263 Tasting Notes
Many of this year’s high mountain oolongs fell below expectations, but this was one of the few standouts. Super floral, sweet, and fruity. The smell and taste of the beginning steeps is like tropical flowers and morning dew on a spring day. Very crisp and refreshing. It drops off a bit towards the middle before transitioning to a sweet, fruity flavor with a thick body and some mineral notes. I got 9 good steeps out of this gongfued and about 4-5 western style. When western steeped, the florals are intensified.
Flavors: Flowers, Fruity, Orchid, Sugarcane, Tropical
I know it’s only genmaicha but I really love this one. I had previously bought genmaicha dusted with matcha, but the matcha added extra caffeine that I didn’t need at night and made the liquor murky. This is a high quality genmaicha that’s just regular sencha mixed with puffed brown rice and these popcorn looking pieces. Taste is very smooth and clean. Liquor is a clear, yellowish-green color. Good balance of toasty and grass flavors. It gives several tasty infusions and can easily be blended with matcha or plain sencha for some oomph.
Flavors: Popcorn, Toasted Rice
Wow, this stuff packs a serious lychee wallop. If someone took the essence of lychee and distilled it into tea, I imagine this is what it would taste like. The aroma out of the bag is intoxicating and very powerful. I had a feeling the flavor would be similarly powerful and I was right. This is a very, very sweet tea. It tastes like drinking fruit juice. As it continues steeping, it develops a very perfumey quality that reminds me of rose water and oddly enough, Indian paan masala (a concoction of betel leaf and areca).
I grandpa steeped this in a 10oz glass teapot with just 1.3g of leaf. But this tea is so potent that even this small amount of leaf gave a ton of flavor. As much as I enjoyed the lychee flavoring, I felt it dominated the tea. Next time, I’ll blend this with straight black to balance out the lychee.
Flavors: Lychee, Rose
Brewed this tea following package directions by steeping it like gyokuro style at low temperatures for the first steep and then like Sencha at higher temperature. First steeping tasted like kabusecha, earthy raw grass taste but mellower and without any umami. The next 3 steeps were citrusy with notes of wheat grass, kale, and yuzu.
This tea falls into the earthy category which I find hard to get into. It’s not terrible, but lacks the freshness and sweet grassy flavor of a good sencha.
The first time I tried this tea, I gongufed it and didn’t like the musky, brothy flavor. But not every tea is made for gongfu and in this particular case, generic western steeping actually worked best. I dropped about 7 pearls into a 200ml teapot and brewed it for 3 minutes or so until the leaf began to unfurl. The tea had a lovely sweet incense like aroma. Soft, creamy flavor with a faintly floral aftertaste that reminded me of white tea.
I can see why this is used as a base in jasmine scented tea. The subtle flavor works well in many blends. I added a dried persian rosebud and the tea complemented the rose very nicely.
Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Sweet
I tried Long Feng Xia for the first time a year ago and loved its elegant, citrusy flavor. However this batch from TTC reminded me once again of how drastically the same tea can change from one harvest to the next. It gives wonderful aromas of daffodils and tropical fruit but none of it comes through in taste. The flavor is mostly grassy-vegetal with noticeable astringency that hangs around for the first few steeps. Some fruitiness peeks through later but it’s muted and the flavor is flat overall. It doesn’t have the balsam notes nor the delicate floral quality of LFX of past. A very disappointing tea.
Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Orchid, Vegetal
Backlogged review. Another stellar Laoshan green from Verdant. This one sat in my fridge for 4 months before opening yet still tasted amazingly fresh and packed quite a punch. I love how potent these Laoshan teas are.
Dry leaf has a sumptuous aroma of soybeans and creamed spinach. The brewed tea is rich and vegetal. It’s got the signature soymilk flavor that’s characteristic of Laoshan green teas with slight floral hints and anise. Toasted grains appear in the second steeping along with some brothiness. Later steeps have notes of green bean and a little saffron.
A delicious tea for sure, but to my palate didn’t taste very different from their regular grade green tea.
Flavors: Anise, Cream, Green Beans, Soybean, Spinach
I was surprised at how much I liked this tea. I seldom reach for puerh and my experience with most sheng has been rough to say the least. But this tea was a different story. It’s super smooth without any funk and a mild earthiness that doesn’t overwhelm. Really nice and clean taste. It’s not quite sweet but it’s not bitter either. I’d describe the flavor as a hearty dried prune with a little earthy kick.
The tea brews to a rich, dark cherry wood red liquor that quickly stained my gaiwan brown (note to self: don’t steep this in white porcelain again). There’s next to zero fermentation flavor here. The flavor is quite mellow and aside from a hint of woodsiness and slightly tamer earthiness later, it changed very little in 6 or 7 steeps.
This is a mild ripe puerh that’s great for easy sipping. I enjoyed this one a lot and would recommend it as an introductory tea for puerh newcomers.
If I had to sum up this tea in one word, it would be corn. There’s all sorts of corny aromas and flavors going on here.
The dry leaf smells like matcha popcorn and soybeans. Wet leaf brings out toasted nori.
After a quick first steep of 30s, I got what tasted like warm grass and creamed corn. The corn intensified in the second steep, this time with corn husk and silk notes and accompanied by toasted rice. The flavor smoothens out in the next two steeps and becomes more of a sweet corn on the cob affair.
This was a fun tea to drink. Compared to Chinese and Japanese green teas, there’s less of the vegetal and umami taste you typically encounter. I could see a resemblance to genmaicha in its toasted corn notes. I prefer grassier green teas so I won’t be seeking out this tea in the future, but it’s worth sampling to experience the unique flavor profile of Korean tea.
Flavors: Corn Husk, Popcorn, Toasted Rice
Picked this up from a Steepster stash sale and it turned out to be a good one. Being a flavored milk oolong, the milkiness is definitely assertive but not cloying or fake. The tea has a pleasant aroma of cream and dairy. Taste matches the aroma exactly. A soothing, creamy milk flavor that lasts through many steeps. Eventually the milkiness fades into the background and the tea becomes fruity and sweet.
The milk flavor is natural and doesn’t clash with tea’s own flavor. Not much else left to say except this a simple yet incredibly smooth and delicious tea.
Flavors: Cream, Milk