646 Tasting Notes
[Winter 2017 harvest]
It might be because it’s more than one year old by now, but the aroma of this tea is very weak. It does kind of make up for it in the aftertaste, which is strong and interesting.
The flavours are mostly vegetal with light bitterness in early steeps and floral notes developing in later ones. There are notes of grass, dandelion flowers and spinach. The aftertaste is sweet, spicy and very comforting, definitely the highlight of the session for me. It induces a somewhat tingling sensation in the throat. The liquor texture is between silky and creamy, but not very thick.
Even though it’s not a bad tea at all, I cannot recommend it because of the high price.
Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFtRq6t3jOo (listening to her after the sublime concert last night)
Flavors: Creamy, Dandelion, Floral, Flowers, Grass, Spicy, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetables, Vegetal
A subtle and delicate tea with a very soft texture, this is my favourite of the 4 Teavivre samples tperez sent me. If I ever order from Teavivre, this is one of the teas I’d like to get. The taste is quite sweet and floral with some vegetal notes. The aftertaste is surprisingly pungent and somewhat tart I would say. It would be nice to see this tea in its fresh state.
[Spring 2018 harvest]
I got a free sample of this tea with my recent order. It seems like a robust Yunnan black tea with a good body and medium astringency. The dominant taste is that of malt and other grains, as well as a milky finish. Not very sweet, but otherwise there is good depth of flavour. The aftertaste is cooling in the throat and quite long lasting with some cocoa notes too. The most complex aspect of the tea is its aroma, which ranges from woody/nutty in the dry leaf through earthy/fruity (berries) in the wet leaf to a honey like fragrance of the liquor.
Overall, a good tea for a very fair price, the only major drawback for me is the lack of a balanced taste. However, if someone really enjoys this kind of a malty taste profile, this is a winner I think.
Flavors: Astringent, Berry, Earth, Grain, Honey, Malt, Milk, Nutty, Oak, Wheat, Wood
This is a very unremarkable tea, both in the positive and the negative. It has a milky mouthfeel, a balanced, woody taste and an aroma mostly reminiscent of dark cherries, wood and some berries. Definitely not a bad choice for casual drinking, but I imagine there are better options available at the price of $0.1/g.
Flavors: Berries, Cherry, Milk, Smooth, Wood
[Spring 2018 harvest]
This is a tea I received from tperez, thanks mate! I didn’t get a chance to try it fresh yet, but it seems to be the kind of green tea that stores relatively well. The dry leaves exude a light aroma that is reminiscent of sheng, meadow and various vegetables. In a preheated pot, I get more of a moss/mushroom kind of smell.
The taste is quite smooth, juicy and floral with a nice bitter finish. There are notes of grass, unripe apricots, elderberry flowers and dandelion. The tea indeed performs well even 1 year after harvest, being neither flat nor overly astringent. In the aftertaste I detect new flavours of bark, pattypan squash, edamame and fermented fruits.
The mouthfeel is creamy I’d say and fairly thick for a green tea. Overall, I enjoy this tea a lot for casual drinking, it is quite forgiving as far as brewing parameter are concerned as well. Oh, and thanks to its needle like shape, it is very pretty when brewed in glass too.
Flavors: Apricot, Bark, Beany, Bitter, Dandelion, Floral, Flowers, Forest Floor, Fruity, Grass, Moss, Mushrooms, Pumpkin, Tart, Tea, Vegetables, Vegetal
Snow Flower Bi Luo Chun is a white tea with a complex fragrance, subtle taste and a buttery mouthfeel. It is nice to drink, but not my favourite tbh.
Its aroma is sweet with notes of green apple, meat, grass, green wood, ginger, vanilla and cotton candy. In the later stages of the session there is a touch of maltiness in the smell too. The taste is fairly light with lots of subtle tones. The most prominent flavours seem to be those of honeydew melon, straw, oats and stonefruits. On the other hand, the aftertaste is predominately sweet, mineral and floral. As I mentioned the liqour texture is very buttery and it has a medium to full body.
Flavors: Cotton Candy, Dry Grass, Floral, Ginger, Green Apple, Green Wood, Honeydew, Malt, Meat, Mineral, Oats, Stonefruit, Straw, Sweet, Vanilla
I wasn’t going to drink any more tea today, being the evening and all. But watching a documentary film about sexual abuse of children by priests in Poland made me sick (I couldn’t finish it tbh) and decided to brew up a tea labelled as 2013 Ban Zhang I received from Liquid Proust.
The tea is good…
Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNCw9ON4eeo
Having tried both the 2013 and 2018 versions of this tea, I think I can say that it’s not my favourite shou profile. I do prefer the 2018 one, although that may be affected by the fact that the sample of 2013 vintage I received was from the tightly compressed part.
I did find the aromas of Hui Run quite interesting with notes like petrichor, cognac, cloves, fireplace, blackberry and camphor among the ones I picked up. The liquor itself has a somewhat medicinal smell, which is then present in the aftertaste too. The taste is nutty and slightly bitter. It reminds me of red wine and fresh parsley at times. The first time I had this sample, I found it a bit fishy, but not today.
The aftertaste seems to be limited to throat over mouth. It is very long, sweet and constrictive. The tea has a nice colloidal/milky mouthfeel that is coating once cooled down. In terms of cha qi, I didn’t notice anything other than a caffeine effect.
Flavors: Alcohol, Bitter, Blackberry, Camphor, Cloves, Fireplace, Fishy, Medicinal, Nutty, Parsley, Petrichor, Red Wine, Sweet
Jingmai LOVE is an ok sheng, but doesn’t seem to stand out in any particular way. Maybe the most memorable is its qi, but not necessarily in a good way either.
The dry leaves have a weak floral smell mixed with some sawdust. On the other hand, the wet leaf aroma is fairly strong. It is fresh and reminiscent of barn cooked meat and a dry meadow.
The rinse has a soft and coating mouthfeel and quite a dynamic taste. It is herbal with vegetal sourness and savoury notes. I also notice some tangerine peel and in the aftertaste phyllo pastry and some sweetness emerging.
First few steeps retain a nice coating mouthfeel, but later on, the texture becomes quite uninteresting. The taste is initially very similar to unripe apricots with some umami and dry grass notes. Over time more floral sweetness is present and around infusion 6, moderate bitterness appears too. After a metallic finish, I get a biting and numbing aftertaste that’s quite nondescript in terms of flavours. The only new one I picked up on is black pepper. There are a lot of returning flavour over time, but the aftertaste is not one that would keep my attention.
The cha qi is somewhat frontloaded. After few steeps I feel warm and sleepy, with a light dizziness. Later on, the only effect is the caffeine rush, which is quite strong from this tea.
Flavors: Biting, Bitter, Black Pepper, Citrus Zest, Dry Grass, Floral, Metallic, Pastries, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet, Umami
I got this Wild Lapsang in Boulder at the Trident cafe. It is definitely up there with the other premium black teas I have tried recently and has a distinctive character of its own. Specifically, it is an incredibly fragrant and floral black tea, at times reminiscent of red jade black teas.
The smell is very deep and complex, I find it hard to describe or compare. There are aromas of tomato vine and various spices and herbs. The taste is well balanced with savoury and bitter flavours complementing the natural sweetness. There are notes of bread crust, pecan skins and rock sugar. Aftertaste is long and very fragrant. The main flavours are those of wood, incence and beeswax. The weakest aspect of this tea is the mouthfeel I think. It’s not bad, but nothing exceptional either.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Floral, Herbs, Nuts, Pecan, Spices, Sugar, Wood