Initial tasting notes for a Japanese black tea I recently purchased.

The tea leaves look small and broken like Qimen. Not that I mind a such thing, just mentioning it.

First I steeped it with the directions that were mailed along with the tea. About 3g of tea and 120-150ml of water at 3mins. I tasted notes of apple, something grainy, astringent and bitter. Not a great start, so I made a new pot and used more water to even out the bitterness; about 200ml of water.

The second attempt wasn’t bitter at all and I was able to focus my attention more on the lovely flavours of this tea; cinnamon, apple, spices, and grains. The tea body itself is nice because there is enough depth and an edge/bite to keep it interesting.

Very tasty tea, but I am not a fan of the given directions (perhaps it works better for their other black teas). Both the tea leaf appearance and flavour remind me a bit of Qimen black teas. So I would recommend this to people who enjoy Qimen types, but also to anyone looking to try black tea from Japan. With the right method, this tea tastes absolutely wonderful. It’s full of flavour and has a charm of its own. It’s a bit pricey but worth getting if you want to treat yourself. :)

First tea: 120ml of water, Second attempt: 200ml. 1 tsp of tea for each cup, 1 steep

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Feel free to add me on Steepster, I’ll probably add you back. :)

I don’t log tea every time I drink it. Tasting notes tend to be about either one style of brewing or a new experience. It is helpful for me to look back on my notes and see what a tea tasted like or which steeping parameter worked best for me. I try to mostly short steep tea unless it only tastes better with a long steep. I’d rather experience what a tea tastes like over 3 or 12 steeps than just 1 to 3 long steeps.

When I write “tsp”, the measurement I use is a regular western teaspoon. Not a tea scoop

How I rate tea:

99-100: Teas that blow my mind! An unforgettable experience. Savoured to the last drop. I felt privileged to drink this.

90-98: Extraordinary, highly recommended, try it and you won’t be disappointed (and if you are, mail me the tea!)

85-89: Wonderful, couldn’t expect more but not a favourite.

80-84: Excellent, a treasured experience but not a favourite.

70-79: Good but could be better. Above average.

60-69: Average, unexceptional, not something I would buy again. Slightly disappointed. I’d rather drink water.

50-0: Varying degrees of sadness

No rating: Mixed feelings, can’t decide whether I like it or not, not enough experience with that sort of tea to rate it. A dramatic change of heart.


Ontario, Canada

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