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Recent Tasting Notes
Trying my first sample today. I had a bit of a crisis when I tried to tear open a corner of the package and ended up tearing it RIGHT IN HALF. Luckily I didn’t lose more than one or two leaves, and I happened to have an empty tin to dump the sample into.
The leaves were quite soft, which I wasn’t too sure about.
SMELLS like a Yunnan. I didn’t do any pre-rinse, just sort of threw myself into 1-minute-steeps. First is very mild, but still flavourful, and actually somewhat sweet. I don’t know what to say about it right now, except that it does remind me of the Yunnan I got from Tea Desire (only in that there is some similarity, but I can’t really tell what). It’s sweet, and there’s a sort of pepperyness in with the taste as well.
Second steep, only meant to do a minute and a half but wasn’t paying attention and let it hit two minutes. Ahwell. First sip I get tea sweetness; this steep’s definitely stronger. Still getting the sort of pepper in the aftertaste as well, although I don’t really know if pepper’s the right word for it, it was just the only one I could come up with.
Third steep (three minutes) has lost the sweetness a bit. Still lovely and mild.
It probably didn’t help that I didn’t observe a typical gongfu prep for this. It also probably didn’t help that I was eating sharp cheddar-laden chimichangas at the time. That said, I brewed this as I would an oolong (but with boiling water), and it was a perfect sheng. Muscat grape notes, shades of maple leaf, pear, and some earthiness trailing on finish. When I think of aged sheng pu-erh, I think this. Flawless.
Thanks to seykayay for this little treasure.
This fragrant, flavorful tea has captured the summer in its tightly furled deep green and olive tea leaves. It has sweet grassy and floral smells, and once infused is like drinking in the warm flavor of roasted nuts while breathing in the honeyed aroma of summer’s wild flowers.
This tea is awesome and very good. It’s quite resilient and would make a great everyday tea. For pictures and my full review: http://www.leafjoy.com/2010/12/taiwan-sweet-summer-oolong-life-in-teacup/
This oolong surprised me in many ways. I did my best to mimic a Gongfu prep for it – somewhat to no avail – but still ended up with three twenty-second steeps of differing excellence. Common traits were a contrasted vegetal and fruity lean with little or no astringency. Worth a look…but definitely not an on-the-go tea. This requires ritual.
I know I have had this one before because the bag was opened and half gone…must have forgotten to log Oooooops!
Anyhow…this one is VERY forgiving! I over infused by several minutes and it’s still YUMMY! It’s almost ‘crust’ tasting like toast. It has a sweeter finish. I think this is a nice tea!
I call the taste “lilies”!!! I love all the comments on this tea, trying to explain its aroma and flavor and feeling. A few years ago I bought a bit of this type of tea from another source and at first I didn’t think I liked it, but then I found myself drawn back to trying it again and again. From the very first, my thoughts went to lilies. It tasted like lilies! Or how I would think they would taste based on their aroma. Smell a lily, it is pungent, strange, not unpleasant, but not sweet like other flowers. A lily is not as bitter smelling as a tulip. Originally the tea I bought did not mention charcoal, and I was new to oolongs, so the only thing I could use to decribe it was lilies. Every time I drank it, the vision of lilies got stronger. I grow lilies, Asian ones and daylilies and Easter lilies. The tall stalk lilies are stronger smelling, and when they are in bloom their aroma hits me every time I walk out my front door. The tea was my lilies! Soon I loved this tea so much that I hoarded it and was afraid to finish that last bit. Why? because the place I got it from didn’t have it anymore! They had something “similar”, but it was awful compared to my beloved “lily tea”. It was bitter, and not of lilies, and could not take multiople infusions. Then I found Gingko Bay on ebay. They had samplers of many oolongs, and with some lovely discussions I chose my samples. Tada!!! here are my lilies!!! The it is it, and in fact, even better as I still did have a little of my old tea left and compared them., This one was smoother and lingered better. So I finished off that last bit of old tea and am on to a new, better tea and a great source, lifeinteacup.com (or ginkgo bay on ebay).
In the winter, when the lilies are sleeping, I can drink their aroma with this tea, and think of the next coming june! You can all have your charcoal, I will be drinking lilies! :)
PS – this tea can take sitting in the yixing pot for long periods without getting too bitter for me, and this is an important trait for me. I start sipping it at 5-6 minutes or later, and continue for as long as 30 minutes or until it is gone. I don’t even mind it cool. Then I re-infuse. If I infuse a third time, I may add a few fresh pieces to perk it up a bit, I like my lilies to produce a full bouquet!
This is the second Yunnan gold I’ve ever tried, and – man – does this type of black (or red) tea have a track record. I don’t know what sort of alchemy goes into making these, but you won’t find a tea that translates from sight, to smell, to taste with such consistency. It looks gold from leaf to liquor; it smells and tastes like creamed almonds or unroasted, buttered barley. Aside from an almost-negligible astringent note in the middle, I am hard-pressed to find a flaw.
Backlogging from yesterday…this was a nice cup. It didn’t taste as charcoal-like as I thought it would. I would say mostly in the end of the sip and on to the aftertaste if anything. It was slightly juicy , but not overly so. I think my favorite of the 3 would have to be the Superior version to this and the regular. All I can think of when I see this name of tea is someone saying “Fo’ Sho’” Like “Do you Love tea?” “Fo-Show!”
I need some sleep! I’m starting to get silly!
Sweet and pungent . . . black cherry chocolate in the wet leaf aroma that gives way to burnt bittersweet florals in the liquor. This is an excellent example of “rock tea” (yan cha) because, amidst the sweet, chocolaty subtlety, the mineral core is undisguised and prevalent. Delicious. Rock.
Later steeps lighten the tone considerably and the deep sweetness transforms into delicate florals and pit fruit. The underlying latticework of the Yan Cha is further exposed to be refined and minimalist.
Very nice fruit-like flavors, with a slight roastedness at the end.
I was expecting/hoping for a more houjicha-like roasted flavor, but perhaps that would have killed all the nice fruit flavors.
It can supposedly go 7 infusions, perhaps if one uses all 7g from the pack (I just had this 1 sample), but I split it so I could try it twice, using perhaps ~3g the first time and ~4g the second. It seems like after 5 infusions, it didn’t have enough flavor to continue (though I did go to 7).
I’m not sure whether I liked this or the modern green more, but it was very enjoyable.
Going to have to keep trying different Oolongs to see if I find one that I love as much as Japanese greens. So far the closest contender has been pricey – Phoenix Yellow Stone Oolong.
The biggest surprise is that out of 3 samples, I was really excited to try this TGY (charcoal) and the TGY (modern green), while the real sample originally offered was Yunnan Golden Bud…. However, in the end, the Yunnan Golden Bud was my favorite!!
A big thanks to Gingko for the free samples! (Btw, I realized that you DIDN’T duplicate the samples…. I originally thought the Charcoal Roast was going to be packaged in the Red bag, and the Modern Green II in the Green bag, but it was in fact opposite).
Plain and Simple…I LOVE THIS.
Okay, so you want a more detailed reason as to way…here goes…
This smelled like sweet-floral and mellow yet juicy fruit…of the citrus variety. The Infusion color is a light-oolong type. The taste is out of this world! A pure delight! It’s very pure and crisp and thirst quenching. It’s juicy yet floral. You can tell it’s an Oolong by taste but it’s so much more than that…it’s incredible! I really, really like this! The flavor of the oolong is one thing but the Bergamot is another. I’ve never tasted a bergamot flavor like this and I must say after tasting it – all Bergamot should taste like this! Very nice!
Strong roasted flavor but it tastes “fresh” at the same time, almost green-like. Extremely tasty and smooth. I love toasty flavors and this tea has it in abundance.
Super large twisted, charcoally-looking leaves. Very cool. :)
Super generous sample. Thank you Gingko!!
This is VERY different than any Oolong I have tried and it was good, indeed! It’s roasty and toasty and I like it! Woodsy and leafy…hearty and strong! At first I thought it smelled like “New Car Smell”…but it was a little more leaf-like than that, I suppose. Regardless I think the reasons this is different is the key! This is tasty and interesting! If you are into roasted oolongs – try this!
Woah! I think this is now my favorite black tea!
I’ve had a lot of Keemun, sampled one kind of Darjeeling, and had other black blends, etc, but as an unflavored, single source black tea, this was delicious!
I thought I even tasted a hint of honey and chocolate (yes, it almost tasted like it had a hint of sweetness, but no, not the bitterness of chocolate, but something about the way it smelled) It was really smooth.
It’s not exactly cheap, but not terribly expensive, either. Definitely going to have to get more of this some day.