101 Tasting Notes
I haven’t purchased any unflavored sencha in awhile so I don’t have much to compare it to other than my less than youthful tin from Ippodo. I had wanted to use up the last of it before I opened this sample, but I got up early this morning and needed a bracing cup of something STAT so this is what I grabbed. I kind of wished I waited since I was in too much of a hurry to really take notes.I remember the leaves being a remarkable deep dark green and it brewing to a color that made me wish that I was using a white cup. It had some astringency, and some vegetal flavors, so pretty much solid sencha. I was in a hurry so after one brewing I threw the rest of the leaves in a mason jar with some water to cold brew in the fridge so it’ll be ready first thing tomorrow. Hopefully I grabbed the right jar and it won’t taste like sauerkraut.
I thought a bit of tropical flavor would be good on yet another rainy day. The tea itself is cheering looking with pops of blue and orange color from the flower petals. The aroma is light like fresh passion fruit, from what I remember anyway, and not the strong artificial smell like most passion fruit flavored juices or candies.
The taste is a bit more ambiguously fruity with some floral flavor and a dry aftertaste. It reminded me more of a scented tea than most fruit flavored ones as it doesn’t have any sweet or tart flavors added. The base is pretty strong and during my second steep it backed off a bit and more of the fruit flavor came out. Both times were pretty delicious. I’m actually suprised I liked this as much as I did as outside of citrus tea I find fruit teas usually disappointing.
I’m not going to rate this as I’ve lost track of how old it is as well as managing to both add too much tea and oversteep. Plus I’m pretty sure I used too hot of water during the 2nd steep. It’s been one of those nights, but that’s why I chose this tea. It can take a bit of abuse and still be drinkable, even comfortable. It has a light toasty flavor that I associate with other Chinese greens probably from the pan frying. If senchas are spring in the cup then this is a late summer/ripening wheat/bales of hay.
I’ve spent the night trying to wash wool yarn in my tub making an already rainy day more damp and chilly. This has been infusion after infusion of hand warming goodness. I’ll want to use the last of this up soon, but come fall I’ll be wanting something similar, and hopefully by then all of tonight’s work will pay off with an equally toasty wool shawl.
I was excited to try this sample as I love grapefruit. Like I’ve been eating about 5 a week for the last few months L-O-V-E. Surprisingly I’ve never thought to look for a grapefruit tea…I’ve just never come across one on my own and probably assumed it wasn’t a popular flavor. I do know a lot of grapefruit haters out there although I don’t know what they have against it now that the markets are saturated with the newer sweeter ruby varieties. Maybe they need to become easy to peel? I saw some white grapefruits a few months ago being sold as “cocktail grapefruits”, they were twice as much per pound than I usually pay so I didn’t get any and of course I have regretted it ever since. Of course they haven’t returned since, but then again the other grapefruits are getting sad now so I guess the season is over…all the better for having this tea then.
This tea is pretty much what I never knew I wanted earl gray to taste like. It has an amazing grapefruit zest flavor. It is spot on what I smell and taste when I peel a grapefruit. There’s no weird artificial flavor, nothing that’s missing, just high bright citrusy goodness with a solid black tea background to hold it together. I got a second steep from this but the black tea was weaker and the citrus note a bit more pithy. Still good though.
This will definitely be able to tide me over in the off season.
Jasmine pearls are one of my favorite types of tea. I like jasmine teas in general but none seem to hold on to the flavor as well as the tightly wound pearls. Plus they aren’t too delicate making them good for travel especially without the need of a scale. So I’m always looking for new ones to try.
This one has slightly larger pearls than most I’ve had. It smells, of course, strongly of jasmine. The pearls unfurl to the first few leaves and the tip. The first steeping is lovely, full of jasmine, but not overwhelming or bad like purfume. The next steep was still flavorful and the one after that…and after that
I’m going to have to make room for more of this one.
This is a pretty tea with twisted leaves in a variety of dark chocolate and copper colors as well as some silvery buds.
I’ve gone through 3 steepings of this tonight which was probably a bit much but it’s a really solid tea. I probably should have took notes as I went along since I’ve been drinking it over the past four hours including all through dinner. From what I recall it was light with malty and floral notes. There’s also a bit of tannic dryness at the end.
Still unsure if I even like whites….thought I would try this one as it is partially oxidized (hello flavor!). So I’ve scrubbed my ceramic mug and got out my thermometer so at the very least I won’t discount this as negligence on my part.
The leaves are very thin and brittle and not rolled in the least. The most striking thing is the color which is a medley of greens and browns. The leaves are also a variety of sizes from almost entire to small pieces. My ceramic strainer did a good job though so there’s not a lot of tiny pieces which is impressive for how brittle it seems and how unprotected it was in my tiny sample pack. The tea itself is a light yellow with a bit more of a golden tone than I expected of a white.
Well I’m impressed! I definitely know I’m drinking tea and not just scented hot water. And yet it’s definitely its own thing and not just a lighter tasting green tea like I expected. It’s refreshing and a bit melon flavored. At the end it’s even buttery feeling. It’s also without much bitterness or astringency which I don’t usually get from whites but I was expecting as a trade off for you know…flavor.I did a couple of short infusions with this. Judging from the concentrated tea that came out of my strainer I wouldn’t brew this for too long or go with too high of a temp.
Since I liked the black thyolo tea I think I’ll try the pai mu tan from there as well. I’ll also have to use my remaining sample either cold or iced brewed.
The dried tea is very pretty thinly rolled leaves with whole Camilla blossoms. It smells very much like a black tea without a noticeable floral aroma. It brewed to a lovely clear red orange color and the leaves opened up a bit into entire young thin leaves.
One of the most noticeable things about this is a spicy, almost peppery, note from the flowers which I’m guessing might be from the pollen. It’s delightful and rather surprising since I was expecting a up front floral perfume flavor like with rose or jasmine. The tea itself is mellow, a little tannic, and leaves a cooling feeling at the end of the sip. It’s good for a few infusions but after the first the spicy flavor fades away and your left with just the good base. I’m thinking I could have got three if I hadn’t bungled my strainer and dumped all the leaves behind the couch :(I can definitely see why the description urges you to avoid putting milk in it at first. I imagine it would wreck the delicate flavors and that would be nothing less than a crime. However, I think it’s probably a bit too refined for my tastes as I can see myself coming back to this occasionally as something refreshingly different but not something I want to keep ahold of all the time.
In an attempt to use this up I prepped an ice brew of this before I went to bed. I put tea in my strainer and filled it the rest of the way with ice cubes. I woke up to a concentrated sencha flavor shot. It was strikingly different from the tea I had last night by being super vegetal like the juice leftover from defrosting spinach. It also had a crazy buttery mouthfeel that lingered for awhile.
There’s usually enough flavor left in the tea leaves to hot brew this so that’s what I did. And it’s back to regular sencha.