58 Tasting Notes
(1st steep: 2 min) I have been looking forward to this tea all day. Luckily, I was not disappointed. The blended aroma of cut grass and toasted rice grains is solidly presented in this tea. The cut grass carries over into the flavor, and is well balanced with the toasted grain and bread flavor from the rice. Also, there is a brightness brought to this tea from the matcha powder. It adds weight and a chewiness to the tea which makes it filling. I would be happy drinking this tea any time of the day.
(2nd steep: 2 min 30 sec) There is less of the grassy notes in this steeping. I believe this is due to the lack of matcha powder in this steeping. However, the toasted rice has taken on a malted barley aroma. It is sweeter than the first steeping. Some of this sweetness carries into the flavor, but not enough to where I can be more specific. The flavor in the tea has turned more herbal than grass. However, I am having trouble placing it due to the toasted notes from the rice. As the tea cooled, the herbal flavor is clearly similar to seaweed, and goes well with the tea.
Flavors: Grass, Roasted Barley, Seaweed, Toasted Rice
(1st steep: 4 min) This is the most unusual Darjeeling I have ever tasted. I had to go back an reassure myself that it was indeed a black tea. It looks and smells like many of the Japanese green teas I have had and enjoyed in the past. The aroma is very grassy and vegetal with a a very slight sulfur finish. These aromas carried over into the tea’s flavor. Very solid cut grass and green leafy vegetables, like spinach or kale. The is a slight pine and orange pith finish. Very interesting and unique. I am looking forward to the second steep.
(2nd steep: 4 min 30 sec) Much of the cut grass aroma is toned down, but there is still a solid vegetal presence. I will say that the flavor of the tea has changed and reduced the cut grass flavor cute a bit. It and the strong green leafy vegetable have been balanced with a malt and slight chocolate flavor. Which doesn’t sound like it should taste good, but it is quite pleasant. The tea finishes smoothly with almost no drying in the mouth.
Flavors: Chocolate, Grass, Kale, Malt, Pine, Spinach
(1st steep: 5 min) There is a very distinct aroma to an English breakfast teas. That is my first thought when smelling this tea. There is all of the usual aromas of a black tea along with a slight breadiness. I imagine as it cools some sweeter fruit aromas will appear. The first flavor I pick up from this tea is biscuit followed by a slight tart bitterness. It reminds me of an almost ripe strawberry or blueberry.There is a dry mouthfeel to this tea, but it doesn’t seem to dry the mouth. I believe in all the English breakfast teas I have tried this is the second on I have liked. I am curious as to how the second steeping will turn out.
(2nd steep: 5 min 30 sec) The aroma is the same as from the first steeping, but the flavor has changed slightly. There is still the dry mouthfeel which I enjoy. However, there is less biscuit flavor. Taking its place is a slightly sweet fruit flavor. It is subtle and doesn’t remain long. I would love to have more of this tea to enjoy on a daily basis.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Tart
(1st steep: 4 min) There is a nice floral aroma to this tea that makes me glad I saved it for an end of the work day tea. There are some subtle fruit notes in this tea. I want to say it is close to melon due to the subtle flavor. It could be because it is summer, but I am thinking watermelon. Additionally, there is a honey flavor which pairs nicely with the fruit. All in all a great tea for a hot summer day.
(2nd steep: 4 min 30 sec) Almost no floral notes from before are present in the second steeping. The fruit and honey are actually stronger in the second steeping of this tea. There is a lovely watermelon flavor when you first taste the tea. This changes to a subtle honey flavor as the tea cools and remains for a short time after the tea has swallowed. I will be coming back to this tea in the future when I have more time to do additional steepings.
Flavors: Honey, Melon
(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
(1st steep: 45 sec) There is a nearly overwhelming amount of grass and vegetable aroma coming from this tea. I had a feeling it would strong from the green of the tea leaves. The first flavor you get is cut grass with a slight corn flavor underneath. The grass lingers for quite a while after the tea has been swallowed. Given the strength in aroma and flavor of this tea, I wonder if a second steeping will tone it down a little.
(2nd steep: 1 min) The aroma is toned down quite a bit in the second steeping, but is still much the same as the first cup. The flavor has not been toned down much. However, the corn undertone is not present in this steeping. It has been replaced with a more vegetable flavor. I am having trouble picking out what green vegetable, but if I had to guess I would say broccoli. Despite these subtle changes the tea still has the long finish present in the first steeping.
Flavors: Broccoli, Corn Husk, Grass, Vegetables
(1st steep: 2 min) Still fighting a little bit of congestion, but the floral jasmine aroma cuts right thought any issues. The aroma and flavor are exactly what I would expect from a jasmine green tea. Much like spring captured in a tea. I have to agree with the tasting notes that this tea has a soft mouthfeel. I don’t think there is a better way to describe it. There are the usual floral notes that you would expect from a Jasmine along with the subtle grass flavor from the green tea. It is a well balanced and flavorful tea. As the tea has cooled, I am picking up what I can only describe as honeysuckle. I am looking forward to see how this tea evolves during the other steepings.
(2nd steep: 2 min 30 sec) There is still a strong floral aroma from the tea, but I believe I made a mistake increasing the steeping time. The tea has taken on a metallic aftertaste. Many of the flavors from the first steeping are still present including the honeysuckle. However, most of the pleasant notes are displaced by the metallic finish. I am going to attribute that metallic finish to my over-steeping the tea.
Flavors: Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Grass
(1st steep: 4 min) My first thought with this tea is that it is a subtler Lapsang Souchong. There is a definite smokey armoa and flavor to it, but not as strong as I have come to expect from Lapsang Souchong. There is a slight pine resin flavor to it as well. It finishes with a slight earthiness that I would expect from a pu-erh. However, since I am fighting a cold and needed something a little stronger this morning, this tea is a good choice. Hopefully, it holds up over a couple more re-steepings.
(2nd steep: 4 min 30 sec) Surprisingly, the tea has all of the same aromas as the first steeping. A good bit of the smoke flavor has disappeared from the the tea, but has been replaced by a subtle chocolate flavor. The earthiness overpowers the pine resin as well. I have a feeling this tea will become more complex as I continue steeping it.
(3rd steep: 5 min) Much of the original smoke aroma is now gone. However, there is a still a nice earthy aroma present in the tea. It reminds me of many of the black teas that I enjoy. I don’t have a better description than that. A surprising change in the flavor is the addition of a slightly sweet stone fruit flavor. Something between lychee and peach. It blends well with the reduced flavors and adds a new layer to this tea. Something I forgot to mention but has been noticeable through all steepings is a lack of astringency. This tea allows the flavors to remain after the tea has been swallowed.
I would recommend this tea for a nice lazy Saturday or Sunday morning when you have time to sit and enjoy the multiple steepings. Great coffee substitute.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Lychee, Pine, Stonefruits
(1st steep: 2 min) My first thoughts on smelling this tea is that it might be the most toasted green tea I have had. It is unique compared to a lot of green teas I have tried. The aromas are more unsweetened cacao, wood, and roasted nuts. There are no vegetable or grass aromas. The aromas carry over to the flavors. I pick up lots of unsweetened chocolate and roasted nuts mixed with wood. I can’t quite put my finger on the wood except that it isn’t a pine resin wood flavor. Maybe something more like oak or a dry hard wood. Finally, there is a solid astringent finish to this tea that I am not used to from green teas. After the tea cooled, I am beginning to pick out some grass flavors. They are subtle but stand out a little more once the tea has cooled.
(2nd steep: 2.5 min) The second steeping of this tea presents a more grass aromas. The wood and cacao are still the primary aromas, but they don’t overpower the subtle grass aroma as much as the first steeping. Overall, the flavors are similar to the first stepping, but more mellow. I am picking up a slight green vegetable flavor that I want to say is like asparagus.
(3rd steep: 3 min) The third steeping of the Houjicha Ichiban the chocolate and wood aromas are almost completely replaced by grass and vegetables. However, there is a slightly sweet chocolate flavor that has appeared. It is not quite milk chocolate in the mouth-feel and flavor, but it is close. There is a slight grass flavor right before it is overwhelmed by the chocolate.
Flavors: Asparagus, Chocolate, Grass, Nuts, Roasted Barley, Wood
(1st steep: 2 min) So it may be because I brewed beer this weekend and the vanilla pound cake that was delivered by the office food fairies, but I pick up a solid malt aroma from this tea. It reminds me of grains after the sugars have been extracted so it is not sweet, but there is a decided grain note. The first flavor that I taste is clover honey. It is a strong flavor and continues to linger after the tea has been swallowed. As the tea cools, the honey flavor mellows a bit and allows the grain and malt come back. There is a very slight astringency at the end which dries the mouth slightly, but not enough to be unpleasant or remove the flavors of the tea.
(2nd steep: 2.5 min) The second steeping of this tea had a similar aroma to the first steeping. The bread and grain are still pretty forward in this tea. There is almost no honey present. However, it is still a pleasant tea to sip on in the afternoon. The flavors still linger after the tea has been swallowed.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey