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Recent Tasting Notes
My second Pu Erh of the day. This was bought around a year ago and I completely went off Pu Erh so I didn’t get around to trying it sooner. I did send a sample to someone though several months ago, though I can’t remember whom exactly, but they didn’t review it either.
This Pu Erh is made of consistently medium-dark leaves with only a few sticks present and quite a few golden tips. It smells strong, perhaps a little fishy, but mostly damp and musky. Almost like a cheap male aftershave that’s sat on the shelf for a decade. Also getting hints of wood and smoke though albeit behind the strong musk aroma.
Flavour is rich and dark with musk, wood, damp earth and smoke elements. No fishy taste (thankfully). A bit sour in the after taste which cuts through the richness. Not unpleasant but not as nice as the previous Pu Erh I had this morning.
Further steeps mellow a little but also increase in bitterness. Also the soil flavour becomes stronger, more so than the musk.
This Pu Erh just isn’t for me, it’s nice but not special and I prefer my ripe Pu Erh less damp soil like. Still it was only $5.99 for 50g so I can’t really complain, though I will not re order this one.
Flavors: Musty, Wet Earth
This tea was tasty in some ways but not what I expected. It still had a lot of fermentation flavor left and was quite strong. I used slightly more tea leaf than usual which could account for it being very strong but that does not account for the heavy fermentation flavor in a 2006 tea. Either it was misrepresented and not a 2006 tea or it was a matter of being very heavily fermented in the first place. I am guessing the latter as I don’t think Dragon Tea House would sell a 2012 tea as a 2006 tea. They would know that they would be found out. In any case I will put the two I bought away for a year and see if they improve. It is also possible that the storage of these was not conducive to their aging properly, who knows. I will neither recommend or not recommend this one as it wasn’t bad, just heavily fermented. This being said there was just a little bitterness in the early infusions and just a touch of sourness in the later infusions.
I steeped this 8 times in a 130ml Yixing Teapot with 6.2g of leaf and boiling water for 10 sec, 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min. It did not get appreciably weaker even in the eighth steep.
Bumping the rating a bit. This tea is so rich I really can’t get enough of it. It leaves a beautiful heavy caramel aftertaste in your mouth that borders on decadent. I’ve been re-steeping at 4 minutes and it’s holding up really well. Less heavy but the fruit notes come out more. I may or may not already be ordering more even though I’ve only had 3 pots…
Oh, wow, this is good. Super caramely sweet, a little plummy, entirely yummy. And this is with a slightly stuffed-up nose. I imagine it’ll be even better when I can smell properly.
I’m beyond impressed with this tea, especially for the price. Less than $5 for 50g including shipping is an absolute steal. This is the lowest grade Dian Hong they offer, I can only imagine how transcendent their Premium, Supreme and Nonpareil versions are. Can’t wait until my second order from DTH comes in, hopefully this is an indicator of all their teas.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Fruity, Plums
What can I say, these little tuocha are cute, and on top of that they have so many pretty flower pieces in. I can see pinks, reds and blues going on.
I’m finding this one lightly sweet and less floral than I was expecting. Though there is an after taste of something floral and herby. The Pu Erh is mildly earthy which is perfect against the subtlety of the flowers. It is sweet though, nicely so. Also has a mild refreshing after taste…reminds me of chrysanthemum.
Further steeps remain consistent. It’s not fishy nor too damp tasting (yay) so it’s easy to drink. My only fault is that it’s not floral enough for my tastes, I expected something perfume like from this tea…instead it’s more like a light floral mist.
Perhaps not quite what I was looking for but it’s nice non the less. Happy enough with this for now but I don’t think I would re order.
This tea is good but not great. It has a strong roasted barley flavor in the foreground and a sweet flavor in the background. The sweet flavor is hard to notice at first. I don’t notice any other flavors. It is not as good as the Da Hong Pao from Yunnan Sourcing but is good. Is is better than the other Da Hong Pao from Dragon Tea House that I reviewed the other day. The leaves of this tea are nice looking, large, curly, and wiry looking. It has a nice aroma.
I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 190 degree water and 3 tsp leaf for 3 min.
Flavors: Roasted Barley, Sweet
This tea is not bad and not great. It falls into the category of teas I am not unhappy I bought, considering what I paid, but would probably not buy again. That being said there are several competing notes of flavor. One is sweet, not sure what to call it. Another is more of a savory note, I am also not sure what to call it. Its the third note I don’t like. It is also mildly sour. This is not prevalent but it is distracting. It is not a strong flavor. Next time I will brew this at 175 degrees and see what I get.
I brewed this once in a 18oz teapot with 190 degree water and 4 tsp leaf for 3 min.
I decided to try this again at 175 degrees with slightly less tea leaf. It has been a success. Gone is the incredible strong barley taste and gone is the bitterness. Now there is a mild roasted barley taste and a sweet aftertaste. Ironically, I think the directions on the package said to brew it with boiling water. I decided to try this one tonight also because I believe it to have less caffeine for two reasons. First, when I drank it last time I didn’t feel any caffeine kick. Second it has huge leaves, the biggest I have ever seen. I have read the large leafed tea has less caffeine then smaller leafed tea.
I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and 175 degree water for 3 min.
Flavors: Roasted Barley, Sweet
This tea is very slightly bitter with a strong roasted barley flavor. It is a good basic Da Hong Pao tea. For the price I paid I was not expecting much, this is better than I expected.
I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 190 degree water and 4 tsp leaf for 3 min.
Flavors: Roasted Barley
Thanks again for your sale, Ost! Eventually I’ll get a chance to try everything. :D I had this one RIGHT before the Lewis & Clark teabox arrived… otherwise I’ll be sampling from that until I mail it out!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 10 min after boiling // rinse // 2 min
This is a super dark green oolong… I haven’t seen many oolongs this dark! However, the color of the steeped tea is still very light, the mellowest yellow. The flavor isn’t dark or light. Neither sweet nor tough. It’s difficult to describe! I would say it is more savory, with hints of butter and salt. Not my favorite type of oolong but this is a good one of this type.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
I thought this one might be oversteeped but not at all, just a stronger flavor than the first steep without being astringent. More butter! I like this steep even more and the leaves could definitely keep going! I’ve been thinking about which type of oolongs are my favorite and I’d have to say the Wen Shan Bao Zhong and the Ti Kuan Yin.
I’m very picky about my jasmine teas and I find that most of them are overly perfumed for my tastes. This one however is nice and subtle and it’s quite natural. There’s a bit of sweetness underneath which might be from the green tea itself or from the jasmine, but whichever it is, it compliments the floral notes well.
Method: 6g, 6 oz, 200 degrees, rinse-rest-10-15, yixing gaiwan and Goldie
Aroma: More pronounced smoke, but not unpleasant. Stone fruits.
Flavor: I did my usual 10 second rinse and few minutes of rest, but the first two steeps are very weak. I’m going back in…
There’s the flavor! Maybe this one was just more compact and needed a longer rest or longer steeps to start! This is quite good, especially for $10 with shipping included. It’s not the world’s best pu’erh, but it has a nice smoothness with a little bite. Definitely not TOO bitter or astringent.
The beginning of the sip is a light smoke, then there’s some fruit. Then it fades off nicely, but it does have a lingering pleasant aftertaste and a nice scratch at the back of the throat.
Like I said, perhaps not the greatest, but I sure wouldn’t kick it out of bed!
Queued post, written May 25th 2014
Here’s another ancient thing that Fleurdelily shared with me. I’ve kept it for so long, partly because I was scared of it but mostly because I didn’t have the faintest clue what to do with it. It just had ‘yak butter’ written on it. I didn’t even know if it was actually freeze dried butter that I was supposed to use as an additive or if it was some kind of instant tea deal.
Luckily KittyLovesTea posted about this one recently, and looking at the picture I can see the pouches are identical to mine, so that’s what I’ve decided it must be. I asked her what I was supposed to do with it, and her reply has been sitting in my email for a while while I’ve been gathering courage and waiting for a good time to try it. I’m home alone this weekend, so here goes.
I’m still scared of it though, but it has to be tried. Otherwise I can’t empty the box. And if I can’t empty the box, I can’t get new stuff. Ever. This is the rule. New orders/swaps/whathaveyou require an empty box.
So I’ve made it up with Kitty’s instructions and am now staring sceptically at the cup.
It smells like puerh with butter in it. Which, I suppose, is what it is. The butter smells a bit… different from cow butter. A bit sort of wild. I can’t tell if that’s because of the puerh and its farm animal smell or if it’s something to do with yaks. Perhaps a combination? I find it quite off-putting to be honest. Cloying.
Okay, I’m doing it. I’m taking a sip (fully expecting something vile).
Oh! It’s salty! And buttery. LOTS of butter. FAR TOO MUCH butter! Oh ack! All I can taste is salt and butter. Flipping heck, but this is foul. I had to spit it out. At least I’m rid of it now.
I got this tea from DTH and I was suprise by the price (around 11€/ 100g)
At first when I open the package I saw the leaves rolls very small and tight. The smell from the package has nothing to do with “normal” Dong Ding oolong from Taiwan. It smells close to roasted Tie Kuan Yin with a merely scent of nuts, something that akes you feel strange if you have already tasted real Taiwanese Dong Ding !
When it comes to steeping, the tea doesnt develop any special flavour other then nuts and seaweed. The leaves doesnt develop much even after 2nd steeping + slight smell of dry and salted seaweed and a little bit smoky too. Nothing interesting at all.
I Dont even think this product comes from Taiwan and I surely wouldn’t recommend this tea not even to beginners.
Flavors: Almond, Roast nuts, Salty, Seaweed, Smoke
Happy Canada Day!! After spending a day outside in the beautiful sunshine, came home to this cold brewed tea. Maybe it’s just the heat, but this is super refreshing! I love love love jasmine teas and I definitely don’t feel guilty putting a large teabag of this into iced tea since it was not too expensive. This is very lightly jasmine, mostly green tea. One of my favs hot, but turned out pretty good cold as well =)
My bravery has grown enough for me to try this unusual tea so after dinner here I am with a mug of pale beige liquid that smells like butter milk (sweet yet sour and creamy). It’s….unusual…I was never a butter milk fan, or a milk fan since I was allergic to it as a child. Mostly this tea is to say that I have tried it, after all I will just about try any tea (I say just about as anything gross like animal dropping tea is a definite no).
Ok so butter milk, which is funnily enough what this tea is. My first sip was not great, it’s very sweet, extremely creamy and full on buttery….all that and it’s rather watery and thin. My stomach turned a little. It’s not terrible by any means, just that I am not meant for this tea and it is not meant for me.
This is a very savory.
Hard to detect any sweetness as it is overwhelmed by the savoriness of this tea.
Reminds me of baked beans or something similar.
I’d imagine this tea to best be drunk during a meal.
The tea has tiny little balls of fur here and here, which I was told was an indication of a high quality tea. I was told that they form when the tea is pan fried, and the hairs from the tea naturally clump together into these tiny balls, also indicating that the leaves used were young as they have more hair than older leaves.
Still, this tea is not for me.
Oh Wild Bohea tea;
How I adore thee,
Whether tis hot or cold;
You taste like gold,
Pure and sweet;
You’re a real treat.
A short poem for this gem of a tea, for alas I have one serving left to admire. I think I shall keep it for after dinner so that my husband may admire it once more also.
I re-visited this one tonight to go with dinner, I made a sweet chilli vegetablenstir fry with rice and thought this light black would match it wonderfully. I was not wrong. Last night it was too subtle for me so I used a little more leaf this time and it was spot on. Adding that extra 2g gives it sooo much more caramel and chocolate flavours with a sweet malt background. The rating for this tea just went up and this is now one of my top black teas (at this moment in time).
Yesterday my wisdom tooth broke in half and fell out while I was eating soup, so I went to the dentist today and it turns out my tooth is much worse than I thought and I need an operation. Part of my gum needs to be cut out as well as the jaw bone sanded down before they can extract the tooth. Ten month wait minimum if I want to be gassed and knocked out or three months if I have it done awake and under heavy sedation. Two weeks to decide while I’m on anti biotics. I’m thinking of just going ahead and having it done without being put under, the quicker the better.
So as a treat I’m using my Chinese gaiwan set and trying this black tea. It smells beautiful in raw form, like chocolate and soft burnt wood. The leaves are large and curly but match it’s wonderful scent. I like a full leaf black.
First Steep – 1 minute –
Light in colour, scent and flavour. Very sweet, like raw sugar cane and caramel. A little malty in the after taste.
Second Steep – 2 minutes –
Still mild but still getting a pure sugar cane flavour. The after taste has increased however and now tastes like malt, wood and caramel mixed with chocolate.
Third Steep – 3 minutes –
Very similar to the first steep again, as sweet and pure in flavour too.
Next time I may try adding 7g instead of 5g to see how it comes out but I enjoyed the gentle caramel and sugar that this tea offers. It doesn’t taste black but it did stand out in a positive way. A good start so far but will experiment to get it perfect though honestly it’s not far off.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Malt, Wood