143 Tasting Notes
Free sample from YSUS, for my splurge in oolongs. This sample was 21 grams, very generous. A quick look up on the site provided no inside knowledge so its basically a blind tasting. Use a thin walled 100 ml gaiwan and used the approved mrmopar brewing techniques, which produces a smoky tea, viscous with soft florals, no astringency or bitterness. It is a decent tea and further research on the goog says its meant for the Taiwan market and is tightly compressed for their humid environs. I purposely over brewed my 6th session to see if I could coax out anything other than the smokiness and not much showed up other than puckering bitter. I’m going to recommend it because although it may not have much depth it still is a smooth smokey tea is that’s your thing. Oh and the other is that I can’t find it anywhere online.
Bought this while strolling through the hood on my way to my favorite lunch place for dan dan noodles. Bright green leaf in bag with no obvious aromas. Brewed to instructions in smallest gaiwan, the aroma is really intense with cooked spinach. Not that over boiled nasty spinach smell but the gentle parboiled fresh smell as you squeeze out the juices. The liquor is a bit cloudy, thick and not as vibrant as i would have expected, more of a muted yellow. The flavor is dead on spinach and asparagus at first with a hint of seaweed. As you continue to sip, a noticeable bitter approaches but not enough to scare you off. After about 2 minutes the aftertaste yields from bitter to sweet. The one thing I observed in my reaction was I didn’t feel like I had drank a tea. Knowing my way around a kitchen and being one of those who wastes nothing I have been known to drink my spinach water if I wasn’t using it it in a recipe, and that’s how I regarded this tasting. I would have given it a better rating but I am new to Japanese greens and will need to revisit after I try a few more samples. Also the bitterness was noticeable and I don’t know if it is supposed to be part of the experience or just an expression of this tea alone.
Flavors: Asparagus, Seaweed, Spinach
Very nice example of the Phoenix powerhouse fragrant tea. Right away I noticed the leaf as well processed, tight twist and roasted lightly Over the top floral notes and the flavors of honeysuckle, musk melon and slightly sweet. Well structured mouth-feel and a tiny bit of astringency that compliments this teas aromatic boldness. This is one of those teas that I give to jaded coffee drinkers to win them over to our side.
Being an old fart, as my nieces say, I rarely use the correct current vernacular, but here goes.
“Dis shitz da bomb yo”.
I’ve only had one version of this tea from a local shop and I drink it there infrequently, although I remember it to be a nice tea. So I saw the sale 12% off all oolongs and went tea crazy and ordered a load. This tea though is a big departure from the oolongs I’ve previously tasted from YSUSA. Those were meh, you get what you paid for but this tea is so well crafted and at a bargain price.
I should have used a gaiwan but its in pieces so I went with my least used wu yi yixing. The aroma is so floral and reminds of honeysuckle, orchids and camellia. The liquor also represents those aromas in its flavor profile with the addition of honey. The mouthfeel is just full and hits initially in the front tip but rounds nicely to finish in the back and sides. The staying power in the aftertaste is the longest I remember since raw pu erh. The infusions are exactly what you expect from a dan cong with 3 & 4 being the most expressive and flavorful and lasting about till 8.
I really like tea surprises, when you have no expectations and get blown away. I will be ordering more of this.
Flavors: Honey, Honeysuckle, Orchid
I don’t do these types of teas and so I have been brewing this for all the guests along the way this holiday season who were anti caffeine. It is crowd pleasing for sure with the hibiscus and minty freshness and the citrusy anise tones hitting the bittersweet buttons to give a most refreshing herbal tea. My only drawback is that it’s too strong if over-brewed, to the point of discarding and starting over so faites attention.
Flavors: Anise, Citrusy, Hibiscus, Mint
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Last of my Nilgiri samples from Teabox and its been a nice flight. This one brews up a nice dark orange with malty goodness followed by some astringency which provides structure for the flavors to amplify themselves. Some floral and citrus but hardly noticeable. Next journey Assam and Darjeeling. Can’t wait
I liked the spring version of this tea that claims its a black tea but had oolong written in the soup. This winter version is almost exactly the same but not as floral or in depth of flavor. I prefer the spring version of this but must admit I have no clue as to which Nilgiri’s pickings I prefer since they are so outside the box.