Green Terrace Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

88

Queued post, written July 24th 2014

It’s a heatwave and I’m drinking hot tea? Why??? Well, caffeine really. I do the occasional cold brew of stuff, but I have to say in general iced tea leaves me… well, cold. Just not in the desired way. Tea should be drunk hot. It is, for me, the natural state of tea. Cold tea can be all well and good, but it’s just not something that I want.

So I’m having hot tea now. In a heatwave. A normal person would go and have a glass of Ribena instead, but apparently I can only take normality so far.

Another reason is that I’ve still got this box of untried things to empty. I’m down to only eight things in it, not counting this oolong I’m having now. I need to empty it so that I can be allowed to buy new stuff, and for the longest time I’ve been annoyed by the lack of dark oolongs in my possession. The cup of tea that I want the very most right now is Da Hong Pao. But I haven’t got any. And I’m not allowed to get any.

Yet!

So onwards with the box emptying.

This is the last of the three samples that Green Tea Terrace sent me. I didn’t choose this one myself. I said I would like to try an oolong, but as they were all greenish types so far as I could tell, I said I had no idea where to even begin. I said the one or two that I had tried before, and asked them to choose something for me that wasn’t too floral. This is what I won.

The aroma of it is indeed not very floral. Again, and I’m beginning to suspect that this might be a Taiwan characteristic in general, I’m getting a fair bit honey notes from it and also a little bit of milk.

The flavour also has a large honey note, which I immediately decided I liked very much indeed. It really is mostly a honey-y tea, with a leafy sort of note to the aftertaste. The GTT descriptions mentions notes of jasmine and lily, which under other circumstances would have made me disregard it completely as I really don’t like jasmine scented things much at all. In this, however, I can’t actually find any of these floral notes at all. For me, this is a big win.

I found I quite enjoyed this, and it makes me more curious about the greener oolongs. I’ve never been hugely interested in green or white teas in general (save for the occasional ambition to learn more about them which would always pass again relatively quickly) and greenish oolongs tended to fall to that same side of the spectrum. I just couldn’t tell them apart at all. Not the way I’ve learned to do with black teas. I reckon this is probably a question of gaining a lot of experience, but in order to gain experience you have to have an pre-existing amount of interest which has turned out to be much more difficult to achieve. I can’t say that this particular tea has sparked such an interest in me, but I can say that I’ve now become interested in seeing if it could. :)

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100

Queued post, written July 19th 2014

Here is the second of the three teas that Green Terrace Teas shared with me in exchange for reviews. This one I shared with Husband, so I’ve used almost the entire sample. There’s a bit left, and I’m a little concerned about whether it would have been better to use the whole thing. I think it’s only enough for half of one of my one-cup pots. Oh well. I’m sure I can burn that particular bridge when I cross it.

In an effort to not waste any, I poured the entire pot into two mugs. In other words I did something that I haven’t actually done in a good while. I poured an Ang. Hurray surface tension. And saucers.

Given how strong the honey black was, I thought this was probably the same story. Other people’s posts only confirmed this, so I decided it must be a suitable choice for the first tea of the day. My nose now tells me I was correct.

I can smell a lot of things in here. It strikes me as quite a complicated aroma. There is raisin and something dairy-y right at first. I mean, it doesn’t smell like dairy, but rather like there might have been dairy added to it. Milk or cream, pick your preference (mine is neither, or if anything, milk). Next layer has grain and wood in it, reminding me strongly of all my favourite Chinese blacks, and then finally I feel like I’m catching a small whiff of something cocoa-y and a bit tart, like fruit that isn’t ripe yet. This last layer, though, I’m not certain if it’s really there or if I’m looking too hard. Either way, there is a LOT going on here.

First note I find in the flavour is wood. If you remember my post about the honey black I tried to describe the look of the wood it reminded me of, but I didn’t know what sort of tree made wood that looks like that. I still don’t know anything about that, but this wood note is the same kind of wood. This is the primary note at the first sip.

If I slurp when I drink, I also get that dairy-y feeling a bit and at the back of my throat a feeling like the one cocoa notes usually give me. I don’t actually taste cocoa, so that fits well with how uncertain I was about it in the aroma.

As I drink, a grain note becomes more and more apparent. It’s even a little bit smoky, reminding me of keemun. That’s one of my favourite things, so this makes me happy.

The raisins and the unripe fruit show up a little later. This is one of those teas that you shouldn’t drink quickly because it keeps evolving in the cup as it cools. It has already changed this much and I’m only a centimeter down in the cup. The vast majority of the tea is yet to be drunk. This is going to be a very long post if this keeps up. Lots of teas do this, actually, to a smaller or larger degree. That’s why I don’t like those ‘keep warm’ things with tea-candles under the pot. It messes with this process and keeps the tea warm in an uneven way. A thick cork mat under the pot and a thick cozy over it suits me much better. Far less effective, yes, but also less intrusive.

Having cooled a little more, the tea has now become an explosion of honey. Such a very thick honey note, it even more honey-y than the honey black and I thought that was pretty honey-y. The notes of grain and raisins are pretty much gone at this point, and the wood note has gone from a front seat position to being bundled into the boot. I still have the dairy-y feeling though. I think it might be the honey note that makes it feel a bit thickened. From this point on, it seems the flavour has settled, and I’m not noticing any more big changes, apart from the very last bottom sip which was all cocoa all the way.

Others are also talking about peaches and other stone-fruits, but try as I might I just can’t find any of that in here. I suppose I did have the bit of unripe fruit, but I feel that note has passed now.

I enjoyed this very much indeed. It has all the characteristics that I love in my black tea. It’s complicated, interesting and life-giving.

looseTman

Excellent review!

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78

This is one I picked up in Green Terrace’s sale a few weeks ago. I don’t drink milk oolong too often, but sometimes that distinctive profile just hits the spot. This one hits it, but not quite a bull’s eye.

I did 5 steeps in a gaiwan at 93°C as GT suggested. After the first 30s steep, as expected, the leaves were still tight and the taste pretty light. There was a gentle version of the classic milk oolong scent, but no sweetness and slightly vegetal. The next 30s steep gave me a stronger scent, somewhat thicker liquor, and a bit sweeter, but still nothing to write home about. After a 45s steep, it came into its own, with a nice freshness to the flavor. Steep 4 didn’t change character, but was steadily pleasant. I tried one more steep at 60s, but my tongue may have been tasted out by then because the milkiness seemed pretty faded. To be fair, I was also starting to make salsa, though I didn’t sample that until after my final sips lest the jalapenos toast my taste buds.

All in all, a reasonable milk oolong and I don’t regret buying it. Next time, I’ll start with more leaves and see if that raises the profile.

Flavors: Milk, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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90

Upon brewing this tea up and tasting it for the first time, all I could do was whisper a quiet, “Oh no,” into my cup. This is pretty much everything I love in an oolong: buttery, creamy notes against a strong, vegetal background. The mineral hints toward the end are different, a little more astringent than I’m used to, but very complimentary to this Shan Lin Xi overall. So why the overdramatic cup-whispering? This was a sample that Green Terrace sent me. Had I but known what a delicious little cup you make, my darling, I would’ve bought bulk in a heartbeat. Sadly, I will have to go without until my next order, which will likely take quite some time, given the amount of tea in my cupboard. I’ll savor every sip until then.

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Green, Mineral, Vegetal

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90

Miss mj was nice enough to send me a sample of this tea in our swap! I felt oh-so left out when I didn’t choose it as one of my free samples from Green Terrace, as it seemed to be everyone’s favorite. Doh! So hooray, now I get the chance to try it! I was planning on ordering a sample soon, but they seem to have done away with their samples sizes, which makes me sad. The leaves have that “creepy tree branch” look about them, they’re very dark and thin and twisty. I think my sample may have been contaminated a bit by the sample of Crio Bru’s Cavalla that mj also sent, because it smells super chocolately! Like, on a Golden Orchid level of chocolately. No that I’m complaining, it smells delicious! :P

Once brewed, the tea smells like heavenly sweet potatoes with brown sugar and cinnamon over the top. Om nom nom. Mm, that sweet potato goodness carries over to the taste as well, and so do the caramelized brown sugar and cinnamon notes. I also get some dark chewy bread, which goes well with the sweet potato. There’s a little touch of dried fruit flavor as well, more of a suggestion than anything, and not specific enough for me to call it by name. Lastly, near the end, a light floral note starts to pop up and say “hello”. It’s inoffensive, not soapy or heady, more of a light ethereal floral taste that just serves to lighten up the whole thing. Yum!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Floral, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
mj

I’m glad you liked it and that I could split my sample with you. It’s way lame that they did away with their sample sizes.
I think I double bagged the Crio Bru, but that stuff has quite the chocolatey aroma so I guess it wasn’t enough.

TeaBrat

I noticed recently that Norbu did away with their sample sizes as well. :(

Cameron B.

mj, I don’t mind! Now it smells delicious, lol. It didn’t seem to affect the taste.

And yes, super lame about the samples. :(

KiwiDelight

I was about to remark on that…because this tea sounds divine. But I don’t want to spend 20 on it just in case…

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85

Lewis & Clarke TTB

So I sniffed the Green Terrace Teas oolongs, and this one smelled delightful! :P The tightly-rolled pellets are yellow-green. Their dry scent is very sweet and creamy with stonefruit notes. I was unsure how to steep this, but I went with 190 degrees for 3 minutes. I underleafed it a little bit because I wanted to make sure there was a serving left for someone else, so I used a little bit less water as well. :)

Brewed, it smells sweet and somewhat vegetal with nice peach notes. Yum, this is very tasty. It seems quite similar to a buttery, vegetal green tea to me, which is nice because usually green oolong is too light-bodied for me. It definitely has a touch of lovely peach flavor that I pretty much always find in green oolong. The texture is very creamy and mouth-filling, and there’s the tiniest flourish of floral at the end of the sip, as well as stronger peach notes. This is definitely my kind of green oolong, yum! :)

Edit: Do not let this one cool, lol. The floral takes over and it becomes quite soapy… :(

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Peach, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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80

If you want a super creamy mouthfeel, this is the tea for you! It’s so thick that pudding mouth doesn’t really cover it….maybe custard mouth. I do enjoy that a lot in an oolong, but unfortunately other than that it’s a bit boring. It’s mainly creamy feeling without venturing into milk oolong territory in terms of taste with a mineral quality to it and a sweet finish. It’s nice but bland. I’m glad though because I can’t be in love with ALL of the green oolongs.

Flavors: Creamy, Mineral, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
sherapop

Yum—cannot wait to try it now! ;-)

mj

LOL

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90

I’m drinking this at the same time as Alishan and Shan Lin Xi, all from Green Terrace. They all have quite distinct personalities! I started with the Alishan and this was quite the departure from that oolong. This oolong is crazy fruity to me. There’s a hint of a creamy mouthfeel and then BAM, mango in my mouth. I honestly couldn’t believe it when I took the first sip. I’m getting not only mango with some sweetness, but also a subtly spicy finish. I kept thinking that it reminded me of a dessert I had had, but couldn’t remember what. I finally figured it out- it reminds me a lot of mango mousse that is served in Indian restaurants. Yum! I don’t know if all Li Shans are like this, but it was definitely a unique experience for me.
Also, when did Green Terrace change so that the minimum quantity of tea is 150g? I just bought 10g of a bunch of their teas to try and would like to buy more, but that’s honestly a huge deterrent.

Flavors: Creamy, Mango, Spices

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Yeah, I noticed that too… They got rid of the sample sizes and changed the minimum to 150g for rolled oolongs and 50g for everything else. :(

Anlina

Not being able to buy small quantities irks me so much. I will happily try 10-25g of almost anything, but if I have to buy 50 or more then I have to know I love it or I have to be very, very intrigued.

mj

It definitely irks me too! I actually know that I love their Alishan enough to buy it, but I don’t want 150g at once. I have way too many other teas to be able to drink all that before it gets too old! I emailed the company to suggest that they bring back the smaller sizes, but I haven’t heard back.

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94

I’m finally able to dig into my Green Terrace teas, which arrived while I was away (I have awesome neighbors to keep my tea safe for me). I’m very happy I started with this one. Ok, fine, I started with this one as one of three brewed at once because I have become an oolong fiend. I haven’t started selling my possessions to buy oolong yet, but I’m headed that way ;-).
This is my kind of oolong! The tightly rolled green leaves are beautiful and yield a delicate yellow brew. The sip is mainly a wonderful creamy mouthfeel with a somewhat more subtle cream taste until almost the end when it is swept away by a fresh clean finish infused with balmy, graceful florals; which in turn sweeps me right off my oolong-loving feet. The florals are fresh above all else, calling to mind a cool breeze sweeping over a meadow of wildflowers through which a sparkling stream meanders. I’m twitterpated over this oolong!

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Ewwwwwww floral… :P

Tealizzy

Twitterpated! :)

mj

More floral oolongs for me then, Cameron ;-)

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94

Thank you so much for the samples! I wouldn’t call the oolong in this vacuumed foil pack as green as the picture on the site shows. The leaves are more yellow green than jade. They have a creamy milk oolong type fragrance to the dry leaves. I used two teaspoons for my 12-13 ounce mug, as the only suggestions on the site are 194-203 degrees.

Steep #1 // 12 min after boiling // rinse// 1 min
The flavor is very nice, creamy vegetables. Not quite milk oolong as the flavor sways over to savory slightly more than sweet. There is no astringency like I added too many leaves, but I probably could have went with 1 1/2 teaspoons and had a flavorful cup anyway.

Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min
The brew color is a slightly brighter yellow now and the flavors are similar yet stronger (no astringency though). There is also a hint of floral flavor. I love my floral oolongs!

Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min
Another full flavored cup, slightly more floral while losing some of the creaminess, still no astringency. So much of that lovely oolong flavor I love! I think the third cup might have even been the best one. I think this oolong could have went on for many more steeps. I’ve never seen my brew basket so full of leaves before… this oolong must have been rolled very tightly… the brew basket seems like half a pound now! A very lovely oolong, though I wish Green Terrace would sell a smaller amount of leaves at a time.
GreenTerraceTeas.com

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I received this sample from Green Terrace Teas, Thank you!

This is a wonderful oolong. So smooth and full of flavor. I enjoyed this gongfu style last night and I brewed a cup of it western style this morning. Both were wonderful. It is really hard for me to describe the flavor on this one, but it was very tastely.

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98

Marco Lewis TTB

Nantou Four Seasons by In Pursuit of Tea was the first type of oolong I ever tried, and it made me fall in love. This one is no different. It definitely didn’t disappoint! I used the whole package in my 120ml/4 oz yixing pot and at first it was a bit bitter and I realized I wasn’t getting much tea. I opened my pot up and realized that there were so many leaves crammed in there I could have filled the pot twice!! Once I removed half the leaves the sweet floral shined right through. Moral of the story: weight my leaves next time! :P

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83

Thank you, Green Terrace Teas, for a sample!

This is a really nice green oolong! Floral, fruity and sweet. I enjoyed a lot of infusions out of this tea. This is one I could definitely keep on hand. Thank you for allowing me to try this wonderful tea.

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Thank you, Green Terrace Teas, for a sample!

This is a very light floral green oolong that is slightly sweet. This tea is a nice evening tea, but not one that I see myself drinking often. This was a little on the light side for me.

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100

This is the other tea I got from Green Terrace. It’s thick, fruity and bready with a little spice in the finish. Like sweet potatoes with cinnamon. It’s delicious.

It is similar to the Honey Black but different enough to be worth having both on hand. The Honey Black is way sweeter. I think if I could only keep one around it would be the Honey Black but this is an amazingly good tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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100

Oh my. Vanilla and honey and bread and yeast and fruit and wow. This is deeply sweet and definitely a honey sweet. There is a honey aftertaste as well. The dry leaf smells UH-MAZING and the steeped tea is the same. This makes me so happy I put aside my “no more tea until September” idea and got this on their sale. There will need to be more of this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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83
This has a lot of flavor and smooth richness, a high quality black tea. It has a dense layering of flavors, ripe peach, some honey and malt, and breadiness and a medium, not dark, broth. If only it had a little less of a perfumey bergamot-like note in the mix. If the rest of the description sounds good and you like bergamot, you will probably have found a true favorite in this tea, because it is really delightful. I enjoyed it even though I dislike strong bergamot, so that says a lot for this tea!

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82

Well, this tea is certainly tasty. Unfortunately, I am in a surly mood now, having placed my order from this company three times and just been told that I have to place it again.

WHAT?????????????

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cheri

I think they’ve got it fixed now. My last order went through. It is frustrating, though.

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92

Thank you so much for the samples, GreenTerraceTeas.com! This one has similar long dark leaves to the Honey Black but the flavor is definitely different. As the Honey black is syrupy and fruity, this one is just like sweet potato. All sweet potato, 100% sweet potato, so I don’t even have much else to say about it. But I love this tea. Even the brew color is a nice light orange, so it’s a very light cup. It’s funny that these leaves have such a light brew, I guess because they aren’t chopped up into small pieces. I also used two and half teaspoons to compensate for the longer leaf. The second steep was just as nice, complete sweet potato. Similar to whichever Teavivre tea is like sweet potato. At first glance, both of the black teas on offer at Green Terrace seem similar but I love each of them for their own characteristics.
Steep #1 // 2 1/2 teaspoons // 10 min after boiling // 2-3 min steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 4 min

Flavors: Sweet Potatoes

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I’m feeling quite Tea Drunk so please excuse any rambly-ness.

I THINK that this is my first milk oolong? But I’m not really sure. Seriously I feel like milk oolong is soo talked up on all the various tea blogs and discussion boards that it’s been on my wishlist since I’ve been on Steepster. Thank you Green Terrace for the sample!

So I didn’t really know what to expect. I generally like oolong, and I have a love/hate relationship with milk. There are times when I really like it, and there are times when I really can’t stand it- and it’s not even like I’m lactose intolerant, well maybe a little, but it’s just the taste/texture. When I’m in a milk drinking mood, it’s almost always non-fat or whole, there’s just no in-betweens. So I’ve been in a ‘milk is OK’ run this week, so it was the best time to try this, I felt, just in case, you know? haha.

This is a light oolong, green and with a heavier mouthfeel. I think this is were others get the ‘milk’ texture. The heavier mouthfeel is denser and slightly creamy, but not in a fatty way. It’s a rather more green oolong than I’m used to. The taste is quite sweet and soothing. I can see why soo many people find milk oolongs addicting.

It doesn’t remind me of cow milk, or soy or but milk, or even milk candy. It’s mostly (for me) a textural phenomenon. But if I wasn’t tipped off by the name, I might not have associated it with milk at all. It would just be ‘awesome oolong’. =D

This tea EXPANDS. A LOT. I probably overleafed it. I used 1 tbs/12oz, but short steeps. I’ve gotten through 4 steeps of this one, and added to the other teas I’ve had this evening, I wonder if I’m ever going to go to sleep. The liquor with a short steep is quite green and bright. If you let it brew longer it deepens to a tan-green color. The liquor remains clear throughout the brews and sweet to taste.

This is the last of the samples Green Terrace sent me in exchange for reviews. I need to clean up the reviews before posting on their site, but I was glad to get the chance to try the teas. I definitely want to hit up their current sale too. Anyone have other recommendations? I’m thinking this one and Honey Black.

Marzipan

Li Shan black and Eastern Beauty oolong are great.

KiwiDelight

I love the Gui Fei oolong.

Flyawaybirdie

where do you input the coupon code? Is it after you put in all your information?

Marzipan

Yes, it’s after the address page.

Cheri

I really liked their Shan Lin Xi Premium High Mountain Oolong and Four Seasons Spring Oolong. Both have great mouthfeel.

boychik

Li Shan black

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85

I received three generous samples from Green Terrace Teas a while back, and this was one of the two blacks. I’m not really sure why I did not select any oolongs, but I am definitely happy to have the opportunity to experience this delicious Li Shan Black tea!

Other reviewers have noted the similarity of this Taiwanese black to some of the China haute black teas, and I have to agree. The bready richness is here and a touch of sweetness, too. I hasten to add, however, that the sweetness is rather subdued, at least compared to something like Golden Monkey. In any case, this is a very tasty brew—the sort which I would never consider adulterating, and I’m a big fan of cream in lesser black teas, especially blends.

I just finished the second infusion, and it was just as good as the first. This tea tastes and looks and smells very familiar to me, and now I believe that it may be similar to the only other Taiwanese black tea that I ever tried before.

Flavors: Baked Bread

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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