99 Tasting Notes
So begins the first of my backlogged mini-tasting notes on the great pu’erh samples sent to me by mrmopar. Thanks SO MUCH! I now know that the loose-leaf pu’erh I had bought really tasted like moldy mulch and just had a slight hint of good pu-erh flavor. These samples have got me hooked! :)
One thing I noticed when drinking a lot of pu’erhs this week is that it seemed to put a huge boost on my metabolism, which really took me by surprise, as its the most noticeable change I’ve experienced from drinking tea. Got that fiery feeling in my gut like after a long jog or yoga class.
Anyway, here’s my tasting notes:
This pu’erh had a slightly milder flavor than the others. The main flavor hints that I picked up in this one were walnut and oak. The earthy flavors dissipated slightly to reveal more black tea-like flavors in the later steepings. Overall I think this was the smoothest/mildest of the pu’erhs I tried. Reminded me slightly of a light-medium roast coffee.
Wow! This is good. Real good.
Dry leaves: Smells of fresh cut hay and slightly floral. The leaves are small, dark green, and curled tightly. They have a bit of the white “peach fuzz” of young bud teas.
Brewing: Brews to a mellow grey-gold color typical of whites and young-leaf greens. The leaves expand quite a bit, almost tripling in volume, but maintain a slight curl.
Taste: Very mellow flavor with no bitterness at all. This is a very multifaceted tea, and in addition to the “green” flavors it has the dried fruit and mineral qualities of Ti Guan Yin, and the lightness and natural sweetness of a white monkey. There is also just a slight bit of smokiness reminiscent of gunpowder.
Reminds me of: K-Pop! Wait, no… Maybe that’s just my roommate blasting “Gangnam Style” on repeat…
Reminds me of: Well, all I can seem to think of for this one is that it reminds me of really good green tea! I guess that will have to do. :)
Cons: Gets pretty weak by the third steeping
Thank you, Zen Teas, for the wonderful samples :)
Easily the best sencha I’ve had!
Mellow, grassy flavor with slightly floral notes, vibrant yellowish green color, short steep time and stays bold for many steepings.
Dry leaves are thin, needle-like and deep green in color. Mostly whole or large pieces. Wet leaves look like they’ve been freshly picked.
Zen Teas obviously did their homework in sourcing a great sencha :)
Got this as a sample from Zen Teas today, and it’s very good!
Dry leaf: Broad and flat with a yellow-green color typical of dragonwell. Bold, grassy, slightly salty smell.
Steep: Nice mellow green-yellow color, does not seem to get bitter if steeped for too long
Taste: Has a mild, nutty flavor with a slightly mineral background. Creamy mouthfeel. Very fresh and smooth tasting!
Reminds me of: Subtropical forest, sunny days
Dry leaves: Leaves are in long curls, similar to many black teas, but larger and more twisted. Smell of plums and jalebi (an Indian festival sweet). Dark green-grey in color, the leaves are slightly difficult to scoop as they individual leaves like to cling and hook onto each other
Steeping: Slightly floral and vegetal aroma. Very light green-yellow color brew, turns darker and more yellow as it sits.
Tasting: Has a mild but quite spinachy flavor with slight floral and fruity notes. Very comparable to a smokeless gunpowder. Has a smooth, round mouthfeel. The flavor has a natural sweetness.
Summary: Decent, affordable Chinese green with a spinachy flavor (I enjoyed the vegetal side of it, but my roommate nearly gagged) Gunpowder’s cute younger sister. I don’t plan on reordering it, but I’ll happily drink more.
Pros: Affordable, smooth, nice mouthfeel
Cons: Too spinachy for some, nothing that really stands out as exceptional
Ordered a sample of this out of curiosity, as I’d never tried green rooibos.
Dry leaf: Thick smell of hay and candied dates. Needles are slightly dry/crumbled and dusty compared to the red rooiboses I’ve tried, maybe this is a slightly old batch?
Steeping: Very attractive, bright golden colored brew. However, LOTS of crumbles etc. got into the tea, so I poured it through a paper coffee filter into my cup. The smell while steeping reminds me of a Darjeeling or Ceylon tea, but with hints of citrus and fresh hay.
Drinking: Very smooth and still has a flavor similar to red rooibos, but more citrussy and grassy, with slight hints of grape skins or raisin. Also somewhat comparable to Ceylon black tea. Something about the flavor is “dusty”, not a bad thing, but difficult to describe.
Reminds me of: A horse farm on a hot, dry day
Summary: Intersting, caffeine-free herbal tea somewhat reminiscent of Ceylon, but with a more grassy, citrussy side.
Pros: Cheap, good for a night time tea, nice smell and color, smooth
Cons: Gets through mesh strainers
Dry leaf: Brown-green leaf color, slightly fuzzy leaves that are more brittle than soft. Sweet, grassy, musky aroma reminiscent of pine trees and a stormy ocean breeze.
Brew: Very pale grey-gold liquer more similar in color to a white tea or light colored oolong than most greens.
Drinking: Has a much fuller flavor than expected from such a pale brew. Smooth and grassy with hints of violin rosin and a very slightly fishy flavor. Reminds me of walking by the fishing docks on an overcast morning (in a good way) Turns bitter very quickly if brewed too hot or for too long. Second steeping is nice, with a slightly smoother feel and more pronounced ‘sea breeze’ taste.
Reminds me of: Fishing docks on an overcast day, coniferous forest after a heavy rain.
Summary: A very nice and slightly unique green (at least in my limited experience) with a slight tension like the calm before a storm (seeing a pattern here :P) Overall a tasty tea at a reasonable price (a steal at its current sale price)
Pros: Complex and masculine aroma, unique, smoothe taste
Cons: Bitter if brewed too long, dryness of leaves