1283 Tasting Notes

An aromatic, zesty, brisk cup of tea good for a mid-morning cup.

The dry leaf has those musky, spicy and floral notes I associate with Nepali teas, along with dark chocolate, prune and some crispy autumn leaves.

Steeped for several minutes with my baseline 3g:300mL and with hot water from the dispenser at work, the tea is rather geranium floral with a peppery, woody zip. Youthful comes to mind.

Steeped longer, say 5-6 minutes, with the same ratio and at home where I can appreciate the tea more, I notice the aroma: it’s spicy like the taste but with mellowed notes of cherries, dark chocolate, orange blossom and hazelnut.

I expected the brisk quality to become even more pronounced but it ended up filling in quite a bit. The taste mostly reminds me of the dark tannins of rosewood and straw, smoothed over with rich tobacco, dark chocolate and a touch of malt. A cherry candy note never gets too high and a tangy gooseberry tone keeps it from going full-on woody or tobacco.

Nepali teas remain to be a favorite of mine, not often drank but when the mood strikes I hope to have one around. Like this tea, the blacks from Nepal seem to embrace characteristics of both neighboring Darjeeling and Assam to the east.

Thanks for the sample, A Thirst for Tea :)

Flavors: Brisk, Candy, Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Dry Leaves, Floral, Geranium, Gooseberry, Hazelnut, Malt, Musk, Orange Blossom, Pepper, Prune, Rosewood, Spicy, Straw, Tangy, Tannin, Woody

Martin Bednář

I shall send you a sample of Ilam Pathiwara to find out what do you think about it.

derk

I’d love to try it, Martin.

Martin Bednář

A sample is packed for you among a few others. Tomorrow it will be posted.

derk

Aw, thanks!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75
drank Red Water Oolong by Liquid Proust Teas
1283 tasting notes

From a group buy, how long ago now.

I like to brew this long, otherwise I find the flavor too light. A resinous-bready undertone and mineral baked plum-apricot-quince midtone are greeted by the forward honey-caramel-redfruit sweetness and muted floral nature that roasted oolong can have. The aftertaste reminds strongly of black grape skins. Brewing this long brings out a tongue-numbing and tingly bitter-tannic quality that may put others off but I find it especially satisfying in the moment. Gently grounding energy this evening, much needed after a morning at work where I thought for sure my head was going to spin right off.

Flavors: Apricot, Bread, Camphor, Caramel, Cream, Dark Bittersweet, Floral, Grape Skin, Honey, Mineral, Plum, Quince, Red Fruits, Resin, Roasty, Tangy, Tannin

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
gmathis

January is like that at my work, too.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Did I really just backspace myself out of another tea-crazed and long-winded note? Dang it, derk, you dolt.

Something akin to the original note:

A good while ago (who knows when, my sense of time is all screwed up these past few years) I fell in love with a black tea that Leafhopper extracted from the depths of her “Tea Museum”: https://steepster.com/teas/what-cha/56348-malawi-bvumbwe-handmade-treasure-black-tea That tea just lit me up in all the right ways.

I searched high and low for this Handmade Treasure from Satemwa, the Malawi tea estate that in the western reaches of the internet is famed for its white teas. I ended up finding Handmade Treasure last year?? at A Thirst for Tea’s online store but didn’t order because for some reason I had the sense that the business was no longer operational. Possibly because, looking at the site now, the aesthetics feel more rooted in an older generation than the soft, round and minimalist yet somehow noisy sites of most current vendors. Anyway, I could’ve had this tea in my own tea closet back when I originally found it but I am a reticent dolt who rarely communicates with tea vendors.

Under the influence of supposedly toxic Brazilian pink peppercorns (totally up for debate if you ask me; I’m severely allergic to poison oak which, like this plant, is also under the same familial umbrella as cashews and mangoes to which I exhibit no allergic response) while visiting my mother in Florida a few weeks ago, I finally took a gamble and ordered from A Thirst for Tea.

This self-professed tea addict Frankee, whose business flies under the radar, clearly wants curious sippers to appreciate the world of loose-leaf teas. The website offers a lot of information on many of the teas, including some rather long descriptions, backgrounds on the tea farms or style of tea and detailed preparation notes. For each tea I ordered, a full 8.5″×11″ print-out accompanied it. Every tea came in a high quality, thick roll-top bag. I do wish harvest seasons were offered on all the teas. I did put my faith in her judgement to not sell stale teas considering she’s an ITMA Certified Tea Master (again this could’ve been a non-issue if I had simply asked). Oh, and she wrote a full paragraph in the lost communication form of cursive, expressing thanks and adding a description of the sample Nepal black included in the box.

Anyway, this low-oxidized black tea is a near facsimile to the 2014 shared by Leafhopper. I even wonder if it’s the same harvest and kept well stored for nearly 8 years. So far I’m 2 for 2 with this company, one being this beloved black tea and the other a brand new experience with a type of green tea I had not yet tried before.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
Leafhopper

I’m delighted that you found this tea again!

gmathis

I have got to check out this vendor!

DrowningMySorrows

Ooh, I’ve visited A Thirst For Tea when trying to hunt down photos of some of my teaware that I’ve been too lazy to photograph myself but I don’t think I’ve looked at their teas! The list of tea places I want to order from is already out of control so I might as well add one more.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Crescent Green by Spirit Tea
1283 tasting notes

Another new to me vendor, Spirit Tea, which I see Daylon has been posting notes for lately. I came across them looking for something but don’t remember what They have a gentle, relationship-building vibe about their work and marketing that I admit drew me in. If you get warm fuzzies seeing pictures of traveling tea hunters with tea farmers, one or all of them pointing at leaves or in the distance, Spirit Tea may be for you (tongue-in-cheek — they have a LOT of teas that sound fantastic). Looks like they really get around, offering landscape, production and intimate encounter photos of nearly every tea they offer, which are sourced from their travels through China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

Quick cups this morning before I try to take advantage of this spring weather in January. It doesn’t feel right that the daffodils bloomed this morning or that the blueberries are fully flowering.

From Yunnan, China, this green tea is grown and processed in a Muslim-Chinese minority village.

This large-leaved green tea is rich and so satisfying, unlike any other green tea I’ve had. Sweet, viscous, a little tongue-numbing and with practically no astringency. Aroma matches the taste and aftertaste of the tea. The tasting notes of honeycomb and sandalwood are spot on. Apricot is more of a bright undertone. A comforting toasty nature rounds out the flavor flawlessly. If you want to try a green tea without the typical beany, grassy or vegetal notes, or one that won’t upset an empty stomach, I highly suggest this nourishing tea!

I’ve had no communication yet with this company and am trying to not come off as sounding like a shameless plug. Hopefully the other 3 teas I ordered are just as satisfying.

Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Mineral, Round, Sandalwood, Sweet, Toasty, Viscous

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I’m glad you liked it! I had a mixed opinion about the company at first. I tried them at a local coffee shop, and fell in love with their silver needle and Saigon Hebral. I really liked their approach to partnerships, and I’ve been using the Manual Gaiwan for years. I stopped buying a little bit after the Meishan they had, which I thought they overcharged for, but I think their selection has drastically improved selling some extremely unique teas. I just made a big order from them recently, and really look forward to what they’ve got. I am excited to see what you think of the other teas!

Evol Ving Ness

I am looking forward to hearing more about their teas from you both. goes to check their shipping to Canada policies

derk

Lucky you to have had their teas at a local joint. Some of their teas are a bit pricey and I did end up indulging in one of them. This Crescent Green is one of the cheapest ones and well worth the $0.24/g for my tastes!

It seems like you experience the same desire I do with wanting to try all the things so I like that Spirit Tea upped their package weight to minimum 50g. That encouraged me to be more thoughtful about my purchases. Hopefully everything in your big buy puts a smile on your face. I look forward to your notes, too :)

derk

Evol Ving Ness, the other day Leafhopper told me that their shipping to the great CA is only through DHL at $32. Maybe worth a group buy for you Canadians.

Leafhopper

Derk, there are no daffodils blooming here in snowy Toronto. :P Sounds like a nice green tea.

Evol Ving Ness, they only offer DHL to Canada and it starts at $32. This is sad, as they have some unique stuff.

Leafhopper

Derk, I think our comments overlapped. :) It seems to cost less to ship packages across the world than across the Canada–U.S. border.

Daylon, I also look forward to your notes on your Spirit Tea purchases. I hope there are some oolongs!

gmathis

Sigh. We’re weeks away from daffodil and crocus shoots yet. Green tea that sounds apricotty sounds like a lovely snatch of spring.

Daylon R Thomas

Leafhopper, I got three oolongs, two of them new-the Qin Xin/Jin Xuan hybrid and leafhopper bitten Dayuling, and two blacks, a Yin Hong and a Qilan fashioned into a black. I spent too much money…I have high hopes for all of them.

Leafhopper

Daylon, that’s a nice selection. I was looking at that Exuding Jade myself until I saw what it would cost to ship it to Canada.

Leafhopper

And of course, the bug-bitten Dayuling was what made me investigate the shipping charges in the first place. :)

Leafhopper

Derk, have you tried to gongfu this tea? It must be spring because I’m in a green tea mood.

derk

I haven’t yet

Leafhopper

Okay, I’ll go with Western since I want to avoid astringency and am not too confident about the proper gongfu steeping parameters for green tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Kiki brought two sachets home from somewhere. She refused to give anymore information.

This is an enjoyable medicinal tea geared toward the flavored tea crowd. It has a warm caramel-spice aroma. The taste is at the front most forward with roasted chicory. Red rooibos isn’t mellow but it blends well, lending some kind of fruitiness and minerality. Ginger is warm/cool and mellow, same with the cinnamon and cassia oils. After the swallow, the caramel flavor, spices and warmth hang out, distracting from the sour note left by the roasted dandelion root. I don’t know that the ashwagandha, mucuna, star anise or clove oil have much play.

I’m kind of surprised. There’s a lot going on but all the tastes and sensations transition smoothly. Wouldn’t object if Kiki brought more home.

Flavors: Caramel, Chicory, Cinnamon, Fruity, Ginger, Mineral, Pleasantly Sour, Rooibos, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

First time with Anji Bai Cha green tea and first time with Frankee Muller’s educational A Thirst for Tea, which is based in Oriental, NC. I’ll get more into how I stumbled upon this business in another note. I still need to email her and ask permission to use her pictures and descriptions.

[3.5g, 150mL glass gaiwan, 160F upped to 175F, first steep of 30s]

Dry leaf in the bag smells like cannabis and melon; in hand it’s sweet and dry like dark cocoa powder and roasted nuts. When warmed, the leaf smells very intense like a Japanese green with a sweet and flowery chocolate undertone.

The first infusion is light, sweet and very clean with a touch of cream that further develops in the aftertaste. Delicate. Oily with a layered astringency, cool breaths. I smell the wet leaf in the gaiwan and am greeted with the smell of roasted nuts that is common with pan-fired Chinese greens, fried squid, orchid, simply syrup with lemon juice and dense notes of kelp, steamed asparagus and blanched nettles.

With the second infusion, the aroma is light and flowery. The tea in my cup is very clear, little tea hairs floating throughout. The color reminds me of spring, a light yellow like filtered sunshine with a pinkish silvery tint. The taste is very similar to the first infusion, smooth, and reminds me of fresh bamboo. I notice the aftertaste, lightly fruity with the melon and cannabis of the dry leaf. The tea is drying now and reinforces the notion of bamboo, it’s drying like a bamboo basket might taste. Salty feel.

The third infusion is fruitier on the sip, a notion of apricot appears and the melon becomes more pronounced. Tongue-numbing, mouth closed, I sit with the tea. The aftertaste here is beautiful and silky, a refreshing, fruity breeze of lemon, melon and the impression of silica-rich horsetail. I smell the bottom of the cup for the first time and breathe deep the scent of cherry blossoms. The aftertaste lingers so long. So calm, warm.

Fourth infusion develops a delicate creamy and nutty taste. Fifth, lord, the aftertaste! It’s so coating — ghee and melon something — cotton candy? I haven’t put anything else in my mouth since I took the last sip over an hour ago. The wet leaf in my gaiwan shows a high quality picking.

Overall, this is a very structured, nuanced yet delicate green tea with strength in all facets. The aroma is understated but it fits the experience beautifully.

Flavors: Apricot, Asparagus, Bamboo, Butter, Cannabis, Chocolate, Citrusy, Cotton Candy, Cream, Creamy, Drying, Herbaceous, Lemon, Melon, Mineral, Nutty, Oily, Orchid, Roasted Nuts, Sakura, Salty, Seafood, Seaweed, Silky, Soft, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
derk

A heads up for anybody considering this tea or maybe trying it from another vendor for the first time: it’s most definitely a gongfu tea, a beautiful one. I did a few western steeps yesterday and it basically tasted like hot water with a roasted nut nose.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

34

The dry leaf smells wonderful a big wallop of fruity spiced compote but the experience is severely disjointed and displays only some of those notes within the watery body. Wet rocks taste but not mineral with vestigial oddities that I can’t place. A strange bitter-herbaceous finish that I imagine as the taste of chomping on some water-logged thistle flowers. Flowery-plum skin aftertaste lingers and with this third steep, the brew does taste like plum but not sweet. The first steep gave a warming/cooling camphorous rush in my chest which, beyond the dry leaf aroma, is my favorite part of this tea. I’m not going to bother going beyond this third infusion.

This is a good candidate for a home re-roasting.

Flavors: Allspice, Apricot, Bitter, Blackberry, Blueberry, Camphor, Chocolate, Coffee, Flowers, Herbaceous, Honey, Peat, Plum, Raspberry, Sour, Thistle, Wet Rocks, Wet Wood

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
gmathis

Your “wet rocks but not mineral” makes me think of the way Turkey Creek smells after a flash flood :)

derk

There you go, making me miss Midwest thunderstorms. I did get to experience a hair-raising one in Florida a few weeks ago.

Natethesnake

Every da Hong pao I’ve ever tasted has reminded me of pine cones boiled in bong water. Not in an unpleasant way just weird. Goes nicely with a Szechuan hot pot but otherwise not something I crave

derk

There’s a big difference between Dahongpao that is composed of Beidou and/or Qidan cultivars compared to many that are mixes of ‘brick weed’. Lighter processing can give me that flavor reminiscent of bong water. A lot of times I pick up on cannabis in lighter roasted yancha. Darker roasts of Dahongpao made with Beidou and/or Qidan can produce some surprisingly complex and smooth teas without that funk. Some people may mention the difference between Banyan- and Zhengyan-grown teas; I don’t have enough experience comparing the two since Zhengyan teas are generally prohibitively expensive. Glad you can enjoy the funky ones.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Glazed Lemon Loaf by Tazo
1283 tasting notes

A mug of sunshine. Quite the mood lifter <3

Flavors: Butter, Cake, Citrusy, Cream, Frosting, Lemon, Tangy, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Been drinking this western the past several days. It’s a pretty good tea this way, and I’m able to mostly avoid the parched throat effect. If oversteeped, it tastes like persimmon butter but with a very clean mouthfeel-taste, some kind of spice (allspice?) and plumeria, which I would have never guessed if I hadn’t read Tea Necromancer’s note from years past. Also bitter and a bit parchy.

The fruity flavors aren’t as pronounced or nuanced prepared western as with gongfu but it makes a gulpable and rather caffeinating cup.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Brisk, Cherry, Drying, Flowers, Mineral, Persimmon, Spices, Viscous

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

March 2021 harvest, gone gongfu.

This is a very approachable oolong like most highly oxidized, or red, oolong. In character, it is much like a bug-bittern oolong mixed with a dark white tea.

The aromas and quickly developing, lingering aftertaste are really a treat. In the hard and shiny nuggets of the dry leaf, I pick up on white grape juice, muscatel and sweet, roasted notes. In addition to those, warming the leaf brings a strong aroma of honeyed, baked cherries — very natural. Rinsing brings the roasted notes more forward as roasted nuts, and they are supplemented by paper, plum, blackberry, cherry and some hints of resin; in general, sweet and tangy, roasted.

At first the aroma of the tea tends toward honeyed baked cherries. As steepings progress, the aroma turns into a dominant white grape-muscatel. With that transformation, the tea also becomes noticeably floral. Jasmine comes to mind and that fits my experience of some jasmine-scented teas of white, green and black types — many of them tend to have a strong grape note to my senses.

With the juicy, pleasing aroma also comes an array of fruit in the mouth. The main taste of the tea is rather woody with a light touch of honey, but as soon as I swallow, tangy fruit tones bloom and merge with the supple and fluid juicy tones. I pick up on apricot and cooked plantain mixed with cherry, white grape juice, muscatel, plums, blackberries. Soon after, a bright buttery-cream taste merges with the fruitiness in the aftertaste. It’s just the right accent, not overtaking the palate. Final steeps become woodier, more floral and drier as the butter-cream aftertaste persists.

The tea has a body like soft spring water and leaves an impression of being somewhat pectic and oily. Initial infusions have a clean and glassy mineral quality and a noticeable salivation effect. One thing I take issue with is the tea has a tendency to have a papery-tannic drying quality in the throat, making for a laborious swallow in the minutes after finishing a cup.

I admit I drink some snooty teas so when I do have a session with an affordable tea with easily accessible qualities, I get so excited at the idea of recommending it to newer gongfu tea drinkers. I don’t think you can go wrong with this Thai oolong, just be aware of the dry throat effect!

Flavors: Apricot, Banana, Blackberry, Brown Toast, Butter, Camphor, Cherry, Cream, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Jasmine, Juicy, Mineral, Muscatel, Oily, Paper, Plum, Resin, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Soft, Spring Water, Sweet, Tangy, Tannin, White Grapes, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
CrowKettle

Oh, this harvest sounds good! And agree that the price point for this is great!

derk

I liked it a lot and very much recommend it for the price.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Always on the lookout for teas from countries and regions not commonly known for tea production or those that are not well represented in the western market. I seek these teas to gain an understanding, however vague, of how this plant performs in different climates.

bicycle bicycle bicycle

Location

Sonoma County, CA

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer