Eco-Cha Artisan Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

89

I won! Thank you Eco for sending me this delicious tea.
It’s just what I’ve been craving… a barely roasted green oolong. YUM!
Unfortunately I accidentally steeped this for longer than I should have. The dirty dishes distracted me and I got carried away sorting them out. Sighs.
Oh well, the tea tastes great anyhow. Very floral. The smell reminds me of tulips. or perhaps magnolias. A little earthy in that flowery way. I like it!
The taste is floral as well, but also a bit sweet like the flower is caramelized, and just slightly creamy. The lingering aftertaste is really nice as well. Sweet like a pastry, though not really bready. I can’t wait to try it out in a gaiwan :D

KittyLovesTea

Congratulations on winning! I loved this one too :)

Indigobloom

It really is good! I’m thinking I’ll try it in my gaiwan soon

Sara

Wow! This sounds delicious. My mouth was watering by the end of your review.

Indigobloom

It IS quite the amazing tea. Though a little light for my tastes,now that I think about it

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100

The last couple days have been crazy hectic for me, but also really fun! Since I am leaving in a few weeks I am tying up loose ends and visiting with people who I won’t see for months. Of course I also had my fun at game night, joining a space themed goofy RPG campaign, which in hindsight might have been silly since I will be gone, though they said I can just ‘be on leave’ and if the campaign is still ongoing I can jump back in as ship scientist. Typing this I realize I am utterly tea drunk after a fun afternoon of trying tea with one of my friends, tea drunk is a wonderful state to be in.

Today’s tea is from Eco-Cha Artisan Teas, Charcoal Roasted Dong Ding, specifically the 2014 harvest. Grown at 700m on a small farm in Phoenix Village, free from chemicals and painstakingly roasted in a traditional tea roasting oven. As with all of Eco-Cha’s teas I suggest reading the origin of this tea on the website, it is wonderful knowing about the tea and the people who create it. As readers of this blog probably know, I have an addiction to roasted oolongs, Dong Ding with a charcoal persuasion being my favorite, it is my go to comfort tea that always puts me in a better state of mind and body when drinking it. The aroma of the dry leaves is delightfully rich, a blend of tobacco, bamboo coal, wood, earthiness, and a delightfully sweet sesame butter and honey finish. You can tell this tea was created by those who are very proficient in their art because it has the charcoal notes you expect, but they are mellow and it is not a kick to the face with a boot full of coal.

The brewed leaves are great, it is like a gaiwan full of autumn memories! There are notes of smoke, bamboo coal, a touch of honey, a tiny hint of dried orchids, and a sharp finish of tobacco. The aroma of the liquid starts off mild, it will gain intensity as the leaves unfurl. It is sweet with notes of squash, bamboo, sesame seeds, and charcoal.

As I take my first steep you can hear me sigh with relief, well if you were in the same room as me you would hear it. The taste is mild, it starts off with creamy sesame butter and orchids with a touch of tobacco, this transitions to bamboo coal and dried fruit giving the first steep a sweet finish. The mouthfeel starts smooth and transitions to a slight dryness.

And on to the second steep we go, you know me, I can never stop at just one. The aroma of the liquid is a blend of tobacco, coal, bamboo, and toasted pine nuts with an underlying sweetness that ties all the notes together. Once I finally manage to pull my nose out of the teacup (a hard task) and take a sip, I notice the mouthfeel has a sparkling quality, it does not bubble or feel like a soda, but it has that tingly dryness I associate with fizz, it is quite subtle but enjoyable. The taste is sweet, like plums that have been roasted over hot coals and then sprinkled with a bit of floral spice. This transitions to toasted sesame seeds and a touch of pine nuts with a smoky finish.

The aroma of the third steep is gently smoky and sweet with notes of bamboo, pine nuts, and honey. It blends sweetness, smoke, and nuttiness very well. The taste starts out with sharp notes of coal and tobacco and quickly mellow out to mild coal, bamboo and sweetness. This steep is certainly the most coal filled so far, it is mostly smoky until the finish where the aftertaste is delicately fruity.

Onward to the fourth steeping! The aroma is a mellow blend of coal, bamboo, pine nuts, and a bit of tobacco, there is no sweetness here. The taste is strong, almost entirely coal and tobacco, the mouthfeel is dry and sharp. The fun thing is when I move on to the fifth steeping, the aroma is yeasty bread and only a hint of coal. The taste is mild with a touch of bamboo and minerals with a delicate sweet finish. This tea is an experience that should not be missed, especially if you are a fan of charcoal roasted teas, the essence of this tea is balance, it keeps the coal notes balanced with the others as it grows in intensity.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/09/eco-cha-artisan-teas-charcoal-roasted.html

Cheri

I have some of this, but I haven’t ventured into it yet. I definitely will soon!

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

ooh I cannot wait to see what you think!

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89

This is not the first time I’ve had this tea, but it’s the first time I’ve written a tasting note.

It’s really good. Sweet. A little floral. A touch almost nutty, but not really. Delicious.

I love oolong at work when things are awful here, because a good cup can keep me company all day. It provides comfort. Multiple infusions.

I’m doing this one western style today because I just don’t have time to deal with even my pseudo gongfu. It works. It works well.

But I think I will take this tea home so I can try it with my cute oolong clay pot. (My tea kitty also wants to drink some of this delicious tea.)

Though roasted, this tea is still light. The aroma is of roasted corn, nuts, and leaves—perfect for the first crisp day of Autumn. Sipping on the tea after brewing, I get a strong taste of barley, but it isn’t strong enough to be off-putting. This would be great brewed as an iced tea with some honey, or brewed extra strong since the flavor was a bit watery for me.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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91

Interesting. I have had the empty packet of this tea from the one (free) Steepster Select box I got sitting on my desk so I’d remember it and order it if I ever placed an order with Eco-Cha for months. I never wrote a review or added it to my wish list, apparently.

And I didn’t take tasting notes today because I was sure I’d written a review before. I just don’t see it.

But this oolong has kept me company all day long. It’s been a cruddy day at work, but the tea has been excellent.

Blodeuyn

Tea therapy! Hope tomorrow is a better day, bad work days stink. :(

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86

This Jade oolong is my afternoon tea today. Very vegetal, almost grassy with a hint of citrus. It leaves very clear and cool aftertaste, almost in a way that mint does, which also makes it very refreshing. It’s kind of hot out there today, so this works great, even though it’s warm. I bet it would also work great iced but as it is now I am trying to “get rid of” teas I care less about by cold brewing them for work. This tea I definitely care more about, so… it stays as a refreshing but hot drink!

The reason I don’t rate it higher is because I consider jade oolongs to be a little too… unsophisticated in general, although this one is definitely the most sophisticated of the ones I’ve tried. Good stuff!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

(Backlog)

This tea embodies what I love about oolong.

First, the dry leaf is green, I mean, really green. Emerald City green.

Anticipation. A premiss of what is about to happen. Cause I just know it won’t disappoint.

The dry scent is floral and a little spicy.

I do a quick rinse to bring the leaves to life.

And boy to they come alive.

First steep and I already get tons of flavours. It’s as green as can be for oolong, vegetal and very floral.

Nice buttery and creamy mouthfeel going on, with a touch of spice. The finish is so fresh, like an evergreen breeze.

I did multiple infusions, and the later steeps lost that floral imprint in the mouth as more piney notes emerged.

And the leaves took so much room in my little gaiwan as they expanded, just beautiful!

Another amazing product from Eco Cha. All three oolongs I have purchased from them are fantastic.

Pics:

http://instagram.com/p/sGn3Yawh4x/

http://instagram.com/p/sG2djOQh_i/

Ysaurella

sounds great !

Sarsonator

HURRY!!!! POST YOUR REVIEWS BEFORE STEEPSTER BREAKS AGAIN!!!! :p :p :p

Cheri

I need to break this one out. I think I’m just about through with the Lewis and Clarke box, so maybe I’ll just gongfu some oolong all afternoon. =D

looseTman

Nice pics!

AllanK

Very nice pictures. To get pictures that good I need to get out my D800.

TheTeaFairy

Thanks you all :-)

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91

I’ve been exploring my Eco-Cha tea…I must admit I am impressed at the quality so far.

This tea is stunning, in every way possible.

First, it just looks perfect to me. Fifty shades of green.

You can feel the love and care in every single little nugget.

The taste is remarkable. A clean high mountain fresh mouthfeel.

Floral breeze, buttery and creamy. It’s vegetal with a soft mineral rock taste. The wet leaf smells heavily of spinach.

I could drink this forever, just beautiful and so soothing.

The dried and unfurled leaves looked so perfect, they inspired me to photograph them.

I highly recommend this.

Pics of the session:

http://instagram.com/p/r0eC6Twh1I/

http://instagram.com/p/r0t8P3Qhzw/

http://instagram.com/p/r0syJ9Qhxm/

mj

This sounds so good! Wishlisted!!

Veronica

Love the pictures. Those leaves… beautiful!

apt

Eco-Cha is good. I really like their ShanLinXi Concubine Oolong

TheTeaFairy

Mj, This is totally an mj tea :-)

Veronica, thank you, glad you enjoyed!

Apt, sadly I did not order the Concubine, but I do see myself ordering from them again, I will keep it in mind, thank you.

Cheri

I haven’t broken out my Eco-Cha oolongs yet, but I will this week. This one sounds delicious.

TheTeaFairy

Can’t wait to read your thoughts on them cheri.

Parsifal

Love the photos, thank you for sharing I will have to find some! :)

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Parsifal, Glad you liked the pics :-)

I beleive eco-cha ships worldwide, but I’m not sure, here us the website so you can verify:

http://eco-cha.com

Parsifal

Thank you! I am looking at the site now.. I am in Chicago, should be able to get it. The charcoal roasted Oolong also looks very interesting.

TheTeaFairy

I got the award winning Dong Ding Jin Xuan limited edition, it’s fantastic!

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91

First, I’d like to thank Eco-Cha for giving me the opportunity to be one of the 10 lucky people to get a free yixing clay pot on their recent giveaway. I got my order today with such a lovely little pot! Came in a nice box, all wrapped in a pretty asian style red towel.

I am already brewing one of their tea in it tonight.

I did not know what to expect from this award winning Dong Ding. If anything, award winning won’t necessarily make me like a tea.

I do a quick rinse. This is heavily roasted so I’m expecting some big char notes, and this is pretty much what I get on steep one. Nothing special, just very roasted.

Then…vavavoom! Whoa, fruit! I get a mango mouthful. Yes I know, it’s not really supposed to be there, but that’s what I get! And it’s not subtle, I get that even from the wet leaf.

But that’s not it, this tea is kind sweet and savoury. It’s paired with creamy butternut squash…and roasted root vegetables.

Wow, it is so fragrant, every time I open the pot, I get tropical mango wafts.

As expected, it produced many steeps, but of course, I never count when I get caught up in the moment.

This tea was expensive, but totally worth the bucks.

My first Eco-Cha experience, and I am quite impressed. Quality in every possible way, with an impeccable presentation.

Thank you!

Pics of the order and session:

http://instagram.com/p/ru67ULwh_J/

http://instagram.com/p/rvjrjTQhwr/

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Mango, Roasted

MzPriss

That pot is precious

TheTeaFairy

Isn’t it? I’m very pleased!

Sarsonator

Sounds lovely. And where did you get that gorgeous little blue cup, dearest?

TheTeaFairy

Ebay darling. Inexpensive, but it looks like a $50 cup!

Sarsonator

I love it!

MzPriss

Yeah I love that cup way much

TheTeaFairy

You want the link? It’s still available

Marzipan

Thank you for the morn porn.

TheTeaFairy

My pleasure marzi.

Sarsonator

Teaware porn in the AM!

TheTeaFairy

Yeah, that makes me a teaware porn star…

Ysaurella

I am so jealous for the teapot ! :)

Saradiann

Wow I will look for mango in my next cup :-). I think the tea is soooo worth the money. Enjoy your baby teapot!

Cheri

Lovely!

Sarsonator

Mmmmmm mango

mj

LOL TTF, you are totally a teaware porn star. Sarsonator too ;)

donkeytiara

this makes me wish that I drank oolong…..

Cheri

I used mine this morning. :)

Terri HarpLady

Yay for a free yixing, & it’s adorable, as they always are! I also love the cup :)

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86

What a long-lasting tea! At first steeping of 3 minutes in a 6oz. yixing after rinsing, I was shocked by how forward the smoky flavor was. Very complex nutty, slightly sweet aftertaste, with a slight back-of-the-throat lingering tannic flavor you get from a greener oolong. I steeped this 6 times, and the flavor was still decently strong at that point. The smokiness was less overpowering each steeping, and the sweet, stonefruit-like flavors became stronger until the 5th steeping or so. The first steeping was a bit unbalanced, but the 2nd through 4th steeping were great.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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86

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Apricot, Brown Toast, Chestnut, Roasted nuts, Smoke

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94

Backlog:

A really lovely Oolong! I can’t say that I had tried a Tsui Yu Oolong before I tried this one, but this one was absolutely lovely.

You can read about my different infusions and my experiences with those infusions here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/05/09/tsui-yu-jade-oolong-tea-from-eco-cha/

Eco Cha is one of my favorite companies because the teas stand out to me as being top-notch. This is a remarkable Oolong and one that should be explored! I highly recommend it.

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“Final Eco-Cha review. I’ve had such a great time reviewing teas from them, their teas are great and the people who are behind it are great. Special thanks to Nick for putting this all together.

The dry leaves smell pretty nutty and vegetal for a Taiwanese Oolong. The wet leaves are nutty and buttery smelling. This tea steeps out into a light yellow with a floral scent.

This tea is surprisingly thick-bodied, with a syrupy mouthfeel (god I hate that word) and very little sweetness, which is quite refreshing in a way. It’s nutty and floral in flavor, kind of reminding me of a dragonwell green tea crossed with an Alishan oolong. The aftertaste is perfumey, which makes this seem like a good candidate to make a Jasmine Oolong or Rose Oolong from. The nuttiness makes it seem like a good candidate for a traditional Dong Ding. IIRC this is actually a common cultivar for making Dong Ding with.

Since I still have a lot of this, I think I’m going to cold brew it, as per their suggestion.

thanks for reading, everyone!"

Flavors: Flowers, Jasmine, Nuts, Nutty

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from reddit (note that i wrote all of these)

“Aroma: What little aroma there is is sweet and buttery, though it’s subtle. This isn’t a bad thing, as I’ve had great experiences with teas unusually lacking in aroma (see my 2nd review: the Ruby Red). This goes for the dry and wet leaf and the liquor.

I accidentally steeped the first steep for 3mins. 3 minutes for 5 grams of tea in a 100ml gaiwan. After a second of panic, I poured it out, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. It was the best. This tea is SMOOTH, no astringency at all. It brings to mind a certain classic hip-hop song by A Tribe Called Quest.

This tea is smooth like Butter.

“It’s like butter, it’s like butter baby, Not no Parkay, not no margarine, Strictly butter, strictly butter, baby." - Q-Tip

Really, this tea is clean, smooth, thick, buttery, creamy, and sweet. Like milk and honey, with the swirls. A cooling hint of flowers pops up in the background. This tea is super easy to drink, it’s not bitter at all and has a mellow and simple flavor profile. No hot knife through this butter. It’s DELICIOUS. Eco-Cha does it again. Every tea I’ve tried from them is a home run. Strictly butter, baby."

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Flowers, Honey, Milk

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From Reddit Dot Com:
Wow…. So I headed over to the post office today to pick up my mail that was on hold this week. They brought out the mail and then the guy working there went on his computer. He told me to wait a minute and then I see him with this huge envelope with the Eco-Cha logo on it. Holy shit. I get home and open the envelope and pull out a box…the legendary Taiwan Tea Tour box.

I decided to try this tea first, because I love ShanLinXi teas and leafhopper teas. I loaded the gaiwan up, 6g of leaf. The leaves are a greyish-green, indicating the light roast. They smell honey sweet. The unfurled leaves are medium-large and smell sweet.

The liquor is golden and its aroma is sweet and floral. It is slightly fruity and honey like. The aftertaste is characteristic of ShanLinXi teas, a cooling floral/pine needle sensation. There is also an intriguing spiciness to this tea, like crushed red peppers.

Overall this is a very interesting tea with sweet and spicy notes. I can’t wait to try the rest of my Eco Cha teas!

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From Reddit:
“Two reviews in one day? I’m crazy and you can’t stop me. I run these parts, the tea review game is mine now. The table’s flipped, now I’ve got all the coconuts b*tch (still mourning over the Death Grips breakup)

Crazy music references aside, the dry leaves on this one are tightly rolled balls colored a combination of black and greed. They smell like roasty nuts. The wet leaves are a bit greener, and they smell super sweet. Strangely not like the dry leaves at all.

The liquor of this tea is tan, as expected for a rolled, medium roasted oolong. It smells of buttered popcorn, a very pleasant aroma to find in a tea.

This tea is super nutty in the early infusions, and then becomes a floral, sweet gaoshan. I like this better than other roasted oolongs I’ve had (a particularly good Traditional TGY comes to mind.) The finish is great, not overly floral but just enough to cool your mouth and throat. This tea isn’t super sweet, but it’s sweet enough.

I’m having this as a night tea and it fits the bill perfectly. It’s warming and soothing. The full body and low fragrance make this great for laid back drinking. This could be my go-to tea for night drinking.

This tea is $10 an ounce, which I believe is a pretty good value, but not a steal either. I’d definitely restock this one, it’s a really nice tea. The two teas that I’ve tried from Eco-Cha have been incredible, I can’t wait to try the rest (in a week)"

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From my review on Reddit:
“I’m going to try and finish my tasting of my Eco-Cha teas today so I know what to reorder. So far I’ve decided to reorder the Concubine Oolong. The Concubine Oolong is amazing grandpa style, by the way.

Based on my love for the Concubine Oolong and ShanLinXi oolongs in general, I cracked open the ShanLinXi oolong bag today. The dry leaf is incredibly sweet, with some butter and sweet vegetables going on. Maybe sweet potato or summer squash? Either way, this smells DELICIOUS. The liquor smells buttery and fruity, as do the wet leaves.

This tastes very floral. Floral the entire time. It’s also quite sweet and buttery. This is a complex tea, the flavor profile evolves in your mouth. From floral to buttery to sweet to pine needles. All of these flavors work together and create a nice, balanced, easy-going flavor profile. This is a shining example of high-mountain oolong, this is probably the tea I’d reach for if I was introducing someone to this type of tea."

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92

This is my second bug-bitten oolong, and since Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong form Eco-Cha is one of my favorite teas, I’m excited to try this. After the rinse I get aromas of toast, apples, and cannabis. The main difference here from the other concubine oolong I had is that this one has been roasted more so I’m getting more toasted notes.

The taste is sweet and mellow, a wonderful honey and apple flavor with notes of toast. This tea is so sweet and tastes like candied apples with a bit of spice. It’s a real treat so far. The second steeping seems to release more spice-like notes of cinnamon to combine with the sweet apple tones. There are subtle woodsy tones in the background, but this tea is much less foresty all-around than the original Shan Lin Xi Oolong from Eco-Cha. The third and fourth steepings are similar and build on the richness of this tea.

Overall this is a very lovely tea. It doesn’t have the bright floral notes of a lot of similar oolongs, so it stays very mellow, rich and sweet. I really love this tea! I think it would make a really wonderful tea to drink in Autumn.

Steeped in a gaiwan: 15 seconds + 15 for repeat infusions, 194F/90C, 4.5g tea per 100ml water

Flavors: Apple, Cannabis, Caramel, Cinnamon, Toast, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95

The Oolong balls are medium/large in size and are made up of brown, dark green, burnt yellow and medium green coloured leaves. I can see no impurities on the leaves such as spots or loss of colour nor can I see twigs/sticks amongst the balls. A quick sniff-spection reveals a wonderful sweet grass and floral scent which is lightly perfumed and vegetal.

Once steeped the tea is yellow in colour with a sweet grass scent. In flavour this is of medium strength with pure sweet grass and sweet flower notes. Also some vegetal notes too. Sweetpea, sweetcorn, fresh asparagus and buttercup all in one delicious, smooth yet vibrant tea.

I found the Shan Li Xin High Mountain the tastiest and it has everything I look for in a low oxidised Oolong. It’s freshness and purity makes it one of the nicest I have tried.

For more information and pictures please visit my blog.
http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2014/06/26/2014-oolong-from-eco-cha/

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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80

The Oolong balls are medium/large in size and are made up of brown, dark green, burnt yellow and medium green coloured leaves. I can see no impurities on the leaves such as spots or loss of colour nor can I see twigs/sticks amongst the balls. A quick sniff-spection reveals an elegant sweet and floral scent with a touch of grass.

Once steeped the tea is golden yellow in colour with a sweet floral and grassy scent. In flavour this is of medium/strong strength with sweet floral and grassy yet vegetal notes. The somewhat greenness flavour makes this taste very fresh. Quite earthy vegetables but green like string bean or sweet pea.

For more information and pictures please view my blog.
http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2014/06/26/2014-oolong-from-eco-cha/

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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85

The Oolong balls are small/medium in size and are made up of brown, dark green, burnt yellow and medium green coloured leaves. I can see no impurities on the leaves such as spots or loss of colour nor can I see twigs/sticks amongst the balls. A quick sniff-spection reveals a beautiful sweet and floral scent with a touch of cream and butter.

Once steeped the tea is yellow in colour with a highly buttery and floral scent. In flavour this is of medium strength with sweet floral and creamy butter notes that melt in the mouth and leave a fresh yet fragrant after taste. Also has some vegetal notes that resemble sweetcorn. Very fresh and delicious overall, more floral than milk and I think the balance is perfect.

For more information and pictures please view my blog entry.
http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2014/06/26/2014-oolong-from-eco-cha/

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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80

Ooh! This roasted Dong Ding starts out with this wonderful mild roasted nutty flavor like a Houjicha, but then it opens up to the dried fruit and honey like qualities of Dong Ding, with so much lingering sweetness. For a roasted tea, this one tastes very clean and leaves a nice clean feeling in the mouth and a tingly minty kind of freshness.

On the second steeping the roasted flavor has died off quite a bit revealing more of the sweet, nectar-like qualities of the tea. The more steepings in you go, the more creamy and mellow it gets, and the more it gives way to subtle floral, fruit and honey notes. This is a wonderful oolong for enjoying gongfu style to see how the many infusions change.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Nutty, Raisins, Roasted

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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