17 Tasting Notes

drank Sencha Yamanoibuki by Tealand.sk
17 tasting notes

A very good quality sencha. Just opened the bag today, fresh grassy and sweet fragrance came out. Took out the leafs…really nice quality. Dark green plastic color, quite long leafs, no dust, clean work.
Followed the instructions from the supplier, steeped for 1 minute in 65C water. Feels like the right temp and time for this tea.
The beverage was very clean, had bright green color. Smelled kind of sweet. The taste was strong but very harmonic. It was a bit more fruity than other senchas. It left a nice long fruity aftertaste in my mouth. Was very satisfied i just wish they made it more grassy. On the other hand it doesn’t go like “boom” but is more like a very calm and wise old man :) It’s a good tea to drink it all day long.
The second time i steeped it for 45 sec., i know that almost every japanese tea gets stronger during the second steeping. Was a right decision. Even with the 45 sec. it was stronger than the first one.
Can take like 4 steeps..pretty standard. Next time i’ll give it some more leafs, let’s see if something pops up. Anyway, i think this is a very good sencha. I had better ones, but not for such a price (50g for 13EUR).

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I just recieved a package from our local tea shop – tealand.sk. Lots of high quality teas and also some free samples.
The first thing i tried was this Long Ding (not Long Jing) – a chinese tea where only the buds (young leafs) are used. This is a premium quality tea, you can see that the leafs are approx. the same size, no dust, no crippled leafs. Frangrance is very strong and grassy. Looks like a very good chinese green.
Steeped for 45 sec. like the suplier adviced. Looks like it was the right amount of time. The beverage had a pretty light green color. Though it will also taste very light like the an ju bai cha. But i was wrong, the taste was also like the fragrance of the dry leafs – strong and grassy, but also with a light flowery aroma. Almost taste like good Bi luo chun, but without the fruity aroma. The liquor was creamy and pure.
It’s a very good quality tea, but….it is pretty similar to most of the chinese teas, it doesn’t give you a special aroma and taste like bi luo chun or long jing (dragonwell). Even though it’s not special, it’s very good.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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drank Ben Shan Oolong by Tealand.sk
17 tasting notes

This is an spring oolong. Precise production, very good quality leafs, very light oxidation (about 10-15%), nice green color and fresh smell.
I’m kind of surprised by the quality. Didn’t expect that for such a price. Usually you can get a Tie Guan Jin of such quality for about 2-3x this price.
I love lightly oxidized oolongs. They have a very light aroma with a nice flowery guidance.
I’m steeping it for about 1:30 minutes and the 5-6th steeping for about 2-3 minutes. The liquor has a bright brownish color, very pure and smell nice flowery. You can get some more aroma via gong fu cha, but it’s also fine using a “normal” method.
This is a very light tea, really reflects spring. Can be drunk all day long (also because you can steep it like 6-7 times). I don’t really like jasmine teas or any other teas with additional aromas. In this case the flowery armoa is created during the oxidation process, which is really beautiful.
A very good tea for a very good price, what else does a tealover need? Well, i wish they had it on stock, unfortunately it’s sold out :< Need to live with Tie guan jin’s until the next spring..

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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I picked this tea up when i was travelling through Japan. This one was brought in Kyoto and also producet in Kyoto. 5200 yen for 100g..quite a good price for high quality Gyokuro.
On the leafs you can see that they put quite some effort into the producing – nice long leafs, pretty dark green color and very fresh smell.
The tea (like all the other gyokuros) loves rather colder water – something about 60-65C. Also the steeping time shouldn’t be more than 40 seconds. Can be steeped like 4 times, the 5th is very faint.
The liquor is creamy, has a very nice bright green color and nice smell. Not only the appearance of this tea was high quality but also the taste. I can’t imagine how those for 30000yen taste. Must be godlike! Unfortunately i don’t travel that much to Japan :<
Anyway..as expected the taste is pure harmony, nothing sticks out too much. Each piece of the puzzle is on the right place. You can feel the love put into this tea. I usually prefer high quality sencha before gyokuro, i think sencha is more fun, but sometime you want something special..something that makes you feel special. Can this be achieved by drinking tea? I think yes. Definitely pick this up if you see it somewhere.

160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec

Wow, sounds like quite the experience. There’s something to be said for getting tea at its source.

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drank Xin Yin Yu Lu by Teatrade.sk
17 tasting notes

A chinese tea wanting to be a japanese one? When i saw this in the shop i knew i want to taste it. Chinese teas are usually pan fried and japanese teas are usually steamed. So this was quite a surprise. The leafs look like high quality sencha – quite long and nice in color. The smell was ok, fresh and green. Also almost like a sencha. So where is the difference? In the taste of course.
The first steeping can be quite long – like 1 minute. I used quite a lot leafs (1:5 water). There was a slight bitterness, but also a nice sencha-like taste. Very good.
The second time a steeped only for 30 sec. Even after this short time the brew was quite bitter and the taste started to resemble a bit more the tradicional chinese teas. The green fresh taste and the bitter taste were quite is sync. Both very powerfull. The 3rd and 4th steeping were less bitter, but you could still feel it.
This tea is not for everyone. If you don’t like the bitter taste, you won’t like it. It’s not possible to get enough flavour from the leafs without having it bitter. On the other hand, if you don’t mind the bitterness (it’s not this bad bitter taste like if you leave the tea steeping for too long), it’s a very interresting tea. You can play with it quite a lot. After finishing you can see the really nice leafs – quite good quality. This one behaves like a real mutant :)
..but for a good price: around 7Euros for 100g (and only 1/3 as bitter as Ku Ding >_<).

165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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I need to say i loved the “deep steamed” version of the sencha since the first time i drank it. If somebody asks me if i like asamushi, chumushi or rather fukamushi sencha there’s no way i could answer that. The fukamushi sencha is a class itself. So what’s the difference?
As far as i know the deep steeming (or fukamushi) is rather a new method of steaming teas. It’s used only since the 60’s. Some people don’t like it, because the huge amount of steam breaks the leafs into smaller pieces. On the other hand it allows the tea to better and faster give out the flavour and colour.
In the past i used the buy the “plain” fukamushi sencha and now i tried out the superior version.
Looking at the leaves i can see that there are more bigger parts than in the plain version. Other that that i only noticed a more richer flavour with very long and pleasant aftertaste.
Prepearing this particular type of sencha without a kyusu can be pretty anoying. The very small particles of the tea will bung the strainer all the time if you have a really fine one. With a kyusu it’s a pleasure to work with. Since it’s a fine tea, you need to use water about 60-70 degrees celsium, not more. Steeping time is about 40 sec. at the 1st infusion and about 30 sec. for all the next infusions. Can take about 5, which is pretty good for a japanese tea.
The liquor is very heavy and has a very nice bright green color. You really need to see that! The taste is not as fresh and light as a high quality chumushi/asamushi, but it’s very deep, with several layers you can feel after having it for some time on the tongue. The aftertaste is very long lasting. One of the advantages of the fukamushi is that you don’t as many leafs to get a rich beverage as with a normal sencha.
This is something you really need to try. For me it’s a sencha which should always be ready in my tea locker :)
If you are not afraid to get an overwhelming green tea experience, go get it before it gets you! Muhaha.

160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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drank Bi Luo Chun by The Fragrant Leaf
17 tasting notes

Bi Luo Chun is definitely something every tealover should try out. The speciality about the tee is that a lot of fruit trees are growing in the same are as the tea is produced. The tea absorbs the fragrance from the trees during the growth and therefore has a great smell and special taste. The tea was once known under the name “astounishing fragrance” (or something like that), but later on it was renamed to a “more befitting” name by an emperor who loved the tea.
The tea leaves are small and curly with lot of white tips (depends on the grade). The frangrance is astounishing as the legend says – very powerfull and intensive. The taste is very deep with several layers. You can feel fruity tastes and the taste of a classic chinese pan fried tea. This is the one and only genuine fruitea!
The tea tastes better when brewed with not so hot water..about 70-75 degrees celsium. Steeping time should be about 50-60 seconds. Can be steeped many times 4-6 times.
I really advice to brew this tea using the gong fu cha method to bring out all the frangrances and tastes.
Highly recommended.

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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