409 Tasting Notes
Finishing this one off as well.
I neglected to type up a steeping note when I picked it up a second time. I wanted so much to like it, and I couldn’t understand why the initial batch was so bitter. I got it in store again, and it tasted as wonderful as I remember, so I sprung for another two ounces.
I think I was write when I assumed it was something with the batch, because this one was fine all the way through. Probably one of my favourite tea blends. Grassy green and smoky, very unique—screams “Murchie’s”.
It’s up there with Library Blend as teas I will probably re-buy. Although I think I should truck through all their other green-black tea blends first.
I’ve had a smaller rolled yunnan tea before (rolled a bit smaller than a pea), but I wanted to try these out because they seem a great serving size for a small vessel.
I went in expecting great things, because I do love yunnan tea. I did one pearl for my 100ml gaiwan. Meant to do about three to four minutes, went a little over… Would have been fine with a shorter steep, though.
Definitely more on the peppery side. There’s still an undertone with a bit of sweetness, though.
Another reminder that I should browse Steepster before buying. Avoid impulse buys.
It’s not bitter, at least, from what I’ve found. Found it pleasant enough—actually this would make a nice iced tea, if the flavours weren’t so subtle that they’d probably be lost if it were cold-brewed. Perhaps brewing it extra, /extra/ strong…
It’s okay, though. My OTHER purchase, however—Stash’s iced tea powders—eeeh.
The dry smell isn’t strong, but subtle and smokey.
Did a quick rinse-brew.
First steep: Twenty seconds
Smells definitely smokey, although there are hints of a green, buddha oolong scent as well. Hard to explain. The deep, metallic scent I find they have.
It’s definitely green—definitely an iron buddha, anyhow, crisp, not as green as some oolongs. But there’s a strong smokey overtone that hits first before.
After a while, the smoke starts to taste almost sweet. Possibly a combination of the smoke and more mineral-butter-vegetal notes. Hmm.
I’m liking this a lot actually. I love smokey teas, but this is very different. In a good way. Not pure smoke. Subtle, smoke adding the right touch.
Second Steep: Twenty Seconds
Brewed darker than the first. Found this one more sharply smoky; the initial sips were sweet, but this has mostly faded.
Third Steep: Twenty Seconds
As I was brewing this steep, I got a distinct tobacco scent. Smoke seems to have dissipate in the taste, although there’s something akin to tobacco to replace it. Deeper notes. Not as green.
Fourth Steep: Twenty Seconds
Tobacco note is fading. Bit more like a new-styled iron buddha now.
Fifth Steep: Twenty Seconds
New day. Thought there were hints of smoke, but might have been mistaken. Starting to taste a bit spent, but still flavourful. See fourth steep.
Sixth Steep: Twenty Seconds
Still steeped a good colour, rather instantly, but the taste is a bit spent. Like steeping something a second time after the first steep was already three or four minutes long. Taste is still there, but most of the main notes have vanished.
Tea is a disk with a ridge across the diametre (like those pills that you can cut in half for a smaller dose). Brewed in gaiwan, ten second rinse.
Dry, I think I can smell the mushroom.
See below for my teatra.de blog ramble about my adventures into Chinatown to obtain this tea and others. Comes with photos!
First steep: Ten Seconds
There’s a deep, very unique smell, slightly spicy savoury. Brewed ink-black, just like the rinse.
Taste isn’t nearly as strong as the smell. Deep, earthy, puehr taste—rounded out a touch savoury, and think I’m getting a bit of astringency in the back as well. Don’t actually know what bamboo, this particular mushroom, nor chrysanthemum taste like (last one: would except floral). Savoury taste probably from the second, maybe even the first. I had a fear that it would tasted “herbal remedy” ish, but that is not the case. There’s a heavyness almost like coffee (saying this having only drunk it once or twice), without the bitterness. Perhaps the ‘roasted’ aspect? Hrm.
Second Steep: Ten Seconds
Sort of forgot about this one and so it cooled considerably before I drank it. A bit sharper, I think—but that might just be because I started drinking it later. Still savoury, earthy. Possibly a bit flatter. Hmm.
Third Steep: Fifteen Seconds
Accidentally let this one go for an extra five seconds.
Taste is sharper, mouth-feel maybe slightly gritty. Still, as always, savoury, maybe not quite as potent as the earlier steeps (done last night).
Fourth Steep: Ten Seconds
Less sharp, overall less potent. Still good.
Fifth Steep: Ten Seconds
Not much change, becoming weaker still.
Sixth Steep: Ten Seconds
The savoury essence has worn off, but the tea is still there. Still brewing rather dark.
Seventh Steep: Ten Seconds
Looks like it’s reaching the end of it’s life, here.
I like this, for a green tea. It’s definitely different—flavourful, with many different notes. I probably steeped it a little hot.
I think this is what ‘buttery’ really is. It’s also nice and earthy (though not vegetal), with a very subtle mineral taste. Although it’s becoming quite bitter as it cools—will have to make sure I user a cooler steep time in the future.
Made some more today. Transferred the tea to a nice clean tin, and realized just how fresh it smells. It’s very potent, and reminds me of hay (although much sweeter).
This transferred into the taste this time around too. My initial sips, sweet hay. Sharp astringency already, that’s building as I drink it.
Made it with less leaf and a longer steep time today. And boiling water.