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311 Tasting Notes

100

Had a not quite so fantastic session with this one in a different pot—a tokoname kyusu—then finished the sample again with a session in the same shiboridashi that I started it with, and it was again, simply stunning. Wow.

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

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80

Finally got to this one—have been on a tasting kick this week. I read another review comparing this one to berries and chocolate—and I agree, the dark leaves have a unique scent that is reminiscent of raspberries and dark chocolate. The leaves are also a very surprising deep purple-black when dried, and purple-green when wetted. I’ll edit again to put a link to photos on my web site shortly to show what I mean.

The tea itself does fulfill the expectation of berry in a deeply tart fruitiness. The chocolate, however, does not come through. I understand the difficulty Greg had writing the description because this is not a typical puerh. But while the first infusions can be a bit tricky—there’s some bitterness to work around, and the next time I might start it with slightly cooler water—the later infusions, as it fades towards sweet water—keep that berry and sweetness delightfully. A very nice tea.

Should have added: steeps were flash rinse, then 10 seconds apiece for a good while before increasing to 20", 30", eventually a minute or so.

Dry leaves
http://www.flickr.com/photos/debunix/5992938178/in/photostream/
Wet leaves
http://www.flickr.com/photos/debunix/5992938764/in/photostream/

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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83

As anticipated, this one also makes terrific iced tea. I used about 3 grams in a 10 ounce up, cool tap water, and refrigerated it. 12 hours later, rich and floral and fruity with a bit of something not bitter, but a bit of a counterpoint to the sweet fruitiness. Mmmm.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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83

(Another free sample with the current order from Norbu)
90mL shiboridashi, preheated, with 3.1 grams of tea, delicate intact leaves, with sweet delicate scent

160°F/71°C, 90 seconds
Peaches and honey, flowers and fruit, delicious.

160°F/71°C, 2 minutes
Peaches receding, still honey, fruity, flowers, and delicious

180°F/82°C, 2 minutes
Vegetal grassiness to the fore now, still some floral overtones, fruit/peach essence gone now

186°F/86°C, 3 minutes
Floral, sweet, vegetal, pleasant, but I think the leaves are mostly done now.

This is a lovely tea, very reminiscent of Bai Mu Dan, and should be delicious iced. I’m going to prepare a cup of that to drink tonight—will update when I do.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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77

This is a nice spicy oolong, without as strong a cinnamon note as the one other I have tried (from HouDe). I’ve been drinking it mostly bulk brewed for the thermos, but also a few times gongfu cha. I haven’t taken detailed tasting notes yet, so won’t put a full rating on it now.

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100

3 grams in 3 ounce preheated iron-rich clay shiboridashi

170°F/77°C, 30 seconds—weet, vegetal, grassy, a delicate floral note too. VERY NICE!

170°F/77°C, 30 seconds—sweet, and the floral is stronger this infusion, fantastic

170°F/77°C, 45 seconds—wow, how does this one go on like this? I am drinking a meadow of spring flowers—THIS is the “honeyed quality of some Chinese green teas” that I read about in one of my tea books, and haven’t ever properly tasted in tea before. I’ve had some fine green teas that have had hints of this, but usually tempered with nuttiness or astringency or bitterness when the tea is pushed a bit, or just lower-key with the floral elements, and here there is nothing roasted, just sweet, floral, wow.

190°F/88°C, 30 seconds—still that astonishing sweetness, and my tastebuds are dancing.

185°F/85°C, 1 minute—oh my….I am in love.

190°F/88°C, 2 minutes—still delicious, the floral richness a little less intense now.

(remaining infusions between 190°F/88°C and 200°F/93°C)

3 minutes—enough sweet floral flavor remains to encourage a 4th infusion.

4 minutes—mmmm, a little lighter now, still pleasant.

5 minutes—closing in on sweet water, done now.

What a marvelous tea!

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

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87
drank Mao Xie by jing tea shop
311 tasting notes

I did buy more of this tea when I ordered again from Jing, and have finally been making good use of it. Today I brewed up a thermos full and it was sweet, floral, rich, and still has that Mao Xie edge that is subtly, beautifully distinct from Tie Guan Yin. Mmmm.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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91

This was my first gongfu cha tasting of this one, because I opened the package for the first time while traveling and without proper gongfu setup. It just wouldn’t get bitter or lose a rich sweetness no matter how I abused it. I was bulk brewing it in my thermos and really impressed with the results under those harsh conditions, and became very eager to see what it could do when more carefully brewed at home.

2.3 grams in porcelain gaiwan, about 75mL water—1 gram/ounce
Water 205°F/96° C

1st, about 30 seconds
Sweet and rich, floral, delicious, marvelously pleasant

2nd, about 20 seconds
A little more spiciness in addition to the floral sweetness

4th, forgot at 2-3 minutes
Splendidly rich, floral, spicy, but no hint of bitterness

5th, also quite a long infusion
Less sweet, but amazingly floral and still very rich, deep flavor

6th, shorter infusion
Lighter and sweeter, deliciously floral

7, 8…and more, out to about a dozen infusions, probably could have been longer if I hadn’t overdone the middle ones so much.

I really like this tea, and particularly the staying power both when brewed gongfu cha and when I’ve bulk brewed it for my thermos—it still has wonderful flavor hours later, not to be compared to the fresh brewed, of course, but far better than most green oolongs I’ve tried for that use. I just ordered quite a bit more, anticipating a lot of afternoons at the office with the thermos full of this one.

2.3 grams in porcelain gaiwan, about 75mL water—1 gram/ounce
Water 205°F/96° C

1st, about 30 seconds
Sweet and rich, floral, delicious, marvelously pleasant

2nd, about 20 seconds
A little more spiciness in addition to the floral sweetness

4th, forgot at 2-3 minutes
Splendidly rich, floral, spicy, but no hint of bitterness

5th, also quite a long infusion
Less sweet, but amazingly floral and still very rich, deep flavor

6th, shorter infusion
Lighter and sweeter, deliciously floral

7, 8…and more, out to about a dozen infusions, probably could have been longer if I hadn’t overdone the middle ones so much.

I really like this tea, and particularly the staying power both when brewed gongfu cha and when I’ve bulk brewed it for my thermos—it still has wonderful flavor hours later, not to be compared to the fresh brewed, of course, but far better than most green oolongs I’ve tried for that use. I just ordered quite a bit more, anticipating a lot of afternoons at the office with the thermos full of this one.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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57

2.2 grams in small porcelain gaiwan. Flash rinse.

Infusions 205 degrees, about 50 mL apiece.

First flash infusion: very little flavor, need to be bolder.
20" 2nd infusion: more interesting, woodsy, still very mild
several minute 3rd infusion (meant to make it long, but lost track of time): stronger, woodsy, some bitter edge with herbaceous flavors, but really not much else—I know this is not really a proper test of the tea, but it’s not making me want to drink more.
10" 4th infusion (after long delay, suspected it might be stronger): mild, woodsy, hint of sweetness, starting to be more interesting now
20" 5th infusion: a bit bland again

About a dozen infusions in, and still hard to find a sweet spot. Have gone from 20" to 2-3 minutes. There in nothing that is unpleasant about this tea, but it’s just not showing anything extra-appealing like my favorite shus—no unusual sweetness, or plumminess, or warm caramel notes. The strength of the woody/herbaceous flavors does hint at more interesting flavor development with time, but it’s not inspiring me right now. I’m going to put it in the back of the cupboard and give it some months before I check it out again.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
the_skua

Thanks for your note. I’ve been curious about this tea and wondered if it was a little fresh.

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100

Another marvelous session with this tea, and some 6-8 infusions in the tea is still entirely bright, rich, fruity, tart, sweet….deeply satisfying stuff. Mmm mmmm.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

I’ve been drinking tea for 30 years, but only bought 2 brands of 2 different teas for most of that time. It took me almost 30 years to discover sencha, puerh, and green oolongs. Now I am making up for lost time.

I try to log most of my teas at least once, but then get lazy and stop recording, so # times logged should not be considered as a marker of how much a particular tea is drunk or enjoyed.

Location

Los Angeles

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