248 Tasting Notes

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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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93

Tonight is special for two reasons: I’m using the last of this tea, and I’m drinking it in my brand new hand-made ceramic tumbler! It’s one of two, and they just came in the mail yesterday, but I was busing and couldn’t try them out yesterday. Big shout-out to Mamif!

Back to the tea, I prepared the first infusion with barely steaming water, and steeped for 75 seconds. the taste is just as exquisite as usual, like some sort of sweet vegetables. The aroma might be grass, but I just mowed the lawn earlier, and I might still be smelling that. I’m really going to miss this tea after tonight…

Second infusion same temperature, 15 second infusion. It even sweeter, and had gotten a bit more grassy instead of vegetative. this is pretty much the peak for this tea: The second infusion is the prefect balance of flavors, and it just gets weaker from this point.

Third infusion, same temperature, 45 seconds. This time it tastes more grassy than sweet, but it’s not in any way astringent. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, and I’m going to need to stop drinking tea if I want to fall asleep at a decent hour. Sad, since I could probably get another cup of tea or two out of these leaves, but sleep is more important.

P. S. – Pics of the tumblers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mamif/7382224810/in/photostream/

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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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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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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