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Recent Tasting Notes
This was a gift from the Montreal Tea Festival!
I had this as a Western cuppa last Thursday while I was in office. I’m gonna be honest, I remember drinking the cup and noting that it was pretty good but not great and… well, that’s almost everything I remember about it. Oops.
In my little sticky pad of tea jot notes I wrote down “toasty” but I don’t actually mentally recall that – and not sure if I meant toasted in a nutty sense, or grains or just something else…
I believe I bought this tea in 2016. I’m drinking the last of it, having put it off for months because I suspected the session would be underwhelming. I really should have finished it years ago, and as such I’m not rating it, although even in its prime, I didn’t love it. I steeped the remaining 6 g in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
Dry, the tea smells faintly of GABA funk and flowers. The first couple steeps have notes of malt, sourness, custard, wood, nuts, and faint flowers. The next couple steeps add pencil shavings, tannins, and grass. That GABA sourness persists in the aftertaste. The tea has a heavy, viscous body into the next few steeps. The flavours don’t evolve much over the session, although the grass, tannins, and sourness increase.
I’ve had a few GABA teas now and have come to the conclusion that I’m not too fond of them. I don’t notice any relaxation benefits, and they all have a sour note that I find off-putting. This was kind of a tuition tea for me, and while I don’t regret buying it, I’m also not sad to see it go.
Flavors: Custard, Floral, Grass, Heavy, Malt, Nuts, Pleasantly Sour, Tannin, Wood
I bought this roasted high mountain oolong in winter 2016, though it’s currently not listed on the company’s website. I was initially turned off by the amount of roast, but this tea has grown on me, especially since I got a clay pot a couple weeks ago. I brewed my last 6 g in this 120 ml clay vessel for two steeps of 30 seconds, two steeps of 40 seconds, two steeps of 30 seconds, and one steep of 40, 60, and 120 seconds.
Along with the roast, the first steep has notes of honey and flowers, with a kind of grassy aftertaste. The tea is also pretty drying. I oversteeped the second infusion by about five seconds and got a very astringent cup (the fragments that always accumulate at the bottom of the bag probably aren’t helping either). There’s also a bready note that makes it resemble a weirdly bitter honey glazed doughnut.
Much of the honey disappears in the third steep, but sadly, none of the astringency does. I think I need to dial this back down to 30 seconds. A roasted vegetable quality also comes out in this steep. The fourth steep, though still astringent, is back to being full of roast and honey.
Back at 30 seconds, the next couple steeps are typical of roasted oolongs. The astringency is down, but so are the sweetness and florals. Probably due to user error, it’s kind of downhill from here, with minerals and astringency in the last three infusions.
This was probably the worst experience I’ve had with this tea. Though it always has a bit of a bite, it’s usually balanced by the honey and florals. I began by using the same brewing parameters as I normally do, although I started changing them when things began to go wrong. I can only guess that the leaf fragments were what turned this into a bitter mess. I’m still giving this a decent rating because it’s usually quite drinkable.
Flavors: Astringent, Bread, Floral, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Roasted, Vegetables
Really strong flavour at the 4 minute infusion. I would be tempted to try infusing for a shorter amount of time (3 minutes) because the flavour is so delightfully complex.
I’m getting a mixture of vegetal green with a distinct matcha note. There is a bit of oolong beany/grapefruit flavour aftertaste. Good full mouthfeel- the tea seems to coat your mouth.
Hold up extremely well to re-infusions.
I brewed this tea according to the instructions on the bag. However, I’m just noticing right now that online it is recommended to infuse for 4-5 minutes. I will try infusing for that length of time next time I drink it. There are some pretty incredible flavours (smokey, woodsy, fruity) that are peeking out but they just aren’t bold enough in this brew.
Amazing combination of the green tea, roasted rice and matcha. Just the right mix of vegetal and oceanic flavours. There’s a nice twinge of the grapefruit-y note that I normally find in oolongs in the aftertaste which I love. Flavours are very well balanced. Roasted rice note complements the flavour profile very nicely.
Flavors: Floral, Roasted, Vegetal