358 Tasting Notes
Received some of this from a tea friend and had it a bit over a week ago. 2016 harvest. The leaves of this tea have a nice, nutty aroma and produce a yellowish liquor.
I get light notes of beany, roasted chestnut in the first infusion that really upon up in the second and third steeps. The mouthfeel is also quite appreciable on this one, which is something I really look for in a green tea. Mouth-filling and somewhat viscous.
Thanks for this one, Hoálatha!
Flavors: Beany, Chestnut, Nutty
Aged Kangzhuan Sichuan Heicha
So rhinkle and I are drinking this as a celebratory tea since she will be moving to Sichuan province eventually, and we spent a good bit of time talking about the aroma of this tea before trying the first sip.
Carrots, turnips, root vegetables, sweet dirt – her opinion
Earth and sour stone fruits – my opinion
Skipped a wash on this one so there wasn’t too much to pick up on in the first steep, mostly light hints of some of the aromatics. The liquor is a nice brown. The aroma offers up some pickled notes. The flavor remains really light. rhinkle likens it to golden beets. A cooling sensation in the throat kicks in after a couple minutes. Swishing it around the mouth results in a bit of a drying sensation and some dusty earth notes.
In steep three I get more of an assertive flavor, especially in the aftertaste and the exhale. A blend of sweet, sour and cream. It almost reminds me of goishicha but much, much lighter and without the umami soya-like notes.
More sweetness in steep four with some medicinal notes coming in and a more reddish color to the liquor. I do start getting some flavor notes that I would almost characterize as carroty.
Fifth steep, stewed stone fruits and root veggies with a sugary finish in the throat. Tea starts to give out after this one. I sift through the leaves and notice the variety among them. All in all, an enjoyable session.
Flavors: Carrot, Pleasantly Sour, Stonefruit, Sweet, Wet Earth
So we were very intrigued when we saw this released on Stone Leaf’s website recently and grabbed a sample along with a few other things to try. I was quite eager to try this once we received it, so we steeped it up one morning when I had to go to a symposium for work.
The aroma in the sample bag is like a blend of cereal and maple syrup that makes us think of French Toast Crunch.
The rolled leaves have a hard exterior and a candied looking sheen, and they clink lightly against the bottom of the gaiwan as I pour them in. The maple aroma intensifies once the leaves are wet. “It smells like breakfast,” were rhinkle’s exact words, I believe. The liquor steeps out to a gorgeous red.
The flavor of maple unmistakably comes through in the first steep, a reflection of the syrup itself and the underlying flavor of the base tea. There is sweetness there, as well, though it still allows the flavors of the tea itself to come through—cinnamon, cereal grains, milkiness, hints of delicious dark roast—and in the end we conclude that this tea tastes a bit like warm milk in which Cinnamon Toast Crunch was soaked.
I enjoyed this tea enough to thermos steep it for the symposium that same day, which allowed all the flavors to meld together a bit more and get more of those bold, dark oolong flavors in each sip. Just ordered more of this one to stock up on, as it’s a great one to share, a unique experience and it tastes good!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Creamy, Grain, Maple Syrup, Milk, Roasted, Toast
2016 harvest. Been trying to sipdown as many of my greens as possible, but it is proving to be a challenge.
Been working my way through this kabusecha recently and have found it to be enjoyable. Sweet and umami with faint spinach and grassy notes. The liquor is a light yellow and the mouthfeel is very smooth. If I didn’t have so many other greens and shincha to get through I’d consider giving the 2017 harvest a try.
Flavors: Grass, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Umami
Got a sample of this from a tea friend and drank it quite a while back. I didn’t note it with too much detail, but I still remember the session with it. Steeped up incredibly smooth with a red wash and a nice, dark color in the first proper steep. The taste wasn’t too assertive, but what I got was mostly milky notes. It’s the only cha tou I’ve had, but definitely would look into trying more.
Flavors: Milk, Smooth
I feel like I drank this one time before, but the session was unremarkable, so I waited to note it. Decided to give it another go this past weekend one evening.
A skipped the wash and this poured out like liquid gold with a very light, but slightly throat drying initial flavor. The aroma of this tea is syrupy sweet, though the flavor is not. I only get a couple of steeps in before passing out, but finish this tea up the next day. It settles into a green bell pepper flavor, which I expected, but no feels and not much of an interesting mouthfeel, which I did expect since I only had like two steeps the night before. But perhaps all that power went into putting me to sleep!
This tea still is rather unremarkable to me in comparison to some other sheng I’ve had, including from W2T, but my sample isn’t gone yet so I suppose I’ll see if my opinion changes!
Flavors: Green Bell Peppers
I received this as a free sample from The Teaguy; thank you for providing it!
I have to admit that I went into this one with bias because I am not a fan of flavored teas or most blends these days. Additionally, I specifically dislike raspberry, but I was determined to give every tea a fair shot.
As with the peach green tea blend, I didn’t think I’d be able the handle the aroma of this one hot, so the SO decided to cold steep this one before I got to it, and I tried it when she made it. The resulting brew was a pleasant surprise in that there wasn’t really a distinct raspberry taste, but more of a mixed berry flavor. This is still not something I would probably choose for myself, as I prefer straight tea, but good for anyone who likes fruity flavors, or even fruit infused water.
I received this as a free sample from The Teaguy; thank you for providing it!
I have to admit that I went into this one with bias because I am not a fan of flavored teas or most blends these days. The aroma of this one was intimidatingly strong, but I was determined to give every tea a fair shot.
I didn’t think I’d be able the handle the aroma of this one hot, so I decided to cold steep it. The resulting brew was very peachy, so I think this would be a good blend for people who really like fruity notes and fruity flavors in general, especially peach. For me, personally, I prefer straight tea and to enjoy the flavor of the tea, so this isn’t something I would pick for myself, but I think it would make for a good, refreshing option for someone who likes this flavor profile.
I received this as a free sample from The Teaguy; thank you for sending it!
I tried this one a while back, so the notes I provide are from that session. The leaves of this TGY are tightly rolled—as anticipated—with hints of green and a sweet aroma. The liquor pours light gold, and sweet notes dominate the first steep. The following steeps taste—surprisingly—a bit roasty in nature, and I never pick up on the distinct florals I was expecting, especially with this being a greener TGY. After they expand, I do notice that the leaves seem a bit more broken and thin than I am accustomed to.
This was not quite up my alley for an oolong, but I will be testing it out some more. I didn’t really get any of the notes other people seemed to get out of this, so I may not have steeped it well. And considering the sweetness in the first steep, I could see this having other flavors to offer as well as doing well western style or cold steeped, both of which I may try out. Regardless of the outcome of my first session, I can say that this is a decently priced option for exploring a greener TGY oolong for someone not ready to jump into top tier options yet.
Flavors: Roasted, Sweet
I received this tea as a free sample from The Tea Guy (many thanks!) and am finally getting around to trying it. The aroma of the dry leaf is subtle enough that I’m not sure what to expect, so I go into the first steep blind. I skip the wash, wanting to get as much of a sense of the tea as I can (plus, it’s loose leaf, so doesn’t need to break apart), and I let it steep just long enough to get dark.
There is a bit of storage flavor in the first infusion, and it’s got both a creamy mouthfeel and a hint of creamy flavor notes. The finish—especially by the time I’m downing the last of the first steep—is like a milky coffee with a bit of earth at the back of the throat. The flavor also coats the mouth and lingers for quite a bit.
Oddly enough, I think I taste the storage more in the second infusion than the first. As I sip, I visualize barrels being rained upon in the garden, a blend of wet wood and petrichor dominating the aroma.
Flavor evens out into a stable blend of lightly woody, creamy and sweet. Overall, an easy to drink shou with more complexity than I was expecting. That could very well be attributable to the fact that it does seem to have a bit of wet storage flavor to it, which I am a fan of. I may try going warrior style on this one since I’ve still got a good bit of sample left.
Flavors: Coffee, Creamy, Dust, Petrichor, Smooth, Sweet, Wet Wood