Dragon Tea House
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Recent Tasting Notes
A few years ago I had dinner at a very reputable chinese restaurant where I ordered “a green tea” and had my first Dragon Well tea. Ever since I’ve been wanting to revisit this tea, but I was always hesitant about how/where to get a good quality.
When I stumbeled on Dragon Tea House I decided to give it a try and I must say I’m not disappointed. This tea is exactly as I remember it. IMO this is the epitome of a green tea: somewhat grassy, fresh, light and with a slightly sweet aftertaste.
Will definitely be restocking this!
EDIT: In the 2nd steep – which is even better – the sweetness increases and becomes more nutty in character.
I thought to revisite this one a second time. I figured that my palette might have changed or that I might be able to brew this one better the second time around.
On second try I liked the tea even less!! I’ve crashed my rating to the yellow “mweh” smiley and tossed the remaining bag of this tea with the trash.
I don’t know what to make of this tea. Has flavour been added or not? I tend to agree with twinofmunin: how could it not be flavoured with such a strong scent and taste?
I ordered this tea in the hope that it could be an alternative for my much more expensive milky oolong from Theodor. Unfortunatly this is not it.
What I don’t like about this oolong is the very caramelized scent. It reminds me of hard/kristalized caramel candy. You know the type you nearly break your teeth on when trying to chew it and when you’ve finally crunched it, makes your teeth stick seriously together. Theodore’s version has a more vegetal note, which makes it more balanced and natural to the palette.
Although it certainly isn’t bad, I won’t be buying it again. It just doesn’t hold up to the Theodor Milky Oolong.
That’s 4 fish dead and another 1 on the way in the last 3 days :( Everything was going so well and then old age kicks in. Damn you reaper leave my fish alone!
I’m sat here with a large pot of this tea and a large slice of orange cake that was made this morning. I’m trying to calm myself and have a break from singing to my ill fish and try to make her as comfortable as possible. There are some things that you never get used to.
Steep 1 – 15 seconds
Golden red brown in colour with a rich, sweet, malty scent. The first thing that strikes me is the smoothness that comes packed with a sweet malty mist of flavour. It’s mellow yet rich and very clean tasting. A touch of sweetness lay amongst the malt.
Steep 2 – 25 seconds
Maltier in flavour with a much richer and velvety after taste. The sweetness is better blended and does not stand out as much as the previous steep. It also remains fresh, misty and mellow.
Steep 3 – 40 seconds
There is a slight roasted flavour that mixed with the sweet and fruity malt not only makes it smell like malt loaf but also taste like it. Still remains rich, smooth and consistent to the previous steeps. When I say fruity I mean fermented like currants and raisins.
Steep 4 – 1 minute 10 seconds
Toning down now in it’s rich flavour. The sweetness is once again in front of the malt rather than being paired with it equally in the previous steep. Very light, a little smoky and still very smooth.
Steep 5 – 1 minute 30 seconds
Golden brown in colour. Not much left now beyond a dark fruity sweetness with only a slight malt touch. Perhaps also a slight floral touch is present now too mixed in with the fruit. Even though it’s very subtle it’s still a nice steep and very worth drinking.
For more information and pictures please view my blog.
This is a brand new experience for me as I have never had the pleasure of drinking Lan Gui Ren before. I really don’t know what to expect at all but thought it would be fun to find out.
Upon opening this vacuum sealed package I pulled a face as I was asking myself “What the hell is this?”. The tea itself looks like my cats catnip biscuits. They are dark green, small and rolled into odd ball shapes. They really do look like a cross between a cat biscuit and some sort of health snack. These strange little tea pieces smell floral but also astringent and sharp. It’s an interesting smell, it must be the ginseng.
By look and smell I would never guess this was an Oolong. I’m brewing this gongfu style starting with 1 minute for first two steeps (as recommended) and by an additional minute each subsequent steep.
Steep 1 – 1 minute
The tea is yellow in colour with a roasted scent much associated with Oolong. Yum, it tastes like roasted rice cakes with spinach which sounds like an odd combination but it’s very nice. It has that slight sweetness and after taste similar to watermelon but not as fruity or fresh.
SIDE NOTE – Amazing sweet after taste that lingers in my mouth beautifully.
Steep 2 – 1 minute
A second steep has increased the toastedness but it seems to dissolve quickly until all you can taste is a floral sweetness that starts to taste like hard boiled sweets. My mind is completely blown by this tea … it’s amazing and I’m only two steeps in! Sweet rice cakey goodness.
Steep 3 – 2 minutes
Golden brown now in colour. The sweetness is blending in a little bit more now and it tastes more like your average sweet Oolong.
I think this is amazing. I love it. Finishing my review early because my Chinese food is here (beancurd in black bean sauce). Double yum!
I did not have a good night last night, in fact it was one of the worst in a long time, not meaning to start drama but it consisted of no sleep, a spouse argument, broken tea drawers and me applying for a residential Visa to China. Why China? I imagined I would have little trouble finding a job there in the tea industry, even if it’s just production or warehouse storage. Though chances are I won’t get my Visa. I would have applied to America but I need the job before applying, much stricter regulations. Same goes for Canada.
So as a little pick me up I’m having this Jasmine green along with a bag of vanilla fudge for breakfast, perhaps not the most nutritious but right now I don’t much care. Not sure if it’s the fudge but the jasmine is not as strong as I remember it being. Oh well, it’s still nice and refreshing.
I’m in the mood for something light and floral and I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than jasmine pearls. I usually go for Teavivre’s ‘Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls Green Tea’ but today I thought I would try this brand.
What surprised me first of all was that this brands ‘pearl jasmine’ came seal packed like many Oolongs do to ensure freshness. When I opened the sealed pack I could see small dark green with silver striped balls with a beautiful sweet jasmine scent. One thing I did notice is that there is no fuzziness at all which I have noted comes with the fresher and higher quality pearls.
I am brewing with three steeps: 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes. I used 7g of pearls in my gongfu with 80°C water.
The tea once steeped for 1 minute is light yellow and remains fresh, mellow, floral and sweet. Just as jasmine pearl tea should be. It’s very light with only a hint of jasmine and it’s a very pleasant first steep. It’s the sort of tea I could drink every day. :)
My second steep now. The pearls have now unravelled. The tea is still yellow in colour but the jasmine scent is stronger. It’s a little stronger, sweeter and more floral now. Much more preferable to the first steep. It’s still light but now it’s more like a green tea as it has some depth instead of very little.
My third steep. Everything (colour, scent and taste) has weakened slightly and resembles the first steep again.
Overall it’s a nice jasmine pearl tea but at the best steep it was the same quality as what you would expect. Meaning it’s suitable for every day drinking but not for those special occasions. Still it is what it’s called and nothing more and I do love jasmine pearls … if this is the lesser grade then I cannot wait to try their higher grades. :)
So I wanted to post this just so that anyone looking for a nice tea table would check out Dragon Tea House!
They have a HUGE selection and I am IN LOVE with mine – I got this one here.
Here is a full detailed review on it with my personal photos
It’s been a good day so far today. I managed to have a decent nights sleep for a change, I got my ninth tattoo (http://twitter.yfrog.com/obtdwcvj) and my ill fish seems to be feeling a little better.
While I’m playing Resonance Of Fate with my husband tonight after such a good day I decided to make a gongfu of this pu erh.
The pu erh is mostly loose leaf with the occasional chunk that has been broken from the original cake. It’s a medley of browns and smells a little floral and earthy. Once rinsed it picks up sweet floral tones.
Once brewed the liquid is cloudy burnt orange in colour and it smells a little astringent and perfumey.
So the tea is in my gongfu starting with a 1 minute steep and increasing each steep by an additional minute. Here we go.
It’s very earthy and deep with a bitter floral perfume effect. I’m actually thinking that I may have brewed this one a little too strong (though I used the same amount as I would with any other pu erh which is a rough estimate weight of two tiny sample cakes so what…about 7-10g).
Tea halved now for the second steep, lets see if that reduces the bitterness. The colour is now a cloudy yellow colour which to be frank looks like very unhealthy urine. Does anyone know why some pu erh is cloudy?
Much better strength now, it’s floral and earthy still but with a sweet fruity note and while being astringent has no bitterness. It’s still perfumey though which is a little hit or miss at times and honestly I’m not digging it at the moment. I was hoping it would be a little more floral or earthy and less perfumey.
Overall it’s not what I was quite looking for in a raw pu erh but it has it’s charm and I’m thankful to have tried it. Don’t think I would buy it again though.
I’m having another night of playing an RPG game with my husband and since it will be a long night there is nothing better than re steeping a gongfu of pu erh.
Dragon Tea House have a lot of strange and unique pu erh and I thought the same of this one. I have not known any pu erh to be formed in this long shape before inside the bamboo. It reached my curious meter so I bought it and it arrived a few months ago but I have a craving for raw pu erh tonight.
I open the packet and observed it’s wonderful shape and colour. It looks amazing! http://tinypic.com/r/2ez4bvp/6
Starting with 1 minute infusion it said that this can be steeped over 10 times. I only put around two small cakes worth of pu erh into the gongfu to try it’s strength.
First of all since this is raw the pu erh soup is yellowy green with a floral and astringent smell. Almost perfumey.
Then I taste, and taste, and taste some more. It’s very floral but light and fresh with a touch of sweetness. Each steep seems to be increasing it’s strength but it remains nicely balanced. It also darkens in colour becoming more of a very light amber.
For only $4.99 for 50g it makes this pu erh cheap and tasty, a winning combination for me. I will definitely be placing an order for more of this.
That’s the last of this tea gone, I remember trading it away but made sure I left myself one teapots worth of tea left and today is the day I drink it. Bi Luo Chun gives me a major caffeine rush and makes me tea drunk.
It has such a beautiful, strong flavour. Like grass, seaweed, cabbage, broccoli and brussle sprouts all rolled into one. Very vegetal and thick with a hint of perfume and flowers but remaining green and grassy fresh.
It’s getting pretty cold here in the UK so I have an excuse to make various cups of warming tea throughout the day. After my recent black tea cravings I have decided to take a break and have some green tea, I need something warm yet light to fulfil my current needs.
The tea is made with whole leaves that have been rolled and have taken on various thin and squiggly shapes. The leaves themselves are a mixture of dark green and pale green and they smell thickly vegetal (similar to broccoli or seaweed).
Brewing advice on the pack states one teaspoon of leaves into a cup with 80 degree water for 2-3 minutes. Also suitable for up to 3 steeps.
Once steeped the tea soup is pale yellow in colour with a crisp and toasty smell (similar to some Oolongs).
The flavour is interesting, it reminds me of an Indian green rather than Chinese green as it’s heavy and extremely vegetal. Perhaps also similar to a Mao Feng. It has the same taste as cooked broccoli or cabbage but it’s a little sweeter and crisper.
The toasted flavour becomes stronger and it is very similar to some Oolongs I have had before. Also becomes slightly bitter as it cools but in a perfumey sort of way.
Overall it’s a nice alternative green tea to what I would usually have and I have just started to feel the caffeine kick in with a WHOOOOOOOSH!!!
You know if there’s something weird, I’m gonna want to try it. And this is definitly weird. Yak butter tea does contain black tea, and it also contains butter, but this product is a powder in foil pouches. It stirs up easily, the powder smells good, like butter, like a good milk oolong. Once reconstituded, it doesn’t taste as much like tea as like butter. However, it does not have an oily sheen to it, I wonder how they did that? It has the color of mocha. I can taste the salt too. The smell is not off-putting, I kinda like the smell. The flavor is like salty butter, but not as thick as you would hope for with such a rich fragrance, and I’m left with the idea that it would be great as an ingredient, maybe mixed with Chai.
As I stirred, I briefly hoped it would be like hot buttered rum batter, and indeed, with the addition of cinnamon and clove, it might actually work for that. Another sip, and I am reminded of macaroni and cheese, just fleetingly… or is it more like buttered noodles?
It is a high calorie drink. I can’t imagine making this again as a tea, but I could see using this as an emergency high calorie ration, or for someone who has had the flu and hasn’t eaten much in a while. Or, as I said, maybe with the addition of other ingredients, to make a hearty holiday type drink. Like anyone needs more calories at the holidays…. hmmmm.yeah.or maybe not.
Well, it is better than I thought it would be, more butter than tea, not totally repugnant by any means. I keep comming back to spices, I seem to want to add spices. oh well. If you like drinking butter, then you’ll probably love it. I definitly don’t hate it. And now I can say I’ve tried it.
ADDED: OK, drink it while hot, because it’s kinda yucky once it cools off. Also, just for reference, I ordered this from Dragon Tea House (ebay) paid 9/7/2012 and received from China 22 days later 9/29/2012.
This is a medium-bodied tea which has a mild astringency. The leaves are exquisite. The liquor is golden brown and the aroma is mild and sweet. The flavor is best described as bittersweet, with a hint of smokiness in the finish. It would be a good tea to pair with desserts.
The tightly-rolled leaves have a sweet aroma somewhere between vanilla and taffy – you’d almost think that this was some kind of dessert tea. After steeping for four or so minutes, the candy aroma remains in the wet leaves, which are are mostly half-broken. The color of the liquid is a light greenish yellow, and the flavor delicate – but still has restrained taffy flavor. The leaves are so tightly rolled that it’s easy to overestimate the leaves required for a full steeping, but the tea remains somewhat sweet and one-dimensional.
It’s hard to tell if this is one of the “artificially flavored” milk oolongs, but the taste of this batch is unappealing to me.
Thanks to Liberteas for this one I was able to enjoy it with my mother last evening. It was her first Flowering/Blooming Tea Experience but I have long enjoyed it! This was gorgeous and was ‘put together’ perfectly! It stayed in tact the whole time! I agree with Liberteas that the ‘look’ of it was very similar to Persimmon Tree Tea Company’s but the taste was completely different.
It had a gentle floral aroma.
I thought it tasted like a lemon-lime combo and my mom thought it was more like a gentle licorice. I didn’t pick that up at all, but…to each it own! :)
It had a juicy end sip that was quite nice, too.
My mom who isn’t as fond of green teas as black teas, fruity/herbals, etc seemed to really like this one.
I thought it was also a FAB offering! I enjoyed the tea AND the company very much!
A very balanced, good-tasting tea. The liquor is medium amber, and there’s a pleasing touch of smokiness and a “dark oolong” flavor. If you steep at the recommended temperature (around 200˚F), you can definitely detect “rock tea” in the aftertaste. Not cheap, but this is the real thing. Easily the best DHP I’ve tasted.
Dragon House has four basic grades of DHP: Da Hong Pao Yancha, Supreme, Nonpareil, and cake. The first is their entry-level grade, and nonpareil is quite expensive; premium is a fine oolong that, at its best, offers two main flavors: a floral greenness and a pleasing backbone of smokiness. You may experience some variability, year by year; 2010 was a great year, 2012 merely average. The effect can be not unlike drinking a genmai-cha – toasty but thirst-quenching.
The individual leaves are 3/4" and regular. Steeped, the liquor is a light green and clear, offering a refined taste. The elegance is a contrast with garden variety Mao Feng, which can vary, but can be grassy with a touch of asparagus taste. Appealing, but understated almost to a fault.
Jasmine tea just doesn’t seem like a morning tea to me, but that’s because it’s usually a green or white base. I haven’t had many jasmine black teas (perhaps just one?) but the idea definitely intrigues me. Luckily I got this sample from SimplyJenW to try!
The dry leaf has lots of jasmine blossoms in it, and smells pleasantly first of a slightly grainy black tea and then of a lovely sweet jasmine. Steeped, that weird blend of jasmine and black tea comes out… yeah, jasmine and black together are just so weird in my mind! They don’t seem to work properly together, I don’t know why. One thing is I feel like the black tea gives the jasmine a more herbaceous rather than a sweet quality.
However the flavor of this one comes off better than the scent to me. There is a surprising sweetness here, which I think is coming from the black tea base, actually… it has that character. There is a honeyed note to the base, a bit malty. But honestly I think I’d rather have this tea without the jasmine! The jasmine is light and pleasant, but it again has that weird herbaceous quality. It’s the same kind of thing I get from jasmine-vanilla blends that I’m not a fan of. I guess in those blends it might also be the jasmine interacting with the black tea (since those are often black/green blends). Then again, I’ve had other jasmine black/green blends that work out for me, so who knows. I do actually enjoy this one, though (because the odd qualities aren’t too odd for me in this tea). Thanks for the opportunity to try it! After a couple of shots I do feel like jasmine and black tea is not something I really need to seek out in the future.
Tea of the morning….
I have not had this one in a while. It was buried in the recesses of my stash. I do have to say that I think the flavor has definitely gotten lighter over time.
I guess this should be a PSA: Drink your tea before it loses its flavor!
What I have left is not undrinkable, but the light floral of the jasmine is now so light that it could be mistaken for the sweetening. Fortunately, it is a good tea base and I can still drink it. I have a few other teas that are on the ‘chopping block’ this week. I am so happy to finally be getting the stash into a reasonable state, though I still have too many favorites.
Tea of the late afternoon…….
I have been on the search for a black jasmine tea ever since I tried the Jasmine Yunnan Tea at thepuriTEa. Why not just order the tea that started the obsession? Well, 4 ounces of that tea is $16 and then flat rate shipping is another $7.50. Plus, Yunnan would not be my first choice for such a scented tea as Yunnan is typically more peppery and malty than what I wanted. Harney was out of stock without prospects of a replacement for a while. This tea from Dragon Tea House on ebay was the first possibility that caught my eye at $12 shipped for 100 grams, but of course the shipping from China is rather long. In this case, I do think it was worth it. I had ordered some teaware from them in the past without issue, so I thought I would try some of their tea.
I ordered on April 24th. They shipped out immediately. It arrived today. That makes it almost two weeks even with a holiday. Pretty decent for free shipping. I am guessing prices are a little higher than what you would spend if you were there, but that is fine by me. It makes small orders much more possible, which I really appreciate. There was not much available in the way of tracking, but then some forms of post don’t update until the package arrives. I do have to sign for packages shipped by them if it matters.
On to the tea….. I really like this. It is not super floral, just lightly floral. The tea base is a good quality black tea. I do have to say that the smell of the tea itself was kind of strange, but the tea is wonderful. How this differs from my own blend of gong fu black tea and jasmine pearls…this is much more subtle. There are no notes of chocolate in overdrive, or heavy floral with the jasmine. I am sure I could play around with other black teas in my cupboard for a black jasmine blend, and I probably will at some point. But, I am so glad I took a chance on this one. It is lovely.
Usual teapot method.