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Recent Tasting Notes
I didn’t know I had this until I was going through my cupboard. Nor did I know what to make of it – was it a sheng pu-erh or a shou? I couldn’t tell. On smell, it seemed cooked. On taste…things get dicey. If it’s a shou, then it’s a very good shou. If it’s a sheng, it needs work. But it lasts quite a few infusions…and it woke me up plenty. So, I guess that’s something.
Here we have another tie guan yin by Grand Tea. These always interest me a great deal, as they have the potential to be so wonderful, and yet many companies’ offerings of this style of oolong fall flat. As I open the package, I notice that this tie guan yin has a much more roasted aroma than the one that I previously tried from Grand Tea (the Monkey Picked Anxi Oolong). In fact, they are almost entirely opposite. That one was far more floral in aroma, and this one, initially, is more dark and roasted. At least so far as the dry leaves are concerned.
I preheat my gaiwan and my teacup, add some of the tea to the gaiwan, and give it a quick rinse. As I pour the water to begin the first steeping of thirty seconds, already I can smell the dark roasted aromas. If I take a deep breath, I can just barely detect an edge of grassy scents and a touch of floral notes. Steeping number one smells much the same, albeit watery and half-hearted. The liquor is bright and a transparent pale yellow. Tasting it, I find that it tastes much as it smells, which is to be expected for the first steeping. It feels incredibly light on the tongue. Steeping number two follows quickly after the first, using the same amount of time. This round, the aroma and the flavor have become darker, picking up more of the roasted flavor. This makes the tea seem richer, in a sense. Mmm, this third steeping (same time used), is full of rich, oolong goodness. It makes me want to sit back and savor this single cup for a long while. However, I know that this tea has more to give! The next two steepings continue this same trend, only changing in making the flavor more rich and intense. This is one of the best roasted oolongs I have had in some time. I certainly enjoyed trying it! On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate it an 85/100.
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.