6 Tasting Notes

80

I’ll start my review off bluntly, the fragrance is better than the taste. Upon the first steep in the gaiwan, I noticed a scent of sweet grass. Despite this lovely aroma, the bitterness and astringency of the tea really turned me off. It took roughly 4 steeps for me to adjust to its temperment. The lingering aftertaste in the back of my mouth was incredibly dry. This is a pungent and robust green tea of Simao that can be infused many times. I believe my experience with this tea comes down to preference alone; therefore, I cannot give it a bad rating.

Flavors: Artichoke, Asparagus, Butter, Chestnut, Cut grass, Hay, Spices, Spinach, Umami, Vegetal

Flavors: Sweet, warm grass

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70

There’s something pleasant in regards to its light and floral flavors, but this is no prized experience. I had hoped that after the first few infusions, the tea would take on new heights, but it remained quite underwhelming to say the least. I tried to consider examples in which I would find myself drawn into this style of tea, but only one came to mind: if there I stood calloused by the mid July heat praying to quench an ungodly thirst. Being that it’s mid November, I am in no need to prepare for such an experience. This one is a pass for me.

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85

This Tie Luo Han was an interesting oolong and would have made for an excellent tea on a gloomy day. Upon the first steep, I noted a very distinct smell of cannabis. I chuckled as I happened to be sitting at my office desk. The liquor itself had an array of aromas including oak and coffee with hints of jasmine. The mouthfeel was clean and light. I oddly longed for the scent of pine to accompany this cup of tea I was holding. I imagined it would pair quite nicely. This all continued for several more steeps in my gaiwan with the smell of char fading. The tea moved into a lighter fragrance of orchid with a taste to match.

Flavors: Cannabis, Oak wood, Orchids

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85

I was very curious to try this tuocha. I used the Chinese gongfu method and the recommended steeping times on the Teavivre website (rinse, 20s, 15s, 15s, 30s, 50s, 80s, 150s). After an initial rinse and upon the first steep, I was left with a very pleasant experience. The rose notes leave the taste buds with a light, sweet floral finish.The color is rich, the aroma is earthy, and the mouthfeel is smooth. It was a pleasant experience to say the least.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Rose, Sweet

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80

Purchased from Teavivre on a whim as pu’erh is a variety of tea that’s fairly new to me. I used the gong fu method to brew. To start, I gathered one tuocha, rinsed it, and then proceeded to give it time to open up on the first steep. The toucha is dense with an earthy scent and tones to match. I was reminded of the fragrance of alfalfa. The taste starts surprisingly mellow with a color that quickly resembles caramel. On the second steep, the color was darker and it took on a brothier scent, with a significantly dryer mouthfeel. For the third steep, the liquor was increasingly darker. The fragrance proliferated the gaiwan and the mouthfeel transformed into what I can only consider to be a ‘warm hug’. An interesting progression to say the least. I will spare you the details of every steep, and leave you with one simple note….this is an easy drinking tea, great for a cold day when you may find yourself in an explorative mood.

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