26 Tasting Notes

85

Very subtle white tea with a clean gentle flavor and low astringency.

I like flavorful tea, and will usually brew a large quantity of tea leaves in a relatively small container to maximize flavor.

I dislike overly bitter or astringent tea and am careful not to use water that is too hot or steeping for too long. This is especially true with loose leaf White Tea, which seems more susceptible to poor brewing.

I also like to get 3 or 4 steepings out of the same leaves, and after the 5th steeping, I’m perfectly happy with the fact that I’m drinking lightly colored hot water.

This tea, after the 1st and 2nd steeping, reminds me of a perfect 4th or 5th steep from a high quality Green or Oolong tea.

I like it, but it’s very subtle. Could be a nice daily drinking tea. Tastes a little like dry grass. It even reminds me a little of a Korean buckwheat tea. I’ll experiment more with steeping times and temperatures to see if I can optimize for flavor extraction.

Photos shared from after the 2nd steeping.

I’ll also need to only use filtered water and very clean glassware, as this tea lets any flavor in the water or mug come right through.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Rye, Wheat

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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40

The “natural cinnamon flavor” overwhelmed everything else in this tea.

It tastes like the cinnamon scented pine-cones you see at the grocery store around Xmas time.

We have a box of this at work. The best cup I’ve been able to create was with one bag of this, one bag of english breakfast tea, water at a full boil, steep 3-4 minutes, and then a generous helping of half-and-half and brown sugar.

Even then, it tastes more like cinnamon tea than an Indian Chai tea.

Ingredients: Blended black teas, cinnamon, ginger root, allspice, natural cinnamon flavor, clove bud oil, cardamom oil.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 0 OZ / 0 ML

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70

This is one of the better powdered and bagged green teas I’ve tasted (low-bar).
This is the green tea we stock at the office. It’s okay in a pinch, like when I’m traveling or in a hurry, but it pales in comparison to a high-quality whole-leaf green tea.

Flavors: Cut grass, Dry Grass, Saffron, Seaweed

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 14 OZ / 414 ML

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60

From wikipedia: "The name Biluochun literally means “Green Snail Spring”. It is called so because it is a green tea that is rolled into a tight spiral, resembling snail meat, and is cropped early spring."

The dry leaves are beautiful and fuzzy, with pretty white hairs. The appearance of the dry tea is probably my favorite part of this tea. Unfortunately it’s rather downhill from there.

The tea when steeped comes out darker amber than I expected. The flavor is delicate and subtle. There’s a distinct astringency like an under-ripe apple or persimmon.

I have a hard time getting a perfect brew from this tea. It’s sensitive to overly hot water, easily becoming very bitter. On the flip side, if the water’s not hot enough, the tea comes out flavorless. My best results come from longer brewing times and cooler water temperature, combined with a large volume of tea.

This is the only Bi Luo Chun tea I’ve tried. I’d like to try others.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Grass

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

Love this, so delicate yet also complex. I could drink this every day.

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45
drank Green Zoubrovka by Kusmi Tea
26 tasting notes

I picked this tea out because it was something I’d never heard of before, and smelled heavenly in the shop. The scent of the dry tea doesn’t translate as well into the taste once brewed.

I believe aug3zimm described this tea perfectly, I won’t bother repeating what he said. My tasting experience matches quite closely with what he described. I also found heterodoxia did an excellent job of describing why I don’t love Kusmi teas as much. For green teas especially, I prefer 100% pure tea, without any flavorings added to it.

This one is a little too weird for me. The buffalo grass is too grassy and bitter, somewhat overwhelming.

Flavors: Bitter, Buffalo Grass, Dry Grass, Hay

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

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90

I’m very much enjoying Kusmi’s Organic Darjeeling Nº 37 tea. It has much in common with other Darjeeling teas I’ve had, but also has some wonderful and unique qualities that make it stand out from the pack.

This is a fairly high quality Darjeeling tea. The small leaves unfurl nicely in hot water. They’re not whole leaves, but cut to a consistent size, with little to no powder or dust. There are a fair number of cut stems among the leaves. The leaves themselves vary in color from leafy green to spruce green and dark olive as well, making for a visually pleasing presentation. I actually like the non-uniformity of the color in this case. While marketed as a black tea, the incomplete oxidation makes this one more of an oolong tea, which I prefer anyway.

The brewed tea is a lovely chestnut brown color. The flavors have much in common with other darjeeling’s I’ve had, but there are also a lot of unusual aspects as well. One of the first things I notice is a lovely fresh spring flowers taste. Floral auroma is expected from Darjeeling, but this one is especially fresh. This is most apparent in the first brewing and less noticeable on subsequent infusions.

The second brewing allows some rich maple flavor to come through. I also notice a good bit of tannin in this tea. This gives an astringent quality that some might not like. I’d describe Kusmi Noº 37 as a fairly brisk tea. This can be mitigated by using water that has cooled for a couple minutes after boiling. I’m still experimenting with ideal brewing temperature. I think 3-4 minutes at 180º is correct for the first infusion. I can get a 2nd and 3rd cup, adding an extra minute each time.

I definitely enjoy this tea and would keep it as my every-day Darjeeling if it were a little less expensive.

Flavors: Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey, Maple, Muscatel, Sweet, warm grass, Tannin

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

Whoa, this is a surprisingly decent Thai Oolong tea for the price.

I picked up a box of 20 individually wrapped tea bags for $1.89, on sale at 99 Ranch Market. In the past, when I’ve purchased tea for this cheap, it’s been pretty awful, but I’m so glad I tried again. This tea is totally decent! For the super cheap price, I’d even say it’s excellent.

I poured the contents of two tea-bags into my strainer basket, and brewed a delicious cup, followed by 2 re-steeps.

The flavor is similar to much more expensive Thai oolong teas I’ve recently enjoyed from Steepster Select, although maybe not quite as complex. I enjoy the mineral, floral, and grassy notes, as well as the natural sweetness I expect from Oolong teas from Thailand.

The tea has a few stems, but is mostly tightly rolled leaves. During the second brewing, the whole tea leaves unfurled beautifully.

I’m going back to 99 Ranch to buy another box (or 3) of this awesome deal.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Flowers, Grass, Hay, Mineral

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Bio

I’ve been a lover of tea for as long as I can remember. A hot cup of Bigelow Constant Comment will bring back a flood of memories of working at a summer camp outside Yosemite when I was 18. When I’m sick with a cold there’s nothing that helps more than Celestial Seasoning’s Lemon Zinger with a heaping spoonful of honey.

Now that I’m older I’ve learned to appreciate delicate and complex oolong and green teas. Right now I’m discovering I really like teas from Thailand. (Going beyond Thai Iced Tea, which I’ve always loved).

Location

San Francisco Bay Area

Website

http://about.me/callipgyain

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