Cultivate Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

93

This is so exciting. I love Japanese green teas but when I looked at the dark green coloring of the leaf I knew this one was going to be something special. The koi kyusu is coming out for this one. The dry leaf smells so good. fresh, clean, grassy, and somewhat sweet. Asparagus. Smooth. Fresh asparagus. Umami. So smooth! The wet aroma reminds me of cooked spinach. Within the first minute is the best steep time maybe within the first 30 seconds. Thank you Valhallow for this sample.

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83

Recently did a blind tasting of two different sencha. Both were meh. This one puts them to major shame. The aroma, the flavor, the everything is better about this one. The dry leaf is thin and needle-like. Exactly what you see in the picture. The wet leaf aroma is full of umami, bits of miso, an interesting creaminess, and bits of sweet grass. The mouth feel is smooth with no astringency. The overall flavor is fresh grass, umami, and some vegetal hints.

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83

Nice fruity aroma on this one. Stone fruits and gardenia and a hint of Rainbow Stripe gum. Also slight minerality but mainly florals and fruitiness. The wet-infusing aroma brings me straight back to Kaua’i. A sunny day right after it rains at the farmers market. The flavor is less floral and fruity and much more mineral. Wet rocks, granite, and something mineral I can’t quite put my finger on. IF you enjoy minerality definitely give this one a try.

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71
drank Matcha "Best" by Cultivate Tea
1027 tasting notes

Side-by-side matcha tasting. I’m pitting this one against Bird & Blend. I knew the moment I opened the tins which was the winner but since you are here for the ride let’s drag out the answer like a recipe with a life story in front of it. Open opening the package of Cultivate I was greeted with fairly nicely green-colored powder and a slightly chocolate, slightly frozen parmesan smell. Which from what I’ve learned means that it’s a higher grade matcha but it may have been sitting out in un-proper conditions. The flavor is heavy in umami. Smooth mouthfeel with very little grit, despite my lack of siting and terrible whisking. I am drinking this thick so it’s quite a punch to the face Bits of seaweed and light hay notes as well. I drank this one first assuming the other wasn’t going to be too bad. I was wrong and now I need to go put something else in my mouth.

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79

First time trying and brewing burdock root, at least as it’s own thing.

Preparation: Western
Tasting Note: I’ve noticed I am starting to enjoy straight or single ingredient teas and herbals more as I get more practiced (or older?). I know definitely as a kid, I would have loathed this because it had a radish’s pepperiness and not at all sugary sweet. As an adult, I definitely enjoy the earthy pepperiness and is a nice more savory, root vegetable herbal.

Since this is my first time trying burdock singularly, I can’t say how it stands up against others but since the root was harvested in February 2022 and it still smells very aromatic, I suspect this is decently good one.

Cameron B.

Ooh I love gobo! I don’t think I’ve tried it as a tisane though, I’ll have to put it on the list to try sometime…

Skysamurai

I think it is also partially due (fault of?) Amerian cuisine. We stuff juice, soda, etc in kids faces. I’ve limited the amount my kids drink because of the amount of sugar and how I see it correlating to cavities, acne, etc.

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75
drank Matcha "Best" by Cultivate Tea
144 tasting notes

Sipdown theme: Japanese Tea

Not a sip down yet but I will be working toward it this month.

Preparation: Straight
Tasting Note: This is certainly a grassy, bold matcha. I tried it straight this time but maybe I would see how if fairs as a latte. It wasn’t as smoothly, silky textured as the previous Cultivate tea matcha I had, which was “Seihou” I think. So it had a tiny bit of grit which puts it a little lower on my scale. I also prefer sweet vegetal, floral, citrus, creamy or nutty matcha profiles so this is not hitting the mark for me right now. The color of the matcha was pretty vivid still. Again, it seems that the aluminum sealed tin cans really do a good job of keeping the tea fresh over time. I am impressed this tea was in my cabinet unopened for over a year and the tea still looks vividly green.

Side note: It is my first year purchasing Tea advents and I think I may need to come up with a creative way to drink them. I bought two matcha one and two loose leaf ones and I think that is probably waaay too much caffeinated tea for me in one day for 24 days. Maybe I will save two of them for January? Or start them early, if I get them in November *(No spoilers I promise, to keep my notes offline until their official release).

ashmanra

I loved doing the advents last year! I hope you enjoy it just as much! We had to get creative with our jelly advent – no way we are going to manage to eat toast every single day in December, so we started it early and finished it by the end of December.

For tea, I plan to do one of them very strictly and the other with a lot more freedom since it is identical to one I did last year. I will also try not to post any spoilers!

AJRimmer

Ha, I buy several advent calendars each year because it’s a great way to try lots of flavors. Then I spend the entire year drinking them.

vallhallow

Glad to know there is the strict and not so strict approach to advents here.

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91

Sipdown theme: Vegetal tea (In progress)

Preparation: Straight and with a whisk
Tasting note: So before opened this matcha, I noticed in the bottom of the tin it said best by sept 30th, 2022. I had bought this last year around this time and was expecting dull, green matcha when I opened it. I was pleasantly surprised. It was still a very vivid green. The tin was originally sealed with one of those peel back lids (like some tuna cans have), so that really must have saved the quality over this year. Now that i have opened the can, I am trying to have matcha everyday until it is gone.

Anyways, this slowly becoming one of my favorite savory matchas. It has a really distinct sesame nuttiness and is very creamy. It foams up a lot easier than some matchas too. I like that the sesame-nuttiness balances out the bitterness nicely. It is a pretty pricey matcha but considering how long it lasted sealed and that it is still nuanced enough to drink straight everytime so far, I think it has been worth the money for me.

Side note: We are finally going to visit Japan (hopefully er of 2023)! Cities that we will be in is still TBD but I think so far the group has agreed upon Osaka as a stop on our trip. If anyone has any tea house/tea shop reccomendations in Osaka, feel free to comment or DM me. Will keep you’ll updated when we soldify other locations. :)

Flavors: Creamy, Sesame, Umami

Preparation
2 tsp
Cameron B.

Ooh so exciting! I don’t have any tea recommendations for Osaka, but I do have some for Tokyo so let me know if you end up adding that to your list. And tea ceremony in Kyoto is a must!

Uji and Wazuka are also very close to the Osaka/Kyoto area and are famous for growing tea!

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85
drank Old Tree Baiye by Cultivate Tea
1027 tasting notes

The problem with having two places to store tea is that the one that is further away won’t be looked at as much. This is a sample, thanks Vallhallow, I can’t believe I didn’t see it before but it was probably because I repackaged it right away. The minerality is amazing. The flavor, the mouthfeel, and even the aroma both wet and dry. It is like a wet granite rock drying in the sun. But it also has some unique fruit notes. And a slight lemony but also a brightness with tropical floral notes. There is a bit of astringency but nothing like a black tea.

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Tightly twisted leaf. Medium and some large sized. Raw pu erh…. Man, I don’t know. The shengs just aren’t doing it for me. I will keep trying them to see how my palate develops for them over the years but I feel like I licked pavement and then stuck a very herbaceous decoration in my mouth. Oh boy. And if you let it go too long that astringency will floor you. More so like a green than a black. Here’s to eternal youth. does a snoopy blarg I saw dub thee: TEA OF CLEANSING my stomach. I won’t rate this simply because I really don’t know what I would put. It is not a bad tea, just not my taste.

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85

If Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon had a favorite tea this would be it. Beautiful and rich with intense rose aroma and flavor but subtle with wonderfully balancing woodsy tones. They are using an unsmoked Lapsang for this one. The finish is very nice. Slightly creamy with a dry woodsy flavor.

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Split pea soup. Holy. Brothy. Moley. So brothy. The mouthfeel is so filling. And asparagus tips. This would make a great base for soup. The dry leaf is covered in silvery hairs. So pretty. Soft. Looks like mainly buds and first leaves. With the second steep the pea soup has toned down a bit. You also find summer grasses nd a bit of astringency but only slightly.

Tea for Jenny.
This cup is dedicated to you Jenny. You were my babysitter. I hope I didn’t give you a hard time. We never interacted much beyond that and seeing you down the street. But you were a kind and gentle soul. May you rest well.

gmathis

Sorry to hear. The loss of any friend is tough news.

ashmanra

So sorry for the loss of a kind and gentle soul from your life. It hurts.

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I found myself wishing this blend was a little bit more pear forward, but I can’t argue with the fact it definitely tasted more like a nice baked pear that something juicy and fresh or very floral leaning. The subtle notes of clove were really pleasant, and I liked just how much of the greener and slightly floral and slightly nutty oolong flavour actually still came through!

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Whenever I see purple in a tea name it always makes me think of the ‘new’ Kenyan cultivar. Speaking of which can we all agree that the Kenyan purple tea is NOT a type but a cultivar, like Sencha. Anyway, it is interesting that we so easily receive, brew, and drink tribute teas such as these when they used to be consumed by royalty. It is a crisp brew, not very astringent but crisp like a fall morning Bits of farm notes and summer grasses. But to be honest, I’d rather have a Bai Mu Dan, I feel that this one just doesn’t offer much. It could also be that I had a terrible nights sleep and feel grumpy. So I will revisit this one at another point.

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drank Plum Blossom by Cultivate Tea
1980 tasting notes

Note → From vallhallow.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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77

Pine needles. They even have a bit of sharpness in their touch like them. But the color is muted. Like a dying pine needle. The initial scent coming off the leaves is very nice. Juicy. Some tropical notes mixed with slightly stewed veggies. The taste off the first steep is full of steamed and stewed veggies. It is very light on the palate.

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Decided to start with this one because it was the closest and sounded interesting. Tea blossoms are something I don’t think I have tried before. A slightly spicy flavor. Slight black pepper. But mainly very earthy. Green wood. A fresh plank of wood. Slight mulch, the plain kind that was delivered yesterday. Or maybe a few days ago. The aroma is a bit of barnyard, a bit of composting leaves, and a bit of a slightly sweet mystery note. The mouthfeel is smooth. While the leaves steep they appear to be freshly plucked off the tree and laid in my cup. It is pliable but not easily broken like the majority of tea one drinks.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to try this one Vallhallow!

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This is the first time I have had a Laoshan tea from a company other than Verdant. The leaf is very pretty. Dark green with a few silvery buds here and there. And it is so cool to see the camellia flower in there too. I might have let this one sit for too long in a bad tin though. The aroma isn’t there. The taste is muted. Granted not all white teas are strong in your face but this muffledness is to the point where it’s hard to detect any good notes. I will further this note when I try this again at some point

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93

Be careful when drinking this tea. If you are a tea nerd or someone who just likes to research tea your mind is about to blow. You begin by looking at the dry leaf. This is a tea that requires delicate hands. A perfect pluck (like most teas need) but even more so with this one because this is mainly bud and a few first leaves. Those silvery trichome-covered beauties. Though for the most part, it is olive green colored and a few silvery, hairy buds. Then we have the aroma. Gardenia for sure. Floral notes abound. But let’s stop for a second. Did you know scenting is an art process? You have to find the flowers and you have to pick them right at the perfect time. It needs to bed with the bed nightly. Sometimes they remove all the flowers, sometimes they leave them. It just depends on what the master is going for. The flavor is an abundance of gardenia with a slightly grassy background. Passion fruit mousse wet leaf aroma after the first steep. Changes to asparagus after the second steep with slight gardenia and mango. Going to try to cold steep this next.

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drank Organic Crimson Rose by Cultivate Tea
1980 tasting notes

A gift from vallhallow.

I adore rose flavors in my tea, but this will be the first time I think I’ve had roses on their own. They are beautiful, both before and after steeping, and have such a gentle rose scent and flavor. This cup was such a delight.

Flavors: Rose

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 350 ML

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94

Holy smokes. If this tea tastes anywhere near as good as it smells it will be good. I apologize in advance if anything in this review doesn’t make sense. Nature hates me today. Something here in MN just gives me the watery eye, stuffy nose goodness of summer. This tea is fantastic! I just took a sip and it was like it transported me to a tropical hideaway. Lychee twirls around mineral notes. Oh, that was interesting. Buttered popcorn? Some varnish notes. The longer the leaves sit the more astringency comes out.

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75
drank Green Peony by Cultivate Tea
1027 tasting notes

Ah, shame. Shame. SHAME! What was I thinking? I had no top so plastic wrap cover? Come on. Of course, the flavor would be diminished. Despite that I am still getting the typical farm notes. Attic hay, hay near the horses but not quite in their stalls, dried grass (we have plenty of that outside right now. We need rain so badly). There are some fruit notes in the finish, they linger and remind me of goji berries. The mouthfeel is soft but also a bit astringent. Fresh is the flavor and aroma. A deep breath makes one feel alive.

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84

Well, Ms. Lovell, you are to blame. You made the Lapsang sound so damn tasty in your book I had to make myself a cup. Along with the predictable smokiness in the aroma, there is also an interesting presence of fruit. Slight bonfire, slight fire in a lodge. Pleasant. I am cold steeping this. I think I prefer them cold. This is delightful in its own smoky way. Wood after a rain and campfire charcoal. A burnt log. Dark wood and silky mouth feel. I’ve had a puer and a lapsang today and liked them both. I’d call that a win.

vallhallow

Hmm. I have never thought to do a cold brew on a lapsang. Should give it a try sometime.

Skysamurai

I also have the lapsang steeping overnight with some cherries. Smoked cherries just sounded interesting

vallhallow

Yum! Definitely want to try that now too!

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79

Tea Travels: Greece. The island of Santorini is arid and incredible. After having a teabag provided by the hotel, which surprisingly was quite good, I decided I needed another cuppa. This was what I chose. A seemingly delicate green. Twisted and rolled with pine green coloring. The liquor infuses to be clear and lightish green. The brew starts fruity. Juju fruit. Melon. A mix of cantaloupe and honeydew. Mango mixed with grass. A bit of astringency that is well balanced with the other flavors. Apanemo Hotel in Akrotiri, Santorini is a must for people who want to explore the island but wish to escape the Instagram crowd of the north. It’s a perfect place to steep tea while viewing the caldera.

gmathis

My impressions of Greece are solely based on travel photos, but Santorini looks like a lovely, lovely place!

Skysamurai

It is definitely one of those places that you can see from a thousand photos and still not fully grasp until your feet touch the land. We only spent 3 days there (which was effectually 1 full day) but it’s such an interesting area.

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Mastress Alita’s Monthly Sipdown Challenge
July 2022 → A tea from a Canadian company

This is such a pretty tisane, just flowers really, so I steeped it in a glass cup to see them bloom. The liquid is a pale green, almost like pickle juice strangely enough. I followed the directions on the website, but it came out bitter for me. My husband really enjoyed it though and asked that we add it to the wishlist so thanks for sharing, vallhallow!

Flavors: Bitter

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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