198 Tasting Notes
An extremely smooth and somewhat delicate tea. Rather than being complex or anything, it is just so delicuous – a pure joy to drink. In this particular session I noticed some new aromas of popcorn and preserved orange. On top of that, there were also medicinal and brazil nut flavours that I didn’t pick up before.
Flavors: Bark, Jam, Medicinal, Nuts, Orange, Popcorn, Smooth
A medium bodied tea with an awesome fragrance, interesting mouthfeel and a very nice cha qi.
Starting with the smell, I found it very strong and unique. Aromas of dried apricots and peach dominate the dry leaf, while the wet leaf smell is subtle, but multilayered and complex. I get notes of fruits (apricot), danish pasrty, cream, meadow, wet rocks and vegetal ones like kale green olives or spinach.
I would not drink this tea for the taste alone, I found it to be the weakest aspect. Nevertheless, it is tasty for sure. Early steeps lack almost any bitterness and are a little sour. The flavours of freshly cut grass, milk and olive oil are one of the most prominent. The aftertaste is drying in the mouth rather than the throat, but it is somewhat throat clenching. It has mineral, fruity and sweet characteristics, with some seaweed like umami quality as well.
Later steeps are stronger tasting and more round with some bitterness too. I noticed further notes of apple skins, fermented fruits and plant stems. The aftertaste is now longer and less drying. There is a spicy, alcohol like element to it. Some of its flavours remind me of asparagus, cappuccino (this one is particularly strong and somewhat unique), cinnamon and in the very late infusions sea salt.
Mouthfeel has decent astringency, but remains quite smooth. I would classify it as sticky (motly at the back of the mouth) soft, creamy and mouth-watering.
From the very first infusion, I get elevated with enhanced sensory perceptions. After 3 infusions, the tea induces a very warming body sensation and allows me to enter a dreamy state. It becomes numbing and even more warming throughout the session. A very good tea to listen to drone music to.
With some aging, this could become a real winner. It’s already great though.
Flavors: Alcohol, Apple Skins, Apricot, Asparagus, Astringent, Cinnamon, Coffee, Cream, Drying, Freshly Cut Grass, Fruity, Kale, Milk, Mineral, Olive Oil, Olives, Pastries, Peach, Plant Stems, Salt, Seaweed, Smooth, Sour, Spicy, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal, Wet Rocks
This is a very nice, balanced tea with extremely soft mouthfeel. There are a lot of subtleties to it.
The smell of dry leaves’ smell reminds me of nuts, hot chocolate, fruits and smoke. Interesting notes like grilled aubergine emerge in the wet leaves, complementing the expected ones of tobacco and sweet leather.
Taste is somewhat medicinal, tangy and crisp. It has a very good balance of sweet, sour, nutty and earthy. I can taste lemon zest, almond skins, pomegranade and leather. On top of that, the somewhat drying aftertaste displays a strong pinewood note.
Flavors: Almond, Chocolate, Fruity, Grilled Food, Leather, Lemon Zest, Medicinal, Nuts, Nutty, Smoke, Tangy, Tobacco
This feels like it was fermented longer ago than 2017, I imagine that’s just the year of pressing. I find it to be clean-tasting and perfectly drinkable right now. The tea has full body and is slightly on the savoury side, although very well balanced overall with noticeable sweetness and tartness. There are notes of dried fruit, dry wood, peat and roasted nuts. Later steeps display more of camphor notes too. The mouthfeel is smooth, oily and coating. It reminds me a lot of the Yong De cakes by Yunnan Sourcing. Just like those, it also doesn’t last a whole lot of infusions.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Fruity, Peat, Roasted nuts, Tart, Wood
This is a nice, albeit somewhat unremarkable hong cha. In the smell I get notes of malt, brown sugar, chocolate, nuts, blackberries and sweet pepper. The taste is balanced and can sometimes appear a little flat. I noticed notes of malt, cherry wood, orange zest and bread crust. Aftertaste is not very long and displays even more of the citrusy qualities.
The tea has a medium body with a liquor that’s not very coating, although it has decent thickness. The mouthfeel is a bit powdery, but it becomes smoother when cooled down.
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Bell Pepper, Blackberry, Brown Sugar, Cherry Wood, Chocolate, Citrus, Grapes, Malt, Nuts, Orange Zest
I have been away from Steepster for a while, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t drinking tea :D
I spent the last 2 weeks in Brazil, at a conference and then traveling around. Along the way I would drink tea with my Kamjove all-in-one teapot and a camping stove. Now that I am back home with my usual setup, I can resume the tea reviews :)
Let’s move on to the tea then. This autumn sheng from Jinggu is predominately bitter, with vegetal, floral and tart qualities supplementing it. Overall, there is a lot of complexity though with many more subtleties.
The dry leaf aroma is quite strong and reminds me mostly of beeswax and yuzu. On the other hand, the wet leaves do not have too strong of a smell. It is vegetal and at times woody, with notes like strawberry leaf and celery root.
Taste-wise, the tea is bitter from the get go. In the early steeps, the taste progression is something like: bitter initially, followed by vegetal notes (celery, fenugreek) and tart finish, savoury (matured cheese) aftertaste that becomes more like fermented fruits over time. I found it refreshing and somewhat metallic. Later steeps are more floral (rapeseed) with a spicy and peppery finish. I also get sugarcane and some mildly earthy and dry grass tones.
The mouthfeel is smooth, milky and mouth-watering generally. Overall, it seems like a good candidate for aging. It can be drunk right now if you are ok with a decent bitterness, the complexity is there. However, it is far from my favourite in terms of the taste profile.
Flavors: Bitter, Black Pepper, Celery, Citrus, Dry Grass, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Metallic, Milk, Smooth, Spicy, Strawberry, Sugarcane, Tart, Vegetal, Wood
This is the first tea from Crimson Lotus I had a chance to try, so I was really looking forward to it. It is flavour and aroma focused tea. There is not much in the way of cha qi. Mouthfeel is interesting, but not the most enjoyable.
The dry leaf smell reminded me of sweet butter pastries, but there was also some vegetal aspect most reminiscent of nettle. After the rinse, the aroma became very complex and intriguing, like one would hope from a tea with such a name. It evoked a winter time in a conifer forest. I could also smell some smoke machine, edamame and thyme. The aroma in the empty cup could be best described as a sweet, dry meadow.
I will not go into all the details of the taste, which is fairly complex. I couldn’t, even if I wanted, because at the time of writing this note, I just don’t remember :) However, the evolution of the taste in each sip, especially in the early infusions, is roughly the following. It starts off herbaceous and bitter, gets sour and fruity in the finish and slowly gets sweeter and vegetal in the aftertaste. Overall, it is quite tart for a sheng. In the late steeps, it gets more vegetal generally. Flavours I noted include medicinal ones, alcohol, apricot and lemon skins.
The liquor has medium to light body initially, but around steeps 5-8, it gets considerably thicker. It has a tingling, coating and soft mouthfeel. There is some dryness in the aftertaste, but generally it’s quite smooth.
The taste of this tea (and also the mouthfeel a bit) reminds me of YS He Bian Zhai (a Mengku tea). That one is generally thicker and seems to pack more energy. Introgue on the other hand is probably more complex. Thanks so much for this sample derk, I enjoyed it a lot!
Flavors: Alcohol, Apricot, Bitter, Butter, Dry Grass, Fruity, Green Beans, Herbaceous, Lemon, Medicinal, Pastries, Pleasantly Sour, Smoke, Sweet, Tart, Thyme, Vegetal
This red oolong has a great multi-faceted flavour with depth that’s fairly uncommon. It lacks a bit in terms of its aroma and, to a lesser extent, the mouthfeel. The thickness is pretty good, and there is a very nice bubbly quality to it, I just found it to not be coating enough to provide the best possible experience. It is possible, that you need a “mountain stream” water for that though ;)
It might be that my expectations for red oolongs are generallly skewed. I like them a lot, but since the first one I ever tried – the Longan Nectar by TS – was far better than any other I had later, I tend to rate them lower.
Flavors: Drying, Lychee, Muscatel, Pastries, Rosehips, Spices, Spicy, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal
A unique tea for sure. Strangely enough though, the same characteristics that I like so much in YS’s Ye Sheng black teas, don’t do it for me in this sheng. I can imagine that the profile becomes more likeable over time, but I am not going to invest in this tea in order to find out. Maybe in a few years time, I will try get hold of some sample that’s been aged more.
Flavors: Bark, Bitter, Camphor, Celery, Oak wood