Trident Booksellers and Cafe Boulder ColoradoEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks to Daylon for providing samples of two unsmoked Lapsangs from Trident. Unsmoked Lapsang Souchong is quickly becoming one of my favourite types of hongcha, which is unsurprising given my preference for highly aromatic, not-too-astringent teas. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of lemon, lavender, orchid, malt, wood, and soy sauce. The first steep has notes of lemon, orange, lavender, orchid, honey, sweet potato, grain, malt, pastries, minerals, and wood. Lemon zest is more apparent in the second steep, and it has notes of rye bread, tannins, earth, pine, cream, herbs, and raspberry, especially in the aftertaste. Raspberry and cherry are more noticeable in the next couple steeps, along with molasses and a syrupy tropical fruit I’ll call guava. This is balanced by the lavender, florals, herbs, malt, and tannins. The next two steeps have notes of guava and cherry, but mainly emphasize lemon and florals. Steeps seven and eight are still fruity, but more tannins are creeping in and the wood, malt, and minerals are more apparent. The aroma in the empty cup is still lemony and fruity, and the tea has a long, lemony aftertaste. The sweetness continues throughout many, many more steeps, though the tea gradually thins out and has more tannins, earth, wood, and minerals.
This is a less assertive tea than What-Cha’s Tong Mu Lapsang, but I think it’s just as complex and appealing. Perhaps it doesn’t have quite the same variety of fruits as the What-Cha version, but I think it’s perhaps more balanced. That persistent lemon and lavender profile is one I like. I’m glad Daylon sent me so much of this tea to enjoy!
Flavors: Cherry, Cream, Earth, Floral, Grain, Guava, Herbaceous, Honey, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange, Orchid, Pastries, Pine, Raspberry, Rye, Soy Sauce, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Wood
Thank you Trident for the sample! I got this with the Red Plum Dragonwell Black I purchased. I only purchased an oz of that one because I really wanted to try a Black Dragonwell, and they generously sent an 8 gram sample of this.
It’s been a while since I had a dragonwell, or since I reviewed a straight green tea. Going gong fu, 120 ml, 10, 13, 16, 20, 15, 10, 25 before getting vegetal bitter and astringent. Earlier steeps were incredibly flavorful and well balanced. I couldn’t smell the dryleaf too much, but the brewed tea was nutty. Chestnuts are prominent in every steep in this tea starting of lighter, then ramping up into steep three. Like they describe, the tea is really clean and sweet. I’m impressed how balanced the snow pea notes are with the violet notes. Two and four gave me the most violet notes.
I was really happy with this one. I wouldn’t drink this one often, given it’s around $20 an oz, though honestly worth it if you are into good quality greens. I usually think Dragonwells are too vegetal, but this one is closer to an oolong in how smooth and sweet it is. It made think again how close to green teas the oolong I get are. I’m excited to finish this one off, and more excited to try the black tea.
Flavors: Chestnut, Nutty, Savory, Smooth, Snow Peas, Sweet, Vegetal, Violet
More notes after steep five-I have not been keeping time, but I’ve alternated between short 30-45 second steeps and minute steeps. Aroma is pretty high on this one. I got fruit loops in the steep, and green apple in the previous one. I’m looking forward to what else unfolds.
Overall, it’s hard to rank this tea. It’s a frist flush, but it’s between being an oolong and a white. I put it as a white tea under a Chinese nomenclature because the overall profile fits more with other whites I’ve had, though it’s got enough dimension to make you think otherwise. I think I’ll rate it a 90s minimum. I’m not sure how often I’d drink it. I know how deeply I’ve enjoyed the flavor and smell.
Flavors: Fruity, Green Apple
Thank you, Trident for this extremely generous sample! Definitely the kind of tea I like. I should have ordered this over some of the more malty teas I got, though I’m going to have another go at all of them. Given today’s the Moon Knight premier, this was probably the most apt tea.
Before I get into their description, here’s what my senses found. Opening the bag, it was immensely buttery and floral, like I was smelling cooled sweet buns sitting out of the oven to settle before a meadow. I used my Gong Fu 2 Go tumbler, sipped it, and then let it sit around 2-3 minutes. First sip was floral nectar water, and the next steep was sweeter and rounder. It’s color was super faint and a little yellow, but crystal clear. My brain kept picking up on rose and sweet bread, but there were other distinct and very sweet florals emphasizing some very clear violet notes too. The aftertaste bordered on sucrose or white grape fruit juice or moscato, though I’d say fruity in the line of yellow, white and sweet green fruits.
Looking at their notes, basically the same, but they mention honeydew (YES) and grape juice. So, yeah. All in steep one. I will write more as I drink it. Either way, it’s exactly the kind of tea that I would usually be looking for and keep on hand. Fruity, floral, and therefore, ethereal.
Flavors: Bread Dough, Butter, Floral, Juicy, Melon, Rose, Sweet, Violet, White Grapes, White Wine
Sweeter one at last! Though again, super, super malty from a rushed western session. It had some dimension from stonefruit, and it was a more floral black tea overall. It’s really in a middle ground between the profiles of a 2nd Flush Darjeeling and a Chinese black. I’m personally getting a lot of the marigolds, and then the stone fruits in light touches and hints at the end of each sip.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this one goes. It’s malty, but more subdued than the other two I got so far.
Flavors: Floral, Malt, Muscatel, Stonefruit
2nd Backlog from the same day
This one had a bit more dimension than the needles. Malt forward again, accented by nice oak wood notes. Mint and honeysuckle are distinguishable too, though there’s not a lot of the honey qualities I expected. Trident’s description is on point, and it’s a quality tea. I was hoping for a naturally sweeter tea personally, but yet again, adjustments are likely necessary.
Flavors: Green Wood, Honeysuckle, Malt, Mint, Oak, Red Wine, Tannin
Doing it again semi gong fu. I got the same hoppy malt profile like a medium or nice ale or lighter beer with some red or green grapes and citrus. I’m also adding hay to the mix, and a little bit of sweet potato. There are definite Jin Jun Mei components and occasional orange citrus quality in the finish, but that could be what my brain interprets as hinted-fruity.
I’ve only gotten through three cups so far, 4-5 grams in 5 oz and beginning with 30 sec, 45-50, and now closer to a minute and 5 seconds. It’s not as forward as when I did it last time, but keeps bringing out a gold amber color in each cup. The needles remain a gold brown after brewed, mixing the trichomes in the liquor, and the later longer steeps were a lot softer with some nice malt and little bit of tannin.
I’m not settled on this one for a rating yet. I do like it and thinks it’s a good quality golden needle style tea, but I wouldn’t drink it all the time. The tea is a delicate and flexible, but easily muted. There are more dimensions and layers this time around than when I brewed it western.I’ve liked it more in Spring and Summer right now than in the colder months for some reason-again, it could have been the brew. Maybe the sunny vibe of the tea goes with a sunny season. I also need a little bit more sweetness for my diabetic American palette. My black teas and pu-erhs are usually the most neglected in my collection, whereas I will always finish the oolongs before expiration. I’m afraid I just might have this one and the Kumari Gold sit around as I finish those.
Flavors: Alfalfa, Beer, Citrus, Drying, Floral, Grape Skin, Grapes, Hay, Hops, Malt, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin
I had to sub every other monday and Friday during my prep, so I splurged the 30 bucks a lost prep on tea. I was curious about three of them on Trident’s website, and they are all very malt forward. My inner libertine craved chocolatey black malt tea, yet I got some unique terroir teas instead.
This one was close to description and definitely closer to a Jin Jun Mei, but more grapish and hoppy. Malt obscured finer qualities, so while not two dimensional, it was dominant and drying.
I am going to have to brew it again. I was a tad bit disappointed the first time, but I think my parameters western were at fault.
Flavors: Drying, Grapes, Hops, Malt
Thanks to Daylon for sharing another lovely green oolong from Trident! I have a soft spot for Shan Lin Xi oolongs, of which this should be a fine example. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of pineapple, melon, apricot, lilac, and orchid. The first steep has notes of lilac, orchid, cookies, butter, pineapple, green apple, and grass. (I’ve never smelled plumeria, so can’t tell if that’s a component of the ethereal floral bouquet.) The next steep is much fruitier, highlighting pineapple, apricot, melon, and green apple against the florals. The tangy pineapple in steep three is incredible. Lilac, orchid, honeysuckle, apricot, cookie, and spinach are present as well, but wow, the pineapple is the star. By steep five, the honeydew and green apple are more prominent, along with spinach, bok choy, flowers, and cookies. The flowers take over near the end of the session, with green apple, bok choy, and spinach getting stronger as the steeps lengthen.
This oolong invites gushing descriptions and lots of adjectives (gorgeous, fantastic, ethereal, etc.). All the fruity flavours make it a good choice for beginning oolong drinkers, as well as for those who have tried lots of Gaoshan. The price is also pretty good for a Long Feng Xia. Thanks, Daylon, for parting with enough of this oolong for two gongfu sessions.
Flavors: Apricot, Bok Choy, Butter, Cookie, Floral, Grass, Green Apple, Honeydew, Lilac, Orchid, Pineapple, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal
Daylon generously sent me a package full of green oolongs and Fujian black teas, and this is one I’ve been looking forward to trying. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of honeydew, peach, honeysuckle, and lilac. The first steep is very floral, with notes of lilac, honeysuckle, and sweet pea. I also get butter, spinach, and some honeydew melon. The second steep has lovely peach notes, though I agree with Daylon that they lean toward citrus. I also get melon, pear, grass, that herbaceous note I find in some high mountain oolongs, and stronger vegetal and spinach flavours. The next few steeps have a nice balance between fruit and florals, with tangy peach, pear, melon, lilac, honeysuckle, and a spinach backbone. By the seventh steep, the veggies, including spinach and peas, become more prominent, but that wonderful fruitiness doesn’t quit. The last few steeps are floral and vegetal.
I always fall for sweet, fruity oolongs like this one. The honeydew and pear are more pronounced than the peach for me, and the florals provide a nice balance. I deducted a couple points for the noticeable vegetal flavours, though I think they’re pretty much inevitable in green oolongs. In all, this is a great oolong with good longevity, and I’m grateful to Daylon for the sample.
Flavors: Butter, Citrus, Floral, Grass, Herbaceous, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Lilac, Melon, Peach, Pear, Peas, Spinach, Vegetal
Trident’s Darjeeling was recommended to me by a friend. They were drinking the 1st flush gongfu style when we were sipping together, which seemed odd to me at the time. I’m not 100% familiar with Darjeeling teas, but I’ve dabbled. I decided that I wanted to give their Darjeeling teas a try, so I bulk ordered all of them.
Out of the listings at the time (2020) of ordering, they had 3 or 4. I drank all of them down but the last of the Red Thunder. I’ve held onto the last 2ish teaspoons of this leaf. I decided to throw it into a teapot, tossed 195F water on top, let it steep for 4 minutes, and poured. I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood on this cold morning since I was actually motivated, and the warm cup of tea was an added bonus!
Alas, to the review….It’s quite beautiful. It’s malty and layered with floral notes on the front, and there remains a lingering grape note at the finish. I added a teaspoon of honey to get these flavors to pop out more. I was hopeful when checking out Trident’s black teas, but this is no longer listed; which I’m not surprised since I ordered it in 2020. It was a good run and it’s good to finally sipdown another tea.
Flavors: Floral, Grapes, Malt
Another addition in later notes. The tea didn’t quite last as long as I thought, but it’s doing some fun things with the more cooked notes. Pine sap, resin, smoke, charcoal, and some sweetness mid body and in the finish. The brew afterward was just smoky, so I decided to put the leftover leaves in my garden.
Flavors: Charcoal, Pine, Resin, Roasted, Sap, Smoke
Grilled peaches coming in steep three. I looked at my stash and realise I still haven’t touched some Dancongs and a lot of Wuyi Black….and Georgian Black. I just did an order of Wild Jin Jun Mei and more oolong from Grand Crew. I had a descent paycheck, so I was like screw it. But then again, I still have close to much black tea….and some oolong I’m neglecting. I am tempted to do a traveling tea box of the high priced blacks I’ve got so other people can get try some of what I’ve got. I’ve got some friends near me that like tea where I live, but they do not guzzle it as crazy as I do. Sometimes, it will sit around until I am over and they brew it for all of us. The blends and jasmine teas I give people get finished quick, and one friend plows through the Darjeelings, yet I haven’t seen her in a while. This is why I miss smaller samples. I was going to workout, but I am chilled the f out by this tea.
Flavors: Grilled Food, Malt, Peach
After me being a hovering pest a few months ago, I caved and got a bunch of Fushou and a few Gaoshans from trident. They were really kind to do my order over the phone before they got the supply on the website, and they included a sample of a freakin’ competition tea.
I should start doing blind tasting notes because the power of persuasion is high with this one, or the notes were just nailed. I’ve only rinsed and gong fu steeped my 8 grams in 5 ish oz after 35 seconds.
It’s got the trademark honey-charcoal taste of Gui Fei’s plus some. There are very few roasted oolongs I’ve had that actually have a chocolate note like this one, almost tasting like a chocolate flavored tea. The chocolate malt is just as pronounced as the the peachy honey in the aftertaste. There’s a really cool floral osmanthus that transitions from the chocolate note directly into the peach. The charcoal is there in hints to texture the aftertaste, yet it’s more pronounced in aroma.
Second brew closer to 25 seconds, and the peach is upfront followed by the chocolate malt note instead, hinted by what my brain registers as hazelnut. It’s malty and nutty like a really high grade yancha, which is pretty damn impressive.
I’m going to stop here so I don’t leave another mini-book. I’ll add the later steeps if I notice anything distinct beyond what I just wrote or charcoal notes. I personally would not want a stash of this one because I don’t see myself drinking it often, yet I am very happy to get to try something I like drinking. It’s definitely a tea snobs tea, but the flavor profile is something that I can see intermediate drinkers getting behind.
Flavors: Charcoal, Chocolate, Floral, Hazelnut, Honey, Malt, Osmanthus, Peach, Roast Nuts, Smoke, Smooth
Western again, but in 150 ml and maybe 3-4 ish grams. After about 2-3 minutes, this was really excellent and opening up. Melon, butter, lilac, lavender, and honey. I was very happy with this session, so I am upping the rating a little bit.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Green, Honey, Honeydew, Lavender, Melon
Rating between a 87-92. I decided to western brew style it because I felt lazy.
I rinsed it, and the rinse was extra sweet and buttery, but a little bit cool from the 195 temp. I amped up the kettle to 200-205, and aimed to steep it for two minutes. I let it sit, and after about 30 seconds I poured some into my cup to check its progress. It was sweet buttery and melony. I gave it another ten seconds, and same thing with more of the lavender floral. I thought I waited another minute into what ended up being two, I poured some more out to check, and it was vegetal edging on broccoli and cabbage, so I “saved” what I could by dumping it out.
The vegetal notes took over! I should remember that hotter water makes the tea develop faster. I poured some room temperature water in the mug to cut down on the vegetal notes and the slight grassy astringency, and it was good. Still sweet, buttery, creamy, and heavy on the melon, but the dill note was the strongest. I looked at the mug again, and I think I put closer to 5 grams instead of the 3 I assumed I did. There were some smaller leaves I couldn’t see.
Oh well, I took that as a lesson about this particular tea, so I dropped the temp back to 185-190 and let it only sit for between 1-2 minutes. The vegetal notes resided back, and the honeydew melon was back in place as the main flavor. I’m going to have to use 2 grams instead for western next time-I underestimated how powerful it would be.
I’m pretty happy with this one so far western, but gong fu is the way to go with this Li Shan. I have not decided if I want to tumbler it or not because it’s a little bit too vegetal for longer steeping, and if I do, I cannot exceed 2 grams. The veggie notes are making me lean more toward an 88 for a rating despite this being a higher quality tea, but my parameters in what makes a tea I prefer is versatility, so I am docking a few points for now. I will likely raise the rating back up later on, so we’ll see how it goes in other styles.
I know this is a critical good review, but I am a little bit more harsh this time around because I am liking some of the other teas they have more, especially the Long Feng and Shan Lin Xi….nevermind the notes I didn’t like were absolutely my fault. I still recommend Trident because they basically have a full catalogue that only focuses on the good teas. It’s by no means overwhelming, but it’s pretty damn complete.
Flavors: Broccoli, Butter, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Honeydew, Osmanthus, Spinach, Vegetables, Vegetal, Zucchini
I’m going to have to double check the bag, but I think it’s a 2021 one. Lilacs, Dill, Honeydew were the notes online, but Lavender, Melon, and Buttery were the notes on the bag. I was going to save it to plow through older tea first, but I came back from the Lavender Festival at Blake’s Apple Orchard, and needed something to pair with the lavender fudge and lavender lemon pepper chicken wings I got.
This was a pretty good match since the profile was pretty consistent with the food pairings. I gong fu’d it, and this is one of the more floral lishans I’ve had. I didn’t get too much of the citrus or pineapple notes I usually associate with the varietal, but I got plenty of honeydew melon with the distinctly gaoshan oolong green and buttery body notes. This one is on the fresher side of green, but not overpoweringly vegetal. It actually compared significantly with eating raw lavender leaves, and the lavender notes really hit in steep 2-5, but fade afterwards. The flavor remains strong even at the 10 steep, which was an overly long grandpa brew towards the end, but good.
The thing that stood out to me was the melon/lavender combo and the wetting mouthfeel. It’s not as thick as other Lishans, but the flavor rises in the mouth and continues into the aftertaste-which is another reason why I compared it in my head to eating raw lavender leaves because there is a resemblance to the nice burn and cooling effect from the oils in the teas hot temperature. Could be why dill was in one of the notes. Trident’s other high mountain oolongs tend to be on the heavy sweet/floral soft body side, and this one was the softest of the bunch I’ve had.
As per usual, I’m not rating it yet despite really liking it. It’s not the most forward Lishan I’ve had and ranks on the softer end. This oolong kind of resembles Tillerman’s Lishan and even Mountain Stream’s higher end lishans in it’s florals, and packs in the higher end of my tea stash so far.
Flavors: Apple, Butter, Dill, Green, Honey, Honeydew, Lavender, Melon, Sugar, Sugarcane, Sweet
I should have added this last year. I have too much of this 2019 Tea, and have neglected it.
2.5, 3, 5 minutes western, not a lot of strength. It sits in a weird crossroads between being a white tea and an oolong, with the bag being labeled oolong. It used to be under the white tea section on the website, and don’t sell it at the moment. I know that technically, white is further from the oxidation of an oolong on the spectrum, but the flavor profile is in the middle too combining primarily fruity and floral elements.
A few oolongs from the Himalayan mountain range I’ve had tend to have a lot of the qualities of first flush or even second flush blacks, other bai haos, and on the rare occasion, oolong. If were to drink this one blind, I’d guess white. White grapes is extremely prominent in aroma and flavor, almost like white grape juice, with some lilacs in hints and wafting in the aroma. The aftertaste is crisply vegetal like peas as written, with a cooling effect on the tongue in the aftertaste like freshly cut cucumbers. Sometimes it swings more on the fruity end like riesling with a little bit of dryness that’s pretty nice.
I’m curious to see what other people think or experience, but has anyone else ever got the sweats from Himalayan Teas? I like Darjeeling, but I find myself sweating with the white and green teas from the area more than I do with most blacks. Any time I’ve had this tea, it’s made me a little sweaty, somewhat jittery. Granted, I DRINK A LOT OF TEA, so it could be the caffeine left over from other tea, but even when I’ve done this solo on a day, I’ve gotten the sweats.
So overall, I like the refreshing flavor profile of this tea and would highly have to recommend it for white tea lovers that like a fuller and defined profile without sacrificing its more gentle florals, but this one hits me pretty hard on the detox end.
Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Grapes, Peas, White Wine
I’ve only got a few grams of this left and am almost done with it. It sold out pretty quick on the Trident Website, and I’m ashamed I didn’t get more. It’s easily one of the smoothest and butteriest tea I have in my stash right now, balanced by some sweet melon and complex floral notes that edge between lilac, plumeria, and other tropical flowers. It’s also versatile in tumbler, western and gong fu, though it can require more leaf or slightly longer steeping times gong fu.
I’m pretty close to rating this a hundred because I never get tired of it, and I think the $12 an oz though expensive is actually not bad for a tea from this mountain. I highly recommend it if you can snag some. It is also a more expensive oolong convert for sure.
Thank you Trident!
Insanely good and refreshing Long Feng. I got 9 great brews out of it gong fu yesterday, and was hooked. It had the pineapple skin, snap peas, and lemongrass sour floral notes I like, but this particular tea was extremely soft with its vegetals and more floral, and very sweet. The tulip and green apple notes were extremely present with some lettuce and melon in the notes. I can also see the fresh baked bread component-I’ve borrowed “scone” from eco-cha to describe the vegetals before, and it has a warm buttered bread mouthfeel in the texture that’s incredibly with the sweet and lightly tart notes.
I was hugging myself after drinking this, and I was actually late to a workout because of the euphoria of how much I enjoyed this tea. Should have gotten more of this one. More notes to come hopefully.
Flavors: Bread, Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Green Apple, Lettuce, Melon, Sweet, Tart
This is yet another tea I didn’t add in time enough last year before the site ran out of stock on it. I got this as one of the oolongs from a giant splurge I did on Trident’s tea selection last year, and this is one of the ones I’d rank on the higher end.
I got this one because I still had over 300 grams of different dancongs left, including 8 immortals, Iris Orchid, Mi Lan Xiang, Ya Shi, and so on, and I’ve had red leaf only one other time. The note descriptions were also unique: Red Apple, Orchids, and Caramel. I’ve never gotten a caramel note from a Dancong personally, but this one was really interesting flavor and aroma wise because it actually had some caramel in the profile. Gong fu is the way to go, though, since it can pack a punch.
It does have the trademark dancong bitterness in later steeps, but the earlier steeps had a lot of caramel to it that was extremely smooth. I’m not used to this kind of oolong having a more western palette of flavors over tropical ones, but its nice. Later steeps become more intensely mineral based and acidic, having a little bit of a bamboo woodiness. It is from 2018, so it has settled a little bit, but it can be a bit too bitter to drink super often despite how much I like it. It also gets me a little too tea drunk. Forehead is definitely sweety…I can feel my tonsils.
Compared to other dancongs, it is a happy fruity medium in oxidation. I didn’t have a lot of tea today-but it’s giving me a little bit of headache. I got a tea drunk headache last time I had it, which is why I still haven’t finished it. I might swap or pass this one along because I want to see what more people think of it. I still love the aroma and flavor, but it can be intense for my sensitive stomach.
Flavors: Bamboo, Caramel, Floral, Fruity, Oats, Orchids, Pleasantly Sour, Red Apple, Sweet