New Tasting Notes
I absolutely loved every infusion of this amazing tea, though I am a bit biased due to my undying love of ginseng. Five beautiful infusions of honey sweet and earthy forest floor medicinal goodness and three more subtle but still enjoyable steeps. The happy feels after this session were unbelievable. I seriously feel like listening to the dead the rest of the night and just chilling out into outer space.
4.5g, 100ml Purion, 200F 60s, 10s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 60s, 120s.
This is a queued tasting note.
So I cold brewed this, but honestly I drank it while I was super busy just for the hydration and now I can’t really remember a whole lot about what it tasted like other than it was very roasty. This is mostly just a note for myself that it could be worthwhile trying this cold brewed again because I think I liked it? If nothing else, I’d like to make more observant notes.
EDIT: So this is tasting note 3700!? I guess MAYBE it’s time to start thinking about what tea I want tasting note 4000 to be? It’s a way off, but this “milestones” keep sneaking up on me…
This tea is so very consistent (with the exception of the mysterious lemon note that pops up now and then) as I am having it cold brewed and it has the same soft vanilla cake flavor that the hot cup has. I will definitely miss this when its gone but luckily that shouldn’t be for a while as I stocked up on this deliciousness.
I feel like I had bad luck with cold brews from DAVIDsTEA this week; but not this one. This one was solid, and it’s usual sweet and sour pleasant peach self. However I will note that sticking with the trend of the week’s cold brews not coming out as typically as they usually do I did noticed something new about this one.
For whatever reason, and as far as I can recall I haven’t experienced it in the past, this brew had a distinctly herby flavour to it underneath all of that peach. Now, that’s not too surprising given the fact that there are more herbaceous ingredients in this blend – but I just found it interesting that they were actually quite noticeable for once.
This is a queued tasting note.
So earlier in the week I made a pitcher of this bad boy cold brewed, and since then I’ve already polished the pitcher off. The pear flavour of the brew was so lovely, sweet and refreshing that I’m surprised it took as many days as it did to drink it all. In addition to the lovely front flavour of pear, this also had the exotic flavour of quince. I don’t usually taste the quince as strongly as it came through this brew, but that floral and apple-y pear like flavour was enchanting this time around.
And I say it begrudgingly, but that very slight spicy ginger kick at the end of a super fruity and refreshing sip was a very nice touch as well. I kind of hate that ginger is growing on me, even though it’s only slightly. We still very much have a love/hate relationship. You could say we’re “frenemies”.
Whipped up a cold brew of this into a bit of a make shift tea cocktail earlier in the week…
Basically, I just added a couple shots worth (like two and a half) of Malibu Coconut Rum into my normal 25 oz. cold brew and then I just enjoyed. It was richer and sweeter, with a more pronounced coconut flavour and exaggerated buttery/toffee sort of component with the pineapple taking a bit of a small step into the background. Though, the pineapple WAS still very much a present flavour. The additional flavour of the rum of course complimented the pineapple and coconut – I mean, this was essentially the tea cocktail version of a Pina Colada so OF COURSE it tasted phenomenal.
Commute tea on a windy/rainy day – pretty much my favourite time to pull out my tin of this and whip up a hot cuppa. Seriously, if you were to skim my tasting notes on this tea I think about half of them would incorporate rain or bad weather of some variety…
This tasted magical: lots of cranberry in this brew particularly, but in general the fruity notes present in this blend were more prominent than usual and they definitely out weighed the other notes like cinnamon or coconut. Very lovely!
This is a queued tasting note.
Yet another tea from the week that wound up tasting a little too sweet/cloying. I can’t really blame this mug, which was hot rather than cold brewed, for tasting bad because it was over leafed though; I think if ANYTHING the problem was that I let it steep far too long. But basically it was like a hot cup of thick, viscous mango syrup. You know, the syrup consistency of the concentrate mixed in with carbonated water to make soda. That kind of thick, sugary sweetness. Also, it was DEFINITELY predominantly mango rather than a mix of tropical/citrus notes and the intensity of the mango didn’t do the tea any favours.
It’s frustrating that this wound up being a bad cup though, because 50g gets used so damn quickly. Seriously, I bought myself 50g of this and that made one cold brew and two hot cups. So, three beverages in total for 50g of tea. Kind of ridiculous.
Well, I certainly wouldn’t call this a success story but I finally made my first bad batch of this tea. It was in the form of a cold brew, and essentially I just made it far, far too concentrated. I think I must have grabbed a tablespoon instead of a 1/2 tablespoon when I was measuring, and then instead of using one tbsp worth of leaf this wound up actually being two tbsp of leaf. It was sickly sweet/cloying and the taste of stevia, which normally doesn’t actually bug me too much, was so intense that I was kind of gagging.
I made it through maybe a quarter of the cold brew before dumping it in the sink. I don’t know about you guys, but I certainly don’t have time for bad tea.
Oh The O Dor, I’ve missed you since the Urban Tea Merchant in Vancouver stopped carrying your brand. So when I saw one in the GCTTB I pounced on it (don’t worry, there’s plenty left for the rest of you guys down the line). This a pleasantly soothing herbal blend, the lime blossom and lemon verbena are both mild tranquilizers so it’s a great tea to be drinking when you want to relax. The flavour is mostly lemon verbena, a sweet, herbal sort of lemon flavour without the sour acidic tang.
I’m quite excited for my package from Yunomi – my first decently sized order from them. I have very little experience with Japanese Green tea, but I got a cool starter set from Den’s Tea (just a kyusu really), and figured I’d give some shincha a try this year! So I have about 10-15 different shinchas to try, and this is the first one I randomly pulled out of the box.
I tried two different brewing methods – the one I’ve been using for the few sencha I’ve tried, and then the “Warm water” method recommended on Yunomi’s site. My method is 160 degrees with steep times of 1m, 30s (raise temp to 170), 30-45s, (raise temp to 180 – sometimes), 60s.
The other method was 160 degrees, steep times of 2m (raise temp to 180), 20s, (raise temp to 190), 45s, (raise temp to 212), 60s. This seemed weird to me, especially with the really long first brew and the high temps at the end (granted, the site said to use “hotter” temps on subsequent steeps, only being as specific as 180-212F).
I’m afraid that, as I have little experience with this sort of tea, my reviews may all be similar – It will probably take me time to differentiate the flavors I’m tasting in these teas, just as it did with the puerh tea I’ve been drinking more of. So far though, it seems that Japanese greens as a category (vs. sheng puerh) is a bit more homogenous when it comes to flavor – they all have a decent bit of grassiness, mainly.
So! Onto this tea specifically. As foreshadowed above, both methods produced a nice and yellow-green liquid with strong grassy notes. I believe I preferred the “warm water” method, as the tea had a thicker texture and a more bracing bitterness. It seemed that the first couple steeps in both methods had some bitter notes, but with the longer first steep, the thicker and richer texture seemed almost to mellow out the bitterness. Having trouble discerning much besides grass. In the second or third steep on warmer method, I think I detected some fruitiness in the aftertaste, but that was about it.
I think I’m going to be looking at this shincha box as a crash course in Japanese Greens. I may not get “full enjoyment” out of this tea, like I might if I had more experience with this sub-type of tea, but it will be a good learning experience, and can help inform me on what I like in the future.
Anybody with more expertise than me – how different is this shincha going to be from other senchas and whatnot that are harvested later in the season/year? Thanks!
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Grass, Thick
Thank you Teavivre for these samples! This is the first one I’ll be reviewing, which I honestly chose just because of the ratings on steepster, and frankly the dry leaves smell amazing, like cocoa, wood, earth, sweet potato, almost smells like grapes?
Anyways, so the first steep is relatively reminiscent of the smell, without any of the sweet potato; chocolate, earth, wood, theres quite a fruitiness to it, like grape and maybe peach?
Ooh, wow the second steep is quite different, it’s a much darker chocolate taste, with a lot of woody notes, plus a nice richness, and a kind of maple-ness, it has a really thick texture, like syrup, just a little astringent, still with its grape notes,
I think I slightly oversteeped this one, it’s very woody, less complex, there’s very light cocoa in the background, quite astringent, it’s still nice though
Yeah, the fourth is much sweeter, grape, chocolate, earth, less wood.
I can finally taste a bit of that sweet potato in the fifth, quite astringent, sweet, cocoa starting to fade too.
The astringency does get quite strong for me, my mouth is drying out a bit, but it still tastes really nice, the grape is gone now.
I reheated my water, which was actually quite necessary apparently. I’m getting a bit of marshmallow notes, the cocoa is almost gone, also the yam and earth. It’s even a bit grassy, I’m actually getting notes of graham crackers, and yeah so uh no I know you’re thinking s’mores but it doesn’t taste like s’mores. Even with all 3 components, its like I’m having each one separately. Also they aren’t very strong compared to the earth and yams and uh some cinnamon I just noticed. I got a bit of banana flavour here, that’s interesting. I’ve never seen banana notes in a black .. or in a tea actually well alright then. It’s a bit like chocolate chip banana bread, after I don’t know how many steeps
Raisins! Also raisins
Flavors: Astringent, banana, Cacao, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Graham Cracker, Grapes, Grass, Maple Syrup, Sweet Potatoes, Wood, Yams
Leaves: medium green flat semi-long leave
Measuring Spoon: no
Color: light yellow
Taste: I decided to have this tea after dinner in which this time i had instant curry over rice. For this as with the precious tea (although not mentioned) i added new steps into the brewing process, i took pictures of the dry leaf, wet leaf & cup to show a more visual aspect in what i do. I also posted it on my instagram in a collage form to make it easier to see all at once. The aroma coming from the dry leaf was faint and difficult to detect. the wet steeped leaf bought out a vegetable aroma. In terms of taste i didn’t notice much although i was able to finish my cup & went back for a second.
I decided to add a measuring spoon section to my reviews instead of always typing out rather or not the leaves fit with in the main review.
I love teas that have a bit of history attached to them and this one is an interesting blend, a mix of strawberries and mint. The mint is fairly retiring more of a mild aftertaste that lends a nice freshness to the tea. I wonder if they used wild/Canada mint (Mentha arvensis) which is a native species that grows wild in wet areas across the country and is quite nice on its own as tea (I usually find it by smell when I step on it accidentally). The strawberry flavour is nice and strong, particularly after the tea has a chance to cool. The black base is a little astringent, so this tea might be a good candidate to have with milk (although that seems a but weird with the mint).
Another great piña colada tea. I only got a sample, but I think I’ll be ordering more. I really dislike hibiscus, so I was afraid I’d dislike this tea, but it’s not too noticeable. It gives the tea a really lovely light pink color and a bit of tartness.
Flavors: Coconut, Pineapple, Tart
I bought this in March when it was re-released for Easter. I never tried it the first go round, but it intrigued me enough to order 100 grams. I really like jelly beans and there’s a nice candy-fruity aroma that blends nicely with the rooibos in the package. It’s quite pretty in the package actually with violet petals mixed in with the occasional colourful jellybean and rooibos needles. It’s also quite the ingredient list with pineapple, strawberry, coconut, calendula petals, blue cornflowers, sunflower petals as well as peach concentrates, banana puree, kiwi juice concentrate, mango puree and juice concentrate. I’m guessing the puree and juice concentrates are for the jelly beans themselves. Brewed up it has a nicely rich rooibos flavour with some mildly fruity and tropical accents. I can’t pick out any particular fruit flavour but it was still a rather enjoyable blend overall.
Flavors: Candy, Fruity, Rooibos, Tropical
Honestly, I think the 2014 version is better because it’s more upfront in its boldness while they has more of a smooth nature to it’s taste. The texture is thinner as well. While this taste quite nice and the color of it is wonderful, showing a slight red hue coming about, I find it to be a bit more complex for my taste as I am not too much into shou as I am sheng.
Interestingly enough, almost everyone has guessed the 2015 (super fake), 2010, and 2007 incorrectly :)
It’s been fun talking to people as they have been trying these three out; it also helps them find out if they like a BS $10 cake labeled GNWL.
Bought from, now sold out: https://world.taobao.com/item/527814873990.htm?fromSite=main
This was part of a Christmas pack I got that I’m just getting to now. I found this tea generally underwhelming. Brewed up there’s a really nice buttery and nutty aroma that really does evoke baked goods. I wish it tasted like it smells though. I didn’t get a lot of flavours besides the banana. There’s a very artificial tasting sweetness to it and although I like a lot of dessert teas, the sweetness in this one didn’t particularly agree with me both initially and with the lingering aftertaste. I’m glad I only have a small tin of it.
Flavors: Baked Bread, banana, Butter, Nuts