240 Tasting Notes

94

Wow, I can’t believe that I’m the first person to review this tea. I found this company indirectly via Bonnie, since she always has the best stories centered arround Happy Lucky’s Tea house that I decided to check them out. I was on their site, and I saw that they were having an event with Nepali Tea Traders to promote their teas, and I ended up with six sample after checking out the website.

When I opened the bag I was initially very surprised as to how much like a Darjeeling that the tea smelled, with very interesting fruity notes bieiung the main thing that stood out to me. The leaves are of similar coloration to a Darjeeling, but a bit smaller than Darjeelings, and there is a fine golden dust on the leaves similar to Verdnat Tea’s wild-picked Jin Jun Mei.

I brewed the first infusion in a cast-iroin teapot with a generous helping of leaves and near-boiling water. I decided to ignore the directions on the back of the package, and I did a 15-second infusion. The result is a clear golden tea with a smoothness that is not quite creamy enough to be butter, but at the same time it’s not the mineral smoothness of a yancha. The tea is also surprisingly sweet, a bit like raw sugar but more subdued. finally, the aftertaste is a light tingling on the tongue that last for about a minute. All in all, it’s a very nice start for this tea, and I can’t wait to see how it develops.

For the second infusion, I followed some advice from Bonnie and let my water boil and then sit for about six minutes before making the tea. I let the leaves steep for 10 seconds, and then started drinking. The result is a bit fruitier than before, yet still sweet and clear. The smooth texture is also a bit more of a silky smooth as well, which is a delightful surprise, since I figured that it would fade a lot more. All in all, this tea is turning out to be a very interesting experience.

Okay, the third infusino happened last night, but I could not get the website to work, so here it is: I used cooler water again for this infusion, but I let is sit for about 25 seconds while steeping. The result is a very smooth and lightly fruity tea, which was a nice balance between the two previous steeps. It has just the right balance between the sweetness and the complex flavors that have yet to reveal themselves. Unfortunately,I need to stop, or I’ll never fall asleep, but this was a very nice tea, and I’m very glad that I got to try it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

I’m so glad you tracked them down! They give all their profit to charity and that’s what the appeal was for the owner of Happy Lucky’s besides the fine taste of the tea’s. Through several tastings, we discovered that playing around with temperature changed the flavor, so you might try that too. Nepali Tea explained that Darjeeling can command higher prices for tea, but many Nepalese tea’s are still unknown to the world and are grown next door to the Darjeeling tea’s but command a lower price. I’m thrilled that this company is helping farmers in a similar way to Verdant and Laoshan Village.

Joshua Smith

I know, it’s a really awesome idea to put your profits back into helping your partners improve their livelihoods and craft. Also, about the prices, that is always the thing that bothers me about Darjeeling, especially after buying a few teas from Rare Tea Republic. I had a sample from Nepal, and it was an amazing tea, yet I remember that the per-counce price was much less than the Darjeelings that I got from the same place.

Frinally, I’m testing the tea at a lower temperature now, ’ll get bakc with the results shortly.

Kashyap

I sent my reviews directly to them and will be posted them soon…glad you started the ball rolling

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First of all, these past two weeks have been incredibly busy, so I haven’t been posting about the teas that I’ve been drinking. Today I decided that I was going to try this tea. I put a nice ammount in a cast iron teapot, and let it steep for 30 seconds using near-boiling water. Even though I have a bit of a head cold right now, the the roasted aroma of the tea was easy to detect arround the pot.

Anyway, when I first took a sip, was was amazed at the smootht texture of the tea. I’ve found that the first cup of aged Oolongs can be a bit…stale, but this was perfect from the get-go. The initial flavor of the tea is that of a deep, dark roasty flavor, something that I adore, and the middle flavor has a interesting spicy tingling. It’s a bit early to be judging it, since the roasty flavor is dominating the palate right now, but I bet it’s going to be very pleasant later. Finally, the aftertaste lingers forever. I love Wuyis, and this aftertaste is the perfect balance between the roasted flavor and the smooth mineral texture that characterizes these teas, and it’s really a cut above just about everything else I’ve ever had. The only thing that compares was the Big Red Robe that David sold a while back. I went through the pot really quickly, and I’m really anxious to see what the next steeping tastes like.

The second steepign was prepared the same as the first, a little longer than I would have liekd, but I got distra—Oh look, snow! anyway, the falvor has mellowed a bit, yet it retains that smoothness and deep roasty flavor. Teh aftertaste has lightned up, a bit less roasty and a bit more mineral, and the result is pretty much a very pleasant improvement.

Third infusion, 45 seconds, near boiling water. The spice has resolved into something a bit like cinnamon, and I’m actually really liking the taste. The tea starts with a smooth yet balanced roasted flavor, and then the cinnamon starts to dance arround the surfaces of my mouth. The amazing thing is that it’s not overpowering like cinnamon tends to be in food. Finally, the aftertaste linger in my mouth with a gentle mineral taste, starting out very mild but strengthening over time. The third steep is usually the best, but this greatly exceeded my expectations. If this is the type of stuff that the One Word guys drink regularly, I envy them.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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94

I got off to an exceedingly late start on my tea today, first by sleeping in by over an hour, and then I was delayed by some friends and several games of Settler from Cattan. Regardless, I finally arrived home and decided to try out one of the smaples that I recently got from Den’s Tea. Using 180 degree water, I let this tea steep for a minute for the first infusion. The result is a cloudy green tea, as you would expect due to the matcha. Unfortunately my recent head cold is not completely gone, and the lingering stuffiness prevents me from enjoying the aroma. Anyway, the flavor profile is exceptionally sweet, dominating the foretaste and most of the middle. After letting the tea sit in my mouth for a fe seconds, the nutty flavor begins to shine through, and it is also the major flavor of the aftertaste, lingering pleasantly on the roof of my mouth. All in all, it’s a very plesant tea, and I can’t wait to see how the flavor develops.

The second cup was prepared with near-boiling water, and steeped for 15 seconds. The result is much like a traditional genmaicha, with the nutty flavor dominating and a touch of sweetness. The other thing that I’ve started to notice is that that first cup had a lot of caffiene. I am a bit wired right now. That matcha powder really made a bit difference in the caffiene content of the tea, but that is definitely a plus.

WEll, the bad news is that I got a bit distracted by a bunch of friends coming over, including some that I haven’t seen in months, so I had several more cups of tea without logging them. To summarize the experience, the tea is still delightfully nutty, and the warmer water temperatures that I’ve been susing (somewhere between 160 and 200 degrees) has lead to the development of a bit of astringency, but it’s not overpowering. Teh result is a very pleasant cup of tea, and I’m very pleased with how it tured out. I’m seriously considering getting a larger bag of this in the near future.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Uji Gyokuro by Unknown
240 tasting notes

While this tea appears to be rather dubious, I can assure you that it’s actally the realy deal. My parents tell me that they got it at Wegmans, a fantastic grocery store chain, and that it was in the Organic Food section. Also, I’ve tried this tea when I was at my grandmother’s house (where I couldn’t post a reveiw), but it tastes like the descriptions of Gyokuro, so I’m going to say it’s legit and move on.

Now that that is out of the way, I prepared the first infusion with about 140 degree water, and let it steep for a minute. The result is a very pale green tea, which proably has a pleasant aroma but my current head cold prevents me from experiencing it. The initial flavor of the tea is amazingly sweet, much more so than any other tea I have. The flavor doesn’t really change in the middle, but the aftertaste develops into a pleasant sweet grass that gradually fades into an interesting metalic/minal feeling. Teh really interesting thing is that as this development is taking place, it feels like it is climbing the roof of my mouth, something that is certainly unique…I can’t wait for the next cup.

I prepared the second cup a bit differently, using nearly-boiling water and only letting the leaves steep for about 15 seconds. The result is very nice, with a bit of astringency mixed in with the sweetness from before. Actually, that is the only difference: Every part of the flavor has developed some mild astringency. It’s nice, since it adds a new dimension to the flavor and keeps me interested in the tea.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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92

I actually got this as a sample a while back, but I got too caught up in my work, and didn’t get arround to trying it out. Since I’m officially done with classes for the semester as of now.

Anyway, first cup, 15 seconds. I’m really plased with the tea so far. The creamy smoothness of aged Tieguanyins is soemthing that I really enjoy, and this is a paticularly fine example. Better yet, the tea has some amazing fruity qualities, which transition into an interesting aftertaste that lingers for a good two minutes. It’s hard for me to describe what I’m tasteing, but it is certainly pleaseant. The result is a fantastic tea, perfeect for the cold weather in the D.C. area today.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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91

I just got this as a smaple in the mail yesterday, and I was excited to try it out. I prepared the first cup with near-boiling water, and let the tea steep for 15 seconds. The resutl is a very nice Tie guan yin, with a very smooth floral taste, and a very interesting aftertaste. I’m not an expert on spices, so I can’t say if the after taste really is saffron like David wrote on the website. REgardless of what it really taste like, it is a very delightful flavor which lingers for several minutes on the roof of my mouth. There is also a hint of sweet grass in the tea, but it’s mostly getting overwhelmed right now. It will probably develope more later on.

The second cup was steeped for 10 seconds. The flavor was much smoother, and it was also much gentler, with the falvor taking a few seconds to build before reaching it’s full strength. The aftertaste is mostly unaffected, which is rather nice, and the tea is now a pleasant balance between floral and fruity, with hints of grass to round out the flavor. It is certainly developing well, and I have high hopes for it’s continued development.

Third cup, 15 seconds. This is a greally balanced cup of tea, where the grass is beginning to dominate the falvor, and the floral notes have become the new undertones. Like many Oolongs, this third cup balances the various flavors very well. Also, the aftertatse is definitely a spice, but again, I’m not an expert, so I can only assoume that it’s safforn.

Fourth cup, 20 seconds. As I expected, this is where the tea starts to weaken and fade away. The flavor of grass still dominates, yet the floral taste is very weak now, and the fruit I could taste earlier has also faded a lot. Regardless, the aftertaste continues to be a major factor, starting out very mild, growing for a good 30-45 seconds, and then lingering for two minutes. While I’m sad that the real fun parts of this tea are gone, it’s still very nice. The fact that the aftertatse lasts so long is really a testament to the quality of this tea.

Also, as a quick aside, I found the second-craziest tea-related thing (after the tea fertilized by panda poo): http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/product.php?id_product=527

5kg…That’s enough tea for years of drinking…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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96

I got this with my Black Friday shipment, and I finally had time to try it out today.

I opened the smaple bag, and I could already tell that it was going to be good. IT had a very satisfying roasted smell, reminding me a bit of vanilla which, while a bit weird, is actually lovely. The flavor of the tea wsa just perfect: It is an amazing example of a Wuyi yancha. The delightful sweet-yet-roasted vanilla of the aroma is also a major part of the flavor, with a nice smooth mouthfeel that transitions into the characteristic yancha mineal aftertaste. It’s a bit early to be talking about the subtler flavors, since they are fairly indistinct, but this tea has a lot of promise for development. Oh yeah, I steepd this for 15 seconds.

The second cup was steeped for about 10 seconds, but was actually less interesting than I expected. I thoguht that the flavors would develop a bit faster, but this was pretty much the same as the first cup, except it was smoother. Actually, smoother isn;t the right word, it’s more like it’s a more refined taste, but the point is that it hasn’t developed as much as I expected. The tea still is very complex, so I’m not too disappointed, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Third cup, 15 seconds. This is it, the legendary third cup, the one that is usually the best. It lives up to the hype. The flavor has made a small yet importnat transition from smooth to creamy, yet still makes the transition into mineral-smooth for the aftertaste. The vanilla is tempered by the beginings of spice, and something sweet as well. Right now, this tea has acheived perfect balance. Of course, I’m not realy sure where the flavor will go next, since this is just so much different than my other Shui Xian, which leaves me very excited to see what comes next.

Music of the DayCello Sonata in A minor by Edvard Grieg, performed by Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky.

Link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z72yOcLmOOE

Whenever Argerich and Maisky play together, you can always expect an expressive and riveting performance, and thisvideo doesn’t disappoint.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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94

My Black Friday order just came in, nad I’m very excited to finally taste this tea. When I opened the bag, I was greeted by a pleasant aroma of a well-roated blak tea. It’s actually not as strong as I thought it would be, but I’m no expert on roasting. The leaves themselves are a lot like the Zhu Rong balck tea, small and curly. I was a bit generous with the ammount of leaves that I used, and I used near-boiling water to steep them for 15 seconds. The resulting tea smells like chocolate, yet is actually surprisingly light colored and clear. The finitial taste is a very smooth and clear chocolate flavor, which fades rather quickly into a lingering sweet aftertaste. Teh aftertaste lasts for at least two minutes, but I’m not good at restraining myself for much more than that, so who knows how long it actually lasts.

Second cup, 10 second steep. The tea is already beginning to trasition, and a malty flavor has begun to assert itself, contrasting nicely with the chocolate flavor that was then main flavor. The aftertaste also greatly changed, having become less sweet and also fading after about 45 seconds. These developments were interesting, and I can’t wait to see how they continue for the next cup.

Third cup, 15 seconds. The tea continues to change, but it went in a bit of an unexpected direction. First of all, the chocolate is mostly gone from the flavor profile, and the tea actually sweetened a bit since the previous cup. Also, there is bit of somthing akin to really really weak citrus begining to make itself known, which is a bit confusing. Also, the malt flavor is getting very muddled, and I’m not sure where that is going either. So far, this tea has been very different than I expected, which is actually really nice. It’s fun to have a tea that keeps you guessing.

Music of the DayCarmina Burana by Carl Orff, performed by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, the University Chorus and Alumni Chorus, and the Pacific Boychoir.
Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEllLECo4OM

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

UM, can’t wait for tea to arrive!

Joshua Smith

I know! I also have an order of stuff from the Cyber Monday puerh sale that are one their way, but they probably won’t arrive until Monday or Tuesday.

TeaBrat

yay fir tea!

TheTeaFairy

Also awaiting Black Friday orders!! Loving your music pic on this one, powerful stuff :-)

Joshua Smith

I hope they arrive soon! I got one- of two packages from cyber monday today, and the other one is sitting in a post office…

Invader Zim

I love Carmina Burana by Carl Orff!

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Profile

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.

Location

Fairfax, VA

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