Simon Levelt

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

As every year, very nice. Light, fresh, lively and happy tea. Flowery, vegetal, sweet, satisfying astringency.

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89
drank Smokey Himalaya by Simon Levelt
1 tasting notes

For me the first ‘acceptable’ smoked tea, because I find many smoked Lapsang Souchong still ‘too much’. It has a definite tarry smoked smell which is, with a very much reduced intensity, still present as a flavour in the cup. I would not call it ‘subtly’ smokey but easy to handle for the ‘novice’ drinker of smoked teas.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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43
drank Ambootia Herfstpluk by Simon Levelt
27 tasting notes

This is a Darjeeling tea, and i’m not a huge fan of Darjeeling. And this is a heavy, bitter Darjeeling, which i’m even less fan of.

If you can appreciate these kind of very strong bitter teas, it might be for you. For me unfortunately, the bitterness blows the entire flavour of the tea away.

Flavors: Bitter, Muscatel

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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85
drank Four Seasons Black by Simon Levelt
27 tasting notes

A tea from the Taiwanese Nantou county. The very long and dark leaves of this tea have a nice smell when dry, and even more nice when wet.

The tea itself is very smooth with a hint of sweetness. The flavour palette is extremely interesting and complex. It has a quite fruity taste with hints of wood and chocolate. The tea has close to no bitterness and very faint astringency. Very nice for an everyday tea and definitely recommended!

Flavors: Chocolate, Fruity, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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87
drank Yunnan Gold by Simon Levelt
27 tasting notes

Oh my, this tea….

It starts with the long, partially golden, unbroken leaves. After brewing, the tea has a very nice, dark brown chestnut-like colour. It smells sweet, with a hint of honey. The scent is very interesting, as it does not reflect the taste of the tea 1 on 1.

The tea has a very recognisable flavour profile. It’s sweet and malty at the same time. The maltyness is followed by a wooden tone. It also has a fruity, grape-like flavour at the end of the sip. Despite steeping it for a normal to long period, it has no bitterness whatsoever. One of my favorite China black teas for daily use. Strongly reccommended!

Flavors: Dark Wood, Floral, Grapes, Honey, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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66
drank King of Jasmine by Simon Levelt
27 tasting notes

The dry leaves have a very intoxicating sweet jasmine (floral) scent. Very nice. The leaves are also nice and small and unbroken. After steeping, the floral scent is transferred to the tea.

The tea smells and looks extreme pleasant. It also tastes very fresh and of course very jasmine-like, but not too overwhelming. This seems to be the ultimate jasmine tea, until….. you start to taste a very strange flavour after 2 to 3 seconds after sipping. It is comparable to a bitterness, but it tastes more chemical-like which then develops into a bitterness. It’s not easy to pinpoint what it is exactly, but it keeps hanging in the back of your mouth. This really is a shame for this otherwise really good tea.

This hint of chemical taste is gone with the second steep, but unfortunately; so is the pronounced jasmine flavour. Despite the setbacks, it’s still a tea you can pour for your guests if they like jasmine teas.

Flavors: Artificial, Floral, Jasmine

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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79

The leaves are very long and unbroken, which always appeals to me. After steeping, the teawater has an extremely light colour. The leaves themselves smell very fresh and grassy.

The tea itself has almost no recognisable scent. The tea itself is also extremely mild with a very soft grassy/bloomy tone to it. It has no bitterness and leaves a very pleasant “fresh” pallet of flavours in your mouth after drinking it.

I find Sencha green teas to be far too grassy. This one has the positive characteristics of the sencha, but without the overpowering grass-flavour. One of the best green teas i know. Be careful not to oversteep though, as the tea tends to get a bit bitter when steeped for too long.

Flavors: Floral, Grass

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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70
drank Sencha Classic by Simon Levelt
27 tasting notes

The dry leaves already smell very fresh and grassy. After steeping, the leaves smell like fresh cut grass (as does the tea itself).

The tea has a pleasant and smooth taste, but the “fresh cut grass-flavour” is a little bit too dominant for me. After tasting, this flavour stays behind in your mouth for quite some time. It’s not unpleasant, but it is an acquired taste for sure. One I would recommend to lovers of extremely soft green teas without a pronounced flavour profile.

Flavors: Cut grass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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79
drank Mint by Simon Levelt
774 tasting notes

A very nice mix of mints. This one is not just peppermint- there’s a sweet mint in here as well (I think it is spearmint) which is nice and gives the flavour some complexity. There is a savoury herbal note present.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 45 sec 6 tsp 14 OZ / 400 ML

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72

The jasmine aroma is nice, but this tea has a funny note to it that I don’t like, a bit like terpentine or paint. A bit strange.

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88
drank Da Hong Pao by Simon Levelt
774 tasting notes

Sweetness that reminds of me damp autumnal leaves on the ground.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramel, Sweet

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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88
drank Da Hong Pao by Simon Levelt
774 tasting notes

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Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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75
drank Grand Pouchong by Simon Levelt
14 tasting notes

I really didn’t know what to expect from this tea until after the leaves were warmed.

My familiarity with (good) Oolongs at this point is limited mainly to a very good Jade Tieguanyin that I have since run out of. Currently I am awaiting a shipment which includes various rock oolong samples, which wil give me something of a broader spectrum.

Having said that, I am pretty certain this tea is best described in its relation to Jade Tieguanyin. Both are oolongs pushing their boundaries towards the green side, the Jade Tieguanyin going so far that it evokes laments from people more familiar with the traditional roasted Tieguanyin, and the Pouchong going so far that it is said to lie between green and oolong tea.

The smell of the leaves is richly buttery and reminds me of all that I had forgotten about the Jade Tieguanyin. It remains consistent over multiple steepings. Unfortunately flavour and mouthfeel are both thin in comparison. Instead the Pouchong can invoke an array of green tea sentiments, like an aged sheng can where a shou can’t. For me that doesn’t really make up for advertising as a Jade Tieguanyin first.

Qi-wise I feel also slightly watered down and confused, and definitely more energized than calming.

All that being said, I think in its category this tea must be of a good quality, and the price is not too bad as well.

Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Butterscotch, Orchid

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 120 OZ / 3548 ML

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85

Warm: Hele lekkere zwarte thee! Helemaal niet bitter of wrang.

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70
drank Yunnan FOP by Simon Levelt
25 tasting notes

Warm: Even wennen aan de smaak. Na een paar slokken merk je het bloemige. Vrij lichte zwarte thee.

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85
drank Sterrenmix by Simon Levelt
25 tasting notes

Warm: Lekkere kruidenmengeling om ’s avonds na de maaltijd te drinken. Frisse smaak, toch ook wat zoet. Lekkere nasmaak en goed voor de vertering.

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55
drank Jasmijn parel by Simon Levelt
25 tasting notes

Warm: Te bloemig voor mij. Tweede opgieting was lekkerder

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60
drank Milky Oolong by Simon Levelt
25 tasting notes

Warm: Iets te flets van smaak. Wanneer de thee warm is, proef je de melksmaak. Als de thee iets afkoelt, komt de perziksmaak naar boven.

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59

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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80

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Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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75
drank Yunnan Gold by Simon Levelt
32 tasting notes

A nice Chinese black, especially for its price. Suits me well as an everyday tea, in addition to the more expensive teas I usually order from webshops (which really aren’t always better than this one).

Also interesting for beginning tea drinkers, due to its distinctive, recognizable flavour profile. It is fruity, in a very distinctly raisin- or grape-like way. A tea that is hard to overbrew, no bitterness and hardly any astringency. In fact I would have liked a little more astringency, since for my taste the sweetness and softness could use some ‘harder’ counterpart to really balance this tea out.

Long leaves that look great dry as well as wet.

Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Raisins, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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77

Flowery and fresh tasting

Flavors: Flowers, Jasmine

Preparation
1 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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