floral than others.
5. Brighter straight yellow, smell like buttery cabbage.
The leaves expanded nicely between steeps 1 and 2, and had pretty much completely unfurled by steep four. They steeped leaves are olive green in color and have a bitter green smell, a bit like collard greens.
This is an interesting one. It’s not as sweet and creamy as some I’ve had, more vegetal with that interesting cabbage note. I enjoyed it and its differences. I don’t like it better than some of the tie guan yins I’ve had, but it’s very good and I’d drink it again.
I would love to do oolongs all afternoon, but my taster needs a break as does my bladder. I think I might read for a while.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Milk, Vegetables
Thanks for this one, Nicole! I didn’t realize this one was a Darjeeling despite trying this with one teaspoon a while ago. I should have known, because the leaves actually reminded me of a tiny leafed Darjeeling mixed with another black tea. I used two heaping teaspoons this time around. I’m glad only waiting eleven minutes after boiling didn’t ruin this one. (I usually wait 15- 20 minutes after boiling with Darjeeling.) The maple syrup colored brew definitely has a fruity something scent even before taking a sip. To me, the flavor is like a little bit of Darjeeling mixed with a light assam. It is like malty raisins, definitely something juicy to the texture. I think two flat teaspoons would have worked better for this one, as well as waiting a couple more minutes to brew. The second steep was much lighter, since I waited longer to brew it. I liked the first cup better. I have a little bit more in my sample to try to perfect this one!
Steep #1 // 2 heaping tsps // 11 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 18 min a.b. // 3 min
To be honest, I was kind of upset that I pulled this tea out to drink (I have a box of 100+ samples to try so I grab whatever I get first).
Thankfully, this is actually pretty good. Not only is the tea a smooth ride down from my mouth through my throat and to whatever it ends up, it actually taste quite nice. Nice and mellow with a splendid aroma that is faint but pleasant.
I cut this one short at 10 steeps
Really? I filled up my gaiwan for this…I can smell what I call “mall puerh” a mile away, that incense-y store flavor you can find in a million cakes on EBay and Taobao. This is just sad, leathery old poor quality “tea” to which a few young “white buds” have been added in as a sprinkling. Some of the tea is just black leaf along with brown, leathery leaves. You can talk to me all day long about brewing it “cooler,” but nothing will improve this leaf. I can’t believe a company online which is trying to be nice actually would put their name on this cake, but whatever. I’m a person who wants to like a tea, but I’d rather drink dandelion greens from my yard than this.
From the Sheng Traveling Tea Box.
I have an interest in bamboo puerh teas because the method of production is so intriguing – fill sections of bamboo with tea leaves and then steam, roast, dry and age in the bamboo. The bamboo is reported to provide a unique sweetness to the leaves. I am able to appreciate the process by looking at this photo of a farmer making bamboo puerh: http://www.michaelfreemanphoto.com/-/galleries/the-galleries/countries/asia-australasia/china/yunnan/-/medias/ed820fb8-090f-11e0-bee4-852ca0e067a1-bamboo-tea?gallery=b6bf0ad4-0192-11e3-99e7-2bf391fc38b8&hit_num=1&hits=2&page=1&per_page=50&search=bamboo&search_in_gallery=1
The scent of this YiWu dry leaf is sweet with an interesting spicy note. The tea soup is deep dark gold in color. The wet leaves are whole and nearly 2 inches in length. The tongue and mouth feel alive and tingly after the first few sips. The initial taste sensations are earthy and spicy. The honey-like sweetness works well with a light woodiness. A bit of astringency is found in later infusions but not at all off-putting. Interestingly, I did not detect any remaining smokiness in the smell or taste. These leaves produce cup after cup of highly flavored sweet mellow tea. Multi-layered – sweet and woody with a light spiciness. This is a very approachable raw puerh.
Another tea from this morning – i’m still enjoying this one, though i was lazy today – choosing to brew it western with a longer steep. Still a smooth, average puerh. nothing spectacular, but nothing to complain about either. Just trying to drink some of my older teas before an afternoon ride in the sun!
Another tea that i have a bunch of, but haven’t had many opportunities…wait haven’t TAKEN many opportunities to drink. This was one of my teas from today – a woody sort of puerh with a little sweetness to it that made me forget for a moment that i was drinking a puerh. Later steeps take on much more of a black tea sort of vibe.
Oooh. This is FANCY. Thanks Sil for the sample!
And this sipdown puts me at 150! Woooo!
It’s really rich and lightly smoky. I should have had this a few months ago when it was bitterly cold as this tea would be greatly comforting on a freezing night. It’s a little sweet, but I think I’m getting mushroom-y notes in it as well.
Fancy. This tea is fancy.
Thanks Sil! I was surprised by how much I liked this one! It’s very light and refreshing, but still dark enough to give me that black-tea kick that I need! It’s strange, but with the chai/mint combo, I’m getting a bit of a licorice flavour to it, but that just mean that it tastes cool and refreshing. I could easily drink 50g-100g of this one!
This was my second sample sip down today at work…. I can’t believe I haven’t written anything about this before now. I’ve had it for quite awhile…
Today this was really fruity, grapey, maybe even a little wine ish, light, delicate – not bold enough for me. Nice, pleasant but not something that I need to keep in my cupboard.
There were several specific years of this tea in the database. Since I couldn’t identify what year this was, what harvest this was, I just created a generic one. Why not.
This is today’s advent calendar tea.
Ya Bao is one of my favorite styles of tea. I love it.
I decided to have this one grandpa style. This tea is good flavor-wise grandpa style, but trickier to drink because the buds float. A wider mouth cup so one can gently blow the tea out of the way before drinking is highly recommended.
This version of ya bao is not as strong or sweet as many others I have had, but it’s still quite nice. The lighter flavors are really good for grandpa style.
Big thanks to TeaBrat for this sample.
This stuff smells like heaven. There’s this wonderful sweet citrus scent to the brewed leaves, or maybe it’s the smell of spiced apples. It’s accompanied by notes of cinnamon stick and pine. This stuff smells like the potpourri smell you catch walking into some quaint little craft shop. It’s nostalgic.
Being made from Ya Bao, the infusion is rather pale, just a hint of yellow. It’s also slightly cloudy, which isn’t uncommon for fermented teas. The flavor is really unique. It has a bit of a smokey and peppery finish, but the main presence in the sip is like a cinnamon-apple peel kind of taste. It’s got a creamy body to it.
The second infusion of this got a little more strong in flavor. It’s got the tangy Sheng Puer vibe now, reminding me less of loose un-aged Ya Bao and more of Sheng. There’s a fizzy quality to this tea. It’s really nifty. In later infusions the smokier qualities emerge more. There’s a lemony tartness to it that I didn’t really think about at first, but after reading other reviews and tasting some more, it’s undeniable.
Flavors: Apple Skins, Bark, Cinnamon, Lemon, Wood
I overleafed this cup so my first few sips were rather astringent. However, now that it has cooled a little, the astringency has subsided leaving behind a malty yet fruity tea. It’s really quite nice. Thank you Sil for the share. It will be interesting to see how this compares to the other Norbu teas you have me samples of. 169.
this is a nice darjeeling! Thanks nicole. :) I don’t really love darjeelings. But there are a few in this world that i can get behind. This is one of them. This is a smooth darjeeling, with just a little sweetness going on here that i’m enjoying. Passing the little cup’s worth that’s left to Cavo since she might enjoy this one. :)
Nicole sent this one for me to try and i’m glad for it, since I am a fan of trying Norbu teas. Their min quantities are 100g, so it’s hard to get a sense of what i’d like before buying. Thankfully i do have steepster friends willing to split orders or, in the case of nicole (and others!) send samples to me.
This is a very light, refreshing tea. The mint in this isn’t overpowering and blends nicely with the darjeeling. There are under notes of a nature – reminding me more of a black tea, than a darjeeling (yes i know darjeelings are black..but they’re quasi black imo). i like this quite a bit. Thanks Nicole!
I’m drinking the 2004. It is very good, it’s like cognac and honey. Very naturally sweet and rich.
The tea is very tightly compressed and you don’t need too much tea because it really puffs and opens up to be tons of tea leaves. There are ya bao pieces in the mix along with all sorts of colors and types of wild leaves.
The liquor is cloudy pretty much throughout the whole session in my gaiwan. I rinsed the tea a couple of times but it remained cloudy even after many steepings. You definitely need to use your strainer with this tea.
After many steepings, the leaves could have kept going and going but the tea started to taste twiggy to me so I ended the session.