Han Xiang Ecological Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

I had another tea by the same vendor today. They were both somewht unremarkable- maybe I underleafed?

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A sipdown! Finally!
I got this one from Sil, who got it from YYZ.
It’s a really nice green tea, which to me tasted like cream of wheat cereal & green beans.

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This is really perfect for this morning…
malty and sweet with hints of raisins.
I’m getting a light, almost delicate mouthfeel (but I did just eat roasted carrots and fennel for breakfast, so my note here could be slightly off… lol).
As I’m sipping, I’m picking up a fruity note in the back… It’s really lovely!
Thank you so much for sending this to me, Dexter! And, you sent such a generous sample, so I can play around with this one. :)))

Flavors: Malt, Raisins, Sweet

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

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I really really like this one! Steeped, ahem, overnight and stuck in the fridge. It made SUCH an excellent iced tea! I’ll finish the rest tomorrow as I’m now moving on to less caffeinated options seeing as it’s 11:30 pm. :)

1/2 tsp or so in 13 oz. (More like half of what I’d normally use for 13 oz, I’d guess about 1-1.5g.)

Yeah, I think this one is a favourite. I treat it terribly but it’s SO tasty.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more
TeaBrat

Did this come from ali express??

OMGsrsly

Yes. Dexter sent me a sample. I totally forgot to thank her too. Sorry Dexter! And thank you!

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So I steeped this absolutely terribly, I’ll admit. But! I really enjoyed the tea!

It was sweet and thick and almost… minty. A nice, sharp, fresh flavour. Someone else called it “pepper” and I can understand that, but it really struck me as mint when I had it a couple days ago.

Thank you, Dexter! I really enjoyed it, and hopefully I enjoy it the next time I have it too. :)

1 tsp-ish, 12 oz, 195C, ~4 hours. Yeah… I know.

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I got this a while back from Cameron B. I thought the sample might be a little tainted (which would have been my fault for keeping it stored near other scented tea’s) since it smelled faintly of cinnamon. Fortunately the I don’t taste the cinnamon.

I’m not sure if I’ve tried a Jin Jun Mei before. I really enjoyed this one, so I think I will keep this style of tea as part of my rotation.

The first steep was all dark honey and dried dark fruits. Yum!

The second steep was much lighter. Still very honey sweet and fruity, but much less so.

I really needed this cup of deliciousness after receiving the bad news about the cost of repairing my car…boo :(

Sil

oh noes. car repairs :(

scribbles

ohhhh man!!! my head is ready to explode!! time to start saving and looking for a new one :(

Fjellrev

I’m sorry to hear about your car!

scribbles

Yeah…it sucks :(

gmathis

As one of my favorite literary characters would say (Cynthia in the Mitford novels by Jan Karon): Oh, poop.

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I added another 1/2 tsp leaf to the leaves I steeped yesterday, and used an 8 oz cup instead of a 12 oz cup.

Mmm… My taste isn’t 100% back, but! It’s sweet honey carby yum. And I can feel the caffeine, which is good because I spilled my coffee all over my desk.

Thanks so much Dex! I really think I like this one.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Dexter

Awesome – I like that one too. :))

OMGsrsly

Finally, we agree on a tea! :D :D (Well, it’s not quite that bad…)

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Haha. Whoops.

I tried 1 tsp of leaf in 12 oz water, steeped 6 minutes. This one… well, it smells delicious this way but it’s kinda weak. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not feeling well and my taste buds are off, or if it’s because I shouldn’t have steeped this tea this way.

It smells rich and carby and a little spicy.

It tastes.. like thick, slightly sweet, hot water.

I’ll have to try this one again. Thanks so much for the sample, Dex! The leaves on this one are ultra cute. :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Dexter

IMHO I think that’s under leafed. I would use more than that. 1.5-2 tsp/14oz when I’m Western brewing. Then maybe not quite 6 minutes – LOL but whatever works for you. :))

OMGsrsly

i think it’s under leafed as well, actually. But it worked the other day for the other one I tried, so I thought I’d try it today as well! Thankfully your samples are more than generous so I can play with this a bit. :)

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I think this is the one I ordered, just going by the picture because the only description I could find for the tea I ordered was “yunnan dian hong”. I’ve actually had this a few times now but was always too lazy to find the supplier name again, so never rated it.

The dry leaves are long and straight, unlike most yunnan black teas I’ve tried. The tea itself was also a bit unexpected for me. There’s a rich bread/honey taste, and less cocoa than other yunnan blacks. Definitely enjoying this now, and looking forward to the re-steep.

yyz

This one is definitely intensely sweet to me too. I’m glad you are enjoying it.

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This is a really lovely tea… I’ve steeped it 7 times already in my gaiwan, and it just keeps giving me fabulous liquor.
Roasted carrots, buttered parsnips, and winter squash….savory, but with this really refreshing crispness as the final note. Not bitter or astringent, just crisp and refreshing.
The leaf is gorgeous, starting out curled and tight, unfurling more and more with each steep… the liquor colour is really beautiful, too.
Thank you so much, Dexter for sending me this to try! I really love it! :)))

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Backlog from this morning.

I have to admit I don’t remember a whole lot about drinking this tea. Just recording this so I can make sure to make more detailed notes when I try it again.

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Backlog from yesterday.

Another tea from Dex! I wasn’t too sure about the steeping parameters, so I used 1 tsp per cup with 100C water for about 5 minutes. However, since the leaf was very fluffy, it’s possible I underleafed.

Speaking of that, the dry leaf here is lovely – consistently golden, curly little buds with a some down on top.

I was expecting the usual sweet potato profile for a yunnan on this, but what I got surprised me.

It tasted like pepper! Like freshly ground black pepper!

This wasn’t unpleasant once I got used to it, but it certainly threw me for a loop at first! The liquor itself was a nice medium gold colour, and there was no astringency that I could sense….but…pepper! I’ve never gotten such a taste sensation from a tea before that didn’t have chai spices in it.

Flavors: Peppercorn

yyz

Cool! I haven’t tried this one. It sounds neat.

TeaBrat

sounds good!

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My first jinjunmei! Thank you, Dexter! :D

I’ve had three steeps so far, and I think I’m going to have to stop because my tummy is super upset with me. I may have had mac and cheese at lunch, and I maybe shouldn’t be eating dairy…

Dry leaf smells delicious and malty and grainy, almost like toasted grains.

Steeped, it smells almost fruity with the toasted grains. Maybe a little sour? Not sure, something might be off with me today because the other tea struck me as sour as well.

30s: Very strong, malty, grainy, a bit toasted. Fruits in the background. I’m not sure if I like this, it’s so in-your-face, and not in a delightful wake-me-up way, either.

1min: Still quite strong, malty, grainy. This is better for sure, as it’s mellowed out. Still not my favourite.

1min 30s: Ahh, this is more like it. Grainy toasty tea with some stone fruits peeking through. Still not my favourite, but totally drinkable. It feels almost creamy as well, but that doesn’t bring the other flavours together – the creaminess is distinct from the grains and fruits. It’s not what I was expecting.

Thanks for sharing, Dex, but I don’t think this particular one is for me! (At least it’s not dirt tea… :D )

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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90

I’ve had this sample for awhile which came with one of my orders. I’ve had my favourite milk oolongs from other companies so I wasn’t expecting a lot. Perhaps that’s why it took me so long to get around to even trying this sample.

It was quite a surprise. I haven’t kept detailed notes on this but I brewed gong fu and it is an extremely floral milk oolong! A little bit less milky/creamy than other milk oolongs but the floral notes are amazing. And it just doesn’t quit! 4th infusion and the floral notes are still strong! It’s also very fresh tasting. Drat! I could have added this to my last order if only I’d tried my sample sooner. Right now it’s only $8.97 for 250g. So tempting!

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Milk

yyz

Sounds good!

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Another from dexter as some know, jin jun mei’s are hit or miss for me. this one? it’s weird. there’s like a fruity taste running through a more malty sort of tea taste… i think this one is more miss for me but mostly because it’s a really strange taste for me today lol thanks dex!

Dexter

I knew you weren’t a huge fan so I didn’t send you as many as I have. LOL I guess this wasn’t the right one.

Sil

haha

OMGsrsly

I was reading.. somewhere, on the discussion forum I think, that they can be tricky to brew? How do you both brew them? :)

yyz

Omgsrsly I have the best success with jinjunmei when I flash steep it 5-10s using boiling water and then pour it off. It seems counterintuitive for a tippy tea but I tend to get the best balance of flavours that way.

OMGsrsly

I’ll have to try with a basket and a tea cup. Thanks, yyz. :)

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Well, this matches the picture! So I’m gonna go with it. The label Dexter wrote has “High Grade Yunnan Dian Hong 2014” on it. :)

I’m doing this in my cute travel tea set… 1/2 the baggie (about 2 tbsp loose leaves, whoa) and 120-ish ml water. I did a super fast rinse, and I’ve been steeping until it looks and smells tasty. :D It’s a fairly light tea, but strong on the sweet potato and malt flavours. Wow. Very strong. Even with my short steeps, that’s pretty much all I’m getting.

Interestingly, people have noted meat and smoke tastes. I don’t feel quite that way about it (as in, it’s not a dominant flavour for me), but I can see taste where they’re coming from. With longer steeps, there’s an astringency on the teeth, and almost a bitter polish sausage shop flavour of smoked meat on the back of the tongue. You know. The shops that have their own smoke house and smoke their own stuff? Those shops.

Anyways, this is really interesting. I don’t think I love it, but I really appreciate being able to try it. Thank you, Dexter!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 OZ / 120 ML
Dexter

This was my least favorite of the Ecological teas I got. I wrote that it was too assertive and you think it’s really strong – so yeah – we agree. Hope you like the other ones better…

OMGsrsly

Packs a caffeine punch too! I wasn’t quite expecting that. Tea is usually more gentle than coffee.

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70

This an interesting tea. It doesn’t taste much like I expect a Keemun to taste. It’s very mineral-y and a bit sweet with some wood notes. But not as earthy I as I would have thought. I would be lovely, but the mineral notes are really overpowering everything else. The leaves are gorgeous. Quite curly and speckled with lots of gold. Overall, not a bad tea. I wouldn’t buy it again but it won’t be a hassle to go through the oz or so I have.

Flavors: Bark, Mineral

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
boychik

try lower temp, like 200F and less time.

cookies

Thank you, I’ll try that tomorrow.

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I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this one. It’s really assertive. It’s almost too sweet potato, too malty. I want to say unbalanced but I can’t figure out what it’s lacking. It’s not really bitter, not astringent – I almost want to say burnt – but not smokey, not roasty. It’s not smooth – kind of rough around the edges. I’m not sure. Interesting, strange, not sure I like it. I’m drinking the third steep and it hasn’t mellowed at all.
http://instagram.com/p/xsNaxhOEz5/?modal=true
http://instagram.com/p/xsNY3GOEz0/?modal=true

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Mikumofu

Amazing tea pet too!

Dexter

Thank you – I just got him and couldn’t be happier. :))

OMGsrsly

You called him George! :D

Dexter

“I will love him and pet him and hug him and squeeze him and call him George….”

Kaylee

I am liking this tasting note to indicate my approval of the comments :)

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I like this better than the other black I was drinking tonight.
This is a decent Yunnan black, but I’m not sure that it’s really special. It’s smooth and gentle, pretty sweet, classic sweet potato – nothing offensive, but just normal. I’m not sure if I’m finding it lacking because the other one was SOOOO assertive that this just seems mild. Reserving final judgement for another night.
http://instagram.com/p/xsofErOEzR/?modal=true
http://instagram.com/p/xsopFmuEzj/?modal=true

Mikumofu

George looks happier about this one too!

Dexter

:) I’m just trying to be a good pet owner…

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80

Sipdown! This was a really nice Jin Jun Mei, especially for the price I paid. It was a good balance between roasty malty-ness and sweeter chocolate notes. I did detect an odd mineral note in this one though. Almost metallic. It wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying the tea, but I picked up on it throughout the cup. Because of that I don’t think I would order this one again, but it’s still really lovely. I liked the other Jin Jun Mei from the same seller a bit better.

Flavors: Cocoa, Metallic

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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90

Got this as a sample with my first Aliexpress order. I was mostly interested in a black tea that yyz had reviewed but the most amazing teas to me have been this white and a green.

This tea tastes pretty much like a green. It’s sweet , nutty, slightly astringent. It brews up a medium amber colour which is quite dark for a white. I think I read somewhere that this tea is really a green but called a white in it’s name. I have no idea but it is very “green” tasting. It’s very good and I would consider buying more of this. Delicious!

Flavors: Astringent, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
yyz

I’ve liked his greens too!

Anji bai cha is called a white tea not because of it’s processing but because of it’s appearance. As a result of genetics it produces less chlorophyll and therefore appears whitish next to other cultivars. As well the tea has been said to help suppress cortisol and help you relax due to it’s unique biochemistry. Http://www.teaspring.com/An-Ji-Bai-Cha.asp

Ubacat

Thanks for the info yyz! That’s good to know. I think I had too much caffeine to notice if this was reducing cortisol but it would be good to put it to the test one afternoon when I’m working and stressed.

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I was really curious about this tea after yyz reviewed it. So much that I placed my very first Aliexpress order. I should have known better. I tend to like lighter teas and this tea is for those that love dark full bodied teas.

I was afraid of it being too strong for me so I brewed at 200F for 1 1/2 min. That was very strange because all the elements that made this tea what it was still came through but were weak. So on the 2nd brewing I brewed it longer. It didn’t matter weak or strong it still was toooo strong for me.. I could pick up stewed fruit. It was very sweet like honey & molasses & malty. There was also a spicy note in there which was very faint. Kinda like the chilli note yyz got.

Strange , but I have loved some blacks that do have a malty, molasses, flavour. This one had something about it that made it stronger. Anyway, glad I didn’t buy a full size of this, only sample size.

Flavors: Malt, Molasses, Spicy, Stewed Fruits

Terri HarpLady

Sounds like my kind of tea :)

Ubacat

It could be! Definitely for those that love the ripe pu’erh or strong black teas.

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