358 Tasting Notes

Curse me. I forgot to save the dang note before shutting down the computer earlier. ::sighs::

Well, I remember the important details, such as the fact that this was a rich and deep tea that had flavors I’d like to further explore. A nice dark liquor with a great accompanying scent. I am not really familiar with brandy, but definitely got an “alcohol” burn in the back of my throat during some steeps. Each steep tasted of spices to me, a bit earthy in a woody kind of way. There was even one steep that left a very green tea-like aftertaste that lingered for quite a well, and it did give way to some sweetness as I continued steeping.

I oversteeped by a looooooot twice, and every cup I had still tasted good. I definitely look forward to better familiarizing myself with this tea!

Flavors: Alcohol, Spices, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Sae Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
358 tasting notes

5g, ~90-100ml water

I received this tea from Chiki with a recommended drink-by date of November 16, so I expect to do a lot of experimentation with it between now and then. For this first try, I’m going to follow Yunomi’s kabusecha brewing guide and brew for 90 seconds on the first steep. I’ll be using my gaiwan with the lid off and pouring into a preheated cup.

These leaves probably have the greatest sense of delicacy of anything I’ve brewed recently. The dry leaves are a deep green with a potent vegetal aroma.

The aroma of the first steep is mouthwateringly strong and the flavor does not disappoint. Green and umami. It’s like a savory veggie medley. Despite drinking green tea for years and even living in Japan, this is actually my first time having a kabusecha. I am blown away. The moutfeel is, indeed, dense, but smooth. I can’t help but think this tea would make an unbelievable bowl of ochazuke. As I get closer to the sediment at the bottom, a bit of bitterness is hitting the back of my tongue. Just the right amount, in my opinion, paired with just a bit of astringency. The wet leaves look just like steamed greens, which I suppose makes perfect sense!

The second steep has the perfect easy drinking flavor. If the first steep was like a treat to be enjoyed in moderation, the second is something that I could continue to drink all day, which I suppose is illustrated by the fact that I drank it down pretty quickly.

The strong aroma is still present, but that overwhelming flavor is giving way to something more mellow and sweet in the third steep. I’m loving the lingering sensation that’s left in my throat. I feel like I probably could have gotten a bit more flavor out of this steep, so in the future I’ll try letting it go a bit longer.

In the fourth steep the aroma still continues to linger and the flavor continues to mellow out, so I think I’ll call it done for now. Next time I try this, I may try hotter water for the 3rd and 4th steeps to see how that turns out.

Steep details:
1st: 70C, 90 seconds
2nd: 80C, 10 seconds
3rd: 80C, 30 seconds
4th: 80C, 60 seconds

Edit: So, the brewing guide I used threw out the idea of eating steeped out kabusecha leaves, so I mixed it into my lunch (rice and veggies). That was a very, very good idea. Definitely will do it again.

Flavors: Green, Smooth, Umami

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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5g/100 ml

Dry leaves smelled like sweet tea to me. The first steep is pretty complex and the liquor has a deep color. I can’t quite separate all the flavors, but I’m definitely getting a spiced sense, and it leaves a hint of faint honey sweetness on the tongue. The more I drink, the sweeter it gets. It’s smooth in the mouth and a unique sweet scent clings to the empty cup.

The second steep is definitely sweeter and the aroma is rich in a somewhat woody/earthy kind of way. I got a good few more steeps out of this one with the same good flavor. I definitely look forward to exploring this tea further!

1st: 10
2nd: 15
3rd: 20
4th: 30
5th: 45

Flavors: Honey, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Wood

5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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So I drank this tea the other day, and my note didn’t get saved. :( Figured I’d give it another go so I could record some information on it.

Lat time I believe I did about 3.5 grams/100 ml at 80C. Today I did 5 grams/100 ml at 85C. Definitely noticing a more impactful flavor. It’s vegetal as it was the first time I had it, just stronger. Not getting much of a scent from the liquor itself, but the leaves also have a very green, vegetal scent. The wet leaves are also a very nice color. I want to say vibrant, but that’s not quite right, as they’re obviously not bright green. Just a very nice mix of clear light and dark greens.

15 seconds. The leaves have really expanded a good bit more on the second steep and I’m still getting a good flavor, plus more of an aroma from the liquor itself. The more of this steep I drink, the more my mouth fills with this vegetal flavor, and it really has started to linger.

The flavor carries on into the third and fourth steeps, with some umami notes coming out. By the fifth steep the flavor has started to mellow out. The flavor has decreased more in the sixth steep and is finally starting to give way to some (not at all unpleasant) bitterness, which mingles nicely with what flavor is still lingering. I definitely think I prefer this temperature and these steep times compared to what I had the other day!

Seconds per steep
1st: 10
2nd: 15
3rd: 20
4th: 30
5th: 45
6th: 60+

Flavors: Green, Umami, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This is a very pretty cake, and layers of it break off without too much effort.

Very fragrant, spicy scent. The first infusion is kind of watery, though, so maybe I didn’t go long enough or it needs hotter water. That spiced taste lingers on the tongue, however. Not much of a scent lingering in the cup afterward.

Second infusion, same fragrance. The taste is like drinking some herbal infusion moreso than drinking tea, at least for my taste buds. The liquor is a little thicker-feeling in the mouth this go round.

It’s funny. From a distance this tea smells sweeter than it does up close. I think I found the third infusion thicker than the first two. Didn’t have time to enjoy any more after that cup, unfortunately.

Flavors: Flowers, Herbaceous

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Adagio Teas
358 tasting notes

I was first introduced to lapsang souchong when a friend let me taste a Twining’s tea bag some years ago. I haven’t really had it much since then, but I always liked the smoky taste.

Now that I’ve been researching more about tea, I’ve learned about Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, but have yet to have a chance to try it and in either case, I enjoy a strong smoky flavor.

I’ve had this particular tea from Adagio once or twice made western style, this is my first time having it gongfu style.

90C, 4.5 g, 100ml, first infusion about 10 seconds.

Well, it smells like smoke. Straight up. The first infusion of this is smoky and sweet. It’s like drinking sweet smoke. Or barbecue aftertaste.

In the second infusion, more of the taste of the actual tea shines through. Barely there bitterness, a bit of sourness. Not really getting much sweetness in this steep, but a bit of a sweet scent is clinging to the cup. I also let this steep go a bit longer than I intended.

Forgot about my third infusion as well. Today is not my day. Smoky smell and taste remain. I feel like pine is more pronounced in this steep. I can probably get some more out of it, but it’s about lunchtime so I’ll finish up!

Flavors: Ash, Char, Pine, Smoke, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Wuyi Ensemble by Adagio Teas
358 tasting notes

~4.5g in 100 ml water at 99C, initial steep ~20 seconds

So I almost lost this session’s tea as a result of dropping the gaiwan for no apparent reason. It just slipped out of my hand mid-pour. Some tea leaves fell out, but I got most of the liquid in my cup and a lot of the leaves stayed in the gaiwan, so I decided not to let it stop me.

The first steep is amber-colored, smooth with a charcoal flavor (like, fresh, cleansing charcoal, not barbecue bricks or something), has no astringency, and leaves a sweet honey-like scent clinging to the empty cup.

The second steep has an almost creamy scent, a bit more smokiness coming out in the flavor, is still very smooth going down and has maybe the slightest bit of astringency on the back of the tongue. A nice honey scent still clinging to the empty cup.

Third steep…Maybe the universe just didn’t want me to drink this tea. I got distracted by an interesting issue brought to my attention at work and oversteeped. By a lot. Ended up with a dark amber liquor, but the taste was still good and the mouth feel still smooth. I got so absorbed in what I was doing that I didn’t give sufficient attention to the tea. I will see if I can get any more infusions out of it.

Fourth steep. Yeah, it’s done. I did get a good amber color and a good charcoal scent, but the taste is starting to get watery and not much lingers to the empty cup anymore.

Flavors: Ash, Char

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Ti Kuan Yin by Adagio Teas
358 tasting notes

99C for 20 or so seconds on the first infusion

Light color, nutty scent, smooth without much astringency, a slight hint of sourness
Collard greens.

Second infusion brings out more sourness, a fresh green bean flavor, the empty cup has a sweet, lingering scent.

In the following infusions, these attributes gradually lightened.

Flavors: Green, Toasty

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Brewed gongfu style at 95C.

Very, very light color for the first infusion. Smells of weak honey and has a lightly smoked flavor.

The second infusion also light in color. Some bitterness and astringency are starting to come out.

The astringency coats my mouth in the third infusion. The taste and mouth feel definitely linger for a long time with this tea, and the honey scent is strengthening, clinging to the empty cup.

With the fourth infusion I’m getting savory notes and a smoothness that precedes each wave of astringency. The aroma has transformed into something a bit more floral, and a bit of a buzz is starting to set in.

On the fifth infusion the scent is almost vegetal and the flavor is definitely more savory. The astringency seems to have mellowed out slightly, and upon emptying my cup I again found it full of a sweet scent.

The following infusion was pretty similar and I did one more before finishing up.

Flavors: Earth, Smoke, Tannic

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

I like the Spring version of this one too.

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I like tea, mostly unflavored. I drink all tea, with a preference for teas from China, Japan and Taiwan, with some exceptions.

I don’t rate until I have had a tea several times unless it makes a very strong, immediate impact.

I am hunting for the following:
w2t 1990s HK Style

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