141 Tasting Notes
Okay well I’m going to blindly trust verdant wholeheartedly here. My teapot is ~5oz and the sample I got is apparently 5g and thats that they say for this one. the leaf looks like less than 5g, but I mean.. it’s all I got so its ok.
The dry leaf looks nice, big, dark, twisty, pretty typical looking black leaves. I’m brewing at the verdant recommended 98C, so here we go.
This is the most expensive black tea I’ve ever tried. (I think)
The dry leaf smells a little smokey and really mushroomy
Okay in the warm pot, it’s .. very powerful smelling, still mushroomy, but like.. barbecue sauce and uh definitely like smokey wood, but in a pretty classy way, not like aggressively smokey, just pretty balanced, it’s quite nice smelling, very powerful. excited
After the rinse, aroma of burnt meat, more like a campfire, but sweeter
It’s starting to smell just like their lapsang souchong.
The colour of the brew is on the yellower side, with a hint of orange
OK it’s really thick feeling, after 2 sips, my whole throat is feeling coated, it tastes a lot like their lapsang souchong right now, but super thick with this cooling sensation, and seriously it feels different to swallow now, what is this stuff?
Anyway okay the first steep is really sweet, a bit of cocoa, almost some dandelion, sweet smokiness, there’s definitely more florals there way behind everything
Second steep: very active on the tongue, still smokey aroma, definitely still some florals, still so thick, but it’s also kinda zesty
3rd: kinda tastes a bit like my supposedly-orange-flavoured-vitamins, smoke is mostly gone which is nice, there’s some fruitiness that I’m not sure what to call.. it’s slightly orangey or grapey or uh I dont know honestly. There’s some tingle on the back of the tongue.
4th: mmm that fruitiness has started coating the front of my mouth in this sweet, slightly sour thing that is spectacular. The tea has the very odd effect of even though it’s hot, it feels kinda cold in the mouth, the fruitiness has become a metallic feeling on the back of my teeth by drinking enough of this steep. This is so weird.
5th: the smokiness is definitely completely gone now, it’s just sweet, thick, weird fruit now.
6+ kinda milk flavour, weird fruit, and some mango, tangy blueberries, its so fruity mmh. It only lasted like 9 steeps, the last one wasn’t very drinkable. I fed some of it to my piggy pet.
So weird tea. I don’t know how I uh.. There was a bit of a qi that I noticed at the end. I don’t think it’s worth $17/oz. But it was really good. But it was weird. That’s how I feel about it..
GABA black tea is weird. Tastes like spicy warm apple cider for the most part, with notes of hay, chocolate, dandelion, root vegetables, sourness, chocolate, ginseng, apple toffee, there’s a bit of a soapiness, alcohol, not too much complexity after the first bit. Very different from everything I’ve ever tried though. Not entirely for me, but not objectively bad. I have nothing really to compare it to.
Blog post with a whole bunch of pics:
the good people of Wan Ling were nice enough to provide me with this sample when I ordered my first tea tray and tea pet :)))))
first steep is very sweet, a little acidic and some notes of pear, lovely typical florals, a bit of a soapiness, quite a creamy texture,
there’s quite a nice character, an aroma that reminds me of cucumber water, almost citruisy, definitely some kind of nuttiness that i can’t place, maybe cashews?
It’s nicer now that it’s opened up, the soapiness is smoothed out, just smooth greens, milkiness, floral, citrus, cooked carrots, sweet and delicious florals, my gaiwan is beyond overflowing with this and there’s no bitterness. A bit of excessive dryness, but no bitter. there’s like apricot and peach too, it’s so thick and delicious and the flavour just deepens with each successive steep, I really enjoyed this for a few steeps in the middle there.
It’s become very.. blatant in its floral notes, which I personally dont like, I prefer more creamy or nutty or vegetal notes in my green oolongs, but I mean I guess its TGY so what else should I expect I guess?
Anyways it’s pretty solid tgy, everything you could ask for, and nothing more. It’s not for me so much, but I know there’s a lot of you floral people would definitely love this.
A really complex and deep, oily, juicy, thick oolong. Really really enjoyable tea, I went through stages where it reminded me of dancong, of TGY, of dahongpao, it even started out similar to taiwanese black tea, so many desserty notes leading into fruity notes, leading into floral notes. Complex and delicious, grandtea kindly sent me this sample so I did a full review on my new blog:
I’m drinking this december 2016, so it’s a bit old, but it tastes nowhere near as good as the 2016, it’s less flavourful, similar to the 2016, more woody and just less of everything.
Drinkable, but a bit of a let down.
my review of the 2016 spring harvest:
affordable white cake? I jumped on it ok. I got 2. They’re only $8! and look how pretty
It came apart so nicely in whole buds it was great
I’m just going to jump right into the tasting notes
Early session, brewed at 85C:
It’s so sweet, but it’s like a artificial sweetener sweetness, it’s very thick with some grassy notes and a very lovely creamy texture, there’s a corn-bread kind of aroma which is also quite lovely. There’s a vanilla-like flavour, and in the beginning is sort of drying on the tongue, there’s like a cookie-like taste, it’s more desserty than most white teas I’ve had. Soo smooth and creamy,
mid-session brewed at 90C:
More pronounced flavours, everything’s more powerful, but the drying is a lot stronger, and very milky tasting,there’s a floral, fruity.. taste that becomes prominent but I can’t make anything out. I’m gonna raise it more now to see how it does.
still so pleasant, no trace of bitterness, a bit of a woody/rocky note, but still some fruits and flowers, if anything it’s only gotten more complex. Okay lets do 100.
I think it’s fruitier. Stonefruits? More aromatic, quite a bit dry, but still perfectly reasonable amounts of dryness, it’s really impressive how tolerant this white is.
I accidentally got the paper wrapper for this wet.. and so I wrapped it in normal lined paper.. Is that going to be okay? Or is it not permeable enough or something..
Yayy finally my ys order arrives! I ordered my first yancha along with 3 dancongs and some other less important non-oolong teas. All of the oolongs smell delicious, this one’s dry leaf smells roasty, cocoa, vanilla, minty, and sort of fruity like raspberry or orange peels, I’m also curious to see how dancong does like a year and a half after harvest
In the warm gaiwan, there’s a warm sweet, sugary honey-like aroma, some mintiness, and a lovely.. uh I think it’s like a orange-flavoured syrupy.. aroma.
hm I get a bit of a spinachy taste, and a honey aroma, a nectarine taste, with a lovely dancong soapy sharpness on the tongue. Okay I always read about how you shouldn’t use a cha hai with dancong and I usually have just used it anyways cause then I can use my strainer and but okay so I tried without and it seems to be kind of a lot better tasting.
I get sort of a buttery aroma in the third, and a peach like aroma, and a lingering orange juice.. with pulp.. thing. it leaves a sweet thickness in the back of the mouth and throat. also a lingering gummy grape kind of aroma, this is a lovely dancong. Later in the session, an almondy lingering aroma kinda takes over.
The flavour and aroma lasts for a long time, i’m on 10th-ish steep now, and there’s some bitterness creeping in, still a very pleasant dancong bitterness though.
This tea started out unbelievable tasting, and went to pretty good tasting by the end. Overall, it’s a delicious tea.
I’m so excited for gu shu black tea!! I just got a new yixing pot, and I’ve seasoned it for black teas, this one:
A birthday gift from my best friend :) (Along with a number of great teas, including this sample, she’s the best)
Okay so yeah I’m brewing in my new yixing,
In the warmed pot, I get a very.. burning marshmallow aroma, with some chocolate. So excited, ahh after the rinse it’s just like burnt marhsmallows, I love it.
It brews a gorgeous dark vibrant red,
brewing at 96C
It tastes very burnty, like on the tongue it leaves this dryness of burnt, dry meat or like licking a rock, with a bit of bitterness, and there’s a honey-like quality, with a slight sweetness, a very thick body and a hidden fruitiness that I can’t place. Also sort of a terry’s chocolate orange taste
The fruit comes through a bit more in the second steep, it’s sort of a orangey grapey,thing, still mostly subtle, with some caramel in the finish, it’s quite bitter for so early in a session, I could be over steeping bc of the slow pour of my new yixing.
It tastes kind of like a.. bitter spaghetti squash..?
This is a very powerful tea, and it’s very satisfying and it does change a lot between steeps, it’s just in a way that.. I’m having a hard time describing, it’s like the bitterness changes each time and the burnt taste comes and goes with the fruitiness it’s like ebbing and flowing it’s weird, but I am really enjoying this a lot. It’s different. It might be a bit too much bitterness for me though, it’s tolerable but it’s just over my limit for pleasantness
Okay well after trying a number of my Indian samples (of which I have.. like 25), I kind of gave up all hope to review them, save for an Avaata white, but I pulled this one out on a whim because I’ve actually got very little tea at the moment and I can’t wait for my new shipments to arrive ugh, anyways, I opened this to a pretty unique aroma, a very soft sort of soapy, a very indian floral aroma, anyways then I started to pour them out into my presentation.. bamboo scoopy thing, and I was just startled I mean look at these leaves!
so many huge, long thin needles, it’s obviously very carefully processed, and this is something I’ve always felt is missing from typical tea pretty much from anywhere in the world outside of China. Now there is decent amount of breakage in this one, so I’m just going to pick out all of the whole leaves and brew just those, because I can.
oh my god, okay in the gaiwan it smells pretty much exactly like a laoshan green and oh okay this gonna be wonderful, I’m not gonna rinse this one.
oh my goddddd after the first steep, the leaves smell again even more strongly of a laoshan green, but there’s this fruitiness and this like meatiness thickness too, and then something that reminds me of a sangria tea I had from teavana (I’ve never had sangria so I don’t know if this smells like that..) but okay I’m so excited to drink this.
I’m brewing at 82C, 5ish grams in a 120ml gaiwan
okay well on the face of it, there’s a very familiar soybeany, spinachy taste, a grapey fruitiness and a very indian florality in the finish akin to darjeeling black teas, there’s a certain unpleasantness to it though, I’m not sure what it is, but the body is also thin, I’m going to attribute that to the first steep though, so okay well anyways
Okay nevermind the second is also thin, but lots of new flavours, still very green, but a bit more grassy, very sweet as well this time, some very pleasant bitterness, there’s a very odd fruitiness, it’s like.. I wanna say it’s a combination of orange and blackberry? and there’s a more mellow floralness, less perfumey
Okay okay okay it’s thicker in this one, it’s so hard to describe the tastes.. it’s very bitter and satisfying and sorta green beany and sort of a pear-like taste, lots of spinachiness and like.. I don’t know, it’s vaguely citrus-like and smokey!! I didn’t notice the smokiness
I don’t know, for some reason it reminds me of chow mein. And now I’m craving chow mein..
oo I got a nice strawberry aroma like a minute after finishing the sip, also the sweetness is very sheng-like. This is some weird tea
Oh ew, it’s like lemongrassy and sour and blech I think this one’s finished..
jk the next 2 have still been good, it’s developed this lovely creaminess and really it’s starting to taste a lot like a weird young sheng
I got 10 steeps out of it though, that’s pretty impressive for green tea
Hey okay so we’re drinking some spring 2016 reserve tieguanyin today,
There’s a very typical green, bright, acidic aroma in the dry leaf,
I’m brewing at 98C
With the leaves in my warmed gaiwan, I get lots of lovely hazelnut, peanut buttery, cinnamon, and lots of woody notes. I’m excited for this one,
I gave it a 5 second rinse, and the aroma lifted into a bit of a greener smell, still peanuts and hazelnuts, but there’s also some walnuttiness, and the lightness, but then there’s some vague greens in the back.
mmmmmmh wow, it has all of the flavours that were in the aroma, plus like plums and creaminess.
This is seriously good tieguanyin, it’s so smooth and thick and satisfying. The second steep gave me more nuttiness, carrots, and blackberries
Further into the session, the tea has developed a sort of tonic-water feeling in the mouth, much of the same aromas, but there’s more berries than nuts now. It develops a sort of unpleasant grassiness around the 6th or 7th steep that slowly increases taking over the nuttiness and fruitiness until it’s not that enjoyable anymore. It still lasted quite long, I got 8 or 9 good ones. I wholeheartedly recommend this one.