Popular Teas from Allison TsuiSee All 3 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Beware the spicy salad! Holy smokes, dad! Your hot peppers are strong this year! whew! Now I wish I had a cup of iced tea instead of this tasty cup of hot tea. :( Luckily I had a cup of this before eating my dinner. I don’t think I could taste anything other than burning right now. :)
First of all, thank you Allison Tsui, for sharing this wonderful sample with me. It’s a tasty Oriental Beauty. The smell of the dry leaves had me expecting great things. It was roasty and fruity and yummy smelling. The dry leaf looks great too. I love the varied shapes and colors. Dark brown, rust red, fuzzy white. Lovely.
My first sip of this left an impression of wet cardboard with an underlying flavor of plum and honey. This sounds bad, but it’s really not. Upon further sipping, I’m also finding flavors of toasty autumn, like with many dark oolongs. A very tasty tea.
On a side note, I’ve been trying to drink my stash down so I have had no new notes of late. I also find myself constantly wanting a black tea. I need to order some because I seriously have none. Stash depleting time is seriously the worst time to discover a whole new love for a whole new tea. I need more tea parties.
Had a weekend with my friends this past weekend. Made many pots of tea in hopes of conversion. They are still addicted to coffee, and sadly non-reactive to my favorite oolong. They liked 52 Tea’s Neapolitan Honeybush though! I’m all out of that now. ah wells. They’ll never get me to drink coffee and beer so we are even. :)
The last of the samples from allisontsui and unfortunately this one’s crushed too :( There are maybe a dozen discernible rolled leaves, stems and the rest dust. After rinsing and discarding some of the thin mush I wasn’t left with much material to brew with so I did a slightly longer steep than usual (for me) though not long enough to allow the fine bits of leaf to turn bitter.
It’s actually a very nice oolong. It feels very cool and marine like, not fishy or salty mind you, but like cool ocean air making its way through a dark evergreen forest. And theres a nice lingering cool and creamy aftertaste. Very pleasant indeed.
After some fun experimenting with hazelnut this morning I was in the mood for a straight tea, though nothing too light so I opted for this over Ali Shan. Unfortunately like the Dong Ding this one was crushed in the mail, this one possibly in both it’s journey from Canada and from Taiwan as Allison mentioned something about the Oriental Beauty when I asked about the leaves in the Dong Ding. Makes me sad to see tea bag sized shreds in a loose leaf sample pouch, but it is what it is.
That being said I didn’t have high hopes, but this one surprised me, it was pretty pleasant cup and I was able to get a good second steep out of it. It had nice cool camphor notes in addition to the champagne and leather notes. It actually reminded me of what I first came to love about Oriental Beauty, was only missing butteryness. My only issue was all the floaty bits that weren’t caught by my mesh strainer that got astringent. But overall it was actually less dry and sour than some lose leaf Oriental Beauties I’ve had. I’m sure this is amazing when in whole leaf form. Thank you allisontsui for your generosity.
Okay I’m moving my tasting note over to the page Mercuryhime created to be more concise and deleting my old tasting note from 12 days ago. So sorry for the repost on your feed.
First a huge thank you to allisontsui for her generosity and hospitality in sharing three teas from Taiwan with several Formosa lovers on Steepster! This package arrived a couple days after I had gotten my samples from Nuvola and I had already brewed their delicious Dong Ding (review coming soon) so I opened this one first. Unfortunately I could tell just from feeling the 5 gram packet that the leaves were crushed. There were maybe half a dozen whole to partial pearls and quite a bit of dust, so sad it seems to have suffered the damage on its journey.
Still I treated the leaves with respect and brewed them gongfu being sure to put a fine mesh strainer over my cup, but even this let quite a bit of sediment through. Still the first cup was quite nice, it had somewhere between a woody to floral aroma, it was less charcoal and mineral than the orchid oolong I had been drinking earlier that day, but still had a nice light roast to it with some greener notes. Floral is what stood out to me the most, thought it wasn’t like a scented or intentionally floral blend, just very pleasant and soothing.
Unfortunately this first infusion was the only one worth drinking. It pains me to write this since the tea was given so generously, but try as I could to reinfuse this, no amount of temperature lowering or time adjusting could save these leaves from turning astringent. By the third infusion it was unpalatable and I had to pour it out :( Dong Ding/Tung Ting is a tea that in my limited experience (recent order from Nuvola, sample from Fong Mong and a wonderful yixing session at Essencha Tea House) has been a very unique, generous and forgiving tea.
I cannot speak to the quality of this tea before it was shipped, but I would urge everyone who swaps tea to package in a padded envelope or box where applicable as this one was rendered to bag quality. I will be trying the other samples this week and sending Allison some of my Dong Ding from Nuvola as well. I am glad I got one good cup out of this though.
I had this yesterday, but I think I used way too little leaf. I’ll have to do better next time before I rate this. I can’t really detect much of interest from these leaves, actually, but I’m hoping to be proved wrong next time I try this. The pouches were no doubt meant to be used all at once. I did discover one useful thing though. I have a bamboo lid that also acts as a stand for my strainer in between steeps. Last week, I had a really spicy chai and the spicy flavor soaked right into the porous bamboo. My second steep of this tea was quite cinnamon-y. At first I was impressed that this oolong could have such a natural cinnamon flavor. But I was suspicious because I did not taste spice of any sort in the first brewing. Then I made the connection. The wet steeper basket had spent a good hour or more soaking up the chai flavor from my bamboo lid. argh! How do I get the spicy flavor out! I need a stainless steel lid. :( On the plus side, cinnamon oolong is tasty!
Thanks for your generous sample Allison!
So I got a couple of sample packs of oolong from the generous Allison Tsui. Unfortunately, I don’t know if there’s a particular brand name or even what farm it may have come from. All I know is that it’s from Taiwan, so we’ll just say it’s the Allison Tsui brand unless she tells me otherwise. :)
This is a really tasty Dong Ding. I remember the first few times I tried dong ding oolongs I was disappointed it was more of a roasted flavor since I preferred green fresh tasting oolongs. However, my tastebuds have grown to appreciate darker more roasted flavors, and as a result, I actually really liked this tea. The first thing I noticed about this tea is the autumnal roasty toasty flavor. Then on the swallow, I’m surprised by the sweet fruitiness that hits the middle of my tongue. That sip was gone too fast for me to really get the flavor down. I held onto the next sip a little longer and tasted that fruitiness again. It was like the juicy sweet flesh of red globe grapes. And peachiness. Mmm, tasty. I really enjoyed this one!
I was also able to steep this tea about 4 times, western style throughout my work day. I probably could have gone more, but it was time to go home. :) Tasty and economical! Thanks Allison!