44 Tasting Notes

I have to say this first: my colleague liked this best, out of the four teas we tasted today. This one was my least favorite.

Dried, not-yet-brew tea leaves smelled smoky to both of us. I also smelled
charcoaled dark wood.

I found this tasting astringent, no sweetness, golden, a little bit smoky, a tiny little bit malty.

Brewed tea leaves looked to be broken leaves to me.

I don’t like the astringency in this one.

Flavors: Astringent, Dark Bittersweet, Hot hay

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 145 ML
boychik

5 min is a lot. With FF I usually try 2.5-3 min. Otherwise it’s too astrigent.

Louise Li

Oh yes, I usually use a gaiwan for darjeeling teas in gung fu style.
But we were having a mini tasting session using tea tasting cups. Some books I had read said steep time should be 5min for tasting. Or, did I remember that wrong?

boychik

I dont know. so many times books or companies list parameters which dont work ;(

Louise Li

I shall research some more :)

K S

My recollection is professional tasting is not intended to bring out the best flavor. It is to expose the weakness. The water is usually too hot and the time too long. You might try a shorter steep before you write this one off.

Louise Li

Ah… that makes sense. Thanks :)
I plan to bring them home and use my gaiwan on them eventually.
Actually they are all 10g samples.

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It’s sweet, light, a little green. I tasted green beans, seaweed.
My colleague smelled blueberry, and I smelled very floral notes and soy beans in the dry tea leaves.

My colleague LOVED this tea. I like it alright, I certainly can have this again.

Flavors: Green Beans, Seaweed, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 145 ML

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Slightly tangy, golden, roasting bamboo. A light bodied black tea.

I don’t like the tangy-ness in this.

Flavors: Bamboo, Hay, Tangy

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 145 ML

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It’s sweet, floral, a little green. Silky, with high clarity and light bodied.
I love it :)

Flavors: Floral, Hay, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 145 ML

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First steep: 1min, aroma: Jasmine, taste: floral, green, fresh

Second steep: 1m15s, aroma: golden hay, tastes: sweet, golden, honey, roasting popcorn

Third steep: 1m30s, aroma: floral, tastes: white sugar, white soba (buckwheat) noodles

Flavors: Honey, Jasmine, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

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84

I liked this chai better than the India’s Original version.

With the tulsi basil and nutmeg in this chai, I found it tasting very dimensional, sophisticated and with a great depth. I just wish I had a stove at the shop, so that I could get more “tea” taste out of the BOP Assam base.

My colleague found the tea base too weak. I liked the many spices in this.

I think this is a very good masala chai.

Brew note: 2g masala chai tea leaves steeping in 120ml boiling water for 5min. Added 120ml steamed warm milk and 1 teaspoon of white sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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80

This is a very nice, authentic masala chai.

Since I was at the shop, I didn’t have a stove. I tried to make it as close to the real thing as possible by steeping it in the hottest water I could get, and then added steamed milk and some sugar.

It was good, but not as good as the Tulsi Basil version. My colleague liked the robust CTC Assam tea base in this masala chai.

Brew note: 2g masala chai tea leaves steeping in 120ml boiling water for 5min. Added 120ml steamed warm milk and 1 teaspoon of white sugar.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Pepper

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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I tasted sweetness of chinese white almond in this one, I also tasted a little bit of ginseng. Very interesting.

It was slightly smoky, less than grade 1, but more than premium hao ya.

I want to do a tasting session for all the keemun teas I ordered from Teavivre. Gotta order some tasting cup sets.

Flavors: Almond, Malt, Smoke, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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90

I liked this much better than the Grade 1. My colleague preferred the smokier notes of Grade 1 though.

To me, this tasted sugarcane sweet, Japanese black sugar syrup sweet. Sweet and smooth, in a quiet Chinese calligraphy practicing kind of way.

Second steep was as beautiful as the first steep.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Sugarcane

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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88

Since I found it too smoky for my taste last time, I made a weaker brew this time.

3g tea leaves vs. 240ml boiling water for 2 minutes. I like this much better.

It’s sweet, malty, a little bit smoky, and strong. Comparing to Master Matsumoto’s Supernatural Black tea from Postcard Teas, I somehow really wanted to describe this Keemun as masculine.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

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Profile

Bio

Working as a barista. I take my coffee black.
A complete novice in tea.

The world of tea is literally a rabbit-hole.
My boss wanted to put some nice teas on the menu for customers who look for alternatives to coffee, and he asked me to source teas for his coffee shop.
There, I jumped through the rabbit-hole.
I am not sure if I should thank or curse my boss.

I only recently starting to appreciate English black tea.
Particularly enjoy Earl Grey tea, both plain black and with milk.

Location

Hong Kong

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