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Recent Tasting Notes
The look of this mini toucha is adorable. After an initial rinse, I steeped for 10 seconds and got a very bitter brew. I think this may be because in the course of trying to hold the gaiwan lid tight so that the tiny pieces wouldn’t come through, it took about 20 seconds total to pour. I softened it with some extra water. The leaves smell very oceany and vegetal, while the liquor smells smoky, slightly floral. In the liquor scent, I’m reminded of my aunt’s house growing up… dogs, cigarettes, and leather… they were farmers. Might sound odd, but it’s all coming back to me now. (duh-duh-duh dun dun duuun)
The tea tastes mineral, green, vegetal. By the second steep I’m getting more sweetness, but still rather bitter in the finish. Third steep is pretty mineral and oceany, still somewhat bitter, a little less sweet, kind of tart with a subtle pear-like note. Fourth steeping, still very mineral, green, oceany. That bitterness is killing me though. I’m beginning to think this tea needs special parameters outside my normal Puerh steeping guidelines. By the fifth steeping I’m kind off worn out on it. Mostly just tasting mineral and bitter.
Anyone feel free to reply to my review with brewing tips if you think I screwed up. I brewed this tea 10 seconds, 20, 30, etc. I’m going to not rate this tea because my rating would be very low and I don’t particularly want to taint the results not knowing if I just brewed it wrong myself.
Flavors: Metallic, Mineral, Ocean Breeze, Seaweed
Cute little Pu-erh individual piece wrapped nicely. The leaves pressed together are forest green colored.
This liquor does not smell the greatest to me. Then it smelled o.k.
The flavor is all bitter, no other flavors.
I love Seven Cups and have had some wonderful teas from them so I am wondering if I brewed this incorrectly.
From the Steepster Select Box, April 2014
Learning about puerh tea lots more now. The first time I tried this, I was unaware that it was sheng and very young.
I removed my other baby cake / toucha from the sealed pouch and am gonna let him age a bit before trying again :)
I burned myself out on Oolongs and had been staying away from them and trying other types of teas. This one was a good one to come back to Oolongs with!
Very delicious with floral notes but they are creamy fruit tree florals like peach and apricot.
There is a wonderful balance to those florals of a delicious vanilla wafer or other vanilla pastry. So this is like a light peach and apricot dessert, not too sweet though, subtle flavors. Lovely.
From the Steepster Select Box, April 2014
Second Steeping — 2 minutes and now that the rolled balls have opened up a bit, the liquor is a deeper golden champagne color and the leaves are pretty big leaves so they are more mature. Tastes a little more of the Tie Guan with those notes of floral and heaviness to the stomach. I have to drink just one cup of Tie Guan type teas because they are heavy on my stomach but very good flavors.
Flavors: Apricot, Fruit Tree Flowers, Peach
This tea is, as the provided description states, very earthy. It reminds me of the ocean and feels like I’m drinking the sea! Very mineral-like. Slightly floral. For some reason it tastes like I’m drinking what would be liquid ocean sand… but in a good way! Slight trace of bitterness, but nothing too noticeable to complain about.:) The only complaint I would have is the leaves themselves. They broke off into really tiny pieces, and even with the bag sealed, a lot of floaty pieces escaped into my tea. I know this isn’t something that is fixable, it’s just how the leaves are with this tea. Overall the taste is very good, earthy, wet, and enjoyable.
Flavors: Earth, Flowers, Mineral, Sand, Seaweed
Thank you to Lee for sharing some of this tea with me. I do enjoy a good shui xian, & today is the perfect day for a cozy tea such as this one. We are having spring thunderstorms on & off, so the air is heavily humid, with that gloomy overcast kind of sky that makes me just want to go back to bed. I only have one more student today, & not until 4:30, which makes this a perfect afternoon to do a variety of small projects at my desk, while sipping an endless stream of teas! My kind of day!
When I opened the bag this tea came in & breathed in its sweet & floral essence, every voice in my head (especially Ms Theresa’s) said, “Yixing”. But I followed the suggestions of 1.5 Tb to 16 oz for 2 minutes. It was tasty, with a gentle essence of a creamy caramel flan with maybe a little burnt brown sugar on top, but I honestly wish I’d either used less water or a longer steep, so I switched the leaf over to my yixing for the resteeps.
We live, we learn :)
Recently tried this when I went to Seven Cups of Tea. They were out of the Keemun I wanted to try, so on the suggestion of the lovely lady at the store I tried this one. I really loved this one and bought some to bring home. This tea stands up to many many brews. I brewed three tiny pots and then two large to go cups and there is still flavor; I just give slightly more brew time each time. Their is a lovely round umami feel to this one despite being a black tea. I catch bits of sweet potato, apricot, malt and fig with just a bit of nice tannin astringency. The smell of the brewed leaves is sweet and just a tad fruity with some maltiness. The woman mentioned that this is the perfect tea in between the fruit and spice and I believe her! The label mentions you can brew it six times.
The dry leaves smell so good like cream and sitting by the rocks on the ocean shore. They are blackish-brown, medium size and all uniform semi-twisted.
Brewed, this tea also smells amazing like toasted granola with vanilla almond milk. There is a scent of sugary caramel as well.
The flavor has just the right amount of roast for me. It is definitely roasted but not as much as some of the rock wulongs are and I like that. It is well balanced with roast, cream, and a subtle amount of sweet. I would really love a bit more sweet in there for a perfect balance but that is very hard to find.
A second steeping brought me even more creamy notes on the nose and still a nice roasted but not much sweet flavor.
Flavors: Cream, Espresso, Vanilla
The dry leaves are black, twisted, and fairly long. They have a vanilla, toasty aroma.
Brewed, the liquor smells of sweet cream and a caramel dessert. The color is a beautiful auburn jewel shade.
The flavor is a roasted dark toast when drinking in and then subtle sweetness comes when breathing out.
I tried three different steep times (and one temperature lowering) for this Da Hong Pao, each with fresh dry leaves, to learn from.The first steep time that I tried is noted in the taste note settings here and is what the package suggests, 212 F for at least 2 minutes. (The taste notes above)
My next try was 212 F for a quicker 1 1/2 minutes. I was trying to see if more sweetness comes thru with less steeping but I found that by doing this, you just get a weaker version of the same dominant flavors.
I tried one more experiment with dry fresh leaves (I had lots of tea to share today), I lowered the temperature to 200 degrees for 2 minutes. As this version cooled, I liked it the best but it still had the same flavor notes.
By doing all of this, I wanted to see if the roasting process they perform on the tea causes the dominant flavor or if it can be manipulated by your temps and steep times.
I found that it was the same flavors no matter what I did so the flavor mainly has to do with the roasting or how they process the tea as long as you don’t over-steep. Still learning,,lol!!
So over all, I found that this tea has a very dark roasted flavor with very subtle sweet notes as you breathe out and I enjoyed learning from it too!!!!
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Espresso, Vanilla
The dry leaves had a strong essence of Hawaiian mango which intrigued me! They were long, dark, slender, and toasted brown. All the leaves were uniform.
The brewed tea had that wonderful aroma that is so fantastic in Oolongs,,,toasty, floral, creamy. Everytime you bring your mouth up to drink this one, the scent of the Iris.
This is a delicious and fragrant Oolong. Paired it with fresh blueberries for breakfast and it was heavenly.
I am tasting the 2013 Bai Hao Yin Zhen & it is delicious!
The dry leaves are all perfectly the same size & beautiful sage green color. They have their furry fuzzy coat of white down. I think white tea is one of the prettiest as well as yummiest.
The leaves had a white chocolate, cocoa sweet scent. The scent of this tea steeping was delicious-smelling, creamy, & enticing.
Brewed, the color of the liquor was a clear pearl- champagne and it had the scent & flavor of those baby arrowroot cookies with almond milk.
Enjoying this tea with fresh raspberries & blueberries which it pairs beautifully with.
The dry tea has a vegetal, mineral scent. The leaves are tightly rolled, uniform in size, and they are cute little twisty eyebrow shapes.
Brewed, the scent is very vegetal, like fresh steamed asparagus. The color is a more brown color like clear vegetable broth. This tastes like the tea that I get at my favorite Chinese restaurant.
As the tea cools a little, I can taste the qualities of a green Gyokuro type tea and can taste that it stepped into the oven for such a short time giving it a hint of baked potato skin flavor.
This is a very Earthy tea, not bitter, so it is easy on the caffeine & stomach. I love that I get to drink the same tea that the monks in the local temple drink every day. It is so special to me.
After tasting, I paired the tea with rice and fresh sliced tomatoes that I had for lunch. I thought of the monks and what they might have to eat or when they might drink the tea. I love this green tea.
Had a pot this afternoon and decided to take the temp down to 175 for 1 minute. The instructions say to brew at 190 for 1 minute. I used a heaping teaspoon for 2 cups of water. I like it better at the lower temperature. It still has the mineral flavor but it is more subtle and refined.
I tried to bring out the Narcissus scent in this Oolong this morning. The last time I tried it, I followed the 212 F temp on the package with a 2 minute steep. This morning I tried a first infusion at 212 F again to get the flavors that I had previously in my mind. I tried new leaves and another first infusion at 195 F for 2 minutes to see if the Narcissus would bloom through. I did get a less roasted flavor but still no real prominent scent of the Narcissus. Next I tried this one in my Gaiwan with fresh leaves and the roasted flavor was still dominant.
Then I took all those leaves and put them together as to not waste them so the experiment was over lol.
I am still learning and am reading about Gong Fu style of drinking/brewing tea,,,this one could be a good candidate for experimenting with Gong Fu!! :)
The dry leaves are dark colored, long, & twisted,,,all perfectly the same size. There is a roasted black tea with milk scent to the leaves.
My first infusion was for two minutes with the tea liquor turning a beautiful amber jewel color. I am trying to think of a description other than malt to describe the scent of the liquid but malt is really the scent! I am not detecting the floral scent in this darker Oolong while it is still very hot.
The flavor is toasted & almost light coffee latte flavor with a tiny tiny hint of the floral aroma coming through in the after finish. This has very very subtle floral aroma for me.
As the tea cools, it gets a very creamy mouthfeel and a highly toasted almond flavor comes through.
I am on my second infusion now, the package indicates it is good for 7. The flavor is still toasty & robust with very very very subtle floral.
This is a good darker Oolong, I am still trying as many as I can and haven’t had so many of them yet and the one I had tried in the past gave me lots of caffeine high whereas this one doesn’t so I am still learning about the caffeine effects of the darker, more oxidized teas. I read that the caffeine causes bitterness and the theanine in tea (which coffee doesn’t have theanine) levels the caffeine out. This tea is not bitter, so I am enjoying a darker tea with low caffeine effects. Very fascinating and must keep learning :)
The dry leaves have a very creamy black tea scent and the leaves are a little different in size. Brewed, the tea liquor is a beautiful champagne clear pearl color and the scent is light cream. The flavor is light and creamy,,,very enjoyable in the morning with fruit!
I am enjoying the website and packaging of Seven Cups, they have so much information. The teas are explained very well including origin, tea master, harvest time, & of course steeping information. This tea is from the Fujian Province, China,,harvested in May, good for 5 infusions, and the tea master is Wu Si Jia. It explains that the fresh, soft rich quality also makes for a nice iced tea.
I found this to be an excellent tea for my morning because I like a light, cooling, easy tea to go with fruit and not harsh with too much caffeine effect so this is lovely tea.
This is one of the first type teas I ever bought. I haven’t had Shou Mei in a long time. I brewed the same way as before, 190F for 2 minutes. Now that I’ve had a few teas, I have more to compare it to. It tastes like a White Peony and a Bancha had a baby,,,, Shou Mei. It really has sweet elements and creaminess of White Peony but then a Bancha note steps in to mix it up a bit. The Bancha note is a bit dried mint tasting?
Overall, pretty good for an everyday, inexpensive tea.
Flavors: Herbs, Honey, Mint
Ah just drank de 2013 version of dis hurr tea, and it was delightful! Notes o’ roasted chessnuts and kane suga’. Very sweet finish, and ah got lahk 4 steepins outta it. Hardly got bitter wid a temperture of ’bout 190F. Dis be some good ol tea from Zhejiang China!
Appearance: Beautifully shaped light green buds with very few young leaves.
Dry Leaf aroma: slightly medicinal, hint of bourbon, fresh.
4 grams of tea, 4oz water at 180 F, brewed in a gaiwan.
1st steep: 2.5 mins, 2nd steep: 3 mins, 3rd steep: 3.5 mins
deep orange liquor. Pervasive medicinal aroma, very herbaceous and plant-y with a dry finish. Not much sweetness. A bit of a toasted note. The astringency is reminiscent of Amaro or some other type of herb liqueur. A little hint of smoke on the end too. I think this would be interesting for people who like less sweet more potent tea.
Much lighter liquor. The vegetal notes are more pronounced. Dominate note is cooked artichoke…or maybe asparagus…no, its artichoke. kind of reminds me of chrysanthemum tea…
Very light liquor and subdued taste. Still a pervasive medicinal/herb aroma. Not a great third steep.
If you are a whisky, bourbon, or spirits drinker, try this tea. Has a lot in common (dry, vegetal, a bit smoky) with dryer alcohol. Fun to drink, and I happen to like dry teas, but avoid if you are looking for something sweet