31 Tasting Notes
For review, brewed around 150F for a little under two minutes for the first steep. Pours a medium cloudy green, plenty of sediment from my pot with a clay filter (recommend using a mesh filter for this one). The smell is sweet, comforting, and slightly brothy. The texture is thick, almost creamy. The taste has that sweet-savory balance of cooked shiitake, but with a more green/grassy flavor. There’s a touch of bright, tangy sourness on the palate and a light astringency on the tongue. The overall effect is quite comforting. The second steep is thinner and slightly more bitter.
Flavors: Broth, Grass, Mushrooms
My goodness, that name is quite a mouthful. :-) This tea features short grass-like pieces of leaf a lovely dark green. For this review, steeped at around 170F for about 2 minutes. First steep was a cloudy yellow-green that tasted quite broth-like, noticeably salty with a slight sourness. Something like a seaweed broth. The next steep was sweeter, with the saltiness replaced by a more grassy sencha flavor with some bitter notes creeping in, but overall weaker in flavor. The third steep had little flavor left.
A quality tea, and a good price, but the savoriness is not my favorite flavor profile.
Flavors: Broth, Salt
My first experience with Japanese oolongs, and I’m impressed. Leaves are a rich dark green, rolled into irregular shapes. For this testing I brewed at 200F in a kyusu clay pot. The liquor was a dark gold with a touch of green, slightly cloudy. The taste is a rich but restrained floral flavor (the seller says it’s gardenia, specifically—I don’t know my flowers well enough to confirm). The light roasting gives it a smooth palate with light sweetness and not much bitterness. The texture is light and refreshing, but with a touch of buttery avocado richness.
By the time I got around to reviewing this, the tea was about 6 months old and had lost some of its initial vibrancy, but still quite good. I did three steeps. The third was noticeably lighter in color and, while it still had some nice tingly effervescence on the tongue, has lost much of its flavor. So I’d stick with 2-3 steepings on this (unless perhaps you’re trying very short steeps).
Overall a lovely discovery at a reasonable price that will proves Japanese oolongs have a place on my tea shelf next to the Taiwanese and Chinese.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Green
A nice, quite dark oolong. Undoubtedly overpriced, but good oolong nonetheless. The leaves are dark like a black tea, and the taste is almost as strong. The dry leaves are loosely rolled curly strands.
The taste is fruity, earthy (but clean), and balanced. Prominent flavors of dried plum and raisin, fruity but not sweet. An touch of toasted grain. A slight bitterness to balance things out.
The texture is clean and smooth, low astringency.
Flavors: Plums, Raisins
Irregularly shaped nuggets, dark green to dark brown. Dry leaves have a sweet, almost cake-like smell.
Broth has a comforting, silky, mildly brothy texture. The first steeping has a sweet, vibrant taste like fresh, lightly sauteed summer squash. The next few steeps add depth with a slight bitterness like steamed spinach.
It started to lose flavor at 3 or 4 steeps for me, so not the longest-lasting tea, but wonderful while it lasts.
Flavors: Spinach, Zucchini
Tightly rolled, very dark green nuggets. There is a nice floral aroma along with a brothy, almost creamy scent.
The first few steeps are very green, as opposed to a more roasted oolong. Strong umami. brothy flavor with a fairly thick mouthfeel. The umami notes dominate, there’s just a hint of the floral notes in the brewed tea. Later/longer steepings bring out a touch of mouth-puckering astringency that adds a nice bite to the flavor.
A hearty and vibrant tea nice for breakfast or midday.
Flavors: Broth, Floral, Vegetal
Tea Trekker continues to bring very high-quality tea to aficionados. This is one of their many Darjeeling offerings, and it’s a second flush.
This tea brings a strong, fruity (muscat, stone fruit) aroma and flavor—breathing in the steam from your first cup is heavenly. It’s balanced by the right amount of astringency and slight bitterness to give it some edge and bight. A light, clean texture with a touch of silkiness. Maybe a hint of maltiness lurking, but that’s not the main focus. This is a refined but invigorating tea that’s perfect for a first cup in the morning.
Flavors: Grapes, Muscatel, Stonefruits, Tea
The dry aroma is very pleasant: hickory smoke, leather, chili pepper, seeet pipe tobacco, a touch of spring soil. It actually reminds me of barbecue sauce. The effect is light, young, and sweet rather than heavy and dank.
(Note: I was using relatively long steepings close to a minute)
First steeping has that sweetness in the flavor. The color is woody, medium brown and a bit yellowish. As promised by the name, the tea unfolds in the pot to reveal large pieces of greenish-brown leaves. The liquor is thin and softly textured. That light pipe tobacco flavor comes through, barbecue sweetness, a touch of barnyard/horse aroma. There’s a bright sweetness at the top that could just maybe be orange peel. After a few minutes the energizing effect begins, invigorating and warming with a gentle “high,” becoming a bit jittery the more I drink.
Further steepings bring out more of a menthol cooling effect in the mouth, which increasingly dominates the experience with additional steepings.
Overall, wonderfully balanced and refined but still exciting and surprising. Some pu-erhs scream, this one sings like Ella Fitzgerald.
And as a bonus, it’s pretty reasonably priced.
Flavors: Barnyard, Earth, Leather, Menthol, Sweet, Tobacco, Wood