47 Tasting Notes

Nishide Tea Factory
Uji Gyokuro Tea G20 (must be the year indicator or something… was too lazy to make a new page)
5.8g, 200mL kyusu

I’ve had this since March, but just haven’t had time to get to it since this is just not what I would generally reach for when I’ve got extra time to focus on brewing + making notes and not just casual drinking. In the meantime, I stuck it in the freezer since apparently Japanese greens don’t take to regular storage too well (maybe hearsay?), so I’m not sure if that affected anything.

dry leaves is both dried seafood umami and dried cranberry/fruity like note

I roughly followed Yunomi’s instructions on the packet, but I think the 60 ml first steep was a typo, so I did all my steep w 200 mL. Accidentally did 30s 2nd steep instead of 15s, and I should also note that my kyusu is not the fastest pourer.

in a prewarmed kyusu, leaves emit a smell like oyster or clam. Surprisingly, in the wet leaves, that is tampered down quite a bit, although retains similar character overall.

122f, 2 min: taste upfront is deeply umami, with a sort of thickened texture. aftertaste is umami with maybe something salty lurking along with a grassy taste.

176f, 30s: a hint of astringency along with a hint of sweet. unmistakably umami still, but sweeter. hint of grass in aftertaste.

196f, 50s: a touch of astringent, with muted flavors similar to before.

212f, 1 min (not Yunomi advised, just wanted to see what would happen when pressed for an extra last steep): something with a touch of bitter, overall nondescript and not quite worth mentioning.

Not a bad tea by any means, but my own preferences lean against overly umami notes. I do wonder if my freezer storage of this tea affected the sweetness, since the other 2 reviews seem to have gotten more out of this.

Flavors: Grass, Salt, Sweet, Umami

5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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drank Baozhong by Drink Tea Co
47 tasting notes

5.0g, 100mL gaiwan, Brita water off boil

dry leaves have a strong buttery sweet green smell, combined w hints of a slightly roasted oolong

30s: wet leaves smell of roasted vegetables. Interesting. Taste also has a strong vegetable note, which I wasn’t sure how to interpret. Smooth, but drying on tongue, nothing else in particular to note.

40s: aftertaste is more present, a smoky haze of sorts. Not sweet, but present nonetheless. Maybe something like spinach or arugula with less of a kick? Seen a different baozhong review described as tasting of “boiled mint” which I suppose is sort of apt

1 min. 30s: smoky. Didn’t continue notes or infusions, was probably a busy day.

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四季春/4 Seasons of Spring

4.8g, 100mL gaiwan

Green oolong per description and brewed at 212f and timed as advised. Interesting.

Brita filtered water off the boil.

Like most Taiwanese oolongs, seems to be rolled fairly tight.
Dry leaves have a sweet, lightly toasted aroma, reminiscent in ways of a Jin Xuan. There is a slight smoke that is muted.

30s: smoke at forefront of wet leaves. Wow! strong, with slight floral sweetness. tastes like a light Jin Xuan that I’ve tried in the past, but w/ a hint of smoke. Tampered sweetness.

40s: similar as before. very light sweet aftertaste. something reminds me of tomato here, but not quite vegetal.

1 min. 40s: not much different from before. also a sort of mint-like note. Sometimes oolongs blossom in later steepings, but I didn’t continue. Relegated to the overnight cold brew bottle.

cold brew: sweet fruit notes with smoke. End notes resembling a light roast coffee, which I found interesting.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Mountain Black Tea by Drink Tea Co
47 tasting notes

5.0g, 212f, 100mL gaiwan, Brita water

dry leaves smell sweet.
Wet leaves smell really smoky.

Overall, it started with something vegetal and ending pretty nondescript for me. Felt a little flat throughout, though not sure if that’s because I just haven’t liked black teas as much lately. Unlikely to repurchase.

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drank King Ginseng by Drink Tea Co
47 tasting notes

4.9g King Ginseng, 200f, 100 mL gaiwan, Brita water

dry leaves smell of osmanthus.
Wet leaves smell of smoke.

30s: tastes sweet, slight osmanthus, some smoke.
30s again: smoky and bitter, before more floral notes appear.

I couldn’t continue with this. I have developed a strong aversion towards any osmanthus notes in teas and perfumes. Drank with a suitemate who also couldn’t pick up on any ginseng in the two infusions we did. Maybe it shows up later, but I couldn’t bring myself to continue.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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5.4g, gaiwan, 100mL

I brewed this past midnight during midterms prep, so I was cranky and didn’t continue infusing. Notes are sparse and probably reflect as much.

same dry leaf smell as rest of PS order: dates and dried fruit. Something is up with their storage or my nose. Maybe one, maybe both. First time getting a surprise with the leaves: leaves had a piece of straw/hay inside. lol.

212f, 1×5s rinse
200f: wet leaves exude strong smoke. Lots of stems in this sample.

5s: unpleasantly smoky. Hint of date on the aftertaste. Sharp note.

12s: Sharp and smoky. Cooling on aftertaste with slight sweet.

5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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2020 harvest.

7g, 100mL duanni, water off the boil

Like the rest of my roasted oolong reviews, I am still not great at picking out distinct notes. Takes some getting more used to the taste I guess? I don’t dislike them in the way I used to at least, though there is a limit to the amount I am willing to shell out for them.

Smells roasted, can’t pick out specifics.

In the pre-warmed pot, something sweet like cinnamon and smoky and also vegetal like tomato, though the last could be due to the time I used my duanni to also brew kabusecha lol. Haven’t had much time to use it lately.

Wet leaves exude strong smoke. Emptied cup smells sweet in a buttery sort of way.

3s: smoke and light sweetness initially, then a slight sweet aftertaste that lingers.

3s again: stronger on the smoke. a slight touch of bitter and medicinal. a bit of a tickle in the throat, but not sure if it’s because of a slight cough that day.

11s: bitter! Leaves a minty cooling note on tongue.

12s: bitter and minty.

10s 2x: a celery like aftertaste with dark chocolate notes throughout.

15s: something of a berry note.

My notes stopped here, but if I’m remembering correctly, I did do a couple more infusions. An interesting tea, though personal tastes still lean towards lighter roasts for me.

Flavors: Berry, Bitter, Butter, Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Medicinal, Mint, Smoke, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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First cake purchase, haha.

200f, 100mL gaiwan, 5.3g

dry leaves like rest of PS order: dried fruit smell

1×5s rinse

wet leaves: strong smoke
5s: slight sweet
10s: astringent and sharp with a cooling aftertaste.

I can’t remember why I stopped on the second infusion with this one either, but I have the rest of the cake still, so I’ll update this if I feel the urge to pick it up in the near future. Not sure how PS stores their cakes, but if I had to hazard a guess, this one didn’t age much at all however they’re storing it.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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2013 MGH 1312 MengKu Ancient Tree Green Pu-erh Tea #1503

5.2g, 100mL gaiwan, Brita filtered water, 200f

1x 5s rinse

dry leaves smell like rest of PS order: dried fruit

wet leaves smell of tart dried fruit, w/ hint of smoke.

5s: light w slight sweet aftertaste

10s: astringent and sharp notes. Stopped here to put the rest to cold brew overnight.

Cold brew turned out nice and fruity. Generally speaking though, likely wouldn’t repurchase. Can’t remember from my notes why I stopped after 2nd infusion, but this was probably one of the days where I was trying to focus on too many things at once and lost interest in this one.

Flavors: Astringent, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Smoke, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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2011 Dayi 7542 Green Sheng Puerh #1324
5.2g, 100mL gaiwan, Brita filtered water, 200f

This is one of the advised first stops in the puer journey, so I’m making a roundabout of sorts here in my own tea history.

Dry leaves, like rest of PS order, smell fruity and sweet

The wet leaves smell of light smoke and unexpectedly very sweet.

1x 5s rinse smells of shou: damp, mushroom, earthy

2s: slight sweet, slightly thick. Light, clear yellow broth.

5s: leaves smell a touch more smoky. Bitterness hits. Sharp and a touch medicinal. Broth thinned out.

10s: brew darkens to a light golden color. Bit drying in the mouth, unpleasantly so.

15s: feels slightly thicker again. Sweetness more pronounced.

30s: color returns to a light yellow, thin and sort of lifeless. Decided to kick temp to boiling for next steep.

1 min, boiling: not much to note. Put in a cold brew, which tasted pretty alright, but not much else to note.

Not terrible, but unlikely to purchase again.

Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Medicinal, Mushrooms, Smoke, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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while this site is mostly inactive, the organization and formatting is convenient to add notes without the hassle of making a blog. And yes, people do leave reviews elsewhere, but it’s convenient to have them all clustered in one place when you’re purchasing or deciding to purchase something. While tastes vary from person to person, hobbies tend to be universally expensive and time consuming, and tea is no exception. Learning as it relates to perception is largely individual and thus these reviews represent my own experience, but also are my small contribution to reducing inefficient blind buys (ahem, tuition, as it were) universally.

As of 4/21/21, I will no longer assign numerical ratings to a tea unless it is terrible enough to warrant one. There are a lot of solid teas out there, so it’s hard to differentiate. I prefer reading mildly subjective reviews from others, anyway, over a very subjective numerical rating.

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