906 Tasting Notes
Another 2016 harvest in a sealed sample packet from Leafhopper!
Very sweet, very gentle. Full-bodied and silky. Basically liquid powdered sugar-melon-sweet beany with mild floral and vegetal accents that gives way to a sweet corn, mouthwatering and mineral swallow. Mouthfeel turns creamy right as the aftertaste shows up with sweet corn and apricot, some mild bitterness emerges on the back of the tongue.
So sweet. Simple and very easy to drink. Rating is in accordance with my preferences – I like less upfront sweetness and more bite – but I know many will love this :)
Flavors: Apricot, Beany, Bitter, Butter, Cream, Creamy, Flowers, Kale, Kettle Corn, Melon, Mineral, Nectar, Powdered Sugar, Smooth, Sweet, Thick
2016 harvest, sealed sample packet from Leafhopper!
Dry leaf is pungent! chestnut, cacao, an impression of cherry pie filling. The look of it reminds me of Laoshan green. I’ve had this as mini-bowl tea 1g:100mL and teapot 2g:190mL, 3/4min. Prefer the bowl.
Let’s see… lemony, roasted chestnut, pan-fried green beans for sure, steamed escarole, gentle floral-powdered sugar high note, underlying umami. Vegetal, salty-nutty-brothy-sweet ending brisk and tart with a light bitterness on the swallow. Aftertaste is at first metallic, turning into a salted citrus rind tingle then apricot to a subtle impression of violet and lavender.
It’s not extremely vegetal or too robust, has a range of flavors that are well rounded. Pretty dang good for 5 years old.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Broth, Cacao, Cherry, Chestnut, Citrus Zest, Floral, Green Beans, Lavender, Lemon, Lettuce, Metallic, Nutty, Powdered Sugar, Salty, Sweet, Tart, Umami, Vegetal, Violet
Backlog from last night.
This is the kind of evening for which I’ve been saving this tea. Rainy February nights here in the Bay are like (I really don’t want to say it!) cold November rain in Ohio. Contemplative, maybe depressing if one possesses that lean.
I want to write so, so very much something poetic about this tea but I’m exhausted. To further derail my effort, this tea is inducing a mental and physical state that is utterly calm.
This is a beautifully scented oolong with a dark, woody-grassy-earthy sweet incense aroma of aloeswood and vetiver with smooth integration of the licorice-like star anise and cardamom. I also smell something dark and fruity; I can’t shake the idea of mulberry. On the sip it transitions to sandalwood then mid-mouth to a general woody-mineral oolong. On the swallow it moves back to the aloeswood, vetiver, star anise and mulberry, though less pronounced than in the aroma. Cardamom is noticed in the aftertaste as those flavors slip away. A zesty tingle and some mouth watering arrive after that and then the cardamom and aloeswood return.
I couldn’t see myself drinking Azure often but this is something I definitely want to keep in my cupboard. It’s almost medicinal in character (drying, warming, deeply calming) and smells and tastes wonderful. Try this if you’re an incense fan or seeking an air of the exotic.
Big-leaved sencha and cute little uniform nuggets of toasted rice that havenn’t popped. The aroma smells strongly of toasted rice, so much that it reminds me of sobacha or peanut butter or sesame oil. This is a lighter-tasting sencha than what I’m used to compared to that had with sushi. The taste is a good balance of toasted rice and straw-grass seed-seaweed and salty tang. It’s a little drying but not too bad. The aftertaste is subtle but tastes like buttery caramel kettlecorn with a thin nectar sweetness. Second steep is thicker, sweeter and in general leans much more kettlecorn. Solid overall, but I think I prefer a bolder green tea presence.
Edit: Cameron B. says below it’s bancha, not sencha :)
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Drying, Grass Seed, Kettle Corn, Nectar, Salt, Seaweed, Straw, Sweet, Tangy, Toasted Rice, Toasty
As I was thinking about how to describe this while having a cup over breakfast, I read through the notes and realized Cameron B. painted Sloe Gin Lapsang better than I could. My experience mirrors theirs so why be redundant?
It doesn’t taste like gin per se but there’s an element to it that does call gin to mind. I’ve never had sloe gin, let alone sloe syrup; I wonder if the elderberries serve as a decent stand-in. Very good savory-smokey-berry blend that you’d be foolish not to steep a second time.
Thanks for satisfying my curiosity, Martin!
Flavors: Earth, Elderberry, Ginger, Jam, Pine, Round , Smoke, Smooth, Tangy, Wood
In the quest to sample all my Menghai Tea Factory/Dayi sheng puerh, I’ve met this tea again.
Not much has changed in the 9 months since last brewed. It is smoother, not quite as biting but still bitter mid-mouth, resinous, then most notably lingering low in the back. I notice now an oiliness giving way to that full-mouthed astringent-drying quality. Ashy damp stone fireplace and peat, a little dry smoked meat, cranberry-currant fruitiness maybe even a little tropical fruit, butter now, baked bread hint, rocky crag again. Camphor King. Aftertaste is dry and moves between fireplace and buttery tropical fruit. This tea absolutely glows in the cup! Th8nks again, mrmopar! I’m looking forward to comparing this to Camellia Sinensis’s supposed 1998 Menghai 7542.
Flavors: Ash, Astringent, Baked Bread, Bitter, Black Currant, Butter, Cranberry, Drying, Fireplace, Meat, Peat, Resin, Smoke, Tropical, Wet Rocks
I had aimed for 3g:300mL. For some reason today there’s a sense of haste within. I mean, I know why: the woes of womanhood and an ear infection on the mend have left me lazy and unaccomplished on my days off. I finally emerged from my cave and made breakfast and tea before the clock struck Finite Noon, that demarcation in the day where if I had not yet shuffled, the entire day might have been lost to frump. I looked at the kettle and deemed the water level ‘enough’ but once poured, it ended up being only 200mL. No fear! Thick and glassy, juicy with beautiful layered astringency that leaves my mouth watering. Just beautiful and clean! Malty-tangy straw-salt and autumn leaf-tamarind, toasted almond, spicy earth, tea rose-geranium-lemongrass floral, delicate red grape aftertaste. Cool, relaxed. Relaxed? Ah yes. Now off to get bloodwork.
Flavors: Almond, Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Geranium, Grapes, Lemongrass, Malt, Rose, Salt, Spicy, Straw, Tangy, Thick
Smells like somebody dropped an Andes mint into dirty chai (chai with a shot of espresso), tastes kinda like a dirty chocolate chai or mexican hot chocolate but with a green tea taste and body. It sips like thin peppermint chocolate that moves into a clean, mineral-dry grass base green tea mid-mouth, then with the swallow, it’s again like that Andes mint dropped in a dirty chai. I can taste cloves – strongly – but I personally think it’s in good proportion to the chocolate. I taste a good amount of cardamom, too (I get Turkish cardamom coffee vibes!); a hint of orange zest, no ginger. The peppermint is clean and cooling in the mouth, but overall the tea is very drying. Interesting! and kind of true to the name. I like it but it’s just so drying. There’s potential with this blend. Wish I had some koulourakia to dip. It’s your basic Greek butter cookie that people have with coffee.
“Hmmmm. Is that clooove? hehehe It smells like some Greek cookies baking in the oven. sips, does a double take HA!! that was a surprise! ooh. It kinda smells like some incense. Yeah that’s a surprise! Am I getting a little chocolate in taste, some carob or something? I’m getting the clove flavor – numbs your mouth. Smells like my grandma’s medicine cabinet. Is it carob and peppermint? I get like a Tootsie Pop, uh chocolate pop and then a c-cool one. Maybe it’s mint chocolate, I dunno.”
For the record, the package I received was labelled Mint Chocolate Chip with less ingredients but it’s definitely the Mint Chocolate Chai on the website.
Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Cardamon, Chocolate, Clove, Coffee, Cookie, Dry Grass, Drying, Earth, Medicinal, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peppermint
A Vietnamese green oolong nearly 7 years old, sent my way from Leafhopper. What does this session hold?
The dry leaf smells like… flowers, honey-cooked sweet potato, grass, halva. The warmed and rinsed leaf produce aromas of bitter grass, narcissus edging perfume, butter, halva.
The aroma is mild and floral and smells only of narcissus to me. That leads into the sip, where the tea becomes medium-bodied with a grassy-lettuce-stale herbs note that quickly turns tangy and full of butter. There’s a strong interplay in the aftertaste of narcissus, lemon and butter with the halva-like bitterness that morphs sweeter into the honey-cooked sweet potato of the dry leaf; throw in a dash of cinnamon. Later I notice jackfruit in the aftertaste.
The tea at times has a tendency to be rather drying and unpleasantly catching in the throat. It makes my body feel heavy, rather than the lightness that Taiwanese green oolong can bring.
For being a green oolong of such age, I think it’s held up okay, though to me it’s a stale tea. The tastes and aromas are nice but disjointed. Thank you, Leafhopper, for the opportunity to try!
Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Cinnamon, Drying, Floral, Flowers, Grass, Herbs, Honey, Lemon, Lettuce, Narcissus, Nuts, Perfume, Sweet Potatoes, Tangy
From Leafhopper, thank you :)
Dry leaf aroma has very faint notes of hay, orange blossom and myrrh. The aroma of the brewed tea is a mix or orange blossom-malt-chocolate-autumn leaf. The taste has a very floral tea rose lean upfront, followed by smooth autumn leaf-malt a very shy muscatel. Leaves a lasting, drying astringency and malty-orange blossom creaminess after the swallow.
Good middle of the road tea. The flavors are pleasant but muffled.
Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Chocolate, Cream, Drying, Floral, Hay, Malt, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Rose, Smooth, Spices