52 Tasting Notes
I had some of this in the store and loved it. Creamy sweet grass, nori and umami fill your palate. Mellow, focused and intense… this is always the perfect drink to wake you up in a calm way. Next time I will purchase some to bring home, but really a delightful experience… made my entire afternoon. Thanks again TeaGschwendner!
This is an exceptional Oolong experience. TeaGwchwedner notes its color as being “jade-green”, which I disagree with as in my steeping the cup was a light golden yellow (like a distant mid-day view of a face of Khufu through light blown dust). Brilliant floral notes jump out of the cup and invite you into the mild sweet butter and soft grassy palate with hints of mint and vanilla. The tea closes with a lingering finish and very mild astringency that seems to transform the floral notes into a subtle berry-fruitiness and slight acidity that balances the experience nicely.
Light, fragrant and complex… this is what world-class Oolong is. Perhaps not an everyday tea at the price, but well worth trying and the possibility for multiple steeping stretches the value considerably.
On first scent and taste it is evident that this tea sees a slight more time in the sun and in turn is slightly more oxidized than your typical white tea. A peculiar production with no rolling of the leaves, this tea literally looks like nothing more than dry leaves. I would imagine it had to go through some sort of lightly extended fixation process after wilting but other than that it seems to be about as untouched a white tea as one could hope for. This tea is from the far south Indian State of Tamil Nadu, about as close to Sri Lanka as you can get.
Fruity aromatics pierce through the sweet nutty bouquet and hidden notes of squash and soil.
Sweet honeysuckle and a glorious mild earthiness fill the palate with a curious touch of malt tricking you into thinking you are having a very mild Oolong and also causing the cup to disappear quickly while hunting for answers. A delightful lingering finish with very soft but noticeable astringency. Wonderfully balanced and clean, a unique everyday white that seems to almost have its own classification.
As a huge lover of Assam second flush teas, this was a real mind bender. Who would think that in a small province in far northern Vietnam (almost in Yunnan) there would be black tea production of such quality?! Wow… I am still a bit shocked by this tea. Beautiful rich reddish brown to burnt orange in color… the nose offers up tobacco and cooked acorn squash notes which clearly translate into the rich flavor echoed by notes of sweet malt and pure 100% cacao. The finish is lingering with a brilliant astringency that can easily be compared to teas of Mokalbari.
On my next tasting I plan to make a cup of Assam Mokalbari along side so I can really compare them head to head. What an exceptional find and a fantastic value!
A pleasant surprise for the price, this everyday green is still a special occasion brew making it all the more worth trying. The lovely long and thin deep green rolled leaves are reminiscent of the fine Japanes Gyokuro or Kabusechas… but this is like their heftier boisterous younger brother. What it lacks in subtle refinement it makes up for with intensity, uniqueness and boldness. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a clumsy tea… quite the opposite – The nose opens with what I can only compare to the scents one finds in a tropical greenhouse or conservatory… very much like warm green growth and subtle sweet earth (think old ferns, palms and banana trees). Balanced, full and buttery with classic green flavors of cut grass and vegetation with some interesting notes of greenhouse and a very delightful raspberry fruitiness and mint give way to a very slight bit of tannic bite which helps the finish linger for an unexpectedly long time. Not at all what I expected and I was pleasantly surprised!
NOTE: I did some experimenting with this tea since it was new to me and different. The package recommended brewing at 194F degrees, which is very high for green tea, but the steeping time is only 2 minutes. The first time I made this tea I ignored this and brewed for about 4 minutes at 160F… it was alright, a little weak. I tried the 194F for about 2 minutes the next time and it was fantastic! Also, DO NOT OVER-Brew this tea or the very mild astringency will become unpleasant and bitter.
A very surprising tea, possibly a bit pricy, but worth a try for sure. The dry leaves are rich in notes of dark cocoa and hints of raspberries. Steeped, the tea opens up to aromas of cooked sweet potatoes, mild grain malt, tobacco and hints of blackberries. A very light color, more reminiscent of an Oolong than a black tea, crystal clear and a shade slightly darker than a harvest gold fills the cup.
The flavor is boldly sweet with a clear hit of honey, moving into light malty notes and absolutely no astringency at all. Almost frighteningly smooth on the finish after getting all of its bold flavors in the mid-palate.
A great tea that could easily be served with dessert at a formal tea dinner, or would be fine at any gathering of tea aficionados or just a nice treat alone for reflection. As stated earlier, the price is a little high for what it offers in terms of my own subjective enjoyments, but well worth trying and sharing with friends.
A wonderful treat and great value from Mad Monk Tea Shop in Sand Diego, CA. This “Seven Color” collection is produced by the Chunming Tea Factory in Yunnan. I had a very hard time locating information about the tea and the actual tea factory, but that is the case many times with Pu-erh, especially when specifically trying to locate information on tea produced 7 years ago and not being able to read Yunnan! This tea was gifted to me so I had to contact Mad Monk by email to ask what it was… they did not know and thought it was produced in 2005 by the Menghai Tea Factory (maybe they were just trying to get rid of me, haha). Anyways after looking at hundreds of pictures of labels I found that it was indeed a “Seven Color” produced by The Chunming Tea Factory (The little elephant’s backside logo on the label was the key). Although I am not positive about the 2007 date logged by a fellow steepster, I am sure we are in the ballpark.
After a good 5 second rinse of the tea, the first steep released a wonderful earthy wet barn aroma and a flavorful persistent round cup with classic notes of beetroot, dry herb and forest floor with very light astringency. Multiple steepings are possible, I lost track of how many I did. Great tea for a hangover and just a nice treat for the price. As stated by the previous reviewer it was “bitter”… I think its possible that it was just bad luck because the one I have was quite enjoyable.
This Assam is lighter than other notable teas from the region such as the Hattialli (broken) and the Mokalbari (SFTGFOP1). A lighter color than the aforementioned Assams, the beauty is in its lush reddish hues, similar to hibiscus that seem to penetrate the lovely transparent light caramel color which to me was like peering through stained glass at the slight sediment at the bottom of the cup. While the flavors are not as direct as other black teas of note, the clear fruity, nutty, caramel notes are highlighted with a heavy malt and roasted barley flavor reminiscent of a Belgian abbey dubbel beer yet holds a very mild astringency making for a perfectly balanced cup. This balance makes it a wonderful every day, or “sessionable” Assam which would also be at home at a gathering of tea enthusiasts.
The tea that I purchased was a little past its prime, but that is a review of the tea shop review not if the tea. In short, do not buy expensive tea at The Chicago Tea and Coffee Exchange, or really any place that you do not already have a good relationship with. Lesson learned.
The wonderful scent of cooked squash on the brewed coniferous looking leaves does not translate well into the cup, instead being replaced by muted floral and vegetal notes. A very slight brine surprises and awakens the pallet followed by a medium-full bodied sweet cup with muted notes of cucumber, fruitiness with slight hints at jasmine and vegetation. The finish is sweet as the initial brine is melted away into a surprisingly creamy finish with medium-dry astringency which lingers for long enough to know that in its prime, this was world class tea. My pallet keeps wanted to taste old cupboard, but I think that’s in my mind and not really there… or is it?
My rating of this tea does not reflect the leaves as much as how they were treated by the people who sold them to me so I gave extra points for still getting enjoyment from the experience, albeit a bit boring, if I ignore what it could have been. I am now on the hunt for the same tea, well kept.
Pale yellow hinting at chartreuse. Wonderful aromas reminiscent of green tea, but with a slight maltiness. Light to medium in body and delicate, this tea displays a lovely malty sweetness balanced with a very long finish which is quite pleasing and very mildly astringent. Cooked squash and notes of fresh mint are the memorable subject playing counterpoint to the classic fresh grassy undertones seem to have an almost lactic buttery roundness which enhances the light mouth-feel and gives the illusion of a more full bodied tea. The astringency mixed with notes of mint seem to have a similar effect, at least on the brain, as Hydroxy-alpha sanshool which seems to almost delicately numb the gums and tongue as you drink multiple cups and would probably be a perfectly wonderful tea to pair with Szechuan cuisine. The leaves unroll beautifully and slowly to reveal clearly handpicked lightly toasted tippy short stemmed selections which yield extra steeps. This tea is perfect for anyone who is in love with green tea but would like to get a little more bang for the buck from an everyday tea that drinks like a special occasion tea.