Popular Teas from J-TEASee All 31 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
It’s two days after Christmas, and this arrived with all the fanfare of an opening mailbox door. I noticed the label on the package, and immediately ducked inside. I’d been waiting to try this tea the moment I first heard about it. Heck, I was there during the initial brainstorming session. Over beer!
I’ve notched off a few barrel-scented teas, and this one is the strongest yet. The earthiness of the pu-erh is there, but it’s a runner-up to the rich, strong, smoked fruit notes of the bourbon barrel scenting. Wood, peat, gasoline, earth, and fireball sweetness all took turns pummeling my tongue. And that was just with gongfu-style.
My daughter and I visited Melody Tea House in Portland, and this was the tea that I chose. It was so good that I asked to buy an additional ounce of it so that I could enjoy more at home.
This is one of the best Earl Grey teas that I’ve tasted. I love that the base is an Assam base. It’s a strong, hefty base – robust! – and there are nice malty notes that add a nice dimension to the flavor of the bergamot, which is also good and strong in this tea.
This tea is one of my top five Earl Grey teas. I don’t know what the others are at this moment, though. Ha! This one is excellent though.
Down to my last vestiges of this. I’ve had this tea for almost a year now; I’m surprised I held onto it this long. It was the first aged oolong I ever tried. Can’t say I recognize any remnants of its Oriental Beauty heritage…but it’s still quite fantastic in its own right. The Taiwanese measure tea by the overall sensation, not just taste. And with this one, I can see why.
At first, on initial taste, the aged nature of it is a little oft-putting. But done with short steeps over a period of minutes, it lends something unique and wonderfully medicinal. Oh, and I happen to like the taste of “ancient Buddhist calm”. I can dig it.
I’m at the start of the busiest day at work I’ve had in awhile, and I needed a li’l happy juice calm. Already on my second mug.
Black tea to get me through a Black Friday at work. Fitting. What else could impart some feeling of Zen while corralling Canadian children playing hockey in the hallways. Answer: An aged Taiwanese black tea. This stuff tastes like Buddhist chocolate. Or at least how I imagine chocolate Buddhists would taste.
I’ll stop now…this is getting weird.
It being Thanksgiving Day – and given the fact that I’m working – I figured it a perfect time to down at least two pints of an American-grown tea. Not just American, one grown and processed in my own state. The leaves for this black tea were picked from a small tea garden as part of the Minto Island Growers outfit. J-TEA International purchased a heap of their leaves and processed them into a black tea product. Similar to a Taiwanese black.
This is my go-to tea when I’m on the go. I can steep it forever, and it doesn’t bitter. The taste is malty, sweet, kinda fruity and…well…’Merica.
I even had to visit the garden it was grown from once WITH the tea in question. (http://steepstories.com/2013/08/14/tea-garden/)
Happy Thanks-Teaing, Steepster.
Interesting tea. Earthy, reminiscing of Humus, but not too Earthy. The description of Bell Peppers above is Perfect! I would say the notes of Bell Peppers is the prominent feature of this tea!
Teapot : Yixing 180ml
Temperature : 185 F
Steep Time : 15 sec
Tea Quantity : 6 g
Every now and then I treat myself to this.
The aroma is like honey and sweet grass. Reminds me of summer time – which of course is when it was harvested. The color is rich golden, unlike many other teas. The texture is thick like milk, not quite like syrup. The flavor lies at the top of the tongue, almost the roof of the mouth – maybe reminiscent of acorns or tempeh – almost beer-like.
This roasted high-mountain oolong from Taiwan is way understated. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to get into the high-mountain oolongs. Gentle and sweet. My guess as to why it is so affordable is because the leaves are individual and not the two leaves and a bud, and therefore not ideal for gongfu cha presentation.
In any case, I still brew this tea gongfu style with my zisha yixing pot that I use for high-mountain oolongs and a simple aroma cup set:
Aroma: Dark clover honey or brown sugar and a little sweetgrass
Taste: Milky, honey, sweetgrass with a little caramel. The light oxidation brings out the tart fruitiness of leechees.
Using my green clay Year of the Tiger yixing pot that I use for Formosa (summer) oolongs
Aroma cup: Honey!
First steeping: creamy, smooth, mild mixture of vegetal and floral, like artichoke
Second steeping: Deeper floral tones
I think of Gui Fei as definitely more of an esoteric tea, just because it’s not one of the famous teas, like Tieguanyin or Wen Shan or Dong Ding. But it is a real treat, almost a dessert.
Using aroma cup, the initial aroma is like brown sugar. The first and second steeping are very creamy with a nice musky, earthy flavor that lingers quite a long time. Less roasty than I expected. Notes of honey and sunflower seeds. My last sip was three minutes ago and I can still taste all those flavors. Very satisfying.
Using an aroma cup, I get the aroma of sweetgrass. And as the cup cools down, there is a lingering essence of burned braided sweetgrass in a small room. My first steeping has a complex mixture of honey and roasted brazil nuts with a long aftertaste on the cusp of sweet and bitter. The second brew is slightly less sweet but fuller-flavored and solidifies my first impression – honey and roasted nuts (maybe filberts) with the robust essence of burning sweetgrass.
Smooth, round flavor. Sweet, dark. This tea has a very yin quality. Rosey color. So, even though this is a shu cha, it is one of the few I’ve had that approach the character of a sheng cha. It’s not quite as musty/muddy as other shu cha. I don’t know if it is because it has aged for 11 years.
The front end of this tea is so sweet. It’s not like agave nectar or honey though. More like magnolia nectar, if there is such a thing. Also, peaches. The body is so milky and smooth and full-flavored. A mild, round vegetal finish.
I have to say that I don’t think Americans often have the opportunity to drink tea like this. I just feel lucky and honored to have this opportunity. Thanks Josh!
I discovered Steepster randomly while trying to find reviews of this tea to share with a Tweet I felt I had to do because this is just too darn good, so I didn’t capture the preparation details. I can tell you I’m on the 3rd steeping and left the leaves in for quite a while and yet there’s nary a hint of tannins. The aroma is still remarkable. Not quite jasmine, but certainly some tropical flower. Taste is certainly green but not grassy. Artichoke sounds close, but a sweetness lingers. Green oolongs are among my favorites, and this is spectacular this ranks quite high.
This one is different than other High Mountain green oolongs I’ve had. First of all, the flavor just keeps going, brew after brew. I get this peachy taste, like the hint of the ripest peach I’ve ever had, or even canned peach (but in a good way). The floral notes also give me a jolt every time I take a sip. Delicious! Truly amazing.