659 Tasting Notes

85

Still trying out some of my Crimson Lotus tea samples from 2018. There are so many good ones!

95C – 120 ml- 4g , started off with less than 5 sec and worked up
The first 4 steeps were my favourite. There was no bitterness or very little in the early steeps. It was so apricot fruity and juicy. I just loved that. There was also a light honey sweetness that coats the tongue. Also got a bit of mineral taste.
After steep 4 , it became much more mineral, less apricot and honey. Bitterness started creeping in more and I detected a bit of a sour note. It just kept getting more mineral with each successive steep. After that I was getting a bit bored with it. Around steep 8 , it started changing around again and I could pick up more honey again. I never made it much past that. I was too busy to go back to my tea and don’t drink any tea with caffeine late afternoon or evening.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Fruity, Honey, Mineral, Sour

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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77

I’ve seen a few reviews that say this a good tea for young sheng lovers and they are right. I do like young sheng and still I would pass up this tea every year when I placed my order with Yunnan Sourcing. I LOVED my green teas. Why would I want to buy a green tea that didn’t taste like a green tea? Or would I? Curiosity got the better of me and it ended up in my cart. Strange thing is, Scott sent a sample as well. There’s no date on the sample so I figure it’s from the 2018 harvest and the one I bought is 2019. I suppose it will give me a good idea if there were any differences in the harvests.

I brewed this at 80C. I didn’t measure my tea this time , just put in a teaspoon (David’s Teaspoon which is more like a tablespoon – actually in most teas is approximately 3 grams). It was very savory and nutty in the first infusion. There was no fresh green spring flavour I get from green teas. It got stronger in the next infusions with a faint bitterness and a strong honey sweetness. It felt thick on the tongue like some shengs are and there was also a corn taste.

So as I have been enjoying having some of my new teas for the week, I desperately need this break in my day from looking after my cat with kidney disease. It’s been months of pills, subQ fluids under the skin, at least 10+ feedings a day, Vit B 12 injections, other meds, & vet visits. Some days I get pretty strung out and one day in preparing her food while making my tea I ended up getting cat food on my Yixing teapot. I was so upset! NOT THE TEAPOT!!!!! I’ve gotten cat food on my clothes and just about everywhere because when I feed her she might not like it so it can take 3 or more tries to find something she will eat. Then she must be finger fed.

So I found this song on YouTube (had dreamed about a Harpsicord and went looking on YouTube to find this amazing performer). The way this guy plays this music, the harpsichord, & the piece of music are all perfection. This piece “Vertigo” is how I feel when I am looking after my cat with kidney disease. It’s got the full range of emotions I go through. I sit back, sip my tea, and listen to this song ALL the time. So here it is for some of you to enjoy while having your tea:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzxlMfUzqIM

Flavors: Corn Husk, Honey, Nutty, Thick

Preparation
3 g 1 OZ / 30 ML
tea-sipper

I’m so sorry about your buddy.

Ubacat

Thanks tea-sipper. She’s been steady for quite a few months but usually there’s no complete recovery from kidney disease. I just hope she gets a few more years. She’s 15 now.

LuckyMe

Sorry to hear, it must be rough for both the poor cat and you who has to watch her suffer.

Ubacat

Thanks. I try to stay positive and calm about it, but some days I lose it.

Bluegreen

You doing an amazing job with your cat. Cats with kidney disease are extremely fragile and demand a lot of attention: your cat really lucked out with an owner.

Ubacat

Thanks Bluegreen. I just try my best for her. That’s all I can do.

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79

This was the Spring 2019 version and it’s a little strange for a green tea. Most greens need a bit of time for infusions but this one is better with quick steeps.

3 g, green gaiwan, 80C. I brewed the first infusion for 1 min and tried more steeps but it was so bitter I couldn’t enjoy it. The first steep was the only part that was drinkable and I got edamame and green beans from that.

So I tried a bit more leaf – 3.6g and brewed it under 5 sec. It was very light but no bitterness. Faint edamame. I did 2 more quick infusions under 5 seconds and got floral and creamy notes.

In conclusion, this tea is very different from the Lu Shan Yun Wu from Teavivre. The taste profile is completely different. I wouldn’t even think they were the same tea.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Green Beans

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 g 30 OZ / 887 ML

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88

Enjoyed the Spring 2019 version of this tea today. Brewed in my green gaiwan, 90C with a quick rinse and then 30 sec.

I got about 5 infusions off this tea. The dry leaf looked very green and smelled wonderfully floral. Brewed up it was floral with a slightly creamy mouth feel, cane sugar sweet & there was a faint green/vegetal flavour to it. It had similarities to a tie guan yin. I enjoyed the earlier steeps instead of later because the floral aroma and taste was more pronounced then.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Sugarcane, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 30 OZ / 887 ML
LuckyMe

Haven’t had this one but the greener dan congs all seem to have a TGY-esque flavor. I think Taiwanese oolongs have a more refined flavor even though many of the recent ones have been less than impressive

Ubacat

Yes, I really love Taiwanese oolongs the most but thought I would give this one a try based on the taste profile. I’m glad I did. I normally hate cheap TGY’s but the good quality ones are very nice. This one had similarities closer to a good quality TGY

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86

Brewed this up today in my glass flute brewer. 3 g, 80c. Dry leaf had a bit of a spinach smell but I seem to remember last year’s being a bit fruity. I could be wrong on that because I didn’t write a review last year but I know something was a bit different.

First infusion – 1 min – Fresh cut grass , green beans & fleeting floral notes
Second & third were brewed for same amount of time and both were a little bit stronger than the first infusion. No bitterness in any of the infusions but a bit astringent with a hint of sweetness. It was good but it seemed it was missing something that was in last year’s. I am almost sure last year was a bit fruity.

Last year I bought this tea from both YS and Teavivre and found them pretty similar. I did not buy this tea from Teavivre this year but the price comparision is pretty much the same and it appears they both come from the same place near Huangshan, Anhui.

Overall, I still enjoyed this tea but feel it is just a bit different from last year’s harvest.

Flavors: Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Green Beans

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
LuckyMe

I agree, there probably isn’t much difference between vendors if they all get their tea from the same region. I liked last year’s crop too, but that’s why every harvest is a crapshoot. Tea changes so much from one harvest to another.

Ubacat

That’s so true. I am so nervous to try a new harvest when I loved it last year. So far I haven’t had that many greens that fall into the amazing category this year.

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40

I had this tea a few days ago and as I was drinking it, I was wondering what on earth made me choose a sample of this tea?

I think the first infusion was the best. It was light and just a bit fruity but leaves had barely opened up. Second infusion was strong, more fruit but bitter. Infusion 3 and on, it got so bitter , it puckered my lips. Bitter, bitter, bitter. So what did make me choose this tea? I had to go on the YS website to read about the tea. Surely there must have been something about it that made me want to try a sample. The description says it has an intense cha qi and is somewhat bitter and astringent. I tried lowering the temperature to cut down on the bitterness so I raised the temperature. That seemed to help a little bit but this tea was just too bitter to drink. Crikey, I still can’t figure out why I bought it.

Flavors: Bitter, Fruity

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95

I’ve tried all my Teavivre 2019 teas so far but haven’t gotten around to leaving a review. Just yesterday I got my 2nd Yunnan Sourcing order and my tea cabinet is getting full so I figured I would get around to start leaving a few reviews.

I normally like to try a few brewing methods but I find for me and Chinese greens, usually it tastes much better Western brewed. Just a simple cup and infuser. I don’t have a really large cup and that first infusion, if done right, is perfection. That doesn’t go for all green teas (and definitely not for Japanese) but in most cases , it works. Take the best and discard the rest.

So brewed this at 80C, about 6 or 7 oz water , and approximately 3 grams of tea for 1 min 45 sec. This was my favourite green from Teavivre last year and it’s still performing well for the 2019 tea. Intense green bean flavour , slightly nutty & sweet. It’s like a taste of spring.

Flavors: Green Beans, Nutty, Sweet

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70

Got a sample of this one with my Teavivre order. Brewed gongfu. 80C or a bit less for some infusions. 2.5g. I really liked the look of the rings and watching them unfurl with each infusion.

First infusion was a little bitter. I brewed one minute and it was too long for this tea but the jasmine was good and strong. Next few infusions I kept it to seconds and the bitterness was gone. It’s very similar to Jasmine pearls with a good jasmine aroma and taste. However, I am having trouble picking out anything else about the green tea. Even though I love jasmine, it’s best when a little more subtle and the flavour of the tea comes out with it. Still enjoying this tea though.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 30 OZ / 887 ML

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70

I bought this Kamairicha a few months ago. It’s the cheapest one on Yuuki-cha’s website and has good reviews so I thought I would try it out.

I’ve tried brewing this many ways but it still doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t find it a bad tea but it’s not too much like the other kamairicha’s either. This one is more savory. There’s a roasted taste to it. This tea was fired at a higher temperature than a normal kamairicha which explains why it’s so savory and roasty. For those that love roasted savory teas, that explains all the good reviews. There’s a little bit of similarity to Laoshan Green or wild jujube tea.

For me, however, I will woefully make it through this tea but wait in anticipation for the new 2019 kamairicha’s to come out.

Flavors: Roasted

LuckyMe

I’m not a fan of roasty green teas either…reminds me of the dark ages when I used to drink “Temple of Heaven” gunpowder green tea. I’ll pass on this one. Waiting for Organic Miyazaki Kamairicha Minekaori to be back in stock so I can finally order my 2019 shincha.

Ubacat

Gunpowder green- that stuff is awful. So anyway, I couldn’t wait for the kamairicha’s to get posted. I was all out of sencha for a few months so I placed an order last week. I’ll just get another one in when the kamairicha’s come in.

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90

I’ve had this tea for awhile and never left a review. Strangely , now that everyone is discussing about what is to become of Steepster, I’ve suddenly been back on here a lot more lately. I tried a different group but I really like the idea of leaving tasting notes and none of them seem to have that.

Brewed this gongfu this morning and it’s heavenly. It is grown in the Wu Yi Mountains, Fujian Province. The leaves are long and spindly like an oolong.

It definitely has a lovely orchid floral aroma and taste (just like oolong) that lasts through the first few infusions. The tea was a sweet honey & malty brew with that lovely floral quality to it. I only made it through four infusions but this tea could have given more.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Malt, Orchid

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Bio

Green teas are my favourite teas but I also enjoy: white, some herbal,rooibos, raw pu’erh, light oolongs, a little bit of black , and a little bit of ripe pu’erh. I have moved away from artificial flavourings and there’s hardly anything left in my cabinet with artificial flavouring or colours. It is mostly straight teas or tea blends.

Location

Ontario , Canada

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