667 Tasting Notes
Made it through 2 packages of this herbal tea by cold brewing it. The last 4 bags tonight went into a glass pot for the house. Compared to cold brew, the body is much fuller when brewed hot and the flavor with more depth, though it tastes almost exactly the same. Tangy rosehips and soft floral-woody cinnamon are the big players. Hibiscus definitely takes the background. Herbal notes weave throughout. A bit of lemongrass in the aftertaste. We’re all enjoying it.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Floral, Herbs, Hibiscus, Lemongrass, Rosehips, Tangy, Tart, Wood
Dang. I hit the backspace key a few times and I was backed out of my tasting note. I’ve received one 2018 Jin Mu Dan freebie in each of my past three orders from Old Ways Tea. It’s a good tea and a great complement to an overcast morning; the coastal fog has been rolling in and out daily for the past week.
I stored my previous packets of this in a non-airtight tin to let the roast air out. The most recent freebie I left in its original packaging unopened. This tasting note is basically a storage note. The difference in storage seems pretty pronounced, with this round being much more roasty and floral (peony and osmanthus) compared to the fruitier and creamier attributes of the tin-stored leaf. That is all.
Welcome, fog. You and yancha have been missed.
Dry leaf: sweet, floral and vegetal aromatics — sweet pea, dark chocolate, caramel, roast, cream, fruity peach tone
Warm leaf: roast, burnt sugar, floral, vegetal sweet pea
Rinsed leaf: dominant florals — orchid and sweet pea, some roast
Gongfu 5g to 100mL, 195F: alkaline-marine-vegetal (hint of seaweed), straw, floral. Medium body, peach apricot aftertaste quick to arrive and depart. Sandpaper tongue. Not much longevity and the taste wasn’t up my alley so the leaves got overnight cold brew treatment which turned out floral and pleasant.
Western 2.5g to 10oz, 195F: aroma was very roasty-milky-floral. Taste was dominantly milky-creamy-floral-straw. Combined with the alakaline-marine vibe, it was kind of weird. Decent fruity peach midtone. Somewhat drying.
Pretty basic and enjoyable enough. I liked western prep more even if I found the flavor combo strange.
Flavors: Apricot, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Garden Peas, Marine, Milk, Orchid, Peach, Roasted, Seaweed, Straw, Vegetal
I’ve never been one to celebrate anniversaries, nor have I ever been a particularly sentimental person. Don’t get me wrong, I have great appreciation for all manner of folks and events that happen their ways into my path and mine into theirs. I do experience weighty nostalgia at times. Reflection has always been a pastime, though instead of it being a conscious choice to take some time for processing, it is usually spurred by the anxiety of an overwhelmed and subsequently depleted nervous system. That is where tea comes in. Conscious reflection and centeredness.
I’ve been spinning in place lately. Every input from the reality that whirls around me sets me a little off balance and into unexpected territory but I come right back to this every time. This neglected website. Both the members new and those seasoned, some of whom have put up with my life happenings and musings and contributed their own. You’re all so very excellent and I wish that sometimes I were in the mood to communicate with you more, but damn, am I tired. Twenty-twenty, I’m trying. I’m trying to break out of this dizzying spin.
Here’s to 2 years of Steepster. I’m in awe of all that has happened in this short amount of time. Come what may. Hopefully a brighter future for the site and for us all.
Song pairing: Stevie Wonder — As
Unsure how to approach a note for this sheng from the Yiwu region, mostly because of its complexity. The long list of flavors at the end of this note (I also include aromas) is not a joke. Have some stream of consciousness notes from a few different sessions…
Dry leaf smells of sweet tropical fruits and flowers, orchid, rose. Warm has a deep sweetness like butter-caramel-golden syrup and pungent fruit punch. The rinse hits with a big camphor-minty note first. Unlike any tea I’ve smelled before. Rainforest — fruits, flowers, bark, everything, wet. Incredibly fragrant.
First session Prepared 6.x grams in a 110mL clay teapot with a long pour, boiling water.]
First steep of 10s is so thick and bitter. Wow. Aroma is like bark and vanilla marshmallow that hits on sip and fills the mouth. Swallows into menthol spice in throat. Balanced.
Second steeps of 10s is the same. Feel like I have honey breath even though it doesn’t taste like honey. Lingering perfume. I’m kind of speechless. Feeling grounded.
I don’t know where I stopped with this session, maybe 8 steeps.
Second and third sessions Prepared 4g in a 60mL porcelain gaiwan, water off boiling, flash steeps for the first six]
First steep: Lingering peach-apricot-osmanthus-caramel aftertaste. Clean and mouthwatering. Full, thick body leaves an oily swallow.
Second: Same, balanced astringency and bitterness, almost warming but mostly cooling, feel it in my arms, deep.
Third: Smooth, medium viscosity down throat, vaporous cherry aftertaste.
Fourth: Creamy, caramel, mineral, wet rocks, saline, deep woody base. Feel it in shoulders and arms. Pulling back into myself, heady.
Fifth: Aroma of cherrywood and osmanthus. Savory taste. Starting to feel bite in throat and some acid.
Sixth: Almost citrus tinge, metallic, seawater. I feel pink and brown. Flower petals reflected in clear stream water, can see different colored river rocks and pebbles beneath.
Seventh: Finally notice returning sweetness, cherry blossom aftertaste, still very cooling. Tired but active mind, sheng burps.
Went several more steeps, trailing off with notes.
I would need a cake to get a good grasp on this tea. It has a lot of dynamic qualities and a punchiness that I wasn’t expecting from a Yiwu tea. The sweetness also isn’t at the forefront like I’ve experienced with other Yiwu. This is some really good leaf.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bark, Bitter, Butter, Camphor, Caramel, Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Cherry Wood, Citrus, Creamy, Floral, Forest Floor, Fruit Punch, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Marine, Marshmallow, Menthol, Metallic, Mineral, Mint, Orchid, Osmanthus, Pancake Syrup, Peach, Rainforest, Rose, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet, Tannin, Thick, Vanilla, Vegetal, Wet Rocks
Summer 2019 harvest.
Plowed through a 25g bag without taking notes. What do I remember? A light, nutty-buttery body that thickened into a creamier mouthfeel when the tea was left to sit in my thermos. Straw, sandalwood, geranium, rose, lemon zest and linens, a bit of a malty-toasty-apricot feeling, green bell peppers. A slight bite balanced the heavier mouthfeel. Cooling/warming camphor mouthfeel extends into chest. Good summer time tea.
Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Camphor, Creamy, Geranium, Green Bell Peppers, Lemon Zest, Malt, Nutty, Rose, Straw, Toasty, Wood
Smooth with soft malt body, a bit of chocolate, dill and rose. All supplemented by a bright apricot-orange tone and cooling mouthfeel. It’s a clean Nilgiri without much depth. I’m sure eastkyteaguy will swoop in some day with a lengthy list of flavors and aromas; I keep trying to pay attention but it’s one of those flatter thirst quenchers that goes down quickly. Some days do have more oomph than others.
Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Chocolate, Dill, Malt, Menthol, Orange, Rose, Rye, Smooth
I had planted Thai basil maybe too early. Most of the plants were eaten by slugs so I bought a starter to supplement. Well, the few surviving basil in the greenhouse and the starter have grown like crazy in the past few weeks. I picked off all the flower buds, roughly a loose handful and made a liter of tea in the French press.
The liquid is this beautiful clear blue-green color that looks like copper sulfate. Pure licorice-basil flavor. Oh my, that’s relaxing. Well received by the 2 adventurous palates sitting with me.
Spring 2018 harvest
This tea feels like summer in this region of California, maybe an hour north at a friend’s place in Hopland where it’s hotter and drier. Early afternoon, sitting in the shade of a large, gnarled oak, looking out from the mountainside, the remnants of a recent grass fire on the mountain opposite, sun-scorched fragrant wood and crunchy oak leaves lying in the dry grasses at my feet.
A full, slick body with light honeyed pear sweetness carried on the breeze. Almost floral with hints of citrus blossoms. Hops and grapefruit zest, mineral water, hints of muscatel and woody almonds from the vineyards and plantations in the valley below. Aftertaste is smokey-savory, at first paired with florals that later turn fruity. Kind of like grilled pork with a blackened peach glaze.
The tea is a bit drying but leaves a thick, oily coating on the tongue. Pleasant menthol cooling in mouth and chest. Spicy in a woody way. Clean and cleansing. It’s a beautiful tea.
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Citrus Zest, Dry Grass, Grapefruit, Grilled Food, Herbs, Honey, Hops, Meat, Menthol, Mineral, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Peach, Pear, Smoke, Spicy, Tannin, Thick, Wood
captain’s backlog teadate 27-may-2020
via ashmanra. much thanks :)
A mellowing, very natural feeling tea. Aroma of bitter white florals that are very perfume-like and incense along the line of myrrh transfer into the mouth and meet with hay-dry grass and floral-incensey bitterness, hints of leather. Smooth and savory. As steeps progress, buttery caramel begins to appear in taste and mouthfeel. Light oats and unripe apricot also come out. Slight tangy and mineral finish with some mouthwatering precedes a short unripe apricot aftertaste. Huigan arrives late but isn’t shy, followed by menthol and camphor. I’m digging this one. I never felt like this tea fell off quickly and it changed ever so slightly with each infusion.
Flavors: Bitter, Butterscotch, Camphor, Caramel, Dry Grass, Floral, Hay, Leather, Menthol, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Peach, Perfume, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy