141 Tasting Notes
I just received a huge, generous batch of samples from LiberTEAS (thanks again!!) and this one jumped right out as being special. I’ve never seen a tea so green and uniform. I imagined the harvester using tiny nail clippers to individually collect just the smallest tip of each leaf.
The fragrance is clean, slightly grassy and briny. I even picked up subtle notes of sesame. Once prepared, the sesame rises to the top and this acquires a toasted oat background.
The tea brews to be relatively pale but has a substantial heartiness. It’s slightly vegetative with a bit of kelp and finishes with a mildly sweet toasted sesame. The cooling cup works towards a honey finish.
What was really unexpected was the overall body of the tea. For a green tea, it has a very rich, almost buttery mouth feel. In just a few cups, this has moved into the top tier of my green tea list.
This was a free sample I received in a recent order.
The tea has a sweet, clean, traditional “tea” fragrance. For a majority of Americans, this is probably what they imagine when you say “tea.”
Prepared, it’s slightly sweet and vegetative with a moderate amount of astringency. This would be a good everyday and all-day-long tea. If I get a chance to make another purchase from DavidsTea, I’d probably throw a bag of this in as a staple item.
There’s an incredible fragrance to this tea; sweet, malty and fruity. The appearance is very uniform with somewhat short segments.
The taste has a strong green tea base (which I think is required for a good flavored green tea) with notes of caramel and stone fruit. There’s also a sort of slick, creamy mouth feel to the tea which enhances the sense that it contains caramel.
On a later cup, I thought I’d try adding some agave sweetener. I thought its natural malt and toast flavor might really bring out the caramel. I was wrong. The sweetener totally ruined the cup. This tea is great by itself so leave a good thing alone :-)
This deceivingly simple tea with large, dusty black leaves results in a complex final product. The fragrance is slightly musky and earthy but with a creamy, mocha-caramel base.
This brews to something approximating a coffee color. The taste has the sweet, mossy flavor of pu-erh along with subtle coffee and caramel notes and a strong vanilla finish. As the cup cools, you simply have COFFEE. (Yes, you can smell and taste the capital letters!)
I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. I was drawn by the appealing description and it was an honest representation of the tea. I think this would be a great choice for anyone that wants to ease their way into pu-erhs.
I’m a mint fan, but I prefer spearmint over peppermint or wintergreen. That gave this tea an advantage.
When you open the package, you’re hit with a fragrance of clean and slightly sweet mint- like opening a new pack of Wrigley’s. The chamomile has the same large, fluffy buds I’ve come to expect from Shui Tea.
Prepared, I was surprised by the taste and how much the mint took a back seat to the chamomile. Also, I’d say this is more a herbal tea with green tea as one component as opposed to a flavored green tea. This is actually a rather interesting combination. It’s calming from the homey herbals, but the mint perks it up making this great for a relaxing afternoon.
Also, the ingredients list includes licorice. I can tell it’s there but more by feel than taste. I would maybe amp that up just a tad so you get more of a sweet, cooling finish.
I received a surprise sample of this in my recent order from Shui Tea. (Thanks Jim!)
When you first open the package, you get a full-force fruity fragrance. (OK, how often does an alliteration actually work out?) It’s completely true to its name. The pear isn’t readily discernible, but the kiwi is definitely there. Together, it’s almost like a mild strawberry.
From a taste perspective, I think what took me by surprise is that the white tea flavor actually predominates and the fruit notes are in the background. Bai Mu Dan (at least to me) is so mildly flavored that any additions often shadow the tea. Either this white tea is of superior quality or Shui Tea got the blending just right here.
From my tasting notes, you can tell that I’m really into big, bold flavors. However, I really liked the true tea flavor of this blend. This would be really good with a light dessert.
Even though there aren’t any tropical flavors, my first impression of this was “Hawaiian Punch.” It’s bright, fruity and somehow playful.
I’m not much of a decaf black tea person. When I want something without caffeine, I go for herbals. That said, I think this one will be a favorite of people that do like the option of a decaffeinated black tea.
If you’re OK with sweeteners, try just a touch to make the fruit flavors really stand out.
Where else can you tell your friends that you had a taste for Camel’s Breath and not get an odd look?
This has quickly become a favorite. Tonight, I experimented with it and ignored the recommended steeping guidelines. Instead of short periods, I let this sit for a good four minutes. It turned out great, but completely different from past preparations. It was rich and earthy. It was a bit like a mild coffee and the brine that has become characteristic of this pu-erh (for me) was gone.
It’s nice to know that this is so forgiving that it’s enjoyable even if you’re a bit outside of ideal parameters.
When I read the “buttery” part of the description I thought, “yeah, right- this has come off horribly in so many other teas.” I don’t know how Shui Tea did it, but it’s dead on here!
When you open the package, you get a strong fragrance of sweet lemon butter. This was really close to lemon bars or a lemony custard. This holds up well through brewing.
Once brewed, the tea is initially astringent then presents the lemon and you finish with a rich, buttery mouth feel. I had this tea with breakfast but it would be truly awesome with a pastry- ooooh, like a lemon bar! Time to make a trip to the bakery!
I’ve been going through all of my Shui Tea samples trying to decide on my re-orders. I’m agonizing over this because it’s like trying to pick your favorite child. After tasting, re-tasting, ordering and categorizing, I’ve decided this is my favorite (only slightly ahead of Black Ruby) of their unflavored black teas.
What I like most is the complexity and the crisp “snap” of this tea. I’m upping the rating on this so it stands out from the pack.