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Recent Tasting Notes
From the Tea Thoughts spring countdown box.
This tisane actually reminds me of pickles. I think it must be the chrysanthemum giving me that connotation, as it often tastes a bit savory/peppery, so I could see it making me think of dill. I’m surprised that it’s not sweeter given the classic jujube, longan, and hawthorn fruits included. I do taste a bit of that syrupy sweet quality from the fruit, but I think mostly I’m getting chrysanthemum and the tangerine peel, which together are giving me pickles. I don’t think I’ve ever had bamboo leaf, so not sure what that is adding.
Anyway, not quite what I expected given my previous experience with similar TCM tisanes, but still very interesting and strangely enjoyable! :P
The licorice does build a bit as I sip, which gives it a stronger sweetness.
Flavors: Acidic, Citrus, Dill, Dried Fruit, Herbaceous, Honey, Licorice Root, Pepper, Pickles, Savory, Sweet, Syrupy, Tangerine, Thick
This is a strip oolong. Has quite large leaves and not a terribly large amount of bruising (oxidation), so an overall slightly less-oxidized oolong. I am using around 4g in 110mL, at 180-185F
The wet aroma is fantastic and very strong and thick! Lots of ‘dark fruit’ notes, like berries, with a great degree of floral and magnolia aroma accompanying it.
The taste itself is quite the treat. It is smooth, but quite thick and juicy as well — definitely not a light oolong. It has a very creamy, buttery texture and flavour throughout. Very floral, with osmanthus and honeysuckle being the main contributors.
There is a very slight astringency, but it’s only mainly noticed as part of the aftertaste, or if you were to overbrew it.
On the fourth steep, the leaves have mostly fully opened up.
At this point, the tea has been consistant with its profile. Very creamy and very floral, thick but juicy as well. Very minor astringency — mainly detected as part of the aftertaste. A nice thing about this tea is that the more you let it cool down (after the steep and removing the leaves, just letting it cool in a cup), the floral notes slightly fade but it becomes far more creamy and buttery.
on the fifth steep, creamyness has started to fade but the floral notes remain the same.
sixth steep, the cream is on it’s last legs but the osmanthus remains persistant.
seventh steep. I would consider this tea to be ‘exhausted’ by now. Cream is gone, floral is way too subtle, and you mainly taste the husk of the leaf. I’ll consider my session to be complete by now.
As for a summary, the first half of the steeping session gives you a very thick, juicy, creamy (butter and cream), and floral flavour. The creamyness and floral both fade, but the cream is the first to go. There is very little astringency, and even after all seven steeps my throat doesn’t feel dry at all, only the surface of my tongue feels a bit dried. A very pleasant and thick oolong, an absolute treat to have.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Honeysuckle, Osmanthus, Thick
Haven’t made a review in quite some time! This wont’ be terribly in-depth like my others, but it should give a pretty decent overview.
I’m using about 4g for 110mL, at 205F.
Forgot to check out the dry aroma :P but the wet aroma is nothing too special. It’s a bit musky and ‘sandy’, but also subtle hints of sweetness and vanilla.
As for the taste, very neat and very interesting. It comes within two ‘stages’. The first stage gives the “standard” taste of sheng puerh, with the combination of white tea notes such as bai mudan and silver needle combined. Tastes like a strict combination of the two without any of the astringency, nor any hint of bitterness at all. Which is rather neat considering than sheng is normally categorized by those two characteristics.
After about 5 seconds (or less, if you can’t help to swallow the tea), the second “stage” comes in. This is where the sweetness hits and it’s absolutely sublime. It’s like adding a drop of vanilla to your tea and having it combine with the flavours perfectly. The sweetness spreads throughout your mouth and remains rooted as a strong aftertaste presence. Very delicious.
As a summary, if you had silver needle before, imagine silver needle infused with vanilla and the two live in absolute harmony with each other. This is how this tea tastes to me, and it retains its flavour for a very long time for multiple steepings.
I am primarily a shu puerh drinker and I normally dislike sheng, but as funny as it sounds, this is actually my absolute favourite tea from all the teas I’ve tasted. It’s great.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Smooth, Vanilla
It’s not bad. But, it’s not as good as the Big Red Robe tea. It tastes like other Wuyi rock teas, but it’s probably less interesting generally speaking. The roasting seems relatively lighter than the usual rock tea. I tried the 2014 tea in 2017. It was cheaper, and I prefer older rock tea, so good deal.
About the steep. The way I steep is idiosyncratic. It’s sort of kung fu-like. I have a good bit of tea and less water. The steeping time depends on the taste. I might start with 5 or 10 secs, then I take a sip. If it needs more time, I add more depending on the strength. When it’s good, then I know the time for the first cup. It’s like the way I cook. The second cup is usually less time, then all following cups will longer in steep time. But, it all depends on the taste, the amount of tea relative to water, water temp, etc. So, you can completely ignore the amount/water/time/temp parameters Steepster is forcing me to put here.
For a key to my rating scale, check out my bio.
An amazingly sweet and thick aroma coming from the dry leaves, like a combination of Anji bai cha and early-spring dragonwell. Scent in hot gaiwan is like butter cookies – very creamy and sweet with a slight cinnamon note. Very light body, definite marine notes, like sweet nori. Fragrance is actually quite similar to Japanese green tea. As the tea cools, flavor transitions to gardenias, like a Taiwanese green or oolong tea. While this tea has no bitterness, it is unfortunately very astringent, drying out the sides of the tongue especially. Flavor is also relatively flat and uninteresting. I would recommend using more leaf than I did (perhaps 4-6g) and a lower water temperature (~175°F) for around 20 seconds on the first infusion – this will definitely improve the mouthfeel and flavor. One upside is that the leaves are fascinating to look at – paper thin and a very vibrant, translucent green. Also very easy to clean out of the gaiwan which is a plus.
Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Cinnamon, Cookie, Cream, Gardenias, Marine, Seaweed, Sugarcane
Summary: Extremely mild, grassy-hay yellow tea without much texture or body, some calming green energy.
Prep: 2-5g leaves, 100cc gaiwan, anywhere from 170-190F, anywhere from 3 to 8 steeps. Usually 30-120 sec, increasing steep time up to about 4 min.
Sessions with this tea: 8ish?
Taste: Simple grassy-hay spectrum. Not too sweet, not too vegetal. A tiny bit floral and mildly mineral. Not much aftertaste.
Body: Mildly salivating. Medium body, thicker at first two steeps, then gets thin. Mild energy, clean feeling.
Everything about this tea is mild-moderate. I’ve been nursing mine along for a while. Is a pleasant easy drinker with a clean feeling, but not really for me as I usually like more of a challenge and more of a mouthfeel. I kinda use this as a between-sessions mouth cleanser with stronger pu or oolong teas. Drink this if you like green tea but don’t want the heavy stomach feel.
For a key to my rating scale, check out my bio.
Great aromatics and reasonable complexity, with nice, persistent 回甘 (sweet finish). However, there is a strange baking soda minerality and an unusual cooling sensation (think ripe brie rind) in the throat that I don’t really like. I also found a dry bean in the leaves once, so not enough care has gone into sorting the tea and keeping it separate from contamination (sadly very few teas are processed in as clean an environment as they should be).
Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Fruity, Mineral, Mint, Nectar, Smoke, Vanilla
I purchased this tea sample when Steepster Select was having their sale last year.
It was really hard to break this tea up. Even after 4 infusions it was just starting to break up.
It brewed up a golden colour but the taste was very light. It reminded me of fresh mineral water from a gurgling brook. The package said there was a floral finish to it. I didn’t really pick that up but there was a bit of earthiness to it.
I normally like lighter teas but this one just didn’t grab me.
Flavors: Earth, Mineral
an ok tea
when I smell the tuo dry, it smells nice and raw
when I smell the tuo wet, it smells green and earthy
when I smell the brewed tea, it smells light and smooth
when I taste the brewed tea, it tastes light and smooth
many thanks to toad Thomas for this ok tea
Flavors: Earth, Smooth
i am really surprised that this tastes so good and is a un-roasted oolong
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell like un-roasted oolong.
when i smell the leaves wet, they smell sweet and fruity
when i smell the brewed tea, it smells sweet and fruity too.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste peach and sweetness :D
because of this tea, i shall once again try raw oolongs :)
many thanks to toad thomas for this amazing tea :D
Flavors: Fruity, Peach, Sweet