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Recent Tasting Notes
I will not forget this tea. I did not think a few seconds was enough to brew tea. The aftertaste is what got me. There are strong bitter notes that dominate this tea, with hints of sweetness throughout. I would recommend this to someone with a more developed palate. An unrefined palate may not appreciate the complexities of this tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Dark Bittersweet
This tea was definitely the type of tea that you did not forget, because of its strong taste and flavors. I did not imagine that after the hot water sitting on the tea for a few seconds would still make it strong, and the first round of it going around the class was indeed a wake up call.
Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Food, Dark Bittersweet, Meat, Salty
I bought this tea in late ’14 or early ’15 and can confirm that it is not a flavored milk oolong as it may have been previously. Pure unadulterated leaves, quite large when unfurled with a pleasant milky, floral aroma. Flavor is creamy, smooth, floral with a light spicy minerality. Not complex, pleasant. Brewed gongfu style, the middle & later steepings were my favorites.
EDIT: I just opened my second order of this tea from late 2015. It was not nearly as good as the previous order. Almost no flavor unless you over leaf or over brew. At that point, it’s bitter. Flavored? I’m trying sure, but I won’t order from this company again. Shockingly inconsistent!
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Mineral, Orchid, Sweet
Nice everyday morning tea at a good price. Reminds me of Copper Knot Hong Cha, previously carried by Teavana, back when it was an Atlanta start up boutique. Although I haven’t shopped there in years (since they discontnued my 3 favorite teas, (before they sold to Starbucks), I have missed their CKHC and this tea is a very nice replacement. Smooth, fragrant, malty & chocolatey. Holds up well wth milk & sugar. Also good s straight up.
I really like Jasmine teas, and this one is pretty good. To be honest I’m still trying to figure out if I can taste much difference between one pearl jasmine and another, though I do know I like this one better than Teavana’s. Teavana just tends to have weaker teas, though, in my experience.
Flavors: Jasmine, Tea
I’ve had both good and bad experiences with osmanthus flowers in tea. My first time trying it, it was paired with a rather bland oolong from a non-reputable dealer on eBay. It seemed generic. My second time was with Teavivre’s Osmanthus oolong, which I liked when I tried a sample of, then I ordered some and for some reason I had a change of heart. It was just so overpowering and artificial tasting to me (despite that it wasn’t artificial). I gave it to a friend. Later I had a blossoming tea, which I don’t drink often because they are usually not made with very good tea in my experience, but this one had osmanthus flowers in it and was really sweet and tasty. All that said, I just learned that Huang Jin Gui doesn’t actually HAVE osmanthus in it, but has a similar taste to it and it thusly named. Aha! Let’s give it a try.
The osmanthus scent in this tea is very light, so I think I’m on the right track to really enjoying this one. The first infusion yeilds a light, creamy brew with a hint of sunflower seed and very subtle notes of osmanthus flower that add just a touch of sweetness and a ghost of apricot flavor.
There are some VERY interesting raw puer qualities coming through in the flavor of the second infusion, or at least they are flavors I’d expect more from a raw puer. It’s hard to describe… sort of nutty with little hints of seaweed and evergreen forest, a sort of dew taste as well. There’s an almost minty hui gan sensation on the tongue after a drink.
Third steeping, this tea has a really delicate feel to it similar to a Jin Xuan. It’s kind of creamy and light. There are some hints of vanilla and clove in this infusion, though these are very light and they are paired with a light vegetal/floral on top with a nutty undertone.
By the fourth infusion the flavor is nearly gone already, so that’s no bueno. It’s very light and slightly creamy/nutty. I’ll end my review here.
This tea does remind me quite a bit of the generic vacuum packed oolongs I will get as samples when I buy teawares from vendors on eBay. They are never fantastic but sometimes enjoyable. I liked this one. It was better than some teas from really popular vendors on Steepster, but not one I’ll be interested in purchasing.
Flavors: Apricot, Clove, Creamy, Floral, Nutty, Osmanthus, Vanilla, Vegetal
Another delicious favorite – all gone!
This tea was a chameleon for me! Today it tasted roasty but herbaceous on the end of the sip. Almost like chamomile. It’s tasted very floral on the end of the sip before, just roasty and plain good before… who knows! In any event, it was one of my most enjoyable new teas of 2012.
I am not rushing to reorder because it is a little pricy, and also you have to sign for the package (or pick it up at the post office) which is a bit inconvenient for me.