Han Xiang Ecological Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is another sample graciously sent to me be cookies. I love the look of this tea and brewed up it had a nice aroma…but drinking this is weird. it’s sort of like musty water…but not. It’s not smokey or sweet – two profiles that i’ve been used to in the keemuns that i’ve tried. It’s just like thick water…that tastes like books smell? lol I dunno..not describing this very well. It’s not a BAD tea..but its 100% not what i would expect from a keemun. haha thanks for the experience cookies! :)
oh cookies you spoil me! I pulled this one out this morning because i was super excited to get the swap from cookies and didn’t want to wait to try at least a couple of the teas. This one is not the smoked variety of lapsang. Brewed it reminds me of my LB but with and oolong taste in the background. I am really enjoying this one. It’s smooth and slightly bready and malty and there’s some cocoa happening in the background. And even though there’s that oolongy taste hanging out a little, it’s not too bad. heh thanks for the share cookies!
I’m running late today – i have to be down to the office this afternoon and still have a couple errands i need to try and wrap up before i get down there. Not to mention packing up some tea so that i can make a fresh cup or two tonight. While making a very late breakfast (even terri was up before me today!) i pulled out this one. I’ve never been a crazy omg fan of jin jun mei’s. It’s not that i don’t like them, but i’ve never found them to be as amazing as my tea sister or others. That being said, i have had a couple really great ones that i’ve enjoyed. This one is middle of the road for me. I’m really enjoying the almost chocoaltey, sweet notes in this one, which are tempered by a little bit of maltiness. quite an enjoyable tea while making breakfast :) thanks again cameron!
CarmeronB sent this one my way so that i could try it. I’m having a hard time describing this one today…it reminds me of chai…but not all cloves and whatever…but something about this makes me think of warm comforting chai with a splash of honey, steeped in milk, simmering on the stovetop. It’s not an overly bold, strong tea but it is delicious. I quite like this one as well. thanks cameron!
nom! Cameron B. sent this one my way and this afternoon i had this for a couple steeps. I’m not the worlds most huge fan of snaily tea but i DO rather like this one. it’s sweet and malty and downright delicious! I picked up on honey notes and some cocoa. I think i’d like to pick up more of this in future…if i can handle aliexpress lol
i’m 98% certain that this is the tea i’m drinking by process of elimination on the other samples cameron B. sent me haha Thiis tea… is smooth…and smells sweet. I likely didn’t do this one justice as i got distracted with work and drank it all up before i realised it..then had a second steep and drank that up as well lol. that typically means that i’ve really enjoyed a tea. What i recall is that this had a sweet, stone fruit sort of maltiness to it. I didn’t get all the wonderful notes in this that YYZ did, but i’d consider picking up more of this if i ever stop being scared to start shopin on aliexpress. lol
thanks again Cameron!
I admit I purchased this tea out of curiousity, a purchase review stated that it was a tea they had been looking for and had finally found after trying 30 suppliers. I was wondering what would be the draw for this person. Having had it using gongfu method twice I can say this is an intensely sweet and resilient black tea. I got many steeps with stewed apricot citrus and sweet cherry notes mixed with molasses on top and a nice deep base with cocoa, malt, and coffee, mixed with leather and earth. At times there are mole spice notes of cinnamon, chili and thyme, and baked goods notes ranging from charred crust to butter pastry. The tea is intensely sweet in its early steeps. It almost gave me a sugar headache! Altogether quite enjoyable.
It can be found here:
Sample sizes: http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Promotion-of-high-grade-tea-Yunnan-Dianhong-2014-2-bags-Free-shipping-Buy-more-get-more/723612_2012109496.html
The dry leaf smells of fruit and cocoa and are mostly long flat blades with a mix of golden buds and longer dark chocolate brown blades at about a 50/50 mix.
I used 2.5g of leaves in a 140ml gaiwan at 95°C.
The tea had a red toned copper, slightly peachy colour with a yellow gold ring around the edges.
45s Scent: cocoa,hints of smoke and roasted notes, stewed fruits, apricot, red fruit and citrus notes.
Sweet and spicy up front with cocoa and darker malt notes underneath with molasses and hints of roasted notes with a touch of char. Stewed apricots, hints of citrus, and sweeter red fruits up front. It’s interesting because I under leafed this yesterday (2.5g/200ml) and got more leather, earth notes which are pretty well hidden in this steep and the tea was brisker. There is a faint hint of leather in the deeper base notes. Savoury spice notes, hinting at a mole sauce with cinnamon, hints of thyme and chili. In general very sweet with a rich deep base that may appeal to coffee and shou puerh drinkers. The tea has a good dose of caffeine and a hint of briskness with a thick rich texture on the tongue.
30s scent: similar to above with stronger malt tones
Cocoa,molasses,apricot, hints of sweet cherry,less citrus, malt, hints of charred crust,creamy buttery pastry, hints of coffee, mole spice, very sweet lingering aftertaste. Thick dense texture on the tongue with a light briskness creating a cooling texture on the tongue.
40s. Scent: cocoa, red fruit, molasses, malt, apricot, hints of pastry.
Cocoa, apricot, red fruits, citrus notes, molasses, malt, butter pastry, coffee , mole spice and hints of earth and leather, less intensely sweet.
60s indistinct cocoa, molasses, fruit mix.
Apricot, cocoa, molasses ( very sweet again), hints of butter pastry, coffee, malt, cinnamon, hints of earth and leather, and a tarter cherry note.
100s. Scent similar to above
Tarter with malt and red fruit, cocoa, fading molasses, citrus notes some cinnamon.
160s. Similar to above with a slight grain note and some briskness.
240s weakening with molasses fruit and artichoke.
I’m exhausted today. I wish I could sit around and do nothing, but unfortunately stuff needs to get done. Hoping this tea will inject some caffeine energy to get me going.
The leaves are incredibly long and gold and dark brown in colour. Makes measuring these leaves difficult, then I accidentally poured too many leaves in the infuser. Ah well, at least it wasn’t on the floor.
The aroma is honey and fruit. My first couple of sips were really fruity, and now I think I understand what stewed fruit tastes like, even though I can’t remember the last I tasted stewed fruit. The tea is naturally sweet from the honey and molasses notes.
I think I prefer steep better. The fruit notes have toned down, and the richer molasses notes are more evident. Yep, steep 2 is a winner for me.
Thanks for sharing Cameron B!
Having a cup of this while trying to unwind my from a stressful day at work. Most of my stress, however, I will admit, I cause myself.
The brewed aroma of this tea reminded of me of buttery beans and peas. The taste is just like the aroma – sweet and creamy beans. I do pick up some the nuttiness that Cameron B referred to, but for me it’s not so prominent.
Slight bitterness in the second brew, but I lost rack of time…I really should get a timer of some sort, or watch the clock better. Despite the slight bitterness, it’s still very tasty and it makes happy drinking it.
Thanks for the sample Cameron B!
The first time I tried this I was a little distracted and noticed only the predominant sweet potato and dark sweetness.
This morning’s cup really hit the spot. I’m still getting the sweet potato and molasses, but I’m also noticing some spiciness. The mouthfeel is lovely – has some heft/thickness to it.
This is ridiculously good! Thank you so much for sharing Cameron B! Need MORE of this!!
Whoa, the leaves are HUGE, I thought it was an oolong at first glance. The leaves are long and dark chocolate brown in colour. I kinda eyeballed the measurements and used up half the sample and less water than I normally would, maybe about 6 oz.
Lightly malty with a lot raisin notes and honey. I thought I picked up on some grains, I guess that might be the bread notes coming through. It’s sweet and fruity, but I mostly taste raisins.
Tasty tea for a miserable rainy day. While good, perhaps not something I would feel the need to keep in my cupboard, but I certainly wouldn’t turn a cup away. Sample came my way from the generous Cameron B. Thank You!
This one was one of the many free samples received in my Han Xiang orders. This comes in one of those individual packages, which I love. I packaged up what I thought was my last packet to send to Sil and found I had still had 1/2 a packet laying in my sample pile score! I really do love this tea. As soon as I have some room I fully interned to get a full sized package as this is both delicious and well priced. Taste-wise, it’s really quite the same as all the other un-smoked Lapsangs I’ve tried. While I love them I don’t find they vary widely. Nice toasty cocoa-y sweetness with a good bit of heft to it. Delicious.
Related note – Aliexpress can be a bit iffy at times, but I’ve had great luck with this seller, and he answers questions quite promptly. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Lapsang-bell-2-bags-of-organic-black-tea-Free-shipping-Buy-get-more-Black-tea/2012116228.html
Sipdown(with some help from Sil) 9/75
Flavors: Cocoa, Grain, Toasty
Last one from the Lewis and Clark TTB and of the Jin Jun Mei’s Cameron B included for me.
Prepared in a test tube steeper. Steeping times: 30, 15, 30, 60, 120.
The dry aroma consists of only chocolate. Meanwhile, the wet aroma changes as the leaves after being steeped the first time – cool: malt —> fudge —> grains. Thereafter, the aroma smells of just chocolate.
The liquor is golden brown, honey-like in color; and there are so many fuzzies that it looks cloudy from a foot away. Fuzzies in every infusion, holy cow! Full-bodied. Thin texture.
I think I overestimated, hence botched, the first infusion. It is incredibly malty and a little bitter. But it’s definitely roasty, reminding me of roasted nuts and toasted rice. This teaches me that not all Jin Jun Mei should be prepared the same way. (Others I’ve had to steep longer in the first infusion because the leaf needs time to wake up.) The latter infusions are considerably less malty, allowing the cocoa notes to stand out. The roasted quality is muted, too, but eventually returns in the last infusion.
This is an interesting Jin Jun Mei. Even with my mistake I still think it’s enjoyable.
From the Lewis and Clark TTB and Cameron B!
Brewed with test tube steeper. Steeping times: 30 sec, 15, 30, 60, 120.
The dry leaf is very pretty: most little curled dark leaves and few golden leaves. The dry aroma is flowery and sweet (not sure if this is the orchid – never smelled orchid) and cake-like. The wet aroma is malty and chocolate, and smells delightfully of fudge after the second infusion.
The liquor takes on a rusty color. Fuzzies float around. Medium-bodied, clear. Creamy in the fourth and fifth infusions. This doesn’t taste like a typical Jin Jun Mei, although the chocolate sometimes appears in the aftertaste. Instead, in the first couple infusions, there are malty and floral notes, and later there is only smoke. To me, this kind of smoke is unappealing – different from Lapsang Souchong, which I do like.
This Jin Jun Mei is not for me. While I did enjoy the appearance of the leaf and wet leaf aroma, I didn’t like the taste very much. But it’s not so unpleasant that I absolutely can’t bear and have to throw out. Still, it was something else to try and compare to other Jin Jun Mei’s.
My very last tea to try from Han Xiang Ecological Tea via AliExpress. This one was actually a freebie sample that they included with my order, thanks! Visually, the leaves are thin and wiry, and curled into little loops. The color is a medium green/yellow with some grey. Dry scent is deliciously creamy and nutty with mild spinach scent. I find that this tea looks and smells like Laoshan Green to me, which is a good thing! I steeped about 1.5 tsp of leaf for 1 minute at 175 degrees.
Brewed aroma is luscious creamy, sweet spinach with so much nutty scent. Yum! I love how this tea is so nutty, it’s almost a genmaicha! There’s a nice bite from the vegetal side, and it’s balanced wonderfully by the creamy and nutty aspects of the tea. It almost tastes as if soy milk has been added. Delicious, and quite similar to Laoshan Green! :D
Flavors: Butternut Squash, Creamy, Nutty, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal
This is the last black tea for me to try from my Han Xiang Ecological Tea samples (I still have one green that they added as a freebie). Honestly, I wasn’t too excited for this one because I haven’t been impressed with similar teas that I’ve had from other companies in the past. But I still ordered a sample of it because YUNNAN. The leaves are long and thin and quite straight, they remind me of black pine needles or twigs. The dry scent is just kind of vaguely sweet and somewhat malty. I steeped about 2 teaspoons (eyeballed, these are impossible to measure) for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Strangely, I had a really hard time getting any aroma out of this one. As I was telling the people in Steepster chat, I just kind of hovered over it with my nose in the cup for 5 minutes, looking like a moron. I did get some fruitiness with honey and a bit of malt. Wow, the flavor of this one shocked me! It’s very different from the other versions of this tea that I’ve had. It’s extremely fruity in taste, in a rich dried fruit sense. The main ones I can pick out are dried figs and raisins, yum… There’s also a large dollop of honey flavor that is especially apparent near the end. And lastly, there’s a mild bready note along with some malt.
I really love this one! It’s fruity like an Ai Lao black but without the floral notes! :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Malt, Raisins
From the Lewis and Clark TTB.
This is one of the four Jin Jun Mei’s Cameron B included in the box for me, and one of the three from this dealer. Brewed in a glass test tube steeper. Steeping times: 15 sec, 30, 45, 60, 120.
Every time I stuck my nose into the steeper after each infusion, I was greeted with a malty, chocolately, caramel-y nose. The amber liquor is medium-bodied, smooth, and clear, even with the little fuzzies floating around. The first infusion is weak – 15 seconds is too short, I realized too late – and I barely taste anything. The second infusion is much stronger. And strange. Not only does it have notes of malt and fresh organic honey (what one would think a Jin Jun Mei would have), but I could also make out brown and wild rice. The typical sweetness and chocolate make their appearance in the 3rd infusion, this tea’s peak, I believe. The 4th infusion is similar, but lighter in taste and totally without the malt. I originally planned to include a 90 second steeping but opted instead to skip right 120; I felt that if I didn’t, these last two infusions would be weak and wanted to finish with a nice, strong cup. And I was right. This fifth infusion retains similar strength and taste as the fourth, though it definitely feels as if it’s time to finish up.
The weather decided to comply. It’s cool, cloudy, and breezy today. Jin Jun Mei day. Yiss.
Slowly but surely making my way through tasting each of these Han Xiang Ecological Tea teas that I ordered a couple weeks ago. I think I only have two more left untried after this one! The Yunnan pure bud style is definitely one of my favorite varieties of black tea, so this one was a no-brainer when choosing my samples. This tea looks somewhat similar to some other companies’ versions of the same tea – it’s all buds, mostly gold in color and super fuzzy! Some of the leaves are slightly curled, while some are straight. Dry scent is malt with lots of honey and apricots. I steeped roughly 2 teaspoons of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Once brewed, the tea smells sweet and malty with a little bit of a smoky aroma? Interesting. As for the taste, it has a lovely strong and thick crusty bread flavor that I just adore. There’s also a bit of sweet potato with lots of honey and a little bit of dried fruitiness (but a light dried fruit, like golden raisin). I can taste just a little bit of savory smoked flavor, and I really like it! :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Honey, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Thick
The adorable CameronB sent me this along with a couple of other Jin Jun Meis and I thank her very much. I really like this one. In fact, it might be my favorite JJM thus far. Maybe it’s the heavy roast, but this is really deep and complex.
It has an almost burned sugar caramel flavor but is also deeply fruity. Like dried fruit, maybe prunes? But the good taste of prunes. It’s deep and dark but has an interesting floral thing wafting through it. Either floral or cilantro. It’s early and I’m recovering from Wild Child sheng, so don’t mind me.
I like this very much and I like CameronB very much too and not just for sending me this.