Halcyon TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Oh Bother, somehow I drank the whole tea without ever logging it – but I can’t remove it from my cupboard without leaving some sort of a record of it. I remember this as being a floral, pleasant oolong. It seemed to be a good daily tea, one that I looked forward to drinking, but the taste never overwhelmed what I was doing enough to incite me to write about it. Sometimes those kinds of teas are good. We all need them in our cupboard.
Unfortunately, I opened the container to realize I only had a few leaves left, so tried to make the most of it. I probably should have just brewed a 1/2 or 1/4 cup, but I wanted to make it last and so made a full cup. It turned out sort of watery and flavorless… I remember it being a nice, woody oolong, but that didn’t really come out today.
The loss of the container from my tea cupboard made it seem alarmingly diminished, so I’m relieved that I just placed a small order with Harney and Sons. More on that soon! (hopefully)
For whatever reason, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Pu-erh – but I often wish that some tea or person would come around and change that opinion for me.
This tea tastes nice, but only in the way that you would call a person who has no other defining traits ‘nice’. It does have that classic dirty, woody, pu-erh flavor that I actually do enjoy, but it lacks any sort of bitterness or astringency, which I feel that I need in order to to truly enjoy my cup. Pu-erh connoisseurs would doubtless taste more complexity in this well-rounded tea, so don’t take my rating seriously when deciding whether to purchase.
So after a month long stay in San Diego, I visited my favorite tea shop in the area and stocked myself with several of their teas. After going through the eye opening experience that was my last matcha, I decided to give this one a try. I wasn’t really expecting much, as the description is very clear that this is an everyday grade, but I still enjoyed this one.
Aroma is very faint, almost non-existent, unless you smell the can up close. The powder is lightly coarse with a bright lime green color.
Usucha style (thin).
I used 4 oz of water, 2 scoops, 180F water and thoroughly whisked.
While the website description asks for 2 scoops per 2 oz of water, the label in the can says 1 scoop per 2 oz of water, so I decided to follow the directions in the can. I’ll post an update using the guidelines from the website.
>Taste and Color
Foam is bright lime green, liquid a deep dark green.
Taste-wise, the tea was very light with very subtle grassy/vegetal notes and not a hint of bitterness.
Pretty much the description by Halcyon is spot on. While not a mind blowing experience, it’s definitely better than the usual offerings at the Japanese markets. This is a matcha that tastes good on its own and I bet it’ll make better lattes than the store bought ones.
*NOTE: Most of the teas I recently got from Halcyon(including this one) have been de-listed from their website. I don’t know if they are temporarily out of stock of them or are giving way for new tea.
1st Steep 2 tsp, 8 oz
cup: A light, golden yellow
Scent: Grassy and a little nutty
Flavor: Exceedingly pleasant – just what I was in the mood for this morning. Delicate and grassy tasting without any astringency. A well-rounded cup.
I know that my life is coming together again (after a cross-country move and starting a new job) because I’ve finally gotten to brew my first cups of tea in my new home. Nothing makes one realize that life is going to be OK like a lovely, bracing cup of oolong. I can see myself sitting here, relaxing, and enjoying many future cups of tea in a way that I haven’t been able to up till now.
Additionally, I have finally gathered up all of my tea things that had been scattered across the country and now have a designated oolong tea pot, which just makes life feel organized and deliberate.
Second Steep 1tbs, 6oz
Cup: Similar to first steep, a little more on the redish side
Scent: Very woody again, but definitely picking up something darker, maybe a chocolate or burnt carmel smell.
Flavor: Still woody, but quite a bit sweeter. Getting some more background tones too, something nutty and dark. Much less astringency now that I’ve brewed it more precisely.
First Steep 1 tbs, 6.5 oz
Cup: Deep brown color with redish tones – very clear.
Scent: Definitely woody with carmel and floral notes.
Flavor: This is a fairly bold tea, well rounded, but with a hint of bitterness and astringency (which I appreciate). I just love the flavor of this tea – I can’t quite describe what it is about it. The word ‘woody’ keeps coming to mind, but doesn’t sound nearly as appetizing as a word as it is in this tea. Perhaps a word I’ve heard people on steepster use would fit: toasty.
Final Thoughts: An excellent tea, one I keep returning to time and again. I wish I had the flavor vocabulary to do it justice.
Next Time: I got so excited about the tasting note that I forgot to time it precisely!
3rd Steep: 1 tbs, 5.5 oz
Cup: Very Light, much more yellow
Scent: much lighter as well, a little grassy
Flavor: Getting ever so slightly astringent, less of the nutty flavors and a little more strongly green. Still very ‘buttery’.
Final thoughts: I don’t think this tea is going to go much further than the 3rd steep. Perhaps if I had put 5 oz of water in each time, I might’ve been able to brew a 4th.
2nd steep: 1 tbs, 6 oz, 1 minute
Cup: Much more green than first steep, very clear.
Scent: Still grassy and musty, grass scent perhaps a little stronger.
Flavor: Less water is definitely a way to go, this second steep tastes much fuller. Still getting a lot of the buttery, tongue coating flavor; less of the nutty flavors. This steep tastes sweeter than the first one, and has a more floral aftertaste.
Final Thoughts: Much better with less water – I am going to start steeping teas with my OXO food scale. It won’t be able to register the tea, but I will at least get a precise amount of water. Also, this tea has an unexpected amount of caffeine – getting a little tea drunk after only two steepings.
Next Time: Still needs less water for this amount of tea, but getting closer.
Cup: a very light yellow/green
Scent: mild, very grassy as one would expect from a young tea, but with a very earthy, almost dirty undertone.
Flavor: First thoughts – mild, not at all astringent. Very mellow for having such a grassy smell. Not quite getting the ‘buttery’ flavor I was told to expect, but the ‘nutty’ is definitely coming through. I’ve never wanted to describe a tea as buttery before, but I’ve been pondering what that might taste like as I sip. I think I’m starting to taste it now – it is an exceptionally smooth flavor that comes through after the tea is swallowed, almost like a coating on the tongue.
Final thoughts: As a person who prefers a little astringency and bitterness, this first steeping is far too mellow to be my ideal tea, but I can still appreciate its quality. If you like a well-rounded cup, this would be a perfect fit for you.
Next time: I think I’d like this better with a bit more tea and less water. This time I did about 1 TBS for 8 oz, but I’d like to try 1 TBS for 5 oz.
First of all, let me preface this tasting note by saying that I’m not the biggest fan of pu-erh. I do enjoy it, but it always seems too rounded and mellow for me. For some reason, I prefer dark, astringent, and even bitter teas. This was one of the best pu-erhs I’ve tried, however.
Flavor: A sweet, rounded, well balanced cup.
Color: A beautiful amber color – very thick. After several steepings, it appears lighter and very red.
Scent: Definite earthy, musty notes. Reminds me of an old coniferous forest after a long rain.
i’m newish to tea so i don’t have the language down just yet.
that said, i love this tea. it has all the great assam qualities: it’s bold and rich. it tastes malty. it delivers a robust caffeine dose. hands down my favorite black tea right now.
Tasty white tea, but I do prefer the lighter kinds, such as silver needle. Nonetheless this carries a whole range of other flavors that someone may prefer over the more delicate white teas. This tea leaves you with a dark yellow color and has a heavy feeling in the mouth, carries a nutty/woody flavor, no astringency and just a hint of bitterness.
One of the finest peppermint teas I’ve ever tried. It has a very strong, delicious peppermint smell that delivers a fresh, sweet and minty flavor. It’s delicious hot, but I prefer it chilled on summer days for a very refreshing drink that doesn’t need any sugar to be tasty. I’d like to try it someday with a splash of mineral water and some fresh peppermint leaves.