Green Terrace Teas
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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m not a hundred percent sure what I did to this tea to make it hate my tastebuds. I resteeped and tried it on a different day to see if maybe I was at fault, with much the same result. There’s definitely chocolate notes, and the dry leaf smell isn’t super fragrant, but it is lovely with sweet undertones. However, upon brewing this up and taking a sip, honey was not the first thing that I detected. Instead there was a strange, almost pickled flavor to it that was, frankly, not at all appetizing. I don’t know if this is some twisted play on the sweet potato notes that other people have mentioned, or if I completely missed the steeping parameters when I made it. Whatever the case, it was a far cry from my previous experience with Green Terrace Tea’s extraordinary Shan Lin Xi Oolong.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Sour
I just have a sample of this, and I’m disappointed that now the smallest size it’s available in is 15og that I will not be getting. Too much tea.
I like this tea. Floral. Creamy. Buttery. Sweet. Tasty.
I’m trying to battle the sore throat that has come from out of nowhere, and this seemed like it might help. Not sure that it is, but hey, it tastes good.
Had this as my first cup of the day and I found it pretty unremarkable. There’s a nice floral note on the nose, but I’m not getting any distinctive flavours on the palate. Maybe a hint of butter right on the finish, but even that is kind of muddled.
Flavors: Butter, Floral
This was the first of the teas that I sampled from Green Terrace and what an amazing introduction to this company.
A delightful peach note – sweet! – and a sharp floral note. A soft mouthfeel. Earth and wood. Very little astringency to my first cup (infusions 1 and 2, combined).
I got six wonderfully flavorful infusions out of this tea, please read more about them here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/07/10/eastern-beauty-oolong-tea-from-green-terrace-teas/
This is a really delightful oolong, I wasn’t expecting too much from it based on the smell of the dry leaf, which had some malt and roasty notes, and a touch of dry autumn leaf smell, but it’s actually quite complex.
There’s a strong baked bread note, with a bit of honey, which are flavours I’ve been really enjoying in tea lately. Also some floral jasmine and fruity notes, primarily apricot and plum. There’s a wee bit of tang on the finish that’s more vegetal than astringent. I steeped my first cup for 3.5 min.
Steeping the leaves a second time for 4.5min, I’m getting an amazing scent of orange blossoms, jasmine and baked bread from the leaves. The second cup wasn’t nearly as amazing as the first to drink – still bready but a lot of the nuances didn’t make it through to the second steep.
Still, really beautiful and enjoyable.
Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Jasmine, Malt, Orange Blossom, Plums, Roasted, Sweet
Oh my god, I’m excited for this tea. After having Green Terrace’s amazing Li Shan black the other day, I just had to dig into this.
The dry leaf is tightly rolled into small green pellets and doesn’t smell like much, but steeped, the bready, sweet notes that I loved in the black are coming out, along with some nice floral notes.
Now that this has cooled enough to drink, I’m quite enjoying it. Some of the bready notes come through on the palate, along with a bit of vegetal tang, but the dominant note is a really lovely floral, complimented by just a hint of astringency. Reminiscent of jasmine and even a bit of lavender.
The start of the sip isn’t super great – it has a bit of that under-leafed hot water taste when it first hits my tongue, but the flavour and complexity build quickly, and the finish is quite powerful. I’m not sure that I’d actually want to add more leaf or more time to this.
Second steep was very similar. A bit heavier on the bread and lighter on the floral.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Floral, Jasmine, Lavender, Sweet, Vegetal
Oh this is delicious! It’s light, malty, bready and sweet. I love it. I could see this being a go to black tea.
This deserves a better tasting note, but I just want to say how fabulous it is so I remember to try it again sooooon!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Sweet
From the Lewis and Clark TTB.
Brewed gongfu-style with gaiwan. 5 second rinse. Steeping times: 5, 5, 5, 5, 10, 10, 10, 10, 30, 60.
The wet leaf offers a buttery and floral aroma. The liquor is pale yellow, clear, thin in texture, and medium-bodied. Not a complex flavor profile. The main note is flowers in most of the infusions – it seemed like I was drinking their fragrances. Towards the end of the session, the texture is a little creamier, and I taste a little less floral and more mineral, with a peach and apricot aftertaste.
So I was supposed to get extra samples with my last order from Green Terrace Teas because they didn’t have the gongfu teapot available that I ordered. And then there weren’t any samples included with my order. Oops. So they sent a few samples later. This was one of them, in fact the only sample of their teas that was included that I hadn’t already had.
But I’m really glad they included it.
I’m having a lazy, blah kind of day. I have a bit of a sinus headache and I have this horrible knot in my neck/shoulder. So I’m not accomplishing much of anything. I’m even lazy in my brewing and did this in my ForLife mug western style.
It’s actually quite good this way.
This tea is pretty sweet without being over the top. I was expecting at least a touch roasty, but I didn’t get that at all. Not really floral, either. Sweet, maybe fruity.
A second infusion. I forget to set my timer. Oops. I’m really not sure how long this steeped for. At all. AT least five minutes, probably a lot longer, more like 10 to even 15.
It’s not ruined at all. Now it tastes kind of apple-y. Still sweet. Not bitter like I expected. I’m actually getting a little bit of the roasty now, too. I like this.
I was going to wait a while to dig into my Green Terrace teas, as the sample sizes don’t come in resealable packaging, and I’m still waiting on my resealable bags. But I was feeling in need of a new black tea and this one looked very tempting.
The dry leaf smells amazing. It’s very fruity, with notes of plum and raisin and other dried fruits. The leaf is long, dark and twisted.
Steeped, the leaves are whole and almost two inches long, with a few twigs. It smells very fruit, in that rich, dried autumn fruit way.
It’s quite pleasantly sweet. There are notes of raisins, plum, honey and baked bread. The finish is nice and malty. Body is middle of the road – not thin but not too thick, a bit creamy and no astringency.
This isn’t a remarkable tea but it is very nice and quite tasty.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Honey, Malt, Plums, Raisins, Sweet
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.
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. :)
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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