61 Tasting Notes
I didin’t use any specific steeping times with this since they lack suggestions for gongfu brewing. So I went with feeling and what seemed right, it turned out pretty good actually.
Nuggets are emerald green with light brown stems. They are small and even size. As a winter batch the leaves are quite small. Opened leaves are vegetal green.
Clear light green brew, latter steeps turn more orange/yellow hue. Mild scent. Full-bodied taste with notes of cream, vanilla, milk, fruit, osmanthus and some burnt sugar with woodsy notes. Terrific with really nice silky, thick and creamy mouthfeel. I can already say after couple steeps that this is the best Jin Xuan oolong that I’ve tasted. Others have been too milky or not milky at all, but this is in perfect balance. I’m definitely buying more after I’ve emptied my stash a bit.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Butter, Cream, Fruity, Milk, Osmanthus, Vanilla, Wood
Resbonsibly sourced artisan tea that looks really great. How can you pass that? I recently ordered samples of unroasted green oolongs from Eco-cha. Couple of them were already sold out so I picked best of the rest; Jin Xuan, Tsui Yu and this one, Four Seasons Spring. Today I picked them up from post office and I’m already amazed. They came in vacuum sealed bags (like most oolongs do) and they even had this tiny thing that keeps moisture out. I don’t remember the word. :D
Anyways, Four seasons spring oolong has quite mild aroma, but still fresh and floral. Every nugget seems to have picked with passion. They’re even sized, quite small and look just fabulous. Shiny and glossy.
The brew is delicate, aromatic, floral and crisp with nice fruity finish. Longer brews bring out some spicy notes, especially cinnamon like stated in eco-cha website. Really clean and buttery mouthfeel. The color of it is also very pretty, pale green.
Really, really nice tea. One of the best four seasons I’ve tried.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Floral, Flowers, Fruity
Expectations. Quite high, this is a famous tea after all.
Steeping. 65ml gaiwan and 75-80C water. I tried to steep this tea also with a champagne glass, but the leaves floated on the surface.
Appearance. The leaves were smaller than I thought, about the size of my finger tip (or 0,5cm to be precise.) They were all covered in white fur.
Aroma. Sweet and straw-ish. There was quite a lot of dust (probably loose fur) so I had to sneeze a couple times while appreciating the aroma. Spent leaves have greenish-gray hue. The tea is pale yellow in color.
Tasting. Really light and sweet. I thought this would have more tartness, but the flavor is so delicate. It has only light note of straw and hay, maybe cucumber or melon too. Longer infusions have that nice little kick in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pleasantly astringent.
Comments. The Silver Needle is really good tea, but to me it doesn’t give that ‘wow!’-feeling. Still, I will see this one again when it’s freshly picked, my sample is 9 months old after all so I’m intrigued to try this one again.
PS. Happy New Year 2016 everyone!
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Hay, Honey, Honeydew, Melon, Straw, Sweet
Expectations. Very little, I wanted to try this only because 4,7/5 rating.
Steeping. I didn’t check the steeping temperature (that was 80C) so I accidentally steeped the first pours at 95C. For later steep I let the water cool down for a bit. I used 4g/65ml and porcelain gaiwan.
Appearance. The leaves are really pretty, they are tiny and covered in a golden fur. Tea is bright orange with a little bit of red hue.
Aroma. Dry leaves smell awesome, there are some cocoa, chocolate, honey and caramel notes. Wet leaves have bolder aroma with molasses, sweet potato and smoky tones.
Tasting. I ordered more of those beautiful ‘bamboo hat’ cups so I had a better chance to compare different steeps. My favourite one was definitely the first pour, it had overall stronger flavour with nice chocolate, cocoa and caramel notes. Latter ones had more mild and mellow flavour of honey, smoke, chocolate and cocoa. More interesting flavours, like berries, fruits, citrus and flowers emerge with every pour.
Comments. Really interesting tea experience, as a black tea noob I still prefer Fenqging Dragon Pearls over any other black teas, but Yunnan Dian Hong has really good amount of different and interesting flavours. Really enjoyable for cold winter mornings.
Flavors: Berries, Caramel, Chocolate, Citrus Fruits, Cocoa, Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Molasses, Smoke
Teavivres description. “A fabulous tasting green tea from Anhui. With uniquely shaped large flat leaves, TaiPing HouKui is quite different from other green teas and is thought of as one of China’s top ten teas. Our tea comes from the village of HouKeng, where the tea was first developed.”
Expectations. I’ve heard so many great reviews, so I’m expecting this to be a great experience.
Steeping. First, I didn’t have any clue how to brew this, since I don’t possess a tea pitcher and my gongfu glass teapot was accidentally dropped on the floor and shattered.
Eventually I ended up with my Ikea glass cup, it’s made in China at least! It was messy, but it worked. I used “Fire and Ice” -style (it sounded fun) pouring ice cold water onto the leaves first and after dumping the cold water I poured 85C water to steep the tea. First steep was 1min 30s and after that I just added +1min with 3g grams of tea.
Appearance. Really, really big, flat dark green leaves. They remind a bit of nori sheets. They have a nice fabric pattern from straightening. Spent leaves turn olive green. The brew is light, vibrant green colour.
Aroma. Really bold and savoury. It’s similar to sencha, a bit of marine like, vegetal green bean/pea aroma.
Tasting. My favourite part. Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui has bold vegetal flavour. Green beans, pea and a bit of nuts, not a sweet flavour. It has a bit astringency. Again, the first thing coming to my mind is sencha, which is not bad at all. I’m digging this.
Comments. This tea is great fun! I got a really weird kicks from those gigantic leaves. The reviews were right, this was a great tea experience. I give this a solid 90. 75-80 for flavour and 100 for looks.
Will I buy it again? Definitely, it’s a bit expensive but I just love those leaves, I want to see them again.
Flavors: Almond, Green Beans, Mineral, Peas, Salt, Vegetables, Vegetal
I’ve heard dancongs are really hard to gongfu. This is my first one so far and I’m excited and a bit terrified to try this. What if I screw it up? Whatevs, I have 100g of it so it doesn’t matter if I use couple grams to practise. Maybe?
Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong has nice roasted-smoky aroma to it, there is also hint of cherry and wood. It’s not as roasty as Da Hong Pao, which was reeeally roasty to my taste. This Guang Dong might suit my taste based on aroma.
I did really quick 1st steep, like 5 seconds. Taste is not expected, I thought Guang Dong would be something like Da Hong Pao, but this is vegetal and mildly roasty. It has some tannis and really really sweet, a bit cherry like and floral scent. Also it has pleasantly astrigent mouthfeel that I really like. I’m going to push that ‘recommend’ button right away.
Next steep was something between 10-15s, maybe closer to 15s. I’m getting some sweet potato, and woodsy notes, quite strong, but not overly-strong smokiness too. There is also something berry-ish like blackcurrant. This tea is really insteresting since it seems to have typical flavours both to green and dark oolong with its roasty-smoky and floral-vegetal flavours.
I tried shorter steep again to get that nice cherry note, but now it turned smoky and bitter. What did I do wrong? Maybe next one will be successful… And yes it is. Now there is some dried fruit, blackcurrant, honey and… peach? This is definitely my favourite steep. I’m sure this will give many more steeps, I will write about them later.
I’m going to practice with this, but it seems to be really complex tea with a lot of different flavours. Does dancong better in chao zhou-teapots (or yixings). I’ve always wanted one to my collections, but I’ve also heard these are better in porcelain gaiwans
Flavors: Black Currant, Cherry, Earth, Floral, Honey, Mineral, Raspberry, Roasted, Smoke, Tar, Toast