304 Tasting Notes
Tea Swap Session/Sipdown
It’s too late to be having a black/red tea at the moment, but I’m also at the point where I’m fully tea drunk, as well as tired. I could easily fall asleep as well as stay awake….I’ve had 9 teas, in total, since 8:30 a.m., so this last one is only adding more to my overly hyper, yet, tired being. I need to end the tea session(s) and head to bed shortly after posting this review. I honestly have so many notes that vary in length, but my mental energy is nearly depleted; however, I could easily read a book, too (I may not retain it easily, but I sure could read something to ease the mind). My notes will be quick, though. I wasn’t 100% focusing on the note taking aspect of the session, but moreorless focusing on the book being read (The Eye of the World: The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, if you must know. It’s a fantastic series which will be apart of the next 6-12 months of my life. I had recently discovered that, after picking the first book up at the library, it’s book 1/14. So far, it has a nice Tolkien-esq vibe to it, so I look forward to geeking out for the next few months while reading the series….I was told that there’s a game based on the series, too, so with further research, I might look for it on the web….)
Anyway, notes: A bit mouth drying, sweet, slightly malty, smooth, creamy, zero bitterness, caramel (aftertaste), and slightly floral.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Malt, Smooth, Sweet
From some LP Group Buy
First—when preparing the tea, my wife had noticed the name of the tea on the package. Her response: “Sounds painful.”
Anyway, I had been drinking this tea nearly for the last three hours. I started the session without notes—on the account that I was still half awake—however, after the 4th or 5th steep, I closed the book that I was reading and brought out the tea notebook. I will note here that I didn’t record every steep, but I noted profiles throughout the session, at random intervals of the session. I marked down the “differences” within the tea throughout the progression of the session (rhyme scheme?), so that I could note it on Steepster. I will also admit that I simply marked the profile of the tea, rather than writing down the depth of the tea; therefore, these are basic notes compared to the intricate ones that may oftentimes be made on a normal routine. Lastly, these notes aren’t in any particular order. I jotted stuff down as I thought of it during the session.
A bit bitter/sour on the initial taste, but the aftertaste becomes slightly sweeter.
Slight floral notes.
(Oh look, a little flower bud!)
There are a lot of broken leaves in my gaiwan; which I assume is giving the tea the bitterness upon each sip.
Leaves are a forest green/yellow-ish color.
I wasn’t sure what I was thinking when drinking this late tonight…..I wanted to play Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for an hour or two, while drinking tea, and I ended up getting enough energy to play for nearly 3.5 hours…. (o_o)I happened to drink a few teas while playing video games, too, so in between slaying dragons and whatnot, I managed to make a few notes along the way…..I didn’t want to concentrate on gong fu cha with this tea, so I went ahead and brewed in Western-style in a big pot (there was about 8-9 grams left, made in a 200 ml pot)…..
1st Steep: 2 minutes, 195 F. Light roasted notes, slight coffee taste, and a bit of a sweet nutty (almonds? pecans?) note.
2nd Steep: 3 minutes, 200 F. More coffee notes (similar to smelling a tin of coffee), thick mouthfeel, and more pecans and/or almonds.
3rd Steep: 6 minutes, 200 F. A lot of coffee flavors & roasted pecans. A bit mouth-drying, but not too terrible.
Tea Swap Sample/Sipdown
While listening to music/reading early this morning, I had decided that adding a cuppa tea would bring a bit of life to the party.
I have to admit that I hadn’t expected to enjoy this as much as I had. I noticed that it was dark-ish green/brown, so I knew that it was most likely charcoal roasted….I’ve learned that these types of teas (for myself) aren’t always satisfying. There have been a few in the day which have met my needs, but there have been plenty more that have brought me great dissatisfaction. This tea, on the other hand, was enjoyable.
Notes (overall): Light charcoal notes, nutty, smooth, mild-to-dark orange liquor, mouth-drying, & slightly sweet.
I usually try to write reviews post-tea session, but I figured that I need something else to work on while I drink tea….I’ve spent the majority of the last 3-4 hours watching Stranger Things 2, while drinking various teas throughout the episodes (no notes taken during that time). However, while my mind is still focusing on this tea at the moment, I figured I’d write my notes from the first few steeps to the last couple steeps being had at the current moment…
Rinse: Nice fruity aromatics, forest green leaves, and slightly light-greenish/yellow liquor.
1st Steep: Light, floral, and honeydew.
2nd Steep: Creamy, floral, less fruity, & vibrant liquor.
3rd Steep: Oily mouthfeel, slightly mouth drying , heavy floral notes, and bright greenish/yellow (“Mt. Dew color”).
4th/5th Steep: Still pretty bright, more oily, however, the flavor is starting to lighten up.
6th Steep: Liquor color starting to become dull in comparison to previous steeps, less oily, less floral, and slight buttery aftertaste.
7th/Current/Final: The tea is dying down a bit. I might push it with the time (2-3 minutes) and/or cold brew the rest for tomorrow morning. I’ll add the note (maybe) tomorrow to update on the session following, but no promises. :P
Overall, this was a pretty refreshing tea. I’d say it’d be a great summer/spring tea, but on the account that the weather is officially borderline Autumn-nearing-Winter, I may save this leaf until the warmer weather (or not).
Flavors: Cream, Floral, Fruity
“Raw Puerh from Dr. Puerh”
I started this tea later in the evening/early morning. I wanted to drink tea before bed—to help get me to sleep—so, I had randomly grabbed this from my tea sample/tea swap box. Unfortunately, I’m not sure which year this puerh was produced nor which puerh this is, exactly, but from the note on the bag, there’s the producer/tea type.
From looking at the leaf, it’s slightly greener, so I’m assuming it’s range is from 2014-2017. It’s tightly compressed (from a brick, maybe?), too.
Rinse: Slight aromatics from the leaf. Still pretty compressed. Light-to-no color.
1st Steep: Light aromatics. Still “watery,” with hardly zero flavor.
2nd Steep: The leaf is still pretty compacted together. Light aromatics, very little flavor.
Pried the leaf apart with a pick.
3rd Steep: Slight bitterness in the mouth. Light notes of honey/floral. Smells like “sheng.” My assumption is that this is a newer year (2015-2017) due to the fragile state of the leaf w/temperature used (198 F).
4th Steep (3 hours after session began): Bitter, mouth drying, & burnt flowers.
5th Steep/Flash Steep/Final Steep (Decreased Temperature (180 F)): Bitter, bitter bitter.
5 or 6/10.
I will have to attempt to make the rest of this at a decreased temperature range. I normally brew sheng around 195-200 F, but it seems that this one may be better to start closer at green tea levels (160s-170s) and increase the temperature slightly. The leaf was pretty fragile. Upon looking at the leaves, post-session, I had noticed that they were simply “bits and pieces” of leaves, rather than a full leaf/bud. That may have had an affect of the tea, but I’m not 100% on my assumption.
Tea Swap Sample
“2013 Ripe from Heaven’s Tea”
I started this session late in the evening after work/post-workout. I wanted to have something to help me relax prior to bed. I’ve discovered that utilizing the gym in our basement after work is the best way to get energized/stretch after sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours.
Anyway, I’ve started to read/drink tea after the workout, to help ease both the body & mind, giving them the opportunity to shut down enough to go to bed at a ‘reasonable’ hour. I wasn’t paying much attention to the session last night, but after 2 steeps in the session, I had stopped drinking tea, and went to sleep.
I decided to note the rest of the session this afternoon and post on Steepster before work…
3rd-5th Steep: Dark liquor, oily mouthfeel, and earthy notes.
6th-8th Steep: Dark liquor; the earthy notes are lighter now. A bit of “spice” (nutmeg?) remaining.
9th/Final Steep: Liquor is lighter; flavor lighter; slightly spicy/earthy, but nothing really left to note…
I had made this Western style today on the account that I’ve been on my feet and haven’t had a lot of time to brew any other way prior to my shift tonight.
I must admit that I was expecting more from this session, but what I received from it was very unappetizing.
Cup One: I set the water temperature @ 170 F and steeped it for 1 minute. It was fairly bland and light. I drank the cup regardless and proceeded to make a second.
Cup Two: I set the water temperature @ 170 F and steeped it for 2 minutes. It was slightly astringent, bitter, and had a slight rice/seaweed combo aroma/taste.
Cup Three/Final: I set the water temperature @ 170 F and steeped it for 3 minutes. Bitter, sour, and very astringent. I had attempted to add honey to cut the sourness/bitterness, but it was slightly worse. I had dumped the remainder of the liquid from my cup….
Note: This was a sample sitting around for a while, so as far as green tea goes, it could’ve just became stale at this point.
Flavors: Bitter, Rice, Seaweed, Sour