drank Qilan Trees by white2tea
306 tasting notes

Upon opening this bag of tea and sniffing it, I was greeted generously by a familiar aroma. I think it reminded me of a graham cracker crust or toasted coconut, like a coconut cream pie or coconut macaroon, and yet there’s more to it than that. Cocoa, wet rocks at the start of rain (petrichor), forest, basement. That’s a lot of complexity for the aroma of the dry leaf. After letting the dry leaves sit in a heated gongfu pot for a minute, I get heavy notes of hay.

After the first infusion the leaves smell pretty loamy with a definite grape aroma. The tea liquid smells fruity with camphor. The flavor of the first infusion is a subtle affair, with less flavor than I expected. It’s light and airy, delicate and floral and hinting at fruit (mostly grape). It pairs very nicely with the warmer, more resin-like scent. The end of the sip has a slightly metal taste, like sticking a stainless steel spoon on your tongue. The texture is light and smooth, quenching and silky.

The second infusion is even more fruity, mostly grape with a little hint of lychee, and maybe I’ve had one too many cups of tea at this wee hour of 3AM but if I’m not mistaken there’s a warming rush across the tongue and throat after the sip… which i could attribute to the camphor-like quality of the tea, but would almost compare to the lingering feeling after eating some Red Hots (the candy). Of course, not to that level of intensity, but more than I’ve ever noticed in a tea before.

Okay, maybe I’m not losing it, because the third infusion reminds me a lot in flavor and in heat-sensation to brewed ginger, with the fruit flavors now only sneaking up at the tail end of the sip. The texture is less slick than the first couple infusions, but not drying. For me this is definitely a warming tea and gives me a warming body sensation and qi. As the tea cools down it is more fruity overall with a lingering lychee taste.

What a great tea! I am on four infusions now and the flavor is consistent. I love how light it is, and yet juicy and a little sweet. It’s a very refreshing tea with layers of subtle complexity, still a mixture of fruity and floral flavors, with little hints of mineral and forest, and now I can’t make up my mind if it’s a warming or cooling sensation (which strengthens my camphor connotation).

I am gonna bow out on this review. I think this is a perfect tea. It reminds me of mist in a mountain valley. I love teas that can take me away. If I could change only one thing, it had just a bit of lingering dryness after the first couple infusions, despite the juicy feel during the sip. It leaves a bit of traction and grip on the tongue after a drink. I would love it if it was a bit more oily, but that’s just me. I really can’t complain because it isn’t enough to make me not love this tea. Really glad I bought this one!

Flavors: Camphor, Floral, Ginger, Graham Cracker, Grapes, Lychee, Petrichor

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Hi there, fellow tea lovers.

My name’s Lion and I’m a Gongfu Cha practitioner, so I usually brew with a gaiwan for reviews unless there’s a more suitable brewing method, like using Japanese teawares for Japanese teas. I tend to stick to straight loose teas and scented teas in general, seldom dabbling in herbal and flavored teas. My favorite tea is Kenyan Silver Needle.

Aside from tea, I’m a generally creative person. I love to cook, write fiction, draw, decorate, garden, and do just about anything creative I can get my paws on.

Animals are really important to me. I’m a lion at heart, and I strive to better understand, respect, and appreciate other animals as best as I can. I advocate for better stewardship of wildlife and captive animals. We’ve still got a lot to learn.

For a long time I rated every tea I tried, but these days I don’t rate them unless they’re exceptional and deserving of a high rating. Here’s my rating breakdown for my reviews with ratings:

0 = Unpalatable, harsh
25 = Unenjoyable
50 = I’m indifferent
75 = Enjoyable, average
90+ = The best, would buy more
100 = Incredible, a favorite


Kansas City, USA

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