14 Tasting Notes
This tea’s immediate intoxicating effect is stunning. The tea has a rich aroma of floral plants and sweet depths that penetrate the senses. While the tea is on the tongue it has a flowery presence that morphs into a botanic secondary taste. The taste remains after swallowing and changes, like all Oolongs of this type. The effect is one of a vigorous efflorescence in the back of the mouth. This is a truly transcendental occurrence. The fermentation process has removed any bitter sharpness that the leaves may have initially possessed leaving a sweet penetrating liquor.
This is an unusually great roasted tea from the high mountains in Taiwan. The tea is very sensitive to over steeping; timing is critical. In my opinion the optimal liquor should be faint yellowish on the brown side. The first and second pours are by far the best. Initially one can taste the roastedness bringing to mind notes such as hay, corn husk, earth, and leaves. As expected, there is also a subtle scent/taste of smoke and ash. As the tea marinates on ones’ tongue the flavor changes, becoming sweet with tenuous floral notes. You can taste the roasting transformation undergone by the leaves as their former identity begins to reveals itself. The contrast and changes are delightful. Also, despite the roastedness this tea is devoid of any acidity or bitterness which is excellent!
Flavors: Corn Husk, Earth, Roasted Barley
This tea has a soothing chamomile sweetness accented by other flowers. The blend is very nice but not terribly impressive. More exotic flowers that can compete with the chamomile would be an improvement. The tea tastes shy and comforting with a lasting presence after being swallowed. One is reminded of corn, wheat and somehow dry hay. Overall this chamomile behaves exactly as it is supposed to with few surprises.
Flavors: Corn Husk
This is a light green tea with a faint greenish-yellow liquor. The tea has a subtle floral aroma that is mixed with hints of cut grass somewhat like strolling through a rose garden. The taste of the tea is also light and pleasantly green with the usual hints of floral plants. One of this tea’s most winning characteristics is that its flavor changes as you swallow; somehow the tea tastes multidimensional. The perspicacious drinker will detect initial grassy flavors that ease into floral overtones that change depending on whether the mouth is open or not. After swallowing the tea leaves myriad aftertastes, both pleasant and perplexing. One can sip this tea multiple times with entirely different taste experiences. The tea is solid yet light, direct yet ambiguous. Exploring the depths is a truly cerebral experience.
The tea is also robust with respect to multiple brews and acquires a slight sweetness with more plant-y character as one continues.
Flavors: Flowers, Grass
This was an unimpressive tea. Although the idea is great and the official description very promising the resultant tea does not live up to the hype. The tea base is a relatively boring green tea and would not get a good rating on its own. The addition of flowers is beneficial but the orange zest somehow overpowers. Something in the tea is very bitter, likely the orange or green tea base, and the orange masks the smell of the flowers. The bitterness is preserved after swallowing. One can clearly taste plants, flowers, and orange with evocative notes of cinnamon, and bitter spices. The direct small of the tea without imbibing is not particularly great, none of the flowers come through. I think that the tea could be improved by lessening the orange and improving the quality of the green tea that is used. Although the idea of the blend is great, it is overall a disappointing product.
Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Orange Zest
The blend in this tea is a very interesting idea. I am in favor of adding flowers to Earl Grey and rose is a great candidate. Despite the excellent concept the rose present in this particular tea seems too subtle.
The tea liquor is a beautiful dark mahogany when fully steeped and the aroma is intense. The typical strong bergamot fragrance presides punctuated by the delicacies of the rose. The purely aromatic contrasts between the two are delightfully intoxicating. Despite the exciting aroma, the flavor of the tea is a quintessential Earl Grey with little rose. In my opinion the degree to which the rose accents the flavor is so overpowered by the bergamot that it is somewhat disappointing. Overall it is a nice Earl Grey and doesn’t fail to be brisk, acidic, and slightly smoky.
This tea is very subtle. The liquor produced is nearly clear and the tea reflects this. The tea is light with a slight roasted flavor, a subtle sweetness, and a remote acidity. One detects the taste of plant stems and hints of brown rice (as in Genmaicha) but no flowers. There is little aftertaste, but the tea leaves a dehydrated feeling on the tongue. Being subtle the tea is best alone, any accompanying food or additives will destroy its flavor. The tea is also robust with respect to steep times. There is no violent variation if over-steeped. Overall the humbleness of the tea is comforting and very suitable for rainy days.