30 Tasting Notes

60

A very interesting black tea that I would describe as being more like an aged green than anything else. A lot of vegetable notes in the body, peas and spinach most obviously, with a charming aroma of dried grass. I did not taste bitterness, however I could not detect any sweetness in the tea either, and so I was missing some depth and balance. This was a tricky one. I prefer more freshness to my greens, and more malt and oak to my blacks, so I don’t really know how to categorize this most unique Darjeeling. 6/10, would not pursue again, but I am interested in playing with temperatures and brew times for my second sample pouch.

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85
drank English Breakfast by Steepster
30 tasting notes

A deeply flavored tea with a nice, mild tannin profile. A gently astringent flavor winds its way through the first cup, not strong enough to pucker, but bracing enough to refresh and perk up the palate. The tea was bone dry, with depth from some toasty and nutty notes, but not a grain of sweetness to it. A beautiful malty flavor developed as the tea cooled, which really endeared this cup to me. Fantastic example of a balanced black tea. 8.5/10, really enjoyable overall.

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50
drank Yame Shincha #3 by Tea Wing
30 tasting notes

Bright, green, vegetal notes with a grassy tone bordering on astringent. My first sip instantly brought me to thoughts of asparagus, artichokes, and Brussels sprouts at family dinners – not bad memories, as I do enjoy my vegetables, but not as my morning drink. An unusual experience that I don’t know if I’m willing to repeat. 5/10, not terrible, just not a flavor profile that I enjoyed.

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60

I was impressed by the first steeping of this oolong, where I found delicate creamy flavors with traces of honey and fruit, but I was hoping to find more complexity In the later brews. Sadly, and probably due to user error, I found only green notes and astringent flavors that completely washed out the sweetness and creamy texture. I am eager to give the tea another try and be more careful about brewing temperature and time, but for now I stand disappointed by a predictable tea. 6/10, hope to adjust this rating later.

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80
drank Ever Spring 2014 by Tearroir
30 tasting notes

A beautifully delicate tea with a surpassing account of complexity despite the lightness of flavors. The first brew reminded me of buttered peas: fresh and green but with a touch of sweetness and a creamy texture. The grassy notes in the aroma did not join the flavors until the second steeping, which I think I may have done at too high a temperature by accident because the sweetness retreated a bit. With each brewing the tea develops a darker color and slightly more stringent flavor, but I am finding the development enjoyable. 8/10, edited to drink again. I am glad that I was caught up with my Select boxes so that I can enjoy this month’s teas while they are still as fresh as possible!

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90
drank Lapsang Souchong by Steepster
30 tasting notes

As this was my first experience with real lapsang souchong, I was excited to really try what Google tells me is sometimes referred to as the “scotch of tea,” especially because I am learning to enjoy scotch as well.

I have never had such an immediate and vocal reaction to opening a bag of tea. I tore open the pouch, caught a whiff of the dry leaf, and exclaimed “Whoa, this smells like bacon!” I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did sort of taste like bacon as well: smoky and rich, with a balancing tang and a breath of tannins. There was even some chew to the mouthfeel, and I found that my first cup left me with a feeling of rendered fat on the tongue. There was also an earthy quality to the brew, almost peaty but not enough to overpower the cup. I canfly understand why people may find the tea too strong, too smoky, too meaty for them, but I find it highly enjoyable. Excited to explore other lapsang varieties in the future. 9/10

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60
drank Zhejiang White Pearls by Steepster
30 tasting notes

A delicate golden cup with faint but well-balanced flavors. There are some fresh green notes at the front, with a honey sweetness lingering just long enough to be distinguished. Some peach notes flesh out the body a bit, but even making sure I didn’t over-water, the flavors were still muted. Further steepings brought forth more malty sweetness for a more hearty brew. 6/10, would drink again but didn’t love it.

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90

I was very excited to find a genmai-cha in my Select box this month, as they are my absolute favorite type of green tea. This tea is a perfect example as to why I enjoy them: the nutty roasted rice perfectly balances the fresh grassy notes for a well-rounded flavor. I especially enjoyed the malty sweetness that appeared as the tea cooled. A perfectly complex and interesting tea, perfectly refreshing for a warm day. 9/10

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75

I very much enjoyed my first true pu-erh experience, as I have never before encountered an actual brick like I found in this packet. I was intimidated and afraid that I was doing it wrong, but I think I did fine. The nutty and toasted aroma had me expecting another warming, full-bodied tea, so I was pleasantly surprised by the mineral note in the body. The recess of sweetness really rounded out the flavor profile for me, and I find this to be a refreshing warm-weather tea. Very enjoyable and easy to drink. 7.5/10

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65
drank Li Li Xiang 2013 by Seven Cups
30 tasting notes

A very delicate and interesting tea. The first stepping produced a roasted quality, reminding me of a hoji-cha style, which mellowed to a gentle sweetness in subsequent resteeps. Therewas a presence of mild tannins throughout, which surprised me because I am so used to tannins fading after the first steeping. Overall a decent tea, would have liked a little more fullness in the body and flavors. 6.5/10

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Once this hot cup of happiness hits my veins, I might come up with something witty and clever. Until then, I’ll just keep sippin’.

Location

Los Angeles, CA