1685 Tasting Notes
Another Todd & Holland tea that I can’t get the URL for the picture to show up for.
Let’s try it this way: https://todd-holland.com/collections/china-green/products/yellow-meadow-village
I wonder if the meadow is really yellow? There are a couple of golden leaves in the sample packet. They’re long and thin and twig like. The inside of the packet smells like earth. The steeped tea isn’t yellow, really. Maybe a very very pale yellow approaching off white.
I’m not sure I’d call the flavor robust, but then I didn’t use a heaping teaspoon per the directions. Perhaps I need more leaf. Also, drinking it on the heels of the gunpowder makes it taste less than by comparison.
I’d call it brisk, clean, light, and refreshing. It has a brothy, vegetal aroma and flavor, but not so brothy as to be heavy. I get a hint of green peas in the flavor.
I’m looking forward to tasting it again when I don’t have the memory of gunpowder on my tongue. Not rating for now.
Flavors: Peas, Vegetable Broth, Vegetal
Oddly, no matter what I do, I can’t get the link for the picture of this from the Todd & Holland site to show up in the tea description. Which is a shame because it’s gorgeous. It looks almost like a white jasmine pearl. Tightly rolled ampersands, dark green with silver streaks.
This was a strange choice for me today. For the past week or so, the air around me has smelled charred and smoky. It’s the effect of the fires in Napa and Sonoma. Last Monday and Tuesday, the air was hazy and the school district sent out email saying they were keeping the kids inside. No. 2 reported that one of his classmates suffered an asthma attack.
I’m not a fan of smoke in my lungs, generally. I gave that up in the mid-1990s. But a hint of smoke and sometimes even more of a hint can be quite tasty in food and drink.
In the packet, this has a sort of sweet-smoky scent. The tea’s aroma reminds me of the whiff you get right before eating roasted zucchini or red peppers (not a flavor choice on Steepster, so I picked green) — the kind salad bars serve with the black grill marks through them like a badge of honor and slight charring around the edges. It also has a sweetness to it, a kind of vegetable-caramelized smell.
The flavor is much greener and grassier than most Chinese greens I’ve had, with a smoky edge. As grassiness tends to be more of a Japanese green feature, I find this interesting.
I’m a little surprised that the roasted vegetable smell isn’t really present in the taste. I’m also wondering what “Tribute” in the name means. As in, is this intended to be a “Tribute” to “Gunpowder” tea, like a tribute band. Or is it a conflation of the gunpowder appellation with “tribute tea”? I think the latter. Googling reveals that a famous gunpowder, Hui Bai, was made exclusively for the emperor.
It’s a good tea, and I probably will enjoy it more when the air around here clears.
Flavors: Grass, Green, Green Bell Peppers, Smoke, Vegetal, Zucchini
Well, I didn’t get a bright flourescent green, and I steeped exactly according to the directions. I got more of a pale chartreuse.
Even so, I quite enjoyed this. On the surface it seems like sencha’s sencha. Sort of the Aristotelian essence of sencha. But it has some eccentricities.
For one thing, in the packet it smells spicy! I can’t really place the spice. At first, I thought it was ginger. Maybe it is. In any case, it’s a sweet spiciness that is unusual, over a rather usual grassy fragrance.
That mellows out in the steeping, and pretty much disappears. What’s left is a sort of an edamame smell. This is present in the flavor, as is a sort of a sea-like, or sea-weed smell.
I have never been to Japan, but I associate both edamame and seaweed with Japan. So this tastes like Japan to me, or at least my mental image of Japan.
Rating it rather high, but docking some points because I really wanted to see the fluorescent green.
Flavors: Seaweed, Soybean
Sipdown no. 12 of 2017 (no. 293 total). A sample.
It’s not that great a cause for celebration because as I mentioned, I have two sample packets of this and I’ve only sipped down one.
This has, indeed, been accompanying me to work this past week and it was a solid candidate for the job. Especially in a week where I ended up having to spend 3 hours in the DMV for a stupid reason. Ugh.
I have two sample packets of this, neither opened.
The description makes this sound like it’s essentially sencha without the step that turns the leaf into needle shapes. That sounds about right; everything else about it is very sencha like, but the dry leaf is coarse-looking compared to the baby hair fine leaves sencha often has.
The flavor is green but not in a grassy way, and not vegetal at all. There’s a hint of seaweed in the steeped tea’s flavor and something mildly and faintly floral in the aroma. It’s pale yellow in color.
Another nicely unobtrusive green that will make a good backdrop for the working day.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Seaweed
Oh wow. This is my 1200th tasting note! It only took eight years…
The description the company gives is “round.” That’s not the word that comes to mind for me, but this is definitely an unusual sencha. There’s a dewy sweetness to the aroma, honey-like, which has a hay note that’s apparent in the dry leaf but not so much in the steeped tea.
The flavor is also quite unusual. It’s not grassy or vegetal so much as it is very subtly sweet and a little tangy. It doesn’t really taste like any tea I’ve had before. It makes me think of bees and pollen. It’s extremely pleasant (which is why it gets a high rating).
About the only thing that’s usual about this is it’s color, which is the golden straw color described on the packet.
Flavors: Hay, Honey, Nectar, Sweet, Tangy
Sipdown no. 10 of 2017 (no. 291 total). A sample.
The thing about the Todd & Holland samples is they don’t make an even number of cups. Usually they make about 5 and since the Breville makes a minimum of 2 at a time, I have had to double up the last spoon with some other variety of sencha. The last couple of times it has been the Den’s Sencha Zuiko.
These are sort of the opposite of each other. What we do for sipdowns.
Sipdown no. 9 of 2017 (no. 290 total). A sample.
Okay, I’m cheating a little — I am planning to have the very last bit of this tomorrow to take to work, but I won’t have time to record it then. I feel 99 percent confident that it will be a sipdown tomorrow, though, because I’ve already got it in the Breville, primed to be steeped in the morning.
My first note on this one is only a few days old, and I expect there’s not a lot I’ll have to add to that one.
This is a sample I’ve tasted before but apparently never written about. It’s no longer showing as available on the Todd & Holland web site.
What I like most about this is the aftertaste. It’s fresh, clean. It’s like what Clorets should make your mouth feel like but doesn’t. A green freshness that makes me think of chlorophyll.
The tea itself is a pale golden yellow and clear, and it has an aroma that could be hay or could be sweet grass. It tastes a little less sweet than it smells, with a briskness to the mouthfeel that adds to impression of freshness in the aftertaste.
It’s enjoyable, but not really distinctive. Then again, I don’t think my palate is sophisticated enough to discern the differences in senchas except in very broad strokes. I can distinguish grassy from vegetal and sweet from savory, and I can sometimes identify the taste of specific vegetables in the vegetal ones. Beyond that, I get a bit lost.
Flavors: Hay, Sweet, warm grass