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Recent Tasting Notes
I know I’ve been brutal with heicha. And I broke my thermos. So never having patience for kungfu ritual, I settled for iron teapot from tkmaxx. Now this is my first experience with steaming chunks of sheng inside of it. Being a lazy beaver, I fill up empty vessel with boiling water and pour the rest on top of it. I leave it for few minutes, empty and place the victim inside and cover with iron lid. It is a torture. Or maybe sauna for microbiological bacteria. I think they are sending distress signal to comets passing withing few light years away. But the only entity answering call is me getting from nephrite car seat and putting another haden kettle on, this time with silver ionized water. It is a battle lost to fluoride. My teeth don’t know any better. After all, all the fillings are buzzing from 5g soup the whole neighbourhood is steeping in. What a trip.
Part of the Liquid Proust’s Oolong group buy 2017:
Western, 200F, 2min
Heavy roast, hazelnut shells, cocoa shell, sour, gets somewhat sweeter as it cools. This is too much roast for me. Leaves don’t unravel well and seem to be more burnt than anything else. I don’t want to spend much time with this tea. Super heavy roast that’s not well done.
Flavors: Burnt, Roasted, Sour
My first proper Oolong. This tea makes you realize how important the smell is to the taste of the tea: I usually drink tea from a thermos, which basically eliminates the smell. Without the smell, you taste smooth cocoa, and a bit malt and honey, butterscotch. Opening the lid, however, reveals the raisins and apple pie scent on the nose, rather a sweet finish. The tea is quite soft and smooth, makes me think of grandmother’s milk-and-honey.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Honey, Malt, Raisins, Red Apple
I really don’t get Dong Ding. I don’t hate it, but every one I’ve had so far has been just a little boring. I think it has to do with the charcoal roasting more than anything else. The result of this roasting is a generic roasted peanut flavor at best, and lighter fluid flavors at worst.
Doing a few side-by-side comparisons between roasted and unroasted versions of Taiwanese (or Taiwanese-style, as the case may be) oolongs, the unroasted versions were substantially better. Better flavors, more depth, more complexity.
Anyway, that said, I don’t really know where to place this one. In terms of Dong Ding, I think it’s pretty good. The aftertaste is pretty tasty and has some staying power. But in-mouth, it’s pretty boring. But, like I’ve said, I found this to be true with my other roasted Dong Ding experiences too.
In terms of the roast, I don’t really think it’s too bad on this one; there are a few hints of lighter fluid, but overall, it’s really just a charcoaly, nutty sort of experience.
In the end, I found myself gulping the tea just to get to the aftertaste. Not a whole lot to explore in the tea liquor itself.
Dry leaf: raw pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, raw walnut, roast peanut. In preheated vessel – sweet char notes like charred green vegetables, some notes of charcoal.
Smell: charcoal, lighter fluid, bittersweet green herbal
Arrival – roast nut/peanut, charcoal
Development – does not develop – same nut and charcoal notes. At times some pleasant sourness (tart raspberry) arrives and fades.
Finish – fruit sweetness arrives and some creaminess develops
Aftertaste – lemongrass, bittersweet citrus, tart berry
From Liquid Proust’s 2017 Regional Oolong sampler
I steeped this gong-fu style, which I don’t usually do for oolong. It came out so well, I will have to do it more often.
Many of the teas in the sampler have been too heavily roasted for me. I realized that my taste in oolong has been compressed into those teas in the mid-roast range. I’m not crazy about green oolongs, or heavy roasts. Having said that, this tea hit my sweet spot. It had quite a bit of roast, but I was still able to taste the underlying tea.
The first two steeps (10s) were pleasant and toasty, with herbal notes. The roasted, almost burnt, flavors were stronger in the second steep, but I can still detect the tea behind the roast. Nice finish. Surprising amount of cha qi. 6th steep (30s): Still potent, though more in the nose and especially the finish than in the taste. Rich and toasty with a hint of spice caramel.
I got this in the LiquidProust Regional Oolong Group Buy 2017.
Let me first say that I have come to really enjoy Dong Dings. Or at least I thought. I’m not sure what makes a DD-Oolong a DD-Oolong but I can’t stand this tea. I only infused it twice (plus a rinse) before giving up.
I did 4.5 grams in 150 ml gaiwan and probably about 190-195 degrees for 25 seconds.
It taste very medicinal like drinking oolong flavored cough syrup. There are some nutty notes and some sort of floral notes but overall it taste like something you take when you’re sick. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad quality tea, it just doesn’t work for me.It’s a bummer because I had just had a similar experience with an oolong that was super off putting. It was the (unnamed mystery) ball / pearl Oolong that we got in the shipment. I guess I’m excited to learn about teas that I don’t like, since I haven’t come across too many.
Flavors: Medicinal, Nuts
I received this from the LiquidProust Regional Oolong Group Buy 2017.
The dry leaf (very tight almost black rolled balls) smells like a middle ground between a strong rock and an alishan oolong with a nice roast but not overly so a slight sweetness also comes through. In a good oolong mood today, I decided to brew up 6g in my 200ml tempered glass teapot with 30 second infusions and 190F water.
The teapot lid smells strongly of honey roasted peanuts and the wet leaves smell like cracker jacks. The liquor is a very transparent light copper brown and smells of roasted edamame. It has a pleasant roasted vegetable umami flavor with a sweet almost vidalia onion lasting sweetness. The tea is smoother than it’s aroma led me to believe with a delicate mouth-feel and noticeable cooling afterwards.
The second infusion is noticeably darker as the tightly rolled tea is able to unfurl in the teapot. The flavor profile moves into more nutty territory, reminding me of roasted chestnuts, and the mouth feel is a bit more oily. The third infusion on is more of the same with the roast dying off a bit more. I stretched it out to six infusions overall.
This was an enjoyable tea that was a worthwhile addition to the group buy as the flavor is akin to other oolongs but still sets itself apart, and shows its terrior.
Flavors: Caramel, Chestnut, Honey, Peanut, Popcorn, Roasted, Sweet, Tannin
I’ve almost finished my 100g bag of this without writing a tea review. In honesty I wasn’t overly keen on this tea but it came in handy for those awkward times that I want tea but have no idea which tea to have. That is the reason I have it today actually, after this cup I have one mugs worth of leaf left. I’m thankful I chose this tea today because when I sat down my cat Ollie jumped onto me for fuss and he lay in my arms for 15 or so minutes. All that while my tea was steeping, but the good thing about this tea is it’s very forgiving. Most black teas would have to be thrown away after such a long steep but this is still mild and unoffensive.
It’s slightly fruity (like dates) mixed with dry chestnut and toasted wood. It’s extremely light, even after that long steep, which makes it easy to drink. There is also a sweetness coming from the date fruit character that becomes slightly sour in the after taste before leaving a dry finish.
It’s not a bad tea, it’s just not my favourite and honestly once it’s gone I will probably forget what it was like. It was suitable as an everyday tea and is easy to transport to work etc when the mood struck. I do find on the whole that Thai teas tend to be fruity and light in comparison to Chinese and Indian black teas which are much darker. If I had to liken this to anything then it would probably be similar to a mild Darjeeling but without the muscatel notes.
Just pouring in the water created a beautiful rice aroma that was strong enough to fill my kitchen and living room. Wow, it’s making me salivate!
Once steeped a yellow tea liquid is produced with the aforementioned rice aroma. If someone were to blindfold me and ask me to guess what it was by scent I would say it was a bowl of rice. There is also the same sweetness and toasted notes from it’s raw form.
The first few sips are interesting…I can detect a toasted grass, milky, floral Oolong but by it’s side is a sweet yet thickly moreish rice flavour. The after taste is a lingering thick (almost stodgy) rice note that has coated the whole of my tongue. A few more sips and it has an added sour note though honestly it’s not for long. I have noticed a slight dryness however which becomes noticeable in the after taste which frankly feels even more like I’m eating rice.
Ok so as rice heavy as this tastes it still does not take much away from the Jin Xuan base which manages to hold it’s own. This I am pleased with, if you’re going to drink Jin Xuan then you should really be tasting it.
Half a cup in and the dryness has increased again to a point that I have a cotton dry tongue. Not pleasant but the lingering after taste is making up for it. It’s still consistent though in strength and flavour from those first few sips.
For a longer review and more information please view the blog: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/05/17/premium-cha-khao-hom-thai-rice-tea-siam-tee/
Opening the packet and taking a quick sniff reveals a mild mixed fruit scent. Further inspection shows very large leaves that are: black, curly, long, thinly rolled and are dark black with some golden tips present. Spreading the mixture out also exposes a couple of large fruit pieces. A closer sniff-spection adds sweet wood to the mild fruit tone.
Steeping Parameters: 5g of blend. Boiling water. 320ml vessel. 3-4 Minute Steep.
Once steeped the tea liquid is amber with a red hue and bares a sweet, strawberry fruit scent with undertones of wood and sour malt.
The first few sips reveal delicate yet sweet fruit notes with some astringency and a sour malt background. The after taste is sweet and fruity whilst not being too overpowering. The fruit is coming through as strawberry sweet but cranberry sour/tart.
As it cools the sour malt comes through a little more but the after taste is fruity and it lingers with the malt, adding some dryness to it all. Perhaps slightly perfumed over all but in a nice contrast to the malt.
The rest of the cup remained rather consistent in terms of strength and flavour. I know I bigged up Siam Tee at the start of my review and while this is not my favourite blend it is still a good job. In terms of quality they are one of the best available. No broken or finely chopped leaves here! The black base is stronger than the fruit but that is to my preference, with such a good quality black tea I want to be able to taste it. So think of this as a black tea with added fruit flavours rather than a fruit tea that happens to contain black leaves.
Dry leaves, unpacked, light aroma of nuts. Wet leaves smell of cigarettes, flowers, smoke. Similar notes during tasting, with cigarette flavor being dominant, but overall a bland tea. Medium body, slight astringency lingers, no sourness, very slightly sweet. A long lasting star anise flavor lingers in the back of the throat.
Flavors: Char, Flowers
Just finished a tea share and it was certainly a welcome and unique addition. I’ve never had purple wild, and it had a very interesting flavor profile. Leaf packets as expected – deep purple in about 1/3 of leaves. Aroma, even of the dry, is extremely pungent fruity. First steep was heavy sweet fruity – something like lychee/mangosteen and grassy. Medium mouthfeel. Aftertaste continued the trend with more lychee and less grass. Second steep was waning in flavor, and the third was very light.
Flavors: Grass, Lychee, Mineral
I got a sample of this quite a while ago. These little pearls expand a LOT so… this tea came out very very strong, but that’s not a bad thing! There’s no funky should’ve-rinsed-the-tea-first aftertaste. (I’m lazy, who has time to rinse their tea? I know, I don’t deserve the tea I drink.)
This the first tieguanyin I’ve had where I could actually taste the smokiness! Usually I’m like, suuuuuure, smoky… uhuh. Nope, this one’s got it in a profound, delicious way!
There’s a little bit of bitterness, probably because I didn’t read the package properly (there’s no English, really, just Chinese or German) so I didn’t realize this was an oolong (I found “Tie Guan Yin” printed sideways on the sample after I’d drowned the tea leaves), and brewed it with boiling hot water. Sorry little tea leafies! The next few steeps will be less shocking, I promise!
In any case, this tieguanyin is different than any other I’ve tasted. I can definitely say I prefer the floral varieties more so than the dark, leather, smoky, manly? kinds. Haha! But it’s still yummy! Just not one I would keep around as a staple. :)
Flavors: Leather, Smoke
Another gift from kittylovestea
A decent tea
When I smell the leaves dry, I smell mustyness.
When I smell the leaves wet, I smell strong asparagus.
When I smell the brewed tea. I smell honey.
When I taste the brewed tea, I taste honey.
The color of the brewed tea is light yellow.
Specs via iPod:
Temp: a little below boiling.
Cup size: 250ml
Steep time: 30s
I rate this a 76 because it is kind of weak.
Flavors: Asparagus, Honey
The loose leaf is large and hosts an array of colours, most noticeably the lime leaf. The black tea is also large and thinly rolled into long, squiggly pieces. The blend as a whole has a spicy and rather aromatic scent. Not as strong as I expected nor as Thai food strong.
So 2 teaspoons (since it’s large leaf) of blend into my steeping mug and boiling water added for roughly 3-4 minutes.
The resulting tea liquid is dark brown and in colour and has the most amazing Thai scent I have ever smelled from a tea. It truly does smell like Thai green curry, or another similar dish. It’s spicy with citrus highs and a creamy underlayer, before becoming spicy again. Wondrous indeed!
And here comes the taste test (which I can hardly control my excitement about). ..sip..sip. Holy moly, that has a spicy kick! The chilli burns the throat (well rather tingles than burns) and is quickly neutralised by a touch of cream and citrus (which matches the smell) before becoming spicy again in the after taste. The chilli is definitely the main character. I gave a sip for my husband and he stated “I’ve never had such a spicy cup of tea” and considering I’m on 1291 (including this tea) steeping notes of which I pass onto him to try; it’s saying something about this ‘unique’ blend.
More information on SororiTEA Sisters:
Once steeped (Western style) this is golden in colour with a soft coconut scent. Some sweetness to it but on the whole it’s subtle.
In terms of flavour this does actually match the scent somewhat. A sip produces a soft and subtly sweet coconut essence with a hint of milk and some dryness in the after taste. As it cools the black tea thickens to unleash subtle sour wood notes. As thick as the black tea base is beginning to be; it is no where near strong enough to remove the coconut essence and if anything the contrast makes it all the more pleasant.
The more I drink this the more I am happily surprised that the coconut remains sweet throughout my many cups full. I should perhaps mention that I made roughly 1 litre of this tea in a very large pot, something to enjoy with my husband while we watch a film. Anyway back to the tea, I’m on cup number 4 and it still tastes as sweet and much like coconut as the first cup did. Something that tends to be lost on flavoured blends as you adjust to their taste.
I like that the coconut tastes pure and non chemical which only adds to it’s splendour.
This tea really offered a beautiful coconut and black tea balance which in a way lets you enjoy the best of both worlds at the same time. The choice of base was what really made this tea for me, as nice as the coconut flavour is I always enjoy tasting the base for added depth and richness. I suppose it’s a way of saying “Yes I’m a coconut tea but don’t assume that is all I am”.
Pics and more info: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/22/coconut-black-tea-by-siam-tee-shop/
I received some bad news last night, my small fish tank (which contained around 1000 cherry shrimp, 3 Ottoinculus fish and various snails) has endured some sort of freak malfunction and all of it’s inhabitants are dead. It is believed to have happened sometime through Saturday night. I didn’t notice it on Sunday morning, while I fed them I was desperate for the toilet so I didn’t check to see if they were alright. For that I feel incredibly guilty. I dearly loved my underwater friends and they will be sorely missed.
Today I am not feeling up to much while I grieve, so I chose this tea to re-steep all day while I watch films on tv (as this morning the pc died). I should be back in a couple of days if not sooner, for now I’m just picking comfort tea and trying to accept my loss. I’ve been with them for 3 years when I started to build my shrimp army.
In raw form this tea smells super duper sweet and fruity! Like fresh peach juice. The Oolong balls are a nice size which comes dotted with other ingredients around them, of which I can see rose petals and ginger pieces.
Once steeped the tea is golden brown/yellow with a sweet and thick fruit scent, particularly peach and an undertone of sweet rose and flowers surround it. Pure smelling and juicy, wonderful!
Flavour matches the scent somewhat. It’s sweet and fruity with peach and strawberry like tones with flowers and milky Oolong, blended into one smooth and sweet drink. The fruit is very fresh and pure, I can almost taste the fuzz of the peach skin. It’s strength is a nice balance, not toning out the Oolong but using the milk tones to it’s advantage. Further sips reveal a touch of dryness which lingers with the sweet fruit in the after taste.
I could drink this tea any time, any where and still enjoy it as much. Therefore top marks from me (which is a rare occurrence)
For more info and pics: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/15/monsoon-blended-oolong-from-siam-tee-shop/
Additional note: Even through 3 re-steeps (so 4 steeps altogether) this tea still has lots of flavour, almost as much as the original. Another reason that is gets top marks :D
Flavors: Milk, Peach, Sweet
this tea is awesome!
when I smell the tea ball dry, it smells green and flowery
when I smell the tea ball wet, it smells like roses and flowers
when I smell the brewed tea, it smells like roses and flowers too
when I taste the brewed tea, it tastes like flowers
many thanks to Thomas kasper for this free sample
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Green, Rose
This is a really lovely tea for a bright sunny day promising spring.
This is a blend of Thai jin Xuan, watermelon, peach, ginger, and rose petals. The dry leaf smells very fruity and actually reminds me of passion fruit and cream.
This scent does translate into the flavour as well, yet the individual fruit elements are still discernable. Flavour notes include, passion fruit, watermelon, peach, ginger. These are augmented by cream and a slightly nutty element from the base tea. The base also provides peach, a spicy cinnamon floral note, and a lightly bitter vegetal note that helps to provide a good sense if body for the tea and grounds the flavour. It resteeps really well, with the second steep being even more fruity than the first. Really nice.