244 Tasting Notes

88

I opened up my tin of this again, after leaving it alone for a few weeks, and was greeted with the vivid roasted aroma with chocolate undertones. The aroma of the steeped tea is more subtle, but the roasted smell is still very prominent. The first infusion is rather dark, comparable to a black tea, but the taste is much subtler. There are nutty and chocolatey notes flavors present, which have really aged well, and produce a very smooth flavor with a hint of sweetness. The aftertaste of the tea is also really interesting, as it merely leaves a kind of tingling on the back of the tongue which is rather pleasant.

The only thing that I have to complain about is that it looks like a heavily-roasted Wuyi Oolong, and the taste is remarkably similar to a Wuyi Oolong, so I find myself comparing it to my Da Hong Pao, which is a bit unfair. Regardless, it is a rather nice tea, and I think it will enjoy it for quite a while.

The later infusions were interesting, especially how the sweetness that began to assert its self complemented the nutty flavors, and yet it didn’t affect the smoothness of the tea. As much as I hate to say it, this tea once again draws a comparison to Wuyi Oolongs, but it matches up better than some of the cheaper fares from that region. I got 6 infusions out of this tea, which is really a testament to how heavily roasted it was.

Anyway, the executive summary is that it’s a good tea, very smooth, nutty flavors, and something to look forward to drinking again.

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

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81

I actually drank this yesterday, but didn’t end up having time to do a review (CURSE YOU PHYSICS LAB REPORTS!!!!!!!), but I figured, better late than never.

As usual, this was a very pleasant tea, but I did accidentally over-steep the first infusion, and that was a little unpleasant. Other than that, it was pretty much the same as my previous experience with this tea.

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

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92
drank Top Leaf by Mellow Monk
244 tasting notes

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82

This was a really interesting experience. So, I already tried Norbu Tea’s Yamakai Sencha, and I’ve had Mellow Monk’s Top Leaf, but this was an entirely different experience than either of those.

I opened the bag for the first time, and was a bit surprised by how astringent the aroma was. It was also interesting that it wasn’t as grassy as my other senchas, which was rather unexpected. Then, I did my usual 2 minute steep, and was pleasantly surprised by the complex aroma, with only hints of grass. I had a really hard time figuring out what it smelled like, but it was rather pleasant on a chilly morning like today.

The first steeping tasted very unique in that it had a very complex flavor, but nothing really dominated the taste. There was definitely some grass flavors, but they was subtle and a bit mellower than I would have expected. Also, the tea was a bit sweet, especially the aftertaste.

The next two infusions were done as flash steepings, leaving the tea leaves in for only 30 seconds, and produced tea that was virtually identical to the first steeping, but a bit sweeter. Later steepings (2 minutes each) resulted in the flavors becoming more subdued, and a general increase in sweetness, leaving behind a subtle tea with subtle notes of grass and a pleasant sweet aftertaste.

When it was all said and done, I’m rather glad the guys at Norbu Tea included this with my order, and I actually look forward to purchasing more in the future.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C

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80

I don’t know why, but this tea was a bit disappointing today. I brewed it grandpa style, as I had a lot of free time, and was planning on a marathon study session. but for some reason, t was just…off. Everything seemed more subdued than usual. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that the inconsistent water quality of my dorm was at a low point today.

EDIT:
Yeah, I talked to a few people in the same building, and they had similar problems today.
Let this be a lesson: WATER QUALITY IS IMPORTANT! Looking into getting a Brita pitcher or something, because I don’t want this to happen again.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Top Leaf by Mellow Monk
244 tasting notes

I got this tea as a birthday gift, and I couldn’t wait to try it out. I saw that a lot of people had a lot of good things to say about it, so I must admit that I was rather excited.

After the first steeping, which was 2 mins. long, I found it interesting how it smelled grassier (is that even a word?) than my Yamakai Sencha. It also tasted a bit grassier, but that was restricted to being an undertone which enhanced the vegetative flavors. What was really nice about the flavor was the it was subtle, and I couldn’t identify the exact flavors (with the exception of the grass and a vague sense of “vegetable”), and it made for a nice tea to sip while stuck inside due to weather. All in all, I’m rather glad that I have a whole bag of this, as it is officially my new favorite tea.

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

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88

This was a really exceptional tea. When I opened the tin it came it, it had a wonderful roasted aroma, with hints of something fruity. When I brewed it, I got tea that was almost as dark as black tea, or perhaps like my good Da Hong Pao. This tea also have a thick sheen of oils on the top, easily covering the entire surface of my mug.

The taste of the tea was also very similar to my Da Hong Pao, with a noticeable (but not overpowering) roasted taste, with subtle nutty flavors and hints of fruit. If it weren’t for the lack of the distinct yancha aftertaste, I would almost say that this was a heavily roasted Wuyi oolong.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °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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