2802 Tasting Notes
This is a sample I ordered from Dragon Tea House. I’ve heard some of the Tibetan flame teas can be really strong… I have a Flame tuo from 2007 that is really smoky.
The traditional way to make this tea is by boiling it and serving with yak butter and milk. I won’t be doing that but it’s actually really good plain. I am doing short steeps of it in my yixing and it’s nice and mellow. Maybe Xiaguans need to age 10 years before they are properly aged? I wonder…
It isn’t very smoky at all, I would describe the flavor as woodsy with some fruit notes like apricot. I detect a tiny bit of smoke but nothing like the tea I had the other day. Also there is no almost no bitterness whatsoever, even after steeping it for 45 – 60 seconds, pretty amazing. Mostly it is woodsy and sweet. Does anyone know if the teas made for the Tibetan market are different than other Xiaguan recipes? Because this sure seems different from the other ones I have tried.
I am adding this to my wishlist. I bet it will be even more tasty in another 10 years and the whole brick is only $19.99. I am not rating it for now but it is good.
This is a sipdown for me… finished off a little bag of the 10 teabags.
I do like this rooibos however it isn’t ginger-y ENOUGH for me! I made some as an iced tea and it is good that way, but I prefer it hot with a bit of soymilk. Anyway I shan’t miss it terribly and not sure if it will be a repurchase.
Evidently I am having a pu-erh day today. Sheng in the mid-morning and shu in the afternoon, works for me.
This is another selection from the Yunnan Sourcing dark tea of the month club. So far I am liking the club because I got to try a lot of things I would not otherwise have chosen for myself.
This brick comes in such a pretty box (see photo). I have heard that bricks are not as good as cakes but I like this one a lot. The wet leaves steeping are very aromatic and earthy. The tea itself I would describe as earthy, chocolate-y, slightly creamy with a faint whisper of woodsmoke. Normally I don’t find shus to be smoky but this seems to be a bit. Or perhaps it’s just my imagination, I don’t know.
In any case, $18 is a good deal for this 250g brick in my opinion. YS calls it “lovely” and I would agree. I also have another sample of this if anyone would like to try it (I seem to be a wash in puerh samples myself!)
Breaking out the 2007 Xiaguan flame to try it again. According to my tasting notes I got this 3 years ago (from mandala). I remember being so impressed that I went back and bought another cake. My plan for the second cake is to let it age for 20 years so I can drink the first cake in the meantime. :)
This seems to be aging ok in my closet. It seems slightly more mellow than I remember it, however it is still potent. Definitely a smoky aftertaste but sweet also. Xiaguans can be really bitter if you use boiling water and steep them for too long. I usually give mine very short steeps and use water around 200F. Doing that I get a sweetish/honey aftertaste for the most part.
I love the energy this cake gives me, and the aroma is like a smoky forest. Somehow it is meditative and energizing at the same time. This is one sheng that gets me kind of tea drunk. I think I need to get another one of these… ;)
This sample was sent to me by a Steepster friend. It is a really nice sheng, I am enjoying it this morning. For such a young tea, it is pretty mellow. It has some really great flavors, it’s lemony, sweet, melon, floral and a tiny bit of smoke. There was a small bit of bitterness in the first two steeps that has mostly gone away now that I’ve reached steep #3 and #4. Mostly it’s sweet! It’s good to have some shengs that don’t knock you over with harshness. The price is still reasonable too (today it’s $39.00 for a 400g cake).
I am tempted to buy the cake, just not sure if it would fit in my mailbox and otherwise the post office will lose it… :( Anyway I am really glad I got to try this one!
I got this sample from Mandala a while back. My tea knowledge is still growing after all this time. I thought all dancong teas were from Phoenix mountain so that’s what I was expecting, Now I see it’s from Wuyi which is also good as I like Wuyi oolongs a lot.
This got steeped up in the yixing this afternoon. It has a bit of roasty quality that reminds me of burnt sugar. For me the predominate note is fruity, peach and nectarine notes. There is a bit of minerality in the finish and it leaves a long sweet aftertaste in your mouth. I accidentally did one steep where I forgot the time and left it steeping too long, then it became sort of bitter and chalky. So.. I wouldn’t recommend doing that but 20-30 seconds seems like a good steeping time for it.
Not destined to be one of my favorite oolongs, but still a solid choice, nice every day drinking tea.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Mineral, Peach
I just got back from hanging out with my sweetie and I feel so sleeeeeepy. It’s been a rainy weekend and I just feel like doing nothing but drinking tea for the next few hours. That might be a bad idea since I already had 3 cups of coffee today but maybe I’ll switch to something green or white soon.
This is an awesome afternoon/dessert tea. One of my favs from Mariage Freres so far. I think they need to create a sampler pack. Is there one? I’ve never seen one. Anyway this is nice, the black tea base is smooth and velvety and leaves a good background for the vanilla and chocolate notes. I prefer this with a bit of sugar. Tasty stuff.
Not feeling so great today for some reason. Just woke up from a nap and it is raining, so I thought some puerh would be nice. These are mini coins about the size of a silver dollar and they have a divider down the middle, which makes them easy to split apart. I used 1/2 a coin in the yixing.
The original packaging looks like it comes in a bamboo tube, which is nice. I should have looked more carefully at the website as the 50g sample is $4.99 but the whole tube of 22 discs is only $7.99! A much better value.
I feel this is a pretty good shu for the price. It is chocolate-y and smooth and I am picking up some camphor notes. The only downside is what I feel is a slight musty smell, which isn’t readily apparent. I wonder if this is due to the bamboo? Overall it’s smooth and fairly tasty. Not the best shu I have had by a ling shot but a good every day type of tea.
I need to do something with my puerh samples soon since they are over running my kitchen!
This is another tea from Yunnan Sourcing Dark Tea of the Month… I am enjoying my club so far!
As the description says, the flavor of it is something between a black tea and an oolong. It is light bodied with a sweet and somewhat flowery base. Aroma of the tea is somewhere between floral and chocolate which is my best guess for how to describe it. The aftertaste is so sweet it seems like it’s sweetened with honey. If you’re a fan of Oriental Beauty tea you should look into it.
This is a good tea but I personally prefer black teas with a bit more heft in them… might be nice as an afternoon tea instead of a morning.
Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Honey
I have been enjoying this tea a lot in the past two days. Somehow I never “got into” dan cong oolongs like some other people have. The good ones are really wonderful though. The leaf itself smells very roasted and flowery. True to the name, the tea liquor is sweet like honey with a flowery aroma. I am breaking in a new yixing just for dan cong oolongs so I will post some pics soon.
This is nice when the steeps are kept fairly short. Some dan congs will turn bitter very quickly. So I recommend doing some experimentation as to your optimal steeping time. This is nice around 30 – 60 seconds of steeping. It works well for me as an afternoon tea.
So far I am quite pleased with all of my Yunnan Sourcing selections from Dark Tea of the Month. I have only one other dan cong oolong, so I was happy to add it to my hoard… err… collection
Flavors: Honey, Orchids