1006 Tasting Notes
Surprise freebie kindly included in my order :)
Dry leaf smells very spicy-woody-floral, lots of pine wood and rosewood, undertones of cinnamon and peppermint. The steeped aroma has notes of white grapes, rosewood, milk chocolate (or is it white?), cooked mango, rose. The taste is like a flowing spring. Fruity notes of guava and cooked peaches; a distinct, soft and warm nuttiness; floral; green chillies, spearmint. Oily, almost creamy mouthfeel that supports gentle brisk astringency and minerality. There’s an acidity to the tea that reminds me of gooseberries but it doesn’t taste sour or tart to me. Nutty-herbal-peach pit aftertaste.
Really lovely tea. Complex but not challenging, very easy to drink. I feel a sense of place drinking this.
Flavors: Astringent, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Creamy, Floral, Green Pepper, Guava, Herbs, Mango, Mineral, Nuts, Nutty, Peach, Peppermint, Pine, Rose, Spearmint, Spicy, Spring Water, White Chocolate, White Grapes, Wood
Had with a Vietnamese vermicelli bowl for lunch today. The tea smelled like swamp. Scratch that. It smelled like a murky puddle thick with algal growth. It tasted like flat and sour buttery dry grass.
The food deserved better, like a basic Vietnamese jasmine green tea. The restaurant even used proper temperature water in the pot.
First sips, I like the way this tastes well enough. I’m not sure I like the way it smells in my mug. The cypress oil is an intriguing addition to a chai-type blend but as I take more sips, I realize ultimately there’s too much going on. Not a fan of the mix of cacao and vanilla with goji and elderberry. I smell all that in the steam and it lingers in a sickly way in the aftertaste. When the mug gets to room temp, it all tastes like mustard. What the. Weird.
This green rooibos is really tasty but not quite satisfying? It’s something light-bodied and juicy that I’d want to drink as an iced tea on a scorching hot day. The flavoring is like a mix of juicy yellow pear and Ace perry cider. It also kind of reminds me of both green apple and kiwi Hi-Chew candies. The green rooibos provides some kind of darker undertone that I can’t describe.
Kiki likes it and thinks it definitely tastes like juicy pear. She says it has a tartness to it. “It almost tastes like apple cider but with pears.”
Flavors: Alcohol, Apple, Apple Candy, Fruity, Green Apple, Pear, Tart
Typical Indian musky-spicy smell to the dry leaf — sun-warmed hard and dry earth, rosewood, green chillies. Moderate yellow peony aroma given off by a soft sunshine yellow brew. Strong note of yellow peony and thinned honey on the sip. Very clean.
The mouthfeel is fantastic. It starts off filling the mouth and then flows over the sides of the tongue, eliciting a mouth-watering, tingly response. It swallows gently brisk-astringent, not enough to consider the tea drying. It feels playful and supple, thirst-quenching. The overall taste of the tea matches the mouthfeel very well. Delicate and well-rounded flavors that are subtly fruity, floral, woody-spice and hay-herbaceous-vegetal. Minty-spicy in throat and chest.
I wouldn’t recommend this to beginners since the flavors are tonal and not so apparent (could be construed as tasting like water). Overall, bright, sunny, warm, youthful with a knowing edge. This is a great tea that does blur the lines between a white tea and a Darjeeling-style first flush black.
Thanks for introducing a new-to-me company, Natethesnake, via your note for Ketlee’s Indian sheng. I’m looking forward to tasting through a range of tea types including green, white, black, oolong, sheng and a masala chai, representing several tea-producing regions in India. Indian teas I feel pair well with the dry summers here in northern California.
Flavors: Astringent, Earth, Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Mineral, Rose, Round , Salt, Smooth, Spearmint, Spicy, Thick, Vegetal, Wood
Deep baked-fruits aroma/flavor and sweet, pastry-like cinnamon without actually being sweet. The aroma is a bit too artificial for my liking, but it’s a nice, strong scent. The blueberry and peach are well balanced. The Lipton-like black tea brings a grounding, woody tone, while the hibiscus/rose hips/cranberries (whatever amount ends up in a mere teaspoon) bring just enough tang to brighten the brew. I think this one is really well done, well balanced. While not something I would find myself craving, I do recommend it. Of all the times I’ve brewed it, the last cup has been the best with 1 tsp to 6 ounces instead of 8.
Flavors: Artificial, Blueberry, Cinnamon, Dark Wood, Pastries, Peach, Tangy, Tea
Brewed hot, Kiki said only “It’s fine.” I tasted it and the base tea was way more tannic and muddy than when I had tried it as part of the advent calender. The fruity flavoring also seemed to have evaporated.
Since her response was luke warm, I cold-brewed for her the last of the sample from Cameron B. I thought it was great this way. Kiki said of it tonight, “It’s good.”
Clean energy, happy, calm and numbing vibrancy. The longevity on this one is coming around, the astringency is leaving and the returning sweetness has bared itself fully. The flavor is rounder, the sweetness is balanced with the bitterness. If there is one thing to knock this sheng, despite having a general sweet aftertaste, it’s that the aftertaste lacks definition. But that could just be my oolong-and-black-tea-loving self talking.
The bitterness — the bitterness makes up for that, though. The bitterness feels in suspension in small particles within the thick and sweet body. Each particle penetrates my tongue and braces the whole mouth. It’s a unique and special feeling that arrests my entire being. I take pause.
If there is a common theme among my most coveted teas, it’s that we simply sit with each other.
Interesting, and very good. I’m wondering if the sodium level in our tap water has increased because many of my teas have been tasting salty lately.
I couldn’t figure out what the heck I was tasting and smelling. I’m still not sure. There was a popcorn shop called What’s Poppin’ in the indoor strip mall in my hometown. This was like 25 years ago. Is it still there? There was a flavor called Tutti Frutti. That is this, tucked away in a tiny $2 sample bag in my quarter-century memory vessel.
In reality, Kiwi Fukuyu probably doesn’t taste anything like Tutti Frutti popcorn, but the light butter aftertaste only reinforces this notion. The sencha is very dark green. It’s very grassy-vegetal. It’s thick, it’s clean and mouthwatering, good astringency and bitterness, salty. Fruity of course. Kiwifruit? notsomuch. Candykiwiflavoring? yzyzyz. It all works quite well, the flavoring is in great balance with the tea flavor. Next time I go back to Ohio, I know what I have to do.
Like all DF I’ve steeped twice, this too is worthy of a second infusion.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Candy, Fruity, Grass, Popcorn, Salty, Smooth, Thick, Tropical, Vegetal
Another 2020 harvest green tea acquired as a stand-in until the new harvests arrive in full swing. I’ll probably be ordering Chinese greens this year from stateside vendors since I never buy enough of them to justify the more expensive and faster shipping options (been waiting on a small package from Teavivre for 2 months, ugh).
The dry leaf smells buttery-nutty with dark cocoa powder and an herbal undertone. Wet leaf aroma is alkaline. It reminds me of butter-browned napa cabbage, barbecued oysters, farro, earthy-sweet cooked snow peas, rice crackers and anise.
I’ve been brewing this in a gaiwan with a lower leaf:water ratio to mitigate the less-than-fresh qualities that are apparent in grandpa and western steeping (it can turn brassy and buttery-toasty dry grass quickly). The liquor aroma is sweet and nutty; the texture is buttery soft and smooth on the sip. Delicate notes of buttery rice crackers with seaweed bows, lemon, fresh oysters, sweetgrass. A clear quartz-like minerality presents with some salty astringency as it swallows juicy. The tea becomes fruitier, dry grassy and more astringent as steeps progress. There’s a unique aftertaste of custard apple and rice crackers moving to buttery-creamy apricot-osmanthus and toasted rice. Can get bitter if oversteeped.
Valley Peak was the first tea I ever tried from Mandala many years ago, in the days of using mason jars and a fork to simulate a gaiwan. I remember it being so gentle and satisfying. It can be likened to a Dragon Well (however varied those are) but I find it softer, less intense and depending on the Dragon Well’s processing and provenance, less like chestnuts.
Flavors: Anise, Apricot, Astringent, Buffalo Grass, Butter, Cocoa, Cream, Dry Grass, Earth, Fruity, Garden Peas, Grain, Herbs, Honeysuckle, Lemon, Marine, Mineral, Nutty, Osmanthus, Rice, Salt, Seaweed, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Toasty, Vegetables