Life In Teacup
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Recent Tasting Notes
I tried this again a second time and was able to focus a little more on getting the timing and temperature right. As was noted, the astringency dropped right away with shorter infusions. I did still taste the slightly roasted undertone, but not as thoroughly as my first time round. Otherwise, the flavor was much the same, but more mild and consistent.
This was quite a pleasant tea! The scent of the dry leaves is nice and roasty. With the first infusion, there was a nice bitterness and astringency. The roasted flavor was particularly strong the first infusion, enhanced by the bitterness. There were grassy notes, almost like grass that’s been cut and has been sitting and drying for a couple days. Still pleasantly sweet, but mild.
I’ve got enough of this left to try it once more and, depending on how my tastings of the other Dong Ding Oolong samples I ordered from Life in Teacup go, I’ll make a decision about which one to order more of first!
I haven’t had the opportunity to try many Tai Ping teas, so, my experience with them is somewhat limited. However, of the very few that I’ve tried, I can say that this one is the best of them.
The leaves are beautiful (but then, the long, flat, deep green leaves are characteristic of a Tai Ping. If I recall correctly, the others were more of a light green … almost a dusty green, these are a much deeper shade of green)
Sweet, vegetative (reminds me a bit of lima beans!) and very smooth. Very fragrant, with notes of vegetation and flowers in the aroma. What a lovely cup!
Backlogging from yesterday but I remember it well.
This smells like pu-erh but a more gentle-aroma than most. It’s a bit on the sweeter side and not as earthy per say. It also wasn’t overly strong – which was fine with me…could had just been the mood I was in yesterday…not sure. It was a nice cuppa -a nice pu-erh to have on hand especially for newbies or ones who have had negative experiences with pu-erh in the past…this one will ease them in to it a little more gentle than others. Satisfying!
I LOVE the color of these leaves – dry! The aroma is a bit ‘odd’ but not in a bad way…it reminds me of plugging an old heater in after it’s been sitting a while and you get that charred-dust smell Even more ‘odd’ is that once infused the aroma morphs completely! It smells more like FRESH home-grown veggies! Ahhhh! Airy and breezy!
The color is SUPER Bright Yellow – Brilliantly Yellow! LOVE IT!
The flavor – SMOOTH…fresh, airy, clean, somewhat crisp, a little vegetal-sweet!
This is MARVY…LOVING this!
I’ve short steeped this one a few times before but I always got too lost in the moment to write down any tasting notes. Not the best resteepster, but still very satisfying. Okay now onto the tasting notes;
The sweetness in the first steep is very strong, which leaves behind a nice honey flavour and texture at the back of my throat. This black tea body is nice and mellow, with enough (initial) depth to keep it interesting.
Second steep was different, with a strong malty and grains flavour coming out and the sweetness toning down.
Third steep was pretty similar but with a new tart almost bitter tomato flavour appearing. This character is what really reminds me of “real” SML.
Fourth steep had a weird battle for flavour between the tomato and sweet honey. Normally the flavours are just layered or appear at the beginning or end, but the tomato and sweet honey really do fight for my sense’s attention. That’s the best way I can put it.
Fifth steep was very mild with not much of the tea flavour remaining. Just cinnamon, spices and tomato flavour.
Ending on the sixth steep, I mostly just taste sweet honey. It’s not a disappointing cup to end on, but also not interesting enough to warrant a resteep.
I quite like this small leaf cultivar SML, it’s not as memorable or amazing as SML but it’s easier to drink more often. For me, “real” SML has a strong distinct flavour that I find I can’t have too often. My purchase of this also included a small sample of SML which was a great learning experience. And while that extra SML sample is included, I highly recommend trying this out, just to taste how different the teas are.
100ml gaiwan, 2 generous tsps, 6 steeps (30s, +15s resteeps)
Up’d rating for the wonderful short steeping experience.
Mouthwatering florally beautiful. De-lish!!! YUM! Lovely Li Shan – juicy and sweet!
Vegetal and a bit grassy…but…just a hint – to the nose!
The tea on the tongue is quite grand! It’s a little brothy and more like a meal than a beverage. It’s a bit vegetal, a little ricey, and a little like grains. It’s nifty! I like this!
I have the 2011 pre-Qingming Semi-Wild, but, I decided to post this here rather than creating a whole new listing.
This is really refreshing. Sweet with notes of bean. Very fresh, vegetative flavor. There is a fair amount of astringency to this tea. Very nice.
Day 2, cup 3. Pleasant but mild. Milky. Not near as much flavor as yesterday. Either this did not survive the night well or two solid steeps is the limit on this one. First cup was exceptional.
Second time around, I enjoyed this even more than the first! There was the same bright green, hay aroma and the astringency to mark the first few sips. But the astringency and associated bitterness slip into a smooth, almost sweet after taste that sits well on the tongue – mildly malty! That’s how I would describe the after taste after the first few sips.
After giving this another try, I am increasing my rating on it and planning on ordering more for the future.
The dry pearls smell of root beer. Yum. Steeped 3 minutes at just below boiling water. The mostly open leaf is whole two leaves and a bud, and smells intensely jasmine. A few months ago I would have run for the hills, but now I can’t wait for this to cool down so I can taste it. The clarity of the brew is excellent. The color is the palest yellow green. The sip has grape notes at the front, and a peachiness beyond the wonderful jasmine. This is really, really nice. Thank you Tea EqualsBliss for this sample. It is excellent! I will be sipping this for the rest of the day.
Backlogging (so, based almost entirely on my notes)
Experience buying from Life in a Teacup http://steepster.com/places/2861-life-in-a-teacup-online-easthampton-massachusetts
Age of leaf: advertised as spring 2011, received early fall 2011, brewed up weeks later.
Dry leaf: Tightly curled leaves, similar in appearance to Chun Mee; mild smoky aroma.
Brewing guidelines: Standard parameters for my green teas Loose in glass Bodum pot. Stevia added. 7 grams tea, 3 cups water.
……….1st: 170, 1’
……….2nd: 175, 1.5
……….3rd: 177/185, 2’
……….4th: 190, 2.5’
Color and aroma of liquor: clear pale green; < no notes here on aroma of liquor >
Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: Moderate quality: lots of vibrant looking full leaves and some budsets, yet an appreciable number of medium-sized to small-sized pieces. Smells vegetal and roasted, yet almost stale (I am not certain what I meant by this).
Flavor: A good vegetal green tea taste. Little flavor on forth steeping.
Value: To me, a decent tea, but not worth paying $4 / OZ.
Overall: Nothing really stood out about this tea. I brewed it up on the same day I brewed up the Teavivre HSMF (which is a little less expensive), and they were both about as good.
So…my notices/notifications aren’t working when I click on it from my dashboard. I am getting the following message and have told Ricky and Jason about it. Anyone else getting this???
Someone forgot to turn off the kettle. Check back later or try one of these:Go back to the previous page Drop us a note
This infusion has a nice mellow gold color to it. It’s still sweet and has a very gentle sweet-wood flavor going on…quite crisp! Nice! I like the 2nd infusion better than the first!
Infusion test on this one!
Not much of a smell
It has a very light and pale yellow color
it’s very sweet and almost a cross between a sweet-green tea and a yellow but very pale/mellow
I steeped the tea in a gaiwan with recently boiled water. After a quick wash and “leaf awakening”, I was first a little overwhelmed with how green the Oolong was. My first cup helped me set my pallete and only after that was I able to truly appreciate what I was tasting (I’m still new to active tasting)!
The liquor itself is a bright hay color and gives off a vegetal, grassy aroma at first. After a moment I was able to detect some citrus notes (the bergamot, it seems). This tea has an astringency I found quite enjoyable and has a refreshing citrusy, lightly sour after taste that lingers pleasantly. The tea itself is very light in general, which adds to the refreshing flavor of the overall tea.
I quite enjoyed this tea and am eager to try it again!
Prior to infusing…this sort of smells like Cheerios!
After infusing a gentle warm toasty smell with a bit of sweetness!
Flavor is great!
It’s a juicy gem! There is a little sweet and a little green likeness to it. There are notes of something that resembles honey or agave. There is also hints of sweet-grain to it which is different but welcomed! I like this very much :)
Lushly, verdant, toasty…faintly floral aroma. At first sip, the taste is mildly green, “humid” and smoky—like steamed and roasted banana leaves. Pretty typical of the oolongs I’ve tried in the past.
Fresh gardenias push forward, upon further sips. Faint essence of buttery vegetables in the background. A delicious, savory “grilled” aroma prevails throughout. Reminds me of grilled eggplants brushed with olive oil. On a table redolent with fresh jasmine and gardenias!
I’m actually getting pretty hungry while drinking this—I’m finding myself craving some eggplant parmagiana, right now. Finished off with some steamed sticky rice topped with mango and drenched with coconut milk…served on a banana leaf.
Yummy tea. Rumbling tummy.
Off to make some lunch!! :)
A darned-good Red Tea! Lovely! medium strength and perfect for mid mornings or mid afternoons!
Thanks to Ginko for the free sample of this tea back in February this year!
Since I recently sampled a sheng from Verdant Tea, I wanted to try this quickly, so I could make a better comparison and hopefully learn a bit more about sheng in the process.
Similar to the Artisan Stone-pressed from Verdant, the leaves from the sample were mostly loose. Since I don’t know if the whole cake is loosely packed (via stone pressing) or this is just because Gingko broke off a sample, I don’t know. But I liked the look of the twisted, grey-brown leaves anyhow.
I also went ahead and did a gaiwan brewing, to try to replicate as much as possible the way I drank the other sample.
After the rinse, the leaves smelled incredible! Like maple syrup, or honey-smoked. The liquor of the real first infusion was also very good… this sweet, maple-like flavor was very present, and I was totally impressed. I thought that if the flavors continued like this, it would be by far the best sheng I’ve had (out of very few) and I would really have a grip on what’s so delicious about puerh (or, at least one aspect).
That maple (though not quite like sugar) sweetness was, as I said, on top of a nice earthy, smokiness. The first steep had it most strongly, and the second slightly.
After this, the tea seemed to simply smooth out. I detected some bitterness…it didn’t bother me, but I’ve learned by now this is a feature of ‘young’ shengs. The tea aroma and flavor remained woody and earthy for many more steepings… probably to about 9 or 10. It actually didn’t weaken much at all, but neither did it grow more interesting. About this far I did detect some hints of flowers and the aroma of the wet leaves was very interesting – exactly like baked beans (honey-baked, I think). This didn’t exactly translate into the flavor, but that was still fun.
I went to 15 steepings or so, and it didn’t seem to change much, just starting to weaken in the last cup or two. Anyway, this seemed to have a lot of potential, and was definitely interesting, but maybe it would be great in another 5-10 years. As for now, it’s about par for the course with my sheng experience thus far.
Brewing method: Gaiwan. Temperature = 180 degrees F. 45 seconds first infusion, adding 15 seconds for each subsequent infusion.
First two infusions: It is a lovely Oolong, but I keep waiting for the bergamot flavor to emerge. I taste very subtle hints of bergamot essence, but, is is ever-so-slight. The flavors develop very slowly, as I near the bottom of my cup, I taste a little more bergamot. This is a delicious, satisfying Oolong, however, it is not for the Earl Grey lover looking for an Earl Grey Oolong … instead, it is for the Oolong lover looking for something a little different … or perhaps for the lover of both Earl Grey and Oolong who is not expecting this to be the Earl Grey Oolong.
Third and Fourth Infusions: Ahh… there it is. The bergamot is much more apparent now. It is still not a strong EARL GREY kind of flavor, but, instead, it is a subtle innuendo of the tangy citrus flavor of bergamot and a hint of the floral aspect of bergamot as well. It lingers into the aftertaste. It’s very nice.
Fifth and Sixth infusions: this is where the true beauty of the bergamot emerges. It never becomes a strong EARL GREY-like bergamot, but, instead, this offers a different taste and perspective of bergamot that is tangy, citrus-y and floral… but, still different than I am used to. I like it.
I’ve finally broken into more of the “sampler order” I made with Life In Teacup and am so happy that I did! I was really having trouble putting into words how this tastes – the closest that I could get was “you definitely know that you’re drinking plant water.” But that sounds bad, and this is anything BUT bad. I really think the other reviews do a better job of breaking down the aroma/flavor of this tea. And when I read “marshmallow” I had a “EUREKA!” moment of finally being able to nail down the aftertaste. Sort of like a marshmallow that’s been over a campfire (but just barely). I may have to order more of this! NE (would be TG, but I want to spend more time with this one with better steeping parameters than I have here at work).
Upping rating on this one too! I miss it already. I had enough for a small cup and it’s super awesome…I even over infused and it’s not bitter at all – goodbye old friend…