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240 Tasting Notes

88

I ran across this tea in my stash when I was looking for my Shu puerh, and realized I hadn’t had this for months. The first thing that struck me when I opened the tin was the strong roasted smell of the leaves. I put some in my tea ball, and let it steep in nearly-boiling water for three minutes. The result is a fairly dark tea that smells very roasted/toasty. The taste is very much like a Wuyi Oolong, much more so that I actually remember. The taste is pretty much the standard heavily-roasted Oolong taste, with no tea distinguishing feature, but the aftertaste tastes mineral-ish, but it doesn’t have the same smooth feeling associated with Wuyi Oolongs. Overall, it was a very pleasant tea, but with nothing special as of yet. I don’t have high expectations, but I’ll see how it develops in later steeps.

Second infusion, 205 degree water for a minute and a half. The tea is a nice caramel color, and the taste has mellowed quite a bit. The roasted flavor is smoother, and so is the aftertaste, making it seem even more like a Wuyi. The roasted taste also lingered pleasantly in my hard palate for over a minute, rounding off a very nice second infusion. I have to confess, this tea is much better than I remember, and the rating is getting bumped up again.

ALright, I had two more cups of this, and it was pretty good, but I got interrupted by some eleictical work that my dad was doing, so I; didn;t have electricity to post about it here. The TL;DR is that it was much better than I remember, and I’m really glad I git 100 grams of this tea.

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

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93

Alright, this is the first time I’ve had a sheng since Jim Marks made that post a while ago about using less leaves when brewing sheng. I decided to try it out, and the results are amazing! The first infusion is so much sweeter than I remember, and the bitter foretaste is not present at all! While I wouldn’t describe the taste as “buttery” I can certainly taste the walnut, albeit much smoother and refined than most actual walnuts. I’m certainly bumping the rating up a few point, since this is much better than I remember.

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

Interesting
so what was your water to leaf ratio?

Joshua Smith

Hm…Large. I’d say something like 1.5 oz : 1 g. I’m not very exact when making tea, especially when it comes to puerh.

Bonnie

so glad you persist!

Joshua Smith

Even when this tea was astringent, I still enjoyed it. This just means I’ll be drinking it more regularly.

Jim Marks

So glad it worked.

Charles Thomas Draper

I may have wasted some precious Sheng….

Joshua Smith

@Jim Marks – I am too!

@Charles Thomas Draper – Sheng is tricky. I’ve wasted a good amount myself before Jim Mark’s post, but in the grand scheme of things, which is better: A bit more Sheng or some good advice?

Bonnie

I’ve always been stingy with my Sheng and satisfied with the results. Probably because I tend to lose track of time now and then. You gentlemen are always a joy to read! What would I do without your collective Pu’er wisdom!

Bonnie

Oops. not to forget Amy who is wise about Pu’er and mistress of dargeelings especially (which at this stage is still a huge mystery to me)!

Joshua Smith

Ha ha, puerh swisdom…I’m far from being able to claim I have any of that! I’m just applying the wisdom of others, it doesn’t really count. Now, Sencha is a different story…

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Another neglected tea. I have a ton (~40 gr) of this left, and it’s taking up an entire canister. Anyway, first infusion, 3 minutes and 205 degree water. It smell immediately gives away it’s origin, no other tea region that I know of has the same smell. It’s kinda hard for me to describe, but I would hazard a guess that it’s like dates. The taste is very clear and fruity, and very pleasant for a warm evening like today. It’s also a welcome change from Japanese greens and Yunnan blacks that I’ve been drinking this week.

Unfortunately, I don;t have enough time for another cup, but this is a pretty good way to end the day. Since I don’t get to fully experience the tea, I won;t give a rating, but it tastes better than I remember. I’ll give it a more detailed review sometime in the near future.

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

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89

Re-tasting this tea, since it’s been a few weeks. 205 degree water for two minutes. The result was similar to the Aztec hot chocolate that I had on vacation for desert: Ghiradellli hot chocolate, chilli, cinnamon, and cardamon. It’s a bit fruitier than the hot chocolate, and there might be some wood flavor, but the end result is still similar.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I remember going to Ghiradelli Square and watching chocolate being made when I was a teenager! There was an enormous pot of dark chocolate that I will NEVER forget …and the smell!! It still is my favorite (they are socially responsible too!)

Joshua Smith

I did that too when I was younger! My family went there when we were in California! For American chocolate they can’t be beat, but my friends in Switzerland would kill me if I claimed that they were the best in the world. ;-)

Bonnie

I usually keep lindt with sea salt in the freezer for emergencies!

Joshua Smith

Nice. I personally don’t keep much on hand, but when I do have chocolate, it’s always 0% cacao or more. I like really intense and flavorful chocolate.

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92
drank Top Leaf by Mellow Monk
240 tasting notes

Once again, I’m drinking a neglected Sencha and wondering why the hell I haven’t been drinking this more regularly. The first cup was made using barely steaming water, steeping the leaves for a minute since this tea is also a bit picky. The result is very sweet, with a pleasant grassy taste and subtle fruity notes, and a smooth, clean finish. I could definitely drink this every day, but sadly I’m running low, and apparently Mellow Monk is waiting on the next shipment…darn.

TeaBrat

I want to try this when the new shipments come in. ;)

Joshua Smith

I would buy more, but I really need to work my way through more of my current stash first. Between my Verdant Tea binge and the latest set of sample from Teavivre, I just have so much tea on hand…

First world problems at their finest.

Bonnie

So sorry for your problems with too much tea wahhhh! Hahaha!

TeaBrat

welcome to my world. :-P

Joshua Smith

Heh, it’s nice to know that I don’t suffer alone XD

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93

It’s been way too long since I last had this tea, and I honestly really need to use it as soon as possible…

Anyway, Steeped for one minute is water that was just starting to give off steam. I find that this tea is extremely unforgiving when it comes to water temperature, so I play it pretty safe. The aroma is pleasantly grassy, but is smells “sweeter” than actual grass. The taste is predictably grassy, with just the right amount of sweetness. Honestly, why haven’t I been drinking this more often?

Second infusion, toughly the same temperature, but I only steeped the leaves for 15 seconds. The result is a very sweet tea. It’s still grassy, but the sweetness overpowers it. If it was a bit flowery, I would probably mistake it for the Orchid Oolong I rediscovered a few weeks ago.

third infusion, same temperature, 45 seconds. The grassiness has reasserted itself, but it’s not in any way stringent. This is actually turning out better than usual, and is a rather pleasant surprise. Again, I don’t know why I don’t drink this more often. It would be a great way to unwind after a long day in the office.

Music for today – St. James Infirmary performed by Hugh Laurie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1x7AeEogGM

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86

Many thanks to Teavivre for the free sample!

I’m still a bit messed up from jet lag, so this will be shorter than usual. This tea is nice, fairly typical of Taiwanese Oolongs, but it lacks anything truly unique to make it stand out. It’s not very flowery or fruity, the aftertaste lingers, but only for about 45 seconds. The only things that stands out is how creamy it tastes, but that isn’t really interesting. Don’t get me wrongs, it’s still good, it’s just that I’m a bit spoiled but some of my other teas, and this just doesn’t measure up.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec
TeaBrat

you are developing a discerning palette! nothing wrong with that. ;-)

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Good afternoon everyone! I just got back from a week and a half in London and Ireland, and the seven-hour flight gave me a major craving for caffeine. Honestly, I had only four good cups of tea, and two of those were iced tea at Hard Rock Cafes (I went to both the original London location and the Dublin location on the trip). Anyway, this tea was exactly what I needed: Sweet, yet still very flavorful. The boldness of the malt flavor was a welcome break from the monotony of the cheap hotel bagged teas.

Spoonvonstup

Welcome back!

Bonnie

Welcome to tea land! Hope you had a good time though…want to know how it went when you’re rested!

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92

First of all, a big shout-out to Teavivre for the amazing free sample!

I was really busy packing for vacation, and didn’t have time to do my usual format for reviews, but there’s the highlight reel. The first infusion was steeped in 205 degree water for exactly one minute. The result was an amazing sweet tea, with very tasty licorice flavors dominating the palate. It was just about as sweet as the orchid Oolong from Verdant Tea that I had the other night. The infusions continue, decreasing in potency and sweetness until number five, where only a faint taste of barely-sweet licorice remained. Regardless, it was really, really good, and it was the perfect way to relax after the usual frenzy of packing. And, since my destination is England, all I have to say is jolly good!

EDIT: stupid typos…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Bonnie

Have a blast…Cherio! Pip pip! Bon voyage!

Joshua Smith

Thanks again Bonnie! I’ll remember your bright and cheerful comments while braving the elements (The forecast predicts one day of sun during a 10 day trip…). Also, stay safe! Those fires are really scary to read about in the news.

Bonnie

Thank you! God has always been by my side!

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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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