39 Tasting Notes


Diggin’ this tea; it’s bolder and far different in taste from some other Oolongs I’ve recently steeped. That might sound redundant – saying this tea tastes different from other teas – but as much as I enjoy Oolongs, sometimes I have trouble distinguishing between the subtle differences and varietals (the first thing that often comes to mind is Tigyuanyin when drinking Oolongs).

Hence, I appreciate this Oolongs’ clear divide and uniqueness in taste.

Subtlety sweet roasted barley sums up well the first steep for me.

I would buy this tea again

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I love to smell and eat the tea leaves before actually tasting and this is another good tea to do so. The smell is almost fruity; maybe sweet and vegetal is a better description, it’s hard to pin point. The leaves themselves taste rather bitter and roasted.

This is such a good green tea! The flavour hits you dramatically with peaks of I have no idea and trails off dry. Opposite of its flavour profile: flat and consistent. I find it much more rising and falling.

Sure am glad I purchased this again; it’s been too long.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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sugoi fruity desu yo! The leaves and twigs do smell of fruit (possibly mango) but that lies beneath the more prominent smell hay & grass. The smell is pretty exciting leading up to actually drinking the tea.

Alright, I don’t taste any remnants of the sweet smell, and sencha of course comes to mind immediately, but with a dry aftertaste of malt. It’s a great morning tea.

I only purchased 1 oz but I will buy this tea again with the regular 3 oz tin; it’s that good.

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Niiiiice! Sittin’ here at Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America at the Kaikan (guest house) and I just received my shipment from Tao of Tea!

Thick of smooth earthly tones and a medley of roasted nuts. Hints of grass and veggies and all together this makes up the smell of long thin dried tea leaves that are delicious to eat but one at a time.

Not unlike in smell, this tea brews a thinner and more refined long lasting taste.

In fact, eating a couple dried leaves as a pre-req is a great bonus to drinking this tea!

Time to move on to the next tea….green kukicha!

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Inaugurated into the world of tea by no other than genmaicha, I soon after bored myself of this everyday cha. Even the most expensive genmaicha was still just plain green tea with roasted brown rice in it, nothing special.

Genmai-Matcha, however, could be called Genmai-Renewal. The old genmaicha flavour is very evident but with a kick of macha to stir things up. It’s a full, pleasant after-tasting tea that renews the best qualities of genmaicha.

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drank Sencha by MyGreenTea
39 tasting notes

Remarkable Cha! Rich and full Sencha flavour. I will be buying this many lifetimes over.

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I’m a sucker for this type of Oolong. This Ti Kuan Yin isn’t as floral as others I’ve had but it is of the orchid nonetheless, people. For the retail price, I might not buy it again, but I will enjoy every last one of the 50-60 brews with multiple re-steeps.

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drank Sencha by Chado En
39 tasting notes

Well, I’ve been lucky enough to live, work, and train at Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America where this tea is exclusively delivered. This Sencha is much more robust than regular Sencha and you notice it immediately; it has a much stronger flavour of hay and maintains a coating texture throughout. It’s not overwhelming, however, and I prefer this Sencha to any other so far. Drink it while it’s hot; the warmth of the water really complements the strength of this tea. Cool or tepid water detracts from the above-said strong points

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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This tea is surely becoming one of my favourites. Smells amazing and drinks smooth. I’m just here to boost the rating:)

180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Huh, I was surprised by the general ratings. I notice a lot of steepsters find the ginger overpowering. This is where my liking to more mild tea’s came in handy. I used maybe 12 – 15 oz boiling water to just 1.5 tbsp pu-erh for 5 minutes. The ginger wasn’t too strong and what I enjoyed most was the sheer difference in taste (from green, black, and white, which is what I’ve been drinking most). I guess that’s why it’s called Pu-erh!

Anyway, the ginger is evident and I like it. Otherwise, I’m really not sure how to describe this Pu-erh. Instead I will describe how it doesn’t taste. It’s not musty, or down to earth. It’s not sweet or bitter. It’s not smooth, tangy, vegetal, or floral.

Citrusy? Maybe. Bold? Most likely. Try it for yourself. But I recommend reducing the tea to water ratio.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Tea Love and Care – Blog


A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era, received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

“We can watch our tea, using it as a mirror to reflect the ways in which our every action, in all that we do, is affecting the tea. Any change we make in our daily life will cause ripples across the surface of our tea liquor; and if we just listen carefully, the tea itself will guide us to the balanced place where the times of being an ego and the times of stillness are in harmony. Then we don’t even need to watch or reflect on the ways our lives affect our tea, because at that time our lives will be tea, and tea our lives.”
- Henry Taiki Takahashi

“Nature Does Not Hurry, Yet, Everything Is Accomplished”
- Lao Tse

“You Must Become The Change You Want To See In The World,”
- Mahatma Gandhi

“No Written Word, No Spoken Plea
Can Teach Our Children What They Should Be,
Nor All The Books On All The Shelves, It’s What The Teachers Are Themselves”
- TEDTalk

“We Cannot Do Great Things On This Earth. We Can Only Do Small Things With Great Love.”
- Mother Teresa

“From the moment you enter the dewy path until
it is time to say your goodbye, you should esteem
your host with the utmost respect, in the true
spirit that this very encounter will occur but
once in your lives.”

“Advanced Techniques Are The Basics Mastered”
- Derek Hansen

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
- Thomas Jefferson

“The ultimate measure of human beings is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.

“Everything is unfolding as it has to unfold. We can’t control what is happening but we can choose how we will respond.”
– Kurt Spellmeyer

“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
- Margaret Mead

“Wisdom teaches me that I am nothing.
Love teachers me that I am everything.
And between the two, my life flows.
- Gil Fronsdal quoting a Tibetan Buddhist Teacher

What is Zen Anyway?

A Japanese corpse
serving tea
- Poetry by Natalie Goldberg

Like the Earth’s surface
Is willing and ready to receive all leaves that fall

“But let the mind beware that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious!”
- Jack Kerouac (Dharma Bums)

“Creativity is not thought driven. Seeing something free of thought – THAT is a creative moment!”
- Rodney Smith

“Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside: candles at four o’clock, warm hearth rugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without”
- Thomas De Quincey

“If we offer quiet to whatever arises, then whatever arises will not expand beyond what it is.”
- Rodney Smith

“As machines become more and more efficient and perfect, so it will become clear that imperfection is the greatness of man”
- Ernst Fischer

“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.”
~ Khalil Gibran





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