Dragon Tea House
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Recent Tasting Notes
This flowering tea has a really gorgeous display. The display reminds me of the Halo blooming tea from Persimmon Tree, but, the teas taste different, and the bulbs look different too.
This tastes more like a green tea with a hint of jasmine flavor. It’s alright, but not the best tasting blooming tea I’ve had.
I was a little unsure of this tea since I ordered it from eBay, but I’d just had my first taste of Tie Luo Han from a sample packet I got when ordering from Chan Teas (http://chanteas.com) and I was ordering a teapot from Dragon Tea House, so I decided to just go for it.
This tea is actually pretty decent for the price, it does have a similar character to the Chan Teas offering but didn’t quite live up to my expectations, so I have some more from Chan Teas on order. If there is one thing I’ve learned about oolongs so far it’s that I’m not really into the floral stuff, so I definitely appreciate the deeper taste of the rock teas I’ve tried so far. This one definitely has some flowery overtones, particularly in the earlier infusions, but it’s not overboard. The later infusions bring a taste almost like a peanut shell.
I’m able to get at least 6 good infusions out of this brewing gong fu style.
I bought this tea after watching James Norwood Pratt sit down with Samovar owner Jesse Jacobs and drink this on youtube. The piece is called " Brewing Enlightenment ". They were loving the tea and I figured I could not go wrong. They were right. Called " Clouds and Mist" in China. This is a superb offering. Crisp, clean and very flavorful. I feel you can taste the green of the mountains….
Supreme Liu Au Gai Pan from Dragon Tea House
This is a pouch that sat sealed for many months as I worked my way through too many other teas bought around the same time. I’ve been trying to be more disciplined about my green teas the same way I have about my greener oolongs and senchas, not opening a bunch at once and having all degrade significantly before I finish them, but despite being sealed, this one may have suffered for it.
The leaves are a deep green, darker than the average long jing, but also more or less long, thin, and while not completely flattened, not curly either. The scent is reminiscent of fukamushi sencha—sweet, deep, vegetal, with a hint of cucumber. Tantalizing!
4.8 grams in my Petr Novak iron-rich kyusu this morning, preheated, and now the aroma of the heated leaves is more like sweet peas.
Flash rinse with filtered tap water about 180 degrees: not much there in the wash. It’s not that there aren’t hints of deliciousness, but it really is super dilute, even for my tea-wimp’s palate. With that in mind, I’ll do the first infusion proper longer, perhaps a minute.
1 minutes, 150 degrees: sweet peas, vegetal, but an astringent finish, that reminds me of an overcooked vegetable.
30 seconds, 180 degrees: went hotter and shorter to try to bring out the sweet over the overcooked vegetable taste, and didn’t quite succeed.
I’m not sure if this unpleasant vegetable flavor is related to the heating of the leaf during processing, or is due to the tea sitting too long before drinking, but it definitely is something I recognize and dislike in many green teas. It is not present in the bag of dried leaf, but comes out as soon as the leaf hits the preheated brewing vessel, before it’s even wetted.
I’m going to switch to a porcelain gaiwan, in case that makes a difference, and will prepare it with a cooler start. The flash start is something I read about in a blog a few months ago, and it’s really been lovely with long jing and Gu Zhu Zui Sun, so I thought I’d try it here, but perhaps this tea does not want it.
2 grams in small porcelain gaiwan, infusions about 75 mL water.
145 degrees, 30 seconds, a little better in flavor profile—brought out more sweetness, but too light from the short infusion.
I’ll stick with 30 seconds next infusion, because the now-wetted leaves will give more in this one even with the same infusion time.
30": still can’t separate the sweet flavor—and I do get the sense of melon—from the overcooked and astringent vegetable. Bummer.
160 degrees, 30 seconds: no real change.
Last gasp: 212 degrees, 30 seconds: astringency with edges of the sweetness.
It’s frustrating. It looks good, the leaf smells terrific, but I can’t make this one really pleasant. I feel like I’ve failed the tea. Oh well. Since this is a classic tea, I’ll try it again one day, but I’ll get a small sample and drink it right away to give it the best chance.
This is my first experience with a milk oolong. When I first opened the bag, the smell strongly reminded me of “Milky Candy” that I used to eat a lot of as a child. A nice smell, just not one I would expect from tea.
I steeped this in my 90ml gaiwan, 4.5 grams (Should probably try for 3-4 next time), 160~70 degrees and increasing.
The milky flavor comes through very strong in the first few steepings, almost overbearingly so, but then abruptly drops off into a “greener” taste. At this point I had to use boiling water and longer than average steep times to extract any flavor at all from it.
The first time I tried this tea, I was quite enchanted by the milky-creaminess and found myself rather disappointed that it had to end so soon. When I tried it again a few weeks later, I was less impressed with the first few steepings and enjoyed the more floral notes of the later steepings, difficult as they were to extract. I may have just been in a different mood, or maybe the strong milk flavor is the sort one easily burns out on. Maybe future tastings will tell me more.
Overall, this leaves me intrigued enough to seek out and try other milk oolongs; it certainly has an interesting flavor. However, I probably would not order this one again.
I was a bit disappointed in this one, but I think its because I had such high expectations. The picture makes it look so beautiful. When mine bloomed, it looked like a sad lump of red-brown with brown-white flowers. The taste was okay. I felt like I needed to leave it longer, and when I did that, it turned out a bit astringent. The nutty flavor isn’t as pronounced in this tea. Neither is the jasmine. Overall its just okay. meh.
My husband and I shared this on Christmas Eve before heading off to a family party. This was very beautiful. The flowers were beautiful! I love the lily-like flower and the chrysanthemum-like flower in the center. The tea was tied very nicely as well on the bottom, almost like a bouquet. The liquor was a light brown color. It was lightly scented. Just like the other blooming flowers, which all have a similar taste, this one was also nutty. It was almost like an oolong or green tea. This tea was lighter in taste. There was Jasmine in there, which didn’t give me a reaction! I was happy about that. It was smooth in taste and there was no bitterness in there. A nice, well rounded and pleasant tea.
I’m going to have a flowering tea per day to enjoy the holiday weekend! Yesterday was Variety of Colors. Today is Love Goddess! This bloomed up so beautiful! I love how the jasmine flowers make a basket handle and theres a pretty flower at the top. The taste is good too. It is mild with a little nutty taste to it. There is slight jasmine and floral tones to it, but not strong. There was no bitterness to it, surprisingly, as I had steeped this for longer than I thought I should have. After a few sips, I ate some spicy Korean fried chicken, and this tea went well with it.
I finally got to try this one out. Mine popped out to be similar to this in color. It was so beautiful to look at that I almost didn’t want to try it. I poured it into my large mug and enjoyed the honey brown liquor that tasted almost like a green or oolong tea. There wasn’t any jasmine in this, so I was quite happy about it. Of course, my husband took my mug and drank most of it!
After I tasted the other more expensive LongJing from Life in Teacup, I revisited this tea I got earlier this year from Dragon Teahouse’s eBay store. I remember this LongJing is a lot cheaper. In tasting, this tea is lighter in taste compared to LiT’s Longjing. But I still tasted the roasty aroma. Maybe due to the lighter taste, the astringency was lower too. Considering the price and my tea budget, I most likely would go with this tea. But the other LongJing is definitely better, when I get a raise.
So… I’ve been pretty MIA for awhile..
Honestly didn’t drink much tea all summer, been having stomach problems and was advised by the docs to stay off tea/caffeine and the whole bunch. Though, I’ll also blame laziness and lack of appeal of hot tea in summer too for not touching it at all! Still having stomach problems, but the weather is getting cold again sooo that means i’ll drink it anyways :)
I actually bought this tea back in spring, didn’t really touch it till now. I’ve read and heard about the raves of Dan Cong oolong tea so I bought this one from DTH, figuring it can’t hurt to give it a try. The tea comes in the regular one and this “Spring” edition promising younger leaves. Apparently this one is supposed to taste like peach, but I can’t taste any of that. It’s just a tad bit bitter and tastes more like an out of place green tea of some sorts. Overall no real complaints, drinkable.. tea..
I just received this in the mail. A beautiful aroma in the dry leaves. A beautiful aroma when brewed for the suggested 3 minutes. I brewed it in the 1 cup Yixing. A very delicate flavor. I will add more leaves in my next brew. I like the Dragonhouse Tea website. It’s the Disneyland for tea lovers like myself. I must add this lovely tea has elevated my mood. Ye Gods….
I was sucked in by the eloquent write-up, which made my mouth water at the descriptions of this tea being slightly sweet and tender, etc. But you know what, it actually tastes like what it says: bamboo. If you’d like to drink something that tastes like bamboo-soaked water, then this is it. I wasn’t able to finish my large packet of this though, because I don’t like drinking bamboo water. However the leaves are lovely to play with/look very pretty swirling around in a clear glass gaiwan, so points for visual effect.
1st Steep: Infuser, Covered, 1 tsp – 3 minutes @ 190F
2nd Steep: Infuser, Covered, 1 tsp – 3.5 minutes @ 195F
I’ve been drinking this for a while, but I’m trying to be better about getting tasting notes in.
The first thing I noticed was a strong floral fragrance after steeping – very nice. The leaves are tightly rolled, and after steeping they are nice and unbroken – many still have both leaves connected.
The taste itself is much lighter than the scent – though with the batch I have in particular, this is probably due in large part to the age. The finish is extremely soft and pleasant – softer than most the teas I have.
This was a not-hot brewing, rather than a true iced steep, with water at room temperature rather than chilled. I used a generous amount of leaf, let it sit 4-5 hours, and the infusion was astonishingly sweet, so much so that I diluted it slightly before finishing the mug. I’m going to try for a second infusion, just in case the leaves have more to give. I see why they recommend this one for cold brewing, yowza.
Strongly and unmistakably sweet/milky/creamy; I love it, but I can see how it might be offputting to some. Definitely something one has to be in the mood for. I don’t see how it can’t be flavoured, though the milkiness lasts through quite a lot of infusions; I’ve had milk oolongs that were of unknown flavouredness and Taiwanese High Mountain milk oolongs that were definitely not flavoured, and this is nothing like the latter category.
The leaves are still intact; maybe medium to large in size?
I had been reading a lot of praise from various people on TeaChat for Da Yu Ling, from a variety of suppliers. Norbu, my number one supplier, hasn’t carried one so labelled, so when I placed an order from Dragon Tea House, I added some of this to check it out. Although their description praises it as a cold tea, I mostly drink my teas hot, so I have both some brewing up cold in the refrigerator for later, and am brewing up some hot now. I’d estimate I used between 1 and 2 grams of tea for my 60mL korean pot, and water 205 degrees. It is a very nice summery spicy Alishan-type oolong, but not dramatically different than those I’ve been enjoying from Norbu. I’m at about the 5th infusion now, and the leaves have expanded to nearly fill the little pot. The floral is gone and spicy grassy notes predominate.
All in all, I’d have to say its quite a nice tea, but not one that makes me feel like I must go out of my way to seek it in preference to the Alishans I’ve been enjoying.
I’ll add some notes on the cold brewing later.
I was a bit afraid of this one as my first encounter was with an unbearably bitter version, and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t avoid the bitter (short infusions, cooler water, less tea, nothing helped). So I only bought a little of it to try out from a different source, because I couldn’t believe that first batch was truly representative of a tea that is traditionally on many ‘10 famous teas of china’ lists.
2.5 grams of tea, water to 185 degrees (as per DTH)
in about 6 oz water in my glass mug
‘until leaves sink to the bottom’ of cup: Still vertical at 1 min 20 seconds, and I’m getting nervous: stopping brewing to drink now.
Brilliant stuff: light yellow liquor, delicate, vegetal, grassy, green-tea-like, but not green tea. This is far better than my first experience with the stuff. There is a richness and sweetness here that is distinctly like a fine oolong, but the vegetal greenness is distinctly different. Wow. This is what I expect from a ‘famous tea’.
The leaves—downy deep olive green needles—are very similar in appearance to the WHF version that was so powerfully bitter, but the bitterness is powerfully muted, at least in this first infusion.
2nd infusion, 1 minute.
More of the same, beautiful stuff.
3rd infusion, 2 minutes.
Still rich, delicate, sweet, vegetal, clear golden-yellow liquor.
I stopped writing at that point, although I did not stop infusing. I was doing chores and moving around the house, brewing infusions rather carelessly and untimed, but I did get at least six and probably eight before I stopped. Yummy stuff.
I made my second batch of this tea today, and it was a lot more impressive the 2nd time around. I’m not sure what the difference was—both were bulk brewed and drunk from a thermos. The first time, my impression was not that different from my long-time everyday TKY—roasty, toasty, tasty but not that exciting. Today, there was a revelatory addition of spiciness along with the rich toastiness, and my tongue is still pleasantly buzzed. Interesting.