See previous notes. I might update this later, when I’m not as busy.
219 Tasting Notes
It’s really cold today, and I needed something strong and dark. Luckily, this tea fits the bill perfectly. Brewed with near-boiling water and steeped for longer than usual, the resulting tea is a very dark brown, which was surprisingly easy to distinguish from a black tea. The aroma smells like light to medium roasted coffee beans, with hints of something sweeter and a bit nutty. The taste is also exquisite, featuring strong roasted flavors with nuts and fruit notes supporting. More important than just the flavors present, it is a very smooth tea, with no harsh flavors present. In this respect, it’s a bit better than some of my other Oolongs, because all of the flavors are completely dominated by the roasted flavor during the first steeping.
The second infusion is very similar to the first, but it is more muted. The aroma isn’t as “roasty”, and instead features more of a nutty and fruity character. The color of the tea is only a few shade lighter than the first infusion, leaving it a nice earthy color. The taste of the tea is less roasted than previously, and the fruit flavors have become very prominent, which leads me to believe that this was made from a spring picking.
The third infusion was the best so far, with a color that was a few shades darker than honey and an aroma that was a nice balance of sweetness and nuts. The flavor of the tea was sweet and fruity with hints of nuts.
The forth infusion was similar to the third, but it was weaker in all aspects. The color was several shades lighter, the aroma was greatly weakened, and the taste was beginning to become bland. Sure, there was still a sweet, indistinct fruity taste, but the nut flavors were very hard to taste. It’s still very good, but it’s lost a lot of the things that made it an excellent tea.
More to come later.
First of all, thank you Teavivre for the free sample pack! This was my first time trying silver needle white tea, which is supposed to be even better than White Peony, so I was a bit excited. I’ll admit that I babied the tea just a little bit, brewing it at a very low temperature to avoid astringency, but the result was exquisite. The color of the tea was a very light tan, but it leaned a bit toward peach. The aroma was very pleasing, with lots of flowers and something sweet dominating. The flavor of the first infusion was delicately flowery and sweet, like a more refined version of Bai Mu Dan. There was also a nice aftertaste that lingered on the hard palate and which tasted flowery as well.
The second infusion was steeped for about 25 seconds as this tea seems to steep quicker the second time. It also was a bit darker, and had a stronger aroma. I also used warmer water, about 165 degrees. The taste of the tea was very good, and was a bit stronger than the first infusion, with the flowery flavors dominating the sweetness. The aftertaste was the same, but it lingers for a bit longer.
The third infusion was pretty much exactly like the first, so I’m not going to repeat everything.
The forth infusion was similar to the third, but everything was muted. The taste wasn’t as pronounced, especially the flowery flavors. The aftertaste that had been present in the earlier infusions was almost nonexistent, and the aroma was greatly reduced.
All in all, this was a very good tea, something that would probably be good during spring or summer, and I’m seriously considering buying more of this in the future.
Just moved back into my dorm, and I’m in need of some caffeine. I accidentally oversteeped the first infusion while getting my laptop set up again, but everything turned out alright. I was using relatively cold water (65 degrees centigrade), so it didn’t turn out too astringent. The aroma reminds me of freshly cut grass and asparagus. The taste of the tea was also superb, with delightfully sweet grass and vegetables being very prominent.
The second infusion was done as a flash steeping, which has previously resulted in very good tea. This was no exception, as the tea had a delightful light green color and a sweet, yet subdued, grassy aroma. The Tea was a bit milder in that the grassy flavor has become subdued, yet the sweet vegetable flavors still remain.
The third infusion was steeped for 45 seconds to try and get some more flavor out of it. The resulting tea was the same color as the previous infusion, but the aroma had faded further. The taste of the tea was very mild, bordering on generic. Sure, it retained its sweetness, but the vegetable flavors were starting to become indistinct. It’s still a very good tea, and is well above average as far as senchas go, but I think that I will only get one more infusion out of these leaves.
This is the first of my second shipment of samples from Teavivre, and I have to say I’m pretty excited. The first infusion is a nice deep red, but not so dark that I can’t see the bottom of my cup. The aroma of the infusion is interesting and hard to describe, but it’s not as strong as I expected. The taste is also very interesting in that it is sweet. I think more complex flavors will develop later, but for now it is a bit generic. The aftertaste of the tea is a bit like very dark chocolate, and lingers on the hard palate of the mouth.
More to come later.
I brewed this Grandpa style in my large mug again, using a bit more than the usual amount of tea leaves, and the results were very interesting. The color of the first infusion was dark amber, but not really dark enough to be categorized as red like more heavily roasted Oolongs. The aroma was dominated by the roasted character of the tea, but with hints of something sweeter. The flavor of the tea is very interesting, with a medium-strength roasted character and hints of honey. The aftertaste is currently dominated by the roasted flavor of the tea, but the characteristic mineral aftertaste is still present, lingering on the hard palate for half a minute.
The second infusion turned out pretty well. The color only lightened a few shades, and the aroma was characterized by a declined in the roasted aromas, leaving behind something a bit sweeter. The taste also lightened, with the honey flavor becoming more prominent, and the mineral aftertaste gaining a bit more prominence.
The third infusion was better than the previous two. It achieve a perfect balance between the roasted flavors and honey/sweet flavor. It’s a bit hard to describe because of how simple the flavor of this tea is, but I guess that is part of its charm. That being said, the aftertaste again asserts itself, but it doesn’t linger for as long any more. Regardless, this was a very good cup of tea.
More to come later.
This is the third and final Da Hong Pao that I have, and I’m a bit sad to say that it doesn’t really match up well against the other two. The color of the first infusion in a nice deep red color, and the aroma is the nice roasted smell that is practically the signature of a Wuyi Oolong, but the taste seems to be missing something. The tea is very bold, but it doesn’t have the same kick to it. It’s like it’s missing something essential. The other problem is that I don’t taste the mineral aftertaste, which makes me question whether this tea is actually from the Wuyi mountains.
The second infusion was milder, but it just wasn’t good. I just keep comparing it to higher quality teas, and it just doesn’t measure up. The taste changed for this infusion, but it is now merely a milder bland flavor. The aftertaste is nearly nonexistent, without even a hint of mineral in it. I’ve decided to stop now, and I’m probably going to put this tea in the very back of my small collection.
I decided yesterday to go through my three Da Hong Paos, so here is the second installment!
Like yesterday, this is brewed grandpa style in a large mug. The color of the first infusion was a nice deep red color, and had a surprisingly light roasted aroma. The taste of the first infusion was interesting, with a very bold roasted taste, with dark chocolate notes that linger along with the typical Wuyi mineral aftertaste. Also, the aftertaste really lingers with this tea, somethings hanging around in the tip of the tongue and the hard palate for up to a whole minute! This is definitely better than the last time I brewed this tea.
The second infusions was surprisingly dark, a nice dark amber instead of a deep red. The aroma also changed so that while it retained its roasted quality, it began to smell a bit sweeter, possibly fruit or caramel. The taste definitely has more of a caramel taste to it, and the aftertaste has mellowed out, and now only contains hints of the chocolate, which linger for about 15 seconds.
The third infusion is a lighter shade of amber, bordering on caramel. The aroma is now definitely caramel and hints of fruit. The taste has really mellowed, with prominent caramel and fruit notes. The roasted flavor is still present, but not nearly as strong as it was. Also, the aftertaste has become purely mineral flavored now. All in all, this was a very balanced and pleasant infusion, and much better than the first and second.
The fourth infusion is actually better than the third. The aroma was pretty much unchanged, and the color was only a little lighter, but the flavors was more balanced. The sweetness of the fruit and light floral notes contrasted well with the weakening chocolate and roasted flavors, resulting in a very nice cup of tea. It wasn’t too sweet or too bold, but it doesn’t have the same variety of flavors that the Big Red Robe from Verdant did during its peak infusion. Regardless, is is a very good cup of tea.
Given how well the tea leaves had been holding up, I didn’t expect this cup to as weak as it was. The color and aroma were greatly reduced, and the flavor had degenerated into a rather bland – yet still surprisingly sweet – generic Oolong. Granted, the tea still retains the Wuyi aftertaste, yet even that has been greatly reduced in intensity.\
The final verdict about this tea is that while it is very bold early, it very quickly loses its flavor after its peak, and becomes quite bland. Still, it is much better than average, and I wouldn’t mind buying this again in the future.
I decided to brew this grandpa style in an extra large mug, and the results were amazing. The aroma was the signature roasted aroma that Wuyi teas are famous for, the the color of the tea was a deep red characteristic of a heavily roasted tea.
The first infusion was very strong, with flavors of dark chocolate and a metallic taste (kind of like the description of the tea posted above). The tea finishes with the characteristic Wuyi aftertaste, but because the tea was so strong, it also has a hint of something else present.
The second infusion was dark amber in color, and the aroma wasn’t as strong. The taste of the tea had also changed a lot, and wasn’t as bold as in the previous infusion. Instead, fruity flavors began to assert themselves, and the tea was significantly sweeter. Also, the aftertaste was purely mineral, without even a hint of whatever it was that was lingering during the first infusion. I find that this was a much more balanced cup of tea, which leaves me to wonder how the third cup will improve (given that in my experience, the third cup is usually the best for Oolong teas).
The third infusion is lighter than both of the previous ones in terms of both color and taste. It is sweeter than the other two, and tastes of caramel, fruit, and flowers. Truly a unique balance which results in a superior Big Red Robe.
The forth infusion is noted by the flavors all starting to fade. It is like the third infusion, yet sweeter, and the more delicate flavors are harder to distinguish.
During the fifth infusion, I noticed that the leaves were really starting to get broken up
into small pieces, which suggests that I am nearing the end of the session. Also, the tea was very mellow, with none of the boldness that characterized the eraly steepings. It has become very difficult to distinguish individual flavors, leaving behind a kind of general sweetness and a mineral aftertaste.
When it’s all said and done, it is a wonderful Big Red Robe, easily the best of the three different one I’ve tried. I’ll definitely consider buying this in larger quantities in the future.
To be completely honest, the 4 minute steep was completely accidental. I stared this tea while I made lunch, and forgot about it after I started to eat. Luckily, the results are in way unpleasant. To be completely honest, the only difference is that the flavors are more intense than usual. See my previous notes for more information, and I promise I’ll update this note if the tea deviates during later steepings.
Just to comment on this tea, the aftertaste lingers on the hard and soft palate of the mouth for a god thirty seconds. I don’t remember this lasting for so long last time I made this tea, but it rather pleasant, so I might brew the tea for this long again.
I’m not actually sure what the water temperature was, as my dad had just recently made tea, and the water had been sitting for a bit by the time I got there…
Anyway, The only thing to note so far is that the tea isn’t as sweet as usual, and the grassiness is surprisingly subdued.
Again, my dad has been monopolizing the teapot today, so the water was most likely too warm for the second (and last) infusion. This time the tea was a bit astringent, where normally this tea does not demonstrate this flavor at this stage. Regardless, it’s still a very goo tea, and better than two of my other senchas.
For more information, see my previous notes on this tea.
I was going through my box of Oolongs, and realized that I hadn’t had this tea in over a month. Needless to say, I corrected this oversight.
The first infusion had a wonderful aroma, and the coloro of the tea suggested a medium-roast Oolong. The aroma of the tea reminds me a bit of honey, and be wvery sweet (if that makes any sense). The taste is very interesting, with light wood and floral tastes mixing together. The aftertaste of the tea is the distinct Wuyi mineral aftertaste, but it was a bit overpowered by the other flavors of the tea.
The second and third infusions were noted for incremental decrease in the strength of the flavors of the tea. Because of this, the mineral aftertaste became more prominent, which was really pleasant. I love Wuyi Oolongs more than other types because of that aftertaste, and this tea was just a bit shy of my Da Hong Pao in terms of the balance between the more overt flavors and the aftertaste.
More to come later, if I have time.
I really felt like having strong tea today, so I let this steep extra long for maximum flavor (and caffeine). The only real change that I noticed is that the first cup isn’t as sweet as previously, but it is still exceptional. The caramel flavors are still present, but they are overwhelmed by the other flavors.
The second infusion was even better than usual, as the caramel flavor became much more prominent, and the tea had exactly the right amount of natural sweetness.
To be completely honest, I brewed my third cup, and forgot about it for several hours. Needless to say, it was rather cold when rediscovered. I didn’t want to waste it, so I cheated and put it in the microwave for 25 seconds to warm it back up. T?he result is tea that isn’t as sweet, and isn’t as flavorful as I expected, but it was still decent tea.
If I make another cup, I’ll tell you if the above was because of the microwave or if the tea was just starting to wear out.
This is truly one of the more interesting tea I’ve ever had, not because of how great it tastes (Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really delicious tea) but for how many great tastes it has. wonderful tea that note quite a white tea, but not a Sheng either, it is a tea that breaks down stereotypes with its complexity.
The first infusion is very complex, with spice flavors competing with flowers an cedar for dominance. The flowers are particularly strong in the aftertaste, which reminds me of White Peony. The second infusion was noted by and increase in the “spiciness” and a sharp decrease in the magnitude of the flowery tastes. By the third cup, the spiciness is very pronounced, and is the very first thing that I taste, with the flowery notes being very hard to find.
Later infusions tend towards spicyness, and finally start to fade arround the 6th cup.
To be revised tomorrow, when I’m not sleepy.
I only ended up having one infusion of this tea due to all of the spur-of-the-moment events that happened, so see my previous note. The only thing that I changed was how I brewed it, and this in no way changed the flavors present.
I got this tea for Christmas after it finally cleared customs, and I am happy to report that it was worth the wait. This is a fukamushi sencha, which means that it is steamed for a longer period of time, and it’s the first one I have gotten to try, so I was very excited.
I brewed it at a rather low temperature, and for a relatively short amount of time because I’ve found that Japanese greens can be very unforgiving if you aren’t careful. The first infusion had a very pleasing aroma of grass and vegetation, but it was not overwhelming. The taste of the first infusion was superb, with just the right amount of sweetness. The tea is also a very vibrant green color, with a good deal of tea dust floating in the tea. The only other tea I have that looks like this is my Mellow Monk Top Leaf, but that tea tastes very different in it’s first infusion.
The second and third infusions exhibited a very rapid decrease in the grassiness of the tea, leaving behind a balanced and sweet tea. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very good, but it borders on being generic.
The forth infusion was mostly notable for being sweet, but having very little flavor. Regardless, this tea is still fantastic, and truly deserves a high rating.
Merry (belated) Christmas! I just got back from my relative’s house, where I suffered from both caffeine AND internet withdrawal, and this is the first tea I’ve had since Friday.
I prepared this tea Grandpa style, using the normal amount of tea and water that was just off boiling. The first infusion was a nice dark amber color, with a typical “roasted” aroma. The taste of the first cup was a nice honey flavor and fairly typical for a Shui Xian. The second and third infusions were pretty much the same, except that the color started to lighten, and the tea became a bit sweeter.
The fourth infusion was noted by a more significant decrease in aroma and flavor, and becoming a bit sweeter. Other than that, nothing important happened. This was my last infusion of the day.
I did a bit of an experiment today, and brewed this at a really low temperature to see what happens. The aroma of the tea was softer than usual, and it was actually more pleasing as it wasn’t overpowering.
The taste of the first infusion was perfect. There was no astringency, no bitterness, and only a hint of grassiness in the taste. Truly this is a prime example of a Sencha.
The second infusion was a flash infusion, steeped for 30 seconds, and was very similar to the first, but the taste of the tea was a bit mellower, with the grassiness fading further. The third infusions was actually bordering on being sweet while still having a touch of grassiness. This was also a flash infusion, but it still produced excellent results.
The fourth and fifth infusions were very mellow, with no grassiness and were sweeter than previous infusions. The taste became very generic during the fifth infusion, which signaled the end of the session.
I think that the bottom line of this little experiment, is that this tea benefits greatly from brewing at low temperature and with short infusions. This resulted in a fantastic tea, which was even better than I remembers, and which certainly earned it’s top place among my teas.
First of all, thanks for the free sample Teavivre!
This tea turned out pretty much identical to last time, so look at that note for more information. If anything interesting happens, I’ll update this note later.
This tea is very hard for me to describe. The aroma has a touch of Juniper, but I’m not sure what the othe aromas are. Likewise, the taste o the tea is very good, but the only thing I can make out is a touch of walnut. That said, it is a very good tea.
EDIT (1 am)
When it’s all said and done, this tea still defies my ability to describe it. It continued to change in interesting and subtle ways throughout the day, but I only had time for four infusions, so I can’t say what the end was like. Each cup was just a bit different, and each was delicious in it’s own way. I honestly prefer Oolong, but this tea was so interesting, I actually feel like getting more of it just to see everything it has to offer.
Also, I apologize if this is a bit incoherent, as it’s late enough that I can’t have any more caffeine ( D: ), but not late enough for me to actually fall asleep. I’ll look over this again in the morning to make sure that it’s okay.
I decided to brew it at a lower temperature and for a bit shorter period than usual today, and the results were interesting.
The aroma was pretty much unchanged, but the tea was sweeter than previous. Also, the “flowery” taste didn’t detract from the taste as much. Even that aftertaste was affected by my small changes, and was also sweeter than in previous brewing sessions.
As with last time, I got 4 cups of tea out of one set of leaves. The aroma faded pretty quickly, and started to smell like a generic lightly-roasted Oolong. The taste mellowed out, and the flowery notes faded to a generic – albeit rather sweet – Oolong. The bottom line is that the first two cups were much better than I remember, and the tea is delicious while it lasts. I was also happy because I was using a larger cup than usual (eight fluid ounces as opposed to six), and the fact that it lasted for the same number of cups was interesting.
This is my second lightly-oxidized Tie Guan Yin, and it was very different from my Spring picking. The aroma is very subtle, with hints of grass and orchid. The taste of the first steeping was very interesting, with a touch of grassiness and something a bit spicy.
As the infusions continue the grassines that was present in the first infusion quickly dissipates, and a certain spiciness (as in peppercorn or perhaps cardamon) starts to assert itself a bit. The flavors gradually fade, and around the forth infusions they harmonize perfectly to create a unique and interesting cup of tea. I got seven infusions out of the tea, which was a bit unexpected from a light Oolong, but was still a wonderful surprise.
In the end, this is a very unique tea and it upholds the high standards of Verdant tea. I’m really considering getting more of this tea, as all I have is a sample pack.
I am by no means an expert when it comes to Puerh, but even I can tell that this tea is something special. The first infusion was truly amazing, with a smoky yet slightly sweet aroma that was astounding. The taste of the tea was also exquisite due to spicy flavors and smoky undertones.
Sorry it took so long. Anyway, as the infusions continued, the smoky flavors diminished, and the other flavors becam smoother and more harmonious. By the third infusion, I was very impressed with the tea, and was getting ready to order more. What was better was I got seven infusions out of the tea, and that infusions had enough flavor for me to guess that I could have gone for at least three more. Truly an excellent tea.