UNYtea

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77

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Flavors: Baked Bread, Cherry, Wood

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

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Sipdown (603)!

This was a lot nicer than the first time that I tried it – more flavour to the cup overall, and fresher florals that reminded me so intensely of that “peak” in the Springtime. Peony/osmanthus notes in the top notes and body, quite strongly, with an almost magnolia like floral quality as well – it’s strong and defined but not strong. As a morning cup of tea, it’s almost too relaxing as well – I’m feeling very unmotivated to get out of bed and really start my day. The finish is interesting too; it’s creamy and sweet in more of a patisserie sort of way. Sort of a buttery, condensed milk note. Lovely to finish the sip on; and clean on the palate.

Mmmm!

Evol Ving Ness

You and me both, Ms. Strange. I’ve been in bed all week with a cold or/and the flu and today, though I am feeling much better, I am lolling about as well. Just to be sure. But also, not motivated despite the urgencies of many things.

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A little bit weak tasting all brewed up, but this shows a lot of promise if I can figure out the right combo of things to really draw out the floral flavours. Though, as soft as they were the notes of osmanthus, orchid, and peach were quite pleasant. A creamier mouthfeel, and a bit of a gassy (wheatgrass?) undertone also. It was fine; I wanted something a bit less surface level though…

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsx1hbJl5ro/

Cameron B.

Okay, I admit it, I straight up LOL’d at “gassy”… Sorry. XD

Roswell Strange

Oops, that’s definitely supposed to be grassy!

Cameron B.

I assumed as much, but chortled at it anyway because that’s how mature I am. ;)

Cameron B.

I can totally relate, sometimes I have a bit of a gassy undertone as well.

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69

This tea is pretty old at this point, but I made a Western mug of it last week and I actually found it pretty nice. Not complex/dynamic (Japanese black teas rarely are; the age doesn’t help) but smooth, and easy to drink without off notes. More of an umami/brothy profile with hints of cherry wood and a raisin/brandy type of fruity undertone. Medium bodied; though a touch flat…

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69

So I made this after work, to drink on my commute home.

To be fair, while I have tried Japenese black tea before once or twice, I don’t know a lot of Japanese black tea nor do I have a strong familiarity with how it normally tastes. However, the few times I’ve had it I found it very flat and lifeless in terms of flavour, and really just not what I typically want out of a good black tea.

I didn’t dislike this one; but I also didn’t find it overly complex or enticing either and it’s not the flavor profile I would generally be really craving from a black tea. It was, however, better than any other Japanese Black Tea I’ve had in the past. For me, I found it very smooth and lacking any sort of tannin and astringency – almost to a fault, since that left the flavor profile very dull and didn’t add any depth/nuance to the flavour notes. I thought the initial aroma of the dry leaf/steeped tea and the first bit of each sip had a touch of a leather-y quality to them, and then the body was more like fruit cake to me. By that, I mean it had that sort of “generic fruit”/dried fruit taste, with just a little bit of cinnamon and that cake-y/molasses sort of taste that the cake part of fruit cake has. All of those notes being on the softer side, and pretty equal in terms of presence.

Hence, fruit cake.

It was a fine tea – but simple/lacking complexity. It would be a really good option for something smooth and relatively mindless to sip on while doing other things throughout the day.

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drank Alishan Oolong by UNYtea
62 tasting notes

2018 sample- I brewed this tea 5 gs to 70ml which is a very low ratio for me. I kept my steeps short. I found this tea to have a very skinny body. The tastes I got were grassy, specifically wild grass. Sort of an early somertime kind of thing. This tea has a serious hui gan. It took me by surprise. There was very little aroma to the dry leaf. I think this would be a great tea for grandpa style.

Preparation
5 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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drank Sakura Midori by UNYtea
62 tasting notes

Vegetable broth. Very savory and vegetal, with a slight tang present in their benifuki offering. The dry leaf smells very similar to benifuki. The wet leaf is actually quite green. I really enjoy drinking this tea at night as it is comforting and feels low in caffeine. Definitely an unusual tea, imo. I wasn’t sure I liked it or felt I had a use for it at first but it really grew on me and I’m missing it already.

Flavors: Sweet Potatoes, Tangy, Vegetable Broth, Vegetal

Preparation
1 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Eiju by UNYtea
62 tasting notes

I grabbed a sample of this because I wanted to call jeffery’s bluff about brewing this sencha like an oolong. Well, you really can do it! As far as what I’m used to for sencha, I found the taste to be a bit thin. It’s hard to describe. Here was the trade off: I drove around all afternoon with this sencha stewing at the bottom of my cup grand pa style and it never got bitter. I think that’s rad. I love sencha but it always feels like a hassle. With this stuff you can litterally chuck it in your cup, blast it with hot water at the gas station and let it cool for as long as you want. I’m serious. Try it. If anything, get a sample just to experience the adrenaline rush of pouring boiling water over a sencha. It will make you feel alive.

Flavors: Nutty, Umami

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This is currently my favorite tea of all time, of any type. You’re only going to get A few infusions out of this but oh buddy, you’re not gonna care. This tea is sweet, and slightly bitter but not astringen. It has a surprising amount of caffeine. This is on of those teas that you can share with ANYONE. I will say that it is easy to miss the sweet spot, so leaf ratio and intact full leaves are to be notes. But as far as blowing any average person’s mind about what tea actually is, this is a go to. I reccomend 2g in 100ml for 2 min. Or, 5gs gong fu.

Flavors: Cherry, Stonefruit

Preparation
2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Steeped up a little cup using a cupping set earlier today – it was pretty nice and drinking it in the more concentrated cupping method brought out some unique and interesting flavour notes as well. A mix of yeasty bread/grass/nutty kind of elements as well as a fermented red fruit type of flavour too. Unique, distinct, and pretty nice as an afternoon cuppa.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09bAUwzODfI

Nattie

This is the first coffee leaf ‘tea’ I’ve seen outside of Wize Monkey.

Roswell Strange

It’s sourced from Wize Monkey :P

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From last weekend!

I definitely think I enjoy this a little bit more when brewed Gong Fu – but it was still really enjoyable steeped in a large Western mug of tea. More of the buttery and grassy elements of the coffee leaf come out when steeped – making it a bit more green tea-like in terms of taste. Still a hint of roastiness though that sucks me in.

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Early evening cuppa.

I’m wondering if making this one in the evening was a mistake; I’m having some troubles falling asleep again. I mean, I know this has caffeine in it but it’s not supposed to be a large amount and I’m usually pretty immune to caffeine so I don’t know…

Taste wise I greatly enjoyed this one though; it was different than having it Gong Fu because the flavour seemed a lot less nuanced/layered but that doesn’t mean that it was less good. Mostly a sweet earthy profile; most comparable to a very lightly roasted green yerba mate. I think. By which I mean it has the underlying sweetness of mate and that green/grassy quality but with the earthiness/nuttyness that sets mate apart from green tea. I think I made this comparison with the Gong Fu session, but it still stands. The sweetness reminds me of sugar cane juice. The very fresh stuff.

Yummy.

Starfevre

It is possible for caffeine sensitivity to fluctuate, at least in my personal experience. I used to be completely immune to caffeine, processed it too quickly for it to ever be a problem until earlier this year (I’m in my mid 30’s) and now I have to avoid it at night or else I won’t sleep.

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Gong Fu!

I’ve had flavoured coffee leaf teas/tisanes before and really liked them, so I was very excited to see that UNYTea was carrying a straight form of coffee leaf – and when they did their ‘Spring Clearing’ type sale I decided to grab some and try it out. It was weird to me that they recommended it Gong Fu; I wouldn’t have thought to try it that way. I recently acquired a 50ml Gaiwan though so I decided I’d break that Gaiwan in with some of my sample; that way if I wasn’t into it Gong Fu I wouldn’t be wasting a lot of tea leaf – it was the perfect way to sample it!

And you know what? It was actually REALLY good and worked very well Gong Fu – so long as the time increase between infusions was a good 20-30 seconds, and not just the normal five second increase I generally give. I ended up doing around eight infusions total; I think I could have done one or two more with some flavour, but I don’t really like running my tea leaf completely into the ground; the weaker infusions generally just aren’t worth it to me.

Flavour wise I found it quite sweet overall; not like unpleasantly sweet but just a lot of light, natural sugar cane type of notes in the top notes and then the sweetness of very, very fresh, green Yerba Mate in the body of the sip. Grassy, and smooth with just a hint of really generic sort of fruityness in the middle of the sip. I mean, really the closest thing I can think to compare this to is just a very good Yerba Mate or, like, a sweet and clean finishing Mao Jian green tea with the slight fruity elements going on in the profile. I did think this had some nuttier undertones, though. Like, an almost almond-y sort of thing. Just very, very good overall!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bg90yjWAzPZ/?taken-by=ros_strange

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90

I swear there was a note on here. Well, this was a Gaoshan that I had to try in my lifetime, and since Amanda raved about it on facebook, I had to get myself a small amount. If it weren’t as rare and expensive as it is, I would have more.

The website compares it to a Shan Lin Xi, and it has the fresh green qualities with the tropical fruits and florals amidst a sweeter and creamier texture, being a little closer to a Alishan. I got butterscotch every once in a while, but that is an exaggeration. A more accurate exaggeration is that it is like pineapple taffy…with an undeniable greenness. With that sweetness said, it does have a fresh quality that is akin to those mineral waters you get from hipster-eque places. The green qualities matched with the minerals got me the more “oceanic” qualities, but really, it reminded me of home in Hawaii. Think of a rainbow falling as clouds drift from the green mountains off of Waimanalo Bay. Shan Lin Xi’s are normally sunny, and while this tea is clear, there is something more pensive about it that makes me think of rain.

This tea works well gong fu, but I got sweeter, thicker notes western with 2-3 grams. I’ve also been lazy, but it’s a little too mineral thick and watery gong fu. I do not want to waste my leaves either. I highly recommend this one as I actually liked it more than several Shan Lin XI’s I’ve had lately, and I also recommend this company. As with most oolongs, the only detractor is price. Have your wallets ready, connoisseurs.

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82

This was the last of the samples I purchased from Unytea towards the middle of the past year. I didn’t know what to expect from it, as I had never tried a Yu Lan Xiang, but I just had to purchase it since I had to see if it smelled and/or tasted like magnolia blossoms. And did it? Yes, it most certainly did. This was very smooth and mellow for a Dancong with a wonderful, distinct magnolia fragrance and taste to go along with rather admirable longevity.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 8 seconds. Unytea suggested starting with a 15 second steep time, but I’m used to starting with shorter infusions, so that’s what I did. This infusion was chased by 13 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted pronounced aromas of magnolia, cream, and vanilla. After the rinse, I found an emerging aroma of custard. The first proper infusion brought out hints of apple and citrus on the nose. In the mouth, I only noted faint impressions of cream, vanilla, magnolia, and apple. Subsequent infusions brought out stronger notes of cream, vanilla, magnolia, and apple on the palate. I also started noting flavors of custard, lemon, and orange zest. New impressions of minerals, sweetgrass, pear, butter, and apricot emerged around this point as well. Later infusions were heavy on the mineral, butter, apple, and pear notes, though I could still find traces of magnolia, citrus, and sweetgrass in the background.

This wasn’t the heaviest or most complex Dancong in the world, but I could find quite a bit to like about it. For one, it did not leave one wondering what sort of floral notes it was presenting. Secondly, it never turned soapy, slick, or astringent in the mouth. As mentioned above, it also displayed admirable longevity. Personally, I would have liked to see more depth and complexity both on the nose and in the mouth, and I would have liked a mouthfeel with a touch more heft, but overall, this was very nice. I would definitely recommend it to those looking for a truly floral Dancong oolong.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Grass, Lemon, Mineral, Orange Zest, Pear, Vanilla

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Jlvintagelove

I love reading your tasting notes but honestly,they usually make me want to go buy more tea hahaha

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95

Backlog

I’ve been bad at getting notes posted as I try the tea. For whatever reason, I feel most comfortable when allowing the notes to pile up, collect dust, and become long forgotten. However, my goal this morning is to ‘catch up’ and get everything—no matter how brief the note—down.

This tea was by far one of the better non-roasted oolong teas that I’ve had in a while. I’ve started to lean slightly toward the roasted oolong side of tea, so most of the time, I pretty ‘eh’ about the greener stuff. Ha-ha.

Notes: Pretty sweet melon-y notes throughout. I cannot remember any bitterness/astringency coming from this tea. I was able to push it to 13 steeps (the last 5 steeps were noted “1 min per following steep”), so it definitely had a bit of life in the leaf.

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60

I was so close to completely cleaning out the backlog of reviews at the end of last week, but unfortunately, I got lazy and just stopped posting stuff. Now these things are starting to pile up again. At least the number is currently under six. Anyway, I finished a sample pouch of this tea earlier in the week. Despite my limited exposure to Dancong oolongs, I tend to enjoy Mi Lan Xiang most of the time. This one, however, exists in a gray area in the sense that there were things about it I greatly appreciated and things about it that irritated and disappointed me. It ended up being the sort of tea I could not honestly recommend, but also couldn’t caution others against.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 11 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 35 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted fairly strong aromas of honey, roasted nuts, stone fruits, and orchid. The rinse brought out a stronger orchid scent and also introduced aromas of wood, spices, and vanilla. The first infusion then amplified the vanilla and spice aromas. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered rather pronounced orchid notes balanced by some nuttiness and hints of honey and spices. Subsequent infusions produced a very smooth, mellow liquor lacking the expected Dancong soapiness. I picked up stronger notes of honey as well as impressions of orange blossom, plumeria, wood, lychee, cooked greens, cattail shoots, orange zest, toast, peach, apricot, golden raisin, butter, roasted almond, and minerals. The spice impressions also began to really distinguish themselves-I was reminded of a combination of ginger and cinnamon, though a licorice-like note was present as well. These spicy, herbal impressions lingered briefly in the mouth and throat after the swallow. The tea washed out quickly, even for a Dancong. The later infusions mostly offered mineral and cooked green notes with occasional, largely fleeting impressions of honey, peach, orchid, and spices.

So, this tea was a real mixed bag for me. I loved the complexity of the earlier infusions and appreciated the gentle texture of the liquor in the mouth. Dancongs can be particularly slick and/or strident, but that was not the case here. This tea, however, faded so quickly and the later infusions did not offer anything in the way of intrigue. Honestly, the first 4-5 infusions were the good ones, and I am not the sort of person who enjoys short gongfu sessions. What’s worse is that Unytea’s product description promised a tea with considerable longevity and that is not what I got. In the end, this was a very uneven, ridiculously front-loaded drinking experience. I’m glad I took the opportunity to try it, but I have had better and doubt I would ever be willing to return to it. That’s a shame too. I expected so much more considering I really enjoyed the Chou Shi (and I don’t even particularly like Chou Shi) that Unytea offered and rated it very highly.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Butter, Cinnamon, Floral, Ginger, Licorice, Lychee, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Raisins, Toast, Vanilla, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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81
drank Tieguanyin by UNYtea
943 tasting notes

I was thinking about this last night, but it seems that I am always looking for new examples of Tieguanyin to try. It’s one of my favorite types of oolong, and since there are so many on the market (it seems that literally every vendor offers at least one or two every year), there is always a new Tieguanyin for me to try. This one originated in Xianghua Township, Fujian Province. It was harvested in the Spring of this year. I found it to be a likable TGY, maybe not the best I have had to this point, but likable nonetheless.

I almost always gongfu oolongs and that is what I did here. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of lilac, violet, and sweetgrass coming from the dry leaves. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of saffron, cream, rose, and butter. The first infusion then brought out scents of custard and coriander. In no particular order, I found notes of sweetgrass, coriander, cream, and butter in the mouth. These notes were balanced by hints of flowers, and oddly enough, touches of ripe melon and pear. Subsequent infusions allowed the floral impressions to separate in the mouth, as I began to detect more distinct impressions of saffron, violet, rose, and lilac. Notes of honeysuckle also emerged. More distinct impressions of pear, cantaloupe, and honeydew appeared, while impressions of watercress, celery, green apple, and minerals also began to make themselves known. Though I found a scent of custard on the nose, I do not recall ever finding custard notes in the mouth. The later infusions were dominated by relatively strong notes of minerals, coriander, and watercress, though faint hints of butter and fruit were still detectable in the background.

I have not been drinking much jade Tieguanyin lately, but this one seemed more consistently mineral-laden and heavier on the vegetal notes than many others I recall trying. I kept hoping for just a little extra sweetness or savoriness, especially in the latter two-thirds of the session. Still, this was not a bad Tieguanyin and I am glad I took the opportunity to try it. I imagine it would please most fans of jade Tieguanyin.

Flavors: Butter, Cantaloupe, Celery, Coriander, Cream, Floral, Grass, Green Apple, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Pear, Rose, Saffron, Vegetal, Violet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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80

I usually try to write reviews post-tea session, but I figured that I need something else to work on while I drink tea….I’ve spent the majority of the last 3-4 hours watching Stranger Things 2, while drinking various teas throughout the episodes (no notes taken during that time). However, while my mind is still focusing on this tea at the moment, I figured I’d write my notes from the first few steeps to the last couple steeps being had at the current moment…

Notes:

Rinse: Nice fruity aromatics, forest green leaves, and slightly light-greenish/yellow liquor.

1st Steep: Light, floral, and honeydew.

2nd Steep: Creamy, floral, less fruity, & vibrant liquor.

3rd Steep: Oily mouthfeel, slightly mouth drying , heavy floral notes, and bright greenish/yellow (“Mt. Dew color”).

4th/5th Steep: Still pretty bright, more oily, however, the flavor is starting to lighten up.

6th Steep: Liquor color starting to become dull in comparison to previous steeps, less oily, less floral, and slight buttery aftertaste.

7th/Current/Final: The tea is dying down a bit. I might push it with the time (2-3 minutes) and/or cold brew the rest for tomorrow morning. I’ll add the note (maybe) tomorrow to update on the session following, but no promises. :P

Overall, this was a pretty refreshing tea. I’d say it’d be a great summer/spring tea, but on the account that the weather is officially borderline Autumn-nearing-Winter, I may save this leaf until the warmer weather (or not).

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Fruity

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70

Tea Swap/Sipdown

Well, I’m back to reviewing stuff again. I went off of the social media grid for a while. I’m not sure how long the hiatus will be, but I’m okay with having some time to write, review, & drink tea naturally.

I started the past two days with this tea. I wanted to start brewing through the ever growing tea swap samples, prior to breaking into the rest of my tea via purchases. I feel that it is necessary for me to give the time to the teas in which others have so kindly shared with me; therefore, I’m finding that it is easier to review and thoroughly process these sessions again, now that I’m less distracted with my phone, and can write notes properly.

I must admit that the time away from Steepster has been fine, but I’ve completely disconnected myself from the “original” tea community that I had involved myself in. It is here that I find the most comfort—reviewing, reading, etc—and it is here that I must return.

Alright, back to the tea review….

Notes:

1st Steep (10s): Light & grassy.
2nd Steep (25s): Grassy, nutty, & buttery.
3rd Steep (40s): Slightly mouth drying, buttery, & grassy/seaweed.
4th Steep (1 minute): Buttery, grassy/seaweed, & slightly mouth drying.
5th Steep (1:30 mins): Light, grassy.
6th/Final (3 mins): Buttery, light/watery.

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Nutty

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
looseTman

Welcome back!

MadHatterTeaDrunk

Thank you, looseTman!

Wocket

I also am glad to see the return of SG

MadHatterTeaDrunk

It’s good to be back, Wocket

Rasseru

welcome back man, I know how you feel about going off grid from social stuff

mrmopar

I am similarly unplugged, I am on here but not much on any other sites.

MadHatterTeaDrunk

Rasseru- it seems that social media can oftentimes be a “requirement,” as well as a hindrance on the mind. However, Steepster allows one to write whenever he/she so chooses to write. I feel less obligated to write and/or review a tea; while remaining within the community. I’d rather have the random tea posts whenever I have time to write, rather than feel obligated to post stuff via Instagram or Facebook on a daily basis, just to please others.

Mrmopar- I want to exclude myself from social media (almost) entirely for a few weeks and/or months. It is hard after developing a “need” and/or “want” to be amongst others in a social atmosphere; however, I’m more prone to accept the close knit communities with which we share similar interests (in our case, tea). Steepster, I think, is that place where it’s less chaotic and I can join in conversations or post my tea reviews whenever I so choose/have time. It also gets me away from the phone more often, and allows me to drink tea/read quietly, without having to worry about liking photos or joining live sessions on a daily basis…..It’s more relaxing being apart of this part of the tea community, though. :)

Rasseru

I agree! I dont facebook or insta much now

Rasseru

I started a blog, actually entitled loose leaf daily, but thats more just a twist on a newspaper name, sod having to write daily. I have other things to do :)

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88
drank Si Ji Chun by UNYtea
400 tasting notes

Sipdown/Sample Session

I’ll be brief for my mind is failing me this morning due to my inability to sleep properly. (>.<) I had this session prior to work and after work yesterday. I wanted to try to get my “weekly samples” worked through this week, but I’ve found it difficult to resist the urge to try some oolong tea. Ha-ha.

Notes: Thick mouthfeel. Sweet floral notes throughout with a touch of cinnamon. For a greener oolong, I was pretty surprised to taste cinnamon, but according to my notes, I wrote that down three times (steeps 3, 6, & 8). Brewed this to 9-10 steeps before moving onto another oolong.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Floral

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91
drank Alishan Oolong by UNYtea
943 tasting notes

Time to start making a serious effort to clear my seemingly endless backlog. I drank a sample of this tea late last week. I had heard good things about it and had meant to get to it sooner, but after finally getting off my lazy butt and trying it, I realized that I should have gone out of my way to make time for this tea. I found it to be an excellent Alishan oolong.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 12 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced gentle floral, grassy aromas. After the rinse, I detected defined scents of hyacinth, honeysuckle, magnolia, violet, sweetgrass, cream, and butter. The first infusion brought out subtle scents of coriander, vanilla, custard, and parsley. In the mouth, the liquor initially offered mild notes of cream and butter which promptly gave way to notes of sweetgrass, coriander, and parsley. A subtle touch of vanilla popped up briefly on the finish. Oddly, I could not detect any real floral character in the mouth at this point. Subsequent infusions offered the notes of hyacinth, honeysuckle, magnolia, and violet that I had missed earlier. The vanilla presence grew stronger in the mouth and the custard also emerged, though it lingered in the background. New aromas and flavors of Asian pear, lilac, green apple, honeydew, cucumber, leaf lettuce, cinnamon, rice milk, watercress, minerals, and sugarcane appeared as well. The later infusions were very mild. I mostly found subtle mineral and vegetal notes balanced by faint impressions of orchard fruits, flowers, and sugarcane.

Subtle and refined, but with tremendous depth and complexity, this was the type of Alishan oolong I had been attempting to find for some time. I greatly enjoyed this tea and actively wish I had bought more when I had the resources. If I get the opportunity to pick up more of this tea, I will most likely do so. For those who are considering giving this one a shot, it really is worth it. I recommend it highly.

Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Floral, Grass, Green Apple, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Milk, Mineral, Parsley, Pear, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

It’s a little expensive, but I regret not getting an ounce or two of it when I first had it. It has been one of my favorite Ali Shan’s thus far.

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92
drank Chou Shi by UNYtea
943 tasting notes

This was another tote cleaning discovery. I ordered several samples from Unytea back around the start of the year, but only got around to trying one of them. When I stumbled upon this tea, my initial reaction was more or less something to the effect of “oh, I should probably go ahead and drink this. I’ve had it for awhile.” Then I remembered that Chou Shi is far from my favorite type of Dan Cong. I soldiered on anyway, and lo and behold, I really liked this tea. The fact that it was from last year’s harvest may have had something to do with it, but this was much more approachable and mellow than I’m used to Chou Shi being.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. For this session, I steeped 7 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 190 F water for 5 seconds following a brief rinse. This infusion was followed by 13 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted pleasant aromas of butter, cream, peas, and fresh flowers. The rinse allowed me to get a better feel for the tea’s floral aromatics. I picked up more clearly defined scents of lilac and violet. I also began to get touches of spinach and vanilla. The first infusion brought out touches of orchid. In the mouth, the tea led with gentle impressions of butter, cream, vanilla, lilac, violet, and orchid before vegetal touches reminiscent of garden peas made themselves known. Subsequent infusions brought out aromas and flavors of damp grass, spinach, green beans, honeysuckle, sweet pea, squash blossom, and fresh zucchini. Unlike the other Dan Congs I have tried, I curiously did not get much soapiness in the mouth. The body was slick and relatively thin, but not soapy. Around the middle of the session, I began to get fleeting impressions of incredibly gentle minerality and some vague, distant fruitiness. I couldn’t decide if it reminded me more of green apple or underripe pear. I continuously waffled on that. I also got what struck me as a more definite touch of cantaloupe. The late infusions were mild, buttery, creamy, and vegetal with a slightly strengthened mineral presence.

Normally when I think of Chou Shi Dan Cong, I think of a slick tea that often awkwardly juxtaposes fresh floral tones against a buttery, vegetal backdrop in an effort to approximate the characteristics of a typical jade Tieguanyin. That may not be entirely accurate, that’s just my perception of this style of tea. Until I tried this one, I had little interest in teas like this. When I tried this tea, however, I found an approachable, straightforward, immediately gratifying tea with a nice balance of savory, floral, and vegetal. My only wish now is that I had purchased more.

Flavors: Butter, Cantaloupe, Cream, Floral, Grass, Green Apple, Green Beans, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Orchid, Pear, Peas, Spinach, Squash Blossom, Vanilla, Violet, Zucchini

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Rasseru

Nice. I tried other chou shi and on paper was nice but didnt suit me at all unless all the way down at 70c

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96
drank Alishan Oolong by UNYtea
421 tasting notes

Hey ya’ll I’m back!! (I was a little busy…had a baby last year, quit my job, raising baby, and just started my own business…whew)

Anyway, I recently learned about Unytea (they are sort of local to me). So I jumped in and bought one of their gaiwan/sampler sets. And this was the tea that was included. I’ve had a lot of oolongs in the past, but wow! This one was awesome. So buttery and vegetal. So good that I ordered another 100g and that might be why it’s sold out now…sorry not sorry!

Flavors: Butter, Vegetal

Preparation
0 min, 15 sec 3 g
Sil

welcome back!

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