1379 Tasting Notes
Day 5 – Matcha Advent
There is little to no foam to speak of. I’m not sure if it’s the mini whisk that came with the calendar not being up to the job or if it’s just the Matcha. Perhaps because it’s a blend it just doesn’t foam properly? The third option is me but I am not a new hand at Matcha making and haven’t had problems before with foam.
Flavour is orange and it’s nicer than the lemon one from yesterday. While it’s orange peel and waxy I also taste sweetness and something pulpy which makes for a wonderful after taste. Some astringency again but not much and it works well with the orange peel zesty tones anyway.
It’s also somewhat creamy and very easy to drink. Some dryness in the after taste about half way down my bowl.
I enjoyed this blend though I wasn’t sure I would after yesterdays Lemon Matcha. Even though I don’t have anything to compare this particular flavour with I would still say it was pleasant. Not sure it would be on my to purchase list but something I would happily drink again.
Pictures and more information on my blog.
Day 5 – Siam Tea Advent
Steep One: 2 minutes
Once steeped the resulting liquid is pale yellow in colour and bares very little scent, the only thing I can detect is flowers.
The flavour is also soft yet sweet with a hint of butter and fresh grass. Some dryness in the after taste.
Steep two: 3 minutes
Here we go, the leaves have opened more and unleashed their flavour.
Just like the first steep it’s soft and sweet with floral highs and a buttery finish. I can also taste toasted grass.
Still some dryness though the butter lingers in the mouth. Floral wise it’s on the cusp of reminding me of jasmine though on a milder scale.
Steep three: 4 minutes
Richer and flavourful with toasted grass, dry wood and a jasmine-esque floral finish. Slightly sour but still buttery and mineral tasting. Fresh in other words.
This is my favourite steep so far.
Steep four: 5 minutes
Ah, now it’s similar to the first steep. Very little remains at this point.
The after taste is floral with a hint of grass.
Many pictures and more information on my blog.
Okay so the water may look brown and muddy but it smells like hot chocolate heaven. No foam but it has been mixed very well I can assure you.
Flavour wise this is a lot more subtle than it’s dreamy chocolate scent. It’s light and easy to drink with a hint of hot chocolate in the somewhat dry after taste. No real tea taste to speak of.
Sort of like you’ve run out of milk and cocoa powder and you make yourself a very weak hot chocolate with just water.
It tasted fine it was just too subtle in comparison to the wonderful scent. I will be trying the rest of this as a latte tonight.
Pictures on the blog.
Once steeped the resulting tea is yellow and bares a subtle, earthy, floral scent.
Flavour is stronger than it smells. Very mineral and earthy tasting with a buttery, clay like astringency. Rather sweet too.
Second Steep: 4 minutes
Similar to the first steep in terms of strength. Very sweet yet earthy with a dark, smoky tree flavour. Astringent though pleasant.
Third Steep: 5 minutes
Sweet but very astringent, again it’s in a nice way. More honey like to live up to it’s name. Slightly floral though with a very earthy after taste with some dryness.
Fourth Steep: 6 minutes
Taste wise this is very subtle, even more so than the first initial steep. All that really remains is a sweet essence that lingers with a sour touch in the after taste.
Pictures and more information on my blog.
As soon as the water hit the powder the smell of berries was unleashed. It’s at that point my perspective changed and I adjusted my expectations. The colour is blood red with no foam (as it’s not a Matcha) and it smells refreshing and blackberry like. My partner said it’s like cordial, smell wise. He’s a blackberry fan…I’m not particularly.
Taste wise it’s fairly mild with liquorice giving a refreshing burst to the blackberries (matching the smell) and the earthiness of the beetroot lingers in the after taste. Some sweetness from the Rooibos but not much. Also rather dry in the after taste.
Pics and full review on my blog.
I found this tea in one of my overflow drawers and felt it was overdue a try. Steeping in my ManaTea steeper and a large mug. (Easy steeping while I cross stitch).
This tea bares a wooden and smokey scent in both the raw and steeped forms.
Flavour is smokey with some astringency and a sweet after taste. Wood, leather and burnt bread notes.
It’s actually nicer than I expected. Like a mild Lapsang with a sweet finish. Very autumnal!
The last time I ordered from Grand Tea they were kind enough to include a sample of this Oolong.
The leaves smell so floral and sweet, like honeysuckle, lily, rose and carnations all in one.
Using my gaiwan (it’s new and I wanted an excuse to christen it) was a good choice. The short steeps brought out the sweetness slowly and the floral tones clung to my tongue in the after taste.
If I had to pick one flower to compare to taste it would be lily, the scent of a lily matches the flavour. Matching scents and flavours is different but I hope you understand what I mean?
Further steeps become more buttery and rich to the point where it’s like drinking vegetable water. In a good way. The flowers are now vegetal with broccoli and fresh green spinach notes. Spinach being the dominant of the two, that green almost gritty taste that spinach has…yes! Just like that.
I know why I was craving Oolong now. This is heavenly! It’s been such a long time since an Oolong has given me a glow inside. The leaves are opening up beautifully too, revealing whole, large leaves with a red hue on the edge.
I can see why this tea is sold out.
Opening the packet (like a kid on Christmas morning) I tear back the strip and vice grip the tabs apart. Smoke, rich and dark with wood and charcoal qualities announce themselves with a punch. So strong yet so complex. Much more going on than your average smoked tea.
In appearance the leaves are dark brown and light yet crisp with a few sticks/stems present. They are loosely chopped and vary a little in size.
Steeping Parameters: 3g of leaf – 90C water – 270ml vessel – 3 minutes
Once steeped the liquid is Golden, red/brown and bares a smoky, wooden scent somewhat toned down from it’s raw form.
Flavour is rather mild considering the stronger scent. The first sips are smoky and wooden with some dryness but it quickly dissipates and becomes sweet (like honey) with a lingering aftertaste. No where near as strong as say a Lapsang Souchong, and far more complex in flavour.
As it cools slightly and my mouth is coated in it’s essence I can note the whisky in it’s ever growing sweetness. Malty yet smooth and sweet with a hint of smoke, sounds like a good whisky right? And I am a whisky sorta gal, it’s my poison if you will. Also a fruit note comes through a bit better half way down my cup, like plum or apricot. Sour and sharp but also sweet and juicy.
A good second steep with plenty of smoke and sweetness left to speak of. Perhaps not like honey at this point, more like brown sugar. Still the sweetness comes through in the after taste and it lingers on the tongue, coating my mouth with it’s beautiful glory.
More wooden in this steep too.
Very soft but hints of smoke and sweet fruit remain. A refreshing finish to a complex and flavourful tea.
This tea was frankly everything I wanted and more. Packed with flavour without an overpowering smokiness and delicious throughout each steep. The whisky barrel has added so much depth and sweetness, it was a truly beautiful touch. I achieved all of this with only 3g of leaf, very impressive.
Opening the packet reveals a thin cake with rather full leaves including silver tips that have a high shine. I can see a few sticks/stems but on the whole it looks good.
Scent wise it’s extremely subtle in it’s raw state, slightly wooden and earthy but very little to speak of.
Steeping Parameters: 100ml Gaiwan, 7g leaf, 95C water.
This is going across 8 steeps and will start with a rinse before the first initial tasting.
Steep One – 30 seconds
Very light and floral with a buttery finish.
Steep Two – 20 seconds
Honeysuckle notes with a grassy after taste that remains fresh and sweet. Perhaps a tiny bit astringent.
Steep Three – 25 seconds
Rich, honeysuckle and peony notes with butter and some bitterness. Full of mouthfeel and slightly dry.
Steep Four – 35 seconds
Increasing in strength but still rather soft. The honeysuckle is still strong and there is an increase on the bitterness, though it’s not bitter by any real sense of the word. The after taste also becomes rather dry but not too bad.
Steep Five – 35 seconds
Alright this is different, the strength has increased..well..five fold. The honeysuckle is darker and the butter is nothing more than a slight sweetness among an increasingly bitter and earthy steep.
Steep Six – 45 seconds
Rather bitter though still an underlying sweetness. Floral faculties have become nothing but after taste. The mouthfeel is richer though. Not too bitter considering the steep number. Getting a grassy, mineral quality though a bit more.
Steep Seven – One minute
Alright, the bitterness is dominating at this point though luckily it doesn’t last long. It lightens into a dry, floral slightly sweet after taste that coats my mouth and tongue.
Steep Eight – Two minutes
Funnily enough as quickly as this became too bitter it’s actually petered out in this steep. I sipped with an expectation of bitter and was instead met with earth, flowers and a musky finish.
This Sheng was much more floral than I was expecting. It remained consistent throughout the eight steeps and even gave a pretty good tea high. I feel as though I’ve had a few espresso’s, part of me is literally buzzing.
The leaves were nice too, they opened beautifully to reveal themselves.
It didn’t offer many creamy tones or anything unusual in terms of flavour, but it was a nice every day ‘pick me up’ sort of tea. The type of thing I can have at work and forgive myself for if I let it go cold.
I have a feeling this tea will age nicely. It may have to go back onto my shelf for the time being to mature a little more.
The gold leaf was separate from the green tea so I decided to use my new washi paper tea canister which was also from Yunomi. I placed both the leaf and the gold inside and gently shook the canister to mix them together.
The green leaf is somewhat powdery and bares a strong, creamy and sweet grass scent with hints of seaweed. Similar to matcha.
Steeping Parameters: 5g leaf, 80C water, 200ml kyusu.
Once steeped the resulting tea is dark green in colour and bares a sweet, grassy scent.
Flavour is rather delicate but packed with sweet umami. It’s super creamy and smooth with sweet grass, seaweed and honey notes. It has great mouth feel, one sip coats my entire mouth and the after taste lingers as it becomes sweeter and fresher. Considering the amount of sencha dust this isn’t powdery or dry.
It’s a shame none of the gold seems to have made it through my kyusu screen. Though the fact this tea has actual gold in it makes me feel like royalty.
Overall: This was delicious and sooo creamy! It has the charm of a matcha but in sencha form. The umami was delicious and a nice balance to the sweet grass notes. I would have liked a little more of a punch in the flavour but overall it was pretty yummy.