108 Tasting Notes

90

Inspired by a mention of Korean green tea at work today, I had to make myself a pot. The liquor is a delicate light green and the aroma is the gentle scent of roasted chestnuts. In the mouth it’s a cross between thick cream and light herbs.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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100
drank 2002 Mengma Sheng by Dobra Tea
108 tasting notes

The rich aroma of peat and mushrooms, followed by a taste of sweet earth makes this a really special tea. The umami mouth-feel lasts for ages after a sip. This puer is one of the best examples of why an older Sheng can be similar to, but much deeper than, a Shou.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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100
drank 2002 Mengma Sheng by Dobra Tea
108 tasting notes

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93
drank Hojicha Kyoto by Dobra Tea
108 tasting notes

What a treat in the cold depths of winter. I’ve come to realize that despite the appearances of a “twig tea” there are indeed different quality grades of Hojicha. I’ve had many a Hojicha that tasted burnt, watery, or old. I have to say, without any bias, that Dobra’s Hojicha is one of the best I’ve found. It’s a touch sweet, plenty roasted and mouth-filling, without any off-notes. I tend to get about 3 infusions from a pot at around 2 minutes apiece, which is respectable as well. I’m not always in the mood for it, certainly, but when I am it’s just the right body-warmer and mind-clearer.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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91

Something of an experiment in time and temperature. The flavor is really great! Smooth and sweet with a rosemary woody tang and the aroma of cloves. I think this tea definitely likes cooler water.

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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92

Rich, green, and mouth-filling, but still light in body as Bao Zhong tends to be. There’s a little chewy fruitiness in the taste, like a sweet strawberry. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a tea from Red Blossom that I didn’t love.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec
TeaBrat

I love them too…

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86

Very smooth. The liquor is dark brown, certainly, but not black, which I think speaks well of the leaves. It tastes of cocoa, with a little bit of leather and a gentle tang of eucalyptus. A very interesting Shou Puer indeed.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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drank Mandarin Puer by Dobra Tea
108 tasting notes

Warm with an inviting aroma. Good for a frozen day. Occasionally when I have this tea the mandarin peel is too strong and creates a citrus-bitterness that I dislike; today, however, it’s just the right balance of sweet Shu puer and tart mandarin.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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drank Xiang Wei Tuo Cha by Dobra Tea
108 tasting notes

Just what today called for. A taste like sweet bread and wood chips or toasted almonds.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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91

I must thank Teavivre for sending me this sample to try. It reminded me how rarely I actually make green tea for myself lately. Partially that has to do with the season (it’s -19C outside right now) but it also has to do with my tea collection. Green teas last so much less time in storage than oolong and puer that most of my drinking at home is within those two venerable categories. The result? I forget how important the proper water temperature is for a classic green like Dragon Well (Long Jing, Lóngjǐng, 龙井, or 龍井 — I love the traditional character for Dragon).

I played around a bit with the temperature to see if I could find the right balance. First, 75C for 45 seconds. The wet leaves have the aroma of dried figs and moss in the rain. The taste was of coriander and rosemary with a bit of osmanthus flower, quite pleasant. The texture is powdery a bit, drying the front of the tongue (I associate this with Lóngjǐng) and full bodied in the mouth. There’s a gentle sweetness in the aroma and the aftertaste.

For a second infusion I tried 60C water for 1 minute. The tea definitely had a lighter body from the decreased temp. I detected much more of the aroma in the taste this time: more grass and figs and less of the rosemary. My third try was 80C for 1 minute and I noticed that it was sweeter this time with some black cherry in the taste and less grass.

Read my full review here: http://someteawith.me/2014/01/03/premium-grade-dragon-well-from-teavivre/

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Bio

A tea geek (and also general geek) in Burlington, Vermont.

I’m drawn to the beauty of a steaming cup with snow falling outside. When I see a tea leaf, I see the long road and hundreds of hands that have brought it from the sun and soil to my pot.

I think that tea can be a way of life.

Location

Burlington, VT

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