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Recent Tasting Notes
For a key to my rating scale, check out my bio.
Great aromatics and reasonable complexity, with nice, persistent 回甘 (sweet finish). However, there is a strange baking soda minerality and an unusual cooling sensation (think ripe brie rind) in the throat that I don’t really like. I also found a dry bean in the leaves once, so not enough care has gone into sorting the tea and keeping it separate from contamination (sadly very few teas are processed in as clean an environment as they should be).
Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Fruity, Mineral, Mint, Nectar, Smoke, Vanilla
I purchased this tea sample when Steepster Select was having their sale last year.
It was really hard to break this tea up. Even after 4 infusions it was just starting to break up.
It brewed up a golden colour but the taste was very light. It reminded me of fresh mineral water from a gurgling brook. The package said there was a floral finish to it. I didn’t really pick that up but there was a bit of earthiness to it.
I normally like lighter teas but this one just didn’t grab me.
Flavors: Earth, Mineral
an ok tea
when I smell the tuo dry, it smells nice and raw
when I smell the tuo wet, it smells green and earthy
when I smell the brewed tea, it smells light and smooth
when I taste the brewed tea, it tastes light and smooth
many thanks to toad Thomas for this ok tea
Flavors: Earth, Smooth
i am really surprised that this tastes so good and is a un-roasted oolong
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell like un-roasted oolong.
when i smell the leaves wet, they smell sweet and fruity
when i smell the brewed tea, it smells sweet and fruity too.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste peach and sweetness :D
because of this tea, i shall once again try raw oolongs :)
many thanks to toad thomas for this amazing tea :D
Flavors: Fruity, Peach, Sweet
Next to last tea for February 2015 Select!
This is a really solid green tea. It hits the buttery, dashi flavors I like, but it’s not as strong as a gyokuro. I’d definitely buy this for an everyday, after-lunch green tea.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Seaweed
My Steepster Select box came in yesterday! Having this for my morning work tea. First sample of the box!
In the pouch, it smells like flowers. It reminds me of the garden we had when I was little.
It steeps to a pretty golden color and smells a little floral, but not as strong as it did in the pouch, obviously. The taste is a very mild flowery, sweet taste. Very mild. Maybe it’s just that way because I’m still getting over a cold. I don’t know. It’s pleasant, though.
I added a little bit of sugar to it and it made all the difference. The sugar made everything taste a little brighter. A+. The package says I can get 3+ steeps out of this. Challenge accepted.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Orchid
Really enjoyed this brew at 185 degrees in a french press, never pressing fully down. These leaves need a lot of room to “breathe”. Less enjoyable when left in a small tea-sack in a cup. Their claim that the leaves never go bitter I found to be true. This is a very light tea that needs a longer steeping time, but the result was fantastic. Light, yet present, and bright green-yellow color.
Now that my life is beginning to settle down after getting a job (still need a car and a more permanent apartment…), I actually have time for things like tea reviews again!
Got this tea through my recent Steepster select batch, so I brewed it at the office this morning. 8 oz. of near boiling water, steeped for 2 minutes to avoid the dangerous over-steeping that can cause puerh to be unpleasant. The foretaste is a very smooth herbaceous flavor which is very hard to place, and the smoothness is not quite silky, but not really mineral either. More generally, the tea is very sweet and has been properly aged to avoid the bitterness that can be prevalent in younger green puerhs. I am very interested in seeming how the tea develops as the tuocha really starts to break up.
Second steep prepared exactly the same as the first, but the resulting tea was significantly darker. The aroma is also more prevalent, and it turns out that it’s a nice earthy aroma that isn’t overwhelming like some young shu puerhs. The aftertaste/mouth-feel has also evolved to be a definite mineral-like flavor. The other interesting thing is hat it reminds me a lot of hojicha, which is really unique for a puerh in my experience. This has definitely turned out to be a well above-average tea, and I’m honestly looking forward to the next steep.
Flavors: Earth, Herbaceous, Mineral, Sweet, Wood
I loved this pu-erh. It stands out as one of the sweetest pu-erh I’ve yet to taste.
1st infusion: sweet, honeyed, vegetal.
2nd infusion: sweet, creamy, vegetal – the combination of vegetal and creamy sort of gave this a creamed spinach taste only better, sweeter!
3rd infusion: still sweet but the sweetness is beginning to wane. Not so creamy, still vegetal.
4th infusion: Here’s where I stopped, because I found myself missing the sweetness of the first two cups. Still a delicious tea and would have gone on to deliver a lot more flavor, I’m sure, but, I just loved the sweetness so much that when it was gone, I missed it. More of a sweet vegetal note and less of the honeyed sweetness or creamy notes.
A really good pu-erh though, and one I’d recommend, because I loved those sweet notes!
This tea is the premium jasmine-scented tea from Seven Cups and I am drinking, right now, the version of the year 2013.
The light green pearls produce a superb fragrance, which apparently does not turn oversweet soon after opening the bag (as is the case with some jasmine teas) but retains its freshness. The leaves as they open in water are young and fresh-looking, quite small and mostly not broken. The buds look just cute.
I actually used 3/4 tsp for a 250 ml cup.
The tea is very mild-tasting. The presence of jasmine is strong but almost perfectly balanced. The result is pleasant and enjoyable: not too sweet, nothing bitter or irritating. One of the best jasmine teas I have ever tasted. Sometimes I drink jasmine-scented tea with food, especially oriental food, but this tea should probably be enjoyed separately from anything else in order to capture all the nuances of taste and fragrance. The first two steepings (2 mins each) share the same magnificence. On the 3rd steeping (2 mins 15-30 secs), the jasmine part weakens slightly but I can still taste Chinese spring in it. I would characterise the result of the 4th steeping (2 mins 30-45 secs) as a delicate and subtle green tea with a touch of jasmine. And my gf, who is an occasional but demanding tea drinker, classified this tea as ‘excellent’.
Flavors: Honey, Jasmine, Nectar
(1st steep: 3 min) I was a little shocked at how light this tea is. There is almost no aroma in the first steeping. Once the tea cooled a bit, I was able to pick up a strong mineral taste. I wasn’t able to pick up much else, and I believe that is because the water to tea ratio is too high. I am planning to cut from 16 oz to 12 oz in the next steeping. Towards the end of the cup, I was able to pick up a subtle floral aroma and flavor, but not strong enough to say what they might be.
(2nd steep: 3 min 30 sec) I reduced the amount of water in this steeping to 12 oz and still increased the time. Both mineral and floral aromas are present and are pleasant. It is an interesting tea, but I don’t believe I will make another steeping.
Flavors: Floral, Mineral
When this tea was in my Steepster Select box, I was thrilled. I’ve been wanting to try teas from Seven Cups.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/23/li-li-xiang-anxi-wulong-2013-oolong-tea-seven-cups/
This is easily one of the very best Oolongs I’ve tasted. It is a unique Oolong in that it has intriguing raw cacao notes along with some of the other flavors that you might ordinarily expect in a greener Oolong, like vegetative and nutty flavors. The cacao took me by surprise. Beautiful notes of vanilla too.
A really good Oolong. Highly recommended.
This is my afternoon cuppa, or I should say gaiwanna, for today.
I’ve been drinking this tea for weeks now, and it never fails to mesmerize me. The flavor does not change much from brew to brew, like most wulongs do, but it still yields a very intense, sweet and milky liquor.
The aroma bursts with tropical flower qualities, and the flavor is as if I am biting into a sugar cane stick. I also get notes of freshly picked snow pea, rock candy, and ripe melon. I can easily extract upwards of six full flavored brews in a gaiwan or small yixing pot.
There is also one flavor that is very unique to this tea, and the best way to describe it is “sunny.” This tea was hand picked on the sunniest day of a twenty day picking period. I’ve tasted many tieguanyins, and there is definitely a certain, unrivaled sunniness to this particular tieguanyin. I’ve only tasted it in a couple other batches (From Verdant and Ku Cha 2012).
I’m drinking this tea western style, in a tea strainer with a mug, today. The slight oxidation of this white tea (yes, true white tea is very slightly oxidized, contrary to popular belief) shines through when I brew it like this, slight malt notes and roasted macadamia. The body is lighter, which lets the more delicate flavors of maple and toasted oat come to the forefront.
I enjoy this particular Silver Needle more and more every time I try it. It’s slightly different from other silver needle teas that I’ve had, and a far cry better than Teavana’s!