73 Tasting Notes
For a long time I wasn’t a fan of sencha. Now I realize that my first few attempts were with relatively low quality tea. Den’s has always seemed to be THE source for green tea so I ordered their green tea sampler and this tea was included. The leaves were a dark emerald color and smelled fresh but not quite the freshly mowed lawn smell I was expecting. I brewed this tea in a cast iron tea pot called a testubin with 170 degree water for two and a half minutes. This was longer than Den’s directions but my testubin is fairly large and I was worried about ending up with a weak brew.
The brewed tea had a slight roasted aroma but also retained the fresh smell of the dry leaves. This tea was naturally sweet and had a taste that lingered long after taking a sip. It was not bitter in the least. I compared a cooled cup and a still hot cup and they were both equally delicious. I think I would be hard pressed to find a green tea that was a refreshing as this selection. It was perfect for a warm northeastern day like today.
I’ve tried several selections from Boulder Tea, some I have loved and some I haven’t. I love that they offer some Korean teas, which are not common with most tea makers we get here in the US. This one was a bit of a toss up. The leaves looked mostly whole and fairly fresh. There wasn’t much of a detectable fragrance though. It was packaged in a silky satchet, very typical of higher end tea bags. I steeped this tea using 170 degree water. On finding the taste to be very mellow, I decided to keep the bag in the cup to see if it would strengthen the brew a bit.
This tea vaguely reminded me of Gyokuro but it was not quite as strong or sweet. I love a delicate green tea, as this one seems to be. Unfortunately, its downfall was that tea bags are not really the best way to prepare it. I was surprised at what a small amount of leaves was put in the tea sachet. Even after the leaves were fully expanded, there was plenty of empty space. I feel this really hurt the flavor because there wasn’t quite enough for even a modest cup of tea. It was an fairly decent tea, especially for a tea bag, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it.
I drink many different kinds of tea but tend to heavily favor oolong and green teas. Every once in a while a black tea comes along that changes all that, at least for one cup. Tavalon’s NYC Breakfast is one of those teas. My sample was a funky, do –it–yourself tea bag with a fair amount of dry leaves in it. They had a pleasant sweet and nutty aroma. It’s funny but after writing so many reviews, I can usually tell if I will like a tea by the way the leaves smell. I steeped it using 212 degree water for five minutes.
The resulting tea was robust without being overpowering. Their website describes it as energizing and it definitely is. It had a nice aftertaste and did not need any milk or sweeteners. Quite frankly I think to do so would ruin it. That says a lot for a black tea. This tea was a morning staple of mine when I was working in of all places, NYC. I would definitely recommend it. In fact, I will probably order some the next time I win one of their fun Twitter contests. I will definitely have to try this tea iced as well.