676 Tasting Notes
This was the tea I was most looking forward to from the group order. I sampled it eons ago and loved the delicate peach flavor mingled with the flowery Baozhong. Never found another peach tea quite like it.
This time though the flavoring seems a lot more intense and perfumey than I remember. It doesn’t smell very peachy though. The smell reminds me more of lychee than peach. Lychee, rose water, and stonefruit are the dominant flavor notes. I can’t taste the Baozhong base at all. The sample I tried once had a more delicate but distinct white peach flavor.
Perhaps the flavor will eventually settle with time as it sometimes does with flavored teas. It’s still delicious, just a little different than how I remember it tasting.
Flavors: Lychee, Rose, Stonefruit
I brewed this one twice. The first time I goofed and blended it with an unsmoked lapsang not realizing that it had a delicate Darjeeling base. I steeped it on its own the second time and it was perfect – it didn’t need to be blended with anything.
The tea smells perfumey but not in that heavy, cloying way that some jasmine teas do. Jasmine hits the nose first and is followed by rose water and a little nectarine. Thankfully, the brewed tea isn’t as strong as it smells. It’s got a subtle jasmine flavor, light malt, and a kiss of peach. A white grape sweetness emerges as it cools. Tastes similar to my Verdant Tea Yunnan Golden Jasmine black tea but I find the addition of the peach delightful.
Flavors: Jasmine, Peach, Perfume, Rose, Stonefruit, White Grapes
Enjoyed this tea a lot more than I thought I would. I’ve never had vanilla in a green tea before but it marries really well with the strawberry flavoring here and lends a rich creaminess to the tea.
The tea smells and tastes like ripe, juicy strawberries dipped in whipped cream. It’s heavier on the cream than strawberry. Rich and buttery like creme brulee custard with a lingering white chocolate sweetness.
Prepared by mixing this tea with a straight green in about a 1:1 ratio and then cold brewed.
Flavors: Cream, Custard, Strawberry, Vanilla, White Chocolate
First tea from the Lupicia group buy. This one reminded me of a Teavana favorite, Fruta Bomba. The flavor and aroma of this tea are an exotic tropical fruit explosion. I love tropical-fruity flavors which are amped up to the max in this blend.
At first, I blended it with a straight green tea because of how potent it seemed. But I’ve discovered that Lupicia teas are milder than how they smell. The best results came from steeping as is. It tastes like a juicy tropical fruit cocktail. Super sweet with big hits of pineapple, mango, lychee, papaya, and rose. It’s reminiscent of Mountain Dew but in the best way possible. Less citrusy and without the artificial chemical taste.
I’ve been cold brewing this every day and don’t see myself getting tired of it anytime soon. Hopefully I still have some left by summer because this would be a very refreshing iced tea during the warmer months.
Flavors: Fruity, Lychee, Mango, Pineapple, Rose, Sweet, Tropical
Upgraded to this from the grocery store Maeda-En hojicha I used to drink. There was nothing wrong with it, in fact it’s one of the best commercial green teas out there, but I wondered if I could do better and Yuuki-Cha’s description of this tea was enticing: specially aged, first flush harvest picked from a high grade kuradashi leaves.
The dry leaves give off a funky, almost putrid smell. I got some really intense dark flavors the first couple of times I steeped it. Dark amber hued liquor with lots of woodsy and caramelized notes. Coffee, butterscotch, and leather were the dominant flavor and aroma characteristics. These were accented by notes of maple, barley, roasted nuts, sandalwood, and toffee. It’s definitely more complex than your typical hojicha. The flavor has now started to mellow a bit after resting a couple of weeks. It smoother and the earthiness has tamed down.
I especially enjoyed it as a cold brew which is how I’ve been steeping it lately. The cold brew is even smoother, crisp, and refreshing. You can taste more of the tea’s subtleties. Tobacco, black cardamom, oak, and clove were some of the more interesting flavor notes I got from cold steeping.
While I can appreciate how meticulously this tea was produced and enjoyed its complexity, I still prefer the simpler taste of classic hojicha. This to me is more of a connoisseur’s tea. It may appeal to fans of roasted oolongs or rare aged teas, but for me the taste doesn’t quite live up to its lofty pedigree.
Flavors: Caramel, Coffee, Earth, Oak, Roasted Barley, Spices, Tobacco, Wood
Got this as a sample with my Verdant order this summer. The concept of this tea was intriguing: a green tea made from an oolong tea varietal and compressed into a puerh like disc the size of a coin. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t coax any flavor out of it. I brewed the entire 7g toucha in my 120ml shibo, a rather high ratio of leaf to water. I was expecting a strong cup but it tasted like hot water. There were faint notes of zucchini, okra, and dandelion but it was mostly tasteless. I decided to ambient brew the rest for a couple of hours and then poured it over ice – my shortcut cold brew method. Finally some flavor but man was it strong! I had to dilute to strength considerably to get past the bitterness. It tasted alright. It didn’t have the flowery characteristics of tieguanyin or the musty/earthy flavor of puerh and similar compressed tea. To me, it tasted like a fairly generic Chinese green tea with a chestnutty edge.
Verdant describes a pretty exotic flavor profile so not sure if I screwed up the brewing or something was up with the tea.
Flavors: Chestnut, Dandelion, Floral, Vegetal, Zucchini
Since this tea isn’t great for matcha lattes, I decided to see how it would fare in cooking. I made a small batch of green tea brownies using this and they turned out quite good. Assertive yet subtly sweet green tea flavor. This green tea powder lacks the bitterness of real matcha which makes it suitable for baking. You don’t need as much sugar to balance out the bitterness.
Recipe for anyone interested: https://www.hmart.com/recipe/post/nye-green-tea-brownies/
Finally a Green Terrace Tea that isn’t stale or flavorless. After all the duds so far, I didn’t have much hope for the remaining samples. This was a respectable Li Shan although not the best one I’ve ever had. It has a brothy-floral flavor, a powerful Cha qi, and gives several good infusions.
Dry leaf smells of butter and shokupan bread. Wildflower aromas begin to emerge following the first steep. The brewed tea is thick, buttery, and floral with hints of vanilla, eucalyptus, honeysuckle, and dairy. The Cha qi was strong with this one, almost to the point of feeling nauseous which was probably compounded by drinking it on an empty stomach.
Flavors: Bread, Broth, Butter, Cream, Eucalyptus, Flowers, Milk, Vanilla
Ever since I got into matcha lattes, my matcha consumption has went up dramatically. This also led to increased spending and because good Uji matcha isn’t cheap, I started looking for frugal alternatives a step above culinary grade. That’s how I discovered this powdered kamairicha at Yuuki-Cha.
Kamairicha, for the uninitiated, is Japanese tea that is processed like Chinese green tea, where the leaves are pan fired instead of steamed. The resultant tea is a Japanese-Chinese hybrid of sorts – fruity, nutty, and sometimes floral – and absolutely delicious. I’ve tried and enjoyed a number of different kamairichas and was intrigued to find it in powdered form .
Appearance wise, it has a paler green color than regular matcha powder. While the prepared tea does have an attractive emerald green color, it doesn’t froth as nicely and lacks the creamy mouthfeel of good matcha. There’s a noticeable chalkiness in the aftertaste. Taste wise, the grassiness and vegetal notes are a lot tamer which might appeal to people that don’t care for the aggressive taste of matcha. Holds up quite well to hotter water temperatures without becoming astringent.
For me, the real test was how it held up to milk and sugar. Unfortunately, it was quite underwhelming as the mild flavor gets further muted when prepared as a latte. It tastes like a pale shadow of a real matcha latte with the barest hint of greenness and lots of chalkiness. So it’s rather disappointing in this regard. I’ll have to experiment further with this tea, but for now I’m going back to my Organic Yame matcha for lattes. It’s more expensive then this one, but it’s the most affordable of the traditional matcha powders.
Another dan Cong that probably sat too long in my cupboard. This one was earthy like crushed autumn leaves and very mineral. I got notes of spice, incense, and wood. Didn’t taste any of the floral or apricot notes described by Verdant. Quit after a few steeps because I couldn’t convince myself to continue drinking any more of it. Good thing it was just a sample so no big loss here.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Mineral, Spices