14 Tasting Notes
I recently made an order from Upton to fill up my Earl Grey tin and I chose a couple of tea samples that had been Upton best-sellers. Here is the report on one of them:
Both the picture and the name of this tea appealed to me. They both just muster pleasant images in my mind. The dry leaf has a more Oolongy appearence, and is so dark it is almost—blue, which is intriguing. As for the name… I mean, I love melons.
This is a Chinese green tea, but the flavor reminds me of a more characteristically Japanese “peaty” flavor. I have been detecting that flavor in Chinese greens an awful lot lately, so I wonder when I will altogether drop the reference and just start giving Chinese teas the credit…
Note: I feel kind of buzzed after 2 successive unique cups, so the caffeine content gets a +.
As I sip my fresh cup of Yunnan Pure Gold I am whisked away to an ancient Chinese temple, deep in a mountain gorge. My Sherpa guide is tending the fire and fragrances of burning pine bows and sandalwood lick my nostrils. The dimming mountain vistas around our camp lie silent. As dusk falls, and the Mongolian winter slides down from a northern mountain face, I sip my Yunnan Pure Gold, which is reminiscent of the earth, the woods, and mountain life.
I got into the shop this afternoon and everybody was drinking Keemun. So, playing the part of mindless social automaton, I brewed up a cup of my own so I wouldn’t be left out of the fun. I put tea leaves in to steep… and then had to sit down for a presentation that lasted for more than a half an hour. By the time I got back to the Keemun the water was tepid and such a dark brown I could barely see the white bottom of the mug through the liqueur.
With that in mind, I tried the tea and it reminded me a lot of another type: Whittard of Chelsea Black Tea from England (which I have reviewed before). Considering I over steeped this cup, it’s probably not a fair first tasting and I’ll need to review it again. I feel safe saying at least that Keemun strongly resembles a classic black tea in the style of India or Great Britain.
I had 3 cups of it in a row in successive steeps at work today.
This tea is amazing looking dry. The picture does NOT do it justice. It is composed of 3/4 inch leaves rolled up so that they are fat little shiny logs with furry seams. They look so delicious I briefly considered eating them instead of soaking them.
Bamboo is the owner’s favorite green and I can see why. It is very flavorful. I will say that it is classically Chinese tasting; having an earthy, malty, robust flavor. It has another quality that I couldn’t fully place. In retrospect it was maybe crayons or freshly sliced rubber.
It won’t be replacing Dragon Well as my favorite green quite yet, but it is definitely in my top five.
I had this tea yesterday at work, my first day at Gold Fish Tea! A coworker said it was one of the shops most popular teas. I put 4 grams in a mug, added Oolong water, then waited 3 minutes for my first steep to darken up.
The appearance was very interesting. The picture on this article is accurate, however it also had some pure white dried ginsing root “coins” mingling with the tea.
I could really taste the Ginsing root. I have had the pleasure of growing useful herbs at home and one gets to know the “rooty” taste after a while. There are also a few pure Ginsing herbal teas out there that one might try. The tea has this aspect, but only SLIGHTLY. Not nearly enough to overpower the lightly oxidized oolong beneath. With any luck, some of the healthful benefits of the ginseng root are also being imparted into the already radiant cup.
Good news for Steepster! I have been commanded to drink at least one tea every time I work so that I can try them all. I will try to make a tasting note on each one to share the experience.
A good strong black tea. I’ve been drinking this every morning for about 3 weeks and enjoying it very much. Drinking it is reminiscent of drinking coffee, however I put down the coffee mug several months ago in favor of the tea mug. It is like coffee in that it has an aftertaste like coffee, and has a very heavy, oven-roasted flavor. (This could be an effect of my using nearly boiling water to steep it though)
The leaves are very fine BOP colored dark red/brown with golden pieces interspersed. My upper lip goes numb when I drink River Shannon, so I would say there is some caffeine in it, or cocaine.
I had wanted to taste a Russian Caravan for a long time and I finally have with Upton’s variety. It smells and tastes to me like how one might describe the classic Darjeeling taste profile, except maybe with less sweetness, freshness, and more of that “autumn leaves” Oolonginess, (which I love). The taste is probably a consequence of it being a BLEND, and has most likely has Oolongs, Dars, and other black teas from SE Asia rolled into it.
I like this tea though, even despite it really not having a unique character of its own… it has blue blood.