67 Tasting Notes
Sipped this one extensively over last couple of weeks and wrote a review on my blog:
Copy-paste the content in Google Translate and translate it as Croatian.
Another free sample provided by TeaVivre. Thank you!
Dry leaf is finely rolled with really dark green hue with a lot of petioles that give of pine leaf resemblance. That being said, leaf is 1,5 to 3 cm long and here and there you can find some around 4 cm. If you look more carefully you can also see some pebbles and even non-rolled leaf parts making (about 10-15%). There’s some smokiness about it, but you really have to dig in your nose to sense it.
One of the ways I savor dry leaf aroma is by dropping it in heated teapot and let it rise to my nostrils with the steam. At this point I can sense some buttery notes with vegetal hint.
1st infusion (3gr 80C 250ml 60s)
Clear liquor with light jade tone. On first sip you get a light hint of pleasant bitterness that quickly dissipates and turns to bold vegetable note, or more like some herbal tea with bitter note (like Mountain Germander). Finish is a bit dry and at this point I can picture myself quenching thirst with this tea in summer heat. I’ll have to wait for it though.
2nd infusion (80C 250ml 90s)
Second infusion yielded a bit stronger character with more bitterness but still in pleasant range. I think I shouldn’t have stretched it but keep it at 1 minute infusion – getting the impression that too much flavor got released.
Vegetal note has increased also and sweetness appears just after swallowing. Not bad, not bad at all.
3rd (3gr 80C 250ml 90s)
After this I’m pulling the plug. I could have pulled out one more steep if I hadn’t gone too far in second.
Here I get more robust cuppa with very little bitterness (less than from 1st steep) and astringency takes over. After swallowing starchy dryness is present in throat.
To wrap it up, I might get a bag of this as summer closes in, and I yet have to try it in cold brew fashion.
I don’t know why I hesitated to write a note about this one… I’ve done Grade 1 and Hao Ya, but I seem to forgot about this one. Oh well, better write it now while I’m in mood for it.
This is the cheapest Keemun you can get from TeaVivre. I guess I didn’t really want to buy it, but I felt the urge to get it just to feel how far are they from each other.
Dry leaf is unevenly rolled when compared to other grades and even having some red hue to it.
I find this tea to be few steps from my taste area for breakfast tea. It’s light in taste so I could blend it with Ceylon. On other hand, some finer notes come up when steeped with boiling water and 5-minute sit. It has a somewhat coffee background, only lacking in character, with cocoa and dimmed vegetal notes and even hint of coconut with splash of milk.
Pleasant cuppa, only lacking in character. And when I think about it, it reminds me of Prince of Wales.
Sample provided by TeaVivre, thank you!
I haven’t tried Mao Jian before and I was a taken aback by brewing instructions (90C water) and 36-month shelf life which is like a double for random green tea.
Dry leaves have a dark olive tone and are long and twisted with some white tips and mild toasted aroma. I quite experimented with this one (still have to try cold brew method though) and I find it to be sensitive to both steeping time and temperature.
TeaVivre’s brewing instruction for this tea:
" Just like all green teas, brew Taimu Maojian at approximately 194 ºF or 90ºC for 1 to 2 minutes. TeaVivre’s Maojian can be infused 6 or 7 times, and you should add about 25% to the brewing time and using slightly hotter water for each infusion."
When I first brewed it (followed the instructions) I used minimum 60 seconds for first steep and added 15 seconds to second steep. What I got was delicious first infusion with clear jade tone and similar profile as Bi Luo Chun: fresh, slightly vegetal with sturdy chestnut background and some pleasant astringency that quickly fades and turns into sweet finish.
Second infusion seem to keep all the previous characteristics with a big scoop of bitterness. It wasn’t the one that would wrinkle your face but still it makes one focus more on bitterness itself than on savoring nuttiness and sweetness that are included.
I kept on brewing it with 15 second increase per steep, and third infusion brought less bitterness than previous with accent on sweetness and nutty aftertaste. There was a significant drop of astringency as well. I also got some kind of tickling sensation on tongue.
Forth steep (105 seconds) is where I pulled the plug. Taste started wearing out to the point that I might not want to drink 5th infusion. It still retained some sweet and vegetal notes with fair nutty background. Tickling sensation on tongue is more notable than in 3rd infusion.
I think I got seldom results for my first try.
On second try I managed to make it right! First two 60 second steeps (and 90C water for all) brought out an even profile of first infusion in my previous attempt. I also noted some starchy dryness this time. As I moved toward third infusion I noticed how that nutty background reminds me of dry leaf of particular Long Jing I had recently. Sweetness lingers and lasts long after sipping. This tea reminds me somewhat of Bi Luo Chun, that I don’t particularly enjoy due to its astringency, but astringency of this Mao Jian fits perfectly to my taste.
Wet leaves have accented nutty profile and I could toss them in salad or something (it’s organic after all).
I noticed that there’s only 200g left of this tea in TeaVivre’s stock. I immediately snatched 100g … only one more bag left…
Just drank four steeps out of 3 grams (250 ml and about 85C per steep), one minute for 1st and 2nd steep, and two minutes for 3rd and 4th. Flavor is lighter and aroma is more subtle, less herbacious with usual characteristics(see previous notes). Even 4th steep had some flavor, like 1/3 of previous steeps, without taste of hot water (this is usually where I pull the plug).
NOTE: Originally, this note was written on non-organic Bai Mu Dan. I just noticed that I made a mistake, so I’m doing copy-paste on an organic one (the one I actually have and drink)
Hmm, now this is an interesting Bai MuDan… Before I get to the point I’ll focus on the dry leaf a bit.
I’ve drank only two Bai MuDan teas so far, this is my third. I noticed that leaf doesn’t have that pollen-y aroma like the other two, it’s more subtle aroma of certain textiles that I can’t quite put my finger on.
Leaf seems to be somewhat broken but has a decent amount of silver tips in two leaves and a bud fashion. I’m not a big fan of white tea, but I’ve learned that you can’t judge the leaf just by smell and appearance. After all, we’re supposed to drink this, right? My guess is that some of the leaf got broken during the handling and transportation. But in the end I don’t really mind, I just want a tasty cuppa.
First infusion (1min)
This tea shows more of taste than of smell compared to other White Peony I’ve drank. With its bright white-pinkish color it’s sweet, fruity, almost sour-citrus-like and it lingers. I really didn’t expect this for a white tea such as this. It’s actually very surprising, in positive manner.
To make myself more clear, this tea is more tasty and refreshing and less aromatic.
Now, into the second infusion (2min)
Second infusion brought out golden note and with taste cut in half where aromas are better expressed with same intensity as taste. I think that temperature of 90 Celsius squeezed a lot of its flavor in first infusion. I might experiment with this one to get two infusions that are almost even in appearance and taste.
This one surprised me. I’ll try cold brewing it overnight and see for the results.
I drink a lot of tea, but I usually forget to write notes.
I’m under 1/3 of 100gr bag of Premium Hao Ya grade of this tea, so now I’m trying to get it even with other two grades I purchased. What sometimes bothers me with TeaVivre’s Hao Ya grade is that it’s somewhat too light bodied and tends to lose part of its aroma when prepared with bottled water other than I usually use.
Keemun Grade 1 has more of a character, even little bitter possibly due to brewing it in tall inox thermos and thus water breaking some leaf and releasing bitterness. It’s really cold in Bosnia these days so I’m getting the feeling that water in my usual glass teapot is cooling down faster than it should and the end result isn’t satisfying. Moving on.
As I said infusion presents itself as more robust with a dash of bitterness and yet it feels light as it goes down the throat. I really can’t feel roasted notes but I do get some of that of steamed vegetables. All in all it’s pleasant for my palate, but I’m not making any ‘wows’ , an this cuppa can pass as breakfast tea for me.
I brewed 3 gr with 500 ml cold water overnight… about 12 hours.
What came out this morning was rather intensive tasting infusion, very vegetal with hint of astringency. It also had a strong herbal notes, sage to be more specific. Aftertaste was vibrant herbal with some sweetness that came after.
I might oversteep this one, or used too much leaf… but I did enjoy it.