4 Tasting Notes

drank 2016 Hot Brandy by white2tea
4 tasting notes

Yet another great White2Tea offering! Admittedly I’m not so familiar with any kind of white tea, and have only tried a few Yunnan black teas. Upon opening the sample bag, I was hit with an intense fruity, apricot, and raisin scent. The leaves are very pretty; they remind me of fallen autumn leaves! A very quick, 1 second rinse later, the wet leaves smelled strongly of the black tea—for some reason reminds me of oven-fresh sweet potatoes? Well, anyways, I actually started out brewing this with lower temperatures, since I was under the impression that with the white tea I would want to brew it at 190 degrees. However, after the third steep I turned the heat up to 200 degrees
1st steep (5s) – malty and sweet apricot flavor. Yup, can definitely tell this is black tea from Yunnan!
2nd (7s) – same thing, but started noticing floral notes
3rd (10s) – feels slightly thicker than before! The floral/hay notes are also becoming more obvious. My mouth also started to feel a bit dry.
4th (15s) – malty, slightly astringent, but still fruity. The apricot flavor is fading away
5th (15s) – The malt is becoming less obvious but I can now taste the sweeter, floral notes of the tea—probably from the white tea. It kind of coats my throat, yet it is becoming more astringent.
6th (20s) – same thing, but with a delightful raisin note at the end
I started feeling the caffeine kick after this, but all in all a pretty wild ride! The way the flavors of the white and black tea interact make this cake is really interesting. I’m ordering a cake of this. I’m definitely going to steep this some more later today.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Brandy, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet Potatoes, Tannic, Thick

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This is my first time drinking puerh! Please be gentle.

I got this tea in the mail today, and while my brain was telling me to air it out for at least a week, I had strong tea craving pangs. I immediately dissected the wrapper and chipped off 6g of the brick. It’s not like drinking an unaired shou would hurt, right? I was able to distinguish the woody scent of the pu even before I opened the paper bag.

My bullheaded decision gave me an otherwise pleasant drinking experience. 6g in a 100ml gaiwan, boiling water, flash steeps. Steeps 1-3 really packed a punch. I got a very strong, sweet, woody flavor. Each sip ended on a slightly bitter note. As a new pu drinker, I wasn’t sure what I expected. It tasted exactly what it smelled like; wet wood, moss, and a hint of dirt. This was when I started thinking, this might be a bit too strong for me, I really should have aired this out for a bit. Despite this, Brown Sugar is still very drinkable. In general, the mouthfeel of the tea was particularly pleasant. It certainly is as smooth as the wrapper claims to be, which is what made me determined to press on. Steeps 4-6 brought out the sweeter side of the wood taste. The liquor also got noticeably darker, and I sort of noticed a slightly redder hue I didn’t see in the earlier steeps? Though I’m definitely not an expert when it comes to tea, I just really wanted to record this experience. While this tea is still sitting in my gaiwan, I’m definitely infusing it more to see how it transforms.

Flavors: Camphor, Decayed Wood, Dirt, Molasses, Moss, Smooth, Sweet, Wet Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Harmony by Mellow Monk
4 tasting notes

This is my first dive into Japanese teas, and I can say that I am quite pleased! I was looking around for a good genmaicha, which I often see served in Japanese restaurants. Then I found Mellow Monk’s genmaicha, Harmony.

When I initially opened the bag I was welcomed with the pleasant scent of fresh green tea and a roasty scent similar to popcorn kernels. The smell is amazing. At first, I had been too careless when preparing this tea and ended up making the water too hot. The flavor was strong and bitter. That was my fault. Then I prepared the tea once more, but I heated the water to a lower temperature and steeped it at the same time.

Perfect!! It has the right amount of nuttiness and has a deep grassy flavor to it. Reminds me of ochazuke. It is very comforting and hearty to drink around this time of year since it’s cold outside. I would drink this tea along with sushi or wagashi. I can’t wait to try Top Leaf and Monk’s Choice when they come in.

Flavors: Grass, Nutty, Toasted Rice

155 °F / 68 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I figured I would rate one of my favorite tea blends as my first Steepster review. It’s delicious, and is one of my favorite blends of tea, even though it is simply earl grey with vanilla powder. At first, I thought the bergamot flavor and aroma was a little too intense, but I fix this by just not steeping it for as long. I am not a very suitable judge as I have not tasted many other earl grey blends. What matters most is I enjoyed it. I really enjoy drinking it with something sweet, especially classic English tea time snacks like scones. This is a tea I drink quite often!

Luna Tea is a small time business, located in Blacksmith Square, in my hometown Livermore. I like the vibe in there; very homey and cozy. They mainly sell tea blends but I think the blends are yummy.

Flavors: Bergamot, Smooth, Vanilla

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Poor kid who is fairly new to the tea world. My favorite teas so far are oolongs (any flavor profile) shou and young sheng puerh, and all kinds of greens (especially sencha!). Always looking for new things to taste. I’m especially interested in trying more puerh.
90-100 Absolutely amazing, would always try to get more when I have the chance
80-90 Great! Probably where I’d put daily drinkers under
70-80: Good, nothing spectacular but still would drink
60-70: OK, but probably wouldn’t get more of it/might not be my kind of thing
50-60: Definitely not getting more, wouldn’t recommend to anyone
1-50: Wouldn’t drink even if you held me at gunpoint.
Ratings are based on my experience and whether I liked the tea or not. Obviously I’m no expert but my main intent is to record my tea notes here where I can read them later and share my experiences with other people. I’m a firm believer that if you enjoy the tea, however you drink it, then it’s good tea.



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