141 Tasting Notes

100

(From the UTTB.)

Backlog from a few days ago! Jotted down notes but never posted them. I need to stop doing that. I’ve been on Steepster for almost a year and I’ve only written 50 tasting notes, what’s up with that? I want to get to at least 100 before end of summer! I’m getting there, slowly and surely…but I digress. (:

First sip of this tea was fruity, then it morphed into something thick and malty and chocolatey sweet! Exactly like the way it smelled. It was like chocolate graham crackers. And it was very distinctly NUTTY and RICEY for me. I’ve seen very few other people comment on those flavors, so maybe I’m crazy?! It reminded me of Verdant’s LBCG so MUCH. It tasted like it had puffed rice in it. All of the sudden it had me thinking of Cocoa Pebbles and Cocoa Krispies cereal, transporting me right back into my childhood.

The second steep was smoother with less astringency, not that there was really any to begin with. A caramel-vanilla sweetness peeked in. Less fruitiness and a thinner texture. It doesn’t coat the mouth as much. The predominant flavors for me were rich chocolate and toasted rice. It was an absolutely decadent cup. Like dessert, but not. BETTER! I was going to add this one to my next WP order and trying it beforehand only affirmed it for me.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Fruity, Graham Cracker, Malt, Nutty, Toasted Rice, Vanilla

TeaBrat

AH, I want to try this someday!

MzPriss

@TeasBrat – check your mail next week

MzPriss

Sorry I typo’d your name :(

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76
drank Gong Fu by Zhi Tea
141 tasting notes

I don’t really see anything special about this tea. I’ve tried it several different ways, using water from 200F to boiling, steeping anywhere from 1-5 minutes without getting a cup I thought was really spectacular. It’s a straightforward breakfast-y tea. A little astringent, some fruitiness, some really light cocoa notes and a winey quality about it. There’s a sweetness to the aftertaste that builds slowly. I can tell that these hints of flavor are there, but it always falls flat to me. I know there are plenty of people who like it more than I do…Maybe someone else will be willing to swap or just take it off my hands?

Flavors: Astringent, Cocoa, Fruity, Muscatel

boychik

i feel the same way. not bad, average. I’ve sampled too many Chinese Blacks

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drank Jin Jun Mei Black Tea by Yezi Tea
141 tasting notes

Backlog. Received in a swap with KiwiDelight!

It’s been a little while since I had this one, so I’ve only got my notes to go by.
This was my first Jin Jun Mei. It was light, woodsy, and a little drying on the tongue. Floral and grape-y like a Darjeeling. There was a malty feeling left in my mouth after swallowing. Hints of olive oil…and a little sweetness. A very pleasant, quiet and mellow tea! Enjoyable but not something I’ll likely be reaching for in the future. (: Still good.

Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Grapes, Malt, Orchid, Sweet, Wood

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86

(From the UTTB.)

I don’t have any experience with Keemuns so I don’t have a point of reference for this one. It’s assertive on the front end, on the lighter side of malty, and it has a slight earthy quality about it. Light/medium bodied and smooth. There are some fruity floral undertones that are subtle, affecting the way the tea reads as a color to me. Bright reddish orange maybe? Much like the color of the tea liquid. It’s drying in a pleasant way that makes my mouth water. A touch of smoke and wood. There’s a thick, caramel sweet potato aftertaste that balances the other flavors nicely. The flavor is thick but the texture is not. It still maintains a bright cheerfulness. It’s quite nice.

New goal: find the perfect Keemun for me!
Gosh I need more breakfast teas. My cupboard is severely lacking. ;)

Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Wood

Stephanie

I really like this one too :)

boychik

i must be crazy because no one mentions saltiness of this tea like in aftertaste

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99
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
141 tasting notes

(From the UTTB.)

Gosh…I feel like I shouldn’t even be writing about this tea. It’s indescribably lovely. It’s exquisite and refined. It’s vanilla and brown sugar, spice and baked bread. There’s a wonderful natural sweetness to it that’s making my eyes roll back in my head. The first two steeps were a minute long and they were very subdued, in my opinion. I would have liked them to be stronger…but there was the promise of greatness there. Third steep was two minutes. Now I feel like we’ve gotten past the paltry pleasantries, the “hello, how are you”s, and we’ve started to really get to know each other. How could I describe the taste or the texture of the tea? All descriptive words are coming up short. It’s soft and silky. Some people are saying “creamy” but I don’t think I would use it to describe the way the tea liquor feels. More like…the way it makes your mouth feel after you’ve swirled it around your teeth and swallowed. There’s a chocolate maltiness that begins to emerge, slowly, as you continue steeping. Restrained and intriguing. It’s heavenly. Yet, despite all its breathtaking loveliness, it’s a very humble cup! It’s the kid in the corner of the classroom who you didn’t know was a poet and a genius because he speaks so softly. I don’t know what I did to deserve this moment with these leaves. If it maintains flavor for as long as others have said, I’ll be holding on to these leaves for days, stretching out these moments as long as I can. I’ll listen to the secrets they unfold and hope that one day, I’ll be able to put them into words…

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Honey, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla

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86

(From the UTTB.)

Having this tea for breakfast this morning! The tea liquor is a coppery red-amber and the aroma is smokey sweet. First sip was a little astringent, and I was worried that the entire cup would be that way. Not so. It has a bold, no-nonsense way about it—like an Assam. The more I sip the more the initial bitterness becomes a distant memory. It’s chocolatey, malty and caramel sweet at the end. There’s a drying fruity taste to it that’s like raisins or cranberries…maybe plums, with their slightly bitter skins. I like the briskness and the bittersweet qualities of this tea! It’s exactly what I needed this AM!

Drank straight, but could stand up to milk and sugar. I would recommend brewing at lower temps…MzPriss wrote 180F on the packet, but I brewed closer to 200. I couldn’t imagine using boiling water. It would be much too bitter for me.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Floral, Fruity, Raisins, Smoke

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

happy to read that you enjoyed the tea. Cheers, Joe

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(From the UTTB.)

First steep: The aroma of the tea is kind of like Laoshan Green—it’s beany. The taste doesn’t quite match. It’s savory and a little grassy. There’s a fruitiness that reminds me of lychee fruit and citrus…as I’ve said in other notes, I often think of colors when I’m tasting something. Especially tea. This one is like citrus because it makes me think of citrus colors: bright green, yellow, and orange…it doesn’t necessarily make me think of citrus fruits. It’s bright with a savory-bitter background that’s like vegetables. There’s a floral creaminess to the aftertaste, but it’s not very noticeable.

Second steep: It smells like…squash? There’s a little more tang and a little more vegetable in this cup. The citrus/lychee is stronger, too. It softens at the end of each sip, turning once more into a flowery, creamy flavor. Predominantly it’s grassy and vegetal. I left it to cool and returned when it was lukewarm. The cooler temperature made it seem more creamy, with a bean-like softness to it. This makes me wonder how it would taste cold-brewed.

It’s not a bad tea, just not for me!

Flavors: Artichoke, Bitter, Citrus, Creamy, Floral, Grass, Lychee, Tangy, Vegetable Broth, Vegetal, Zucchini

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83

(From the UTTB.)

This is everything I imagine when I think of an Assam. It’s bright, vibrant, and a little fruity with a touch of caramel sweetness. It’s cheerful! The first cup was more bold and drying on the tongue. Not very astringent, but definitely drying. I’d say it’s a medium-bold tea. The second cup mellowed out a bit to allow some of the sweet caramel notes to peek through. (Wasn’t getting much in the first.) I think it’s a good breakfast tea. I prefer my calm-chocolatey-floral-sweet evening teas, but this was still quite nice! I drank it straight but it could definitely stand up to some milk and sugar.

Flavors: Caramel, Fruity, Tannin

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(From the UTTB.)

This is a gentle and unassuming tea. Lightly roasted, with a buttery taste and floral background. It’s clean. Fresh. Green. It’s like spring water and flower stems to me. I prefer more oxidized oolongs, but this is still nice. It’s just not something I could see myself craving.

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95

(From the UTTB.)

The leaves are very pretty: tiny, curled little things that are a dusky brown color. Some have an orange tint, others are touched with silver. As soon as the leaves hit they all turn a deep autumnal orange. They’re still dark in tone.

The smell…wow, to describe the smell. Very complex. I kept sniffing while it steeped because I was so surprised by all of the scents I was picking up. At first it was fruity with this tart, astringent undercurrent. Then it was like bell peppers. It was peppery, both like crushed black pepper and bell peppers. Kind of earthy. Then it was sweet and fruity again. Now, it’s sweet and spicy on a backdrop of cinnamon. It smells kind of like bread. There’s also this other quality that I can’t describe…I’m guessing it’s muscatel. It reminds me of olive oil. It’s blowing my mind over here.

I’m sipping now and it’s not going to be any easier for me to describe the taste! There’s so much going on. Here are my impressions, in order: light body, green, fruity, sweet, cream, olive oil, more fruit, silkiness, soft, bread, lingering sweetness. It’s even a little malty. It covers your mouth with softness and a sparkling fruity taste. There’s also a certain earthiness to it. That bell pepper thing I was talking about. It’s got spice and pep. It has the qualities of both a black tea and a white tea! I love it.

Second steep, smells light with a little fruitiness and spice. It has a roastiness about it. It tastes like fruit with the same olive oil/muscatel notes as before. There’s more spice and pepper in this cup. There’s a touch of nutty roastiness too. In the aftertaste there’s something that makes me think of apple skins…the crispness of them, the fruit taste matched by a sort of darker, bitter note. (The tea itself is NOT bitter.) There’s some earthiness with a lingering sweet cream flavor. It’s soft with a guava-like sweetness.

I’ve got to run but I’ll probably be back for a third, or even a fourth steep. This is just too good. No words can describe. None. (:

apt

mmm nepalese tea. if darj is the champagne nepals are ummmm…. the cristal?

TeaBrat

the teas from this estate are always good…

tea-sipper

Single Origin’s Jun Chiyabari strikes again! :D

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Bio

I am still relatively new to loose leaf, as I have only been drinking it since 2013. I’m amazed at how much my tastes have changed just over the past year. I have met such lovely, kind individuals on Steepster and am so glad to have become a part of this community.

Pure black teas are my favorite. I drink black tea daily and I try to keep a variety on hand. I also enjoy white tea, puerh, and the occasional oolong. Matcha is something that I love though I haven’t tried a large variety. The very good matcha that I’ve had is quite expensive. In general I try to stay away from flavored teas—especially those with artificial flavorings—but I will make rare exceptions, and I do enjoy a well crafted blend of straight teas. Things I (usually) don’t like: green oolongs, rooibos, straight green teas.

Rating System
90+ The very best! Teas that I always need in my cupboard!
85-89 Teas that I enjoy immensely and will try to keep around.
80-84 Makes a very pleasing cup. I will enjoy drinking them, but won’t necessarily try to keep around. (There are exceptions.)
70-79 Decent, but could be better.
60-69 Mediocre.
40-59 Gross. I might still try to finish the cup.
39 & under Undrinkable. I probably dumped this cup. Depending on the specific rating, I probably threw the rest of the tea out as well.

Some of my favorite tea companies are:
-Whispering Pines Tea Co.
-Verdant Tea
-Mandala Tea

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