Dragon Tea House
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
Ok wow… I dug through my cupboard and found a TON of flowering teas! This being one of them. I was undecided between Teavana’s strawberry misaki or Dragon Tea House’s Love Game. Ultimately I chose Love Game. This is a very pretty flower. I think I brewed this too long because it was fairly astringent. However, I wanted to see the whole flower bloom and unfurl. I love watching it slowly take shape from a small 1 inch ball with tied 1/3 up to this beautiful array. There is something peaceful about it. I think I could have gotten away with 2 steeps or more since I only had a little 4 oz pot. This is a really delicate flower. It is a nice green tea with beautiful flowers!
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 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 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….
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.
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?
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.
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.
Now let me say, at first I was quite skeptical of ordering tea from ebay but DTH’s rather nice and complete set of teas and decent prices lured me to try some out. I was really after a comparison between this and hand picked oolongs from another vendor. I opted for a Jin Xuan variety because I was hoping to get that nice milky undertone to the tea. DTH also sells its version of a “milk oolong” but I was afraid of it being that of being flavoured instead of natural.
I was also unsure if this was from this year or last year as DTH tends to lie about these things, the product description for all teas were updated to 2011 harvest at the same time. Mostly i was impressed that it actually came in a box and was vacuum packed. Again, my friends at the Canadian Border control had decided to open my tea for inspection. Anyways, I just dumped my 100g out into a freezer proof ziploc bag. For the most part it comes in nice intact pieces, but there are some small fragments and dust (about 10% of it all), I just dumped out the dust in the trash..
Brewing came about in a gaiwan, and it went to 7 infusions before I gave up on it. First 2 were slightly floral but not quite as much as it smelled. Mouthfeel was rather weak, and I didn’t get any milky taste or anything out of these. Light bodied and pretty much consistent brews for the most part. I did note that these come from Ali Shan which depending on what elevation it is grown at could be something of a higher quality. The tea came out rather plain, but decent quality. Nothing comparable to the high mountain stuff, but is alright as an everyday tea. Mostly, the leaves uncurled to full stems and leaf in full portions and produced light and really uninteresting brews. I got really bored by the 7th round, and while I’m sure it could probably go 2-3 more times I stopped and threw it out. Quality-wise though, it’s better than the typical oolong you would find at a mainstream North American tea store.
Ok as promised a more full description after having a chance to try this hot…
Dry Aroma: Peach, nectarine, spicy, smoked wood…it recalls Wu Yi Oolongs I’ve had…
Wet Aroma: Dried cherry, strawberry, nectarine…fruity
Liqour: Pale, olive oil yellow-green, with a blush of orange ochre hue
1st Extraction – hints of osmanthus, sour wood, fruit (peach/apricot) gloss the mouth, slipping with little to no astrigency and a flavorful, full mouth-feel and lingering fruity sweetness. Extraction was 3 minutes in 190 degree water.
2nd Extraction – hue deepens to intense olive yellow green, but orange color vibrates and darkens. Osmanthus-like flavor mingles with soft woody flavors, mild apricot layer of flavor slides over it, sweetening the finish and the body becomes more full and lush, a hint of astrigency cleans the palete from sip to sip. 4 min extraction with 185 degree water.
3rd Extraction – green/reddish distinction becomes profound between the differing oxidation of the leaves. The brick red and forrest green colors are striking and the leaves remain somewhat long and needle-like. Flavors of umbeshi plum take over and a sweet, clean fruity finish with a light floral aspect rounds the cups finish. 5 minutes in 200 degree water.
4th Extraction – leaves seem to finally settle and don’t seem to be expanding any further. A mild, thin cup, with notes of puffed rice and a slight metalic tin bloom from a very colorful coppery cup. I felt I could maybe get one or 2 more extractions, but felt the true flavors of fruit that the tea was dancing with was gone.
Method: Used 3 grams of tea in a traditional Tawianeses gawain, tea poured at hight to aerate into a porcelian tea ocean and then decanted into 2 oz tea cups…yelded around 24oz over all in this method. I gained a lot more volume from my cold steep experiment.
I should also mention that I cold marinated pacific halibut and sea scallops in this tea for 3 hrs and then lightly seasoned and broiled. The tea colored the seafood a pale golden orange and brought out the grain of the seafood. It added only a slight hint of fruitiness to the seafood, but that was I think due to the fact that the leaves had already been extracting in cold water for 8 hrs. I would imagine I could draw out more of that flavor if I made a marinade with the 1st extraction. Still…yummy.
Just got this in direct from China along with a number of beautiful, porcelian presentation vessels. I have yet to do a proper cupping on this, but I couldn’t resist making my first attempt with this tea as a cold steeped iced tea (considering the muggy weather here in OH) and so set up a Bodum Biasca Iced Tea Brewer (without using an infuser and leaving the leaves free to float and sink), using .5 oz of tea for the 51oz of freshly drawn cold water, and placing it in the fridge for 6 hrs.
The resulting brew had a clear, deep yellow ochre liqour, was fragrant, and most surprising, the leaves had gone from a dark, highly oxidized nearly black hue to a exotic combination of vibrant brick red, dark umber, and spruce green migled forest of leaves. Many of the leaves, even after 6+ hours of steeping had yet to fully unfurl or sink, and much like partially steeped white needle teas, hung in suspension. This surprised me as it seemed to indicate it had yet more to steep – and indeed it did!
I poured off about 17oz of the tea into a glass travel mug and captured around 1 tbsp of leaves and headed to work.
My first taste was interesting, with a flavor not unlike Wu Yi Rock Oolongs, immediatly complex flavors of wood, spice, and fruit…an intense apriocot/peach flesh finish wept up and dominated the flavors, finishing cleanly with a full mouth feel, full body, and sweet fruity aftertaste. I infused the leaves in the travel mug 3 more times with cold water and even when the tea was pale in the liqour, the flavors were full and lush.
I plan to properly steep this tomorrow and cup with a traditional cupping set, slurp, and record my insights. So far, an amazing tea and my first chance to sample a traditional Dan Cong Oolong. Lovely.
Thank you to oOTeaOo for sending me this tea in my SweeTea package!
This blooming tea is very slow to open but when it does, it’s quite rewarding. It’s so beautiful. As the instructions indicated, I let it infuse for the full 10 minutes, and even at that, it didn’t completely open, so I will be infusing this one again!
The tea is quite flavorful. It does have a somewhat “medicinal” taste to it that comes across to the palate as slightly bitter toward mid-sip, but it isn’t an off-putting taste. There is a good bit of sweetness to this tea and the bitterness helps to cut through it so that the tea can be experienced without being too sweet.
Many of the blooming teas I’ve had have been jasmine-esque (or otherwise scented or flavored) – this one does not seem to be. It is still quite nice, though.
Trying a sample of “Premium Milk Oolong” from Dragon Tea House. I was rather overwhelmed when I opened the package by the strong aroma, and the tea was….powerful. Not quite like the sense of drinking perfume from an overdone jasmine tea, but not too dissimilar, either.
I think I will see if one of my colleagues would like the larger package that I bought of this one. Many of them enjoy flavored teas. My taste buds are still ringing.
This Zheng He surprised me quite a bit. The first time I steeped it I did so for 3 minutes, and it really was nothing special. The second (and subsequent times) I brewed it up, I left it steeping for 4 minutes, and upped the water temp a bit, and I swear it smells like hot chocolate. If I was blind folded I think I would have a seriously hard time telling if this was tea or cocoa. Taste wise, it’s got a typical higher quality black taste, very good – but the smell totally does it for me. A very pleasant surprise!