Red Blossom Tea Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Wow, some serious bold flavor here! Strong smoky feel from the charcoal roasting, with hints of caramel sweetness.
Roasted the traditional way, using charcoal made from longan fruit wood, the thickness of the ash layer over the charcoal controls temperature, and the aroma and appearance of the tea determines roasting time, all controlled by a master tea roaster named Mr. Chen.
Well, very nice work Mr. Chen. This is an amazing brew!
4th steeping and wow, I can’t believe how well these leaves are holding up. It still has the same clear amber color, the same crisp and clean aroma with those same earth and grass hints, even that ever so slight sense of ocean is still right there.
The taste is not quite as crisp and clear as the 1st. I don’t get as much differentiation between the flavors, they are a bit more mixed up and blended. They are all still there, and really close to just as strong as before, but I have to think just a bit more before spotting the earth and the grass.
It is still just as sweet and smooth as the first steeping, maybe even a bit smoother, as it has given up some of the crisp dry 2nd taste and aftertaste.
But damn, a 4th steeping and it’s still kicking. I might just go for a 5th!
3rd steeping, and it’s still going strong. If you get the process right on, it’s just as good as the 1st. Just don’t get the water too hot, I pull it off the stove at the first sign of bubbles, and don’t let it steep over 1 minute. I recommend 45 seconds for the 1st and 2nd steeping, 1 minute for the 3rd and probably 4th. I’ll let you know tomorrow.
Even though this is the 3rd steeping, this tea still has the same earthy, grassy aroma that I fell in love with the 1st time. So fresh and clean, with a dry finish, and a hint of ocean in the mix.
The taste is also just as good as the first steeping. Each individual flavor is still there and accounted for. Earth, grass, just the right amount of tartness, and that nice dry finish.
The only the that is different between the 1st and 3rd steepings, at least that I notice this time, is that the dry finish is not as clean and apparent the 3rd time as it was the 1st. No big deal, not better or worse, just a tad different.
This is a straight up great, solid, every day green tea.
2nd steeping. Usually, the 2nd steeping gives a bit more mixed flavor, the balance is still there, but the individual flavors have melding together some. Not today with this green tea. It really does smell, taste, and feel just like it did yesterday. the light, earthy, grassy taste and feel, with a faint smell of ocean breeze, it’s all still there. Delightful.
I did let the water reach a boil instead of catching it when bubbles first started to form, and I let it steep for 1 full minute instead of the recommended 45 seconds. Maybe those did the trick? Still learning…
Time out, edit: Did I really steep yesterdays 1st steeping of these leaves for a full 2 minutes? Um, wow. My bad. No wonder today tastes lighter and the individual flavors are just as noticeable, even though it’s the 2nd steeping. No wonder…
In the mood for a green tea this morning, and right now this is the only one I have. I may need to solve that oroblem soon, but at least the one I have is this one.
This is simply a great, solud, simple green tea. Nothing special, it’s not trying yo be anything, just a greag example of what a green tea should really be. Earth grass and ocean aroma and taste, with that light, dryish feel. You want a simple, solid, go-to green tea? This is it.
Flavors: Dry Grass, Earth, Grass, Ocean Breeze
2nd steeping. It’s official, I’ve figured this one out. If you like your tea like I do, of course. Big, bold, and beautiful.
Start with a rinse. It really does make a big difference, but for reasons other than the 1st steeping rinse. That one cleans them off and opens the leaves. The 2nd steeping cleans them a bit, but more of getting the last of yesterdays water off, as opposed to cleaning off the dust before first steeping, while sort of waking them up some. The aroma and taste are so much brighter, crisper, cleaner. And they finish cleaner and smoother as well.
Yesterdays 1st steeping was pretty big, so today I decided to not add more steeping time, I left it at 1:30. I think that did the trick. It’s a bit less bitter and more subtle.
Aroma: Aroma is clean and crisp. Hints of grass and earth. Very smooth.
Taste: Taste is even more balanced than yesterday’s 1st steeping. The grass and earth tastes are a bit more subtle, but still there. The slight roasted hint from yesterday is nearly gone. Mouthfeel is crisp with a dry feel.
Finish: Finish is super clean and fresh. No lingering aftertaste, no different, unintended flavors popping up. Just super basic, super clean, super consistent from aroma through taste to aftertaste.
A good green tea collection would need something big, bold, and in your face like a Gunpowder and something more smooth, subtle, and clean like this here.
A green tea with a huge flavor! Perfect!
I think I nailed it this time. The pre-rinse really brought out the bright, golden, grassy feel and flavor. I’m not super great with steeping times, often getting caught reading something and forgetting for several minutes, but I pulled this one at 1.5 minutes.
The aroma is a great balance of earth and grass, with a nice roasted touch, nice and bright and potent. Then the taste. It’s even bigger than the aroma. That classic grassy, earthy, crisp, golden green tea flavor is perfectly balanced in this tea. Big and bold, almost like a gunpowder but less bitter. The finish is clean and a bit dry.
A perfect example of a really good, straight up, basic, extremely well balanced green tea.
Flavors: Earth, Grass, Roasted
Yesterday I used these leaves to make sun tea. The result:
The aroma is super light, almost non existent. I don’t notice any of the smokey, earthy hints that I got when brewing with hot water. The taste is good, but way too subtle. It doesn’t taste like much more than a regular old green sun tea. I think that has more to do with how I made it, though. Net time…
I really miss my old sun tea ball. I haven’t been able to find one that large, and the replacement just doesn’t hold enough leaves. Next time I will either use two sun tea balls, or just let the loose leaves free in the water.
Mmmm big greens! The first smell reminded me of the ocean at first, although that wasn’t quite accurate. It was the feel of driving up the coast from Santa Cruz in cold weather. That feeling you can’t quite put words to. That was the first thought. It does have an earthy smell, with a slight hint of smoke. Taste is big and bold, with hints of nuts and smoke, similar but not as bold as gunpowder.
I have a feeling this will be a great late Autumn evening green tea. It’s got that calm and tranquil feeling, as well as a sort of distant peace to it. Like things are starting to settle down, the air has that crisp, tart mood, and it will soon be time to prepare for the coming weather.
My favorite time of year!
Flavors: Nutty, Ocean Breeze, Smoke
Traditional style TGY is my favorite type of TGY. :3 I’ve sampled quite a few and this one, thus far, takes the cake! It has a nice amount of complexity and strong mineral notes similar to those found in yancha. Great length – notes dance on your tongue long after the tea has. Wonderfully sweet throat. It’s just an all around amazing traditional TGY.
Going to take a sharp left with this one today. I used it for sun tea.
Yeah, that’ s right, a Lapsang Souchong sun tea. Had to at least try it.
How did it come out? Pretty exactly how you would expect. I thought the much longer steeping time at much lower temperatures would hold down the intensity and bring out a better balance. It did, a bit. This batch did get a pretty good balance between the piney campfire taste and the black tea base. But it still tastes like campfire.
Like, the 2nd morning camping when you wake up and realize that you set up your tent directly downwind from your campfire and stayed up late drinking and burning all the wood you brought, continuously filling your tent with that piney woodsy campfire smoke.
But seriously, it is actually really good. I do like it. And the final product after leaving it in the sun for all the day long was a really poppy, woodsy, pine smoky black tea that actually has a decent balance. The natural tea flavors were able to pop out.
Not the best sun tea I’ve had, but certainly one I would do again.
2nd steeping of the same leaves. I lowered the steep time down to just under 2 minutes, and that seems to have improved the balance even more.
The aroma is still overwhelming smoke with a hint of, well, more smoke. It’s a damn smoky smell. And it’s roasted with pine needles, invoking in it that campfire memory. But the taste is much more balanced.
Here’s today’s process:
Rinse the leaves for 30 seconds.
Tumble water at first boil over 7 teaspoons of leaves in 32 oz Bodum Assam tea press.
Steep for just under 2 minutes.
I can’t change this now since I want to know what the 3rd steeping will be like, but the next time I do this with fresh leaves I will use the same process as above but with less leaves, maybe 5 teaspoons instead of 7+.
Still experimenting with this punch you in the face, full flavored, uber smoky campfire of a tea. I think I’m getting closer, and I have a good idea of what to do next time.
I used a little less leaves than last time, and cut the steeping time, and both of those seemed to do the trick, but both need to be done even more so next time. And, of course, the pre-rinse is a necessity with this tea. It’s just too smoky without it, you get the smoke from the roasting but no tea flavor. The rinse cleans the leaves, removes just enough of the smoke, and opens the leaves up to bring out more of that black tea flavor.
I went from 9 teaspoons to 7, next time I’ll use 5 or 6. Steep time was lowered from 4 minutes to 3, and it still needs to be lowered. Maybe even as little as 1 or 1.5. Next time.
All three of those things really helped balance the final flavor much better. The smoke still dominates in both aroma and taste, but the tea leaves at least stand a chance in the fight.
I think I’m finally figuring this one out!