1031 Tasting Notes

42

This was one of my sipdowns from late last year and a tea that I have dreaded reviewing in the months since. I always host posting negative or mixed reviews, especially from vendors whose offerings I tend to like, but that is unfortunately what I have to do here. This tea was just lacking overall.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After my usual 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of the loose bud and leaf rolls in 4 fluid ounces of 185 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry leaf and bud rolls emitted aromas of osmanthus, cream, butter, and bread. After the rinse, I discovered new aromas of vanilla, grass, and sugarcane as well as a considerably stronger osmanthus scent. The first proper infusion added subtler aromas of toasted rice and grass. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented delicate notes of cream, butter, lettuce, grass, and bread that were backed up by hints of vanilla, toasted rice, osmanthus, and sugarcane. Aside from subtle orchid, lettuce, and vegetable broth aromas, the rest of the infusions did not add anything of note to the tea’s bouquet. Somewhat stronger and more immediately detectable notes of toasted rice, osmanthus, vanilla, and sugarcane emerged in the mouth, while notes of minerals, orchid, peach, pear, and steamed milk made themselves known. A heavy and at times overbearing vegetable broth presence quickly emerged and muddied the waters. Interesting hints of sea salt, apricot, balsam, plum, and white grape were just barely perceptible in the background. The aftertaste was odd. It reminded me of candy, like something along the lines of SweeTarts or Smarties. As the tea faded, notes of cream, butter, vegetable broth, and toasted rice came to dominate, though they were accompanied by a suddenly amplified sea salt presence and a late golden apple impression before mostly giving way to lingering hints of orchid, osmanthus, pear, grass, vanilla, lettuce, sugarcane, white grape, and steamed milk.

What-Cha usually does a good job of sourcing Jin Xuan from Thailand, but this tea was a misfire. It was all over the place and generally just something of a mess. Bizarrely, the osmanthus not only did not seem to mesh with the base tea, but it was also lacking in strength and presence. Jin Xuan usually accepts floral scents wonderfully and displays natural stone fruit aromas and flavors that one would expect to mesh perfectly with osmanthus, so I have no clue what happened here. I hate to say it, but this was easily one of the most disappointing What-Cha offerings I have tried. I cannot recommend it to others.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Bread, Broth, Butter, Candy, Cream, Grass, Lettuce, Milk, Mineral, Orchid, Osmanthus, Peach, Pear, Plum, Salt, Sugarcane, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, White Grapes

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

Let’s see if I can keep the reviewing train rolling today. This was another of my sipdowns from earlier in the year and yet another tea that impressed me greatly. I had no clue what to expect of it prior to trying it, since Rohini teas have always seemed so variable to me. The Rohini Tea Estate always seems to produce interesting, quirky, high quality teas, but what they produce does not always hit the spot for me. Fortunately, this tea did. It was a real knockout.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of the loose tea leaves in 4 fluid ounces of 185 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of bread, cream, vanilla, and grass. After the rinse, I detected aromas of violet, mandarin orange, coconut, sugarcane, and dandelion. The first infusion then introduced aromas of butter, roasted almond, and roasted peanut. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented pleasant notes of cream, bread, butter, dandelion, dandelion greens, vanilla, grass, and sugarcane that were balanced by hints of roasted almond, coconut, banana, green apple, mandarin orange, coriander, white grape, and pear. The majority of the subsequent infusions collectively introduced aromas of pear, white grape, dandelion greens, geranium, caramel, and cashew. Stronger and more immediately apparent notes of roasted almond, pear, coriander, mandarin orange, and white grape emerged in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, tangerine, violet, carambola, geranium, fennel, and caramel. I was also able to pick out delicate hints of apricot, yellow plum, cucumber, honey, cashew, and roasted peanut. As the tea faded, the liquor continued to emphasize notes of minerals, cream, bread, violet, dandelion, dandelion greens, butter, grass, roasted almond, and sugarcane that were backed by a melange of lingering vanilla, white grape, cashew, pear, honey, banana, fennel, and mandarin orange flavors.

Honestly, this was easily one of the most unique and satisfying oolongs I have ever tried. My only real complaints with it were that the tea liquor was a bit thin, and some of the more interesting aroma and flavor components never emerged to the extent I would have preferred. Aside from those two quibbles, I could not find anything to fault, and again, this tea was awesome regardless.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, banana, Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cashew, Coconut, Coriander, Cream, Cucumber, Dandelion, Fennel, Fruity, Geranium, Grass, Green Apple, Honey, Mandarin, Mineral, Peanut, Pear, Plum, Sugarcane, Tangerine, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet, White Grapes

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

Okay, I’m finally back on here to post some reviews. It feels like it’s been forever. My spring coursework is finally winding down, and I’m supposed to be starting my new job next month. I also went ahead and reapplied for the graduate assistantship I turned down last year, and from what I understand, I am being considering for it once again, so if I get a wild hair and decide to move, that might be an option for me. Anyway, I wanted my return to reviewing tea to begin on a positive note and decided to start with a tea that I tried early in the year that impressed me tremendously.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 5 grams of the loose tea leaf and osmanthus flower blend in 3 fluid ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 20 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and 30 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaf and flower mix emitted aromas of bread and osmanthus. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of minerals, butter, and roasted almond accompanied by an even clearer, stronger osmanthus fragrance. The first infusion brought out aromas of pear and apple with subtle undertones of cinnamon. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered up notes of cedar, pine, bread, butter, roasted almond, and surprisingly light, delicate osmanthus that were balanced by somewhat subtler impressions of straw, grass, beeswax, and honey. The tea’s bouquet did not change much on the remainder of the infusions, though I was able to pick up a subtle mossy scent in places. Notes of minerals, moss, caramel, sweet potato, pear, red apple, plum, and earth emerged on the palate and were accompanied by hints of cinnamon, leather, tobacco, peach, green wood, and juniper. Each swallow then revealed subtle impressions of blueberry, birch bark, and wintergreen that lingered on the back of the throat for some time. As the tea settled and faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, bread, roasted almond, cedar, moss, pear, and earth that were chased by lingering hints of honey, osmanthus, peach, pine, beeswax, green wood, caramel, blueberry, straw, and wintergreen.

Normally, I am not a huge fan of osmanthus black teas, but this one came closer to getting a perfect rating from me than one might imagine. Had some of the tea’s more interesting flavor components balanced the osmanthus in the mouth a little more, and had there been a few more aromas emerge over the course of my gongfu session, I would have had no problem assigning this tea a score of 100. Even with those minor flaws, this was still an exceptional offering. The base tea and the osmanthus blossoms played off of one another beautifully.

Flavors: Almond, Bark, Blueberry, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Earth, Grass, Green Wood, Herbaceous, Honey, Leather, Mineral, Moss, Osmanthus, Peach, Pear, Pine, Plum, Red Apple, Straw, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco, Wax, Wintergreen

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
mrmopar

Sounds like good things in store for you.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

76

This was one of my sipdowns from right around the start of the year and one of a number of Wuyi oolongs I had been storing and aging since 2017. While most of my experiments with aging Wuyi oolongs at home turned out fairly well, this was one of the less successful ones. The results, however, were really not that bad. I had never tried a Jin Yao Shi prior to trying this tea and had no clue what the cultivar was supposed to bring to the table, but I found it to be a light, fruity tea with some typical earthy, nutty, grainy, and vegetal qualities.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 fluid ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 18 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of bread, blackberry, blueberry, black raspberry, and black cherry. After the rinse, I detected aromas of roasted peanut, smoke, and charcoal. The first infusion added roasted almond and cinnamon aromas. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of bread, blackberry, black cherry, black raspberry, charcoal, and roasted peanut that were balanced by subtler notes of smoke, blueberry, grass, plum, and dark chocolate. The majority of the subsequent infusions added aromas of plum, roasted barley, and minerals. Stronger and more readily detectable notes of grass, plum, and dark chocolate appeared in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, roasted barley, cream, roasted almond, red grape, and toasted rice. Hints of cinnamon, rock sugar, green olive, caramel, and pine could also be detected here and there. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, bread, roasted barley, cream, roasted almond, and black cherry that were chased by hints of blueberry, blackberry, toasted rice, red grape, grass, and plum.

This was not a bad tea, but it was clear to me that it was a little past its prime. The tea liquor was thin and fairly flat in the mouth. I also noticed that some of the aroma and flavor components consistently stuck out, so balance and integration were nagging issues for this tea as well. I would have liked to see all of its parts come together a bit more to get a better feel for what this cultivar can do. Overall, this tea was pleasant, easy to drink, and had some very nice aroma and flavor components, but it was noticeably lacking in other respects.

Flavors: Almond, Black Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Bread, Caramel, Charcoal, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Grapes, Grass, Mineral, Olives, Peanut, Pine, Plum, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Sugar, Toasted Rice

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

I’m back after a long absence. A lot has happened in the last 2+ months. As some of you may recall, I accepted a position with the state back in November. That did not work out. Friday will actually be my final day in the position. I am supposed to be starting a new job on Monday, but now a monkey wrench has been thrown into those plans. Earlier today, I was offered my first real position in my field. The Pike County Public Library District offered me a contract to fill the vacant catalog manager position and have asked that I provide an answer by Monday. I clearly have a very big decision to make. Anyway, I am way behind on posting tea reviews due to my two jobs, school, laziness, etc. I’m trying to get back into it now, but I make no promises as to how well this will go.

This was one of my sipdowns from early February and a tea that I had been meaning to get around to trying for some time. For whatever reason, I became very focused on Chinese tea in 2020 and 2021 and did not devote much time or money to teas from elsewhere in the world. The newer Taiwanese teas went pretty much totally ignored. I wanted to rectify that oversight and opted to try this one first. Honestly, it was a very solid GABA oolong. I have been a little surprised by some of the lower scores I have seen for this tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of the loose leaf and bud sets in 4 fluid ounces of 190 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 18 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and 30 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry leaf and bud rolls emitted pleasant aromas of cinnamon, honey, straw, sour cherry, black raspberry, plum, and bread. After the rinse, I detected a stronger sour cherry aroma alongside novel aromas of roasted almond, raisin, and cream that were underscored by a subtle vanilla scent. The first infusion introduced a mineral aroma and subtler scents of toasted rice and earth. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, oats, butter, roasted almond, honey, sour cherry, bread, and minerals that were chased by delicate hints of banana, vanilla, toasted rice, raisin, and sugarcane. The majority of the subsequent infusions added aromas of pie crust, oats, butter, orange zest, sugarcane, pine, and roasted carrot to the tea’s bouquet. Stronger and more immediately detectable notes of raisin and sugarcane appeared in the mouth with impressions of pie crust, black raspberry, orange zest, chocolate, pine, apple, and roasted carrot in tow. I also noted pleasant, persistent hints of plum, straw, earth, molasses, cinnamon, caramel, pear, and horehound in the mix. As the tea slowly faded, the liquor began to emphasize notes of minerals, honey, cream, bread, roasted almond, sugarcane, orange zest, oats, and raisin that were chased by somewhat ghostly, lingering touches of sour cherry, plum, pie crust, apple, butter, caramel, vanilla, and pear.

At the time I was working my way through what I had of this tea, it had been ages since I had tried a GABA oolong. I was expecting something heavier, maybe a bit more like a Taiwanese black tea, but this tea immediately reminded me of some of the other GABA oolongs I had tried. I couldn’t really tell that the heavy oxidation had added all that much to it. That gripe aside, this was still a very likable GABA oolong. It displayed great complexity in the mouth and very respectable longevity. It also produced a lively, heavily textured tea liquor that shifted from syrupy and almost cloying to smooth and creamy to thin, sharp, crisp, and mineral-heavy over the course of a lengthy gongfu session. I’m not sure I would ever pick it over some of the other GABA oolongs I have tried, but I did enjoy what it brought to the table. It was a very solid, appealing tea overall.

Flavors: Almond, Apple, banana, Black Raspberry, Bread, Butter, Caramel, Carrot, Cherry, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Herbal, Honey, Mineral, Molasses, Oats, Orange Zest, Pastries, Pear, Pine, Plum, Raisins, Straw, Sugarcane, Toasted Rice, Vanilla

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Courtney

Wishing you the best with whatever decision you choose!

eastkyteaguy

Thank you. I have no clue what I’m going to do.

Courtney

These decisions are always difficult! I am working on finding a job in my own field and it’s just tricky (I’m finding, at least).

Leafhopper

Glad to see you back! I think people either love GABA teas or hate them. They all seem to have a distinct profile.

Good luck with your job decision!

CrowKettle

Glad to see you here and wishing you the best no matter your future endeavours!

(cough) My personal rating system is weird, sorry; I tend to tend to group teas that I think are pretty good in a 76-85 range (and I’ll bump them up and down in that range on a whim because I’m imprecise). Like you, I think this tea is solid but would probably still opt to try a different GABA oolong next time. That bready vanilla sour cherry note is the bomb though, and I want more of that.

Your tasting note makes me want to steep a cup right now to see if I can pick out some of the subtleties that you tasted too. Wow! :)

mrmopar

Best to you on the decision. Hopefully it won’t be a hard one to make. Sad to know one door is closing but another may be opening up.

Martin Bednář

Your decision will be great one. I am sure you will choose well. I had no clue that I wanted to do that what I am now doing, but I see it was clever choice.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

This was another of the spring 2017 Wuyi oolongs that I aged until late 2021 before trying. It was also a tea that I dreaded trying, because, for whatever reason, I still have trouble with Rou Gui. I appreciate it much more now than I did in the past, but Rou Gui is still a tea for which I have difficulty psyching myself up. If I’m going to go for a more common Wuyi oolong, it’s almost always going to be a Shui Xian or an economy grade Da Hong Pao. Also, when it comes to Rou Gui, I tend to be more into the lighter roasted or specialty variants, so the idea of cracking open a 50g pouch of a classic roast Rou Gui was not the most appealing to me. I resolved to simply get through what I had of this tea, but to my surprise and utter delight, this ended up being an excellent offering.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 fluid ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 18 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of baked bread, prune, raisin, cinnamon, black raspberry, and blackberry. After the rinse, new aromas of plum, roasted almond, and roasted peanut emerged alongside subtler scents of dark chocolate and smoke. The first infusion added a mulberry aroma as well as subtle scents of tobacco and earth. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cinnamon, tobacco, earth, baked bread, roasted almond, prune, raisin, and dark chocolate that were balanced by hints of roasted barley, smoke, roasted peanut, honey, mulberry, and pear. The majority of the following infusions added aromas of minerals, roasted barley, and orange zest to the tea’s bouquet, though I also noticed an increased earthiness on the nose. Stronger and more immediately evident impressions of roasted peanut, smoke, mulberry, and pear emerged in the mouth alongside notes of minerals, rock sugar, caramel, orange zest, peach, black raspberry, and cream. Hints of plum, blackberry, red apple, grass, and toasted rice were present as well. As the tea faded, the liquor started emphasizing notes of minerals, baked bread, cream, roasted almond, roasted peanut, caramel, and orange zest that were chased by hints of grass, toasted rice, roasted barley, honey, pear, earth, and rock sugar.

This was such a satisfying tea for me because it managed to retain a great deal of the classic earthy, nutty, and spicy characteristics I have come to expect of teas produced from the Rou Gui cultivar, but in its pronounced earthiness, breadiness, and rich dark fruit presence, I could tell that it was starting to show off some of the characteristics teas like this tend to acquire with some age. Though this was neither the most unique nor the most refined Rou Gui I have ever tried, it was a wonderfully durable, aromatic, flavorful, and balanced tea with more than enough complexity to satisfy. Overall, this tea was a treat and struck me as being an absolute steal at its price point.

Flavors: Almond, Blackberry, Bread, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Prune, Raisins, Raspberry, Red Apple, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Sugar, Toasted Rice, Tobacco

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78

Okay, I know that I have made a point of posting a ton of backlogged reviews from 2020 and the first part of 2021 for the last several months, but I want to change tracks for a little bit and start posting some of my more recent reviews. Back in the spring of 2017, I purchased a ton of Wuyi oolongs from Yunnan Sourcing and several other vendors, and when it became obvious that I would not be able to get to most of them in a timely manner, I simply decided to hold on to them and try to age them at my house. I finally started sampling them late in 2021, and largely thrilled with the results I got, decided to prioritize posting reviews of some of these teas in the new year. This was the first of the bunch that I tried. Quite frankly, it was not the best of them, but it was still a likable tea that had held up surprisingly well in storage.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 fluid ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of pear, cedar, tobacco, baked bread, smoke, and cinnamon. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of grass, black cherry, and roasted peanut. The first infusion added aromas of red grape, blueberry, roasted almond, and coffee. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of butter, coffee, blueberry, grass, cream, red grape, baked bread, and caramel that were balanced by hints of pear, tobacco, cedar, roasted almond, smoke, black cherry, and plum. The majority of the subsequent infusions introduced aromas of caramel, butter, cream, plum, orange zest, and toasted grains that were supported by a subtle scent of dark chocolate. Stronger and more immediately evident notes of pear, black cherry, plum, smoke, roasted almond, and tobacco appeared in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, fig, orange zest, roasted peanut, and toasted grains. I also found hints of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, dark chocolate, blackberry, green olive, and golden apple. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, butter, toasted grains, orange zest, roasted almond, baked bread, and grass that were chased by lingering hints of cedar, red grape, cream, pear, tobacco, black cherry, and blackberry.

Prior to trying this tea, I had never tried a light roast Tie Luo Han, so this tea represented a wholly new experience for me. I was a little surprised that it had retained so much of its complexity over 4+ years of storage and was delighted to discover that some of the spicy, herbal qualities typical of the Tie Luo Han cultivar were still present in this tea. That being said, this tea produced something of a thin, watery liquor and a very front-loaded experience in a gongfu session. In truth, I probably got to it at least a year later than I really should have. Still, this was a pretty good, solid tea even without its full vibrancy and longevity.

Flavors: Almond, Apple, Blackberry, Blueberry, Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cherry, Cinnamon, Clove, Coffee, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Fig, Grain, Grapes, Grass, Mineral, Nutmeg, Olives, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Plum, Smoke, Tobacco

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
MadHatterTeaReview

I love the teas that are layered and complex! Great review!

eastkyteaguy

Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

98

Okay, time to get another oldie out of the way. This was one of my sipdowns from the summer of 2020. To this day, it remains one of the best senchas I have ever had.

I made use of a multi-step Western preparation method for this tea. I started off by steeping approximately 3 grams of loose tea leaves in 8 fluid ounces of 149 F water for 1 minute. Four additional infusions followed. I varied the steep time for each infusion, cutting back to 30 seconds for the second infusion, then 45 seconds for the third infusion, 1 minute 30 seconds for the fourth infusion, and then a full 3 minutes for the fifth and final infusion. I also increased the water temperature by 5 degrees for each of the subsequent infusions, so I went from 154 F on the second infusion to 169 F on the final infusion.

Prior to the first infusion, the dry tea leaves produced lovely aromas of spinach, grass, baked bread, honey, zucchini, and asparagus. After infusion, the tea liquor offered up novel aromas of lettuce, kale, chestnut, and seaweed. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of snow pea, honey, lettuce, grass, cream, butter, chestnut, zucchini, and light vegetable broth balanced by subtler impressions of pear, green apple, lemon zest, asparagus, seaweed, baked bread, and orange zest. The second infusion introduced aromas of cream, butter, and toasted sweet corn in addition to subtler aromas of snow peas and hazelnut. A fine minerality emerged in the mouth while stronger and somewhat more immediately evident notes of lemon zest, orange zest, and asparagus appeared. I also detected subtle impressions of toasted sweet corn, straw, hazelnut, kale, and bamboo. The third infusion saw the nose turn very fine and light, with a ghostly mineral presence appearing. Even stronger and more dominant lemon zest, orange zest, and asparagus notes were evident in the mouth, though this time they were balanced by amplified bamboo and toasted sweet corn flavors. A slightly stronger baked bread note also appeared along with hints of spearmint, sugarcane, coriander, and marshmallow. The fourth infusion saw the mineral presence on the nose strengthen and take on something of a marine quality reminiscent of sea salt or sea spray. More of a vegetable broth presence emerged on the palate with pronounced mineral, sugarcane, lemon zest, orange zest, and asparagus notes. Slightly stronger impressions of spearmint, coriander, and marshmallow were also present, and fresh hints of sea salt and moss appeared as well. The fifth and final infusion did not offer much in terms of aroma. The tea’s bouquet was mild and heavy on mineral character with traces of toasted sweet corn and grass remaining. The tea liquor had washed out greatly at this point, though very subtle citrus zest, asparagus, chestnut, lettuce, grass, spinach, kale, spearmint, coriander, moss, sea salt, cream, and butter hints could still be detected under a bed of soft minerality.

This was an absolutely fantastic sencha. The tea liquor it produced was vibrant, gorgeously textured, incredibly complex, and almost unbelievably refined. I loved the way the tea evolved over the course of my review session. Each infusion offered something unique and different on the nose and in the mouth. Fortunately, What-Cha still stocks this tea. Make a point of trying it if you have yet to get around to it.

Flavors: Asparagus, Bamboo, Bread, Broth, Butter, Chestnut, Coriander, Cream, Grass, Green Apple, Hazelnut, Honey, Kale, Lemon Zest, Lettuce, Marshmallow, Mineral, Moss, Orange Zest, Pear, Salt, Seaweed, Snow Peas, Spearmint, Straw, Sugarcane, Sweet, Zucchini

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

77

Well, how’s it going everyone? Me, I am so far behind. I had planned on getting through two full review notebooks before the end of the year, and that is not happening. I’ve been extremely busy this month and have not been able to motivate myself to spend much time on Steepster when I’ve had free time. I was hoping to pop back on here and get at least two or three reviews posted today, but it is looking like I’ll be fortunate to get this one wrapped up before I have to get back to work.

This was one of my more recent sipdowns, coming from around late October or early November. This was likely the last Japanese green tea of the year for me. I think it was the only one I had left in my collection at the time I finished my pouch of it. It was also a tea that I found to be a bit difficult to rate. It was not bad, but it did not offer the most consistent drinking experience from cup to cup or session to session.

I prepared this tea in the Western style. I started off by steeping approximately 3 grams of loose tea leaves in 8 fluid ounces of 158 F water for 1 minute. Four additional infusions followed. The second infusion lasted 30 seconds and was done with 163 F water. The third infusion made use of 168 F water and lasted 45 seconds. The fourth infusion lasted 1 minute 30 seconds and was done with 173 F water. The fifth and final infusion lasted 3 minutes and was done with 178 F water. Just to be clear, all infusions made use of 8 fluid ounces of water.

Prior to the first infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of baked bread, grass, peas, butter, and seaweed. After infusion, I detected new aromas of minerals, zucchini, summer squash, and asparagus. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, asparagus, butter, baked bread, balsam, grass, zucchini, peas, and summer squash that were balanced by subtler impressions of marshmallow, seaweed, hay, lemon, and honey. The second infusion brought out a clearer and stronger asparagus aroma alongside scents of cream and parsley. A slight earthiness emerged in the mouth with a somewhat stronger seaweed presence, a clear parsley note, and hints of minerals, green wood, straw, lettuce, chestnut, sugarcane, and green apple. The third infusion saw the tea’s bouquet bizarrely die away, while stronger mineral, lettuce, and green apple notes made themselves known in the mouth. The fourth infusion did not offer up much at all in terms of aroma, though surprisingly strong butter, grass, sugarcane, and honey notes emerged in the mouth with hints of vanilla and carrot in tow. The final infusion again did not offer much on the nose. The tea liquor lightened and softened, becoming very creamy and subtly vegetal with pronounced butter notes, a faint sweetness, and a heavier mineral presence.

Ehh, this was not a terrible sencha, but it was also somewhat disappointing for me. I loved what the first two infusions brought to the table, but the final three left a lot to be desired. Compared to some of the other Obubu senchas I have tried, this was a more rustic and less refined offering, and it sadly lacked the staying power of some of their finest teas. Still, it was far from terrible and was worth trying for what the first couple of infusions had to offer. For now, I’m going to classify this tea as something I’m glad I tried but probably will not be in any rush to have again.

Flavors: Asparagus, Bread, Butter, Carrot, Chestnut, Cream, Earth, Grass, Green Apple, Green Wood, Hay, Honey, Lemon, Lettuce, Marshmallow, Mineral, Parsley, Peas, Seaweed, Squash, Straw, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Zucchini

Preparation
3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
CrowKettle

Aww, glad you’re ok if busy!

Don’t think I’ve ever had an Autumn Obubu Sencha. Interesting, but sounds like I’d want a small amount only :P

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

This will be my final review of the day unless plans change. I’m dipping into my vast backlog again with this one. The first of the 2018 and 2019 Old Ways Tea samples I polished off during my sample drinking spree that started in late 2020, this one definitely comes from last year. I knew this was basically intended to be treated as a value offering by the folks at Old Ways Tea, but I was surprised to discover that it was actually a very good, solid Wuyi black tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 fluid ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of orchid, nectarine, blood orange, tangerine, cinnamon, and pine. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted almond and roasted peanut that were accompanied by subtler scents of smoke and nutmeg. The first infusion then added a cherry aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of orchid, cherry, tangerine, blood orange, roasted almond, grass, and roasted peanut that were chased by hints of cinnamon, pear, nectarine, and pomegranate. The majority of the subsequent infusions added grass, mineral, red grape, hay, violet, and a stronger nutmeg scent to the tea’s bouquet. Stronger and more immediately detectable notes of pear, pomegranate, and nectarine emerged in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, cream, malt, orange zest, baked bread, peach, plum, red grape, nutmeg, and violet. I also detected hints of smoke, hay, and pine here and there. As the tea faded, the liquor continued to emphasize notes of minerals, grass, roasted almond, malt, orange zest, tangerine, and cherry that were chased by lingering hints of red grape, plum, baked bread, orchid, blood orange, pomegranate, roasted peanut, and violet.

This tea displayed a wonderful mix of aromas and flavors, but it was not as refined or as balanced as it could have been. It had everything that would have made it an absolute knockout of an offering otherwise. As is, it was not even remotely close to being a bad offering, but I felt that it could have been much better than it was and represented something of a missed opportunity overall.

Flavors: Almond, Blood Orange, Bread, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Grapes, Grass, Hay, Malt, Mineral, Nectarine, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Plum, Pomegranate, Smoke, Tangerine, Violet

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

Location

KY

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer