The Cultured CupEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you for the sample! I should have bought more than a sample!
I missed darker dancongs, and since I was trying this company out, I asked for a sample of one of my favorite types of tea. This one is especially fruity, and extremely good.
I was going to gong fu it, but it turned into a western session at an accidental three and half minutes. That was not a problem because it was insanely good. White peach is a good name for this tea, as it smelled and tasted like something made in an orchard. Immensely peachy, sweet, soft, oddly fuzzy, and then complex. Some floral notes of peach blossom sprang up in the smell, and in mid sip ending in wood and honey. Minerals rose as the tea cooled down, and came up again in the later steeps. It just kept on giving, and it was such a nice return during this cold weather.
I am also holding off on rating this one, but it is very, very good. My only complaint would be price at $27.59 for 2 oz, but I will say it does compare to the higher end Dan Congs I’ve had. I only wish I knew the varietal.
I’m finally rating it, and its between 85-90 for me. For those of you who have not read the previous note about this one, it’s very similar to a Baozhong with some baked characteristics. It’s got the mainstays of lilac and orchid with some vanilla, nutty hints, perhaps gardenia, and definitely some green bean, butter, and watercress notes. Minerals tends to develop in the longer steeps gong fu or western, and there is a little bit of swamp plant aromatics to it from the watercress notes. Brewing the tea shorter helps alleviate the notes, but they can be pleasantly sour when done right. I would recommend this one as unique experience from America, and although the general profile remains the same, there are some shifts in notes from florals, to green, and minerals that make it unique, and it is a little bit more savory than other Baozhong’s I’ve had. I think tea snobs should try it to give America a chance.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Green Beans, Mineral, Orchids, Plants
When I saw the picture of this tea, I thought finally! A Dancong style American oolong! I was wrong as it is more Taiwaneese, but still, it is the kind of oolong I like.
I brewed it an easy western, starting off at around 50 seconds. The description of this one was apt; it looked like a dark Baozhong, and tasted very close to a Baozhong and a Four Seasons of spring. It had a savory squash note too, but it was very green and IMMENSELY floral. I got orchid, lilac, gardenia, watercress, and more green and mineral based qualities. It did make me think of a swamp interestingly enough. Perhaps that was psychological, but there it was.
You could probably pass this as a Taiwaneese oolong to someone just getting into teas, but the bizarre mineral, green quality was what set it a part. It was almost earthy and sour like a sheng, although the tea overall was not too astringent or bitter. It was very pleasant, and I do think it can compete with standard Taiwaneese teas. I am also glad I got this before it sold out, because it is that good. I’m holding off on a rating just in case I give it a high novelty rating, but I will say it’s good and I hope there is some way to encourage more American grown teas in this style. It’s a shame that the demand for this kind of tea is so niche, though.
Tea grown in the mainland of the U.S.A. was a bit of a quest item for my tea journey. Most American teas tend to be herbal or traditional takes on green teas and English Breakfasts, so it was awesome to find an oolong that was not in those fashions, and not from Hawaii as they can be very expensive. This was grown in Mississipi, and I will say that I’ve had very few teas that taste quite like this one.
This was on the darker end of the oolong spectrum, but the apricot and honey notes and lighter body denoted oolong. Himalayan or Indian oolongs might be the best varietal to compare this to despite the difference in elevation, but there were some aspects that reminded me of an Oriental Beauty or Darjeeling black. The smell is very sweet and honeyed with a little bit of a savory end, and some dryness like an autumn leaf pile. THe same could be said brewing it up.
This tea was incredibly flexible, responding well to short and longer steeps. I’ve done it western at four minutes, and not a single brush of bitterness or astringency sprang up. Honeysuckle began the sip, smoothing out into apricot, butter, and a sweet honey finish. I swear there were some cocoa hints, but those could just be in my imagination. I’ll have to write about this tea again to see if I do find any. Shorter steeps at 45 seconds emphasized honeysuckle more, and a slightly lighter sweetness. The rest of the brews both short and long were much the same in terms of notes.
I was surprised by how savory this one could get, making me think of squash and butter on occasion. The mouthfeel was just as thick and enjoyable. ’m also impressed with the longevity-I got 5 rebrews western and 7 in my shorter steep version. It does lighten up, but it was giving a lot.I do not have too much to add about this tea right now, but I’m very impressed with how smooth it is. I am very glad I at least have an ounce to savor.
My experiences with Pu’erh were not the best. But this blend of dark chocolate and Pu’erh is really amazing. The dark chocolate goes very well with Pu’erh and it settles the hay/barn yard aroma I get with pure pu’erh. I think this is a great tea to have in the colder months of the year.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate
I love Japanese green tea, and the kukicha has got to be the best Japanese green tea I have had to date. First, the dried leaves are a beautiful light green color and the aroma is very grassy and reminds me of matcha. The liquor is a very neon-green: so beautiful in a white, porcelain cup. The taste is very brothy and “umami”.
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Flavors: Broth, Freshly Cut Grass
This may be more a fault with the actual tea estate, but I found a high number of stem and twig in my package. It might just also be the quality that Cultured Cup is buying. Pretty bland and not really expressing the characteristics of Ceylon teas that I love.
The second infusion of this tea was quite good. I also did a third and even a fourth infusion of this tea. Strangely, it now is much darker and tastes more like the black teas I’ve been drinking. This could be byproduct of the tannin and buildup in the Breville tea carafe, but it is odd. It also could be related to the longer steeping times I did because I was doing the extra infusions. I much preferred this when it looked, smelled, and tasted like a green tea. I’ll have to check this again in the future.
I’ve been adapting to the green teas, but I really like this one. I brewed it as suggested by The Cultured Cup with tea teaspoons per cup of tea at 175 F for 3 minutes. I find it to be a wonderful cup of tea. The nutty flavors are very pronouced in the first cup. The aroma of the tea before it brewed was very grassy. The tea itself has a thick feel on my tongue.
Although I usually dislike flavored teas, I find the Goji Berry and other flavors in this to be very good. They are not overpowering and I like the fact that it doesn’t have caffeine. This makes it a good afternoon tea, but because I can easily get a second and third infusion on it, I sometimes have to have it the next morning or brew my morning tea another way. This is billed as “A Cup of Value” from The Cultured Cup – I think it is a good value.
Working with a sample of this from a tea tasting, I have been most impressed by the quality of this vs the other Yin Zhen I have had (from Chado, which admittedly was probably rather antique when I last did a formal tasting).
Brewed with 2 grams of tea in a gaiwan averaging about 2 oz/60mL of water per infusion, I started at 30 seconds, and kept going for 7 infusions before I ran out of heated water.
The flavor is fruity, floral, sweet, but more delicately fruity than the Pai Mu Tan it was paired with. And even after 7 infusions of 30-60 seconds, there was more in the leaf to give.
This is an excellent tea.