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Fifth of 7 teas from SiamTeas Clubbox January ’23 – Tuyet Shan
Western steeping of 4 grams of this unusual terroir sheng. 4 minutes steeping, boiling water that cooled down for a few minutes, approx. temperature 90°C.
Dry leaf aroma was “typical” sheng profile, hay and strong bitterness, a little reminding me the pressed white teas, nothing much appealing.
Steeped tea aroma was fruity. I noticed mostly stonefruit, but sadly I wasn’t able to notice much more. I feel I am out of track in noticing flavors and scents. Maybe I need to drink more tea again and start searching the nuances again.
But flavour profile is distinctive enough! I have noticed certainly the stonefruits I mentioned in the aroma; and mostly it was smooth and highly enjoyable dried apricots and fresh peaches. There was also a little herbal note, reminding me a lemon balm or something like that… a little rough, but it wasn’t medicinal, you know. Long mouthfeel and aftertaste, mouth coating smooth quality.
If anyone told me that Vietnamese sheng could be so good, I would not believe them. But apparently, sheng and red oolong is something I will get in bigger quantity than this sample 10 grams… 25 or 50 grams will be sufficient.
A sipdown! (M: 2, Y: 38)
Eh. The first note? Have I ever shared this tea with someone or I drank it all alone? I don’t remember!
Anyway, last year FF Darjeeling. Probably a good timing to sip it down, as I have some 2023 FF too.
A funny story behind buying this tea. I have put it in to shopping basket in the webshop, reading it is my favorite Mokalbari, placed the order along with other teas; and then I have read in the invoice saying Makaibari. I went back to the tea shop and it was clearly marketed as Makaibari. I just read it wrong!
But decided to try it anyway, as back then I didn’t had any FF tea. And afterall, why not trying another tea garden.
In fact, I never loved this tea. It was quite highly astringent all the times, proper steeping parameters were working once, twice and then I had to change them again; it was fine and non-offensive tea, but it doesn’t gave me any particular impression. No fruity notes, no florals; just somehow astringent and sometimes even bitter tea.
Well, until today; when using last 4 grams and steeped for 3 minutes and it was round flavour with hints (but only hints!) of tropical fruits and again that creeping and, even for me, too high astringency.
Fourth of 7 teas from SiamTeas Clubbox January ’23 – Tuyet Shan
Actually, today wasn’t that hot as a few days back; but still I had a mood for green teas. And plain green teas. I took in the office Tielka green tea; and at home this one.
Two minutes steeping, not even 80°C water, but not measured. Western steeping 4 grams.
I had no idea what to expect, as the aroma was actually quite seaweedy, quite buttery and salty.
But when brewed, and it seems that first steep was just perfect, as I got nice and smooth tea. It was like a breeze, refreshing but not too strong to be annoyed by it. It was grassy, slightly minty maybe — which I find unusual in not flavorued tea nd I am sure I have avoided any contamination, as it was still in original box (along with sheng puerh).
Second steep, made with same leaves, but 4 hours later is certainly more buttery and grass turned a bit into hay, but both notes is, I believe, because I used sadly hotter water and this tea seems a bit finicky.
Now, as it cools down, it became somehow salty too.
Dry leaves were so pungent. I don’t recall such pungency recently. And also so complex. I noticed a lots of florals. Can’t point out any particular flowers, but it was strong. And then there were some different aromas too, as well very strong. Those aromas were white grapes and muscatel. When I did a rinse, which maybe wasn’t needed at all. But afterwards I got another dimension — with stonefruits, mainly ripe peaches, very fuzzy and juicy in aroma.
First steep was 10 seconds long, brewed it has got that fruity note, but along with white grapes for sure. It reminds me a few good FF Darjeelings, but with extra stonefruit note. There were a bit of black tea qualities too — malt noticed. Smooth and round flavour, medium-long aftertaste.
Second steep was 15 seconds long. There is still very prominent fruity line, the malty note became much stronger as well. I don’t get cacao as desrcribed by vendor, though.
Third steep was 20 seconds long. Again a very sweet tea, with less of muscatel, white grapes; but instead stronger note of stonefruits.
Fourth steep was 30 seconds long. Malty notes dominate in this steep, along with fruity, but not stonefruits mentioned, notes.
Fifth steep was around 45 seconds long. Still tasty, however I notice that it is going slowly done. The flavours are actually weaker by a loty, but in terms of flavours it was like a fourth steep.
Sixth and last steep was really long. Well, it’s gone. I tried so hard to coax more from this tea, but in was in vain.
In conclusion yes, I want more of this tea. I will get more than this 10 grams sample. However, I think it is a wonderful tea for western steeping. A few, even long steeps can make (I suppose, it needs to be tried) wonderful flavours, but it doesn’t last long when steeped many times.
Sipdown prompt: A tea sample you put off trying. It is a few months since I have ordered last time from Siam Tee Shop, but honestly it’s maybe just two or three. Okay, invoice says January 25. And as it is “single serving”, it’s not an actual sipdown for me. I need to find out if I counted those to the prompts or not.
It is probably only one sample I have around, all others are shares by others; or just tea I bought. My cupboard deserves a big reduction and I am telling myself I definitely do not need any more tea yet.
So, a sample of yancha, Wuyi yancha, an oolong I never had before. I used all 5 grams for my gongfu steeping and almost a boiling water. Short steeps, starting with 10 seconds (no rinse) and increments were 3-5 seconds, to avoid quick end of session because of long steeps.
After smelling dry leaves in preheated gaiwan, I became tea-drunk fast. It smelled so good, so roasty, fruity and as well lots of minreals and stones there.
Steeps were amazing, with great flavour, long taste and aftertaste, not such minerality to be found, rather I think I notice soy sauce, dried flowers and hay, honey, spices, milled poppy seed; all together very smooth, though a bit harsh for my tummy. First steeps were also very roasty, almost too much for my tooth, but later ones were much better.
Dhara Golden Tips Black Tea as curated by @siamtee_thomas_kasper.
A convert to Wild Thai Tea, I would recommend those Thomas sources from @monsoontea (#Fhaang) who are dedicated to the Forest Friendly Tea concept.
Dhara grows wild in the Mountains of Northern Thailand from Camellia sinensis var. assamica trees and much of the process is by hand. Picking standard is 1 +1 from the jungle/forests of Mae Hong Son (แม่แตง), Thailand.
The leaves are large (assamica for sure), hand twisted black with golden flecks and dry give off suggestions of cocoa, malt, and toast.
Brewed a cocoa, smouldered coffee, and caramel aroma is complemented by a rounded sweetness in the mouth.
It produces best when brewed Western style and is then a satisfying tea and testament to ancient Thai tradition nature.
#Fhaang #forestfriendlytea #KennethRimdahl
Flavors: Bubblegum, Candied Fruit, Caramel, Cocoa, Coffee
Gongfu, 6 grams. 125 ml gaiwan. Preheated.
Previous attempt was western with 4 grams, but too hot water used — bitter, due to human error.
Preheated gaiwan aroma was fruity. But I haven’t been expecting white grapes. This one was present in first two steeps too. Along with tropical fruits, papaya, lychee maybe, quite sweet and delicious. Smooth mouthfeel with long aftertate, where it takes more of “tea” notes as a little tannin there.
Third steep, was again to human error, a little bit more bitter. It seems that I devoted all the focus in the work today (preparing a shipment of highly flammable liquid) and can’t focus on the tea. The tropics are gone as well, but it is still pretty flavourful; somewhere between green and white teas in terms of flavours, meadow, herbaceous.
Following steeps were similar, until it was just gone. Worth 6-7 steeps. Be careful of water temperature, 75°C is absolute limit.
Third of 7 teas from SiamTeas Clubbox January ’23 – Tuyet Shan
Decided for western steeping of this Vietnamese shu-puerh, but I am already looking forward for proper eastern steeping.
I did two steeps, first with 90°C water and for two minutes only; second one was with almost boiling water and 4 minutes long.
Both were equally good, but I liked first one a bit more. It had got an earthy aroma like a cheap shu when dry (my W2T teas which arrived today don’t have that smell); but when brewed, the loose leaves instead of chunks, it got again that interesting red fruits taste and aroma, alongside with minerality and chocolate notes. I took a piece of dark chocolate with raspberry pieces and it was almost the same, but tea is liquid and that chocolate is solid.
A little bit of creaminess would make this tea a solid daily drinker, although maybe a bit more expensive.
I am again, looking forward to try more of those Snow Shan teas. They seem to be interesting, especially when they are prepared in Chinese style. Pu-erh or oolong seems to be better than “western” styles like black tea which was sooo boring. Rating on hold
Flavors: Chocolate, Mineral, Red Fruits
A sipdown! (M: 6, Y: 56)
I won’t lie, I wasn’t paying attention to this tea at all. That’s because I had all family around. And why? My brother turned 30, so yep, naturally quite a big party was held.
Actually, it was just a perfect tea for this occasion as I didn’t had to care about it too much. Pleasant and malty-cocoa sweetness was there, but not much complexity in here. Perfect for times you can’t care much about tea itself.
I will keep the rating on 60, future harvests (if I get one) can be better or… worse. Definitely not a reorder tea for me right now.
Second of 7 teas from SiamTeas Clubbox January ’23 – Tuyet Shan, prepared western; with 5 grams / 300 ml. Gongfu steeping with remaining 5 grams next time.
Honestly, I am disappointed with this tea. Prepared similar to suggested parameters, yet it was dismal. The visual of the leaf is perfect, many golden tips, wiry, twisted leaves, some black, though they are not shiny, but that’s fine.
I was ready for “At this, the most coining features are malty and cocoa notes and a pronounced, but nevertheless pleasant roast aroma.” but it was just malty, and somehow flat. I will borrow a note from Courtney with tea with same name, but from Teerausch: " I wouldn’t say this is anything special, but not bad to drink as I work on school stuff."
Yep, that’s it. Nothing special, a nice daily drinker, but that’s all. A dismal after such unique and interesting oolong from very same leaves. And nothing as chocolate or roasty here. What’s worse, second — 4 minute steep didn’t helped it develop better tastes. It was actually almost the same as the first. Hmm…
First of 7 teas from SiamTeas Clubbox January ’23 – Tuyet Shan
I vaguely remember having some Shan Tuyet — Red Buffalo oolong, but also some other Vietnamese teas. But it seems it was pre-Steepster time for me (I have been on r/tea pretty much active), because no notes for those teas here. Also I have decided for whole Tuyet Shan CLUBBOX, becaue it will be interesting example how different processing can make different teas, though used same plant from same region.
Why I took oolong at first? Well, I was in mood for oolong. And this is also Wuyi style oolong — something I have so very limited experience with.
The leaves look amazing. It’s not rolled into small balls, instead it is long and sharp, wiry. After adding 5 grams to preheated 125 ml gaiwan, it was very strongly mineral, almost licking a stone or cave aroma (somebody wrote it somewhere before and I still remember that) feel and I was afraid it won’t be my jam.
I have decided to steep it as suggested by vendor. “That is, 3-4g/100ml might steep at a sequence of 1-1-2-3 minutes for a total of 4 infusions. At this, each infusion surprises with an individual taste pattern of its own.” which is quite interesting, as I tend to do first steeps short, maybe even 10 seconds long. I did completely no rinse, because there was absolutely no dust to be flushed away.
I did 60 seconds long steep and well, I am not used for such long steep with boiling water. My fingers are a little sore from very hot gaiwan, but it’s fine, they need to get used to. I got also very dark liquid, with orange-red colour, with red fruits aroma, mostly I think about raspberries, with they tart aftertaaste, with sweet note, but it’s fruit sweetness, not sugar, stevia whatsoever. Mouthfeel is very long, smooth and actually no minreal notes to be found! How aroma of dry leaf can be misleading!
2nd steep was again one minute long.
This time it is with we leaves already, so I assume flavours will be very similar, but stronger. But anything can change, so I wouldn’t be surprised to notice other things. I took a sniff on wet leaves in gaiwan and it is still mineral, with red fruits. Mouthfeel is great, very coating, but also so smooth, with flavours towards mineral part of the flavour wheel, however, I would rather say slightly nutty, also peanuts here. Certainly it’s less sweet, a bit burnt-like. Aftertaste and mouthfeel are long again.
Third steep, 2 minutes! Isn’t that too much?
I guess not. It leans again to different flavour profile. Now it is sweet again, a little bit like licorice root? It’s a bit sticky too. Flavours are a bit more woody, with sweet aftertaste, aroma is weaker mineral from dry leaf. Yes, in flavours it is woody-herbaceous combo. Oak wood with hops. That doesn’t make any sense! That long mouthfeel is amazing about this tea!
4th steep, 3 minutes. Even longer? Fine!
It tastes like washed out all other steeps together. Not bad, of course, but much weaker level of flavours and aromas. Mouthfeel remains long, smooth, almost velvet like.
A sipdown! (M: 7, Y: 7)!
I have used last 4 grams in gongfu session.
Well, it’s not so good tea for this preparation method, as only two or three steeps were worth it and other ones were flat and with “brewed-out” taste.
First steep was very similar to French press method I mentioned it previous tasting method. Quite fruity, red currants with a little tart aroma. The flavour was round, very low in tannin notes and little honey-ish.
Second steep was different, it was very malty, with some robust aftertaste, a little bit like an earthy notes, however in mouth it was again round and not so rough.
Third steep was a weaker second steep. And from fourth one (and fifth one) I got absolutely nothing, but a tannic water.
I wasn’t sure which tea to choose today in the evening, so I let my brother decide. He picked this one (the second was Dhara Black) and I have brewed it in French press. I have decided to fill my cup after 2-3 minutes, as suggested by the vendor.
Honestly, I am quite tired, as I have been helping my cousin to move all day, but the feeling being helpful is priceless.
I will return to the tea really fast: the color of the brew is light yellow, clear and very nice to watch. But, the tea is rather about the aromas and mostly flavours. Aroma of dry leaf, but as well as the tea in the mug is fruity. I am not able to recognize any exact ones.
Flavour is honey-ish, smooth and slightly malty. It is very round taste, but it feels a little bit flat. Certainly, it’s low in tannins and not bitter at all. Maybe longer steeping or different steeping method could make the tea more complex.
In conclusion, for now I will say it is nice, smooth and easydrinking tea. Daily drinker.
A sipdown! (M: 1, Y: 41)
…but those 20 grams I would finish within a few months I think. Written on 1st September 2022.
Not really apparently.
I just finished it today. I had 7 grams, but 2 grams of it was actually a dust, so tossed that out and the rest I have steeped western.
Something terrible happened to this tea. It was plain and simple tea with notes of vegetals and minerals. Like a boring, cheap oolong teas. Little astringency.
Lowering the rating from 83 to 78.
Taking a day off is fun, until you return to job and… you work overtime every day for 2 hours. That’s my week.
I have arrived home later than I was expecting and I wanted to. But I never left work undone.
Anyway, today I had a mood for oolong. Or actually, just gongfu brewing something. And this tea sounded like a perfect choice. An oolong, so certainly good for gongfu, and a new experience. Thai oolong. I remember I had one before, it was something with “red” in name and I think it was from What-cha. And now I am too lazy to search in my history.
Anyway, Thailand isn’t a place famous for oolongs, afterall. But when I see it in the offer of Siam Tee Shop I have decided to pick 20 grams and trying it out.
Dry leaf have an aroma of lemon zest. Pithy, strong lemon zest. Almost sour, hints of sourdough a bit as well.
I have done a rinse, very quick one. This woke up lemon aroma even more, mixed with touch of vegetals and florals.
As I have been steeping this, without precise timing, with around 90°C water in thermos (so maybe it was cooling down a bit during the session), I got aromas from very lemony, through vegetal, with smooth and floral in the end of the sessions.
The notes of flavours are quite similar to me, while first steeps were quite astringent, quite throat shrinking feel and maybe even a bit drying. Later steeps were fruity-sweet and smooth, with hints of minerality and earthy notes as well.
It is amazing how this tea develops and one must be patient to get through first steeps which are indeed quite “hard” to enjoy. But afterwards getting rewarded with smooth, fruity-floral notes with mineral-earthy undernote, is great. It wont be an oolong that I would crave often, as I have found I prefer more roasted/fruity ones from very first sips, but those 20 grams I would finish within a few months I think.
Two celebrations today! It is my 4th Steepsterversary (how time flies?) and tasting note 1300!
Yes, I was looking for a special tea today and this tea is definitely on purpose, though I had no idea that today would be tea-mail day! If it wasn’t delivered today, I would pick maybe some Georgian tea from group order. Anyway, this was a free sample in. Thank you!
Anyway, to the tea. The dry leaves are huge, twisted, black with golden. Rolled and prepared handmade in my opinion. The aroma of them are spices, cocoa and roasty. A little bit of malt, probably as it is from Assamica bushes or trees.
I have very limited experience with Thai teas. I remember trying some, though. I think those were red oolongs from What-cha, before Brexit.
When brewed, a lovely aroma hit my nose. It was quite “dark”, roasty and spicy. I would say black pepper and maybe hints of cloves. Please note, it is orthodox tea without any additions, with clean glass and strainer! Amazing. Simply, amazing!
As I was sipping, I have noticed very similar flavour profile to aroma profile. Again, those spices, roasted notes, but with one more flavour — coffee (mentioned on their website too), and it was a bit drying. Also, cacao notes were there, or maybe it was all together a chocolate with cacao nibs in flavour.
I really would like to see others opinion on this tea. I wonder how my tasting buds are correct, because it felt they were fooling me sometimes.
Two steeps, each around 3-4 minutes long.
300 ml glass cup with plastic strainer
5 grams of tea
A sipdown! (M: 6, Y: 46)
Tasting note nr. 1600
I thought I could finish those Thai teas much faster. I used my last 4 grams for western steeping and honestly, the flavours I noticed are pretty much similar as in description. Maybe it needed some rest, maybe my taste buds were more refined today, maybe it was just different day and I could notice more.
The flavors were somehow similar to coffee, a little of its bitterness, spiciness and little of the roastiness. On the other hand there were also some sweet cacao notes, which makes whole tea amazing… though my brain was more used of playing pexeso (in English more known under pairs game) which I played with my father (61) and niece (almost 12). What a fun day!
Luckily, I have loose leaf tea to the rescue today! After two, mediocre-worse teas at work today, which are nearly finished, but never took that much attention to them, I took one loose leaf which I still had on the desk as I still haven’t put it into correct box.
As I was measuring (recommended) 5 grams, I noticed long, wiry, multicolored leaves. Certainly handmade, because they had different hues of brown/black. Also there were some light ones. Sadly, no trichomes… but I am not even sure if it’s possible :) — this was for Skysamurai.
Anyway, after first steep — 3 minutes long, I got very dark copper color, reminding me a forest honey. The vendor says it has got coffee flavour and I have to agree combined with mild spicy notes. In aftertaste I notice also some roasty notes and I would love to see nutty flavours, but they aren’t here. In the nose it is raher lighter, woody and little floral.
Second steep — 5 minutes long have even darker colour, with stronger coffee and roasted flavour notes. The spices are weaeker and instead roasted flavour is stronger. Aroma stays very similar.
Brewed leaves show it is produced from medium sized leaves, usually torn in half and there is quite a lots of stems there. After those two sessions, aroma of it is strong tannic and bitter, but the brewed tea show no bitterness or astringency.
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.