68 Tasting Notes

65

Okay, tried a new brewing method with this one! Aaaaand I overbrewed it… just a little… add some hot water. Now it’s just fine. Hehehe.

I am picking up a lot of sort of smokey flavor in this one. It reminds me a lot of a Jun Shan Yin Zhen I’ve had before. It’s delicate and a little bit sweet and has a strong aroma and flavor of green beans and spinach. I am not gonna go into too much detail here because Amanda’s review is very well written and covers pretty much the same points.

Flavors: Broth, Green Beans, Smoke, Spinach, Sweet

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This Shou Mei has a surprising smoky, earthy taste to it, with hints of spice.

By the second steeping it has mellowed out some, with a subtle sweetness similar to dried fruit and slightly earthy gourd-like flavor.

I am not terribly experienced with a diversity of white teas, as a local company here specializes in white teas and has many award-winning offerings that are of wonderful quality, so I do not shop around for white teas much. Thus, I will not rate this one. I find the flavor agreeable but would not likely purchase it.

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Just popping into say something short and sweet about this tea.

It tastes like cake icing and cake. Well done! The array of leaves and flowers is beautiful and festive. It makes me feel like it’s my birthday when I sit down to drink it. I feel special.

It’s not my usual cup of tea to drink flavored tisanes, but this one is nice if you like this type of flavor. Myself, whenever I see something flavored like something I like better, it just makes me want the something better… i.e. spare me the caramel creme brulee coffee creamer and give me some caramel creme brulee! Or… rather than cake flavored tea… give me some tea!

I mostly requested this sample out of curiosity and because it is beautiful. But… if for some reason I couldn’t eat cake… maybe for dietary or health reasons, I feel like this drink would satisfy my craving more than not having anything at all. I’d drink it on my birthday!

Flavors: Cake, Frosting

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95
drank IRON MAN by teasenz
68 tasting notes

Alright! Here we go! This is my first time drinking Tie Luo Han, or “Iron Warrior Monk” Wuyi oolong. It came to me as a sample from a friend at an opportune time because I’m just getting into the traditional Wuyi oolong Gongfu method and needed some test subjects. That said, I am using a gaiwan with 4g of leaf per 100ml of water at 203F/95C. No rinse, first infusion 10 seconds, then flash infusions afterward.

I’m immediately surprised by the very complex aroma of the leaves after the first infusion. There are so many bold scents: fig, licorice, spearmint, and mineral are the most evident, with a bit of roasted scent. The flavor is out of this world! There’s a strong minerality that could almost be mistaken for smokiness and a very wonderful fig-like sweet fruity flavor which outlasts the other flavors and really stays on your tongue for a long time, becoming more of a raspberry or blackberry kind of flavor. As it lingers it becomes even more delicate and sweet, reminding me of sweet cherries.

On the second steeping it tastes much more roasted and I’m getting less of the sweet flavors. I may have overbrewed it, but it still tastes good. On the third infusion, more of the sweetness is there, but mostly a mineral and roasted flavor. The sweetness is mostly in the scent. The fourth is much like the third but a little more subtle.

I almost jumped the gun on this tea and gave it a perfect 100 rating, which I don’t do often. I absolutely would have if any of the later steepings tasted like the first one, as that was one of the most incredible and complex tea tastes I’ve ever enjoyed. After that though, it seemed to mostly yield a darker and more roasted flavor with just a hint of sweetness and none of the particularly fruity flavors.

I would buy this tea though just for a chance to taste that initial steeping each time, not that the later steepings are bad! They’re just quite a shift towards a more dry, earthy flavor.

Flavors: Cherry, Fig, Mineral, Roasted

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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98

I am reviewing a sample given to me by a friend and it was listed as “Art of Tea”, but I can’t find any evidence that they sell this tea, so for now I am going to assume it is this brand and I will move my review if it is necessary later!

First thing’s first. This tea has a WONDERFUL smell and taste, very sweet and with a lightly roasted taste. I’m definitely getting something fruity, nectar-like, and like a sweet and mild floral… like orchids.

On a second steeping, the toasty flavors emerge even more, and so does the sweetness. There’s an almost berry-like fruitiness and the toasted flavor and sweetness blend exceptionally well together with it. I’m really enjoying this! It is very complex in its flavor. There’s a subtle floral and a creamy finish resulting in a lasting flavor that reminds me of soy milk or a malted milk shake.

Third steeping brings out even more of the mellow creamy, roasty, malty, subtly fruit-and-floral sweetness. I am not going to try to do it justice with words. This is just wonderful.

This is truly a comfort tea. The lightly roasted flavor is very relaxing and very well balances with the other flavors. The flavor is long-lasting and stays in your mouth for quite a while. Everything about the aroma and flavor is gentle. I really recommend this!

Flavors: Cream, Fruity, Malt, Orchid, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

haha, sorry about that, I should never label tea samples when half asleep. Comfort tea is a good description indeed, I gave you the last of my stash and will have to get more.

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70

Sleeping dragon is a good name for this tea. There is just a hint of smoke, but it is subtle and rests behind layers of sweetness on a bed of subtle vegetal flavor. The subtlety of the smokey flavor does indeed make me think of a sleeping dragon softly exhaling smoke in his sleep.

It gets little astringent if you let it cool too much, so definitely drink it warm.

Flavors: Smoke, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88

This Dian Hong sort of smells like an Earl Gray. I’m getting fruity hints similar to bergamot accompanied by warm bread and honey. The taste is a little deeper and more malty with honey and apricot notes. It’s got a nice lightness and sweetness too it, while still being rich and syrupy. The scent really is so wonderful. There’s a subtle floral quality as well.

I’m impressed. I think this tea has great depth and quality and I could drink it regularly.

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Bergamot, Honey, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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55

I’m not sure the taste of this tea is too different for me than most other Chinese greens I’ve had. It is vegetal, nutty, and mildly sweet with a bit of green bean flavor.

What does stand out to me immensely is how thick the mouthfeel is. It is very heavy and very syrupy. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I really like that. As for the flavor, however, I feel a bit non-reactive. It’s very Zen and all, but I prefer to be wowed by my teas.

Flavors: Green Beans, Nutty, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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100

This year’s Special Reserve Green Tea from Shang Tea is unlike any I’ve tried before it. While the common basic tastes and aromas that inhabited this tea in earlier years are present, creating a buttery, brothy, sweet and vegetal brew, the nuances have changed quite a bit. This year, rather than more the dark roasted seaweed tones I’ve gotten from other incarnations, there’s an incredible floral tone in the scent that reminds me of lotus. It reminded a friend of mine of anise/licorice, which I’d say is in the same aroma family, but I’d say it’s a little lighter and more floral than that, hence the lotus. The brew itself is as buttery, rich and umami as any other year, but there’s a note that reminds me quite a bit of broccoli and the subtle lotus tones also inhabit the flavor.

I absolutely love this tea. Special Reserve Green from Shang Tea has been my #1 favorite tea for a while. As such, I’ve fiddled with many ways of brewing it, ranging from gongfu to western. This time around I brewed about 2.5g for 45 seconds for the first gongfu infusion in a 100ml gaiwan, 30 seconds for the next, then add about 15 seconds each later infusion. The water temperature is 185F/85C. This green tea takes well to a warmer temperature than you’d brew most others. It brings out some more zesty notes without making it bitter.

Man, I can’t get enough of this.

Flavors: Broccoli, Flowers, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95

This Tie Guan Yin is the best one I’ve had yet. I will not go into much detail as I think Yezi Tea’s description of it is perfect. To summarize, it is very sweet and vegetal with light floral notes of orchid and a bit of a resinous camphor note. It has undertones of caramel and honey. Very sweet and rich oolong, love it!

Flavors: Camphor, Caramel, Honey, Orchid, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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Bio

I’m a dedicated student and practitioner of Gongfu Cha and you can almost always find me brewing my tea in a gaiwan. I tend to stick to straight teas and scented teas rather than flavored tea blends with lots of non-tea ingredients. I dabble in tisanes and blends from time to time though.

To me, tea offers a time of peace and reflection in solitude, or sharing and enjoyment with friends. It has become a huge part of my life lately.

Aside from tea, I’m a novelist and creator of all types. I love to cook, create music, write, draw, decorate, and do just about anything creative I can get my paws on. I’m a sandwich and sushi chef and an aspiring beverage artist.

I am really interested in Asian cultures and have a much deeper interest than my shameless love for anime and Japanese video games.

I’m a friend to animals of all kinds. I couldn’t live in a world without animals. Conserving and respecting them is very important to me.

But I am mostly here on Steepster to talk tea! Let’s enjoy the world of tea together!

Location

Kansas City, USA

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