1123 Tasting Notes
I tried the 2013 harvest of this tea and adored it (as my rating shows) which makes me happy to get my hands on a sample from this year to note any changes. It’s very hard to do…all I have are notes from last year and I only had one sample, the comparing is more or less impossible, but I can at least compare notes and see what differs (if anything).
The leaves are thin and needle like with many silver tips present, last years were more curly and these are straight. Also there are a lot of little hairs present on the silver tips which were not noted last time. Scent remains the same, kale was previously noted and I agree with it still ‘kale mixed with peony and a dash of grass’.
‘Being steeped in my Gongfu teapot three times for 1 minute, 2 minutes and 3 minutes.’ As I did previously.
The resulting liquid is yellow (yep still the same) but it also mentioned it being thick which this is not, it’s very mellow and appears fresher.
First steep is nice and sweet, light yet floral and grassy. Not at all astringent (as was previously noted). Also tasting less vegetal tones than was indicated from last years batch, this is more floral and grassy. The second steep is thicker and comes across somewhat perfumed which gives it some vegetal thickness (which I would liken to broad beans or something similar). So that is a decent change, though from what I remember it is still very similar. My final steep mimics the first one and once again it becomes mellow and freshly grassy.
Some notable changes yet also a lot of similarities, my rating would have been around the same mark regardless so at least that keeps it consistent. I would not say this years batch was better nor worse, it was just different though it remained as much a pleasure to drink as was last years.
Flavors: Flowers, Grass, Kale
I had this last night and forgot to review it so please forgive my lack of a full review for this tea. It’s my fault for getting the drawers mixed up, I have one for Teavivre samples I have not tried and one for Teavivre samples that I have tried, in my sleepy state I got this Puerh from the wrong drawer.
The leaves (from what I remember) were wonderful and musky smelling, very earthy and wooden. Dull-ish dark green and twig like in form compressed to a small piece.
I served this in my 200ml glass Gongfu teapot over three steeps (1 min, 2 min, 3 min).
The resulting flavour was more or less identical for the first two steeps, it had a deep, earthy flavour that reminded me of damp wood. Very musky and musty type of feel from it with some smoke. In a sense it tasted like rain from a forest, at least that is what my tired mind thought at the time. It might not sound nice to some people (musty and damp are not usually flavours I personally like) but it was very pure and that made it nice, it wasn’t too much or too thick. Well until I got to the third steep which was very thick and had to be watered down a little, it became too strong and almost unpalatable.
I enjoyed it as did my husband but it was not a favourite of mine.
Flavors: Musty, Smoke, Wood
I’ve had this on two occasions including at tonight’s craft club yet I’ve held out on reviewing it. I can’t say that’s for any specific reason, just to make sure it was the same throughout. My reason being that as this is Dragonwell ie a green tea it is hard to taste it, and as I’ve had this specific Dragonwell on it’s own I know it’s delicious, in that sense it seems a shame that I cannot taste it. What I can taste is lemongrass and it’s sweet, strong and crisp which dominates everything else. Undeniably it is very nice as I happen to love lemongrass but it is disappointing not to be able to taste anything besides that. In retrospect it’s a fancy blend that tastes like your bog standard lemongrass, again it’s nice and I want to enforce that but it doesn’t live up to it’s ingredients list. For that reason I will not rate this tea as it’s hard for me to define but it is a sample I can happily finish and am thankful to have tried.
The Oolong balls are medium/large in size and are made up of brown, dark green, burnt yellow and medium green coloured leaves. I can see no impurities on the leaves such as spots or loss of colour nor can I see twigs/sticks amongst the balls. A quick sniff-spection reveals a wonderful sweet grass and floral scent which is lightly perfumed and vegetal.
Once steeped the tea is yellow in colour with a sweet grass scent. In flavour this is of medium strength with pure sweet grass and sweet flower notes. Also some vegetal notes too. Sweetpea, sweetcorn, fresh asparagus and buttercup all in one delicious, smooth yet vibrant tea.
I found the Shan Li Xin High Mountain the tastiest and it has everything I look for in a low oxidised Oolong. It’s freshness and purity makes it one of the nicest I have tried.
For more information and pictures please visit my blog.
The Oolong balls are medium/large in size and are made up of brown, dark green, burnt yellow and medium green coloured leaves. I can see no impurities on the leaves such as spots or loss of colour nor can I see twigs/sticks amongst the balls. A quick sniff-spection reveals an elegant sweet and floral scent with a touch of grass.
Once steeped the tea is golden yellow in colour with a sweet floral and grassy scent. In flavour this is of medium/strong strength with sweet floral and grassy yet vegetal notes. The somewhat greenness flavour makes this taste very fresh. Quite earthy vegetables but green like string bean or sweet pea.
For more information and pictures please view my blog.
The Oolong balls are small/medium in size and are made up of brown, dark green, burnt yellow and medium green coloured leaves. I can see no impurities on the leaves such as spots or loss of colour nor can I see twigs/sticks amongst the balls. A quick sniff-spection reveals a beautiful sweet and floral scent with a touch of cream and butter.
Once steeped the tea is yellow in colour with a highly buttery and floral scent. In flavour this is of medium strength with sweet floral and creamy butter notes that melt in the mouth and leave a fresh yet fragrant after taste. Also has some vegetal notes that resemble sweetcorn. Very fresh and delicious overall, more floral than milk and I think the balance is perfect.
For more information and pictures please view my blog entry.
My morning cuppa and I’m away from the house overnight. I left early this morning to house and dog sit for my parents, they have four dogs and one of them is ill and requires an operation which they have to travel a few hours for as it’s in a special clinic. Their dog Alfie has a liver shunt so they need to remove the sludge from his bladder, remove his testicles (as one is deformed due to the condition) and they are going to sort out the shunt. They are staying overnight in-case anything happens to him.
So my emergency (grab bag in-case of house sitting) tea was picked up and taken with me, The Black Lotus was one of those teas. I’ve had black tea each morning so it’s nice to do so today.
The tea leaves are dark brown/black and are thin and squiggly in shape, most are shortish/broken pieces that average a few mm. I can see they are a blend of black teas as some look like Darjeeling and others are darker and more Assam like. They have a gentle malt scent with a hint of sweet wood.
Once steeped my tea is golden brown in colour with a honey and malt scent. It is stronger than expected in flavour (in a good way) with honey, malt and wood tones (which match it’s raw scent). It’s a light black tea but with medium flavour which I’m finding very pleasing this morning. The sweet honey element makes this tea fairly smooth and easy to drink while at the same time not compromising in flavour.
I love this black tea blend, it’s everything I look for in a black tea.
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Wood
(Note from last night as the website wasn’t working for me)
This oolong has a herbal, almost peppery scent, just like fresh herbs. Also a hint of mint, a refreshing sort of scent.
Flavour is sweet and thick, highly perfumed and herbal. It’s nice but a bit strange…sour, herby perfume is a strange mix but it’s not disgusting, acquired taste I suppose.
The weather is boiling here and I have had trouble coping with it, as soon as the sun comes own I start sweating and get very red faced. I’m sure some of you will understand. Despite the hot weather I’ve managed to get some things sorted today and after being accepted for a mortgage we will be viewing our first house on Saturday.
Busy life aside it’s tea time and I chose this Ali Shan as an after dinner tea to pair with my vegetarian prawn Thai green curry. The Oolong has a beautiful sweet and creamy, floral scent.
The flavour is mild and I waited for it to cool so I can gulp it down. Dry after taste but as a whole it’s satisfying. Subtle flavour with milk and flowers being the two dominant tones. Also perfumed and sweet like brown sugar.
I want to love it but it’s not as fresh as it could be, it did make a nice, average, every day type Oolong though. May try another Oolong next.