4 Tasting Notes
I did 6 steeps and 1 rinse.
The smell of the leaves is amazing! One can smell creamy flowers, buttery notes and even the smell of fresh pastries is noticeable.
1st steep: floral notes at the start followed by a subtle creamy aftertaste. The aftertaste was very subtle so this steep was mainly floral notes.
2nd steep: the floral notes at the start were a bit stronger. These floral notes were followed by light creamy floral notes in the middle and a stronger floral finish. It’s quite interesting that the creamy notes were only noticeable in the middle.
After this steep, I started to notice the increased astringency of this tea. When finishing a cup, I immediately got a dry mouth.
3rd steep: heavy floral notes at the start followed by very subtle creamy notes in the middle. These creamy notes were not as strong as they were during the 2ndsteep. The finish of this steep is floral all the way.
4th steep: it starts subtle so no heavy flavours at the start. Floral notes start to appear and gradually diminish again. It also has a light floral aftertaste. Interesting enough, this steep does not have any hints of creaminess or buttery flavours, unfortunately. The creaminess is what made me taste this tea in the first place.
5th steep: no heavy flavours at the start. Increasing floral notes leading to a floral aftertaste.
6th steep: this was the final steep as the tea leaves gave me everything they had. No heavy flavours at the start, very subtle floral notes without any aftertaste.
I’m quite happy with the results of my first tea tasting of 2019. This Qing Xin was a tea I’ve had for a while and I’m delighted I did a proper tasting of it. Personally, the first three steeps were the best because I really liked the creamy flavours. I’m not really into oolong teas but I really liked this one. That is why my final score of this tea is 9/10. If I run out of tea and want to buy some new oolongs, this one will definitely be the first one on my list. Or even if I am looking for a good tea to serve with a sweet dessert such as a freshly baked strawberry cream pie or just any pie with a lot of whipped cream.
Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Creamy, Floral
For this tea tasting, I did 1 rinse and 6 steeps. After the second steep, I changed the amount of water because the tea was too bitter for me.
The leaves have a dark green colour and have a thin shape. If you look at these leaves, it looks like they have been waxed. The smell is a toasted and nutty aroma.
The smell of the wet leaves is more or less the same as the dry leaves. It really smells delicious and tasty!
1st steep: this steep is bitter right from the start. There are some subtle nutty flavours hidden beneath this overall bitterness. I generally don’t like bitter but this steep isn’t too bad. Even though it’s bitter, it’s still pleasant to drink.
2nd steep: subtle bitterness at the start and the nutty flavour becomes more noticeable. Mostly nuts in the middle, just like the aftertaste. There are also some light bitter notes in between.
3rd steep: WOW! What a difference! I felt the previous steep was a bit too bitter for this particular tea so I lowered the leaf to water ratio and this didn’t miss its effect! I went from around 120ml to 180ml with the same amount of leaves. Now I’m getting pleasant nutty flavours that are not too intense. These flavours, however, did not stay for long as I didn’t experience a real aftertaste. Started getting some umami.
4th steep: this steep is delicious! Toasted almond nuts from the start and this dies out slowly. During this steep, I’m getting more toasted notes than during the previous steeps. Some umami flavour as well.
5th steep: more or less the same as the previous steep, only less intense. Very light toasted almond nuts. In the middle, the taste is as intense as steep 4 but the aftertaste doesn’t stay as long. In general, this is a pleasant steep with umami notes.
6th steep: this is the final steep as flavours are fading more and more. I only got some light almond nuts with some umami. The umami is barely noticeable.
In general, I can say I really like the first tea of Curious Tea’s January subscription box. The first two steeps could have been better but I’m happy I used more water for the third steep. Of the six steeps, number 4 is my favourite because of the flavours I experienced during that steep. If you like toasted and nutty flavours, this tea is something for you. I really like teas that have this flavour profile and in combination with the umami notes, this tea is pleasant to drink; both in texture and taste because of the roasting. The only thing you need to keep in mind is the leaf to water ratio. If I brew this tea again, this is the thing I will be paying attention to.
Flavors: Almond, Roasted Nuts
I did 2 rinses and 9 steeps of 10 seconds and I added 3 seconds each steep. I used a Juanshui clay teapot of 200ml during this tasting.
Before the rinse, I got some earthy chestnut notes followed by a slight burnt aroma.
I got more or less the same aromas but I also got a very light citrus smell after the second rinse.
In general, I can say that all steeps had one thing in common: there was a combination between warm notes on the one hand, and a sharp taste on the other hand. What it is exactly difficult to describe and that is why it is such an interesting tea to drink.
1st steep: during this steep, there were no exceptional and intense flavours. There was a slight earthy and blackcurrant taste. It was earthy from the start and then gradually changed into more blackcurrant notes. There was no bitter and / or astringent aftertaste. Drinking this tea gave a very pleasant feeling in the mouth.
2nd steep: still a bit earthy but a bit less than the first steep. Some blackcurrant notes in the middle and these died out slowly towards the end. In the end, it gets bitter and that is why this steep is a bit too intense for me. On the website, it says this tea is not bitter but I experienced some bitter notes.
3rd steep: This one is really difficult to describe. I got some warm notes in combination with very sharp notes. This steep is not as intense as the previous one and tastes a lot better. In addition, the aftertaste is a lot less bitter.
4th steep: some slight burnt notes in combination with blackcurrant. The aftertaste is even less bitter than steep 3. Really enjoyable to drink.
5th steep: this steep is not as intense as the previous ones. No burnt and earthy notes and also no bitter aftertaste. This is a really enjoyable steep to drink.
6th steep: very light flavours during this steep. Some slight earthy notes in combination with a very light citrus flavour. The citrus flavour is only barely noticeable.
7th steep: This steep is more or less the same as the previous one. Light earthy flavour in combination with some citrus notes. These notes are very light and barely noticeable.
8th steep: very light earthy tones in combination with some sharp lime, citrus notes. This is a really nice steep to drink. Pleasant feeling and taste. `
9th steep: no earthy flavour. Only some very light citrus notes. This creates a clear and fresh taste.
As I have said before, this tea is a tea of extremes. It’s the combination of two opposites: warm notes and sharp, fresh notes. I did not fully experience this combination during the earlier steeps but once I noticed it, the game was on. For me, this is one of the main reasons this tea is really enjoyable to drink. It’s difficult to describe but once you have tasted this tea, you know exactly what I mean.
Did 8 steeps, 15 seconds for the first steep and added 5 seconds to each steep.
The smell of the dry leaves is just jasmine flowers. Nothing more, nothing less.
After the rinse, the smell was quite something! Light jasmine notes, followed by warm honey and even a light grassy finish.
1st steep: While drinking the first cup, I got jasmine flowers in combination with the flavour of vegetal green leaves. Starts with a heavy green taste followed by light jasmine notes.
2nd steep: only light green notes at the start followed by light jasmine flowers. No heavy aftertaste; only a few notes of green leaves.
3rd steep: I immediately got heavy green notes again at the start. This particular flavour stays throughout the whole steep but you also get some light jasmine notes. The jasmine flowers do not stay long so this steep is mainly green flavours. During this steep, the leaves start to become more astringent so I immediately get a dry mouth after finishing my cup.
4th steep: I got a lot less green notes at the start while getting more jasmine flavour. I would describe it as a medium jasmine flavour, a slight jasmine aftertaste and even some slight floral notes throughout this steep. During this steep, I also got a cooling sensation on my tongue.
5th steep: some light green notes with a heavy jasmine flavour followed by a really astringent and green finish.
6th steep: during this steep, I got jasmine flowers from the start and this diminished gradually. Nothing heavy just light and pleasant flavours.
7th steep: from the start, I immediately got a cooling sensation on the tongue. I got light jasmine notes from the start that gradually diminish. The big difference with steep 6 is that I got hit by a really green aftertaste.
8th steep: this is definitely the last steep. Only a light jasmine flavour. Nothing major at the start and only a light jasmine flavour in the middle, which dies out slowly.
I’m not sure if I want to buy this tea again. It’s possible that I overbrewed it but I didn’t really like the tea this time. I’m planning on doing another tasting in a few months.