112 Tasting Notes
Thank you, Nuvola teas, for this amazing sample!
Dry leaves: Opening the package I was hit with a very fresh, grassy smell, a lot like a good sencha, but with hints of fir. The rolled leaves have a lustrous, dark jade color and vary in size from gunpowder to larger than your pinky tip.
Brewing: The brew first turned to a mellow, light jade-green color and began to develop a slight golden hue as it approached readiness.
Wet leaves: While brewing, the leaves underwent the largest expansion I’ve seen! Each tight pellet turned to a large leaf or set of leaves on a broad, golden stem.
Tasting: The first steeping tasted very fresh; full and grassy but still remarkably smooth. Hints of fur, morning dew, and a slight whiff of wildflowers. It also had a subtly milky flavor and texture reminiscent of a milk oolong, and a very slight but pleasant resin-like astringency.
The second steep took on a more golden color and developed a natural honeysuckle sweetness. It was not as “fresh” of a taste as the first steeping, but more of a milky smoothness and was equally, if not more, enjoyable. It held out well for third and forth steepings, which developed subtle fruit noted of grapefruit and lychee.
Summary: A very relaxing oolong with a very smooth and fresh palate, similar in many ways to a milk oolong, but with high mountain tastes. I don’t think I could have possibly enjoyed it more. :)
Reminds me of: An early spring morning in the mountains of North Carolina (or perhaps the mountains of Taiwan, had I ever been there) :)
This pu’erh was bolder in flavor and darker in color than the other samples. It also had considerably more of that pu’erh sweetness to it, and despite being bold it was still mellow. It had strong wood notes of cedar and oak, and also had a distinct “wild mushroom” flavor to it.
Overall I think seemed to be the finest and highest quality of the pu’erhs Mr. Mopar sent me
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