242 Tasting Notes

89
drank Orchid Oolong by Art of Tea
242 tasting notes

I wanted something a bit lighter today, so I diceided to make this tea again. The first infusion used ~170 degree water, and steeped for 30 seconds. It was surprisingly sweet, but not quite as much as the orchid Oolong that Verdant offered last year. That’s the real problem with this tea: I’ve had a different version of the tea which tasted better, and I’m alway comparing the two and this tea just falls a bit short. Anyway, it’s still a lovely tea, with pleasant flowery notes an a nice lingering aftertaste, and it matches well iwth the beautiful warm weather today.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

Another day, another sucessful tea experiment. I put a generous ammount of leaf in my teaball, but I only let it steep for about 10 seconds. The result was pretty muhc perfect, with not even a hint of bitterness, and an amazing mouthfeel. I wouldn’t call it buttery, but it was a very smooth feeling which lingered on the hard palate for a good minute. The aftertate of walnuts was also fantastic, and I hand’t actually tasted it nearly this strongly in previous tasting for this tea. I can’t wait to see how this develops today.

The second infusion was setted for 15 seconds, but ti didn’t turn out quite as well. I think that upping the step time was a mistakes, since a bit of astringency is now present. The smoky/cedar flavor is a bit more prevalent as well. As the tea cooled, the astringency actually got more subtle, which is the opposite of a lot of my teas. I’m actually rather excited to see what will develop next.\

Third infusion, 15 seconds, but I let the water sit for about three minutes before pouring. The results is a smooth and surprisingly sweet cup of tea, with a resergence of the mouthfeel and aftertaste, as well as the development of an interesting fruity flavor. It might be orange like the description says, but it’s not that prominent yet, so I can’t tell. Anyway, this tea continues to impress with interesitg and delicious flavor developemnt, once more leaving me eager to see what else it has to offer.

Fourth infusion, same preparation as the third. I’m actually really pleased with the development of the orange flavor. It’s not terribly strong, but it’s very pleasant, and adds a lot of depth to the flavor. It should also be noted that the aftertaste is a bit like sparkling cider now, and lingers for at least three minutes on the hard palate. It’s remarkable how the small change in my preparation has yeilded an amazing new depth of flavor for this tea, especially now that the smokiness is fading, exposing the more more subtle flavors. I can’t wait to see what else it has to offer.

Fifth infusion, 20 seconds, cooler water. This tea can only be described as “subtle” at this point. Other than the juniper and hint of orange, the other flavors are very muted now. Also, the smoothness has changed, and it’s more like a kind of mineral or metalic smoothness, a change that has been gradually occuring over the last three steeps or so and has just finally finished. I’m personally amazed that this tea still has more development left in it, which is always a bonus.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Charles Thomas Draper

Try it without the teaball…

Joshua Smith

I probably should, and it would be even better to use a gaiwan, but brewing in one cup and pouring it into another tends to get a bit messy, and my mom yelled at me last time I did it…

When I get back to college this weekened, I’ll try it.

Bonnie

Investing in a finum brew basket will be worth it!

Joshua Smith

Thanks for the great idea! I’ll certainly look into it!

Spoonvonstup

I loe following along with your steepings. So much fun! I alo second Bonnie’s brew basket suggestion- I think it’s my favorite “western” brewing implement.

Joshua Smith

Thanks for the positive feedback! Since you mentioned brew baskets as well, I will definitely be looking into getting one.

Jim Marks

Better: http://amzn.com/B001713L84

Steep Western style, unconstrained in an open vessel, then decant through this device.

I rarely get on anyone’s case about equipment and technique, but tea baskets and tea balls significantly impact the quality in the cup.

Spoonvonstup

Good suggestion, Jim!

When I use a brew basket, I use the large size, which fills up the whole volume of the cup I’m brewing in. As it is, I put the basket in a cup, the leaves float freely in the covered-cup-within-a-cup for the 2-5 seconds I’m steeping, and then I remove the basket and set it on it’s head/cover.
However, I agree that your suggestion this would be ideal if I had another smaller, glazed teapot (or cover-able vessel) OR if I were better at pouring without dripping everywhere (in which case, I would use a cup with it’s saucer on top). I will bookmark this, too, for when my gongfu strainer inevitably gets lost or broken.

Bonnie

I like Western Style also Jim, but for a smaller amount of
Pu-erh or quicker 20-30 sec. steepings in a mug, a Finum works well too.

Jim Marks

I shouldn’t have said “Western” because that implies long steep times. I’ve just gotten so used to my gaiwan that I think of [non-yixing] tea pots as “Western”. Which I know is totally not true.

What I meant is steep in a vessel that is wide and open, regardless of how big or small, and then decant into a cup or mug. I have two beehive type pots that are, I think at most 8oz and may be only 6, that I use in this way when I want more than the 3.5oz I get from the gaiwan.

We have Finum like baskets and wide brew baskets (usually pulled out of cast iron kettles that some ninny thinks you’re supposed to brew tea in). Liz uses them a lot. Anecdotally, for myself, I find that they still constrain movement, and impact the cup.

Bonnie

I know what you mean…there’s no way I can do 5-6 steeps at 8oz each on a Pu anyway unless I dump most of each steep into a pitcher for having later cold (which I like).
So my 4oz clay Gaiwan or 6oz ceramic Gaiwan or PIAO 6oz is what I use when I review. BUT, when I’m just drinking a pot for myself and not reviewing…I sometimes go for 32oz and a big glass pot and steep longer and soak myself in puerh! (not literally but you know!) Pull out the bark and cover the pot with an old fashioned tea cozy and drink for a long while.

Joshua Smith

thanks for all the wonderful suggestions and tea wisdom. I’m personally leaning towards the brew basket (large size), since poouring from my cup to another seems to end with tea everywhere.

When I have more space/get an apartment, I’ll start looking tinto geting a more sophisticated setup (gaiwans, teapots, etc.) but for now it’s just not feasable.

Charles Thomas Draper

Exactly Jim. Constrain movement….

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

Alright, time for a real review for the first time in a while.

I brewed this tea with shorter infusions today, and the result was pretty amazing. While the flavor wasn;t as intense as usualy, the depth of the flavor was much greater, exposing fruity flavors that I don’t usually notice till much later infusions. This trend continued till the end, with more subtle flavors like cove and potato really asserting themselves for once. I’m really glad that I decided to experiment today.

Note –
Steep times by order of appearance: 12 sec., 12 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 35 seconds, 60 seconds.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Bonnie

I love that nerve to experiment. Too many people try something once and that’s it. Maybe another steep time would have been better. Playing with the temp and time is creative and enjoyable. Helps you relax too. Glad you’re having a good day!

Joshua Smith

I totally agree. I used to be very mechanical about how to make tea, measureing the ammoutn, using an actual timer to get the steep times to be exactly how the company reccommended I steep, etc. I find that I make better tea now, since I now make it the way I like it. No offence David, but I haven’t gotten a gaiwan yet, so your instructions don’t really work for me most of the time…

Bonnie

If you look at Davids instructions you will notice he shows how to use mugs as Gaiwans and I always follow the instructions on the website first before I venture off on my own path. Otherwise I can waste good tea screwing up. This is my own opinion of course. Just mine and not meant to offend anyone.

Joshua Smith

Wow, I actually forgot about that…

It’s been too long since I looked at the directions. Looking at them now, I dod something more in line with the instructions, as opposed to my 15-20 second initial infusion that was my previous standard. Thanks for pointing that out to me!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

Still busy, but my internship finished yesterday, so expect actual reviews sometime this weekend.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Bonnie

Hooray for you!

Spoonvonstup

Hope the internship was a good experience! Welcome back.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Sorry that it’s been so long, but I’ve been super busy lately. My internship has gotten a bit frantic, since it’s drawing towards it’s conclusion and I want to get as much done as possible. To top it off, a small presentation that I’m doing tomorrow just got a lot more serious (The CEO and other senior executives decided to attend :-\ Lots of stress…)

Anyway, The comforting warmth of this tea is helping me relax,and I’m glad that I decided to take a bit of a break. It actually turned out a bit sweeter than usual today, and the combination of taking time to slow down and make the tea and the comforting flavor is doing wonders for my stress. I don;t know why the malty taste is so comforting, probably has do deal with something from my childhood, but I;m just glad it’s working.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

I got this in the mail in Thursday, but I haven’t had time to try it until now. The wet leaves smeel like some sort of dark bread, fresh from the oven with sasame seeds. the taste of this tea is much like it’s Oolong version, very juicy and thirst-quenching, but it has fruity-chocolate flavor as well. The taste lingers pleasantly on the tongue and hard palate, lasting fr well over two minutes, and gradually fading to a smoewhat floral flavors before it disappears. While this isn’t a replacement for my recently-exhausted Yunnan Golden Buds, it’s an amawing addition to my stash, and I an glad that I decided to try it out.

P. S. – Music for the day is opera from my local classical stations (you can listen in at classicalweta.com. They strema their music live over the internet!) I was listening to Moses in Egypt by Rossini. Really great stuff, and the performance was top-notch.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer