447 Tasting Notes

83

I think this is the first white tea I tried that I thoroughly enjoy. The aroma is very sweet floral, with some hay/dry grass notes too. It is strong and calming, I spent a lot of time just sniffing :D

As for the taste it is complex enough even at low temperatures, which is something I lack in other white teas I’ve had. As such, one can adjust the astringency levels up to their liking without compromising the flavour depth too much. Overall, the mix of floral and vegetal qualities makes for a very delicious drink. The mouthfeel is not particularly pronounced, although it can get quite drying at high temperatures.

I am going to try to cold brew this one soon too, I think it could yield good results.

Flavors: Cannabis, Dry Grass, Floral, Hay, Honey, Metallic, Olives, Summer, Thyme, Vegetal

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95

This is definitely the best shou I have tried so far! I literally like every aspect of it. It brews an incredibly rich and dark burgundy coloured liquor. The smell of the wet leaf is pleasant and cooling like an autumn breeze with some plum sweetness present as well.

As for the taste, it is very balanced – somewhat savoury initially with light coffee bitterness, which transforms into cherry and sugarcane sweetness soon enough. Especially the latter steeps are more on the sweet side. In the aftertaste, there is a dark chocolate note and I get some strange “dancing” sourness on my tongue for minutes after drinking it.

For a ripe pu-erh, I would say this is a full bodied tea with a soft and velvety mouthfeel that is a little cooling. I also noticed that it makes me more focused, without any caffeine rush. I feel like this would be a good tea for my office.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cherry, Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Pleasantly Sour, Plums, Red Wine, Sugarcane, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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79

First few steeps were dominated by the bitterness and some mushroom notes mentioned by others as well. Later on, the bitterness faded to allow for some sweeter and fruity notes to come forward, nothing specific i could identify though. The body is medium overall and the astringency was fairly strong throughout the session. Even though I can’t really pinpoint many specific notes, it seems complex enough. There’s a lot of subtle ones that are very much in the background. I feel like this tea can benefit a lot from aging, but it wouldn’t be my choice for drinking right now. However, the rating I gave is with respect to its current state rather than aging potential, because really that would be just a pure guess on my part.

One interesting thing I did notice during the session was very strong warming effect around steeps 4 and 5, especially in the chest and throat area.

Flavors: Alcohol, Astringent, Bitter, Mushrooms, Spicy, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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79

High quality sencha with a strong smell of freshly cut grass and somewhat bready taste.

Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Freshly Cut Grass, Umami

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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77

At first, the smell seems similar to Japanese green teas, but then I notice an a floral & sweet note, a bit like honey, but not quite. In fact, it reminds me of breckland thyme to a large extent. The taste is fairly sweet and mild with only a hint of umami. I didn’t find any bitterness and only very little astringency from the third steep onwards. Next time, I can maybe use hotter water to see how the tea reacts. The mouthfeel is velvety and body is medium for a green tea.

Overall, it reminds me of some early spring chinese green teas I have had, but I like this one more because of its stronger flavour and thicker body.

Flavors: Berries, Floral, Honey, Jam, Nectar, Sweet, Thyme

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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83

This tea has a mild aroma of forest floor with some wet wood and mushroom notes, which I found very calming. The body is medium and it is also slightly mouthwatering.

In the taste I mostly noticed bread crust and a bit of mushrooms. Even though I could tell the taste is fairly complex, most of the notes were too subtle. However, I guess the fact that none really dominates enables a wider range of flavours to come to the front than what is usual for a shou tea. All in all, it has a balanced and pleasant taste, which I enjoyed a lot. Given the price that this is selling for, I would say it is a total steal! I will definitely be getting at least one cake.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Forest Floor, Wet Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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78

I overleafed this quite a bit, but since it is not all tea leaves it didn’t present that much of an issue. The steeping times I kept very short though nevertheless.

The smell seems to be dominated by the chrysanthemum flowers, it is slightly sweet and spicy and has a strong lemon note. The liquor has a very deep brick colour and medium body.

In the first few infusions, the tea was also on the back foot in terms of the taste, but that has changed throughout the session. I found the taste to be nicely balanced in these latter infusions with considerable bitterness, a little sweet, but still very floral and citrusy. The aftertaste has mostly the floral and spicy notes, and the drying sensation seems to be limited to the throat only. It actually reminds me a bit of some chili peppers.

Overall, I think this tea presents a nice alternative to standard teas. It is sufficiently different, but still has many qualities of a decent red tea. I can imagine that with a normal amount of leaf it can be a bit mild, but the way I brewed it this time it wasn’t a problem.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Lemon, Pepper, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88

Drinking this again and I have to say I am even more impressed than last time, especially in terms of the taste, which I actually enjoy as well. And as I mentioned before, the floral aroma is just incredible, like the cha qi, which put me in a very pleasant state of mind.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88

What a wonderful smell this tea possesses. It is very floral and sweet, reminiscent of some high quality honey.

The liquor is medium to full bodied with oily and slightly drying mouthfeel, which becomes minty and cooling afterwards. It is a very refreshing tea to drink and the taste is fairly complex. It took me a while to appreciate it though, at first I wasn’t very fond of it. There are some vegetal, buttery, floral and astringent notes, but nothing really stands out. The aftertaste transforms the sensation into somewhat fruity, sweet direction and lasts for a very long time.

One other thing to mention is a very noticeable and calming cha qi, probably my favourite among the oolong teas I have tried.

P.S. Originally I was going to rate it around 75, but with the aftertaste and cha qi kicking in, I had to reconsider the rating and change it significantly.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Hay, Honey, Stonefruits, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Profile

Bio

Currently, I am a PhD student at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario. Apart from teas and mathematics, I enjoy sports and traveling, as well as music of all kinds.

I have been a fan of green tea for a while and only recently (in 2017) started exploring other kinds of tea in greater depth. I rarely drink blends or white tea and avoid artificially scented teas. Other than that I try to keep it varied. The one thing that I am currently missing in my collection are teas from India, in particular some Darjeelings.

My rating description:
100 _ Unforgettable tea, an experience that changes your life.
90 – 100 _ Excellent tea.
80 – 90 _ Very enjoyable, I will buy again.
70 – 80 _ I enjoyed it, but I most likely won’t be buying it again.
60 – 70 _ Decent.
50 – 60 _ Average, forgettable.
40 – 50 _ I didn’t really like the tea, but it is drinkable.
0 – 40 _ I would prefer to avoid the tea.

Location

Waterloo, ON, Canada

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