499 Tasting Notes

89

This is a warm and “springy” tea, and I enjoyed sipping on it. The leaves are large and nicely threaded with a sweet peppery scent along with some creamed honey subtle tangy apricots and peaches. I warmed my yixing up and placed some inside. The aroma thickens with some prickliness to it. I can note crisp fruits of pineapple and peach. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The brew is thick and mild with molasses, fat, and apricot. It’s an enjoyable tea and it grows with some bitterness of crisp apple. The aftertaste and long and lingering with sweet oils. The tea carries some good balance of huigan and kuwei, which is nice. The last steeps cause the tea to become soft and sweet with a very faint bitter of buffalo grass. I liked this tea, but I feel at this price point it should stay in storage.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BToafnig6h6/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Grass, Green, Pear, Pepper, Pineapple, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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88
drank Top Leaf by Mellow Monk
499 tasting notes

I’ve been looking for a good daily “sencha”, and I think I found one. The leaf is primarily straight; however, I note some curls within the bunch. The green tea gives off an amazing umami scent with some nice seaweed, milky creaminess, and vegetal base. I can also hint at the slightest honey sweetness on top. I grabbed my kyusu and began my brewing. The directions tell for light brewing, so I hit it at somewhere around 176F. The brew is delightfully jade green with smooth deep grassy notes. My mouth fills with umami and a nourishing green bean base. The brew is smooth with a slight dryness alike dandelion. I enjoy this tea, and I can drink multiple pots in one sitting.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BTT3hHBgR1f/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/p/BTY_84cAoV_/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Dandelion, Green Beans, Honey, Seaweed, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

This tea had a great price, so I decided to grab a cake to try. I am a big supporter of factory productions, and I like imitations as well, so I kept an open mind when brewing. The cake is moderately compressed with some aromas of hay, slight floral, raisin, and cherry along whit some dark wood. The leaf is a bit rustic in its appearance as well as its scent. I warmed my teapot and threw some inside. The aroma opens into a punchy scent of wet hay, wet wood, grassy, and sharp fruits. I washed the leaf once and began my brewing. The taste is very rustic as well with lots of hay and wood. I can grab at some dry floral along with a sweet aftertaste, but the brew grows thin quickly. However, the qi is good and warming along with a pleasant head space. I liked the qi, but the drink was a bit too much for me. I think this cake will spend its day in storage until it learns to calm down a bit. A perpetual time-out.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRODoC9AyFm/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Dark Wood, Drying, Floral, Hay, Raisins, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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93

I am a fan of XG, and it is very hard to find, and it is very to find “real stuff”. I can’t tell you weather or not this was “real stuff”, but it was very good!

The leaves are tightly compressed, and they give off an array of scents including strong high notes of grass, watermelon, and raspberry lemonade. It was sweet, tangy, and aromatic. I warmed my gaiwan and scooped the leaves inside. The scent opens with sweet, smooth, and thick musty tones. I can pick up some florals and spices in the undertones. This reminded me of a nice high end cologne. It has heavy sweet rough tones along with some musk and just a tinge of floral. It was very nice. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The taste began alike a sugary apple turnover that was heavy on the bread part. I could note a slight viscosity, and it carried a decent kuwei. The next sip brought a distinct bosc pear taste. The brew is thick, fair, and it reminds me of some XG maocha I had in 2015. The brew builds with high notes, and it smoothly goes down. The aftertaste leans towards sour patch kids, with a sharp enjoyable bite and then a gooey sweetness. The liquor thins; however, it is still very fruity and punchy. Then I noticed the qi. The qi starts subtle, but it quickly builds. This was a very intense feeling for me. I took a lot of heat in, I got a little shaky, I even felt a little faint. This was an awesome brew, and it lasted for quite some time. The session ended with me sniffing the cup and relaxing as I spaced out. I really enjoyed this tea!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRMrJL5ASrX/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Apple, Baked Bread, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Lemon, Pear, Pleasantly Sour, Raspberry, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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80
drank Thyolo Oolong by Tealet
499 tasting notes

This is from 2014. I drank this side-by-side with a 2012 thyolo.

The leaves are slightly crushed, and they offer an aroma of dark wood, hay, raisin, and dried cranberries. I warmed up my gaiwan and began my brewing. The warmed leaf gives off a strong savory aroma of roast beef and other meaty scents along with some dry wood. I washed the leaves once and steeped away. The taste was nice and smooth with agave and oak tastes. The tea was a bit odd with desert blossoms coming off the cup along with sawdust, but it was enjoyable. The tea gave a very nice thick and sweet aftertaste. I liked this tea.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRVxcXngCjG/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Cranberry, Dark Wood, Hay, Meat, Oak wood, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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86

This is the 2016 harvest.

I always enjoy tea from Klasek! I have had a similar tea from Happy Earth Tea, and I find theirs a bit better. This tea consists of long dark strands with an intense aroma of sweet and smooth blackberries along with some salted caramel, baked bread, and black cherry. This was a very aromatic tea. I warmed my pot and slipped some inside. The scent exploded into some hot olive oil, ciabatta bread, with smooth, heavy, and hearty resin. This was a very dry savory scent. The aromas were well rounded and full. I washed the leaves once and began my steeping. The taste is smooth and round, but it is a bit thin. There was not much punch or energy with this tea, for it presented bold and hearty aromas. The base is a sweet mild wood, and it brings some vanilla bean syrupy tastes to front. The tea grows with malt and dry wood tones as the brew goes on. I enjoyed this tea, and it was an easy drinker; however, it was quite lacking.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSQ32IWg9Sn/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Baked Bread, Blackberry, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Dark Wood, Drying, Malt, Raspberry, Salt, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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77

I did a side by side with the Colombian green tea and this black tea.

The leaves are moderately sized and slightly twisted with scents of sweet dark fruit, baked breads, and caramel with a base of Hay. I grabbed my gaiwan and brewed away. The taste is odd with some wet bamboo tones along with a more general wet wood note. I could note a slightly sweet aftertaste. The next taste brought the image of roast beef stew. This was an odd one for me. I couldn’t pick up the sweet berry notes peeps were talking about; i only got roast beef stew…

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRGu6Y9gjKa/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Bamboo, Dark Wood, Hay, Meat, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88

This tea frightened me, for I was pretty sure I was going to hate it. However, I decided to finally walk through my fear and gongfu the darn thing.

I grabbed my shibo and prepared for the worst. I opened the package to reveal ctc grade black leaves and some crimson pieces scattered throughout. The leaf gave off a strong rum and malt tone with some dark cocoa nibs along with a rich, warm, and spicy background. I warmed my shibo and dumped what I had inside. I lifted the lid, and I instantly thought of hot hard apple cider, or perhaps hot apple cider spiked with rum. It was a very intense tone. I did not wash the leaves. The brew was a deep dark red, but I gave it a sip, and I was quite surprised. The tea was actually quite good. The initial taste was dry cocoa, hard wood, and apple cider, except less on the apple part. The wood and spices were very intense. The aftertaste is what hooked me; it was an oily and heavy taste of sweet raspberry, blackberry, and dark cocoa. I could only not a slight run taste, and it stayed towards the back. The next steep intensified the wood notes along with some spice, also the brew became significantly drier. Towards the end, the brew was a bit too aggressive, but it still carried the sweet berry aftertaste. This was an interesting tea!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BS066tnA21i/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Blackberry, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Malt, Raspberry, Rum, Spicy, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95

This the 2017 Harvest.

This is a refreshing and subtle tea. The leaves are light, thin, and vibrantly green. I can pick up a deep umami scent along with sweet nectar, lilac, lily, okra, butter, and a nutty background with a light scent of unripe tree fruit. This is a complex and wonderful aroma with many layers. I grabbed my tetsubin and began steeping. The steeped leaves are just as vibrant as they are when dry and they emit a fresh green tea scent alike high quality longjing. The liquor is pale jade and thick with a first taste of fresh greens and the image of spring. The oily brew is alike a bud heavy green tea taste as well as a the silkiness of Anji Bai Cha. The finish is sweet with a soft bitterness of notes of green bean and a light sunflower finish. The tea bears a hefty price tag, but it is quite a treat. The drink is refreshing and nourishing with a “happy body” feeling. I sipped this outside on my porch during a surprisingly warm day. The brew was wonderful and put me in a laid back mood fitting for music, books, and conversation. I really enjoyed this, and I am glad that I was able to brew some up.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSwVnoEATb2/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Green, Green Beans, Nectar, Nuts, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec 10 g 24 OZ / 709 ML

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83

This was an odd one.

The leaves are lightly red and tightly rolled with an odd roast tone. I can pick some starch-y cloth scents (linen?) with heavy dark fruit notes. I warmed up my shibo, and I placed what I had inside. The smell is an exact copy for run-of-the-mill hongcha. Malt. Roast. Nutty. Dark. I washed the leaves once and prepped for brewing. The taste is comparable to Bang Dong from White2Tea. The tea has some roasted tones with a bit of sweet fruit and malt. The aftertaste is nice with a succulent red fruitiness covering my throat. The tea is interesting and smooth. This isn’t something that I would seek, but it was a decent tea. It was fun to drink Vietnamese oolong.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BR6A7GBg-Hz/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Fruity, Malt, Red Fruits, Roasted, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Bio

Young and experienced Tea consumer. I’m continuously learning and developing knowledge about tea. If I have learned anything at all from the world of tea it is that I do not know anything about the world of tea. I enjoy good tea, and I try to acquire the best of the best. I usually brew gongfu but I’ve been known from time to time to resort back to western brewing.

I have an Instagram (haveteawilltravel), and I am proud of my photographs. I use my pictures in my reviews,and I hope that they aid in portraying the beauty of tea and teaware.

https://www.instagram.com/haveteawilltravel/?hl=en

Tea Rating System:
I rate my teas based on the category they fall into (Puer, Red, Oolong, Darjeeing, Flushes, Yancha… etc.)
This means that I will rate a Oolong based on how it stands up as a quality Oolong. I try not to compare teas, rather I work to evaluate them on their craftsmanship, harvest, processing, and qi.

I am most strict with Shou and Sheng Puerh, only because of the vast expanse of various experiences, such as; region, vintage, production, processing, etc.

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Middle of nowhere, New York

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