107 Tasting Notes
The taste of this new tea isn’t as bold as the others I have tasted before. It has a lighter taste to it, almost airy and transcendental like a fleeting summer breeze, leaving an unconventional aftertaste that still appeals to my taste buds. I feel that there is almost a slight metallic tinge to it, which is an alien concept to me in the world of tea. Thankfully, it’s not overpowering as if I just had just eaten raw iron, but for those who can’t handle new experiences, the aftertaste can’t be easily ignored. Personally I prefer something more wholesome, so if anything, this new tea leaves me wanting a different kind of tea. This tea was prepared with 180F of 1 1/2 cups of water. With a sweet-smelling aroma, this tea is for people who want a lighter taste as opposed to a fresh, from-the-ground, earthy, tangy kind of taste.
The flavor of the this tea has a rich and earthy flavor with gentle, subdued tones while also retaining its depth. Compared the culinary grade (from another brand), this tea is not bitter at all, though I would be hard-pressed to describe it in other means, though it is by no means bland or unremarkable. On the contrary, I would say that if done in the hands of a professional, one could draw its immense depth and elevate the taste of this tea to its fullest potential. I poured 2 cups of water 170 degrees Fahrenheit (76 in Celsius) in 1 tbsp of matcha. I mixed it as well and thoroughly as I could and it tasted great despite my expectations! The aroma smelled liked ceremonial grade tea and there’s no sweet taste to it, as mentioned earlier. Overall, it is good matcha tea and I wouldn’t mind using it everyday and would recommend it to someone who wants to try tea for the first time.
again, I can’t help but fish out a similar black from my cupboard to taste beside this sample! so out came my Pure Gold black tea.
disclaimer: I do not usually steep gongfu but that should change soon.
they both looked the same, more or less, with this Superfine looking just a bit more golden. they both smelled nice too! (sigh)
first steep: Pure Gold tasted sweet (have to admit that to my simple tastebuds that is almost always the first flavor that i notice, lol) and Superfine, it was also good..
after a couple more steepings, I can say that this has stronger cocoa notes and yes this is a stronger tea than the other but it is just right. It is my first Tan Yang and so I probably shouldn’t compare it with a Yunnan? anyways, I gotta lot more learning to do on Chinese blacks XD
I thought Dragon Pearls would be bigger coz of the name but it is the same size as my other Jasmine Pearl…steeped side by side with equal amounts.
i read that it is better to steep green tea by soaking them in a bit of regular temp water then adding the warm water later so i tried that here and behold, it was perfect. haha
my other pearl has a stronger flavor but in the 3rd steeping, the delicateness of Teavivre’s Dragon shone through like a beam of light and suddenly, the other pearls I’ve tried seemed too strong.
sipping this tea is like sipping the flower itself! and God knows that throughout my life, i have held many a jasmine flower to my nose until it was all squished up so i should know!
I wonder what it will be like to brew this with hotter water? I was pretty conservative with the temp for these greens.
I just read recently an opinion that high quality Chinese teas can and should be steeped with higher temperature water to bring out the true flavors. The author thought that since we have tended to have lower quality teas available in the west, the lower temps are needed to overcome the inadequacies, but truly high quality tea needs higher temps. An interesting thought. I have always stuck with the lower temps for greens and whites but I admit that I don’t buy a lot of greens and they are probably not the best quality when I do. The known high quality whites I get from Shang don’t suffer at all from higher temps though so that makes me curious to try a high quality green that way.
I was also thinking that quality leaves can be steeped at higher temp :) However both got bitter. Teavivre’s got just a bit more bitter so i just mixed the two of them to balance out and put them on cold steep (end of experiment) Sorry I am not too scientific about it – my thermometer broke and I have no way to measure temp.
Yeah, I would put Teavivre in the high quality category. Likely, the real truth is variable depending on growing season, processing, etc. And I rarely measure temp accurately. I heat to boiling and then let cool till I think it’s good. :) Not very scientific and not easily repeatable but I tend to drink forgiving teas. :)
this did not get any time to cool down…it was sipped off way before that happened. it has a really nice grape flavor hmmmm just how i would like my wine to taste – and without the alcohol to boot!
note to self: when steeping 2 similar looking teas side by side, unbox teas in separate areas. i almost mixed up this one and the heavily roasted! but thank goodness, i can see the slight difference in color as this was just the teeniest bit greener. the color of the brewed tea did show that i was right – and i had put this in my white teapot while the other in my brown kyusu (haha, sorry purists, it was the only other pot i had available!)
on to the taste: like i have read, i fall under the majority preferring lightly/moderately roasted! thank you Teavivre for helping me figure this one out with your nice teas!
this one is naturally sweet but i need to steep it longer (for a minute or so) vs my usual less than a minute steep to get my desired strength but it’s all good coz the instructions say 1-3 minutes. and freshly boiled water (some oolongs need lower temperature and shorter steeps to avoid getting bitter but apparently the really good quality ones like this allow/need higher temp and longer steeps).
edit: i think cold steep can work nicely with quality oolongs..imna try it with these two (heavily and moderately roasted) soon!
oolongs are harder to steep, i think! i like that it doesnt get bitter so easily and i can steep it over a minute no problem. but maybe not for 3 coz it does get every slightly bitter along the way. i got more of the tgy taste in this one but like the sweetness of the lightly roasted oolong more :)
on the other hand…the flavor of this remains for more steeps. i think i will enjoy this more gongfu style or shorter more frequent steeps
I recommend mixing these two organic nonpareil oolongs (heavily and moderately roasted) together in later steeps to mix the deep and sweet flavors if you are steeping them side by side just for fun :)
edit: i have just tried a reserve oolong and wondered how such an expensive tea can taste so meh. but i had no other teas on me the whole day i was out and thank God, it started to turn sweeter! ah, tea discoveries! so…im gonna try to steep these two lovely iron goddesses again and see how far i can go with them!