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Recent Tasting Notes
First thing’s first. This tea has a WONDERFUL smell and taste, very sweet and with a lightly roasted taste. I’m definitely getting something fruity, nectar-like, and like a sweet and mild floral… like orchids.
On a second steeping, the toasty flavors emerge even more, and so does the sweetness. There’s an almost berry-like fruitiness and the toasted flavor and sweetness blend exceptionally well together with it. I’m really enjoying this! It is very complex in its flavor. There’s a subtle floral and a creamy finish resulting in a lasting flavor that reminds me of soy milk or a malted milk shake.
Third steeping brings out even more of the mellow creamy, roasty, malty, subtly fruit-and-floral sweetness. I am not going to try to do it justice with words. This is just wonderful.
This is truly a comfort tea. The lightly roasted flavor is very relaxing and very well balances with the other flavors. The flavor is long-lasting and stays in your mouth for quite a while. Everything about the aroma and flavor is gentle. I really recommend this!
Flavors: Cream, Fruity, Malt, Orchid, Roasted, Sweet
While drinking this Anxi Benshan Oolong tonight, I began thinking about how peculiar it is that we seek to dissect our tea experience into discrete flavor notes. It reminds me of what I’ve seen a lot of while traveling: when people take pictures of everything all the time and seem to miss out on actually looking at anything, because they are too busy trying to capture it on film. I suppose that the selfie craze and phone cameras have made this sort of behavior quite a bit more common than it was in the twentieth century.
There’s actually a more profound issue here, too. We analyze our experience into small packets to which we can attach words. But they are inadequate to (and in some ways falsify) the larger, synthetic experience. N’est-ce pas?
I finally caught up on my backlog, and we also have internet chez sherapop once again. Phew! I needed a quick pot of greenish oolong this afternoon, so this Anxi Benshan Oolong from Enjoying Tea was my choice for the simple reason that it was the closest tin ready at hand since I had left it downstairs from the last time.
Perfectly satisfying and makes a good second infusion, too.
I bought a couple of the cute sherapop-sized yixing clay pots from Enjoying Tea. I have not quite graduated to the “brew a gulp” or “brew a sip” culture, so 11 ounces is definitely okay with me!
Along with the pots, the company included an array of samples, including this Anxi Benshan Oolong, in adorable little tins which look to hold about an ounce. Very generous provision of tea to those who purchase the already wildly inexpensive pots.
So the tea. It’s toasty, definitely more oxidized than the green spectrum oolongs I’ve been trying of late. This variety is also less creamy and sweet than milk oolong and its close neighbors. The flavor is much closer to that of my old concept of oolong, derived from middling filter bags years ago. However, I feel that the quality is better. It seems like that same mid-range level of oxidation, but perhaps because it involves leaves rather than dust it tastes much better and does not seem to be making me feel queasy. I wonder whether my body just dislikes half measures. I say this because I also dislike light-roasted coffee, which sometimes induces a gag reflex in me.
Back to tea. My preference appears to be with the greener oolongs, although I did enjoy a near-black oolong the other day, and I recently learned that darjeeling, which I like a lot, is really oolong disguised as black tea! (Thanks to boychik for confirming what I suspected all along: that darjeeling was only posing as a black tea…)
I have already consumed the second infusion of this Anxi Benshan Oolong, which was about the same as the first. I think that this tea is perfectly fine, not compelling enough for me to seek out a larger supply, but I’ll certainly empty this tin.
third infusion: this ended up being the best of them all. The liquor was fairly bright gold but still with a tiny tinge of green.
I’ve been drinking off of this one all day. I think I got 4 or 5 steeps out of it, with the last one being a little weak, plus another short steep that I poured on my yixing teapot to feed her (that’s what you’re supposed to do right?).
First of, the smell of this one reminds me of pine nuts for some reason, (I don’t even know if I know what pine nuts smell like) probably because of the vegetal and nutty aromas mixing together.
This is a nice smooth sort of buttery tea, with a nice mix of nutty and vegetal, two of my favorite notes in a tea. This is lightly sweet and nutty in the first few steeps, with the vegetal and sort of metallic taste coming out more in the later steeps. This tea is also sort of bright or crisp, its a really refreshing tea. Another tea that I didn’t end up sweetening!
An ounce of this came with a recent teapot order. I only recall having two cinnamon black teas before. Harney’s Hot Cinnamon Spice (affectionately known as liquid Red Hots) and Bigelow Cinnamon Stick. That last one was one of my very first tea purchases years ago. It smelled good but became lacking quickly. This one the leaf appears impressive for an inexpensive black tea. Definitely not dust. There is cinnamon pieces throughout. In fact the leaf in coated in cinnamon powder. The taste is richly cinnamon but not over the top. It quickly fades to allow the Ceylon base to come through. This is tart from the Ceylon and causes a certain amount of cheek tingle. A little sweetener mellows it and does something cool. The Ceylon takes on an earthy quality that I have not experienced with Ceylon before. I did enjoy sipping this cup.
You remember your first bike? Mine was a red 16" one with training wheels. I remember the day and the hill I was coasting down when the training wheels fell off. It was a glorious moment. I see this little guy the same way. I am having so much fun with it. You guys riding your high quality and equally expensive bikes would know my little red one was little more than a toy. Not me. I thought it was amazing. This teapot was $6.98 plus shipping. Is it machine molded? – of course. Is it real yixing clay? No idea, and wouldn’t know the difference. What I do know is I have had quite a lot of thrills with this.
Anyone know of a palate cleanser between tasting cups of tea? I’m trying to get a feel for this tea, but I can’t get the lime puerh catastrophe taste out of my mouth! A little bit of malt o meal seems to be doing the trick. I’m not tasting too much puehr here, just a little earthiness. I’m not getting too much caramel or toffee either. it is more like a whisper or lingering smoke of flavor. Not awful, but not my fav either.
When I opened the pouch I got a whiff that was slightly floral, but the fireworks really began when I tossed a scoop into my teapot of water. As I was about to put the lid on top, an amazing floral scent wafted up to my nose, reminiscent of being in a greenhouse of tropical flowers. I knew I was in for a real treat in 4 minutes. And I was right, as it had hints of Honeysuckle, Orange Blossom, Grape Hyacinth and Roses, alongside a delightfully chewy vegetal taste and was very silky on the tongue. There were hints of Bok Choy, Escarole, Spinach and Asparagus, with a background flavoring of Wax Beans. Of all the loose teas I’ve tried so far, this has had the most complex bundling of flavors. On the second steep, I braced myself for a weak reminiscence of the first offering, but OMG!, it was just as flavorful the second time around, with only the slightest bit of astringency added on.
This tea is not going to last long, and I don’t give a damn how much it costs, it’s worth it!
Flavors: Asparagus, Bok Choy
TTB Tea 9: I saw that the other reviews were not so great for this one, but I still wanted to give it a try. One of the reviews mentioned a fishy taste, so I decided to go with a ten second rinse beforehand. On the first sip, I mostly got an earthy puerh flavor. The more I sipped, the more I could taste the other flavors come in. The puerh definitely dominates here, so if you’re not a fan of that flavor, definitely avoid this one!
As I drink this cup of firewood, it is about 5 degrees outside with a negative wind chill. That may be weighing in on my opinion here but I have never had a tea quite like this (it is my first Russian Caravan, that being said)
Smells like smoke. In the good way that a tasty cheese might bring to your senses.
Tastes about the same. Actually, this is about the equivalent of smoking a cigar/ette in tea form (don’t think ashes, think nice rootsy tobacco)
There is a very subtle black tea undercurrent but the smoke is at the forefront. If you are trying to stay warm or just want a unique take on tea try this one.
Long term opinion – not a tea I would return to, but a nice diversion.
This is earthy, but… more like dirt. The caramel toffee flavor is delicate but pleasant. The aftertaste, on the other hand, is less than pleasant. I think this might be what people mean when they complain of pu’erh tasting fishy. I was going to play around with multiple steepings. I couldn’t even finish the first one. Thankfully, I only picked up a little bit of this during BrewTEAlly Sweet’s stash sale. This is a sipdown.
I got this in a mystery swap with, err….Shelley_Lorraine I think? I’m not completely sure, but this wasn’t really something I would’ve swapped for on my own and she’s the only one I did a mystery box swap with. Lol.
Tea #1 for the night since I’d like to try to get through some of this pile of tea that I have yet to try before considering buying new tea. Not that it’ll stop me from buying, or considering buying, more tea, but I can tell myself this in the hope I’d one day believe it. XD
The dry tea smells nicely of caramel, with an almost dusty quality. The wet leaves have an unpleasant musky/earthy smell to them. The brew itself was very dark, looked more like coffee than tea though thankfully didn’t smell like it. It did have a pleasant caramel smell, which was nice. The taste was also nicely caramel/toffee, though it was very light. There was a vaguely spicy taste on the back of the sip and it had a weird earthy mouthfeel/aftertaste to it. Maybe that’s the puerh, but it was very strange. Very mild astringency.
Strangely enough, this is the only tea I’ve had so far that adding sugar to it actually made it worse (to me at least). It became very musky and undrinkable. And before y’all get out the tar and feathers for putting sugar in a puerh, I try all my teas with sugar after I’ve tried the first half of the cup plain. So no violence please. Lol!
Overall, I wasn’t that impressed with this. It wasn’t something I’d have bought to begin with, but it was certainly something that I’m glad I tried.
I wasn’t feeling like a black tea this morning, so I decided to give this a try. I think last time I made it I used my gaiwan, but this time, in my perfect mug, it was… well, rather perfect for the moment!
My school house tea-making is rather lax in general, so I think this steeped for something like 10 minutes while I made copies. I was kind of on autopilot, so I added sugar like it was a black – I never do that for greens, but in this case it worked out well.
A couple months ago, my husband knocked over some of the cast-iron cups for my tetsubin. They fell and the enamel chipped, so it gave me an excuse to order a new pair – as well as the new trivet I’d been wanting! A sample of this tea came with the order, in a cute little tin. Now, I’m little more than a novice when it comes to green teas – I’m just not as good about placing their notes in comparison to the black teas I’m more familiar with. This is smooth, and I can taste the usual green vegetal notes, but they seem to build up to a slightly nutty aftertaste.
Thanks, EnjoyingTea, for the free sample. This came in the cutest wee li’l tea tin. And I greatly appreciated the amount of free tea stuffed into it. I imagine I can get at least 10 cups in if I’m careful.
This is delicious. The leaves smell nice, a fresh almost-nutty scent. I steeped a tiny scoop of this and left it in for a while. The flavor is nice and strong. Distinctively “oolong” but without any fruity aftertaste like some others have. Instead, it tastes almost-smoky and just toys with turning bitter but never does. YUM.