1222 Tasting Notes
Holy crap-a scented Andrew Liquid Proust Black! I was stoked for this. It’s been a few years since he’s barrel scented some stuff, the last being Rummy Pu which was so good. I was also stoked it was a Laoshan-I haven’t had these in a while. I’ve skipped them for a few seasons since the last batch I had from Verdant wasn’t as good as other years.
As for this lovelyness….it’s good and it drives me nuts that it’s going to be a limited release. I got two oz when I should have gotten more. Cherry Cordial Chocolate is what comes to mind, and it’s sooooooooo good. You can smell it from the bag, and then taste it from the tea.
I was going to do it western, but ended up gong fuing it because I used too many leaves by accident. 15 sec, and it’s boozy heaven. Later steeps lasted between a minute and 4 minutes. The alcohol is present, but it’s not overwhelming or overly flavored. Again, smooth chocolate, cherry, rhubarb, vanilla, scotch, and a little bit of sweet lingering taste with the perfect amount of drynesss and slight bitterness to off set the sweetness. Like many Laoshans I’ve had, it’s also buttery in texture. The rye fades in the rebrews, but the overall flavor profile remains as this tea gets more buttery.
Either way, I frickin love this. I’m holding off rating it before I jump to an immediate 100 due to my basicness when it comes to chocolaty black teas.
Flavors: Alcohol, Butter, Cherry, Chocolate, Cocoa, Rhubarb, Roasted, Rye, Scotch, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
From Whiteantlers envelope dump! I look forward to these. I am going to be honest that I will have a hard time with some of the Pu-Erh leftover from the LP group buys (I’m having a hard time getting through some of my own), but they will be drank and they are deeply appreciated. The oolongs are my first hit.
Being the basic snob I am, I began with the 2018 Alishan. Dryleaf is extremely floral and fruity and peachy, bordering on scented from a distance, but nice and woodsy close up. I’m guessing there’s a hair of roast or more oxidation than the usual green Alishan. Brewing it up slop-fu-ly, 15, 30, 25, 33, 25, 35, ?, 60, ?, 3 minutes as of now…? means I lost track, and could have overbrewed it, but it turned out nice.
A lot happens. The rinse had slight honeysuckle, and the tea transitioned in the second and third steeps from creamy florals of hyacinth and a hint of a young red fruit I usually don’t get like cherry, to slight grassiness, melon, osmanthus hint, honeysuckle, then lingering sweet finish. Steep 25 sec is was sugarcane sweet, but floral and the remaining steeps were fuller and thicker with a nice deep yellow.
Later steeps got sweeter and fuller, and more of that weird red fruit. Some honey, still floral and creamy, but mostly sweet. It almost reminds me of a young cherry. I know I’m appropriating that from the notes of Camellia Sinensis’s Shanlinxi-unoriginal Daylon. Yet there is something fruitier about this one in later steeps. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an Alishan that has fuller fruit notes. Most of them from the last few years have been more vegetal, floral, and creamy than anything else-this is a good change of pace. It’s like a lighter greener version of Wang’s light roast Alishan.
While not super bold with its flavor, the balance and aroma of it is really nice. I was very pleased with this one. I wonder where you got this from Whiteantlers. It made my morning.
Only three teas or so left from the Swap Box.
Again, stoked about a Wuyi Origin Tea. This note will be shorter since I decided to test it out in my Phoenix Spirit Tea Tumbler, which was an early birthday gift. I know it’s a risk to grandpa a dancong, but I divided up my sample so I’d have just enough for a smaller vessel gong fu….don’t get me started on the teaware I have that is incomplete because a cup or a piece of it was broken in some divine accident.
This dancong actually took quite a bit of time to fully diffuse, starting off floral and lightly fruity-like honey and lemon in fresh hot water. The fruits further developed 8 minutes in, going back and forth between a floral orchid to honey, apple, apple juice, nectarine, and guava. Despite writing “lemon” in the beginning of this paragraph, this tea grandpa is not as citrusy as other Dancongs I’ve had, and I haven’t gotten the usual lychee note, though I may gong fu. There are some roasted nuts in the profile and some acidity, but it’s a heck of a lot smoother. It must be the 12 oz to 3 grams ratio.
I’ve gotten 3 brews of it so far, the first one having the most change and diversity in the notes. The other two are fruitier and a woodsier orchid, but still sweet and honeyed leaning more into apple as far as fruit goes, with some tartness or flavor acidity you get in things like peppers. There’s a little bit of “moss covered earth” rocks, and mineral for me, but it could be due to steeping in the vessel long. It’s super light and likely superfluous, yet I don’t see a lot of people getting it as a note for themselves. I think it’s my imagination popping images from my other senses, and I could just use "wet rocks "that’s already in the pre-set notes for steepster.
Overall, this one is very easy going and very mellow. Astringency or bitterness never showed up. I’ve seldom had a Dancong that works this well as tumbler fuel, though it could be because I lowered the ratio. I’m satisfied either way and very pleased. Not sure what to rate it, so I’ll wait until I gong fu it.
Flavors: Apple, Apple Skins, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Guava, Honey, Mineral, Nectar, Nutty, Orchid, Roasted Nuts, Wet Rocks, Wet wood, Wood
One of the top teas I was looking to from our trade!
I’ve only had Wuyi Origin a few times, and always miss out on the season of teas I like from it due to indecision with shipping and which tea to pick. Most of the Wuyi Origin Teas I’ve had were from swaps, though I have a feeling that some of the black teas I’ve had from Trident were Wuyi origin teas.
First off, the dry leaf gave me some deeply woody impressions of maple and oak treas, and deep savory qualities of freshly baked crescent rolls. Testing it out after 10ish seconds, the flavor combo was awesome. Transitions were from floral, to oak, to maple, and then some lemon rind thrown just before the finish as it returns to malty and bordering breadsy. Second steep was 4 seconds longer, close to 14 sec, and the same flavors continued but with a really nice malty quality, being mostly savory and sweet. They pegged potato, which I can taste a little off like yams or sweet potato.
It inspired me to cook some maple miso teriyaki tempeh slices. It complimented the third brew of the tea so well, with some of the malt notes matching the weird salty sweet savory white miso and the dark maple I added in the sauce. As for the steep, it’s got a interesting minty finish after the floral oak, malt, pine in that order.
I ran out of drinking water, so I lessened the serving to 2.5 oz and released after 20 sec, and have yet to exceed that amount in brew five. I could have let it steep longer, but it was still rich. The oak and pine were heavy, bordering on resin or tree sap,. This tea reminds me a lot of the Floral Lapsang I had from Trident, which of course was more floral than what I’m drinking as the malt is heavier in what I’m currently drinking.
I’m going to push out more of this tea, but I’m really digging the malt and tree combo. I get picky with woodsy notes, but this one has such a nice combo between the florals, mint, and lemon rind notes that makes it really nice. Looks like I’m going to have to get more Wuyi in the future.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Lemon Zest, Malt, Maple, Maple Syrup, Mint, Oak, Pine, Resin, Sap, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Wood
Really interesting flash steep one that keeps giving for days. I was a little concerned it would be tricky to brew, but flashing the hot water when I’m not paying attention was fine and it gave me plenty of variety in flavor.
While a bit sharp and bitter with it’s char, it’s got a pretty complex character that meshes smoke with some bright red and orange fruity elements amidst water stream minerals. My brain likes the combo because it gives me a lot of sensual output in my imagination, and adds atmosphere while I play Ghost of Tsushima. I know they drank Matcha and most teas were green from the Kamakura period, but the constant onslaught of rain, mountains, sunsets, fire and smoke vibe with this one.
Getting into more precise lingual abstractions of taste and smell, the flavor of the first cup came up with a note I very rarely taste in natural teas: goji berry. I got general fruitiness from the dry leaf, but it was not as pronounced as it was in the cup wet. It was after 10 seconds, but it was rich, a hint floral( orchid-it was not too obvious), incredibly honey sweet, and then finished with nice wisp of smoke in the finish.
Second steep amps up the minerals and the roast bordering on salty, but remains fruity broadening into gooseberry and tropical fruits like guava with the biting acidity of grapefruit. More steeps had more gloshes, and I amped up the steeping time to a minute in steep five, but it was too bitter, so I returned to quick flashes. The flavor improved, and while it had some sharp bitterness that was a little bit more floral, the denser notes of the fruits and charcoal remained.
Currently, it’s leaning more into fruity acidity, but the midtaste is kinda grainy and woodsy reminding me of dried bamboo. Leafhopper nailed the hops and grain.
I’m going to end the note here. It reminds me a lot of David’s Teas old Supreme Oolong they used to sell because of its mineral, fruit smoke “mead” combo. I really liked this tea, but I don’t see myself drinking it often because it can become pretty harsh even with flash steeps gong fu. I do think it’s a lot easier to brew than some dancongs that will take a lot longer to coax some flavor out of since this is consistently amped up in aroma and flavor even in the later steeps.
Definitely a more intermediate to advance drinkers tea that like flavor. As for rating, it’s a tossup between 84-87 for me. It satisfies my needs for what I like in Dancong, though I wouldn’t drink it often due to its sharpness. I’m really glad I got to try it. Thank you Leafhopper!
Flavors: Astringent, Bamboo, Bitter, Char, Charcoal, Citrus, Dried Fruit, Drying, Goji, Grain, Grapefruit, Guava, Honey, Mango, Mineral, Salt, Smoke, Tropical, Wood
Love this tea, and one that I thought I added and wrote about on Steepster, but alas, no.
I am working with the same year, 2019, and it’s one of my favorites. It’s got all the notes I associate with Shan Lin Xi-coconut, pineapple, pineapple skin, fresh greens, creamy texture, lingering after taste, and floral aroma that’s so lush and soft that it’s akin to a fabric softener sheet. It’s a little bit more vegetal than some other Shan Lin Xi’s I’ve had, but it’s definitely sweeter and more floral. It’s got enough complexity to boot gong fu going from floral, green, woodsy (slightly), dew, mountain air, jasmine, hyacinth, fruity, to honey and more floral mid steeps, and then sweeter, and it’s well rounded western or even as tumbler grandpa fuel if you are light on the leaves. I got asian pear in steep three yesterday, and it made my easter morning.
What I like about this particular Shanlinxi of the many I’ve had is that it’s incredibly forgiving and has a great energy. The L-theanine-caffeine combo is great and gets me through my mornings. It’s also got decent longevity going up to ten or twelve brews if you really leaf it and flash steep it, but it’s better to have a medium approach and medium to longer brewing time. It’s rarely astringent or too green.
The only downside is price. It costs $10 American Dollars for 25 grams, and though the price is lower as you go up to $28 for 75 grams, it’s still an investment for a tea that is worth the amount, but something that will hurt the pocket if it’s drank daily. Although it’s been my regular ShanLinXi for the last year and a half, it’s mixed in with the other assortment of teas I spend too much money on just to try. I do want to at least keep 25 grams of it around at a time because I like it that much.
Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Fruit Tree Flowers, Green, Green Beans, Honey, Jasmine, Pear, Pine, Pineapple, Tropical
I’m having a hard time uploading the pictures. Anyway, this was another favorite that I did not write about for some reason last year…before last year. Spring 2019. I’ve mentally combined 2020 and 2021. Man is that nuts. Almost two years ago. It was an early sipdown, and therefore…this is an old backlog. I wish I wrote something down because I remembered tasting all kinds of changes in the finish in each session.
I followed the guidelines of 55, 45, 55, and longer and longer, along with other sessions with less water, shorter times of 30 sec, and grandpa sessions. Green bean is pretty good for this one, but it bears a lot of similarities to Lishan and Cuifeng, especially in the alpine mountain air category. Sometimes, it reminded me of dew. I remember the 2019 season being fresh, and in the category of vegetal done right. The mental justifications of this tea being more than vegetal were lemon verbana and lime in hints. Sometimes, I got more marine qualities and pineapple, though vaguely. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but it’s the impression I remember on top of the sweet finish and the refreshing clean quality of the tea. Only thing is it’s a little pricey, so I save for the other hard hitters Wang Family Tea has as I go through “I must try all the teas before I go back to civilization” Covid phase.
Random reflection: I’m extremely contradictory on vegetal teas and whether I like vegetal notes like Goldilocks. I’ve used the same notes for teas that I’ve been bored with, nevermind I was enthralled by this one. It was super well balanced, and I think the experience was enhanced by the fact it was the beginning of a better school year than my first year teaching.And on the back to civilization blurb, I study civilization for a living as a social studies teacher, but I really don’t like interacting with living civilization…so the dead keep good company…man I made that dark. I think that’s a sign I need to drink some lighter tea. Onto some white tea! (Or lie and just go to a bit lighter oolong ‘cause I’m basic and need a hint of darkness in my tea.)
Flavors: Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Green Apple, Green Beans, Lemon, Lemongrass, Marine, Pine, Pineapple, Sweet
One of my favorite of the medium light roasted oolongs from Wang Tea, and a Tea I swore that I wrote about in some form on here last year. Who knows; I might be going a full Quixote in writing the notes in my head thinking I wrote them on here. It’s more hilarious and I already know it’s true, but tragic as it is farcical.
Enough self-absorption-onto the tea that I wish I could remember in greater clarity. So relying on the notes provided, this is a fairly complex and decadent tea. The roast coaxes out savory-sweeter notes of roasted nuts, honey, and cream, changing from nutty in earlier steeps to cream in the later ones. I personally remember something vaguely peachy in steep for, but I know like other nutty Gaoshan macademia and almond appeared. The was not too floral in earlier steeps, but I remember violet in steep five, and then fading out into creamy nuttiness. It’s also a tea that I probably used almond for in description, but I also remember the tea getting sweeter as I went on. I almost got more of it in my last order, yet I decided to prioritize newer teas to expand my horizons and luxuriate in some newer developments.
I know for sure that I am regretting not buying more of this one because it was very similar to the Phoenix Village Oolong that was in Eco-Cha’s club as it comes from the same village. This tea was less vegetal and more nutty, but not quite as fruity. This one is still one of my favorites from Wang Family Tea and really hits my spots for being easy going and complex at the same time.
Flavors: Almond, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Honey, Nuts, Peach, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Violet
Backlog that is 4 years old…I finished this one really quickly. It took me a minute to get used to the dry qualities combined with the sweater ones, but I really liked it in the end. This tea introduced me to Korean Blacks, which I actually prefer slightly to some Chinese and Japanese blacks. It was this tea that established for me that Korean blacks have a grainy, carob quality. Sometimes they can be a little bit too sweet for me, but I am still very into them. I’ve just been pre-occupied with Taiwanese blacks and Fujian ones as of late.
Super smooth green tea I had yesterday. It was thick, green, savory, sweet, and loaded with Umami that’s balanced by sweeter corn notes. It rivaled some higher end Japanese I had in its flavor in mouthfeel. I’m personally picky with Green teas, but this one was very enjoyable in short steeps. I timed each steep at 25 sec, and did not exceed 35 until steep 4. I started getting a little tea drunk with how much tea I’ve been drinking. There was some evolution in the later steeps, with some bare fruit hints, slightly melon like, but it was predominantly grassy and savory. I could meditate with this one since it strikes me more as a health nut tea.
While this is not the kind of tea I personally prefer, I really enjoyed the change of pace and can at least recommend as something that rivals some more expensive Green Tea from Korea and Japan for its mouthfeel and umami alone. It was also had a lot of longevity that withstood me. I had to stop at steep seven personally, but I could see it going on. Definitely a tea snob tea who know thing or two about greens that want something affordable and flavorful. I’m curious what the oolong was like in comparison. I’ve had Korean oolong, and they are usually roasty and nutty, but if the green was this rich in flavor, I can only guess what the oolong would be like.
Flavors: Corn Husk, Green, Melon, Savory, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Umami