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Recent Tasting Notes
A random Huangshan Maofeng I got as a gift. The leaves were pretty whole with a few buds, slight inconsistencies, while the aroma was rich in nuttiness and floral notes. The liquor is clean and vibrant, and the flavour is decent, tasting very much like a typical decent Chinese green tea. This hurts the tea’s character for me, simply being one-dimensional and too similar to many other teas. Texture is smooth and oily, aftertaste is decent, cha-qi not much, and steep longevity pretty average, topping out at steep 5-6. In the end, I don’t really know much about this tea but it’s an okay daily drinker I guess.
Side note: This will be my last steepster review as I’m starting a tea company in my home country Singapore. Won’t be doing reviews of other company’s teas as that is a conflict of interest in my opinion. To the 6 people who followed me on steepster, thanks for liking my reviews and commenting on occasion, will still be reading your reviews :) If you’d like to check my online shop out, it’s www.sipscollection.com (I will remove the link if steepster mods come knocking, not sure if it’s allowed or not). Have a good day fellas adios
Flavors: Floral, Grassy, Green, Nutty, Vegetal
I’ve not done a review in a while thanks to illness but I had to make one for this two weeks old tea I just received as a gift. First of all, beautiful green-yellowish leaves indicative of very early pickings for Longjing (a month before Qingming festival). Seems like warmer weather could have started the harvest earlier. The leaves are plump when wet and verdant green albeit just slightly broken. Aroma is a 10/10, and the smell coming out of a newly opened pouch should be classified as the next world wonder. Yuzu and light citrus yet greenish notes, packed with multitudes of aromas yet rich and clear. The dry leaf is nutty and rich while the wet leaf is overtly green and vegetal. Liquor is a vibrant lime-green, clear yet packed with trichomes.
Taste is extraordinary for the first few steeps, great balance of citrus fruits and vegetal notes, with light lime and nuttiness portrayed as well. Well-balanced and rich. Complexity is wonderful albeit could be a bit better down the steeps. Texture is smooth and oily with a milky sensation that runs through the mouth, finish & aftertaste is one of the best I’ve had with green teas, potent yet well-balanced, smooth and creamy yet strong while still remaining subtle. Cha-qi is small but only slightly noticeable and the steep longevity is better than average, potentially reaching up to steep 8.
A really good tea worthy of a 80+ for me, however it does have its shortcomings in its complexity outside the taste, which denotes why maybe extremely early pickings, although very prized and expensive, may not be the cream of the crop when it comes to the experience in the cup. Still, an experience worth trying for the uninitiated.
Flavors: Citrus, Creamy, Elderflower, Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Grassy, Juicy, Lime, Milky, Nutty, Peas, Smooth, Vegetal, Yuzu
First time revisiting this one after some years. Noting that it is well “out of date” and my previous review was glowing, though that appears to be due to the fact that this was one of the first loose leaf teas I tried after diving down the rabbit hole. Stay tuned for more.
Infusions 1 and 2 – 30 and 45 seconds:
Straightforward and smooth woody body, a little thin on the mouthfeel but I’m wondering if it might have seemed stronger in the leaves’ prime. Enjoyably smooth with little astringency from tannins but no bitterness.
A nice mountain tea. There’s a bit of sweetness on the finish, I’m picking up the distant dried fruit especially in the lingering tongue profile.
Infusion 3 – 60 seconds:
The color continues to darken as I brew longer, we are at a deep amber orange hue. This infusion toes the line well, bringing faint dried fruit notes farther forward with the same consistent body. Compared to a blend of Irish Breakfast, Keemun, and LS the LS brings a refined and lighter black tea note to the table. Trying hard you can distinguish a bit of caramel on the finish, especially once cooled.
Infusion 4 – 75 Seconds:
Perspiring a bit from the caffeine intake of today. will these leaves ever quit? Unlikely.
There is a clearer note added to all the lovely characteristics above. Considering a 5th and final infusion.
Infusion 5 – 120 Seconds:
Still good body on this infusion, I could probably go longer on the session, but it feels a natural stopping point.
Overall, I’m happy with the rating of this tea. It is pleasant, drinkable, and offers some character from the leaf.
Flavors: Caramel, Dry Leaves, Wood
Steeped 5 minutes in one-mug infuser.
It is worth noting that this tin was found in storage and shows a date from 4 years ago. This may be an expiration date so it is possible that the tea is even older than that.
This is the un-smoked version of Lapsang Souchong.
I did find it a delightful blend even if it is technically out of date range.
The bouquet is sweet tea leaves, taste starts with a base of earthiness (perhaps it is old?) but with a sweet cereal consistency like honey wheat.
This sweetness is very subtle and light, but adds to this already golden delicate tea. With this delicate body is no shortage of flavor, and I think the loose leaves would stand up to a second infusion with slightly longer steep time.
I would recommend this tea as a great Chinese classic. Interested to try other variants and possibly from a fresher source but I was surprised with this one.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet, Wheat
What I smell: jasmine
What I taste: butter, pea shoots
Notes: Smooth, medium-bodied tea. Buttery with a bright green vegetal taste. Strong floral aroma. Definitely pleasant; will experiment with other steeping times and techniques. This time I did a single steep for perhaps a tad too long.
I am lucky enough to have two friends who frequently travel between China and the U.S. and they bring me back the most wonderful teas, most recently, this one. It came in a tin with a vacuum-sealed bag inside. Not a scrap of English all over the whole tin except where it says “Ten Fu’s Tea” and “LongJing,” so I can only hope this is the right tea page to post this note on. It has a light green-yellow body when brewed, very clear. The leaves are long and “needle”-like and open into delicate leaflets when brewed. The smell of the dry leaf is very fresh and outdoorsy, but with a warm roasted note before you brew it. After it’s brewed you can smell roasted barley and something like cooked spinach or asparagus—very vegetal—with a buttery richness. The taste is very smooth and grounding, only lightly astringent. It has a long, languid finish with lasting flavor. It makes you feel very leisurely and relaxed, like you have to take your time and appreciate it, which honestly is my favorite thing about drinking tea in general. I love this tea! I don’t know where you can get it in the U.S., though. I would recommend it to absolutely anyone who loves green tea.
Flavors: Asparagus, Butter, Roasted Barley, Smooth, Spinach, Vegetal, Wet Earth
The best jasmine needle tea I have ever had. It only leaves my shelf to drink with my most precious friends. Even though real tea enthusiasts will condemn me for it, I use the gongfu tea ceremony to brew it: that’s how much I love this tea.
My friend Colin was often in China for work. I just recently found this out. I told him I was looking for tea. He sent this to me as it is one of his favorites. Of course, now that I know about his whole often in China thing, and that he loves tea and would send me tea (and wouldn’t let me pay him for it!!!) then he gets a new job and I no longer have a source to pick me up tea. Ah well.
This tea actually has a date on the side of the vacuum sealed bag of 2014.12.3 so it’s quite fresh. And it looks and tastes like it’s that fresh.
It’s very green tasting, like a cross between spinach and green beans, not quite either, but definitely some of both. It’s almost slippery it’s so buttery. I’m loving it.
This is both energizing and comforting in the the same mug. I am working from home today and pretty busy, so I didn’t really have time to pull out the small tea set he sent me to make this tea in, but it’s definitely on my to do list. (Yeah, Colin wouldn’t let me pay for that, either. Or any of the other teas he sent.)