247 Tasting Notes
Thank you LiberTeas for this tea in my lovely HoppiTea package!
This tea can be summed up in two words: Simply Outstanding.
When I first opened the box, this was the tea I could smell. I’ve thought about it off and on, but haven’t been able to get around to tasting it until now. The dry scent is impossible to miss… pure chocolate malt.
It brews up to an earthy, golden brown. Very pretty. And the aroma is enchanting! I feel like I’m about to sip hot chocolate. The taste is heaven. It tastes like a chocolate malt in my mouth, or like chocolate chips straight from the bag. The warm cocoa is lovely. I haven’t had a better dessert tea for breakfast in, well, forever. Truly decadent.
Kashyap, thank you for this really wonderful sample! I happen to love Dan Cong, and this is a really fine example. (Another multiple steeper.)
The first thing to notice about a Dan Cong is the color. The leaves, for an oolong, are very dark and long. Upon closer inspection, a deep red color is present, and hints of a lighter amber. It’s like the sunrise, just before the first rays of light stretch out across the sky. Everything is dark, but then there’s just the slightest hint of light coming. Beautiful.
The scent of the leaves is definitely woodsy. Once steeped, however, the aroma of the tea is much more complex. There’s the woodsy element, but something richer, more like raisin, or honey. At any rate, it’s a sweetness that hints at what’s to come in the flavor.
The flavor of this tea is divine. It’s definitely woodsy, with a baked flavor. There is a profound sweetness which develops mid-sip that fills your mouth with a nutty and deeply baked apricot, almost honey flavor that lingers for a while. It’s so lovely and rich. This is what I expect from a Dan Cong. Truly a beauty.
Subsequent steeps, particularly the second, proved to be just as lovely and slightly more fruity in flavor.
Thank you, ashmanra for this lovely tea!
I am an oolong lover, so when I received this tea in a swap, I was thrilled! It’s scent when dry is very much like that of a lilac in full bloom. It smells very floral.
Once steeped, the floral scent is still there, but it is deeper and richer. The taste, while slightly floral, tastes much more vegetal, like steeped vegetables more than flowers. It’s a deceiving tea. Your nose tells you to expect one thing and your mouth receives another. This is not a floral tasting tea. Moving on… the taste, in addition to being vegetal, has a very nice, grounded oolong base. It’s ever so slightly earthy, yet smooth. There’s a touch of a roasted flavor in this one.
Thank you, ashmanra!
Floral tea lovers, unite! I have Kashyap to thank for this sample. Thanks so much!
This is actually the second time I’ve tasted this tea. I’ve really been off my game over the past couple of weeks and need to get back into the swing of things. This is my first big attempt at righting my universe.
This oolong has a gentle, floral scent when dry. It seems very delicate. Once steeped, however, the liquor becomes a bright, golden yellow and the true magnolia scent sweeps over me. It’s really lovely in that it’s a fresh scent, not an overly perfumey one.
The taste is most definitely floral. This is definitely a scented tea, but it’s what one would expect when reaching for a magnolia tea… floral scent and a taste to match. The oolong is lovely. It’s not a heavily oxidized one, more mid to light, but it pairs perfectly with the pronounced magnolia flavor as well. This would make a very nice afternoon tea. As the tea cools, it develops a delicate sweetness that is really pleasant and makes me want to try this one iced.
The second steep (3.5 min) of this tea results in a lighter magnolia flavor and a more pronounced oolong taste. It’s still strong enough that I’d consider it a fairly equal balance of flavors, although the scales are beginning to tip a bit in favor of the oolong tea base.
The third steep (4.5 min)… and I almost never steep a tea three times, which is a shame because this one is still going strong. Now, there is more just a hint of the magnolia flavor mixed in with the tea. I steeped this for a bit longer than usual and am very pleased with it. It really holds up well to multiple steepings.
Thank you again, Kashyap!
Another ashmanra gift… (You can’t imagine how lovely the package she put together was.)
Chinese Flower is not only a delicious green, but it’s absolutely lovely to look at as well. The tea is interspersed with flower petals of yellow, blue, white and pink. It’s beautiful! The scent matches the visual aesthetics as well. It’s a crisp scent, like freshly picked flowers from a garden infused with citrus.
I steeped very lightly and quickly with this one, not wanting to have a veggie/floral combination. The scent is predominately citrus now, but the floral aspect is still somewhat present. The taste is really nice. Yes, very lemony, but it’s a sweet tasting lemon flavor. The floral scent isn’t really in the flavor so much. The green is perfect with this one as there is no bitterness in my cup. It’s slightly grassy tasting, making a fresh pairing with the citrus.
Thank you, ashmanra, again!
The other day, I brewed a cup of this, but forgot as I was rushing to get my kids ready for day camp. Packed them up, buckled up in the car and we took off with a huge list of to-do items that needed to be done without children… and halfway to camp, I realized I forgot my tea. So, naturally, as I’m driving, I’m neurotically thinking about all of the reviews I’ve read about this one. I’m weighing the cost of driving 15 minutes back to the house to pick it up and then another 15 minutes back to the freeway. My long list is looming on the passenger seat, and I turn back toward home.
It turns out that it was one of the best decisions of my day! (My sunglasses ended up being made with the wrong prescription; I got lost on the way to a new knitting shop, then found I’d have to hike a while to get there as the entire street was closed for construction.) But, I had finally had the chance to try Golden Monkey, and I have the lovely ashmanra to thank for this experience! (Not the forgetting, wrong prescription and getting lost and finding construction experience, but instead the tea experience.)
Golden Monkey is an appropriate name for this one. It’s a beautiful tea to look at. Dark, black tea leaves intertwined with golden, curled leaves. Like guilded curlicues found on the frames of beautiful artwork. It has a mellow scent that belies its strength. The tea itself smells lovely. Of course, I didn’t get to smell it immediately after steeping, but it still had a nice, sweet aroma to it. Upon tasting, I was surprised at the vegetal taste that I normally get with greens. It is earthy, but not in a pu-erh way. Instead, I would say it’s almost mossy. The element that really makes this tea, though, is the caramel taste that unfurls just after sipping and develops gradually on my tongue. It’s amazing! Sweet and full. This is one tea that should be taken without any additions. It’s very, very lovely and I can now see why Harney & Sons is always sold out of this one.
Thank you, ashmanra, for this wonderful tea! (Now I have to try the new crop, too, as I read your tasting note yesterday.)
Merci beaucoup to Dinosara for this lovely French tea sample!
The dry aroma smells sweet and fruity, not floral. Somehow, with a name like 7 Parfums, I was expecting something more perfume like, but it certainly isn’t.
Again, I steeped lightly, however, for me, it was somewhat daring. I went with a 2.5 minute steeping time. The fragrance is wonderful, light and fruity. It’s very reminiscent of Marco Polo, as is the taste, but lighter, and fruitier. It’s more complex than Marco Polo, but not as full tasting. I’d say this is more of an afternoon tea with its liveliness. The red berry flavor is what comes to the forefront. It’s followed by a light citrus taste, which is anchored by a smooth black base that isn’t astringent or bitter at all. This has soared to the front as one of my favorites.
Thank you again, Dinosara!
I’m in one of those not-paying-attention modes today. I started with this tea, courtesy of LiberTeas in the HoppiTea tea exchange.
It clearly says 180/2-3 min on the package, but I steeped it at 205(96C)/1.5 min. The funny thing is that this tea, instead of being wretchedly bitter, is amazingly good. It’s a really vegetal, really creamy tasting tea. It’s not a sweet tea by any means, but it’s very complex nonetheless. The tea starts out slightly bitter (probably my fault), but then blossoms into this intensely creamy, vegetal flavor that mellows out and lingers for a while. I wish that I hadn’t used the entire sample for this one, but it’s too late now.
Thank you, LiberTeas!