101 Tasting Notes
Another sample from TTB puerh plus.
This smells wonderful, and very much like jackfruit. My first steep was good, what I would expect from a fruity sheng. Very aromatic, with just a hint of bitterness. 2nd steep still had an amazing aroma and now there’s a bit of mouth drying astringentcy. 3rd steep tasted the fruitiest and continued with a bit of astringency. Later steeps mellowed out and got sweeter as the steep times increased into multiple minutes. Very enjoyable!
Sample from the puerh plus TTB
Rinsed this once. 1st steep tasted like cream with a hint of apricot and brewed up a light green yellow. I could smell smoke coming off the next steep, but there was only a bit of acrid flavor in the cup. A bit of ruddy color started to come out here. 3rd steep came out just slightly bitter, it was more of just the feel of the astringentcy on the tongue than anything else. I also got a strange hint of melon flavor in there. The bitterness backs off on the 4th steep and the tea ends up mellow and sweet. It continues to steep up like this with increasing steep times and temperature until it quits around steep 13.
As it is now I’d say this tea while not terribly exciting, was pleasant. Probably a good thing to absentmindedly drink.
Flavors: Apricot, Cream
The first sample I’m trying from the puerh plus TTB.
1st off if this box has taught be anything it’s that I can’t say no to a tea that smells like chocolate. I grabbed samples of all three teas where I whiffed some cocaoy goodness. This being the only tea that contained actual cocoa was unsurprisingly the best smelling of all of them. So much so that when I added hot water the room started to smell like I was making brownies.Now you need to understand that I love chocolate. Not “chocolates”, not melty dove bars or sweet mockolate candies, not even Hershey’s “special dark” if they still embarrass themselves by calling it that. I’m talking straight up cocoa nibs, 80-100% bars, hell I won’t even go less than 60% cocoa content for the chocolate chips I put into cookies. I always worried that cocoa containing teas just wouldn’t be enough. I was wrong.
This tea brings out all the cocoa and the puerh adds a good dark base that keeps it from tasting watery. I brewed this in a gaiwan and through 10 steeps the nibs were present in every cup from the first light colored one to the later dark cups. The aroma cannot be talked about only experienced. The puerh did not get in the way of the chocolate which might happen with western style brewing. I may have ate all the nibs out of the tea when I was finished.
One note with this tea. It contains cocoa butter in the nibs which will slowly come out of the tea leaving a slight sheen on the top. Because of this you’ll want to make sure to use glazed teaware and give everything a good wash afterwards to keep from contaminating your next tea.
I have a fondness for Nilgiri teas…iced. Most are a bit abrasive hot (with the exception of the lovely Conoor Estate Nilgiri I had from Single Origin Teas). But they do have those brisk tannins that stand up to ice in a way “nicer” teas can’t. During a sample day I tried this hot and of course didn’t quite care for it. But it had a lovely raisin flavor I just had to try cold so I brought some home. At around $2/oz I couldn’t really go wrong. I’ve been too lazy to properly ice it, but it has been fantastic cold brewed. Brisk and crisp with a dark raisin maltyness at the end. So good for the first time this summer I am cold brewing absolutely nothing else.
The leaves on this are also very lovely. Long, thin, wiry, and very dark.
I had this at the tea tasting on Tuesday and it left quite the impression on me. I didnt take any notes on it other than “very good, fresh, *”, but I remember being impressed about how clear and green it tasted without being grassy. Also there really wasn’t a hint of astringentcy in my cup. I keep regretting not picking up 2 oz of it, but I’m currently on a tea buying hiatus until I can sip down some of what I have…and errr…get a job.
Flavors: Green, Sweet, Vegetal
This was my sample in my last what-cha order.
I did 2 min at just under boiling water. It had a pleasant spicy flavor with a bit of tannic brightness. The tannic bit wasn’t unplanted but coated the inside of my mouth and made the taste lingers bit. There’s also a woody almost meaty note in the background. I ended up steeping this a few more times without any bitterness. I think the 2nd steep was even spicer, but the subsequent ones less so than the 1st. I might try brewing it for longer next time.
1st steep 160 35 sec
Brews to a light green color. Taste is grassy but not bitter. There is a sweet corn taste, like the fresh green husks of the corn, and corn silk. Steeped leaves a fantastic bright green color.
2nd steep 160 45 sec
Color of the tea is still lighter than I would expect of the leaves. There’s more grassiness here and less of the corn. A bit of a savory seaweed note has appeared.
3rd steep ~150F ~1.5 min
Sweeter, a light bitterness that coats the mouth
Very sweet, less bitterness
Flavors: Corn Husk, Grass
I had wanted to become more familiar with Korean tea when I placed my last What-cha order so I grabbed a few including this one since I’ve never had a Korean black tea.
Opening the package the first think I notice is the small thin delicate tea leaves. They smell a bit like chocolate, and dark raisins, and…Corn Pops? I spent a few minutes trying to inhale the bag, but it was uncannily just like the Corn Pops cereal.
1st steep: ~35 seconds at around 175 F
Brews orange gold. Smells like raisins and tastes like raisins. It very much like the sweet water left over from soaking raisins which I’ve tried many times from baking something or other. It also had a bit of a corny cereal flavor like fresh ground whole grain corn meal. The texture had just a bit of silky come out.
2nd steep: ~1 min 175F
Brewed to a deeper orange color. Now tasting more (I guess anything) like a black tea with a bit of brisk astringency that coats the mouth. There’s a malty sweet taste to it and also a mint like mouth tingle thing going on.
3rd steep: ~160F lost track of time switching over laundry.
This was so Corn Pops.
Subsequent steeps were much lighter and sweet flavored. I think I did up to six with increasing time and temps. I rather liked trying this tea as it was pretty unique to anything I’ve had previously. I’m glad I got only 10g though because I can’t see myself drinking such a sweet tea on a regular basis. I rather prefer blacks with more of a punch or greens that balance out any sweet flavors with bitter. I’ll probably use the rest of it in trying a cold/ice brew and maybe a cup with a longer initial steep time.
Flavors: Malt, Raisins, Sweet
It’s been much too hot for hot tea which is a shame since I recently got in my whatcha order. I’ve been cold brewing some of it, but I don’t like judging a tea on cold brew alone. I’ve finally had a chance to have this hot a few times now enough to form an opinion on it.
The tea leaves are dark and finely twisted. Quite possibly one of the prettiest assamicas I’ve seen. The bag of tea smells actually kind of like teriyaki beef jerky which is a bit odd. I brewed this with just under boiling water for about 3 min. It ended up a little malty and sweet but also robust, as well as a little…fruity? I can’t quite put my finger on it. There’s a bit of an edge at the end that lets you know you are drinking an Assam. I’m really liking it for breakfast as its bold enough for the morning, but not so much that I feel I need to add anything.
I got this as a sample during my last purchase. This is a nice flavored and fragrant tea but it finishes with a floral lotus taste I don’t care for at all. I tried cold brewing this and it was crisp and refreshing but it brought out more of the lotus flavor. Bummer.