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drank Tiger Spirit by chinalife
8 tasting notes

90ml gaiwan. 5g tea. Nearly boiling water, probably mid 90’s Celsius.

The dry leaves are quite large and already fairly dark. Medium compression on the cake. Dry leaves in a damp hot gaiwan smell : a lot of high notes. A bit sharp. Strong.

One quick rinse. Smell: a little bit of smoke, top notes / sharp. Hint of roasted tobacco or paper that is just yellowed by a flame. Hint of cream, but not much. Floral too. Complex aroma. Is it possible to get a tea reaction / mild tea high to smelling alone? I feel like I have one, but I have been smelling it deeply a lot whilst I let the wet leaves rest.

Quick steep less than 10 seconds. Probably too light a steep. Dark yellow colour, a touch cloudy. Medium thickness no bitterness. Dry sensation starting on the tip and top of my tongue. Pleasant. Leaf in gaiwan smell: it really is quite complex and is now an enhanced stronger version of above. The flavour is lasting in my mouth quite a long time for such a mild 1st brew.

2nd steep, 10 seconds. stronger colour, clearer. Quite thick but still not a prevalent flavour. The smell is stronger than the flavour. Dry sensation on inside of lips and tongue. Warming at back of mouth and throat. This definitely has a physical engagement with my mouth on a tactile level, but the flavour is not a very attacking. I actually like that. Rather than just tasting floral or phenol or fruit or sweetness, this tea currently has a confident but steady taste profile with no real strong note. The leaf smell remains potent and strong, but this is not really coming through in the flavour, but absolutely in the physical interaction in my mouth. A mild Tea “head” is beginning to form. Aftertaste remains strong between steeps.

15 second steep. Water is remaining at the same temperature of mid 90’s.
More taste and more dryness. It feels like it will be easier to say what it doesn’t taste like! Not floral, not creamy (even though leaf smell exhibits aspects of this) not medicinal, not campferous, not sweet, not nutty, not….

20 second steep
This goes down very easily. It blends with the PH of your mouth and just disappears down your throat. I think I have to say mineral as the flavour.

One thing, I have been brewing side by side with yixing teapot and neutral teaware. Porcelain gaiwan to brew, then poured into glass jug. Half of jug into flavour neutral cup. Half into yixing for 10 seconds, then yixing to a second flavour neutral cup. Then side by side tasting. For whatever this might mean, I can’t taste any difference. I did this method earlier today with an aged sheng from xiaguang and the yixing really took the chemical phenol taste out of it (I used a different teapot to now)

22 second steep
The body has not gotten any thicker from the second steep and is now reducing. Still dry and mineraly. Sensation in back and side of mouth/ throat

40 second steep
Brew smell is becoming a bit creamy and rounded. Leaf smell still sharp but does not relate to liquor flavour. Mm a good one this. Maybe apple core, but with no sweetness. I’m taking my time but the tea really does just flows down SO well. Feels like it is in synch with you.

45 second steep.
The colour has remained consistent throughout, so has the flavour and body. It is very very consistent tea.

50 second steep

90 second steep. This one has a touch of sharpness that is present in the leaf aroma.
2 minute steep
3 minute steep

Wow the consistency is unbelievable. I think if you tasted steep 3 and whatever steep number this is, it would be very hard to distinguish.

5 minute steep. Still the same colour as always. Here you can taste it’s coming to the end. A bit watery. A bit like steep one!

Never once tasted over brewed or too harsh. Very steady and complex with exceptional consistency. Mild tea-head experience/cha chi/ caffeine headache. Dry lips and tongue(tip and top) sensation at back of throat and sides of throat.

I’m struggling to describe the taste, but the physical affects are clear and easy to describe.
This is my third time with this tea and I feel that I’m brewing it well. It withstands heat and brew length with no bad results. Happy to have it I’m my collection (I’d purchase it all over again) and looking forward to seeing how it develops overtime.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

Nice review on this.

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drank white monkey by chinalife
8 tasting notes

Brewed as recommended (2, 3, 4 minutes),

Pretty leaves minimally broken, smells fresh (white flowers, sweet greens).
wet leaves smells somewhat like green vegetables and honey,
the first steep reveals a sweet and smooth brew that finishes lemony.
further steeping enhances the acidity, darker vegetables comes to my mind but it is still very light and pleasant brew.

For some reasons i smell Burnt notes in wet leaves and (mainly) the first brew but don’t get much smoke flavors in the brew.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Lemon, Mineral, Sweet, Vegetal

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 125 OZ / 3696 ML

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drank Imperial Green by chinalife
8 tasting notes

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drank flying monk by chinalife
8 tasting notes

For the very high monk.

Western style brewing produces an invigorating liquor where the sweetness of the ginseng blends with dessert notes (caramel/vanilla). I get peaches all around with strawberries joining in.
The ginseng has got that sweetness found in dehydrated roots such as ginger or maca powder, nutty and reminiscent of roasted parsnip. the licorice adds it’s peculiar mouth feel, very much like stevia, which lingers in your mouth.

Overall, the tea works wonders! it is very uplifting and even the taste itself forces a smile on your face

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank River High by chinalife
2 tasting notes

I could start a religion to this tea. Specifically, the second steeping of this tea. So far, I’ve only been brewing it western style but I’m excited to try a gongfu session with it now that I’ve bought some more. This is a really delicious tea with a really amazing, lingering mouthfeel. It’s very velvety, warm, and just takes over your whole mouth.

The tea is naturally sweet with just a touch of ginseng (it’s worth noting that it was roasted with ginseng, and doesn’t have actual ginseng in it). I don’t really taste fruit in this, but everything else described by the company is present. It’s really one of my favorite teas through all its infusions, and even retains its nuances when cold. (If I get through three or fewer infusions in a night, I usually throw some hot water in with the leaves and pop the whole thing into the fridge for an indefinite amount of time).

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Licorice, Nuts, Sweet, warm grass

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 15 g 24 OZ / 709 ML

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drank Imperial Green by chinalife
1 tasting notes

Beautiful astringency with fresh grassy notes and nutty, toasted finish. If brewed with colloer water it really brings out the umami and freshness of the leaf. A beautiful example of Long Jing.

160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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