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Recent Tasting Notes
Spring is here. Finally! And spring means that I have a mood and craving for green teas. So I did today. Harvest from April 2021 is not much encouraging, but here’s another stop by Around the World in 8 Teas Selection Box by Curious Tea!
I prepared it as suggested (1g/100 ml) which meant I used 3g for my 300 ml vessel. First bubbles heard and that water temperature used. Steeped for around 2 and so minutes and it get a wonderful yellow-green colour, slightly opaque. That said, even it’s a bit older; it seems perfectly fresh.
As I have limited (if any, again) experience with Korean teas, namely their greens, I had no idea what to expect. I read on the pouch it should be floral and grassy in the aroma; and I agree and I add some fruits notes — I notice a bit of strawberries and other summer berries in an empty cup. Huh, strange.
Promised flavours are grassy, with savoury seaweed notes. Well, here I agree with second part, it wasn’t much grassy — but it was seaweed and kale, vegetal notes. I have tried also a second steep, as they say it can be steeped 3+ times (but no mood for more than two); and second one turned out buttery and hay-like, which is due to hotter water used I think. It wasn’t that smooth and savoury.
In conclusion, I am happy with this tea and it is, one day, a different green tea than I am used to. Yep, I have still some Japanese left.
A sipdown! (M: 5, Y: 33), prompt: A tea with a three word name
Decided to gongfu remaining 7 grams of this tea. Preheated gaiwan gives me impressions of very strong pithy lemon, along with that typical Darjeeling profile which I am not much able to describe, then some herbals and meadow flowers.
First 15 seconds steep is strong in that lemon peel flavour, that I have detected as well in western steeping. However, much more mellow, a bit resembling a green tea — there are notes of hay and grass seeds. Round flavor profile too.
Second steep was as well 15 seconds long, made very similar results in terms of flavours and scents, on the other hand, all of them are stronger.
Third steep with doubled time and it’s like a green tea with freshly squeezed lemon. There is lots of lemon in taste, but not so throat shrinking note. And the base is much more like green tea for me — that meadow and grass seeds note, not so common in black teas. But FF Darjeelings are often like that.
Another 30 seconds steep. It’s more grass seed instead of lemon zest. It’s much less prominent here.
Fifth steep was terribly oversteeped and I have killed this tea with it. I completely forgot I filled the gaiwan, got distracted, and well, two, three minutes passed. What ends up with three minutes steep? A very strong, but with not so strong astringency, and overall, surprisingly, it’s not bad.
I tried another steep, about 45 secodns long, but as I said, it’s killed and thus it produced nothing but weakly flavoured grass seed water.
82? Maybe not that much. I mean it was better, but it hasn’t me impressed that much that I will likely re-order. 77 is a new rating.
Actually I want to compare it with morning tea, which was from Giddapahar, but I read it same way… but found out it’s different, so no comparing will be here.
It’s again from Around the World in 8 Teas Selection Box by Curious Tea! and next two teas are green, so maybe once the wather will be a little warmer, the timing will be a bit better.
Anyway, back to this Darjeeling. It’s first flush, which is apparent from color as well as from scent both dry tea and brewed tea. It’s very floral, citrus zest very is apparent and almost sour.
In taste, flavours are again floral; with again complementing citrus zest, very “bright” and almost sour as well. While I generally like FF Darjeelings, this has been somehow a bit too much; and while it was cooling down, it started to turn to woody notes, which was strange and weid and unpleasant mineral aftertaste. I shall try more steeps, hopefully soon. This time it was single-steep session. Maybe other steeps will develop more from black tea profile, as expected and hoped for.
Another gongfu session today. 5 grams / 125 ml gaiwan. June 2021 harvest. Another stop from Around the World in 8 Teas Selection Box by Curious Tea!
Dry leaves in preheated gaiwan reminded me mostly roasted peanuts, but when wet it’s totally different; strong floral notes along with stewed fruits, dates + plums.
After first 20 seconds steep, and no rinse was made (why, no dust and whatever), I received a sweet, sugary, baked plum taste, with a little dates aftertaste, and overall there is a nice mouthfeel, though a bit short.
Second steep was with doubled time, so 40 seconds. It’s less sweet, but strong woody taste, aftertaste is long, but mouthfeel overall is short. Honestly I don’t get promised honey taste, but well, it’s fine. It’s different.
Third steep — 60 seconds, was totally different. First of all, it has got mouthcoating quality, along with long(er) aftertaste; and flavours I am able to notice is back the fruits with woody line, but also some refreshing note is here and I think it could be camphor or simply some mint, but yep, that’s complexity I was hoping for!
Fourth. 90 seconds. I think I start to notice promised honey notes, but very weakly, woody notes dominate this steep and I got even same-long aftertaste.
Fifth, 120 seconds. While it keeps giving, I notice fading as well. Not a surprise after such long and heavy steeps, but still I have hoped for more. Sadly, that refreshing note disappeared.
In conclusion, I think I had better oolongs, although this is probably first one bug-bitten I had. It is an interesting tea, and produced flavour is not so common (for me), but somehow I am not so sure if I would drink it regulary. Those 10 grams I had is a good starter, and getting similar, small amounts for occasional drinking seems like a good choice. But I must be in mood for that specific taste. I have hoped for more fruits, but sadly, they were present only in first steeps.
Another stop in “Around the World in 8 Teas Selection Box” by Curious Tea.
Well, this is an interesting tea. And I prepared it wrong both steeps. First steep was with 60°C water; second with boiling. Recommended temperature is in the middle — 80°C.
Well, first, cold steep, was indeed weak (even steeped for double time — 6 minutes), but with intended flavour porfile. Creamy, sweet and dry grass notes.
Second steep was maybe awfully strong (brewed for half time), but again with same flavour profile.
So well, once I will brew it correctly, I believe it can be one very tasty and nice tea.
I am truly exhaused after today work day and the vision it won’t be better for a week at least drains me inside. I worked overtime today, will work overtime tomorrow possibly, because there is to much to do and there is not enough personnel to do everything on time.
Anyway to the tea. I have prepared it yesterday western and today was no exception, with difference of using fillable tea bag instead of strainer.
It didn’t helped the tea. It is one of the “classic” black teas; though it has got lovely (Silver Tips) name. Yes, they are there, indeed! But taste-wise and aroma-wise it is your daily drinker which is pretty much intended to be drank with cream or milk, English breafast type tea. Pretty much robust, a little rough, bitter and tannic. Indeed I can call those notes malty and mineral as mentioned; and sadly for me, more of the latter.
Nothing I would order myself, but it is interesting another stop on my trip with “Around the World in 8 Teas Selection Box” by Curious Tea.
Flavors: Malt, Metallic, Tannic
A sipdown! (M: 9, Y: 71)
Decided to steep remaining 7 grams gongfu, which means it will be quite strong, which I am not so sure if it is a good idea as I have started drinking it at 5.30 pm; but nevermind, sleep is for weak.
Once I added the leaves to preheated gaiwan, a whiff of leathery notes appeared with some red fruit notes. Also some stonefruits and overall I thought I found a good preparation method for this tea.
Sadly, I have to write that those aroma notes are only positive thing on this tea. Tea tastes flat, like English breakfast from cheap (!) tea bag, there is nothing but tannic water flavour. And moreover, drying. On the positive note, there is hardly any astringency or bitterness.
Shame, shame, shame!
Lowering the rating from 70 to 55. Am I too rough for this tea? Maybe…
While I have been impressed by Thai Sticky rice oolong by Curious tea, I am not so much impressed about this Kenyan tea. I wonder, if it is because:
a) tea from Kenya isn’t that good
b) it is 2020 (!) harvest, which is almost 3 years
c) combination of both
d) steeping western 3 grams
The visual of the leaf promised a lot. Long, wiry, not single-coloured, tea, with hints of golden pieces as well.
In taste it is a dismal. Flat tasting, very boring; with no impressive nor strong notes. They say it is “fruity, stony and slightly malty with notes of plums” aaand I get nothing from it. It has been like breakfast tea. There weren’t any extra points, considering it is a loose leaf. If I got this in tea bag, I would happily drink it on daily basis, but not as a loose leaf.
Shame indeed, as I was looking forward to try plain Kenyan tea. I will hope I will try fresher batch one day.
My Swiss friend sent me a Christmas gift, an Around the World in 8 Teas Selection Box by Curious Tea, a company I wanted to try for long time (but I never told her). And as it is a box with diverse teas, it is perfect to try some less known regions, and get some interesting teas.
Honestly, this one sounded the most unique and as I have been in mood of oolong today; and I wanted to try something completely new to me — flavoured one, I just took it out and used half of 10 grams I have received for gongfu brewing. It is Spring 2021 harvest, which is a little sad — but I hope they store their teas well.
After opening the pouch, I was hit by rice aroma, but also with some florals and… sadly a cardboard. But it seems it was the pouch itself as nothing from that when I added measured amount to the preheated gaiwan. I also added a water to it later on, not as a rinse, but to “wake up” the leaves a bit.
This is indeed very fragrant tea. I got, after first, 15 seconds steep, very rice aroma, somehow with vanilla (how?) and creamy notes. Tastewise, it’s sticky, it’s rice, it’s creamy. Vanilla isn’t that present. I read a few tasting notes for What-cha’s offer of very same tea and some said it is like drinking water after boiling rice. I never tasted that, but it’s very probably similar. The aftertaste lingers long and with creamy note on the top.
2nd steep was 30 seconds long, I got certainly more oolong-y aroma, high in florals with vanilla, now I got custard in taste, followed with sweet vanilla notes, rice in the background, again with lovely creamy aftertaste.
3rd, again an increment of 15 seconds (maybe I do too big steps…), I get again more oolong-y taste, that “green” vegetal notes, green beans a bit. Those notes overpower the creamy ones, vanilla is gone, and rice will be gone soon as well I think. Afterall, they recommend 3 steeps :)
Sipdown! (12 | 380)
I got a sample pouch of this from the Tea Thoughts summer countdown box that I did last month, and decided to cold brew it (since that’s all I drink these days…).
It’s so lovely and refreshing, with a subtle creamy stonefruit note as well as fresh cucumber and honeydew melon. There’s also a sparkling minerality present, which is sort of a given for me with green oolongs. Perhaps some light starchy vegetal notes, like edamame or lima beans. I taste a definite floral character as well, though not enough to ruin it for me. It’s a lighter floral, like honeysuckle. Honestly, I would love to do some sort of workshop on floral notes to learn to distinguish them better…
Anyway, it’s lovely cold, and so refreshing for these hot summer days in Austin. Plus the name makes me smile!
Flavors: Creamy, Cucumber, Floral, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Lima Beans, Melon, Mineral, Peach, Smooth, Soybean, Spring Water, Stonefruit, Thick, Vegetal
This was the best think before I discovered zangcha. I could sense that sakura wasn’t there just to cover undertaste or add another layer. It actually processed microbiology inside of tea. I don’t normally go for Japanese teas, I find them too subtle. Even Oolongs. Then again, I didn’t get into realm of fermented valley. Are they similar to Korean ? In a sense. This is interesting video that highlights link to China.
You would think there is a railway crossing between north Korea and soviet Russia. Were they not building tunnels/ bridges between Korea/ Japan ? Anyway,,this was unusual and sublime. Smoke, I wouldn’t even describe it as such. It is more like menthol. I mean, it is not a dry aspect. Now I am thinking what if I blend it with liubao brick.
I tweaked my parameters again, used a little less leaf (around 1.5tsps) and gave it a shorter steep, and it’s definitely an improvement. It’s a good breakfast tea, malty with some citrus notes, and smooth enough to take black even though it’s deep and rich. Bumping the rating from 60.
My cupboard count has gone up one because for some reason this wasn’t in it, even though I’ve had it for a while now and the other Curious Tea I got at the same time was in there. Weird. For the first couple of minutes while it’s steeping, this smells super strongly of marzipan, before the malt takes over and it becomes more savoury, almost bready. In the sip it’s sweet and sour, malty with some almond and stone fruit notes reminiscent of apricot, and a sweet floral finish. It’s a deep and robust tea, and I personally would use less leaf in future than the 2 tsps recommended as it is very mildly astringent and sits quite heavy on the stomach. I think it’s flavourful enough that it would still be quite bold with less leaf. It’s a nice one to sip on without too much thought while I’m working.
I did 6 steeps and 1 rinse.
The smell of the leaves is amazing! One can smell creamy flowers, buttery notes and even the smell of fresh pastries is noticeable.
1st steep: floral notes at the start followed by a subtle creamy aftertaste. The aftertaste was very subtle so this steep was mainly floral notes.
2nd steep: the floral notes at the start were a bit stronger. These floral notes were followed by light creamy floral notes in the middle and a stronger floral finish. It’s quite interesting that the creamy notes were only noticeable in the middle.
After this steep, I started to notice the increased astringency of this tea. When finishing a cup, I immediately got a dry mouth.
3rd steep: heavy floral notes at the start followed by very subtle creamy notes in the middle. These creamy notes were not as strong as they were during the 2ndsteep. The finish of this steep is floral all the way.
4th steep: it starts subtle so no heavy flavours at the start. Floral notes start to appear and gradually diminish again. It also has a light floral aftertaste. Interesting enough, this steep does not have any hints of creaminess or buttery flavours, unfortunately. The creaminess is what made me taste this tea in the first place.
5th steep: no heavy flavours at the start. Increasing floral notes leading to a floral aftertaste.
6th steep: this was the final steep as the tea leaves gave me everything they had. No heavy flavours at the start, very subtle floral notes without any aftertaste.
I’m quite happy with the results of my first tea tasting of 2019. This Qing Xin was a tea I’ve had for a while and I’m delighted I did a proper tasting of it. Personally, the first three steeps were the best because I really liked the creamy flavours. I’m not really into oolong teas but I really liked this one. That is why my final score of this tea is 9/10. If I run out of tea and want to buy some new oolongs, this one will definitely be the first one on my list. Or even if I am looking for a good tea to serve with a sweet dessert such as a freshly baked strawberry cream pie or just any pie with a lot of whipped cream.
Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Creamy, Floral
For this tea tasting, I did 1 rinse and 6 steeps. After the second steep, I changed the amount of water because the tea was too bitter for me.
The leaves have a dark green colour and have a thin shape. If you look at these leaves, it looks like they have been waxed. The smell is a toasted and nutty aroma.
The smell of the wet leaves is more or less the same as the dry leaves. It really smells delicious and tasty!
1st steep: this steep is bitter right from the start. There are some subtle nutty flavours hidden beneath this overall bitterness. I generally don’t like bitter but this steep isn’t too bad. Even though it’s bitter, it’s still pleasant to drink.
2nd steep: subtle bitterness at the start and the nutty flavour becomes more noticeable. Mostly nuts in the middle, just like the aftertaste. There are also some light bitter notes in between.
3rd steep: WOW! What a difference! I felt the previous steep was a bit too bitter for this particular tea so I lowered the leaf to water ratio and this didn’t miss its effect! I went from around 120ml to 180ml with the same amount of leaves. Now I’m getting pleasant nutty flavours that are not too intense. These flavours, however, did not stay for long as I didn’t experience a real aftertaste. Started getting some umami.
4th steep: this steep is delicious! Toasted almond nuts from the start and this dies out slowly. During this steep, I’m getting more toasted notes than during the previous steeps. Some umami flavour as well.
5th steep: more or less the same as the previous steep, only less intense. Very light toasted almond nuts. In the middle, the taste is as intense as steep 4 but the aftertaste doesn’t stay as long. In general, this is a pleasant steep with umami notes.
6th steep: this is the final steep as flavours are fading more and more. I only got some light almond nuts with some umami. The umami is barely noticeable.
In general, I can say I really like the first tea of Curious Tea’s January subscription box. The first two steeps could have been better but I’m happy I used more water for the third steep. Of the six steeps, number 4 is my favourite because of the flavours I experienced during that steep. If you like toasted and nutty flavours, this tea is something for you. I really like teas that have this flavour profile and in combination with the umami notes, this tea is pleasant to drink; both in texture and taste because of the roasting. The only thing you need to keep in mind is the leaf to water ratio. If I brew this tea again, this is the thing I will be paying attention to.
Flavors: Almond, Roasted Nuts
Just wanted to add that I posted a note for this tea here: https://steepster.com/teas/curious-tea/59260-curious-tea-classic-monthly-subscription-box
Just wanted to add for the individual tea that I posted notes for this tea here: https://steepster.com/teas/curious-tea/59260-curious-tea-classic-monthly-subscription-box
A subtle, well balanced Jasmine tea. I find that as the leaves do not unfurl as quickly from their rolled shape as most similar teas, such as Jasmine pearls that there is plenty of the Jasmine flavour left for subsequent re-steepings.
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Cocoa, Honey