62 Tasting Notes
This is the third of the three teas that I recently purchased from Den’s tea and this is by far my favorite of the three. Of course that is a slightly unfair comparison because the other two were senchas, and I am a much bigger fan of gyokuro, but I felt that the two senchas really did not have that much flavor.
Regardless, this gyokuro has the sweet/bitter combination that you expect out of a gyokuro, but it also has an interesting note of pine tree after the initial burst of flavor.
Tangerine Blossom is a black tea that is made from Shang’s white tea leaves and scented with tangerine blossoms during the oxidation.
This is a pretty good tea, although it leaves something to be desired. Certainly it has one of the most rich, tangy, and citrus filled aromas that I have ever encountered, however the taste falls a few steps below the aroma. Certainly it is still very good, but disappointing based on the aroma.
I steeped this 6 times with 4 g of tea per cup of water.
Here’s the second of three teas that I recently purchased when Den had a sale of a few of his teas. I brewed this in a 4 oz Kyusu that I purchased from Yuuki-Cha, and I followed Den’s instructions for the first steeping (160 degrees, 30 seconds, 1 teaspoon or 3 grams for me).
As with the sencha that I had yesterday, I really don’t feel like I’m getting the full array of vegetal and seaweed tones that I typically get from my other senchas. This certainly isn’t a bad tea per se, but there is nothing special about it. I did enjoy this one a little bit more than the sencha-ryoku I had yesterday, and this tea also had a beautiful emerald green brew.
Next time I think I am going to try steeping perhaps with 4 g of tea for the 4 oz of water. Den recommends a teaspoon (I’m guessing 2-3 g here), but perhaps i need to try a little more and see if that gives me the taste I’m looking for.
One herbal tea that I rarely see reviewed on steepster is yerba mate. Perhaps the taste of yerba is so radically different from actual tea that most people just don’t drink much of it.
Anyway, before I started drinking tea, I drank a lot of yerba. I was introduced to the fantastic beverage by an Argentinian counselor at a spanish camp I attended in Bemidji, Minnesota. The counselors and the campers would often drink a round of yerba (as is customary in many Latin American countries) during the day to enjoy each others company and feel the soothing and uniting effects of the yerba.
I tried all types of different brands of yerba during this time, canarias, cruz de malta, rosamonte, amanda, la hoja, taragui, la merced, guayaki, etc. In particular, I enjoyed cruz de malta and rosamonte.
I also found a site called aviva. Whereas most yerba is grown on farms, aviva’s main yerba mate product is harvested from the forest where it grows in the shade. This gives it a much smoother taste without as much of an aftertaste that most people do not enjoy when they first try yerba.
Recently Aviva also began selling this product that I am reviewing today, an unsmoked yerba mate. In the traditional preparation of yerba mate it is typically exposed to some smoke and fire while deactivating the enzymes. In this one though they avoid that exposure giving this yerba a much less smoky taste and also a smaller after taste. It still has a very grassy taste like all yerba, but the flavor is more consistent and smooth.
I typically steep my yerba in a traditional gourd because I think it has the best taste. In a gourd I can typically resteep my yerba 15-20 times before it loses most of the flavor.
I’ve never really liked jasmine because I always felt that the jasmine was too overpowering and completely ruined the gentle nature of the underlying teas that I was drinking.
Then I actually found some good jasmine tea that is scented properly and enhances rather than detracts from the overall taste and quality. This jasmine is created with silver needle tea buds and has a very consistent light flavor that reaches a peak by the 2nd-3rd steeping.
I highly recommend this tea!