Sea Dyke Brand

Recent Tasting Notes

53

I grabbed this today, because 125g for less than $2 was worth taking a chance on, and I was kind of charmed and amused by the brand name.

This is okay. Nothing spectacular. It’s a pretty simple oolong without a lot of nuance. Roasty, woody, earthy notes that are a wee bit smoky on the finish, but that don’t really develop much. Still, perfectly drinkable and you can’t really beat that price.

The dry leaf is dark and crinkled. Not quite rolled into balls, but not really twisted either. Somewhere in between. It smells like the steeped cup tastes.

If you’re looking for a complex oolong this is not it. But for something simple to sip and not pay much attention to, you can’t really beat the value for your money.

Flavors: Earth, Roasted, Smoke, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87
drank Shui Hsien by Sea Dyke Brand
151 tasting notes

This tea is a gem, not because it’s the best tea out there, but because it is amazingly priced and can be found at many Asian grocery stores. It’s a nice little foray into the world of Wuyi oolong for those who may not be able to afford much Wuyi otherwise, and at usually 2-5 bucks for a 4 oz box or tin of it, you have plenty of room to experiment with brewing styles without having to fret that you’ll run out or break the bank.

This is a really comforting tea. It is nicely roasted and mild tasting even when brewed with a large amount of leaf. I used 6g/100ml and flash infusions. The brew is a deep orange-red. The flavor resembles black tea somewhat, but there is a hint of sweetness and a very subtle note of pickle brine, and as the tea cools it definitely has a more bitter aftertaste, like that of coffee.

FYI, I recommend buying the boxed version of this. It comes in a sealed foil pouch whereas the tin only has a plastic cap inside and isn’t very airtight. It goes stale easily and absorbs the smells of Asian market that way. The second infusion of this tea is all roasted and char tasting. There was a subtle hint of floral in the leaves before brewed, but that isn’t coming through so much in the taste. As the tea weakens through infusions it is starting to remind me of Houjicha, albeit darker and bolder in flavor.

I don’t have a lot to say about this tea as far as describing the notes, but I can say this is the cheapest and most easy to find Wuyi oolong out there for beginning tea enthusiasts or anyone who wants to indulge in some heavy roast flavored Wuyi without spending a lot. I usually rate teas only on taste but the value really plays into why this tea is great. If I was going to rate this on taste alone, I’d probably give it around a 75, a solid enjoyable tea for me but nothing to write home about, but because I really want others to know about this great opportunity to try Wuyi oolong affordably, I will rate this much higher, and no I have no affiliation with the company. Haha! XD

EDIT: After eating some lunch and coming back to this tea the dill pickle note I had mentioned before is a lot more prominent. I seem to notice this type of flavor from time to time with heavily roasted oolongs.

Flavors: Char, Coffee, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
boychik

So it’s not that yellow tin? Do you mind posting a pic of the box, please?

Lion

Sure. I had bought the one in the tin and it just wasn’t too good. Hadn’t been stored well. The one I reviewed is from my friend Amanda and came in a box like this: http://img.21food.com/20110609/product/1305364238437.jpg

boychik

Oh, last time I was in my Asian Supermarket they didn’t have it. I picked DHP in red tin. Decent. I should look up again. Thanks for the pic.

Lion

No problem! I have seen the DHP tin, but it is 20 dollars at the store here and that is too big an investment for me unless it’s one I’ve tried or from a really reputable source.

boychik

I just bought like 2wks ago and it was 9.99. It’s not spectacular , I’ve had better ones( much more expensive)

Lion

Not a bad deal for 10 bucks I think. I would give it a go at that price.

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drank Min-Pei Oolong by Sea Dyke Brand
417 tasting notes

Asian supermarket find.
I bought it more than a year ago. Several times made western. Boring. wanted to toss until today i found from Mark T. Wendell website its “grown in the northern Wu Yi mountains of China’s Fujian province, this oolong is a unique find. Its leaves are robust and twisted with a high aroma, typical for this special grade of tea. Min-Pei is light in character with a natural orchid-like flavor and produces a clear, bright amber cup color when brewed.”
Today i made it my usual Gongfu method
6g 100ml gaiwan 200F
rinse/pause/10/10/15/20sec etc
this tea is very good. Very sweet lingering long aftertaste. Roasty and sweet.
So glad i gave it a shot.

http://instagram.com/p/swANW4hwkr/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
AllanK

I have an unopened package of Puerh from my local Asian mart bought about five years ago. Maybe if I open it and try it I will be as lucky as you. I love the tea aisle of my local Asian Market in Henpstead, LI. NOt too far from you in Brooklyn, called V&T Supermarket. Got a couple of half decent shous from them but nothing great. I did find a nice tea steeping mug for $5. It was similar to what the Pleasures of Tea was selling for $13.

boychik

Allan, that’s the place I got it from on Ave U. Haven’t been there for a long time. Perhaps I should ;). You are right about the mug, got mine around $5-6 . Very nice design.

mrmopar

You guys are close. And “Yay” Steepster seems fixed!

boychik

Not everything but I’m thankful. I cannot sort my cupboard but I’m so happy it’s running, updating, I finally can send messages. Lets keep it this way

sherapop

I never see loose oolong at Asian markets!

boychik

this place is huge, 2 floors. everything is written in Chinese. i wish i could come with someone who reads or speaks.

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50

Curious, I purchased this tea at a heath-food store: I read something, somewhere regarding the health benefits of Oolong tea—I have since forgotten what those benefits are. I’d also read something, somewhere, saying Oolong is the tea served at Chinese restaurants, so, I figured I’d try it. This is an earthy tea which will probably take me some getting used to.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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95

I accidentally slept fourteen hours today, clearly my body needed it but I was not amused by this. In order to make up for lost time I decided to log a bunch of teas in my notebook, thirteen teas later and I feel accomplished. I am, however, going to review an older tea in my book and one that is a real ‘comfort tea’ for me. I oddly bought it last Christmas at my local favorite Asian Market so I could include it in my annual Tea Advent Calender I give to a few of my friends…and then promptly forgot about it until about a month ago. A grievous sin, I know, but I finally got around to drinking it and giving it the respect it deserves.

This poor ignored tea is none other than Shui Hsien Oolong by Sea Dyke brand. Shui Hsien is an Oolong tea from the famed Wuyi Mountain in Fujian, China, the name translates to Water Sprite or Narcissus, which I find rather beautiful. It is considered a dark Oolong and is usually oxidized 40-60% and is given a good firing (I do love me a roasted Oolong!) The aroma is sweet, rich, and malty…talk about yummy! There are notes of smoke and rich roast, it reminds me of sweet pipe tobacco and gives me a whiff of childhood nostalgia. There are also notes of pine resin and dried fruit.

Once I give it a good brewing the leaves take on an even richer, roasted aroma and is vaguely like coffee. There are still notes of resin and smoke, it does seem to lose its sweetness though. Ah, wait, I found the sweetness, it all transferred to the liquid! The rich, amber, liquid has the aroma of dried dates and roast. The roasted aroma melds really well with the sweetness.

The first steeping is very rich, almost a little too intense but very pleasant. The taste is sweet and a little musky, similar to the way a humidor smells, but not headache inducing like some teas I have found that have this same ‘humidor taste’ are. I suppose it would be a terrible comfort tea if it gave me a headache. It is also smoky and a touch metallic. Very smooth and rich.

The second steeping is where the party is at, yo. It is much sweeter than the first steeping and takes on a more roasted taste rather than smoky. It takes on a nuttiness that blends well with the roasted taste, and also has a chestnut taste. There is a metallic aftertaste that I notice in some Oolongs and I usually really enjoy. As the tea cools it becomes honey sweet and loses any of the tobacco taste. I really like this tea, to me it evokes my childhood and autumn and I have found that if I am feeling unwell it really picks me up. I truly feel bad for ignoring it for so long. I do not know if this tea can be purchased online unless you do it wholesale, but you might find it locally if you are lucky.

Blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/sea-dyke-shui-hsien-oolong-tea-review.html

Anna

A tea advent calendar! Brilliant idea.

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Now there is an idea! I would definitely buy a tea advent calander. I always get mine from my oma in germany. Filled with german chocolates:)

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

It started off with me making origami envelopes and stuffing each one with a tea bag for my one friend and then escalated into loose tea and multiple friends. I think this year I will be making probably four different calendars? Though one filled with chocolate would be delicious! Hehe, maybe I should make one and put it in my shop this Christmas :P

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83

The tea has a beautiful light amber color. The aroma is a mixture of hay mixed with a smoked seaweed smell, also a little bit of a pinto bean smell…hehe. The flavor is light and smokey with an after thought of seaweed. I also think of a late summer/early autumn evening in a meadow and the smell of fires in the distance.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I am so glad you liked it!

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82
drank Bai Mao Hou by Sea Dyke Brand
398 tasting notes

The dry leaves are a mix of colours ranging from olive to light to charcol brown and smell of fruit, bread and a sweet lily.
I brewed this tea at 40, 50, 60 70and 80s. The steeped tea ranged in colour from light straw to light peachy orange.

Through out two brewing sessions captured scents and flavours of fruit ranging from plum, peach, marmelade, dried apricot, banana and lemon , grain notes ranging from sweet corn, toast and sugar cookies, spice, cinnamon and faint nutmeg, cream, vanilla, and light floral notes ranging from a sweet lily to honeysuckle. The tea also had light sweet vegetal notes and a light astringency in the front of the mouth.

Many of the leaves of this tea were broken, however the pieces were fairly large and the tea was not bitter. It maintained a creamy mouthfeel followed by a light astringency in the front of the mouth through all the steeps.

Overall the tea was pleasant with a lot of complexity in flavour. The flavour was not excessively sweet or intense. However I think I enjoyed the TKY in this series more because I enjoyed the spiciness in it more.

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82

So, my best friend Allie bought me this tea for my birthday one year ago. It is a very large tin full of small paper packets of individual 5g servings. I’ve decided to drink some of this every year on my birthday, so we had this with my birthday dinner (vegan ribs cooked by Casey and shared with Allie and Andy). I like very much and is a very versatile tea. It reminds me of roasted Dong Ding.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 24 OZ / 709 ML
boychik

I have this one. its excellent with Chinese take outs. Resteeps gazillion times

CharlotteZero

Good to know. I hadn’t tried to resteep it…

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82

Finally, I am back on Steepster! I had a week there where work was really hectic, and then I got sick. I couldn’t taste anything! I wound up drinking my “swill” tea which is a tin of mixed loose black tea comprised of all of the black teas I’ve tried and didn’t like.

Anyhow, my best friend sent me a giant tin of this tea for my birthday (which is today, happy birthday, me!). Inside the tin are so many individual servings of loose tea in little paper bags.

This is a heavy roasted Tieguanyin. I really like this tea. The scent is awesome, but the flavor is a little weak. Maybe it’s not as complex as one could hope, but it’s really easy to drink. Since I have over a pound of this, and it was a gift from one of my favorite people in the world, I think I am going to age this and continue to drink a cup of it on each birthday I have!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Happy birthday!! :)

Charles Thomas Draper

Happy Birthday!!

Bonnie

Hooray for your Birthday! Many Years to You!

CharlotteZero

Thanks, guys. :-)

Tea Sipper

Happy birthday!

CharlotteZero

Thank you. :-)

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85
drank Ti Kuan Yin by Sea Dyke Brand
398 tasting notes

This tea was quite a good grocery store bargain with a sweet spicy taste lasting through at least 5 infusions.

-Mid roast leaves green and greyish brown.
-Smells like a like a mixture of sweet floral and grape like the purple heritage iris’s of my grandmothers garden.

1st steep 30s colour pale gold. creamy spicy sweet brew, smell reminds me of brown sugar and oatmeal and apricots, tastes of warm heated peaches and banana, mixed with ginger chai without the heat. slightly buttery.
2nd steep 35 not as creamy,spice, stone, similar notes to first steep moving into more floral notes,freshning sensation at back and top of mouth.
3rd 40s smell more spicy fruit, spicy sensation on tongue, more floral
flavour. Taste reminds me of spicy carnation smell over hint of peaches and cream.
4th 45 still tastes slightly creamy with peaches and cream when hot with a little bit of spice, smells of cream and spice, almost nutmeg. slight bitterness from a floral/vegetal base note.
5th steep 55 scent and flavour peach and asparagus, weaker spice, weakening.
6th steep 120 thin broth, weak but pleasant flavour.

-spent leaves olive green edged in rust, with occassional holes and some evidence of being stressed by insects during growth.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C

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54

i served it over 663times when i worked for part time in resto. it was not a bestseller cause normally people are not familiar with tea oolong in paris, When it comes to its price vs quality, it’s great deal. it’s neither too strong or too mild, smells like wood but i can’t describe it with the words like fantastic or horrible, just like a dried wood.. i’ve only tried in straight way, without sugar or milk.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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16

I was really hoping this one would be good. I got this one and another one in a yellow box from the same brand while I was in Hong Kong. The leaves smell like raisins for some reason. When you steep it, it smells like wood. Or something. The taste is okay, but that smell is so overpowering that I just can’t drink it. My quest for good oolong continues…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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88

earthy, delicate, rich, smooth.
I found this at a local Asian grocery store, and was surprised to find that it was a lovely loose leaf, and not nearly as expensive as most Oolongs.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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69

Drinking this gongfu cha this evening, with a small gaiwan, and water near boiling. The first few infusions need careful timing to avoid bitterness, but later infusions are toasty sweet without any hint of bitter. Mellow, pleasing, tea-as-comfort-food.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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69

This is the tea I ‘grew up’ drinking, starting with Chinese restaurant teas and moving on to this one, which I was taught to revere as special and rare, one my father had learned on from Chinese friends but found hard to get before the 80s. By the time I started to drink it, it was easier to find, but still not something that every chinese market would carry. If I couldn’t find the familiar red tin, I’d go home empty handed rather than buy an unknown tea. A long period when I could not get t from my usual suppliers finally led me to my new local Chinatown, tea shops, and the internet, and this is no longer my favrite tea.

In retrospect I’m very glad that I didn’t find this tea on my first trip to Wing Hop Fung. But I’m glad that I eventually did find it again. It’s inexpensve, reliable, and comforting: a dark roasted toasty oolong with a little sweet, a lot of earthy, a touch of caramel, and when the leaves are treated just right, a bit of spicy too. I have managed to make a harsh bitter cup out of this one a few times, but it takes real effort: boiling water, too much of the dark, tightly curled leaf, and long steeping.

Use teaspoon per mug or 6oz pot, water 185-195, steep 1-2 minutes, and you’ll get another 1-2 steepings from the leaves.

It keeps very well, so it’s a great one To keep around just in case, to introduce newbies gently to the darker side of higher roast teas, and for effortless drinking when you’re to frazzled to break off a piece of puerh or babysit a tempermental green.

I’d rate it about a 65, but can’t Figure out the sliders on the phone.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C

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75

baked Ti Kuan Yin. Very delicious.

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