1326 Tasting Notes
I am just getting a good start with this one and will probably keep steeping the same leaf tomorrow as well. I just wanted to jump in and say this is most unexpected. Well, maybe I should have suspected it from Teavivre. This raw pu-erh is only a couple months old but it is very tasty. I used the whole sample (how out of my comfort zone ). I did compromise just a little by using a gigantic 5 oz of water :) and I lowered the temperature of the first steep to 205 F for a 15 second steep. I was anticipating a young sharp bitter astringent blast. Instead I got some cheek tingle and some bite but very manageable. To me this is kind of fruity (maybe apricot) along with a nutty or woodsy taste. It is also kind of mineral in a good way.
The main reason I am posting before getting too far into the session is to report the antihistamine or camphor qualities are cooling my lungs and I feel like I can breathe to my toes. I love that. The is also an easy peaceful feeling present (que the Eagles). Excellent Cha Chi.
This tea isn’t yet on What-Cha’s website at the time I am writing this. I get the honor of sampling it before the rest of the world. Go Me!
Wha-Cha sources their Kenya teas directly from the farmers. This translates into hopefully a better wage for their hard work and a better fresher leaf for us.
The long leaf on this is very dark and lightly twisted. It looks more like a black tea but on closer examination it really does have a purplish cast. There are a few twigs. The aroma dry is grain and dry grass. The steeped leaf is olive green and brown. It maintains a purple tint and as I was examining it I noticed a blueberry tint to the small amount of liquid under the leaf. It has a heavy but awesome cooked spinach aroma.
The taste is completely different than the Yunnan purple varietal I tried the other day. It tasted like a mellow sheng. This Kenyan purple has a more traditional green tea flavor. As such I think it might appeal to a wider audience. It is a little grassy with a nice bite. It has a fruit note that is not overly sweet or tart and kind of grape like. I don’t really know plum taste – that is what Wha-Cha states in the description – but if my description fits the profile, then I agree with them :)
I wrote on my blog review that this reminds me of Mao Feng. If I had them side by side maybe it isn’t that close but going from memory that is the connection I make.
So my intention was to give a food grade Japanese matcha a whirl when I ran out of green tea powder for my breakfast milk concoction. But then Teavivre had an anniversary sale and marked this down 40%. 40%! Well that was a no brainer. I have already grown accustomed to its unique taste. Yeah, its bitter on its own but works for what I am doing with it.
The problem is my present supply is starting to show tin at the bottom. Why did I wait so long to order? The 8 oz of restock has shown no sign of moving in days when checking tracking. I know it always takes two – three weeks to get here, but if I just knew it was still moving it would be easier to wait. Why do I keep checking? Aaarrrrrgggghhhh!
I may be forced to return to the world of Hershey’s syrup for a few days while I sit hitting refresh on USPS. :)
Just having some fun. Trust me, I’ll survive.
I like this one. The dry leaf has a fine pipe tobacco leaf aroma. The cup smells sweet and fruity. The taste is bold but not harsh. A little tongue tingle but not bitter or particularly drying. Nice light maltiness in the fruity aftertaste. The Persimmon Tree says this tastes boldly of apple. To me it was more woodsy with fruity grape leaf notes. Sniffing the cooling wet leaf (I can’t help myself) really brings out that grape aroma. Not really sweet but sweet enough on its own that even I thought sweetener was a detraction. I have very little experience with Darjeeling in general but that does not stop me from saying I enjoyed this one.
I’m tempted just to copy my blog review over here but I will resist. What-Cha is a new UK company. They have free international shipping on orders over $35, and a flat $6 for lesser orders. That seems to include my friends in Canada!
This tea leaf smells awesome. It is sweet and sour like other Chinese greens with the addition of kind of a bread like aroma and a wonderful breath of smoke (not heavy LS or even Keemun).
The taste is so different I had to contact What-Cha and ask if this is indeed a green or if it is a sheng. Alistair wrote back as quickly as time zones would allow and confirmed it is prepared as a green tea. The interesting thing is the large purple leaves of this particular varietal have been cultivated (my word – maybe not the correct one) for producing pu’erh. So I am sort of on the right track.
What I am tasting is sheng like without any of that bright metallic taste. It is mild and vegetal, earthy, along with a stone fruit note (I am thinking apricot). The smoke briefly appears at the back of the sip and just fits. In later cups I notice it developing spicy and floral notes.
More sheng comparisons to this green tea – My lungs feel cool and fresh like I can breath to my toes. I noticed a peaceful sense of well being while sipping. I also found it produced a quiet stomach rumble leading me to believe this tea is soothing to my system. Your mileage may vary.
I found this tea to be captivatingly different. I am 30 ounces into steeping the same leaf and it appears it is going to go more.
Had to make a run to town this morning for some tests – my wife this time. Stopped at Starbucks afterwards. After making my own green tea powder concoction, theirs is way too sweet, but refreshing anyway. I need to find some xanthan gum so mine will thicken like theirs.
Anyway, checking the mail when we got home, there was a new box of samples from Teavivre. Yesterday I got a really big box from another company, and the day before another smaller one. My wife said those words… Don’t you think you have enough tea yet? Not sure if i should have told her about the Anniversary box that is on its way from Teavivre. That one is different. It is mostly more green tea powder that I’m using everyday… and… some stuff to reach free shipping.
With the medicine in me today, I am feeling pretty good. I think I’ll go to band practice tonight and see how it goes.
Prepared this one again today to see how my taste buds and smeller are reacting to the medicine. I did not add sweetener, which as many of you know is almost unheard of from me. I have learned to use less leaf with this so as not to get overpowering floral. I used 2..5 g with 5 oz water and 195 F water for 1 minute. The jasmine is well behaved. There is just a hint of bite and a slight cheek tingle. It also seems slightly salty. That may be the medicine, but otherwise I think I can taste again.
On the sad side I noticed a crack in my favorite teapot. Apparently I must have bumped the spout of my crystal teapot on the sink. The crack runs down the top edge of the spout. I’ll keep an eye on it but will continue to use it unless it gets worse. I never cared for teapots until I got this one. This one is borosilicate (sp?) glass. It was less than $20. I wonder if the more expensive ones are just as fragile?
I started today with my usual green tea powder frap and then a breathing treatment. I sound like Darth Vader when they broke him at the end of Episode IV. I guess that is better than the gasping martians of yesterday but not great. Called the clinic to find out what happened to one of my prescriptions – turns out someone forgot to hit send. Drove to town. Wife went in to pick it up for me. Now I am steeping this up thinking it is probably a good idea to mix puerh with antibiotics. We’ll see.
20 second steep. This one is another very nice tea. The wet leaf scent is kind of strong but there is nothing off in the cup. Kind of dusty with a light bite and plenty of old leather and loam or a woodsy taste. There is also a fruity or floral note way in the back. It becomes very smooth if you add just a bit of sweetener.
I am not good at describing the subtle differences between various similar puerhs. I do know what I like when I taste it, and this, I like.
I stayed home this morning. I play guitar with the praise team and I never miss. I’ve even played with a broken arm. I’m tough and playing is something I have to do. Until I nearly suffer the fate of H.G. Wells martians as the tiniest of microbes plot their attack. But O’ happy day, I’m not a martian and I have an immune system and a walk in clinic. And now I have steroids, anibiotics, and albuterol. My head will probably not explode and I will get over this. My taste buds and sense of smell are dulled but they mostly work. My biggest issue is this allergy/bug/whatever has made my O2 levels uncomfortably low. I’ve dealt with hypoxia my whole life (told you I’m tough) but I find as I get older I have to stay on top of it more. Golden years my butt.
I grabbed this one because it is warm and comforting. The grassy malt of the dry leaf has me feeling better already. Mug method with about 3.5 g of leaf. It is sweet and smooth with wonderful malt and light cocoa/ caramel notes. There is just a slight bite to it that I appreciate. Excellent choice for an early cup.