This oolong comes by way of my Bosses who recently toured the tea gardens of Hawaii. The leaves look like a a cross between mao cha and a lazily rolled oolong. Wet leaf aroma smells like a medium roasted Tie Guan Yin and brews a light amber similar to a Bai Hao oolong. After the first infusion, the roasty qualities fall off completely and leave the more floral notes I would expect from some high mountain (volcano) teas. The body of the tea I would describe as being more similar to a Bai Mu Dan than anything else. The flavors are smooth and a little dry, although not as dry as the other hawaiian teas I tasted (maybe it’s my water?) there’s hints of butter and a bit of oats or maybe a barley like taste. Interesting to say the least, I’m about to post a more detailed version of this tasting on my blog with some pictures added.
106 Tasting Notes
Revisiting this TGY from 2011’s harvest. This roast is subtle but enough to come through on the finish. Some of the more floral flavors have mellowed in it’s almost two years since harvest. A nice night cap of something different than my usual Wuyi oolong.
This tea is the mellower sibling to the Grand Golden Needle. The flavors are still quite good but a little bit smoother and rounder. The Cocoa nib flavor is more present than the maltiness I find in Dian Hong usually.
The infusion is a classic deep red and the aroma has that sweet, dry and even a little bit floral aroma that takes me right back to the fields and factories where this tea was made!
I have never had a Puer from this mountain before so I was curious to see how it compared to Yiwu or Banzhang.
I enjoy the initial flavors, nectarine and some yellow squashiness. The finish is clean and sweet, not too dry but just woody enough that I have a nice full mouth feel for 10-15 infusions. I can see this being great in 5 more years.
This tippy tea was a wonderful discovery. Made from the Liu An plant and harvested at the same time to create two different teas!
The brew is grassy and sweet. Liu An plants produces some of the smoothest creamiest brews I’ve ever consumed.
Mild in each brew, but surprisingly durable and forgiving. 8 great cups and my palate is filled with asparagus and a little bit of honeydew.
I got a 25gr sample if this tea to see if I wanted more. I was warned that 90% of the people didn’t like it and the 10% that did were mostly Russian customers. Something in my Russian heritage must have come alive because this is a wonderful find.
The aroma is quite strong, pungent and a little smoky. The fist infusion was little light but the flavors were noticeable enough to pick out some hints of what was to come. The second infusion was fantastic, like a hickory smoked meat or cheese but without the saltiness.
You can really taste the age of the tea, the woodiness has a little more kick to it. There isn’t much if any fruity notes that I have found in Shengs even as old as 2003 so I think that speaks to the wet storage speeding up the aging, creating the darker, richer brews. The liquor was a deep orange, Grade B Honey hue.
I’m 10 infusions in and not going to quit any time soon. This has high potential for my Puer class menu!
I bought this tea from a villager at the base of a 3200 year old tea tree. The leaves are nice a big, wiry and full of mango and dried apricot flavor. I’ve been drinking this tea a fair amount, and I’ve been impressed with it each time. Every new brew tells a different story of Yunnan.
The aroma of wet leaves is that of asparagus being cooked in a small amount of butter. The flavors are grassy but not in the same way a Japanese green is, they still have a pan fired toastiness.
The leaves are small and delicate, some quite fuzzy, while others are rather plain looking. interesting to note that while most bushes we saw in China looked like they were in active harvest, the bushes on Putuoshan looked somewhat neglected.
When I first bought this tea I was so blown away that I bought 5 more tuos.
Since my initial tasting, the flavors have changed slightly. The intense woodiness with peachy undertones has shifted to a more straw-like mouthfeel and only a slight green-grape aftertaste.
something else I noticed about this tea is how tightly it’s wrapped. Unfortunately, the tightness makes it hard to keep leaves intact. I’m not sure how much the flavors would be different but it means the leaves are broken and ugly :(
This tea has been watching me drink countless other teas during the past few months since I had it last. This time I think the roast and the fruity notes have grown while the sweetness has faded. Most of the time the sweetness in Dan Congs will linger and the fruitiness or the roast will fade.
While the overall flavors are still quite good, it is not quite what it once was. I’ll revisit this again in a few months to see what else changes. It’s worth noting that I have been storing it in the ziplocked package it came in from Ming Tao Xuan which I put in another airtight tin.
For the Cha Xi, I used my Phoenix pot which even with its thicker walls brews a fantastic floral and lively infusion every time. The pot pours quickly and smoothly.
Bai Yun is an interesting tea to say the least. This Taiwanese style oolong using Yunnan leaves is exactly the flavor hybrid its name suggests. The translation is ‘white cloud’, although the flavors are far more robust and complex than “fluffy”
I had the pleasure of trying some 2012 Bai Yun in Fengqing although the tea I am drinking now is from Norbu tea. The fresh version was brighter and sweeter with a strong but quick finish, the aroma was also more “tobacco-ed” The 2009 harvest from Norbu is smoother and has a stronger malted body. The ‘09 also has a slight bit more of a menthol undertone similar to Sun Moon Lake #18.
Compared to a tradtional Bai Hao oolong, the Bai Yun leaves are darker, implying higher roast/oxidation level. This could also be attributed to the difference in amount of leaf-hoppers munching on the leaves to potentially create more dark leaves as opposed to the processing alone.
The wet leaves are similar looking to Dian Hong, the milk chocolate/caramel complexion with some whiter tips throughout. The flavor has that sometimes impossible to describe but easy to distinguish Yunnan characteristic. It has a dry and sweet blend (similiar to the april climate in Yunnan) The tea also has that rich honeyed body with some nice lower, back of the tongue notes that I come to expect from a Bai Hao.
Of the cross-bred teas we tried in China, this tea is the one that stands out as special. The Hong Bi Luo was more of a novelty as well as the Sheng/shou blends.
Many teas have come out of blending China leaves with processing methods from other countries, this could be the start of something wonderful, more Chinese Oolongs!
A side note: As my Bai Hao pot takes on more flavors, I enjoy each tea I brew even more than the last. Although I’ve only used it 7 or 8 times, it has already developed a beautiful patina!
On my recent, 5-week trip to China, I tasted countless sheng and shou Puers. I have some good ones, some not so good and a few fantastic teas that I needed to buy.
This bing was easily my favorite tea of the whole trip. We were at the largest tea market in Kunming when we found the Six Famous Tea Mountains shop. We told the owner we worked in an american tea house(her mother has written many books about this history of the company btw) We tried 4 or 5 teas with her and this tea was the standout.
The appearance of the leaves has shifted from a vibrant green to an autumn yellow in its young 7 years.
The bing comes apart easily but with a small amount of force needed. to keep the leaves intact, I used my hands instead of a pick.
The leaves are so long that I can’t fit them in my sheng pot without rinsing the leaves and having the moisture pull them down like noodles in a shallow pot of water.
The aroma of the wet leaves is like dry hay blended with some oak bark. The undertones of fruit come through the woodiness only slightly.
The first infusion is a rush of complex flavors of apricot, raisin, a little bit of cinnamon and a finish like a barley wine.
Each new brew was quick, even after 15 brews, I was still under 30 secs. now in my 26th or so infusion, the flavors are muted and the brew time has gone up to 3 mins just to get that much flavor out.
It will be hard for me not to drink this tea, but I want to see what these flavors do in 5-10 more years. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to find more before then?!
This is the second time I’ve had this tea and wow, I have noticed so many changes just in the aroma! The smell is like a raisin or maybe a prune, pungent but still sweet and moist.
The liquor is like a mead color almost. a little more on the orange side but still quite light (and this tea is 25 years old!) The wet leaves amplify the dried fruit aroma and add more honey and nectar notes
The first infusion only has a slight hint of its age. dry but not sticky, still enough moisture to carry the flavors through the palate.
The second Infusion comes alive with strong notes of fruit and sweetness. the leaves expand quite nicely in my aged Yixing pot, this shows the sign of good roasting!
The third infusion brought a more dry, sweetness than previous infusions. I also needed to brew this one a little bit longer so I’m sure that’s why I tasted these notes.
Infusions 4-9 were more or less the same in terms of aroma, flavor and liquor. The age of the tea, that underlying depth and history started to overtake some of the sweeter flavors during these infusions. The color remained an amber/crimson/peach nectar sort of hue.
After another infusion or two, the tea was taking 4plus minutes to really get any flavor out, and while the color remained, the temperature of the tea was luke warm at best by the time it reached its desired flavor.
When I pulled the leaves out of the pot, they were sturdy but pliable. I saved one full leaf for my tea journal.
This 2011 harvest of Da Hong Pao is fantastic. A rich, roasty brew reminiscent of fall evenings and campfire cooking.
The infusion looks like a medium amber syrup. like the color suggests, it is slightly sweet in a lightly honeyed cereal kind of way. the roast is a balanced of smokiness and sauteed butter. my tongue keeps playing the series of tastes of in my mouth even after several minutes of not having had any tea. this is the sign of a good tea.
While I generally reserve this tea for colder days (like today) a roasted tea during warmer days can feel wonderful and help with temperature regulation.
A Wonderful post-sushi tea, sweet in flavor and not too light in body. the bite from the spring leaves makes the 8th and 9th infusion a little sharp but the lingering sweetness smooths it out.
This Shou Zhuan Cha tastes like buttered noodles. a thick broth with a warm, sweet melty aroma and smooth flavor. the 3-6th infusions are the best and it seems to die after the 8th. you can get 15+ infusions if you use more leaves and just keep doing immediate infusions but i enjoy the flavors more when the leaves have some more room to expand in my yixing pot. I’ve only had 3 or 4 ripe Zhuan cha and when this one is brewed right it’s fantastic but I think the 2007 Zhao Li Qiao from Dobra is more consistent.
A crisp, sweet infusion of mango and apricot with a hint of hops. a warm sense of fulfillment as I take each sip. Not quite as good as the Song Zhong Phoenix but decidedly better than the Chi Ye from Camellia Sinensis. I would say that this is more fruity but less robust than the 2011 Feng Huang from Dobra equally as good!
This year’s Bai Hao is fantastic. the always sweet and robust infusion fills the mouth with a warm glow of flavor. i taste a little bit of cedar and a little bit of vanilla. the leaves are sprinkled with silvery tips that our little buggy friends have created. can’t wait to drink this on a Cha Xi
This brew has that freshly opened package taste without the sharpness that often comes with a newly harvested crop. the sweetness is matched by a tippy nuttiness that reminds me of lightly buttered green beans.
All the sweet milky notes of this tea have bloomed while its bright, Sharp initial flavor has mellowed. This remarkable tea is one to cherish and savor for repeated enjoyment.
This tea is a treasure in the cup and on the tongue. The velvety burnt caramel color brings a warmth to this cold fall day. The smell is a sweet, floral roast of reminiscent of Sun Moon Lake or Bai Hao with a hint of pear. The first infusion is light in body but rich in complex flavors. the first not is a warm honey flavor followed by a bright nuttiness and finishing with a crisp roasted apple pie smoothness.
This is one smooth brew! sweet and well-rounded, this puer is a velvet elixir in my mouth and in my cup. can withstand 20+ brews (although I need help from others if I try to make it past 15 on my own) there are hints of fall leaves and root veggies all topped of with a brief caramel undertone. I look forward to this tea keeping me warm through the long winter.
This is one of the most incredible teas I have ever had. The apricot notes are out of this world and yet the roast of the tea is so smooth and well rounded. each infusion was a slight variation on these flavors. I drank this tea for 5 infusions but I have no doubt that it could withstand 10-15 brews. I look forward to my next session with it which will hopefully be a cha xi with my dedicated phoenix pot.