242 Tasting Notes

86

First of all, I have to thank Teavivre for sending me this sample. Secondly, this is my first white tea, so I was really excited to try this out.

After opening up the packages for this tea (it came in a Teavivre bag, with smaller sealed packages inside), I found a very interesting looking tea. All of the buds and some of the leaves of this tea still had some fuzz on them, which was rather quaint in my opinion. It also had a very pleasant aroma of spring wildflowers, if that makes sense.

The aroma of the first infusion was very delicate, with subtle flowery notes dominating vegetative undertones. The color of the tea was very light, so much so that it looks like the third of forth infusion of my sencha. The taste is much like the aroma: delicate. There are faint flowery tastes present, but they are very interesting. There is a faint aftertaste on your tongue and the roof of your mouth after you swallow, but it is kind of hard to describe. It actually reminds me a bit of the Wuyi yancha aftertaste…

Regardless, the tea very quickly loses its flavor, and only lasted three infusions, but that might be because I over-steeped the first infusion. Anothe thing to note is that i didi make a forth infusion, because the third had still been rather flavorful, but the forth was completely lacking in flavor, so I threw it out. Still, it was a rather excellent tea, one which I intend to keep on hand.

EDIT:
Changed rating to bring it in line with my new system of ratings :D

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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71

I started drinking this after my other tea gave out, but I don’t have time for a full review (Physics is snapping up my free time like it’s a door-buster sale on black Friday). It was just as good as last time, especially as the weather was freezing today. Again, I’m happy that I have a lot of this tea to last me until January or February.

For more details, just look at my previous tasting note.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Orchid Oolong by Art of Tea
242 tasting notes

Honestly, it’s hard to tell that this is an Oolong. This is a very light roast, an you can tell immediately just by looking at the leaves. The tightly rolled leaves are green, and smell strongly of lilac, completely lacking the usual roasted smell of Oolongs. Of course, my experience is mostly with Wuyi oolongs, that that might not be a fair comparison.

Anyway, the first infusion was interesting. The tea was very much like a green tea, with very strong vegetative notes and a flowery aftertaste. I was a bit surprised by the astringency that was present, but that disappeared after the first infusion. The aroma of the tea is something between an orchid and lilac, and is very pleasing. Later infusions become sweeter, and the flavors mellow nicely, but I only got six infusions out of the tea. Regardless, The tea did improve, peaked with the third infusion, and then mellowed until it was lightly-scented water with a bit of flavoring.

The bottom line about this tea is that it is light, flowery, and a rather pleasant tea that I look forward to enjoying again.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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88

I had a final today, so I needed a dark, highly-caffeinated tea to start my day. Once again, this is a nice dark roast, with a very Wuyi-esque flavor (but without the legendary Wuyi aftertaste, which, as always, makes me a bit disappointed.). Unfortunately, the tea felt a bit…flat today, but that might be because I am still unable to smell anything, and smell greatly affects taste. Regardless, I’m sitting here writing this at 8:45 pm, after 5 cups, and the leaves are still capable of more. The tea is starting to get a bit sweeter, but that is actually rather nice, and I’m once again glad that I have a whole lot of tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Geoffrey Norman

I’m trying to get into aged oolongs. Had one recently that’s as old as I am. Uphill battle.

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92
drank Top Leaf by Mellow Monk
242 tasting notes

Too tired to do a good review (local time is 12:39 am), but the tea was great, was just as good as I remember it. Got a lot of infusions out of it, and the way the taste changed throughout the steepings was interesting and delicious. Got sweeter during the last two infusions, which was interesting and refreshing when compared to many green teas I’ve had. Hopefully I won’t be too busy tomorrow, and me review will actually be substantive.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Geoffrey Norman

I LOVE this stuff. Very exquisite…and I’m not usually a sencha fan.

Joshua Smith

It really is a cut above all other senchas I’ve had. And it lasts a lot longer than my Yamakai sencha, which is even better because I drink tea all day, and four cups just doesn’t cut it.

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81

Once again, this was a rather pleasant tea. I accidentally over steeped the first infusion, which resulted in more bitterness than usual, and it was harder to taste the grassiness, which was kind of weird as the grassiness is usually the source of bitterness in green teas. I wonder if that was because of how careful I was with respect to water temperature, or because of the inconsistent water quality in my dorm (which, for the record, was exceptional today). Regardless, the only downside to this tea is that I only got 4 infusions out of it.

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Geoffrey Norman

Big fan of the Yamakai. Very interesting – if rough – character.

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71

I just got this in the mail today, and was eager to try it out. After five cups of Oolong, the sun set and it got cold, so I figured this would be a great way to warm up! As a side benefit, I’ve never gotten more than 4 good cups out of Genmaicha (emphasis on good).

This tea had all of the typical things: The toasted rice taste, the pleasant aroma (which was strong enough that I could actually smell it though my congestion). The only problem was, it was by no means unique. There was nothing to make this stand out, and the flavor wasn’t exactly strong. The first infusion I made was accidentally steeped for minutes, and yet, I wouldn’t consider it to be over steeped. I think that this is a good tea for a beginner, as further experimentation proved that it was remarkably forgiving with respect to steep length and temperature, but it isn’t a flavorful tea by any stretch of the imagination. I’ll probably keep some on hand until I find something better, but make no mistake, if something better appear at a reasonable price, I’ll snap it up.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80

Usually I start off a review of Qi Lan by commenting on the wonderful aroma. Unfortunately, I am still congested, so this is an exercise in futility. Regardless of my inability to smell anything, this was a very nice session with this tea. The lightly-roasted flavors were interesting, and were nicely complemented by the light honey flavors. One thing that was a bit odd was that the aftertaste was very muted, and the distinct mineral taste of a Wuyi Oolong was very hard to detect. The other strange thing is that I remember the tea having more complex flavors, but they are absent. I suspect that this is due to my congestion, as it is a well documented fact that smell greatly affects taste.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I am a university student, studying Computer Science, who found that I really enjoy a nice cup of tea. I finally got into loose-leaf tea in August of 2011. I am currently in the process of expanding my horizons, and have found that I have a particular fondness for Oolongs in general, and Wuyi Yanchas in particular. The unique mineral taste is very appealing to me, as well as a nice Sencha. More recently, I’ve developed a taste for Sheng puerh, white tea, and black teas. The only things I’ve tried that I didn’t like was Shu puerh, but that might have been because it was quite young. Regardless, I’ve been slowly expanding my horizons, so if you have any recommendations, please feel free to send me a PM.

Just for the heck of it, my other interests include classical musics (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Debussy, Shostakovitch, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, and Wagner, to name a few composers). I also have a fondness for a bit more modern music, like The Beatles, all Jazz (by all, I really do mean all), Gorillaz (I love Demon Days), and a couple of Indie artists you will never run across unless you play a lot of semi obscure Indie games. Also, I love cats.

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Fairfax, VA

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