Aroma Tea Shop
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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea is delicious. It is definitely less smokey than the one other lapsang souchong I’ve had. That other lapsang souchong (which was Harney & Sons) was very smokey and had a strong piney taste as well. I enjoyed that cup at the Indian Road Cafe in Inwood, NYC. Gosh, I miss home!
Anyway, I can’t wait to compare this one to the “subtle roast” zheng shan xiao zhong that came in the Verdant Tea January reserve club shipment. I think I may also dedicate one of my “too big” yixing teapots to this kind of tea, as it’s not very expensive and would be good for serving larger groups of people.
They keep this one under the table, so you either have to know about it, or they have to offer it to you. I totally fell for the gimmick of this and decided to buy an ounce. It did turn out to be a very nice tea. The florals were well balanced with other flavors and there was a nice buttery taste to it. I’m still a new tea drinker (at least when it comes to anything besides English and Irish black tea blends), and I haven’t had many other spring Tieguanyins. I’ll have to try this alongside a couple of others soon.
I had this last night. I brewed it Western style, but I can’t remember the exact specifications. It brewed a good pot of tea, despite the fact that this one is really best using gong fu brewing. I was so tired last night that I didn’t finish it, but it’s still nice this morning. I may keep some of this before sending the rest off to greenteafairy.
Flavors: Honey, Orchids, Stonefruits
What a wonderful way to start my morning. This is my current favorite mi lan xiang oolong. This tea has just the right amount of astringency, and tolerates multiple steepings without getting bitter. The best part of this tea is the finish which lingers on and on, sometimes for hours after.
This is a great comfort tea. It will always be a staple in my cupboard because I haven’t found anything that goes as well with Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups or homemade dark chocolate covered macadamia nuts (what I’m munching on today). It is a dark-roasted oolong whose aroma reminds me of coffee, stone fruit, and nuts. Great for a relaxing Sunday.
Recently I went to the Aroma Tea Shop when they had their Living Social deal – I got a xiying teapot as well as this delightful oolong.
I haven’t been buying too many green oolongs lately; at one point I had way too many so I’ve been trying to cut down a bit on my purchasing.
I decided to treat myself to some of this today. When I had gone to the ship I was told it was a new fresh arrival. Steeped using gaiwan method for 30 seconds.
Steeps 1 & 2 (I often drink them together): this just smells so lovely, fresh and aromatic like a garden. The flavor is slightly buttery with a floral element and has a slight sweetness in the finish, what a treat. A nice gardenia aroma is coming from the wet leaves. This is simply divine.
Steeps 3 & 4 now I am picking up on the sugar cane element with a touch of fruitiness that reminds me of pineapple and pear. Still very rich with a lovely butteriness. Great for a relaxing afternoon tea tasting.
I am going to the Washington DC area for a trip starting tomorrow, if anyone knows of a tea place I should check out keep me posted!
I know I still have a bunch of teas in my cupboard for which I need to do tasting notes, but I wanted to do a quick note about osmanthus flowers. I love, love, adding them to all sorts of teas to add a floral note, or perk up a fading third infusion. While I’m not particularly a fan of straight osmanthus tea (6/10), the fun things it can do to a blend make it an 8/10. I’ve had great success with a Darjeeling black tea, a sencha green tea, and even with mint. The flavor is bright and soft at the same time, and I like the floral flavor more in osmanthus than I do in jasmine. Anyone else use osmanthus?
Aroma – Charcoal Roasted Dong Ding. Loose leaf. Appearance: wrinkled dark brown rolled leaves when dry. When steeped the leaves unroll and are still dark and wrinkled. Liquor: nutty brown, with very minimal sedimentation. Smell: soft, roasted smell. Taste: roasted oolongs may be my favorite anytime teas, and this is a really nice one. The taste is smooth, with a soft mouthfeel, roasted flavor with cherry notes. It handles multiple infusions, and multiple steeping times really well. Low astringency. Caramel aftertaste. Just delightful for drinking throughout the day. 9/10
I picked up a Keemun (black) tea recently for a friend who prefers black tea, and got some for myself. It particularly works in small batches, as in a gaiwan. Appearance: curled black leaves (broken) with golden tips. The black and gold contrast is visually appealing. Liquor: caramel brown. Smell: smoky and caramel. Taste: as with the smell, the tea has smooth, caramel notes, with smoky undertones. It is less bright than other black teas, but sometimes that’s what I’m in the mood for. It works wells on its own, but sugar can work. It is sensitive to oversteeping (primarily why I tried the sugar after a batch I oversteeped). I’m a fan of the complexity of the second infusion. 7/10 (because of the second infusion, also because it works well with my set up at work).
Appearance: the leaves are a dark brown with an almost purple hue. Liquor: rich amber. Smell: warm, roasted, with floral accents. Taste: this tea is amazing because it handles multiple infusions really, really well. I can seriously get six good infusions out of this tea, and each one has different aspects. It starts out smoky but floral, and then deepens into a rich, subtly sweet, caramel flavor. A brief infusion leads to a lighter flavor, and a longer infusion leads to a deeper one. I like being able to vary my steeping times over the course of the multiple infusions because it lets me get different things out of the same tea. While debating whether to give this a 9 or a 10, the versatility persuaded me to give this tea a full 10/10.
Aroma – Chinese Ginger (black). Loose leaf. Appearance: leaves are smaller, black, tightly wound when dry, and approximately 0.25 inch (average) when steeped. Liquour: very dark brown, almost caramel. Smell: distinct, strong ginger. Smells like Chinese restaurant tea. Taste: balanced mature ginger and black tea notes. By mature I mean that the ginger is more of a ginger syrup than a fresh ginger flavor. Mildly astringent. Decent without sugar. Sugar substantially improves the flavor by bringing out the ginger notes (be careful not to overdo sugar). 6/10
I enjoy this oolong a lot. It’s light, and grassy and green. I can steep a yixing pot of a teaspoon or 2 for several times over, while still keeping a flavorful cup. For the first cup, I tend to steep for 45sec-1:00, sometimes going shorter in the first few cups. Then, once the leaves have fully opened and I’ve gotten some peak cups out of it, I’ll start brewing for longer. Sometimes up to 3:00. It’s a very strong oolong, keeping it’s smoothness without ever getting offensively strong. Having this around in my tea cupboard makes me very happy as it’s a rare treat!
So glorious. The first Silk/Milk Oolong I tried was from Red Blossom and they stopped carrying it a while back. While I was sad about that, I found out that the awesome Aroma Tea Shop sells a similar style of Oolong which is even better. This one is very smooth and buttery. You can re-steep this several times, the packaging says 3 or 4 infusions should be good. It’s really excellent and very much worth spending a little extra to get some of this for yourself. Excellent!
A nice Oolong that has a sweet floral fragrance. It’s got a nice flavor, a little grass and smoke and a sweet floral taste that’s a part of the tea, not added. The floral aroma comes right out, takes a back seat to other flavors, and returns for an even richer aftertaste.
A sip down, Finally!
I checked my notes on this tea and I first purchased it over 3 years ago so it’s good that I’m finally done with it now. It’s a good tea, I just don’t drink a lot of oolongs lately. I drank some yesterday and then cold brewed the remainder, which I am having today. It’s especially good with a little bit of coconut sugar. I’m not sure I will buy anymore oolongs for a while as I seem to be so into black and green teas lately…
A short foray into the Aroma Tea Shop this afternoon which is in San Francisco’s Richmond District. A very unpretentious little store. The Owner is quite nice and humorous and offers free tea tastings. I probably tried about 10 different teas before I ended up taking this one (the Milk oolong was also quite good).
So the Eastern beauty or Oriental Beauty is known as the champagne of oolongs. There is a good reason for this comparison. I am not an expert by any means on this tea, but I found this to be slightly sweet with a faint plummy/nectarine base and light minerality. I don’t get “malt” at all here, I’m reminded a bit more of honey. Not bitter or astringent in any way. Really hit its stride for me after the first steeping. This will be a very forgiving oolong you don’t have to worry too much about oversteeping. I will also have to try cold brewing this as I am sure it will make a fantastic iced tea. I need to experiment a bit with my ideal tea/water ratio. The rating will most likely go up if I get that figured out.