661 Tasting Notes

93

Warm Elephant is a fascinatingly aromatic black tea with very good longevity. The range of aromas is quite impressive with notes of black cherry, chocolate, wood, winter honey, tamarind, and caramelized onion in dry leaves. When wet, the associations are those of banana, cedar wood, medium roast coffee, vanilla, rice, and cranberries.

First infusion has some coffee sourness and mineral sweetness with a biting finish to it. It has full body with a sort of slimy mouthfeel and once again a very aromatic aftertaste with hints of hazelnuts and fenugreek seeds. Subsequent steeps show some woody (cedar) and fruity (peach) notes with even more sweetness and a lightly numbing and astringent mouthfeel.

I’d highly recommend this tea to any black tea lovers out there :)

Flavors: banana, Cedar, Cherry, Chocolate, Coffee, Cranberry, Hazelnut, Honey, Mineral, Peach, Rice, Sour, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Finally-a Taiwan Sourcing tea that is under $10 for 25 grams with a higher rating. I know that’s harsh and I’ve had some really great teas from them, but I’m happy that they offer something that good for a more affordable price since I’ve been let down by some of their stuff before.

Togo

yeah, I kind of get that. I would put Longan Nectar and Alishan GABA in that category too, but I haven’t had the recent iterations of the former and they don’t seem to offer the latter anymore.

Daylon R Thomas

They are sold out of the regular line up of Longan Nectar. They have a similar Jin Xuan one available, but 2017 or 18 looks like the last time it was sold. Longan Nectar was on my list for a while to get, but then I got distracted by getting more Wuyi Blacks.

Martin Bednář

In my wishlist. Sounds really interesting and tasty!

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85

I got to my office today after a while and found some lost single session pouches I used at work. This green tea seems to be one that stores pretty well!

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66

This tea has an invigorating dry leaf aroma, but it didn’t leave a strong impression at first otherwise. However, I found myself reaching for it fairly often afterwards, so there is something attractive about it. I guess the fairly light body and a good balance of sweetness and woodiness make it an easy-to-drink tea without the need for much engagement.

Initial scent is sweet with hints of cookies, popcorn, cocoa, and chickpeas. It gets less pungent during the session, and the range of aromas is more in the neighborhood of charcoal, forest floor, and moss.

First infusion is smooth, sweet and milky with an upfront cocoa taste. There are also some fruity, vegetal, metally and woody flavours. Later steeps are somewhat tannic with a short-lived bitterness.

Flavors: Bitter, Char, Cocoa, Cookie, Forest Floor, Metallic, Milk, Moss, Popcorn, Sweet, Tannic, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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91

On the whole, Mengku Huang Shan is just like I remember it – pungent, thick and cooling. If anything, it has even more pronounced bitterness. However, it is clearly undergoing a transition. The taste is a mixed bag with fewer notes that would stick out. The soup is a bit cloudy initially with orange colour and dark green hints.

In the aroma, I can see the biggest departure, the dominant scents are now in the realm of persimmon, hot hay, compost, and forest. The rinse has a character that’s quite reminiscent of earlier sessions – it is fruity, grass, tart, and cooling. However, already in the first infusion the profile is more like a blend of hazelnut, forest, pine wood, thyme. It is bitter too, but not as much as the subsequent ones. Aftertaste has a strong umami and a touch of tangerine to it.

Bulk of the session then steers towards a bitter, vegetal (but not very green) profile with substantial astringency, nice minerality and a deep but mild tobacco sweetness.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Compost, Forest Floor, Fruity, Grass, Hazelnut, Hot Hay, Mineral, Pine, Tangerine, Tart, Thyme, Tobacco, Umami, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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69

At one and a half years of age, this green baozhong is definitely starting to loose its fresh notes. The aroma is warming and perfumy with notes of peach, rose and caramel. Honestly, during the session it mostly smells like a stale green tea.

The taste is a bit muffled and predominately sweet and vegetal. There is a juicy bite to it which reminds me of dandelions, but otherwise I can’t remember much about the tea :D

Flavors: Caramel, Dandelion, Peach, Perfume, Rose, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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82

This year I am trying to drink down a lot of my stash, but I still decided to get a few fresh teas, this being one of them. On the whole, it is a multi-faceted tea displaying a great deal of tension. It is warming and cooling at the same time, both sweet and savoury, smooth and astringent, fruity and vegetal, flowery and woody, etc. Such tea can get quite imbalanced which this one suffers from a bit, but not to a substantial extent.

The dry leaf aroma is nutty and floral. Once wet, I get multitude of scents, vegetal ones like spring onion and cabbage, fruit tree flowers, licorice mint, as well as hints of muscatel, cotton candy, gooseberry and incense.

Taste is floral and bitter with a caramel finish. There are notes of thistles, curry leaves, green beans, wood, eggs and others. Depending on the brewing parameters, the mouthfeel ranges from misty to creamy and there is a noticeable drying sensation in the throat. Aftertaste is quite pungent with a persistent vegetal bitterness akin to apple leaves. It marks probably the most imbalanced aspect of the whole experience.

Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Berry, Bitter, Caramel, Drying, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Green Beans, Licorice, Mint, Muscatel, Nutty, Vegetables, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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74
drank Bai Hao Jingmai by Camellia Sinensis
661 tasting notes

Got this as a free sample with one of my orders. It’s got a sweet woody profile with notes of stonefruits, licorice as well as some floral ones. The mouthfeel is plump and the aftertaste quite cooling. In the aroma, I could detect oak wood, fermented vegetables, and flowers.

All in all, a decent and agreeable tea that’s easy to drink.

Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Licorice, Oak, Stonefruit, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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78

Night Jade is a very warm, mineral, and nectar-like tea. My main issue with it is the somewhat light body. I am also not the biggest fan of the profile, but there are times when it would fit well. On the other hand I enjoy the super calming qi and the tea has a good longevity too.

The association that comes to mind when smelling the leaves is peach blossoms and beeswax. During the session I also detected aromas of mussels, hazelnut, cardamon, strawberry, and kale.

As I mentioned, the taste is mineral and nectar-like, but not very complex at all. There are notes of rapeseed, wood, berries, and caramel. The aftertaste is then quite sweet with a strong beeswax note and a mild cooling sensation.

In spite of the lighter body that doesn’t fit the tea well imo, the slightly effervescent liquor has a pleasant soothing and numbing mouthfeel.

Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9kGpx88MoE

Flavors: Berry, Caramel, Cardamom, Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Hazelnut, Honey, Kale, Mineral, Nectar, Strawberry, Sweet, Wax, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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92

This sheng continues its journey and by now produces a distinctly orange-coloured liqour. In its taste, there is still some grassiness, but fairly subdued. Today I noted a more nutty profile with mild fermentation tartness, pepperiness (like rocket) as well as notes of oregano, pear, walnuts and grass seeds. Its aftertaste is nicely warming, which is interesting to see in a young tea like this one.

Flavors: Apple, Bitter, Cream, Grass, Grass Seed, Herbs, Meat, Nutty, Pear, Pepper, Sweet, Tart, Walnut

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
derk

Have you had this since it was released?

Togo

Indeed, it’s one of the few cakes I got without sampling and I’m definitely not regretting I did :)

derk

It’s also one of my few blind cakes and I’ve had it since release. Haven’t drank it yet, though. Maybe I should so we can compare notes over time :)

derk

Oh, no, I misspoke. I have more than a few blind cakes :3

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80
drank Naka Ancient Tree Sheng by JalamTeas
661 tasting notes

Drinking this tea today, I noticed some mild sour fermentation note and the flavours to be a bit muted overall. There is a touch more sweetness in the aftertaste, of the tree sap kind. Other than that, the experience matches my earlier encounters of it – with strong mineral, herbal bitterness in the center of the stage.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Herbaceous, Mineral, Sap, Sour

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
derk

Ah, I still have a sample of this you sent. Will have to try it soon.

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Profile

Bio

Currently, I am a PhD student at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario. Apart from teas and mathematics, I enjoy sports and traveling, as well as music of all kinds. Connect at https://rateyourmusic.com/~Togo

I have been a fan of green tea for a while and I started exploring other kinds of tea in greater depth only in 2017. I rarely drink blends and generally avoid artificially scented teas. Other than that I try to keep it varied.

My rating description:
100 _ Unforgettable tea, an experience that changes your life.
90 – 100 _ Excellent tea.
80 – 90 _ Very enjoyable, I will buy again.
70 – 80 _ I enjoyed it, but I most likely won’t be buying it again.
60 – 70 _ Decent.
50 – 60 _ Average, forgettable.
40 – 50 _ I didn’t really like the tea, but it is drinkable.
0 – 40 _ I would prefer to avoid the tea.

Location

Waterloo, ON, Canada

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