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Recent Tasting Notes
It’s not bad. But, it’s not as good as the Big Red Robe tea. It tastes like other Wuyi rock teas, but it’s probably less interesting generally speaking. The roasting seems relatively lighter than the usual rock tea. I tried the 2014 tea in 2017. It was cheaper, and I prefer older rock tea, so good deal.
About the steep. The way I steep is idiosyncratic. It’s sort of kung fu-like. I have a good bit of tea and less water. The steeping time depends on the taste. I might start with 5 or 10 secs, then I take a sip. If it needs more time, I add more depending on the strength. When it’s good, then I know the time for the first cup. It’s like the way I cook. The second cup is usually less time, then all following cups will longer in steep time. But, it all depends on the taste, the amount of tea relative to water, water temp, etc. So, you can completely ignore the amount/water/time/temp parameters Steepster is forcing me to put here.
For a key to my rating scale, check out my bio.
An amazingly sweet and thick aroma coming from the dry leaves, like a combination of Anji bai cha and early-spring dragonwell. Scent in hot gaiwan is like butter cookies – very creamy and sweet with a slight cinnamon note. Very light body, definite marine notes, like sweet nori. Fragrance is actually quite similar to Japanese green tea. As the tea cools, flavor transitions to gardenias, like a Taiwanese green or oolong tea. While this tea has no bitterness, it is unfortunately very astringent, drying out the sides of the tongue especially. Flavor is also relatively flat and uninteresting. I would recommend using more leaf than I did (perhaps 4-6g) and a lower water temperature (~175°F) for around 20 seconds on the first infusion – this will definitely improve the mouthfeel and flavor. One upside is that the leaves are fascinating to look at – paper thin and a very vibrant, translucent green. Also very easy to clean out of the gaiwan which is a plus.
Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Cinnamon, Cookie, Cream, Gardenias, Marine, Seaweed, Sugarcane
Summary: Extremely mild, grassy-hay yellow tea without much texture or body, some calming green energy.
Prep: 2-5g leaves, 100cc gaiwan, anywhere from 170-190F, anywhere from 3 to 8 steeps. Usually 30-120 sec, increasing steep time up to about 4 min.
Sessions with this tea: 8ish?
Taste: Simple grassy-hay spectrum. Not too sweet, not too vegetal. A tiny bit floral and mildly mineral. Not much aftertaste.
Body: Mildly salivating. Medium body, thicker at first two steeps, then gets thin. Mild energy, clean feeling.
Everything about this tea is mild-moderate. I’ve been nursing mine along for a while. Is a pleasant easy drinker with a clean feeling, but not really for me as I usually like more of a challenge and more of a mouthfeel. I kinda use this as a between-sessions mouth cleanser with stronger pu or oolong teas. Drink this if you like green tea but don’t want the heavy stomach feel.
For a key to my rating scale, check out my bio.
Great aromatics and reasonable complexity, with nice, persistent 回甘 (sweet finish). However, there is a strange baking soda minerality and an unusual cooling sensation (think ripe brie rind) in the throat that I don’t really like. I also found a dry bean in the leaves once, so not enough care has gone into sorting the tea and keeping it separate from contamination (sadly very few teas are processed in as clean an environment as they should be).
Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Fruity, Mineral, Mint, Nectar, Smoke, Vanilla
I purchased this tea sample when Steepster Select was having their sale last year.
It was really hard to break this tea up. Even after 4 infusions it was just starting to break up.
It brewed up a golden colour but the taste was very light. It reminded me of fresh mineral water from a gurgling brook. The package said there was a floral finish to it. I didn’t really pick that up but there was a bit of earthiness to it.
I normally like lighter teas but this one just didn’t grab me.
Flavors: Earth, Mineral
an ok tea
when I smell the tuo dry, it smells nice and raw
when I smell the tuo wet, it smells green and earthy
when I smell the brewed tea, it smells light and smooth
when I taste the brewed tea, it tastes light and smooth
many thanks to toad Thomas for this ok tea
Flavors: Earth, Smooth
i am really surprised that this tastes so good and is a un-roasted oolong
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell like un-roasted oolong.
when i smell the leaves wet, they smell sweet and fruity
when i smell the brewed tea, it smells sweet and fruity too.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste peach and sweetness :D
because of this tea, i shall once again try raw oolongs :)
many thanks to toad thomas for this amazing tea :D
Flavors: Fruity, Peach, Sweet
Next to last tea for February 2015 Select!
This is a really solid green tea. It hits the buttery, dashi flavors I like, but it’s not as strong as a gyokuro. I’d definitely buy this for an everyday, after-lunch green tea.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Seaweed
My Steepster Select box came in yesterday! Having this for my morning work tea. First sample of the box!
In the pouch, it smells like flowers. It reminds me of the garden we had when I was little.
It steeps to a pretty golden color and smells a little floral, but not as strong as it did in the pouch, obviously. The taste is a very mild flowery, sweet taste. Very mild. Maybe it’s just that way because I’m still getting over a cold. I don’t know. It’s pleasant, though.
I added a little bit of sugar to it and it made all the difference. The sugar made everything taste a little brighter. A+. The package says I can get 3+ steeps out of this. Challenge accepted.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Orchid
Really enjoyed this brew at 185 degrees in a french press, never pressing fully down. These leaves need a lot of room to “breathe”. Less enjoyable when left in a small tea-sack in a cup. Their claim that the leaves never go bitter I found to be true. This is a very light tea that needs a longer steeping time, but the result was fantastic. Light, yet present, and bright green-yellow color.
Now that my life is beginning to settle down after getting a job (still need a car and a more permanent apartment…), I actually have time for things like tea reviews again!
Got this tea through my recent Steepster select batch, so I brewed it at the office this morning. 8 oz. of near boiling water, steeped for 2 minutes to avoid the dangerous over-steeping that can cause puerh to be unpleasant. The foretaste is a very smooth herbaceous flavor which is very hard to place, and the smoothness is not quite silky, but not really mineral either. More generally, the tea is very sweet and has been properly aged to avoid the bitterness that can be prevalent in younger green puerhs. I am very interested in seeming how the tea develops as the tuocha really starts to break up.
Second steep prepared exactly the same as the first, but the resulting tea was significantly darker. The aroma is also more prevalent, and it turns out that it’s a nice earthy aroma that isn’t overwhelming like some young shu puerhs. The aftertaste/mouth-feel has also evolved to be a definite mineral-like flavor. The other interesting thing is hat it reminds me a lot of hojicha, which is really unique for a puerh in my experience. This has definitely turned out to be a well above-average tea, and I’m honestly looking forward to the next steep.
Flavors: Earth, Herbaceous, Mineral, Sweet, Wood
I loved this pu-erh. It stands out as one of the sweetest pu-erh I’ve yet to taste.
1st infusion: sweet, honeyed, vegetal.
2nd infusion: sweet, creamy, vegetal – the combination of vegetal and creamy sort of gave this a creamed spinach taste only better, sweeter!
3rd infusion: still sweet but the sweetness is beginning to wane. Not so creamy, still vegetal.
4th infusion: Here’s where I stopped, because I found myself missing the sweetness of the first two cups. Still a delicious tea and would have gone on to deliver a lot more flavor, I’m sure, but, I just loved the sweetness so much that when it was gone, I missed it. More of a sweet vegetal note and less of the honeyed sweetness or creamy notes.
A really good pu-erh though, and one I’d recommend, because I loved those sweet notes!
This tea is the premium jasmine-scented tea from Seven Cups and I am drinking, right now, the version of the year 2013.
The light green pearls produce a superb fragrance, which apparently does not turn oversweet soon after opening the bag (as is the case with some jasmine teas) but retains its freshness. The leaves as they open in water are young and fresh-looking, quite small and mostly not broken. The buds look just cute.
I actually used 3/4 tsp for a 250 ml cup.
The tea is very mild-tasting. The presence of jasmine is strong but almost perfectly balanced. The result is pleasant and enjoyable: not too sweet, nothing bitter or irritating. One of the best jasmine teas I have ever tasted. Sometimes I drink jasmine-scented tea with food, especially oriental food, but this tea should probably be enjoyed separately from anything else in order to capture all the nuances of taste and fragrance. The first two steepings (2 mins each) share the same magnificence. On the 3rd steeping (2 mins 15-30 secs), the jasmine part weakens slightly but I can still taste Chinese spring in it. I would characterise the result of the 4th steeping (2 mins 30-45 secs) as a delicate and subtle green tea with a touch of jasmine. And my gf, who is an occasional but demanding tea drinker, classified this tea as ‘excellent’.
Flavors: Honey, Jasmine, Nectar