Life In TeacupEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
This is my last cup of this and I am going to savour the HELL out of it.
I can tell it’s starting to get on in age, and that’s entirely my fault for delaying the inevitable. It’s taken away much of the fruityness I remember.
It’s overall lighter and greener and fruitier than The O Dor’s, which is considerably sharper and more “black”. This is why Life in Teacup’s is still my favourite, and I have plans on buying more. Probably once I run out of The O Dor’s, though, as I’ve been cutting back on my Tea Expenses so I don’t bury myself.
I think this one is definitely on my ‘to order’ list. It’s warm and toasty and peachy, and this time around, I got a whiff of cinnamon spice in the brewed tea smell.
Twenty-five second first steep. Using this to boost my willpower to work on my geology project. Doing a project on the Grand Banks earthquake of 1929. Fun! Working on the layout for my paper right now.
Once I’ve opened the samples from Life in Teacup, I’ve been storing them in odd, empty tins. This one’s in Andrew and Dunham’s Earl Grey tin (I haven’t removed the label or anything—this is just temporary).
Dried, the smell of the leaves is a fainter ‘tea leaf’ smell, which is also somewhat sweet. I like it.
First steep I ended up doing twenty seconds instead of ten (didn’t use quite as many leaves—about two very rough teaspoons [the leaves are a fair size and don’t fit in my teaspoon very well], to six ounces water; also did a rinse-steep prior to the first steep). I’m not getting any smell from the tea. Hmm.
It has a darker oolong taste, I guess. I’m bad at explaining these things, especially since I haven’t tried many. It’s lighter than say Honeybee, but darker than ti kuan yin. However, it’s floral and sweet. In fact, the sweetness is kind of fruity almost, but without any tart. I suppose this is what people mean when they use fruits to describe teas. Maybe peach? I’m glad I got up early, this means I can experience a few more infusions before I leave for class.
This is VERY nice to sip. The sweetness sits as an aftertaste on your tongue for a bit.
Second steep, did thirty seconds. There’s definitely a sort of nectar-sweet quality, so definitely sticking with ‘peaches’. And possibly something else, but I can’t really place it.
Third steep, did a minute. Since I let the leaves sit overnight, this may be the reason I’m getting pretty much no flavour at all. Huh.
I opened the free sample today, that I got from Life in Teacup, of my “An Xie Tie Guan Yin Oolong Traditional Charcoal Roast”. It came in a red vacuum-sealed bag, and had written in pin-yin on the side “Ou Nan Cha Ye” and “Hao Cha Hao Ren Sheng”.
Anyway, when I opened it, I was very surprised, because the color of the leaves was green, and not the brown roasted color I expected.
Not only that, but they smelled sweet and fruity, rather than roasted, smoky, etc. (more like a houjicha).
Going right along with that, after rinsing the leaves, I did the first steep…. AND it tasted very fruity, delicious, etc., but NOT roasted at all. It was delicious, but I assume this was actually the Grade II modern green (hence posting my note here). I still have more steepings left, but as of the 3rd steeping, this is awesome. It leaves a very nice taste in the mouth afterwards.
I also got a free sample of the Grade II modern green (at least, that’s what the package says), but I sure hope the charcoal roast is in there instead!
Gingko, is it possible that a sample could have been accidentally switched, or is it more likely that because of my inexperience with oolongs, this actually is the charcoal roast (though there are no hints of it having been roasted)?
Either way, this is delicious!
The brew is a very pretty honey gold. This one didn’t have any steep parameters on the site, so I after some thought, I decided four minutes couldn’t hurt.
The leaves are quite large (not as large as Dawn, but big), and didn’t need a strainer either.
The brewed smell actually REMINDS me of Dawn. Dark, dry, dusty. The taste is similar too, although not without its differences. I didn’t know how to describe that tea when I drank it, thus making this one difficult as well, but—it has a sort of dark dryness, like Dawn’s cocoay taste. This is lighter though; I don’t know how to describe HOW it’s lighter, just that it is. There’s an aftertaste that sits pleasantly, sort of sweet. Overall, it’s earthy but bright.
I really like this. Although I still think something’s been going on with my tastebuds for the past few weeks.
Edit: The tea cooled right down to room temperature, and from that I got a few notes of Assam.
Second steep SMELLS like an Assam. THat sort of… deep berry (but I doubt anyone else would agree with me using the term ‘berry’ with assam, but I don’t know). The dusty taste of the first infusion is completely gone, and it tastes somewhat like an assam, but different, milder.