625 Tasting Notes

82

Bought this during the Todd & Holland sidewalk sale a few months ago.

Smells like spice and white tea florals in the bag. When the leaves are heated, there’s honey along with notes of stir fried vegetables, beans, and a slight whiff of smoke. The brewed tea has a slightly roasty, smooth Darjeeling-like flavor with a hint of muscatel. Tastes virtually the same cold brewed.

Not a bad tea by any stretch but tastes a little boring, like a muted Darjeeling.

Flavors: Wood

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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99
drank Shiranami Kabusecha by Tezumi
625 tasting notes

This was an unexpectedly beautiful tea. I’ve never been so floored by kabusecha before. Kabusecha is supposed to straddle the middle ground between gyokuro and sencha but this one feels like it belongs in its own category. It’s neither grassy like sencha nor umami heavy like gyokuro. Best way to describe is it tastes like you’re drinking the sea. Buttery with matcha-like freshness and oceanic flavors that remind me of sashimi. Perfect balance of sweetness, umami, and sea tones.

It was my first time ordering from Tezumi so I only got a sample. Really wish I had picked up an entire bag as this is easily the best kabusecha I’ve ever had.

Flavors: Ocean Air, Seashell, Umami

Preparation
2 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
ashmanra

I love your description!

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90
drank Hoji-cha by Yamamotoyama
625 tasting notes

I have my wife to thank for getting me into this tea. As she’s sensitive to caffeine, houjicha and herbals are the only teas we can drink together. Despite not being big fan of houjicha, this bagged Asian grocery store tea has slowly won me over.

It’s not ashy or earthy like houjicha can sometimes be. It’s roasty without being aggressively so. Very smooth with a rich body and mellow comforting flavor. Can sit forever in a mug of hot water without becoming bitter.

I’ve had higher grade houjicha and while they were good, the subtleties are sadly lost on a houjicha-heathen like me. Sometimes, the bagged stuff is the best.

Flavors: Earthy, Roasty

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C
Michelle

I remember liking this one enough that it’s gone from my cupboard, and I’d buy another box if I ever found it again.

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45
drank Apple Cinnamon by Herbal Cup
625 tasting notes

TJ Maxx find. Was hoping this would be similar to Tim Horton’s Apple Cinnamon Tea but unfortunately it doesn’t even come close. It tastes like you’re drinking a boiled cinnamon stick. The apple flavor is absent and the stevia adds an odd sweet tone. A very one dimensional cup.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
Boiling

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94

Spring 2022 harvest.

First time trying Eco-Cha’s Wenshan Baozhong and it did not disappoint. This is an all around excellent tea.

Out of the bag, the dry leaves are beautifully aromatic and fresh with a fragrant aroma of stonefruit, sweep sap, and flowers. Lilac and balsamic aromas appear in the wet leaf. It has that classic Baozhong lilac forward taste. This is accented with notes of water lily, bergamot, and orchid. Clean and medium bodied with lingering perfume in the finish. The top notes disappear and the flavor lightens when topped off but still very pleasant.

I mostly steeped it grandpa style @ 190-195 F topping off with boiling water. I preferred it this way to gongfu which was richer but missing some subtleties.

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Lilac, Lily, Orchid, Sap, Stonefruit

Cameron B.

Just pointing it out if you haven’t already noticed, you posted this note twice.

LuckyMe

Thanks, looks like Steepster ate my first tasting note and spit it out along with the second one.

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94

Spring 2022 harvest.

First time trying Eco-Cha’s Wenshan Baozhong and it did not disappoint. This is an all around excellent tea.

Out of the bag, the dry leaves are beautifully aromatic and fresh with a fragrant aroma of stonefruit, sweep sap, and flowers. Lilac and balsamic aromas appear in the wet leaf. It has that classic Baozhong lilac forward taste. This is accented with notes of water lily, bergamot, and orchid. Clean and medium bodied with lingering perfume in the finish. The top notes disappear and the flavor lightens when topped off but still very pleasant.

I mostly steeped it grandpa style @ 190-195 F topping off with boiling water. I preferred it this way to gongfu which was richer but missing some subtleties.

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Lilac, Lily, Orchid, Sap, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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50
drank Dreamland by President's Choice
625 tasting notes

This one smells very minty, like Junior Mints candy. The mintiness is also present in the tea which bears some similarity to DavidsTea Cold 911 except there is an unpleasant herbaceous-medicinal taste which I suspect is due to the chamomile in the blend.

I was intrigued by the list of ingredients which includes chamomile, lemongrass, rose, lemon peel, blackberry, and different varieties of mint. However none of them are discernible in the cup as the mint overpowers everything .

Flavors: Herbal, Mint

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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96

Spring 2022.

My second Yunnan Sourcing Long Jing and easily the better of the two.

This tea has a sweet, creamy aroma and the leaves are longer and less broken than the Imperial Grade. I steeped it the traditional grandpa method: tea leaves directly in the cup.

In a warm glass, the leaves emitted a nutty aroma that reminded me of Rice Krispies. The brewed tea has a very nice nutty freshness. Chestnut and lima bean are the dominant flavors but there are green bean and pistachio notes as well. It’s more chestnutty than any dragonwell I’ve had. Pleasant and smooth throughout with zero bitterness.

Holds up well in cold storage and makes an excellent cold brew.

Flavors: Chestnut, Green Beans, Lima Beans, Nutty, Pistachio

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87

Spring 2022 harvest.

Anji Bai Cha has quickly become one of my must-haves when it comes to spring green tea. This one was good but not as sublime as last year’s crop from Teavivre.

The color of the leaf was also different. Dark green needles instead of the light green leaves with white streaks I’m used to. Very vegetal aroma with notes of raw zucchini, okra, and straw. I steeped 2g of leaf grandpa style in my tumbler.

First sip tasted like creamy cannellini beans. Then as I continued to sip, I got notes of aloe and blueberry. Straw and dry grass appear as it cooled. Flavor profile resembled another Teavivre Chinese green, Tian Mu Yun Wu.

When gongfued, it had fuller flavor and body but also a slight bitterness. Bean curd, straw, aloe, and fennel notes. The fennel and straw soften with later steeps and the tea overall becomes smoother, cleaner.

It’s best steeped when fresh and doesn’t take too well to sitting on the shelf or cold storage. I noticed the flavor began dropping after a couple of months.

Leafhopper

Agreed, that Anji Bai Cha from Teavivre was good. It’s one of the few green teas I’d consider repurchasing.

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97

Spring 2022.

Just when I thought I might be getting tired of Laoshan tea, this year’s production comes along to remind me why I loved this tea in the first place. First flush greens can often be a little bland but this one is robust with layers of flavor.

A wonderful aroma of fresh grass, oats, flowers, and boiled milk greets the nose. The flavor is exquisite with its melon sweetness and notes of soft fennel, basil, and soymilk. A hint of toasted grain in the background adds a nice warmth to the cup.

Cold brewing amplifies the sweetness and really brings out the fresh, vegetative notes.

Flavors: Basil, Fennel, Flowers, Grain, Grass, Melon, Milk, Oats, Soybean

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C
gmathis

Lovely description—-immediately made me want to go dig for some in the kitchen. (Why, I don’t know…I don’t have any on hand!)

LuckyMe

@gmathis, me too…just ran out the other day :-(

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Profile

Bio

My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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