17 Tasting Notes

drank Yixing Mao Feng by Teatrade.sk
17 tasting notes

Visually very appealing dry leafs – small (approx. 5mm), rolled tightly into lightly curved sticks, color approx. 70% dark brown and 30% light brown.
Used boiling water, steeping time prolonged a bit with each infusion, started with 40 sec.
The infusion has a nice, clean, dark brown color. Smells a little bit flowery and like dark chocolate. In the taste you can also feel dark chocolate, flowery aroma and nice sweetness. Most of black teas are closing with a hint of bitterness, but this one is nice, clean and sweet.
Once the leafs fully unfold, you can see that it’s indeed made of young leafs, more or less the same size. Very good quality indeed.
The tea costs around 10 Euro for 50g, good price for such quality. If you think that’s expensive, you can still take the little bit cheaper Dai Ye Hong…very similar in taste, but Mao Feng is smoother. You get what you pay for :)

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I had the opportunity to this year to dring two Mao Jians. One was called Tai Shun Mao Jian and the other one is what i’m drinking right now – ZheJiang Mao Jian. I was not impressed by the Tai Shun version. It was on a completly different level then this AAA version from ZheJiang. I think even somebody new to teas would notice the difference. The first thing of course is when you open the bag is the astounishing fragrance (and it’s not a Bi Luo Chun). Very fresh and a bit fruity – you just can’t resist. The second thing you notice are the dry leafs – dark green plastic color, almost even in size, small curly leafs. You definitely feal that there was some effort put into it and it’s not something done in mass production.
The local supplier adviced to steep for few seconds. I couldn’t agree with that. Chineese greens can take much more (except the ones created using japanese steaming methods). So i steeped for 1 min. (later 1:30) with 75-80C water and…..delicous. Full green, fruity flavour without any bitterness. Long juicy aftertaste ( also a sign of quality teas). The leafs unfold slowly and show their true self after a few steeps (3-4). The color of the wet leafs is a bit lighter green, but very nice. You can see that the leafs they used very quite young. Overall a very good tea and a great alternative to Bi Luo Chun (especially since i was not able to get a good Bu Luo Chun this year :< ).
Highly recommended.
One last one – in this types of tea very young leafs are used – like 10-15 days old i think. During this time the leafs suck in all the specifics of the area (minerals in soil, fragrances from the air, freshness of the mountains). So basically tea allows you to travel to places where it was produced. It’s in your mind only, but it’s a quite cheap trip to China ;)

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I’ve ordered this tea mainly for my father, because he has some good memories of drinking black tea in Russia. It woudn’t be me if i didn’t taste this one.
The tea comes from the restored gardens in Ozurgeti in Georgia. Tea was first planted in Georgia in 1830 when prince Miha Evistavi smuggled some tea seeds from China. Geogian tea was very popular and recognized in whole europe. They even won some prizes in different tea exibitions. But later they started to supply tea for the whole Soviet Union and since the demand for quantity grow, the quality dropped. The reputation of the tea dropped and between 1990-2000 most of the gardens went bancrupt or had been cut down. But thanks to some enthusiast and also the involvement of the government some gardens were now restored and offer once again very good tea.
The one i got from the local shop is a fresh crop from Spring 2010. The leaves of the tea are very nice, long and evenly oxidized. The smell very nice, like tea covered in caramel.
Steeped for 5 minutes with hot water (about 95 degress C). Again very nice smell and the leaves opened so you can see them in their full beauty.
The tea is nice from fragrance and nice for the eyes. Let’s see how it tastes.
Yeah, i need to say that it’s really good. Deep dark flavour, sweet, with hints of caramel, honey and also with a slight hint of vegatable sharpness.
I also noticed that the flavour is even better if you leave the tea to cool down to like 50-55 degrees. Very interresting tea with an interresting history and from an interresting country :)

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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This is again a Pre-Quing Ming 2010 tea. The leaves look on the first sight like the famous Long Jing, but they smell a bit different. It seems that it’s not roasted in the wok as much as the dragonwell. This gives the tea more natural feel. The leaves have a light green color and smell very fresh. You can also smell a similar fragrance like bamboo shoots. This is not a coincidence. The tea was named Zhu Ye Quing, which means “Green Bamboo leaf” ( by Chen Yi in 1964).
This is a AAA class tea, so the manufacturing is very precise. Very good first impressions, but let’s see how it tastes.
The supplier adviced to steep it for few seconds. Can’t agree with that. About 1 minute gives it a very good and still mild flavour. The liquor has a bright yellowish-green color. I smell bamboo again…not an issue, i love bamboo shoots.
The tea is very refreshing and i would also say “juicy”. I gladly recommend it for drinking even if it’s hot out there. This is also a similarity to the famous Long Jing. Long Jing is said to have a “cooling” effect. Some chinese ads say that this tea refreshes your body and soul :) …agreed!
I can’t feel the classic roasted aftertaste and i like it. It very natural, a bit fruity and tastes after green bamboo leaves. Also, as usual for chinese greens, it can take up to 5-6 steeps.
So to sum up. We have a very good quality tea for a lower price than long jing. It tastes good, smells good and looks good. Nothing can replace the Long Jing, but i’m not looking for replacements. I’m looking for something new a fresh. Hey, it’s spring :)

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Just got this tea today. Fresh 2010 early spring crop (pre Qing Ming 2010). I was really interrested in this tea, because it is also called “room filled with fragrance”. Thought that this could be something similar to Bi Luo Chun. And you know what? It’s even better. At least in my opinion. This one is AAA grade and costs not even a half of AAA grade Bi Luo Chun. When opening the bag, the smell popped out and filled the room…ok, the name fits. The leafs are very nice, dark green, curled like small snakes (again..like bi luo chun but without the silvery tips). The processing is great, the leaves are alomst even in size. Now the local store advice to steep it for like 15 secs. Thought that this is quite short, so i let it for 35 sec., than later 45 seconds. I think 45-50 is great for this tea. The liqour was creamy had a standard light yellowish-green colour. Smelled realy nice. But the ultimate weapon is it’s taste. It’s so deep – with many layers. It’s a bit sweet with lot of fruity and flowerly aroma. It’s always a pleasure if the beverage goes through your mouth. That’s how a nice spring tea should taste like. Go get it if you see it somewhere. I’ll go and make some more steeps :)

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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drank Sencha Miyazaki by Tealand.sk
17 tasting notes

Finally spring is stepping in, it’s a bit warmer and brighter outside. I’m starting to get excited how 2010 Shincha’s will taste like. Anyway…i just had to get an injection of Sencha. This one is from ichibancha 2009. Brought recently like a middle class sencha for “everyday drinking”.
The price is ok (7EUR for 50g). Looking at the leafs, they seem pretty nice in colour, plastic, dark green. Not so even leaf size like the expensive brothers, but that’s the same for most fukamushi’s. Taste is what counts.
The tea can’t take much infusions – max. 3. The fourth is very weak.
Now the colour of the baverage is nice – like most of the good senchas out there – bright green. It’s also nice creamy and clean.
Now let’s see how it tastes. Not really the exploding sencha i like. The taste is quite calm, nothing stands out too much. Pretty harmonic. A bit grassy, a bit fruity, with a mild aftertaste like after you ate some fresh peaches.
Overall i’m quite satisfied. The tea represents it’s price range.

155 °F / 68 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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It’s been a while since my last note…doesn’t mean i didn’t dring any tea :)
Recently i received my package of new teas from my local dealer. I’ve updated my collection with japan teas. One of them was this nice Kabusecha.
The tea was nominated into the national and also perfectual tea competition so i had some expectations. The Kabuse was left in shadow 10 days before it was picked. This gave it a very fresh and quite strong fragrance. Looking at the leafs it looks like very precise processing this tea has gone throuh. The leafs are even in size and have a very nice plastic fresh dark green colour.
I used my small kyusu to brew it. Temps should not be very high for such tea. You are welcome to use quite many leafs if you like strong flavour (that’s me).
Steeping was around 40sec. for the 1st brew and 30 sec. for the second. The final bawerage had a nice light green colour and fresh vegetable smell. A bit sweet. The taste on the other hand had only a little bit of sweetness. It consited of more layers od tastes – from fresh green/vegetal to a taste of young fruits. The aftertaste was very long, but delicious. I just had to take a pause after every sip to enjoy it.
A very good tea indeed. I was also very pleased with the other teas from Yabukita i drank in the past. Will look forward for the 2010 spring teas from them. Until than i can at least enjoy the last supplies from 2009.

155 °F / 68 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Pi Lo Chun 2009 by Teatrade.sk
17 tasting notes

I like this version of Pi Lo Chun. It’s not the fancy highest AAA grade but costs not even the half of it and tastes very good.
The fragrance of the dry leaves is very intensive flovery and fruity. The leaves look very good for a medium quality tea. Very even, quite small (if the leaves of the pi lo chun are big it means the quality is not very good) a nice green in color with lots of white “hair” (old guy :)).
I always love the first infusion – it has the best mixture of fuit, flover and lightly pan fried green tea. The liquor is full and quite creamy. If you keep the steep time under one minute it shouldn’t be bitter ( i move between 45-50 seconds).
Now we have good quality for a good price…what else? It can take quite many infusions..like 5-6. Also you can get more flavour by prepearing this tea using the gong fu cha method. I like the classic preparation too – it’s easy and good for all-day-long-drinking. Just pre-heat the tea pot, put like 5mm layer of tea leaves on the bottom and steep with something like 80-85C water. This works out for most the pi lo chun’s i’ve had.
I’ll continue to buy type regullary. Unfortunately teatrade.sk only ships to Slovakia and i dunno what’s the source or the name of the chinese producer :<

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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Wow..this is what i needed. This is how quality gyokuro should taste like. When i fist tried the gyokuro i bought in Japan i thought that i will never get this quality here in my country. I was wrong. I was surprised to see an aging Gyokuro in the offer of our local tea dealer. This is something you have to try..so i’ve ordered it.
I opened the tea pack an “booom” a very intensive but fresh fragrance came out. How is this even possible? After 4 years? My mother came to the kitchen and asked what’s this strong tea smell :)
The leafs were nice and clean, had dark green color..usuall for gyokuros.
First steep – nice bright green color, not the really clean transparent one, but more like milky (milky way :-)). Again very nice fragrance and the taste….Oh MY GOSH!! So deep, so many layers, so mature, so fresh even after so many years, so long and strong aftertaste – fruity, grassy, woody, milky…and very tasty!
I did 5 steeps. The fifth one was weak, but usually if you have fresh japanese teas, you can be happy to make 3 good steeps.
If you see this somewhere…you have to get it. It’s very rare and very good. I got it for 17,30EUR for 30g, but hell it was good investement

160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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Well…i didn’t like it. Fortunately i only ordered a sample, so i don’t have this bad feeling of wasting money.
It doesn’t have extremly bad taste, don’t get me wrong. Somebody might even like it. For me it tastes like reeds. Also very dull taste. Maybe it’s because i usually don’t dring white tea. But this can’t be true, cause i liked Snow Buds or the classic Pai mu Tan (Bai mu Dan).
I feel bad when i need to give bad rating for a tea, it doesn’t happen very often :<

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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