Asha Tea House

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Recent Tasting Notes


I brewed a cup of this last night, when I should have been going to bed. I was falling asleep while trying to drink it (and catch up on my self-imposed summer studies). caffeine does not help.

I didn’t get to finish the cup because I finally gave in and went to bed, but I remember that it was tasty. Not overly fruity, malty or sweet, just a very well balanced cup of black tea. I’ll have to try it again when I am more awake. I have enough for a couple more cups, courtesy of Amy oh.

Terri HarpLady

So what are you studying? :)


Much more than I can handle or have the discipline to keep up with. Lol.

Piano (I don’t have lessons over the summer and I tend to get lazy about practice), German review (I have three upper division classes that will be taught in German next semester, I need to be prepared!), GRE prep, Japanese (will be my minor language for Comparative Lit), Latin review (don’t have room for another Latin class next semester and don’t want to get rusty before grad school).
Terri HarpLady

Wow!! That’s a pretty impressive roster, really!
I continue to be a self-taught student of Jazz, no matter how many years I play, there will always be more to learn.
Also a student of my garden, same as Jazz, I can always develop a deeper understanding through experimentation.
Someday I’d like to learn Portuguese, for no real reason except I love the way it sounds & I’d love to be able to sing in that lingo, it sounds so sexy, haha!

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Nice tea and definetely a good buy.

I got a sample of this tea then actually bought some. It is sweet, but not as sweet as some, and I decided to roast it a bit longer in the over after trying it a few times and noticing it wasnt as roasted as I liked. I may have not given it the best roast, but it defintely was more to my liking after.

It was nice, vegetavive and a bit floral.

Try it, I think you will like it.

Ps- Longer brews are better for this tea, not too hot

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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Sipdown, 187. Yes, I stealth-sipdowned a bunch of teas by removing ones I am sending in a swap. This sample comes to me thanks once again to Ellen!

When I first brewed this and smell primarily the wet leaves my first thought was that this was going to be on of those very buttered vegetal jin xuans. Fortunately it’s not too buttered spinach (though I bet it would get that way if you steeped it too long), but light and more balanced with a few florals as well.

I do like the designation of this tea as “Golden Lily” (I believe the actual translation) instead of Milk Oolong for a Jin Xuan, because many aren’t particularly milky and if you call them milk oolong people just get disappointed. And by people I mean me. :P It’s really more about the texture than the flavor… very smooth, almost buttery-creamy texture, but not much milky flavor. Anyway, I think this is a very nice jin xuan. I was honestly expecting to be more bored with it, as I typically am with Taiwanese green oolongs, but I am very much enjoy my cup.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Yeah you’re not going to find anything like ATR’s milk oolong that’s natural =P


Yeah, associating that TGY with milk oolong certainly skewed my reference frame, and now Jin Xuans just aren’t milky like I expect. Not even the “Quangzhou” Milk Oolongs that you see everywhere are really that milky to me.

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Sipdown, 196. Thanks to Ellen again for this sample!

I tried this tea at Asha’s location in Berkeley but perhaps under suboptimal steeping conditions. It was good but they had a 2oz minimum for tea purchases and I didn’t feel like investing at the time. It’s always nice to try teas under your own control, how you would “usually” steep things. So I requested a sample from Ellen to give it a second shot.

The tea smells oh so floral and a little sweet even. The taste is pretty vegetal but also floral and fresh. It once again reminds me that I enjoy alishans but am not enthralled by them, and that’s just fine. This is quite a good one, though.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Backlog from last night. I stopped by Asha last night after dinner to have a gaiwan service of this one. I have wanted to try it but never got around to ordering or swapping for it. I like Alishans ok, but I’ve never been wild over them. This one got such great reviews I wanted to try it.

At Asha I did get a tea tray and cup with my gaiwan so that I could decant into it. I also got a pot of water, but it was really only enough for a rinse and two steeps. As it was already getting late I didn’t get another pot… also I was there alone and I didn’t want to leave my stuff to go up to the counter and a refill. I have to say that it’s been a while since I used a gaiwan and I kind of miss it. There is something about it that I really like. Guess I should look into getting one.

They only gave me a relatively small amount of leaf for this one, maybe a couple of grams. Less than I would have typically used, and pretty skimpy for charging $7 for the tea service. She informed me that the steep time should be 1 minute, which I guess it would need to be with that little leaf. It was kind of like steeping western style in a gaiwan. I rinsed it, and this rinse was definitely mostly flavorless as opposed to my typical rinses.

This tea was almost impossibly floral. It seemed almost like an orchid oolong, it’s that intense. To me, it smelled so lovely and buttery and delicious. In the taste I mostly got florals and fresh vegetal greenness, without much butteriness or creaminess. But that is what I would expect from an Alishan, and this one is quite impressive. By the second steep the leaves had opened up, filling the gaiwan about half-way. Still light and green and floral. A lovely tea, for sure.

1 min, 0 sec

I need to use mine more. but my tea calluses are gone and it burns! lol


Ali Shan oolongs are a favorite of mine…love the clean, buttery, orchid notes


Tea calluses. Awesome.


heh, I miss them!!

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One of my faves. I like a lot of milk with my tea and I love that this one is strong enough to hold up to that well.


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This is still the best Taiwan oolong I’ve ever tried, and I’ve had quite a few ;) I just love the smell of this when opening the bag! So fresh!

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