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Recent Tasting Notes
Another tea from Dag Wedin
5G + 4oz (more or less) X 45/60
A small leaf black, somewhat broken. the warmed aroma was sweet, with shades of roasted barley & sorghum. The 1st steep was kind of minty, in the way that some taiwanese hong yun are. Flavorwise, it was not as sweet as I expected it to be, more of a black strap molasses & rye kind of taste, with noticeable acidity.
The 2nd steep was basically bitter, & for me, undrinkable.
Still worth sampling though! Thanks Dag!
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Flavors: Butter, Sweet, Vegetal
When I opened the bag, the tea didn’t appear as green as I thought it should of been. This is my first type of kamairicha, so I didn’t know what to expect. The look of it reminded me of some Chinese greens I’ve had. I read on the description it’s higher flamed, which was to produce more juicy flavor, I am interested.
I followed the instructions given by Yuuki-cha on how to brew. This tea is freaking amazing! So much depth, unami, savory like quality. The dry leaf smell is soooo yummy, reminds me of a bowl of buttered greens or potato chips.
I can’t really compare it to anything else I’ve tasted. Reviewers on the Yuuki-cha says their taste of coconut, too. I agree.
From the queue
I’m declaring Green Week. Or rather, Things That Aren’t Black Week. I’ve got a fair few of those sorts of blends, but I’m not very good at remembering to make them once in a while. So I’m going to try, for the next week, to have a cup of something non-black at least once a day for seven days. A fair few of them I’ve already posted about, so don’t expect seven posts on the topic, but I’ll try and remember the box of untried things as well.
This is a green tea that Auggy shared with me last summer. Back then she said it was getting a tad aged, but to use heavier leaf to compensate. The age thing definitely hasn’t improved since I’ve had it and not got around to it, but we’ll see how bad it’s got. Auggy is very fond of shincha and we tend, in general, to have a very similar taste in tea. We prefer the same sort of flavour profiles and the same sort of characteristics, so although I’m not a very big green tea drinker at all, I trust her judgment on this implicitly.
It still has a lot of aroma. It’s got that smell that makes me think ‘cat breath’. I don’t know why cat breath especially, because the cats don’t actually smell like that, but that’s just the thought I invariably get. It’s a viscous, sort of salty smell with a bit of sweetness to it as well. Quite freshly cut grass-y as well.
There’s a great deal of flavour in it too. It’s quite mineral-y and underneath that there is a lot of something. I’m sure you all know how it is. You know it tastes like something you know, but you just can’t identify it. I’m thinking something along the lines of spinach and asparagus after they’ve been briefly blanched.
It’s quite pleasant, and it definitely puts the myth that ‘green teas are all very delicate and subtle tasting’ to the grave. This is fairly strong stuff. It’s as strongly flavoured as a black tea. It’s just a different flavour. I can totally see why Auggy is fond of this, and my trust was once again well placed.
I know some people will shake their heads in wonder at why I would rate something that I know is no longer at it’s best. To those, let me remind you all of this. My score is based on my experience with it, not an attempt at judging quality. If a high quality tea doesn’t make me happy, it gets a low score. If a low quality tea makes me happy, it gets a high score. It’s as simple as that. Therefore I am scoring, becuase this made me quite happy.
This tea smells very wooden and sweet with a hint of chestnut.
First Steep – 45 seconds
A mild yet very sweet steep with a dry, nutty after taste. No astringency. Also reminds me of lightly toasted wood.
Second Steep – 1 min 25 secs
Still light and sweet but with some spice towards the after taste. Also subtly sour and astringent.
Third Steep – 2 mins
Very sweet and still reminding me of chestnut. Very light and wooden but not much flavour left overall.
So far it’s too early to judge this tea, I think I may have not used enough leaf so I will have another try another day and see how it comes out. It is also possible that it’s just a very light black tea.
Taken from the first round of the EU TTB and was added by Dag Wedin. A Japanese black would go well for me this morning, I recently joined crunchyroll which is like Netflix but it has lots of Anime/Manga available to stream. I’m currently watching ‘Toaru Hikūshi e no Koiuta’ / ‘The Pilot’s Love Song’ and am enjoying it, only a few episodes in but I think it’s going to be one of those well written emotional anime short series. That was my new year resolution by the way, to watch more Anime.
The website has no steeping instructions for this tea (though they did have a lot of pictures of it being grown and picked) so I’m going to use the same parameters as Dag Wedin.
The leaves are very dark brown and finely chopped though there are a few golden leaves chopped up and mixed in also. It smells sweet yet smoky and slightly floral and wooden.
First Steep – 45 seconds
Now steeped it smells very thick and malty with wood and flowers. Flavour wise it’s thick and with only a little astringency, it has elements of: wood, smoke, clay, malt and rose petals. Also has a spicy undertone.
Second Steep – 1 minute
Less thick but still full of flavour. The malt and wood elements are still dominant but the smoke has subsided somewhat as has the clay. Still getting the rose petals though, particularly in the after taste, they cling to my tongue like velvet and it’s beautiful.
It had elements of Keemun and Assam which made a wonderful surprise. Very full of flavour and competed with some of my current favourite black teas. I am definitely going to be buying more of this one. I can see how it won great taste awards throughout 2009 – 2012 consecutively.
Oh and here is the link for the listing of this tea which have the wonderful pictures:
My first order from Yuuki-Cha arrived today :) Plus it’s my Cassie cats 8th birthday today, she is not officially a cat elder (bless her).
This Tencha is mild with elements of butter, flowers and grass. I used roughly 3g or 4g of leaf in my new Futanashi Tokoname teapot (which arrived today also from Yuuki-Cha). It’s so mild yet it has a lovely soothing element, and the after taste is wonderfully green and grassy. Also a little broth like and savoury. A little dry in the after taste but something I can get past.
Very nice so far, will have to keep experimenting in terms of strength. Loving it so far.
The raw leaves are curly and green in appearance. There are also some lighter coloured stems present amongst the leaves too. Some of the leaves are not quite curled and are perfectly preserved, I can see the tips and shape along with the markings, a beautiful rarity amongst most teas.
They have beautiful sweet scent that is very floral, the name and description state gardenia which it very much does but also elements of lily of the valley and a soft fruity yet mature apricot.
I’m not sure how to steep this ‘correctly’ as there are no steeping instructions but I can have a good guess. I will treat it similar to other low oxidised Oolongs and hopefully it will be fine.
So I will be using 5g of this tea in my 200ml Gongfu teapot (not authentic Japanese but works very well). Water temperature will be 90 °C and shall be infused over three steeps. I will also do a 5 second rinse.
First Steep – 30 seconds
Light yellow colour tea with an elegant and sweet gardenia scent. The gardenia is pure and very much present, I used to work with perfumes and pure aroma oils and this smells exactly like pure gardenia oil but on a softer level.
Flavour is soft yet sweet with delicate hints of gardenia, flowers and grass/hay. Lovely for a first steep.
Second Steep – 1 minute
Thicker in strength and resembling gardenia oil even more now. The sweetness has also increased and is somewhat perfumed overall, that is to say it has a little dryness in the after taste. It is also fruity in the after taste, like apricot, it has that sweet yet sour delicate crispness.
Third Steep – 2 minutes
A little dryer this time and with a touch of astringency but still very sweet and floral. The astringency is rather mineral like which resembles more of a green tea rather than an Oolong.
Overall – This tea gave what was promised in the description, that being gardenia. It was present in the smell of the raw leaves, the smell of the steeped leaves and the flavour. Not only was it floral and perfumed throughout but it was also very sweet.
For more information and pictures of this tea please view my blog.
Flavors: Apricot, Flowers, Gardenias, Grass
First review in quite a while. Been drinking to much coffee while working a whole lot to much.
Second tea of the day, heaped the rest of the tin into a small kobiwakopot.
three steeps @ 100C 30s/60s/120s.
Still a wonderfull tea. Like most japanese blacks there is an undertone of mint with a heavy accent of apricot. Sweet with little astringancy.
Last steep has a bit of a bite thou.
Flavors: Apricot, Mint
Today i opened up a bag of wonder. Also known as tea. :)
This tea caught my interest since its highly oxidized yet not roasted. Oolong-black :)
First inpression was how large the leaf is. The 30g filled a bag larger than most 100g teas comes in.
I have no idea of how to brew a tea like this, i thought i´d start out western style.
1m/2m @ 100C
The liquid is light amber, golden. heavy scent of fruit, apricot.
First cup taste very much of apricot to me. Slight nuttiness, clean and even body without astringancy. There is a special taste on the aftertaste, almost like a hint of smokiness?
Second cup slightly stronger body and flavour.
This is very much a tea to my tastes, none of that buttery nuttyness of lowoxidized oolong but still very fruity since it hasnt been rosted. Wonderful!
Flavors: Apricot, Nuts
Thanks so Sil for passing along a sample of this one, originally from Hallieod.
My verdict? Fairly weak. Maybe because I’ve been eating, or maybe because I should have used more tea since there’s quite a bit of popped rice in here. I’ll try some more after the flavours in my mouth have dissipated a bit.
ETA: Sadly, this didn’t improve after sitting, and the second infusion was very weak. Hard to give this an accurate rating, unfortunately, but I probably wouldn’t pick it up again. I’ve had more flavourful genmaichas (and actually, I really like hojicha genmaichas too! More roastiness :D)
ah a nice afternoontea before the dinnerguests arrive. Today im making Pulled beef with tortilla bread and guacamole. :) smells wonderful!
The tea leaf smells somewhat like da hong pao, although much greener and less charred smell. The flavour is less intense and more spicy.
I tried western style this time and the result was better than gong fu.
Very little astringancy and shockful cinnamon falvour, there is also a hint of cardamon with a spicy feel and a hint of burnt leaf/smoke.
A very pleasant tea!
6g / 90ml celadon gaiwan. water from kunzan tetsubin.
wash/25s/35s/50s/1:05/1:20/1:40 and so on.
Benn sipping this tea for awhile now as company for the movie “Argo” must say i would NEVER guess this was a japanese tea. In a blindtest i would say heavy oxidized wuyi oolong. The taste is very much like da hong pao. But it laks that charred flavour, its not as intense as a nonpareil DHP. But considering the price its loads of bang for the buck :)
after 5-6 infusions there is a clear woody note. otherwise it still keeps a strong flavour. Good quality.
Bought this as a shincha this past spring. Being a deep steamed sencha, it needs hotter water to fully express itself. I steeped this for 1m at 175 F followed by a flash 15 second steep with boiling water. The taste is buttery smooth and sweet. The grassy, vegetal, and umami notes are in harmonious balance. Nothing aggressive or overwhelming about this tea. Personally I prefer my senchas to have a tad more grassiness to them but this is still a very pleasant and satisfying cup.
Flavors: Grass, Vegetal
I loved the deep steamed Fukamushi I ordered last time from O-Cha but this similar offering from Yuuki-cha was a let down. The flavor is swampy with a lingering astringency even when brewed at low temperatures. However the taste and color of the tea improves with subsequent infusions. The first infusion is unremarkable with a pale green-yellow color. But the second infusion, 150-155 F for 30 seconds, turns bright green and with a smooth, grassy flavor and a hint of sweetness. A lot of the tea’s flavor notes begin to come out in the 2nd infusion. Third infusion, 155-160 F @ 90 seconds, was mild and pleasant.
5.5g / 180ml Kobiwako Kyusu
Sipdown! Down went the last of this exellent tea. Although lacking the minty flavour ivé come to love in japanese blacks it possesed a strong body overflowing with cinnamon and a hint of citrus. Wonderful cultivar.
My journey amongst the black tea of japan will go ever onward. lets see what i can find come summer!