61 Tasting Notes
(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 A good bit of the smoke flavor has disappeared from the the tea, but has been replaced by a subtle chocolate flavor.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
The aroma from this tea is a combination of toasted bread, coconut, and molasses. I am worried that it will be overly sweet in flavor, but it is quite pleasing to smell. As the tea has cooled, a new aroma of cacao has appeared leveling out the initial sweetness. The first flavor that I am detecting is more of the cacao and chocolate. The sweetness from the aroma is non-existent in the flavor of this tea, and given the roasted notes present it drinks more like a coffee. However, there is a slight sour finishing flavor to this tea. I would say it is similar to red grape skins. Given the rare perfect spring day we are having today this is a perfect after lunch drink.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Coconut, Molasses
There are so many aromas from this tea that it is difficult to pick them out. I am getting floral notes, peach, resin, corn, and even what I can only describe as butter. Despite the complex layers of aroma it is a very pleasant smelling tea. The floral and peach carry over into the flavor of the tea as well. It is amazing to have a tea this complex, but not be overwhelmed by it. In addition to the fruit and peach, there is a slight citrus, almost grapefruit, towards the end which keeps the tea from getting too sweet. I will be buying more of this tea as one cup is not enough to fully explore it.
Flavors: Corn Husk, Flowers, Orange Zest, Peach, Pine
This tea has aromas that I associate with South Georgia during the summer. I am reminded of boiled peanuts and freshly cut grass. Given the rainy weather this might be the best choice I could have made for an afternoon tea. There is a slight flavor at the beginning of the tea that reminds me of dry-roasted peanuts. This is quickly replaced with a heavy vegetal and grass. Finally, there is a slight earthiness that is quite pleasing. It really is summer in a cup and a solid reminder of why Dragonwell is one of my favorite green teas.
Flavors: Earth, Grass, Nuts
The aroma of this tea is similar to one of my favorite pipe tobaccos. The connection to Virginia No. 1 was instantaneous. The tobacco carries over into the flavor of the tea, but is balanced by a nice chocolate undertone. The flavors layered together are pleasant and balanced. This is a bold tea with wake you up flavors. It also my be the first tea that I would enjoy while smoking a pipe.
(1st steep; 3.5 min) This tea has an aroma that I have come to associate with black tea. I wish I had a better description, but that the only description I have arrived at. The first flavor that I detect from this tea is a slightly sweet fruitiness like that of a melon. This is quickly replaced by wood and copper. I am curious to see how it changes in additional steepings. There is a drying sensation that quickly removes any lingering flavors once the tea has been swallowed. While a solid black tea, nothing about it stands out for me.
(2nd steep; 4 min) In the second steeping, the aroma is closer to tobacco. Some of that tobacco flavor comes through in the flavor of the tea. There is less of the sweet fruit (melon) flavor than in the first steeping. The wood is still very forward with the tobacco finishing out the layers of flavor. The tobacco seems to have replaced the copper in the first steeping. There is still the drying at the end which is nice which clears away the flavors. I am enjoying the second steep more than the first.
(3rd steep; 4.5 min) The aroma from the final steeping presents a heavier tobacco than the previous steepings. The fruit flavor is now closer to a grape than a melon. There is almost no wood flavor, but the tobacco is present and central. Also, there is a notable lack of the drying in this steeping. That is not to say that this steeping is mellow. I have enjoyed how this tea has changed during the each steeping.
Flavors: Grapes, Melon, Tobacco, Wood
There is a warm aroma to this tea. I can’t quite say if it is cinnamon or clove, but it is similar in the heat that is detected. There is a lot of the cinnamon and clove flavor in the tea as well as a slight spiciness. There is a pleasant earthiness to this tea. There is a distinct mint, like spearmint, undertone which gives the impression of cooling the spiciness. There is less tannin than I would expect from a black tea which helps round out the complexity of this tea. I could see this tea paired with a coffee cake or alone as an evening night cap with a touch of honey.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Earth
The aroma of this tea is much like a nice mineral water. Similar to the smell of stones after it rains. The mineral continues to be forward facing in the flavor of the tea. However, it is not overpowering. I pick up on other flavors like mint, eucaluptus, and cut-grass that compliment out the minerals. While I didn’t pick up on the pine or savory flavors mentioned in the description. I believe this would be a great tea that could hold its own with a heavier meal. I am thinking a nice grilled steak cooked with rosemary. Another great and unique choice by Steepster in the select program.
Flavors: Grass, Mineral