24 Tasting Notes
Basic genmaicha – inexpensive but drinkable. Medium-light tea, though not particularly flavorful. It’s said that Maeda-en is the equivalent of Lipton’s – consistent, reasonably priced, but lacking the pungency of better genmaicha. Pretty resistant to overbrewing.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Nutty
This Darjeeling tea has leaves about 3/4" in size and good quality. The color, steeped, is a light brown, and I really liked the freshness; the tea was packed only a month before shipping, and sent in a vacuum sealed container. A full flavor, but not harsh at all. Definite Muscatel flavor, but don’t look for spicy or peppery notes.
Flavors: Butter, Malt, Smooth
The leaf is a darker green, smaller rolled tea, somewhat irregular. Infused, the aroma was tart, with a touch of astringency. However, on the taste, there’s nothing remotely astringent here. The liquor is medium yellow, and the taste is floral, slightly smoky, with an assertive sweetness underneath. Very similar to the flavor of a good yellow tea.
The leaves are mostly buds with two or three leaves – a nicely made tea. It’s the kind of tea that works even better with repeated tastings under different conditions. Quite flavorful.
Brandy oolong is oxidized at around 90%, and the leaves are picked in summer. As a result, the flavor is deeper and more pronounced. This particular tea received recognition at the North American Tea Championship.
The hard, dry leaves were individually rolled irregularly into small green “pearls,” and are uniformly dark green in color. The unsteeped aroma is a predictably vegetal. The tea itself is not unlike a smoky Yunnan black, with a small amount of sweetness on the finish. Very flavorful – ideal as a breakfast waker-upper.
Each leaf is rolled into a roughly 1/4 inch pellet. Medium green color, with occasional brown stems; fresh, green oolong aroma.
Infused, the aroma is like cooked asparagus, and the taste is similar: healthful and satisfying. Clear, light/medium green liquor. Each pellet of Jade Oolong opens into a tip and two leaves. Surprisingly smooth body for this flavorful tea. An interesting “change of pace” tea.
The dry leaf is dark green with what looks like whitish buds. It has a peachy aroma, maybe a touch of candy-like sweetness. The infused aroma is like honey with a slight astringency.
On the taste, the flavor is very restrained, with absolutely no astringency here, mixing honey and lychee and an afterthought of lemon; and as is the case with most Oriental Beauty, it’s very subdued; by adding more tea than usual, the flavor is very appealing. This version has been pressed into a tea cake, an inventive way to make its appearance unique and enjoyable.
Before steeping, the leaves are fragrant, with roasty notes – very promising. The liquor is a dark amber, and the flavor is elegant, smooth, and with a touch of rock flavor. I couldn’t taste the “fruity” notes promised in the online blurb, either in the aroma or flavor. It’s even better if you let the tea cool a bit, when you can appreciate the quality of preparation. One of the more expensive DHP’s.
Before steeping, the aroma is noticeably less roasty than your typical Da Hong Pao. The liquor is a surprising deep amber, though the liquor is like a cross between a DHP and a Tie-Guan-Yin; you can even see a few greenish tea leaves among the brown. This is a lightly toasted tea, but this gains distinction with the floral flavor notes and rich color. If you don’t care for its floral notes, you should have success mixing with other DHPs to give more balance to the taste. A quality tea.
The tightly-rolled leaves have a sweet aroma somewhere between vanilla and taffy – you’d almost think that this was some kind of dessert tea. After steeping for four or so minutes, the candy aroma remains in the wet leaves, which are are mostly half-broken. The color of the liquid is a light greenish yellow, and the flavor delicate – but still has restrained taffy flavor. The leaves are so tightly rolled that it’s easy to overestimate the leaves required for a full steeping, but the tea remains somewhat sweet and one-dimensional.
It’s hard to tell if this is one of the “artificially flavored” milk oolongs, but the taste of this batch is unappealing to me.