342 Tasting Notes
I wasn’t the biggest fan of this personally, but I think it’s a decent enough hong cha. There’s a lot of maltiness and cocoa to the flavor, along with perhaps a touch of fruit. Towards the middle/end of the session, I started to pick up a bit of a caramel note as well. When I say I wasn’t a big fan of this tea, it doesn’t mean I don’t like it, just that it’s not really to my preference. It reminded me a bit of a “Golden Monkey” tea. I imagine that avid fans of dianhong would really appreciate this tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Malt, Sweet
I bought a small sample packet of this tea with one of my Aliexpress 11/11 orders. It is my first Rou Gui oolong, so I have little to offer in terms of evaluating relative quality. It was a decently tasty yancha though. The dry leaves had a creamy, dark chocolate aroma. After a rinse, that was all overwhelmed by a pretty serious roasty, maybe even charred, smell.
I could definitely taste the roast, especially in the early steeps, but it didn’t come across as overpowering or sour or any of the unpleasant things roastiness can do. The tea had a mineral and ever so slightly woody sweetness and left my mouth feeling the opposite of dry. I know the opposite of dry is wet, but it sounded weird to say it left my mouth wet…so, it was mouthwatering I guess. Rou Gui oolongs are known to have a bit of a cinnamon flavor to them apparently – I think I may have noticed a bit of that in the woody part of the flavor, but there is a good chance I only tasted that flavor because I was looking for it based upon prior knowledge.
The tea also developed what might have been a bit of a floral flavor, and on occasion the chocolatey notes I smelled on the dry leaves came though in the flavor, though never strongly.
I wasn’t particularly wowed by this tea, but it was tasty. It will be a good point of comparison when I try some higher end Rou Gui oolongs. I’ve got one or two of those laying around. Not sure whether I would recommend it or not at this point, though!
Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Mineral, Roasted, Sweet, Wood
I realized today that I never got to the third Origins Tea sample which was sent to me a little ways back. Seemed like as good a time to brew it as ever. I hadn’t heard a lot of good things about this tea from the tea-drinkers I normally associate with. That said, I went into it with an open mind, and it turned out pretty well! I could smell the roast pretty heavily on these leaves, especially after a rinse, so that had me just a bit worried.
This tea had a bit of a nutty flavor, followed up by a finish/aftertaste which was definitely burnt tasting, but came across to me as a burnt sugar sort of taste. I can see why others might not have liked it, because it is really the most “burnt” tasting tea I’ve tried. Perhaps over-roasted. There was a little bit of fruitiness, though only really present in the later steeps once much of the roastiness had left the flavor. Around the middle of the session, the roast did get a little bit unpleasantly powerful, but not too terrible.
My verdict is that this is a decent tea, and one which I wouldn’t mind drinking every now and then, but I wouldn’t pay what Origins is selling it for. There are better Shui Xians available from other vendors for a lower price. For me the highlight of this tea was the burnt sugar finish in the early part of the session – it kind of reminded me of the crust on the top of a creme brulee.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet
I had just a small sample of this from a little swap I did a few months back. I found it to be a good and tasty dragonwell with a little bit more green-ness than others I’ve tried. This was represented both in the flavor and the appearance of the leaves. They were a pretty dark forest-green, and the flavor was nutty with a bit of a spinachy vegetal note. The texture was pleasantly thick with a bit of a buttery feeling to it.
Flavors: Butter, Nutty, Spinach
I tried this a couple times with the sample that came in the club a few months ago. Both times I brewed it pretty heavily, 5g:60mL. This was a really nice oolong. The aroma from the leaf was complex. From the dry leaves, I got notes of mineral sweetness, honey, and roasty nuttiness. After a rinse, the roasted aroma was more prominent, with some medicinal notes, along with a distant fruitiness and a nuttiness which reminded me, strangely enough, of peanut butter on first whiff.
I found the flavor of the tea to be pleasantly complex as well. In the first steep, I tasted a bit of a chocolatey note, but that didn’t stick around much at all. Early steeps displayed mineral, nutty (roasty), and floral notes, along with a red berry finish. That finish was unexpected and pleasant. This finish carried on until maybe the mid-point of the session before it began to drop off slowly. Late steeps were characterized by a lighter, but still tasty mineral sweetness with some floral hints along for the ride. Especially early in the session, the body of this tea was very thick – I could feel it going down my throat and settling in my stomach. There was a relaxing qi involved as well.
This is definitely my favorite w2t oolong I’ve tried so far…though I think it’s only the second one as well, meaning only that I like it better than I liked the Hoplite oolong I tried. Due to the teaclub, I have a few more to get to – the quality of this one bodes well for their revamped oolong line, I’d say.
Flavors: Berry, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Mineral, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet, Thick
Finally got back into some w2t samples. This one was a little weird for me. It took until the very last session for me to have a really good experience with it. It was never bad, but for the first few sessions of it I drank, I found it pretty inferior to other 2016 w2t productions, even in the lower price brackets. I agree with the laconic tasting note on w2t’s website, noting that this tea has “higher than average” astringency. It really required flash steeping for the majority of the session for it to show its better qualities.
These leaves had a sweet apricot, buttery aroma when dry – after a rinse, the aroma was strong and zesty, with apricot and a slight undercurrent of petrol which some people (including myself at times) associate with the aroma from young sheng leaves. The tea, as most from White 2 Tea do, brews up thick in texture from the get-go. It was sweet, with a bit of fruitiness – I got pineapple – along with some vegetal flavor. There was a pretty intense astringency, especially if steeped carelessly. The tea carries on for over fifteen steeps, flash steeping through at least 10 of those. Towards the end of the session, the fruitiness mostly leaves this tea as does the astringency. The finish becomes sweet, reminding me more than once of sugar cookies.
Reading back, this tasting note seems a little all over the place. That kind of matches my feelings for this tea. When I finally nailed the brewing, it was good – still not as great as some of the other White 2 Tea productions I’ve had this year – I enjoyed Tea Don’t Lie and Poundcake over this one. I’m glad I got a sample of it though, and I would encourage people who are perusing w2t’s 2016 lineup to sample this tea, as others I’ve talked to have really fallen in love with it.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Fruity, Pineapple, Sweet, Thick
I got this as part of a reddit swap which also landed me a second cake of Milk, Cream, and Alcohol from w2t. Turns out to have been an awesome swap, as this is a great tea as well. As noted in the tea’s description, I was hit by a a wave of creamy, milky aroma when I opened the bag. Upon further sniffing, I also detected floral and slight coconut and milk chocolate notes. After a rinse, the floral note became quite prominent, thought the milky aroma remained strong as well.
I brewed this one pretty heavily, nearly filling my 60mL gaiwan with leaf. Early steeps were slightly bitter, with some milky and fruity notes, along with just a touch of floral to finish it off. The fruit was peach or grape in these early steeps.
As I continued, the bitterness increased, as did an intensely floral milky aftertaste – guessing this must be the osmanthus. Dang, it tasted good. It had a lubricating mouth feel and the aftertaste lasted almost a ridiculously long time. It just kept getting stronger and longer lasting until maybe the 10th steep, at which point the bitterness dropped off, as did the intensity.
After the bitterness was gone, there was still quite a bit of osmanthus flavor in here, along with some other sweet notes, which reminded me of marzipan and fruit – maybe peaches again. The tea lasted quite a while – I was able to drink through a full liter with just the 60mL gaiwan.
I really liked this dancong – I’m going to need to try more of them with this brewing style.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Marzipan, Milk, Osmanthus, Peach
I brewed this one up Western, but may not have used quite enough leaf. Either that or it was just a very light tasting tea. I got a bit of raisiny fruity sweetness and some malt, but those notes were hard to pick out as this tea was just too light – I used about 4g in 8oz.
Flavors: Malt, Raisins
Note: This is for the 2014 version of this tea – I didn’t feel like making a new Steepster page for the older batch.
I got a nice sample of this one from S.G. Sanders. I’ll admit that I was dubious about it at first, being that it was a 2 year old green tea. I really don’t drink a whole lot of Chinese greens either, though that isn’t really because I dislike them. These leaves have a nice and slightly green fruity aroma to them. Interestingly, I didn’t pick up a whole lot of fruit in the flavor.
To me, this tea was mostly nutty sweet with maybe a slight floral note here or there. I brewed it at 160F, as was recommended by the sender, and there were slight hints of some astringency in the early steeps, enough to tell me it may have been unpleasant had I brewed at a higher temperature. Despite its age and the common wisdom regarding green teas (that they should be consumed fresh), this tea didn’t taste stale or weak. I’m sure I’d notice a difference if I were to taste the current year’s harvest side by side, but this is certainly still a good-tasting tea in its own right.
Thanks for sending this one my way, SG!
Flavors: Green, Nutty, Sweet