229 Tasting Notes

49

Golden Flower or Huang Jin Bolero is a very interesting light green oolong. When brewed very lightly with little leaf it comes out tasting a bit like Pouchong. When brewed with more leaf it comes out as having some light floral and maybe honey notes. I can understand the honey from how it is described but quite honestly if it was not suggested I would not have noticed. The only problem that I have with this tea is that it is really hard to brew right even as one that is reasonably experienced of gaiwan gongfu brewing oolongs and it is way too hit or miss for me. I’ve brewed it several times with multiple infusions and while the few cups that turned out well were excellent the others were not so good.

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44

Honeybush Apricot comes off to me as having a very light taste that like most herbals reminds me a bit more of juice than tea. Has a light sweet and fruity flavor to it but it is not my favorite flavor. Although my grandmother loved it so much that I gave her the rest of the sample to take home with her.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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49

Personally I’m not sure how to rate this tea as while it is a really good in how it tastes I know it is also a really bad for me as unlike the others on my list this one is a lot closer to soda than tea in how much sugar and artificial creamier that it has mixed in with it. Has a very sweet creamy taste and a light smooth slightly spicy taste to it. Good but one that I only see myself having once or twice a month tops and one that I am not sure if I will be buying more when I finish it.

Preparation
Boiling

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87

This is the most unique old nugget puerh that I’ve seen in how it comes off more as little bits of loose puerh leaves twisted together instead of the more typical nugget shapes, so maybe this is what is meant about it being unusually clean in how it is still possible to make out the individual leaves in the nuggets. Personally I would say that this puerh has some smoothness but it also a bit of malty so I would not call it very smooth, yet the vendor description is right on with no bitterness or bad aftertaste. Overall a safe middle ground puerh that is a safe bet for most people. For me I did not get within the 8 to 12 infusions but I would not hold it against the tea because I like my puerh strong.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec

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91

I feel when it comes to ripe puerh that puerh nuggets are always a safe bet for your money as I have yet to have encountered bad quality among nuggets. This is a puerh that demands to be brewed strong to have a thicker texture otherwise it comes off as a mediocre puerh. It produces a dark color brew with a light silky texture that is not too thick with the expected sweet mellowness. Although what sets this one apart is that it also has a bit of a fresh crisp taste to it that I have not encountered before in a ripe puerh. I am not sure if this is a result of the ripe puerh being aged as at 7 years old it is also the oldest ripe puerh that I’ve had to date. Regardless while it is not the best puerh that I’ve had recently is clearly in the upper middle range when it comes to puerh.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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100

This is one of the best lighter fermentation ripe puerh that I’ve had yet. A lighter sweet and mellow blend with a very enjoyable rolling smoothness with each sip, where the silky texture is complemented with lighter slightly malty notes in the background. Absolutely no traces of harshness or earthiness/mustiness in this wonderful blend. A very wonderful puerh that I’ve already bought an entire tong of which is the first time I have done so and I have not ruled out going back for a second or third tong.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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94

This Dayi Yue Chen Yue Xiang is a simple ripe puerh at its best. While it lacks some of the more complex flavor notes that some ripe puerh has it also lacks any earthy and musty flavors. Which leaves behind the basic sweet mellow ripe puerh that drives most ripe puerh drinkers to love it. This one also has a nice smoothness in its thicker brew and is a very friendly puerh for more casual everyday brewing, although if you want to have a serious tea session you might want to go with a more exciting ripe puerh than this one.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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89

Silk Oolong has to be one of the best green oolongs that I’ve had to date or at least the first infusion. The aroma of the dry leaf had me initially uneasy as it reminded me slightly of a mix of sour milk and fruit but luckily the brewed tea tastes a lot better than the dry leaf smells. This is my first silk or milk oolong and it is clearly wonderful and amazing at how much it tastes like milk cream with a sweet fruity and maybe a tad floral notes that remind me of mango. From what I understand Silk oolong is designed to imitate the taste of Jing Xuan and I must say I enjoy the “fake stuff” made with real cream over the Jing Xuan grown to imitate the taste of cream in the tea itself. For me this tea peaked in the first infusion as it came off as declining a bit in the future infusions but it still left a very good impression on me. So you do have to at least admit that real Jing Xuan does hold up a bit better for more infusions than Silk Oolong.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Thomas Smith

I had this sitting on my shelf for a year. I have such a hard time getting past that dry fragrance and hardly ever brewed it because of it. Wound up giving it away…

John Grebe

Thomas, I can understand as it took me a while to get around to brewing it the first time after having it around for around a month. Still regardless of its great taste the tea dies too soon in my gaiwan for it to be worth its high price so I won’t be reordering more, which is a shame as if it was not so expensive I could see this being a semi-regular tea for me.

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89

My first taste of Jing Xuan which comes off to me as a lighter green buttery oolong with a medium floral taste. While I do not have enough experience with Taiwan oolongs to tell between different varieties this Jing Xuan has been the first time that I have encountered a buttery and floral green oolong combined together into one instead of the either or that I’ve often encountered. This is truly a very good quality oolong with an enjoyable sweet smoothness in the aftertaste, which I am glad that I ordered a 1 oz bag with my last order. Although quite honestly I am not sure what to fully think of it as while it is unique and difference I personally do not find it worth the $100 a pound price tag but then again I generally lean strongly toward the darker oolongs.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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83
drank Ti Kuan Yin Tea by Ten Ren
229 tasting notes

This one also came as a free sample from a different order with Ten Tea (Ten Ren’s online sales site). This one really surprises me by how good it tastes as quite honestly it tastes almost too good to be coming out of a teabag, especially one that contains a lot of really finely chopped leaves. The brew produces a taste of a very nicely darker roasted style of Ti Kuan Yin with both some smoothness and sweetness to balance out the brew. This would make an excellent office or travel tea for a dark oolong lover to have on hand for the situations where one’s options are limited to no tea or teabag tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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A Christian mystic who loves ripe puerh and darker oolongs.

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Pennsylvania

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