198 Tasting Notes

87

This is a tea I’d wanted to try for a while, and I was lucky enough to get a sample from Nicole_Martin at the NYC meetup on Friday. The tea is very delicate, but what flavor there is is really lovely. It’s a bit sweet, faintly creamy, and nutty. There’s not much in the way of vegetal notes. This could be a good green for people who don’t generally enjoy green teas, I think, since it’s so gentle. I’d like to get my hands on some more of this – when I do, I think I’ll try brewing with a significantly higher leaf/water ratio (this time I used about 1.5 tsp/8 oz. water) since I’d like to see the flavors pop just a little bit more.

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80

Waybacklogging here… I had a tin of this last fall/winter. This stuff is pretty good, especially for the price. It doesn’t taste at all like pumpkin, but it is a nice spiced rooibos. The rooibos itself is on the gentler side, without that awful pipe tobacco flavor it sometimes has.

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80

I love genmaicha. It’s one of my favorite kinds of tea – it may even be my favorite. Cheap bagged genmaicha from the grocery store, fancy loose genmaicha mixed with matcha – I love it all. I have peasant tastes, what can I say?

I also like teas with lots of roastiness, so this blend seemed right up my alley. It certainly delivers on the roasted front, but I find it’s strong on the hojicha and weak on the rice. Plus there’s something about the flavor of hojicha that I find slightly off. I’m not sure how to describe it, and I can’t think of anything it compares to. It’s not the roasty quality per se, but I think it must be some kind of consequence of the roasting process. I’ve noticed it here and in Den’s hojicha, so I don’t think it’s staleness or anything like that. It’s not an awful flavor, but I could do without it.

I definitely prefer classic genmaicha – I love the contrast between roasted rice and vegetal green teas, and the hojicha’s weak on the vegetal notes and strong on the unidentifiable weird notes. This isn’t bad, though, and I am enjoying my cup.

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88

I tried a five-minute steep today, and, unsurprisingly, this tea is much bolder than it was last time I drank it. The Ceylon’s even more pronounced, I think – I’m getting even more fruitiness, which I’m enjoying quite a bit. I am getting the faintest hint of leather, but I’m pleased to say it’s not strong enough to detract from my enjoyment.

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91

This is a really lovely green – seaweedy and vegetal, but delicately so. I’m never good at identifying just what sorts of vegetal notes I taste in green teas, but if I had to take a stab at it here I’d go with edamame. Now that the tea has cooled a bit, I’m also picking up on the lemon Fuzzy_Peachkin mentioned in her review. I’ve never tasted a straight tea with such a pronounced citrus note. There’s some astringency and bitterness, but nothing that detracts from the experience. This is definitely a tea I’d be interested in restocking – I hope Bellocq keeps carrying it!

ETA: Not so impressed by the second steep, which is too bad given how pricey this tea is.

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77

My mom helped me finish off my sample pack of this last night. She thought it tasted like liquid Grape Nuts, and I think she nailed it (for me, at least). Maybe Grape Nuts with a light dusting of cocoa powder. I’m still glad I got to try this one, but a second tasting confirms that it’s just not really my thing.

Stephanie

hahaha, grape nuts! That’s awesome.

greenteafairy

Yeah, at first I was like, “Grape nuts? What?!” – but that’s exactly what it tastes like!

Fuzzy_Peachkin

lol! I would never have associated Laoshan black with grape nuts.

Stephanie

I get it. That whole malty flavor thing :)

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78

This smells super maple-y and wonderful, both dry and while steeping. The flavor’s pretty impressive too – the maple is assertive without becoming overwhelming, and it’s quite natural. I did let it steep for around five minutes, which resulted in a very strong, dark, malty base. There’s a bit of bitterness to it, but to me this is a nice foil for the sweetness of the maple. I’m really enjoying this – thanks so much for letting me try it out, Fuzzy_Peachkin!

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48

This is intensely grassy and woodsy, but surprisingly light at the same time. No snickerdoodles here – I wish! – but I am picking up on the pine notes. This reminds me of some Darjeelings – the driest, grassiest, most herbal kinds. Those are not my favorites, and this isn’t either. Still, it’s my first yabao, and I’m glad to have been able to try it. It’s unusual, for sure. Thanks (very belatedly) for this sample, moraiwe!

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82

Another sample from Teamore. I like this one better than the Thurbo, although they’re not entirely dissimilar. I’m getting lots of grassiness and a fair bit of astringency from this one as well, but here these notes are brighter and crisper and juicier than they were in the Thurbo.

Butiki Teas

Hmmm, surprised to see a bit of astringency in this one. Not sure if you used boiling water but I find this specific oolong really needs lower temperature water. :)

teamore

Great tip Stacy. Castleton is what started my love of tea. I had no idea what I was ordering in a tea shop and it was all over from then on. Just ordered more. I have always found this one to always be very smooth making it one of my favorites.

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78

This is very grassy and slightly astringent – pleasantly so, in my opinion. Not my favorite Darjeeling, but still an enjoyable cup. Thanks for letting me try this one, Teamore!

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Bio

Likes: greens, dark oolongs, genmaicha, fruity greens and oolongs, chai, matcha, jasmine, Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling

Dislikes: spearmint, chamomile, stevia, marshmallows, unflavored white teas, green oolongs

I’m always open to swaps; let me know if you’re interested!

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New York, NY

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