522 Tasting Notes
Received a sample of this herbal medicinal tea with my Rishi Tea order a long time ago. I had been saving it for a sick day and finally dug it out the other day for my wife who was feeling under the weather.
This tisane has a wonderful, mesmerizing aroma. It smells just like its name. An explosion of sweet candied ginger, tangerine, ginseng, and heady geranium all danced in my nose. It smelled so good I felt like using the mixture as potpourri to perfume the house. Like most Rishi blends though, the taste of the brewed tea wasn’t as exuberant as its smell. An earthy, turmeric-like chalky flavor is the first thing to hit the tongue followed by spicy black pepper and a tingle of ginger. I was really hoping to taste more of the citrus and geranium notes so prominent in the aroma but alas they had tamed down and were barely detectable anymore. There are some other exotic herbs and flavorings in there I’ve never encountered before like ashwagandha root and vana tulsi which added an herbaceous undertone to the tea.
On its own, this is a tad earthy for me but it would be soothing to have when you’re nursing a cold or sore throat. Would reach for this over DAVIDsTea Cold 911 any day.
Flavors: Citrusy, Floral, Ginger, Herbaceous, Medicinal, Pepper, Spicy
Another sample courtesy of Cameron. Made a yummy iced matcha latte with this today. I started by whisking a heaping teaspoon of the matcha powder with a little room temperature water in a mason jar. The slightly yellow tinged powder dissolved easily and turned into a thick, green sludge. Sweetened with a little simple syrup, added ice cubes, and topped off with oat milk before giving everything a good shake.
The result was a rich and creamy matcha, more vegetal than grassy and a touch floral. There’s a nuttiness that I thought was from the oat milk, but upon tasting the matcha on its own, it does indeed have an almondy edge to it. Felt energized, not wired, all morning after I drank this. Really nice and tasted like a better version of my powdered kamairicha.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Nutty, Vegetal
I love the poetic name of this tea. And the beautiful, thin dark needle shaped leaves are just as enchanting as its name. Perfectly intact and pristine leaves that when steeped, unfurl into these glorious large leaves resembling a Taiwanese oolong.
Like the other Obubu teas I’ve tried, this one is mellower than your typical Sencha. Based on both looks and flavor, it also can easily fool you into thinking you’re having a Chinese green tea. There’s virtually no grassiness or umami here. Instead, it’s got a soft vegetal and faintly floral flavor along with some unusual eucalyptus like balmy notes and a touch of incense spice. Pale yellow color instead of the nuclear green liquor that most Japanese greens have.
Thanks for the sample Cameron!
Flavors: Eucalyptus, Floral, Peas, Spices, Vegetal
Spring 2020 harvest. It took a long time to coax any flavor out of this tea. The first few steeps tasted like a generic Chinese restaurant tea. Woodsy with toasted notes of mineral and spice. Pretty one-dimensional and boring. Eventually through, the mustiness cleared to make way for a brighter, cleaner fruity taste with a greener edge and slight sweetness.
Compared to the Taiwanese oolongs I usually drink, this one doesn’t quite measure up. It doesn’t evolve too much over steeps and lacks complexity in flavor.
Flavors: Fruity, Green, Musty, Roasted, Wood
Spring 2020 harvest.
This kamairicha was the last of my spring 2020 shinchas. So I’ve had this one before and I really liked it then. But this time I didn’t find it nearly as enjoyable as last time. Incidentally, this was also the case for many of the Japanese greens I bought last year. Past favorites turned out to be rather “meh.” More reasons why 2020 was such a lousy year.
Anyway, this picking was nuttier and a little less fruity. Heavy body with an oat-like starchiness. Notes of soymilk, aloe, celery, and corn silk. There’s a slight chalkiness that’s left behind in the aftertaste and overall, the flavors feel a bit muddled.
Flavors: Celery, Corn Husk, Fruity, Grain, Milk, Nutty, Oats, Soybean, Straw
Another winner from Lupicia!
This tea was so good I had it three times the day I opened the pouch. I was delicious no matter how I steeped it – hot, cold, or ambient. The smell of this tea is heavenly, like a fresh picked autumn apple from the orchard. The flavoring is spot on. It has a very natural apple taste with real depth and nuance, balanced perfectly by a clean green base, and with the sweetness of honeycrisp. When steeped hot, it’s reminiscent of warm, pure apple cider.
Flavors: Apple, Fruity
Spring 2020 harvest.
I was on a relaxing, zen-like theanine high all Sunday long thanks to this tea. Most of the time I solo brew small amounts of Taiwanese oolong in my 50ml mini shibo. However, the family wanted to join the post-breakfast gongfu session so I broke out my much loved but neglected TTC purple clay pear shaped teapot and doubled my usual leaf quantity. After a few sips though, they wandered off leaving me to drink the rest and I went to town with it.
This was a delicious Ali Shan. Buttery and sumptuously floral with a thick mouthfeel that thoroughly coats the mouth leaving behind a lingering nectar sweetness. I was a little hesitant about brewing with boiling water as Mountain Stream Teas suggested but this brought out a more rounded body and taste without any bitterness – a testament to its quality. And of course it gives a very nice L-theanine buzz! The only knock on this tea is the longevity. It lasted a mere 5 steeps before fading.
I steeped this in my purple clay pot which holds the ghosts of oolongs past. I wonder how much that helped enhance the tea. Will have to brew this in porcelain next time to see how it tastes on its own.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Fruity, Round
Yum, this was a fun, tropical fruit tea. There are these little green rock candy stars sprinkled throughout that add a wonderful sweetness to the tea. Lush, juicy aromas of mango and passion fruit. The tea is malty with a beautiful red color and bright tropical notes of pina colada and mango. Re-steeping produces a cup that’s less fruity but honeyed with soft floral notes of jasmine flowers.
Flavors: Coconut, Jasmine, Mango, Passion Fruits, Pineapple, Tropical
My first tea of 2021 and the second Obubu tea from Cameron’s sample stash.
The smell of this tea is amazing. An intense aroma of fresh seaweed and tender steamed veggies greeted me upon opening the pouch. Like the other Obubu tea I tried, the leaves are pristine. Long, handsome dark green needles reminiscent of a Chinese green. Wet leaf smells like steamed spinach.
The first infusion tasted sweet and grassy, like a summer meadow. Gentle umami and supple mouthfeel. Second steep is brothy with a nice umami finish. Third steep produced vegetal and umami notes rounded out by an ever so slight but enjoyable astringency. An all around great quality, satisfying asamushi Sencha and a good start to the new year.
Instagram Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJg0u92AKSr/
Flavors: Seaweed, Spinach, Umami, Vegetables
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