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Recent Tasting Notes
Pu-Erh teas can be tricky, as the flavor they deserve is malty and thick. I have had some that are just too malty, too bitter, and hard to find the right brew length to balance.
This one seems to be different. It has the characteristic deep, malty flavor, but is actually easier to brew, if you go too short, it is light and sweet, too long it gets richer and fruity, but remains smooth and drinkable either way.
I prefer a bigger flavor in my teas by adding a little extra tea than is recommended but keeping the steep time shorter, and this tea works well with that theory. The malt flavor is deep and complex, but not bitter, and it is good for several steepings. I have gone to 4 steepings, but I’m sure it would still be good for more.
Flavors: Floral, Malt, Sweet
Red Blossom’s Tung Ting selections are consistently some of my favorite Oolong teas, thusly some of my favorite overall teas, I have tasted, and this is no exception.
Very similar to years past, the 2016 Spring Tung Ting is a solid, straight forward, very tasty and full flavored Oolong tea.
This tea is, as the Red Blossom website says, light, sweet, and fragrant. It also works well with longer step times, giving it a bolder, deeper taste without getting too astrigent. My kind of tea!
If you are looking for a simple, straightforward, but lively and full Oolong tea, this is a great middle of the road, easy to brew, enjoyable choice.
Finally ordered another batch of tea from Red Blossom. My go-to house for really freaking good tea. First up is this Formosa Red, Native Cultivar Mi Xiang.
Maybe I’ve been drinking too many fruit teas, and blends, and cheaper grocery store tea bags. But the first taste of this sweet, smooth tea gave me chills. It is pretty amazing.
The Red Blossom website suggested 205 degree water steeping for 2:30. I used 7 grams of leaves in my 3 ounce Bodum Assam tea pot.
The aroma is wonderful. Sweet, subtle, not overwhelming.
The first taste is amazing. Sweet, subtle, with hints of sugar, molasses, a bit of honey. These flavors put together for a great balance, sippable all morning long.
I’ve missed my Red Blossom Tea, in the future I will not go this long without reordering.
Seriously, it’s so good!
i’m back from vacation. While it was a great vacation…i got to drink NO tea because a) the water had a dirt like quality that i wasn’t loving and b, the kettle at the place we were staying at was just…NO.
so i’m happy to be back drinking tea… sadly i got carried away with catching up at work while drinking this one so i don’t have a lot to say yet. the colder it gets, the more chocolate notes poke through, but i for sure need to have this one again. Glad dexter was able to send enough for me to have a couple cups :)
10/10 would recommend. This is a pricey tea but very worth it. Very clear notes of wildflower honey, floral nectar, and cantaloupe. A delicate, floral flavor (hits all of the high notes), yet a ridiculously creamy, smooth mouthfeel and an immediate 回甘 (sweet finish) that just doesn’t end. Do yourself a favor and try it.
NOTE: Just going off the dry scent in my warmed gaiwan, I found that the charcoal roast was a bit heavy for my liking, so I rinsed the tea. Normally I don’t do this for Phoenix oolongs (to make sure I don’t waste any fragrance since that’s the area in which these teas excel), but I would say that this tea actually benefited from the rinse – if nothing else, the flavor was certainly not diminished by doing so.
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Melon, Nectar, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Wood
Incredibly aromatic / floral but not sweet at all, this is a very interesting Ya Shi Xiang, or as Red Blossom calls it, “Persimmon Blossom Fragrance”. The dry fruit sweetness typical of Phoenix oolongs is replaced with nutty / cereal grain notes.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Bell Pepper, Bitter, Cacao, Floral, Fruity, Leather, Molasses, Nutty, Oak wood, Osmanthus, Wheat
This season’s harvest is sublime! Incredibly creamy, with a nice balance of sweet and smoky tones. Complex and interesting, but most importantly delicious. If I had to describe this tea in one word, it would be “yummy”.
Flavors: Campfire, Char, Citrus, Coffee, Cream, Grass, Lemon Zest, Marine, Meat, Milk, Seaweed, Smoke, Sweet, Tangy
Lovely tea. The notes are hard to discern, although the “apricot” from Red Blossom’s site does a reasonably good job at getting at the experience. Strangely lacking in vegetal tones despite how unoxidized it is. There’s also a “powdery” vibe, though perhaps that’s a psychological effect of the fuzzy/powdery aesthetic of the leaves themselves.
The more I drink the tea, the more I love it. When I first got it in the mail, I wasn’t that dazzled. But a month or two into enjoying these silver needles, I actually look forward to sitting down to it.
I’m not a fan of Indian Assams, so I was excited to try this Formosa version to see if it could turn me around. It did. Gone is the disgusting bitter astringency of the Indian variety. What’s the left is a smooth, delicious Assam that is all you could hope for. There’s not much else to say. It’s a big favorite of mine for the first cup of the day.
Flavors: Fruity, Honey
I purchased the Spring 2016 incarnation of this tea, and have now enjoyed it several times. The scent of the steeped tea is classic high mountain Taiwanese oolong: soothing and slightly milky. On the palate, I got quite a bit of florality, some fresh/vegetal elements, a light brown sugar vibe, and yet little to no milkiness. Very pleasant, but in the same genre, I still prefer Red Blossom’s Mi Xiang Tung Ting.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Floral, Vegetal
When I took a whiff of the steeped leaves, I suspected I was in for a treat. There was this autumnal quality — not spicy, but clearly warm and milky. And when I took my first sip I went, “Oh, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.” It’s delicious. While Red Blossom’s site says orange blossom, honey, tropical fruit and buttered rum, I got exactly zero of those from it. What I did get was a florality, but it certainly wasn’t orange blossom + there was a flavor of what I can only describe as something exquisitely “comfortable”, milky, and like tonka beans or another baking spice nature has yet to invent. It’s as if I were drinking rice pudding in tea form. Hands down my favorite tea.
Every time I drink it now, I wonder if I’m really going to like it as much as I remember. I do. It’s amazing. And even as I purchase other mountain/high mountain Formosa oolongs, this is still by far the best example of them I’ve yet had. It’s silly how much better this is than all the others.
Flavors: Floral, Milk, Spices
The tasting notes on Red Blossom’s site make this tea seem like magic. And for $30/oz., I was expecting as much. Sadly, it’s quite bland. Smooth and pleasant enough, with the light taste of some indiscernible fruit, it’s nothing I would look forward to having again. Yet I bought a couple ounces, have had it a half-dozen times now, and will be clearing it out, little-by-little.
Revisting the tea a few times since I first reviewed it, I’ve found being more heavy-handed with the initial dose makes it much more interesting. It makes for a pricey cup of tea, but the appeal is there.
After almost a year long hiatus where I drank mostly puerh, black, and green tea, I thought maybe my love for plain white tea would have simmered down. Thanks to OMGsrsly, I can now put my doubts aside.
I love you white tea. I love you so much. the milkiest Milk Oolong, the nuttiest Dragonwell, and the sweetest black dessert tea have nothing on you. Marry me.
Flavors: Cream, Hay, Lemon, Sweet
This is a very generous sample from teafriend .
8g 90ml Yixing teapot 212F
Rinse and short steeps
The brew is dark, thick and rich. Flavors are unusual, savory, some spice.
I really enjoyed it. It also had a strong qi that sent me into nice nap. It was pretty refreshing.
Thank you so much teafriend for sharing. I wish I could get more of it, but it’s not available on Red Blossom website
This tea is amazing. I got super generous sample from teafriend. Very unusual notes I don’t find often in aged Sheng. It is savory and sweet. Fennel, allspice, cinnamon comes to mind. Really good with longer steeps I pushed to a minute and longer. Very dark and syrupy consistency.
Dry, it smells like dates and chocolate. I put about 5 grams in a 6oz gaiwan. After rinsing and letting the gaiwan lid rest over the leaves for a minute there is a more pronounced chocolate smell, like chocolate covered fruit and leather. The first few infusions (starting at 45 seconds and adding 15 to subsequent ones) gave a roasted, chocolaty with subtle peach flavor. It does have a drying quality in the back of the throat, though it is by no means unpleasant. In later infusions it begins to back off of the roasted flavor and becomes more fruity. I only got 4 infusions before it started to die out.
Flavors: Chocolate, Dates, Peach, Roasted