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Recent Tasting Notes
Not feeling so great today for some reason. Just woke up from a nap and it is raining, so I thought some puerh would be nice. These are mini coins about the size of a silver dollar and they have a divider down the middle, which makes them easy to split apart. I used 1/2 a coin in the yixing.
The original packaging looks like it comes in a bamboo tube, which is nice. I should have looked more carefully at the website as the 50g sample is $4.99 but the whole tube of 22 discs is only $7.99! A much better value.
I feel this is a pretty good shu for the price. It is chocolate-y and smooth and I am picking up some camphor notes. The only downside is what I feel is a slight musty smell, which isn’t readily apparent. I wonder if this is due to the bamboo? Overall it’s smooth and fairly tasty. Not the best shu I have had by a ling shot but a good every day type of tea.
I need to do something with my puerh samples soon since they are over running my kitchen!
Here’s a sheng I picked up with my latest Dragon Tea House order.
When I first sipped it, I thought it was a very light tea without a lot of bitterness but I was wrong! The bitterness definitely sneaks up on you so that by the time you’re finished with one cup it’s really strong. Very sour, makes your mouth pucker!
It doesn’t have many sweet, honey like notes to counteract the bitterness. I would say it has some lighter haylike flavors in the first couple of steeps. I am not detecting any smoke in this tea.
3/4 steeps – the tea is still so strong that I had to add some hot water to dilute it. When it’s diluted it’s a lot less strong and I am detecting some sweeter notes coming forth. This is a very potent tea however. Always the risk with young shengs.
5/6 steeps – I am getting the same result. The tea needs to be diluted to make it drinkable. Maybe by around 20 steeps this will start to mellow out more. It’s definitely a potent tea… needs to be aged for about 10 years probably. Not sure how to rate this one for now.
Putting my morning frankly: I woke up and packed a bag ready for the gym, prepared a litre of iced Sencha for hydration, did some exercise, almost black out because I pushed myself too hard, did some food shopping, won £1 on a scratch card and am now watching last nights UFC fight. Not a great day so far but I am hoping it gets better.
The raw leaves are a blend of dark brown, gold and red brown colours with some golden tips and sticks present. Scent is earthy, smoky and rather sour.
Steeping roughly 6g of cake
With 100c water
In a 200ml Yixing teapot
Rinse 1 – 10 seconds
Rinse 2 – 10 seconds
Steep 1 – 10 seconds
Once steeped the colour is orange/yellow in colour and bares a smoky and damp earth scent.
Flavour is fairly strong, astringent, smoky and rather dirty, musty. Stronger than anticipated and the astringency carried on in the after taste. Not a great steep.
Steep 2 – 5 seconds
Even stronger and more astringent. Heavily smoky and dry and rich, damp earth and must notes. I’m finding myself pulling a face when I sip.
Steep 3 – 5 seconds
I took a minute sip and screwed my face up. Far too strong and astringent, generally unpleasant and not something I wish to have more of.
I’m leaving it there, this tea was just horrible! Short steeping times didn’t even help with the harshness of this Puerh. Frankly, life is too short to drink bad tea.
All I have to say is YUM! this tea is super delicious. And thank goodness because I got 50g of it with my Dragon Tea House order.
I’ve had some yellow teas that seem bitter and fussy, but not this one. It is sweet and delicious, with notes of chestnuts and sweet corn. I would have to say it reminds me a bit of a long jing green tea but also has some of the same sweetness as a nice green oolong. The tea has a very mellow and soothing energy with a thickish mouthfeel that lingers. Heavenly! This is the only yellow tea I currently own and it’s definitely a good one.
Steeped in my big Lupicia cooler because I just wanted a lot of afternoon tea :D
Part of a beeng sample I got from Dragon tea house…
I happen to be quite fond of Xiaguan teas for raw puerh, though I don’t think they are for everyone. They can be quite smoky and bitter, but this tea is from 2006 so I was hoping it would not be too rough.
This has a wonderful exhilarating aroma that just reminds me of walking through a forest of pine trees. The tea liquor itself has a honey like sweetness with a definite bitter finish and lingering smoke flavor. I wonder what this would be like with another 15 years of aging! It is starting to mellow out nicely, but still kind of aggressive with a big energy kick. I do like these traditional shengs a lot but sometimes a more mellow tea is nice too, especially if bitter and smoky is not really your thing ;)
This rates pretty high on my personal enjoyment scale but after about the 6th steep i got sick of it.
At least I don’t have to worry about breaking the cake: http://instagram.com/p/yfTiEgoLWe
This is the first tea I tried from my Dragon Tea House order. The smell of the dry leaves is exactly like fresh real butter. Steeped it still smells the same just with a touch of tea mixed in.
I enjoyed this tea quite a bit. At first I was breathing in through my nose as I sipped it, and it tasted very similar to green beans with butter. Then I tried hard not to inhale when I sipped at the tea was quite pleasant this way. Much more tea tasting with a creamy mouth feel.
Not sure if I will repurchase, but will certainly enjoy what I have.
Flavors: Butter, Green Beans
this was a sample included in my dragon tea house order and one that i would totally pick up again, though it’s VERY similar to other teas that i love for the same reasons…malty, cocoa-y, dark and delicious. So price would factor in..also the shipping…DH took over a month to get to me, which makes me a sad panda.
Firstly, I cannot believe that I haven’t reviewed this one yet. It’s my ‘go to’ matcha and I have it most days. It’s only $2.49 for 50g for an organic matcha and that was what drew me in from the start, I didn’t expect it to be as good a matcha as it is. For a basic quality organic matcha I have found none better in terms of taste or price. I know it sounds like I’m selling it myself but it’s true, I highly recommend it.
The foam is wonderful though it’s initial colour is khaki which shows it’s not top quality. It smells of seaweed and sweet grass. Taste is fairly creamy and light, slightly astringent but in a pleasing way. Also is sweet and umami with some dryness. The initial flavours match the scent though, so seaweed and sweet grass tones that linger nicely.
As I said it’s not top quality but for an every day matcha that is organic and cheap it’s fantastic. A big hit too with my husband and a few guests that have never tried matcha before but have gone out and bought some afterwards due to this introduction.
Next time I will try the step up and have the Premium quality for comparison though that is $6.49 for 50g. Not expensive but at least over double the price of standard grade.
Flavors: Seaweed, Sweet, warm grass, Umami
YAY for tea from cookies this was a rather unusual tea from this morning.I’ve been busy organising things and um spending too much money on house things today. I enjoyed this one, though it’s different from other barley teas that i’ve had.
it’s roasty and sweet at the same time. closer to coffee than tea. it reminds me a little of some of the green teas that i’ve had when they’re a bit beany? kinda. overall just a really fun tea to try! thanks cookies!
dear god. I need to pick this tea up. It’s on my wishlist now. I’ve been sitting puttering on the computer and i kept smelling caramel…like the caramel that tea gschwewerjoe…makes…which was strange because i only brewed two straight teas this morning. Finally took a sip of this tea and it’s the tea! God. i’m in love with this. Another tea that cookies shared…it seriously reminds me of tea g’s caramel tea (which i love) but it’s not flavoured! the flavouring isn’t intensely caramel but this is for sure the only tea i’ve had where it’s this strong. usually i just get hints of it.
oh man…just got lost on the store…this might just push me in to my first aliexpress order…
This tea is strong with a slight bitterness and a strong roasted barley taste. I am guessing a Dan Cong oolong is related to a wuyi oolong. It reminds me strongly of a Da Hong Pao oolong but without as much complexity. It is definitely near a Da Hong Pao in flavor profile. I don’t know how an expensive Dan COng oolong would taste. This one was fairly inexpensive and tastes that way too.
I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 6.1g leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min.
Flavors: Roasted Barley
This tea is good and I will have to find time to gongfu it. This morning it got steeped western style. It is just slightly bitter and it has a slight taste of roasted barley often found in a Da Hong Pao tea, not strong. There is also that classic oolong taste that I have never figured out how to describe, a slightly bitter vegetal taste perhaps. This tea is not quite as good as I expect a 2nd Prize Tea to be. I think the Three Plum Flower Tea I got from Berylleb was better and that did not do as well in the competition. This tea was purchased from Dragon Tea House and was somewhat expensive but not tremendously so.
I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 190 degree water and 6.9g leaf for 3 min.
Flavors: Bitter, Roasted Barley, Vegetal
This tea is fairly tasty. It is probably the first oriental beauty oolong I have drank so I don’t know how it rates in comparison. I would say the main note is baked bread if that is an accurate description. It flavor is somewhat zesty in character. At only $13.49 for 100g it is an excellent value.
I steeped this once in an 18oz teapot with 6.9g leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min.
Flavors: Baked Bread
This is a very tasty, reasonably priced Oolong from Dragon Tea House. It has that characteristic, slightly bittersweet oolong flavor. I do not know how to describe the main note in other terms. I am not sure what it resembles otherwise. I think it is unique to rolled oolongs in general. I have only gotten that flavor from Tie Guan Yin, Shan Linxi, Dong Ding, etc. I have never gotten that flavor from a Da Hong Pao. Those always have a roasted barley flavor. No roasted barley flavor here. This is excellent tea.
I steeped this once, western style in an 18oz teapot with 6.7g leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min.
For the first try of this tea I broke of 10 grams and brewed it for 5 seconds. This is one strong tea! Later I found that 3 grams is more than enough. There is a flavour in this tea that reminds me of some White2Tea teas I have previously drank. It is that concentrated herbyness.
Well this tea certainly does not lack raw strength. It has a lot of smoke (peppery smoke) and a lot of bite. The tea itself looks highly compressed, but it actually breaks apart very easily. I decided not to take specific notes on this tea because I don’t think it is ready to drink yet, and instead decided to say how strong it was. I will continue to drink it until I get round to making my first order from Yunnan Sourcing, where I hope to get some more interesting teas.
Flavors: Pepper, Smoke
This tea is not bad, and not incredible either. It has the strong taste of malt and a second note of baked bread. There is a slight bitterness. At least that is how I can best describe it. I bought this tea out of curiosity because of the name Yixing Black Tea. It is not as good as the famoust teapots but I was hoping. I have already decided that I would not buy this again. This is an excellent tea for someone who likes malt in tea (by this I do not mean chocolate malt).
I brewed this once in an 18 oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt
Another one from cookies! I know she was anxious to be the first person to review this one, and it’s such an unusual tea and not what she expected. So I’m going to try it too and see how it tastes to me! The tea leaves themselves are rather small (I looked on DTH’s website to see what kind of tea it is, but all it said was “Chinese”) and they’re very dark, almost jet black in color. There are little shiny brown barley grains mixed in throughout, and they’re quite cute. Dry scent is rich and roasty and reminds me of coffee, with a surprising sweetness.
Wow, it smells even sweeter when it’s steeped up! There are also roasty and woody aromas here, and perhaps even vanilla? Such an interesting and unusual tea… There’s definitely a strong roasted grains flavor combined with a sweet woodiness that reminds me of bourbon vanilla. In the beginning on the sip, there’s something that tastes like green beans with bacon to me. There’s a little touch of roasty bitterness that’s very reminiscent of coffee, which I’ve found in the flavored barley teas I’ve tried as well. I wonder what the base tea tastes like by itself, as all the flavors here are rather unusual!
Flavors: Coffee, Grain, Green Beans, Oak wood, Peanut, Roasted, Sweet, Vanilla
This sample is from cookies. She was very impressed with it and offered to send samples, which of course I took her up on. Hooray swaps! The leaves of this tea are somewhat long and quite twisty, and they’re mostly black with some medium brown places. The package smells a bit like lychee from the lychee tea that was also in the swap, but I’m not complaining. Smells yummy! :P
Steeped, this tea smells quite rich. It definitely has wheat bread notes, but there are also smoked meat and dark caramel scents. Hm, this is a very savory tea for me. It’s quite malty with strong bread and smoked meats flavors, as well as some sort of roasty presence. It has that thick mouthfeel that I find to be fairly typical of Yunnan teas, and just the smallest hint of stonefruits and honey. There’s a little touch of some sort of savory spice or herb that I can’t quite identify, but it seems to be somewhere between dill and something else. Overall, tasty, thanks cookies!
Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Herbs, Honey, Meat, Roasted, Smoked, Thick
While I only brewed this western style, it is 9 am after all. This tea is quite tasty for the price. After all I only paid $8.99 for 100g including shipping. You really can’t beat a good tea for that price. Its not an incredible tea but it is enjoyable. It is fairly vegetal in nature, I don’t think it is roasted. There is no charcoal or roasted barley taste.
The leaves of this tea are rolled, ball style like a Tie Guan Yin tea. They have a nice aroma to them, floral. The tea has a floral, vegetal taste to it.
I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 2.5 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min. I might go back for a second steeping later having left the leaves in the pot.
Flavors: Floral, Vegetal
I hate being the first one to review a tea. It always makes me so nervous that I’m going to describe something wrong or… I don’t even know. But here goes.
This tea is certainly interesting. I really can’t decide whether or not I like it. But I think that mostly comes from the fact that this doesn’t taste at all like I thought it would. In my mind I have this idea of a genmaicha but with black tea. This isn’t really the case. It does have that roasty quality to it, especially smelling the dry leaf which smells like peanut butter or sunflower butter. Roasted nutty, seedy goodness.
But, surprisingly it tastes like pu-erh to me rather than black tea. Really earthy is the only way I can describe it. There’s also some thick raw sugar or sugarcane noticeable. It’s not bad at all. I just can’t wrap my head around the disparity between what I think I’m going to taste, and what I’m actually tasting. Hm, the more I sip, the more I think I actually like it.
Anyone want a sample of this one? Let me know I’m not crazy!
Flavors: Earth, Roasted, Sugarcane