46 Tasting Notes


Still great! Used a LOT more dry leaf this time, which filled up almost half of my small gaiwan. Sadly I was distracted and by default used cooler (190ish) water for the first two brews, only remembering to go for just off-boiling for the third. No biggie. I mixed the first and third to fill a mug. But the second one was juuuuust right. Even when room temperature. I don’t know why I keep mentioning that. Maybe it’s just a sign that this tea is really tasty to me.

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drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
46 tasting notes

Yummy for breakfast, with my PB&J sammich. I actually left my packet of Sencha Fuka-Midori at a friend’s house and only recently retrieved it, so for almost a month I was drinking mostly chinese greens. Today, reunited with my tea, I was reminded why there was a time early this year when I just HAD to have my morning sencha at the office. If not, I’d get really snappy by 9:30 a.m. You do not want snappy. I have pointy objects in reach at my desk.

To be completely honest though, I can’t really tell the difference yet between this tea and my cheaper Japanese supermarket sencha. Can’t afford the premo stuff now either, which is a shame, what with Shincha season around. But for now, I love this for what it is: a good staple.

And oh crap I forgot to try this out with my banko houhin. (d’oh!) Next time.

PS. I have to make a not-so-secret confession. After my second steep I peered into my kyusu and those slices of leaves just looked so delish so I reached in a pinched me a bit and gave it a nibble. heh-heh… It’s actually not bad. But I still felt sheepish about it, for some reason. But why should I? I’ve read you can really eat the leaves anyway. So there’s nothing wrong with me, right? Right?? Gah. Joins Tea Leaf Eaters Anonymous

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Tea leaves are edible, so you’re not weird at all! I say, if you like it then eat with gusto!


haha, good to know. thanks!

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Flash rinse, then short infusions. The taste is satisfying, but the first three brews smelled very, uhm, fishy. The fourth onwards were alright. I think I’ll let this one air out a bit more to adjust to my climate. Then will try again. ^^

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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drank Genmai Cha by Adagio Teas
46 tasting notes

Brewed about a tablespoon of leaves in my kokoro kyusu (heh, that sounds funny. I feel like I’m making an animal sound but anyway) from Den’s Tea. Yum. Nice to have after dinner. I poured a cup out for my mom first, then I waited a bit more then poured my share out on ice. It was gone in 5 glugs. Iced genmaicha is great! Was able to get a good second infusion out of this. And I suspect the used rice puffs will be a yummy snack with a bit of brown sugar. Hmm…

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drank Pi Lo Chun by Adagio Teas
46 tasting notes

I’ve tried brewing this in a gaiwan about thrice before, with lots of leaf and short infusions, and my results were always off. Either my water must be too hot or my brew times too long. Anyway, just for fun, I tried two pinches of this tea in my 120ml yixing (that’s right. I was probably high on my flu meds o_o) and… steeped for about 2 mins, got the best tasting brew I had so far. However, the second brew came out a little clay-ey, where I could taste the metallic (iron?) factor of the pot.

Would probably not do this in a yixing again. :P However, will def do western style from now on, in my small gaiwan. Also, will try the ‘top-throw’ method, of adding the water to the leaves, instead of pouring water over the leaves. Yay tea-experimenting!

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drank Ali Shan by Adagio Teas
46 tasting notes

Previously I’ve brewed this western style, with good results. Today I tried 5g in my 100ml gaiwan. 10 second rinse. THEN: I got distracted by the election results on TV (first time I voted today, yay!) and completely overbrewed it. _ I was trying to go for [20, 15, 20, 30, 45 etc], but ended up doing something like [30, 20, 35, 55, 70?, 3 mins??]. You know what I’m not even sure. I was counting silently in my head then it got all jumbled when those heavily hairsprayed people with extremely white teeth on TV started rattling out other numbers.

But thankfully this tea still came out alright, despite my mishandling. I drank all steeps, shared some with my mom, and she even asked for seconds. I did manage to pull together enough attentiveness to get one fantastic brew though, I think it was the third. Now if only I could repeat that…

{_falls on knees_} I’m so sorry Alishan! Next time I promise to accord you the mindful brewing you deserve! ;_;

195 °F / 90 °C

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drank Dancong Aria by Adagio Teas
46 tasting notes

It’s okay (= not horrible!) brewed Western style in a glass teapot.

And because I was feeling ornery, I poured an extra-strong brew into little plastic baggies and popped them in the freezer to make little ice lollies. A few hours later, peel off plastic, pop into glass/water bottle, pour lukewarm water/tea over it… Et viola! Iced Tea made from, uh, iced tea. .’

PS. Belated Happy Mother’s Day!

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This is for the 2009 Spring Buddha Hand, that I got on sale. Admittedly at first sip it didn’t make such an impression, but after a week of letting it settle in its new home, I tried again.

The first steep was at around 1 minute. I didn’t weigh but the dry leaves covered the bottom of my gaiwan. And just to try something out, I used off boiling water (around 95C). Previously I used water that was a little cooler, but I guess this experiment paid off because all I can say is: YUM! I don’t know if it’s supposed to taste like this but it’s like soy milk! It feels so nommy in the mouth, too. So… creamy. Even when it cooled/lukewarm down it was still good.

I steeped the second infusion for less than 30 seconds, and the third at 40-ish, and they came out a little bland. Maybe because I tried a lower temperature. So next time, I’m using off-boiling water for all infusions.

Side note: I gave my mom a glass whistling kettle for mother’s day (Happy Mother’s Day all cool Steepster moms!), and, uhm, borrowed it from her for this session. This is probably the dorkiest thing to say but it was really neat seeing the fish-eye, crab-eye, string of pearls thing going on through the glass. Can’t get that in a plastic/metal electric kettle. So now I’m trying to figure out a way to strap on a thermometer to the kettle so I can practice on eyeballing the temperature through the size of the bubbles.

Last note: omg GIANT LEAVES! No wonder, Buddha Hand. I had a ‘doh!’ moment with that one. The things you learn everyday.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Jin Xuan by Floating Leaves
46 tasting notes

I quite like a good Jin Xuan for breakfast, and this really hit the spot this morning. 5 grams in my 120mL yixing, brewed for good five rounds (30-60, 40, 40, 50, 65) then I surrendered. When my mom arrived near lunchtime I was able to squeeze out two more rounds (wasn’t really counting, probably under two minutes) to fill a huge mug for her. I love this tea. Along with baozhong and alishan, formosa oolongs have been topping my list this month. I really should try more greens…

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drank Gyokuro by Adagio Teas
46 tasting notes

For the last of my tea experiments for the day, I tried the ice-brew method. I layered about a tablespoon of this gyokuro at the bottom of my banko houhin and plopped a chunk of ice on it. 45 minutes later when the ice melted I took a sip and it was like…. cold veggie stew. I get the sweet, and happily no bitter, but I feel this will probably taste better to me when just a little warm. But this was really fun to try. Might revisit this method again, with ice made from a different source of water.

Iced 8 min or more

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My favorite teas: Chinese greens, Formosa oolongs (especially Alishan), and Matcha.

I’m not fond of black or flavored teas.

I love tiny gaiwan.


Doha, Qatar

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