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Recent Tasting Notes
I love a good oolong, and I love ti kwan yin more than most oolongs. Just to clarify for those not well versed in Chinese geography, Anxi is an area in the Fujian region of China. Ti kwan yin, or one of the other many spellings, is one of the famous teas of this area.
This tea seemed perfect for brewing with a gaiwan, so I grabbed my trusty ceramic “covered cup” and opened the shrink-sealed package of tea. The smell that wafts from the foil packaging is amazing. Bright and floral, it urges me to continue onward to the tasting. Adding a tablespoon of leaf to the bottom of my gaiwan, I pour the water across the leaves, then quickly discard this water, rinsing the tea and helping the leaves to begin to open.
Deciding to go with typical steep times for the gaiwan, my initial steep lasts for thirty seconds. The resulting cup is light, floral, and laced with vegetal notes that are so characteristic of ti kwan yin oolongs. The golden-green liquor is bright and attractive. In the flavor of this first steeping, the smell is reversed. The vegetal notes take the upper hand, accompanied by the floral smell on the edges. This tea has a smooth finish, and the flavor, especially the vegetal aspects, linger on the tongue, long after the sip is done. The flavors are not intensely strong, as expected from the first steeping.
The leaves themselves have barely begun to open. With that, a second steeping of thirty seconds is begun. I notice that, even after this steeping, the leaves remain a bit stubborn in opening fully. The tea is darker by a few shades, and the aroma is now more balanced. The flavors of this steeping are not much stronger, but they are sharper in body, revealing the source of the lingering flavors. The third steeping tastes much the same, with the flavors being a bit more developed.
The fourth steeping is rich with these same flavors, and I finally notice the almost-creamy edges. I am sure that this tea will last through several more steepings. I really enjoyed trying this Monkey Picked Oolong, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a nice, green oolong. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this tea an 89/100.
Ok this one was interesting I liked it most people would probably not like it at first or at all even. It don’t really have good aroma to me just an odd smell like that of ancient books in fact that exactly how its starts out tasting also almost stale tasting like an old musty book smells, dull and just odd. As steeps went by it got a little better even got quite lively and smooth and refreshing, almost as if were dead at first and came back to life. An acquired taste i’m sure but I liked it ok, it’s worth a try for anyone who enjoys odd flavors. Also pretty much no steep time at all for this one really just pour the water right over it through the strainer into a cup over and over and over.
It’s been a long time since I tried the worm tea, it still taste the same like some old books or newspapers, earthy. Not bad.
This is very sweet, a bit creamy to swizzle in the mouth, and crisp but there is a hint of hay or wheat texture to it at the beginning of the sip and it rounds out at the end. It’s very nice. It’s a great inbetween “cleanser” tea (especially after all of that chamomile I have been drinking! oye!)
I like this! It’s a goodie! :)
Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea.
This is alright. Not the best Uji Genmaicha that I’ve tried, but, it’s not bad either. Unlike other Uji Genmaicha, I can hardly taste the Matcha in this. It is very toasty and delicious, but considerably lighter in composition than what I expected. Good, but not great.
This is a really good silver needle: sweet and with a strong flavor, that is to say, stronger than I would have expected from a typical silver needle. The leaves were soft and fluffy. There are flavors of hay and of grass, these are soft flavors that mingle with the sweetness. A very lovely white tea.
This is surprisingly refreshing. It has a very light taste to it… far more subtle than I usually experience from a green tea. This is very reminiscent of a white tea … both in flavor as well as the appearance of the dry leaf, which were light green, wiry, covered in silvery fuzz.
A sweet, crisp, refresher!
This was hands down the most unique green tea I’ve come across in years. I’ve had aged pu-erhs, heard about aged oolongs (but never tried), and then comes this odd little beast. It has one of the most unique stories to tell. Heck, I found three Wikipedia articles on the stuff. Taste-wise, it definitely feels like an aged tea. Steeped four times, I had impressions of buttered veggies, vanilla, fruit, smoke, earth and mint. It’s not as winy as good sheng pu-erhs, but it’s still worth the unique experience.
I received a small sample of this from LiberTEAS (thanks once again!)
The initial fragrance was a bit musty in the package but, once allowed to breathe, it became cleaner and moss-like.
I “over cooked” this a bit, but it still turned out pretty awesome. (I love a forgiving tea.) The color is copper but approaching garnet. The fragrance mellowed to something that was earthy and I also detected a slight salinity. Finally, the flavor was very mellow and even. Sometimes pu erhs have a mushroom (fungal) taste but this had notes of vanilla and caramel with just a faint metallic after taste.
There are simply too many great pu erhs to try that I don’t see myself repeating a purchase of any single one. However, if you like finding and sticking with a few of choice, give this one a try.
I remember trying this well over a year ago and got another sample of it last week. Contrary to my last review…I do really like this!
It seems it’s the better of both worlds…Genmaicha and Matcha! Both are visible! Both are pretty nifty! After infusion…the liquid is VERY murky but very flavorful! a brothy and hefty green tea. Hardy Roasted Puffs, too! This gets a thumbs up from me!
When I opened the small bag in which the leaves were held, I was immediately intrigued by how different this sheng pu smelled, compared to other pu’erh I have had recently (including other sheng). The aroma of the dry leaf tends toward more of a mossy smell with some tobacco notes. Definitely a crisp smell.
To start off the process of making this intriguing tea, I rinsed the leaves briefly and then went for a 30 second infusion. (I should mention that I am using a small gaiwan.) A lot of the leaves seem to be a bit broken up, but this could have been on account of some transit issues, as there are quite a few large leaves as well. The smell of the wet leaves still maintains its mossiness, but also smells of coffee and tobacco.
The first steeping produced a very light brew. The smell remains the same, which is why the flavour caught me completely off guard. Very rough edges combine with much stronger tobacco notes to almost overwhelm any remaining moss flavour. Then there comes a bit of a sour taste, which was a bit unpleasant, yet somehow fit with the general flavour of this tea.
Time for the second steeping. While the aroma has not changed at all, the edges of the tea have indeed smoothed out. The sourness still remains a bit on the aftertaste, but is not as prominent anymore. Toasted flavours of tobacco and that little bit of moss taste still remain.
Steep number three brings a diminished smell, which I found a bit strange. It was as though the smell had all but disappeared. The taste too has been muted a bit, yet still the same as the previous steeping. Some would call this muted-ness “smoothed”, but I disagree. It is definitely lacking for flavour now.
I put the leaves through another steeping, this time leaving it for a few minutes, to see if this would improve or affect the flavour. The result was not much different. This was a decent pu’erh, but quite green, and had a flavour to match that fact. I give it an 80/100 on my enjoyment scale.
For the preparation and consumption of this tea, I used a small, 6 oz. gaiwan and boiled water.
What struck me concerning the leaves of this particular pu’erh was that some are whole, while others are chopped, ripped, and torn. This typically is not a good sign, as ripped and chopped leaves tend to “steep-out” faster. The smell of the dried leaf is vegetal and green…a leafy smell, not grassy. A bit loamy.
The first thirty second steep produced a medium brown liquor, with a soft smell. The earthy flavour bursts in the mouth, but it brings with it some distinctly rough edges. The aftertaste of this first steep is strong, but the but it has a weak forward taste.
The second thirty second steep brings with it an earthier smell that is also smooth and deep. The tea bites a bit on the aftertaste leaves a hard flavour under the tongue. The flavour of the tea is still full, but not strong. One feels that this steeping is relatively light.
On the third steeping of the same time as the others, the smell is “dirtier” now. The colour is a golden brown, and that bite has almost completely gone away. The flavour is smooth, but a bit weaker than before. This tea certainly lacks forward flavours and much “personality.”
I go on to steep it three more times. The fourth is much thinner and lighter; the fifth is no different; and the sixth, which I left sit for multiple minutes, barely changed anything.
I would give this tea an 88/100 on my personal enjoyment scale. The aftertaste really was quite pleasant. A tea such as this goes to show that age is not everything in a pu’erh.
This is the best Pu-Erh I’ve tasted yet. The aroma is not that strong, earthy aroma that sometimes gives me pause and a slight cringe, in fact, the aroma is quite subtle compared to other Pu-erh teas that I’ve encountered. It’s there, but it’s different and quite light.
The flavor is also quite light, and has a delicate flowery note. I am also experiencing the minty sensation as described by Grand Tea. If I were going to purchase a pu-erh, this would be the one I’d buy! That being said, I am sure that one of the things that the pu-erh lovers out there like best is that same thing that I do not, which is the strong, earthy essence. This tea does not have that. It is smooth and well-rounded, but not earthy… it reminds me more of an Oolong than a typical Pu-erh.
I just attempted to visit the Grand Tea website so that I could obtain more information about this tea but it says that it is temporarily inaccessible.
Anyways… this is lovely. I am sitting here with a honey crisp apple and a cup of this tea, and the two compliment each other very nicely. The tea is earthy and slightly vegetative, with an interesting background of sweet and even a little note of savory/sour taste. Complex. Pleasant.