Darjeeling Production Defects Cupping Event Results …. Week 2

IMG_5662-croppedRound two samples of the Production Defects Cupping Event have been evaluated and the Cuppers comments are below. In this week’s samples the Cuppers compared two benchmark teas from well known gardens along with their “manipulated” pairs. The two defects investigated this week were the effects of the leaves being over-fired and over-fermented. These are both common manufacturing defects and the tea makers try hard to adapt to batch by batch variations in ambient humidity, temperature and internal leaf moisture. In the specially made defective samples the effects and undesirable attributes are easily recognizable. This is very useful in trying to recognize faults in standard production teas where the defects are less pronounced and combine with other positive and negative elements.

 

Sample #3-A
Dry Leaf Appearance:

-  Mix of size and color. Tiny broken pieces, medium, large pieces with some stem. Color ranges from dark brown, light brown, yellowish and some green bits.
- Wide variation of color, from bright green to an earthy green to dark brown, with obvious bits of bud. Uniform leaf seems broken but very few tiny pieces.
- dull, brown, uniform
- green somewhat uneven strokes
- Somewhat irregular black with some green leaf
- Some Gold, curled, basic dark green, broken
- Small highly variable dk green/brown w/some black some fines noted
- green, silvers, and grey uniformly fragmented
- lovely color variation: silver, green, gold, sienna, dark brown; consistent sizes

 Dry Leaf Aroma:
- Thin, mild but with light toasty overtones. Very faint hints of sweetness.
- Sweetness, green and fruity, fresh
- white chocolate
- herbal
- Dry and grass, not a great deal
- Earthy, grassy
- Hay dried alfalfa grassy/herbaceous, hint of steamed asparagus on some cups
- honey with the sweetness of apple
- fresh cedar, woodsy floral notes

 Wet Leaf Appearance:
- Choppy bits of dark green and brown. Flat, flakey. Not bad but could have been sorted better.
- A lot of green and all leaf is broken. No whole leaf obvious in the sample.
- brown and medium green, bright
- green with brown edges
- Large, moist leaf litter, slight glistening
- Fully open broken leaf, uniform dark green
- Open medium olive drab significant rufous highlights
- tippy, predominately green
- muted green, red and brown tones visible in fresh looking leaf pieces

 Wet Leaf Aroma:
- Baked fruit (currant) with light hints of spice. Mild but full.
- The astringency seems obvious in the aroma of the infused leaf - even before tasting.
- celery, cooked meat
- biscuity stewed (or overripe) fruit
- Vegetal - a touch swampy but nice
- Fresh, green, some florals
- Dried stone fruit, tahini, and hint of stone fruit pit
- sweet citrus with a hint of geranium
- woodsy cedar

 Liquor Color:
- Bright reddish amber with mild yellow halo. Not intense color. Some sediment.
- Light brown-orange. Clear.
- pale orange brown
- orange copperish matt
- Light Amber
- Clear, bright, some orange in dark gold
- Clear, bright, medium golden amber
- amber orange
- bright light orange gold

 Flavor:
- Light astringency (pleasant). Fruity with baked overtones of currant (cooked) and orange peel.  Some tart bite at first witch dissipates. Wet cloth.
- Unpleasantly bitter. Seems to override the notes I was hoping to taste from the aroma of the dry leaf.
- long, structured mouthfeel, lasting, hint of cola
- stewed fruit a light agrum (orange ?) note biscuity
- Slight menthol, dry and woodsy
- Clean, bright, some astringency, pleasant
- Medium+ body, soft clean finish, malt notes, bit-o-honey, dried stone fruits
- floral, sweet with balanced astringency
- low astringency, soft flavor for Darjeeling, balanced but understated

Comments:
- A nice tea over all. Lingering finish is nice.
- What intrigues me is how there can be totally green leaf with totally oxidized leaf in the same batch unless they are blended. I have trouble imagining how it is manufactured to have this diversity otherwise.
- Pleasant, nice mouth feel and satisfying
- very nice balanced liquor with a complex taste between stewed fruit and biscuity
- Picked it as Giddephar. One of my favourites.
- Second infusion produced a nice, pleasant rounded flavor
- Flavor noticeable more pronounced as liquor cooled
-
- a little round and soft, but a generally pleasing and agreeable Darjeeling character.

Rank: Combined scores for all Cuppers. Cuppers were asked to score the sample based on four criteria. The chart below shows the overall ranking of each attribute. The rank range was 1 to 5 with one indicating most appealing and 5 indicating least appealing. A higher number indicates more Cuppers agreed on the same ranking.

1=Most Appealing

1

2

3

4

5

Leaf Appearance

1

4

2

2

 

Leaf Aroma

 

6

2

1

 

Liquor Aroma

 

8

 

1

 

Liquor Flavor

2

6

 

 

1

 


Sample
#3-B   Over Fired
Dry Leaf Appearance:

- Mix of sizes; small chunky pieces to large, longer leaves. Some silver tips but mostly medium to dark brown. Some stalk.
- Very dark leaf with little variation of color and no obvious bud or bit of green leaf. Leaf seems uniform.
- black-brown, uniform
- black shriveled
- Like black tobacco, very uniform colour no green pieces.
- broken, black brittle
- Small highly variable dk brown/black few green some fines noted
- uniform size, dark black with a brown hue
- heavy brown colors with touches of silver and sienna, consistent sizes

 Dry Leaf Aroma:
- Dusty with some cooked pastry notes. Dark cocoa powder (not sweet).
- chocolate sweetness
- dusty, leather
- burnt grass
- Manky, with a soap sud presence
- lacks aroma, some woodiness
- Faint grassy  bit of spice & herb  hint of charcoal filter
- chlorine, plastic, vinyl
- musty, moldy aroma

 Wet Leaf Appearance:
- Mix of sizes. Chopped leaf. Mostly dark brown.
- Very dark brown. All broken leaf with considerable number of small pieces.
- dark brown
- brown dark brown
- Large Leaf litter, dull
- lacks distinction, dark brown/green
- Mostly open fairly consistent red/brown/green colors
- reddish brown, very light hue of green
- a little choppy looking with more stem; mostly dark brown leaf

 Wet Leaf Aroma:
- Sour, musty, over baked. Forest floor, fishy and dark. Still has cocoa element but wet/stale.
- Musky, slightly metallic
- musty, chocolately, slightly marine
- grilled grass warmed up hay a note of multy smell
- Muddy and Mouldy
- Very little aroma, some woodiness
- Freshly cut green wet lumber, charcoal, & tobacco leaf
- warm rubber, vinyl, fresh plastic
- musty, moldy aroma

 Liquor Color:
- Deep brownish yellow. Clear with some faint yellow halo. Some sediment.
- reddish brown
- red brown
- dark brown matte
- Muddy Brown
- Gold with a little haze
- Clear medium red amber
- amber red
- rusty brown

 Flavor:
- Musty, sour with some underlying sweetness. Chesty.
- Some of the chocolate from the aroma of the dry leaf comes through in the cup.
- coffee grounds, mild, limp
- toasty somewhat earthy dull and no aromatic complexity a little bit pungent
- Horrible. Like sucking mould off a rubber glove.
- Flat, lacks flavor, no astringency, "left over"  Unpleasant when cooled
- Thin body, toasted wood and nut shells, charcoal finish hints of pipe tobacco
- flat, malty, slight astringency
- The flavor and aroma are surprisingly moldy and musty. Very unpleasant.

Comments:
- Round, stalky taste rather than leafy. Sour taste lingers. Could have been a good tea if not damaged by moisture. 2nd infusion some citrusy notes come through but still has musty taste.
- The over-firing doesn't seem like a mistake to me. The darker notes and muskiness are desirable qualities to me while the bitter astringency is not.
- No lasting flavor except a char taste.
- a not very appealing liquor dull and not rich in aroma (toasty) some unpleasant earthy taste
- Vile. Incredibly different to the 'A" sample. Required several glasses of water afterwards
- Second infusion was tasteless
- Better in mouth than expected at least until charcoal on finish
-
- very disagreeable musty moldy aroma and flavor

Rank: Combined scores for all Cuppers. Cuppers were asked to score the sample based on four criteria. The chart below shows the overall ranking of each attribute. The rank range was 1 to 5 with one indicating most appealing and 5 indicating least appealing. A higher number indicates more Cuppers agreed on the same ranking.

1=Most Appealing

1

2

3

4

5

Leaf Appearance

 

 

5

4

 

Leaf Aroma

1

 

2

3

3

Liquor Aroma

 

 

1

3

5

Liquor Flavor

 

1

1

4

3

 

 Sample #4-A

Dry Leaf Appearance:
-  Mostly long strips of twisted leaves with some smaller pieces. Dark brown with some silvery buds.
- Dark, wiry, twisted leaves. Color ranging from reddish brown to almost black. Some bits of green and fuzzy, lighter colored bud.
- wiry, small, fragmented
- dark brown near black long shape
- Mixed length but uniform thickness with a curl
- green, brown broken leaves with some whole,
- Small highly variable part twisted dark brown with some tan/green noted
- dark brown/blacks with red hues, larger twisted leaves and smaller fragments, few downy tips
- coarse finish w/ a touch of silver, green and sienna

 Dry Leaf Aroma:
- Bready. Medium body but very rich and complex. Round, smooth with some nutty notes.
- A slightly sweet citrus.
- mild citrus
- grilled grass
- Warm and Malty
- Some sweetness and floral undertones
- Hay, dried alfalfa, herbs, hint of fresh cut lemongrass on some cups
- malty sweet, cereal, wheat
- woodsy, unpronounced

 Wet Leaf Appearance:
- Mix of dark green and brown cut leaves. Size is not so uniform.
- Large pieces of leaf become obvious - some whole and just over  an inch long. Green bits are more obvious
- uniform, muddy
- green with brown edges small pieces
- Dark wet barley straw
- fully open, some full leaves, brown
- Open medium dark olive drab with significant rufous highlights
- brown reddish green leaves with loose stems
- dark red and green tones on a brown background

 Wet Leaf Aroma:
- Light, perfumy with fruity notes. Some slight "green" edge. Some sappy aromas as from hollow stemmed plants. Sweet. Complex. Nice.
- A hearty, meaty aroma in the first infusion that thins out a bit to astringency in second.
- wet newspaper
- fruit (prune) flower (orchid gardenia)
- Classic Darjeeling, Earthy notes
- Pleasant "tea" aroma, some floral
- Cedar, pencil shavings, herbs, and loam (garden soil)
- malty, berry
- complex with high, medium and lower notes of cedar, woodsy floral

 Liquor Color:
- Bright brownish amber. Red hints with some small sediment.
- Dark Orange, clear.
- dull, pale brown
- copperish bright
- Rich tan
- Dark Caramel, clear with some "mud"
- Clear bright medium amber tending toward red shift
- amber with reddish-orange
- coppery gold, medium brightness

 Flavor:
- Light (pleasant) astringency. Citrusy (lemon peel) with nutty notes in the finish. Sweet high notes. Some baked notes come through. Brings out layers.
- Gentle flavor - thin but not bitter in the first infusion. Second infusion is not very satisfying - very thin.
- sweet, forward, lingering
- a nice flower (orchid, gardenia) aroma with some fruit, an impression of freshness
- Dryish Eucalyptus and straw
- A little bitter with some metallic aftertaste, astringent with a cardboard aftertaste
- Light+ body, toasted nut shell & dried orange zest, short finish
- wet, slightly astringent
- woodsy with muscatel grape background, balanced, complex

Comments:
-  Nice tea over all. Fairly well balanced. A better sorting would have improved it. Second infusion - some perfumy remains but is lighter. Complexity is almost gone but still retains some sweetness. Not satisfying but pleasant.
- The slight astringency left a bit of dryness on the tongue. Based on the aroma of the dry leaf, I had anticipated a little more flavor in the liquor. The deep orange liquor is beautiful and clear but I had hoped for a little more flavor, based on the aroma of the dry leaf.
-
- A very interesting liquor with a pervasive flower (orchid) aroma accompanied by some fruit (prune) fresh and long lasting
- Again, picked this one, and remembered tracking across Spain with a bag of it. Bought back memories.
- Almost tasted as described in the defect section.  Not sure if not mislabled
- Liquor aroma did not measure up to leaf aroma across multiple cuppings.  Disappointing.
-
- more complexity to the aroma and somewhat in the flavors

Rank: Combined scores for all Cuppers. Cuppers were asked to score the sample based on four criteria. The chart below shows the overall ranking of each attribute. The rank range was 1 to 5 with one indicating most appealing and 5 indicating least appealing. A higher number indicates more Cuppers agreed on the same ranking.

1=Most Appealing

1

2

3

4

5

Leaf Appearance

2

3

4

 

 

Leaf Aroma

2

3

2

1

 

Liquor Aroma

2

4

2

1

 

Liquor Flavor

3

2

4

 

 

 

 Sample #4-B   Over Fermented
Dry Leaf Appearance:

- Dark brown, wiry leaves with some stem and silvery buds.
- A twisted leaf with variation between dark and light browns. There are bits of green and light, fuzzy buds.
- irregular, brown, black
- black brittle
- Slightly browner version of 'A' sample
- brown, black, broken
- Small highly variable part twisted dark brown/black with few tan/green
- dark brown/black with a tawny hue, varying leaf size. Slightly crinkled texture
- dark brown going towards black with coarse finish

 Dry Leaf Aroma:
- Rich, full, baked. Toasty with light sweet edge. Hints of spice. Cookies.
- An interesting flowery sweetness.
- slight fruity
- herbal
- Virtually none
- odorless
- Herbs, fresh cut lemongrass  hint of oyster shell
- starchy, sweet, smells like it belongs in soup
- lacking complexity and high notes,

 Wet Leaf Appearance:
- Large dark green and brown leaves (cut). Nice shape over all.
- The large pieces of  whole and only slightly broken leaf are a mixture of green to reddish brown. Uniform in that there are very few small pieces.
- brown, green hints
- brownish green ragged
- Dark Dry Straw
- brown open, muddy, broken
- Open dark olive drab with even rufous overlay (wash)
- broken reddish green leaves with loose stems
- muted red and green tones on a brown background, dull appearance

 Wet Leaf Aroma:
- Mild. Light baked notes. Pleasant. Mild but with some complexity. Slight floral hints.
- A smokiness comes out in the infusion that is obvious on the infused, warm leaf.
- wood-paneled room
- toasty withered flowers
- Chalky and thin
- very slight, hard to detect, with no character
- Hints of herb & toasted wood
- berry, geranium
- lacking high notes, dull wood

 Liquor Color:
- Reddish amber-brown. Bright but a little thin. Some mixed size sediment.
- Dark orange, clear.
- pale, red-brown-orange
- red brown mate
- Pale tan
- gold clear
- Slight opacity, dull medium amber
- amber red
- coppery gold with hint of brown, not bright

 Flavor:
- Slight sourness with a bit of astringency at first. Perfumy from green leaves but seems like leaves weren't withered long enough.
- There was a very slight edginess - slighly bitter - but not unpleasantly so.
- orange peel, heavy astringency, fading
- flat poor in aroma toasty astringent
- Almost no taste, Fleeting astringency
- Nice even flavor, fully rounded, no bitterness but some astringency
- Flavor better than 4A.  Had good under and over tones
- Thin weak body with some toasted wood notes finish unpronounced at best
- floral, light bitterness, astringent
- vague, lack of definition of flavor components, no high notes

Comments:
- Still has hints of fruit. Not bad but could be better if astringency was less. Not enough moisture removed during processing? Second infusion -  hints of Pepper flower? Floral note lingers in the finish but less pronounced. Still detect the "sappy", wet quality but not objectionable. More body than sample 4-A.
- I tried this with a little more leaf and liked the boldness of the liquor a little more. If this is over-fermented, I would say that it brings a little more "umph" to the cup. Doesn't seem like such a bad thing.
- Citrus notes are nice, but does not pair well with liquor flavor
- A very flat and simple liquor, not interesting at all, the astringency is the dominant impression
- Gaaahhhh! Waste of hot water. No taste to it.
- Flavor better than 4A.  Had good under and over tones
- Really unremarkable.  Hint of oyster shell on dry leaf odd but consistently noted.
-
- lacking high notes, interest. Dull and less complex than it's counterpart.

Rank: Combined scores for all Cuppers. Cuppers were asked to score the sample based on four criteria. The chart below shows the overall ranking of each attribute. The rank range was 1 to 5 with one indicating most appealing and 5 indicating least appealing. A higher number indicates more Cuppers agreed on the same ranking.

1=Most Appealing

1

2

3

4

5

Leaf Appearance

1

3

1

3

1

Leaf Aroma

1

2

1

4

1

Liquor Aroma

 

2

2

2

3

Liquor Flavor

 

2

2

1

4

 

 

About The Author

danrobertson

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Author his web sitehttp://theteahouse.com

26

02 2014

1 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. Elyse Petersen #
    1

    These are some detailed notes. Thanks for sharing. I will have to participate in your next tasting.



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