161 Tasting Notes
I know that I will have to write more on this tea later. I have immensely enjoyed drinking this tea on what turned out to be a rather crazy day at the office. I honestly believe that the tea has kept me sane. This sample was sent to me by the wonderful Doulton and I can’t thank her enough. Thank you, thank you!!! Not only is this oolong absolutely lovely, the Seven Cups tea company is fantastic. I urge all of you oolong lovers to check out their website. www.sevencups.com – I honestly haven’t gotten very far into the site, I’ve been too overwhelmed and super excited about their oolong section. I love all of the details (harvest dates!) and origin notes that they include for each tea. They also host 14-15 day tours in China that are absolutely to die for. I know, I know…it’s one more tea company to bookmark. But you should do it!
Eight Immortals, besides having an ultra rad name, is very strong for an oolong. It tastes like a lightly roasted oolong…0% green tasting (which scores big points for me). The dry leaves look just like the picture, but once they steep and unfurl, I was surprised at how green they really were. The tea has a heavy and oily mouthfeel to it. (I think this is the first time I’ve ever typed the word “mouthfeel”. Maybe it’s just me, but the word strikes me as slightly perverse.) This is the first tea I’ve ever thought of as oily tasting. It’s a rather odd sensation. The tea is filling…almost like it is full of calories. I did not experience the strong floral smell that the description details. It just smelled oolong-y to me. All in all, Eight Immortals is an oolong for those who want their oolongs to taste like oolongs. I do not particularly detect any floral or bread-y notes. It’s almost like an oolong concentrate. I think this might be another contender for my Yixing pot. Yay!
Thanks again Doulton!
What a weekend! As some of you might have seen on the news, a good portion of Tennessee is underwater. Tennessee received more rain this last weekend than the TOTAL COMBINED precipitation for the months of May, June, and July (on average). Crazy stuff. Luckily, we did not have too much damage at our house. One bedroom window began to leak on the second day of nonstop rain…and my flowers received a thorough beating. Nothing major though, thank goodness. My office even closed its doors yesterday due to the roads being flooded…or gone. It was a nice little break filled with repairs, cleaning, TV and tea. Speaking of which…
On to the tea. I received this generous sample from SoccerMom. The leaves are quite stunning and fuzzy. The liquor is silky and finishes on a sweet note. I distinctly taste the spicy/peppery note but the malty flavor is absent. There is a slight earthy quality to the tea that I am enjoying immensely. My first cup was finished rather quickly, but the second steep cooled to room temperature. Both steeps were unique and pleasurable. I’m sure I could squeeze out a third steep, but it’s almost time to head home from the office. Yay! I might have to pick up where I left off today. This is a great tea to have on constant standby.
Chocolate perfection in a cup.
This chocolate blend is unbelievable. Smooth, decadent, sugary heaven! Both the leaves and the liquor smell like chocolate cotton candy. It might sound crazy, but I distinctly smell that “spun sugar” smell. Very intriguing. I tried the tea plain at first, but I just knew in my heart that it needed milk and sugar. I couldn’t have been more right. Haha! It’s not a rich as a cup of hot chocolate might be, but it’s damn close. The almond is slightly present but everything takes a back seat to the chocolate. I had to google “helianthus” to see what kind of flavor it might yield. Turns out that helianthus = Sunflower. I learned something new. I can’t say that I particularly tasted notes of sunflower…unless I automatically associated it with the general nuttiness of the almond. I’m so happy with this tea. Charlotte au Chocolat is masterfully blended. Today was truly a “tea experience”. All of you Florence lovers really need to try this tea.
Thank you so much Doulton!!! What a gem!
Move aside Jackee Muntz! There’s a new caramel tea in town and he’s not NEARLY as finicky as you are. I’m not hating on Jackee…I enjoyed him while he lasted. But I never managed to coax that elusive caramel flavor out of him. With this Yunnan Golden Needle, it’s no problem at all. The more you play with temperature and time, the better this tea gets. Right off the bat I tasted smooth malt and a slight smoky/pepper note, typical of most Yunnan black teas. “Brisk” would be a good description. There was a slight bitterness, but it was not unpleasant at all. My first few sips tasted of burnt sugar and hot, drizzly caramel. Mmmm! The caramel taste disappeared halfway through the cup, but perked up a little for the last bit of cooled tea. I’m impressed. This is a very good cup of tea.
Andao is the same company that offered the Organic Wu Yi Rou Gui (aka: Bake-y Oolong) that I loved so much. Their teacups are also reasonably priced…but several are sold out. I fully intend to try more of Andao’s teas. They are currently 2 for 2 on delicious teas in my opinion. :)
I woke up in the mood for coconut and remembered that Jillian sent me a sample of this. 52 Teas isn’t joking when it comes to their coconut. Man, those coconut shavings are GIANORMOUS! The smell of the dry leaf is just wonderful. I was slightly tempted to eat one of the pieces of coconut…but I refrained this time. The tea was very smooth and flavorful. I noticed on the package that this tea included vanilla flavoring, but I did not taste any. Perhaps the vanilla flavor would be more prominent in the latte version. The oil from the coconut formed little globules on the surface of the tea. Mmmm! I wanted to try this tea with milk and sugar or perhaps whip up their latte recipe, but after quickly drinking my 1st cup (a true sign I enjoyed it), I found the tea to be a little weak. I don’t know if it would hold up to the milk and sugar…or the latte for that matter. Without the milk and sugar, I think this is just a regular coconut flavored tea, albeit a decent one. I promise to try it one day, but for now, straight up is just fine and dandy.
I only have enough leaf for one more sitting after today. I’m on my 4 infusion right now with plans to keep going until I’m just drinking hot water. This tea is so easy to sip on all day. Hot, lukewarm, cool…they are all just wonderful cups. See my past notes for details on the tea.
My tea shopping list is about to catch up with my “Books to Buy/Read” list.
…and that is quite a thing.
Oh Florence, you smell divine. I’m glad that you didn’t seem to mind me constantly smelling you. I tried steeping you like other black teas, but you didn’t seem to take kindly to that sort of treatment. You hid your flavors from me and barely held yourself together. You should know that I rarely “do subtle”. I thought our relationship might be short lived, but I had a “Plan B”. For my next cup, I added another teaspoon of you to the same leaves from my first attempt. This seemed to suit you. You had a perfect ratio of chocolaty goodness, and your hazelnut taste was bitter and nutty…but tasteful. If I close my eyes and try not to think too hard, the black tea fades away and you are nothing but creamy chocolate in my mouth. It’s cool though. I’m in to a little trickery every once and a while. I thought my constant drinking of strong Yunnan blacks was going to ruin my taste for you, but you still prevailed. You just needed a little bulking up. I really wanted to try you with a little milk and sugar, but you seem too shy for that. I have just enough to make a few more cups. Since I have to double up your leaf every time I want a cup, I fear we do not have long together. I promise, however, to make the most of it.
Well, the Traveling Tea Box certainly did its job for me. With this wonderful tea, I have now found a company that I never knew existed AND I will soon be placing an order with them. This oolong is classic. It’s soon to be a staple oolong. It smells delicious, tastes delicious…and it’s the first oolong I’ve tried in which the second steep is bake-y. A bake-y oolong! Oh yes. Ready the debit cards, folks.
The tea isn’t overly complex; it simply has a no frills, traditional oolong taste. And it’s great! Lightly roasted and smoky tasting, I just love it. No vegetal taste, just how I like it. I’m all giddy! I usually refrain from eating while drinking tea (other than the occasional cookie or sweet getting dunked in), but I would love to eat several traditional Chinese dishes with this tea in hand. It’s so good.
The sample from the TTB ended up just where it was meant to be.