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Archive for Tea Review

Tea Review

Kagoshima Kabuse Sencha

Upton TJ79. 2.2 grams steeped for 2 minutes at 180℉. Appearance: typical sensha green lancets, see photo. Dry tea scent of hay and citrus. Brewed tea scent is grassy, brothy. Taste: brothy, vegetal, with some mouth feel. Not astringent.

A fine upscale but affordable sencha. ‘Kabuse’ means that this tea was grown in semi-shade, rather than full shade like gyokuro. Recommended.
 
Tea Review

Early Spring ‘Yunnan Mao Jian’ Pure Bud Green Tea

Yunnan Sourcing. 2.2 grams steeped for 4 minutes at 180℉. Impression: Wiry silver-green strands, see photo. Dry tea scent of citrus, resin, stone fruit, trace camphor. Brewed tea scent is of warm cotton. Taste: delicate, savory, hints of bacon. Not astringent.

Mao Jian is one my favorite green teas; this is a pre-Ching Ming version of it. The faint taste of bacon reminds me of a wonderful pre-Ching Ming Pi Lo Chun I once had from Upton, but have been unable to find again.

Tea Review

Langharjan Estate TGOP1 Tippy

Upton TA73. 2.2 grams steeped for 5 minutes at 212℉. Impression: OP size dark and light bits, see photo. Dry tea scent spicy. Brewed tea scent of sweetness and warm cotton. Taste: murky and brackish, with malty notes. Moderately astringent.

An average Assam. This is one of a sample set of four estate Assams sold by Upton.

Tea Review

Seajuli Estate GFBOP

Upton TA29. 2.2 grams steeped for 4 minutes at 212℉. Impression: Dark and light BOP size bits, see photo. Dry tea scent spicy, malty, trace of citrus. Taste: slight malt, murky, woody. Not much mouth feel. Moderately astringent.

A satisfactory but undistinguished Assam. One of a sampler pack of four estate Assams.

Tea Review

Yunnan ‘Pure Bud Silver Strands’ First Flush Green Tea

Yunnan Sourcing. 2.2 grams steeped for 4 minutes at 180℉. Impression: wiry silver-gray whole leaf strands, see photo. Dry tea scent is sweet, musty, savory, meaty. Brewed tea scent is sweet and fishy. Taste: savory, fishy, with hints of cardboard. Not astringent.

Another pre-Ching Ming green tea, from a sampler of several sold by Yunnan Sourcing. Hated this on first tasting. I grew to like it a little better on further tastings, but it will never be a favorite. I don’t like the fishiness.
Tea Review

Early Spring Yunnan ‘Bao Hong’ Dragon Well

Yunnan Sourcing. 2.2 grams steeped for 3 minutes at 180℉. Impression: flattened leaves, typical of Lung Ching prep technique, see photo. Dry tea scent of baked biscuits. Brewed tea scent is brothy, fruity, slightly vegetal. Taste: very mild, nearly tasteless, hints of fruit and rubber or plastic. Not astringent.
 
Rating: ★
 
Not a successful tea. Pre-Ching Ming teas tend to be lighter and more subtle than later pickings, but this one is so light it barely exists. I tried a larger amount of leaves, still didn’t work.
Tea Review

Pure Ceylon English Breakfast, Select Blend

Upton TB18. 2.2 grams steeped for 3 minutes at 212℉. Impression: dark BOP size bits, see photo. Dry tea scent: hints of mint and cedar. Brewed tea scent is yeasty, malty. Taste: Mild, brackish, woody. Moderately astringent.

Most ‘English Breakfast’ blends include some Assam for maltiness. This does not, and suffers a little for it.

Tea Review

Christmas Tea, blended in Germany

Upton TE90. 2.5 grams steeped for 4 minutes at 212℉. Impression: BOP-size tea with lighter bits of other material, see photo. Dry tea scent of lemon, clove, cardamom, potpourri-like. Brewed tea scent is dominated by clove, but there are hints of roses and perhaps cardamom? Taste: clove-y. Mildly astringent.

I am not a huge fan of flavored teas, but this one is okay. Sweetening and milk might improve it, if you drink tea that way, which I usually don’t. The ingredients list includes black tea, citrus peels, rose petals, chopped almonds, cloves, vanilla bits, cardamom, ‘artificial flavor.’

Tea Review

Idulgashinna Black Tea OP Organic, Ceylon Premium Tea

Upton TC60. 2.2 grams steeped for 5 minutes at 212℉. Impression: long, dark twisted whole leaves, see photo. Dry tea scent resinous, floral, sweet, slightly grassy. Brewed tea scent is yeasty. Taste: malty, yeasty, like old leather, hint of spice. Very astringent.

A pretty tea, both in the dramatic appearance of the dry tea and the deep, clear amber of the brew. Unusual scents when dry for a black tea.

Tea Review

Uva Special BOP

(Ceylon) Upton TC51. 2.2 grams steeped for 3 minutes at 212℉. Dry tea scent: resin, fallen tree leaves. Taste: harsh, brackish, with notes of rotted wood. Moderately astringent. Unusual taste for black tea. Not for me.