75 Tasting Notes
I’m gonna keep this quick, as fruit flavored teas are not my thing:
Incredibly delicious coconut smell. The taste pairs wonderfully with the light floral of the pouchong. It’s really surprsing how well the two pair as I was sort of expecting the very strong coconut smell to overpower the tea. It leaves a really dry feeling in the mouth and throat after 5 infusions or so gongfu style. Otherwise, really nice light flavor with a generous amount of coconut that surprisingly seems like just the right amount.
Flavors: Coconut, Flowers
This green tea is really interesting! At first the appearance of these dainty little curls reminded me of Bi Luo Chun, and after steeping it, I can say it continues to remind me of that tea in many ways. The first infusion has a very pleasant flavor with notes of green bean, artichoke, and a mellow sweetness… no bitterness at all here. There’s also hints of fresh mint or clove that actually leave a recurring coolness on the tongue. These become more obvious as the liquor cools down. The leaves themselves smell like green beans. The second steeping is a little less sweet. The third infusion is overall more mellow and more sweet than the second. There’s just a hint of dryness at the end, but only by the third infusion.
This tea seems to have a lot of lower reviews than I expected. Make sure when you brew this tea you don’t exceed 80C/176F water temperature or it will become bitter. As for amount and time, I used 2 grames per 100ml in a gaiwan and brewed for 1 minute, adding 15 seconds to each additional infusion. Brewing with the lid off will really help keep this delicate tea from overheating and tasting poor. Really, you probably shouldn’t exceed 1 minute regardless of whether you are brewing this gongfu style or western style. This tea has a lot to offer in a light infusion.
Flavors: Cloves, Green Beans, Honey
Roasty and nutty with hints of baked sweet bread and caramel. This houjicha is rather mild, smooth and agreeable. The empty teacup after drinking smells like waldorf salad (weird, I know, but that’s what comes to mind, and I like it), while the brewed leaves smell like nori. My first experience with houjicha (a different brand) was kind of terrible, ended up tasting like coffee, despite having followed the brewing instructions that came with it. I have done a little research and honed my skill for brewing it this time around and I find that this produces quite a nice tea.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Nuts, Roasted Barley
This tea is wonderful! It’s very green and vegetal tasting, yet very light, with an almost clear liquor. It is also incredibly sweet for a green tea, and has a creamy, velvety mouthfeel. There’s a very light aftertaste of orange if you smack your tongue.
By the second steeping there is a more distinct vegetal flavor, taking on the flavor of green beans. The sweetness is still very rich. There is absolutely no astringency or dryness to this tea. It is ever so slightly nutty. The third steeping is similar to the second, but with less sweetness and more nutty and vegetal flavor.
Cool stuff, definitely on par for one of China’s 10 famous teas.
Flavors: Green Beans, Honey, Nuts
There’s a nice juicy onset of grape on the tongue at first taste, which is underscored by a peppery quality and faint notes of cardamom. There are even some slight notes of melon. The finish is lightly astringent but wet feeling, not dry, which is pleasant.
There’s not a lot I can say about this except that it was a pleasantly surprising Darjeeling. I don’t profess to really be a huge seeker of black teas, so I usually go in thinking “I need warmth and caffeine.” When the flavor accompanying the brew is more complex than I expect, I’m charmed. This is nice. Not my cup of tea, but nice.
Flavors: Grapes, Melon, Peppercorn
This is the best lavender tea I’ve had! Really wonderful. The lavender pairs so well with the sencha, giving it this rich, brothy vegetal undertone that is still quite light and pairs so well with the gentle lavender floral notes that leave a minty tingle on your tongue. There are slight citrus notes as well and a bit of honey sweetness. I got a sample of this from a friend, and decided to drink it on a night I was feeling really restless and in need of some calming of the nerves. This really helped. I will definitely be getting more of this tea someday.
Flavors: Flowers, Grass, Lemon Zest
I do not give out the perfect 100 score readily. This tea has earned it.
I got this tea as a free sample from Berylleb, who is a wonderful eBay seller. I was hooked and have had to come back for more on numerous occasions! This tea is unique! It’s a Jin Xuan cultivar grown on Mt. Dong Ding, so you get that creamy milky flavor of Jin Xuan with some of the fruity flavors of a Dong Ding, likely from the terroir of Mt. Dong Ding.
This tea pulls you in with its enticing peaches and cream aroma. There are generous helpings of cream and fruit flavor throughout every steeping of this tea. In later steepings some subtle floral tones enter the scene. This tea is so creamy, light, smooth, fruity, buttery… and did I mention creamy? I have not had a milk oolong with as creamy of a flavor as this one. There are times I think I’m drinking a melted milkshake, it’s so wonderful. It’s like peache pie a la mode! And this tea is organic and unflavored, to boot! Wow!
I highly recommend this tea to anyone who likes light and sweet oolong. It is a favorite I constantly come back to and one of the teas I often use to introduce my friends to the world of Gongfu Cha and loose leaf teas. Everyone loves it and requests me to make it for them again!
For the perfect steeping, use 4.5g per 100 ml and steep for 45 seconds at 194F/90C. Add 15 seconds to each repeated infusion. After the fourth, start adding 30 seconds. You’ll get consistently milky and light steeps out of it this way and avoid the bitterness and overt floral that can escape from this tea if you don’t handle it properly.
Flavors: Cream, Flowers, Peach, Vanilla
This oolong has a light floral scent and the flavor is green, vegetal, slightly salty/tangy and floral.
I feel some difficulty in picking out specific notes, but the overall taste is rich while still remaining light. It’s a got a nice buttery green feel to it with just a hint of floral. Relaxing without being too heady. It has a Tie Guanyin feel to it but a little less green and more floral and light.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Grass
Let’s be honest, I LOVE oolong, and oolong like this Li Li Xiang is exactly why.
The initial aroma of the dry leaves is sweet and peachy with hints of vanilla and floral. The wet leaves smell of dessert with just such aromas. I used this funky little travel gaiwan I recently got on a whim. The appeal of this piece is that it requires no additional equipment and not really a gongfu table or mat either. It has a little dam built over the inner lip on one side with holes poked into it to hold the leaves back while the water pours through them and off the spout on the other side. The lid of the gaiwan is the cup you drink from and holds all the tea at once so you don’t have to worry about oversteeping. You do, however have to start pouring about 10-15 seconds before your infusion is over or you might oversteep. It takes a bit of time to strain the water through the leaves.
This is my first time really using this gaiwan, but it worked wonderfully for this tea. The first infusion smells floral and fruity and the taste is of vanilla, floral and peach or apricot. Lots and lots of hui gan (recurring cooling sensation).
Steeping number two has a more heady floral flavor with a bit of tanginess and undertones of apricot or peach and seriously, that hui gan is immense! It really lingers in your mouth.
The flavor profile or this oolong is really reminding me of the Shan Lin Xi that came out in an earlier month this year in Steepster Select, though where they differ is that this one seems a bit more fruity where the Shan Lin Xi is more foresty and floral. They both offer a surprisingly bright and light bouquet that is very spring-like. The fruity and creamy tones make me recall a Jin Xuan that I have that’s grown on Mt. Dong Ding.
Really this is a wonderful tea that seems to cover a middle ground between some of my favorite oolong. I really recommend it!
Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Flowers, Peach, Vanilla
The pearls are elegant and have notes of caramel lingering in them from the start. There is a sweet and slightly floral grassy aroma and a hint of fruit and nectar.
My first steeping was only for 45 seconds in a gaiwan. I always enjoy doing a brief first infusion for white teas and seeing the almost colorless, slightly golden liquid that comes out into the cha hai. It almost looks like regular water but with a mysterious golden glow, and yields a full but delicate flavor. This is where you’ll catch most white teas’ sugary and honey notes without them being overshadowed by the earthier, grassier qualities. This infusion is smooth and subtle, a bit of sweet grass and floral notes. I’m reminded a bit of Ya Bao.
The second infusion was a beautiful pale gold. The leaves have opened up a lot more and offer heady tropical fruit and flower aromas. The liquor smells of cream. The taste is buttery and creamy, lightly floral, ending in cut wood notes.
The third brew is very buttery, the scent and flavor both have notes of caramel and cream. The woodiness and grassiness from before are mostly gone. The leaves have fully opened up now and the brew is a medium gold.
Whoa!!! By the fourth steeping this tea has become very salty and buttery but still sweet. Reminds me of kettle corn! I wasn’t expecting that salty quality to come out of these leaves so late in the process! This is really great! There’s a slight dryness at the end with just a hint of tannin, nothing too serious, also a very light floral lingering note.
On the fifth steeping the overall impression is lightly floral and sweet, but the flavor seems to be waning quite a bit, so I’ll stop here.
Overall, this tea brings a lot of changes from one steeping to the next for a white tea. Perhaps because the leaves are rolled this allows different aspects of the flavor to emerge as the leaves slowly unfurl from one steeping to the next. I really enjoyed this white tea and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a lightly sweet, yet grassy and woody tea with just a hint of floral. Overall the flavor is quite smooth and creamy, gloriously buttery, and easy on the palate. Give it a try!
Flavors: Caramel, Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Grass, Wood