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I have a lot of respect for Tea Trekkers. They are honest, knowledgable, and dont rely on gimmicks to sell their tea.
This tea while good is more of an expiremental tea than a solid choice. As we all know the Fenghuang, Phoenix Mountains, produces wu longs. This is unique because it is a red tea from this area. So what does this mean for the tea?
The first is that it does have characteristics that coincide with pheonix wu longs. The aroma is fruity with a little metallicness. On the first steep it can be easily mistaken for an wu long. The red tea body and sweetness really comes out in the later brews as the aroma fades.
The aroma is guava with a little metallic, makes me suspect they used either Shui Xian or Bai Ye cultivar. Once that fades you get the classic red tea sweetness. The red tea flavor is flawed though. The tea isnt smooth, as red teas are suppose to be. The tea is a little matly with a sour raspberry taste. The smell of the gaiwan at the end was pretty funky like manure. It also leaves an unpleasent taste in the mouth.
This being said, these flavors are pretty small. Non of these flaws over power the general fullness and sweetness of the tea. I would suggest buying a sample of this tea. It is interesting to see what happens when wu long makers make red teas.
I personally wouldnt buy anymore but I can see how other may really like it and buy a lot. (remember I dont really like Fenghuangs)
Flavors: Guava, Malt, Metallic, Raspberry, Sour
2009 From Liquid Proust’s aged oolong sampler.
I tried this tea twice: first gong-fu, and then a cross between gong-fu and western style: 60 s steeps of 3 grams in 6 oz water. I preferred the second approach.
The dominant flavor of this tea is the heavy roast, which hits you as soon as the water hits the tea. In the gong-fu session, this was pretty much all i got, but in the semi-western session, there was a stone fruit hiding under the roast, which peeked out at various times; in the finish during the first steep and as the tea cooled in the second steep, and again in the finish of the third steep.
I prefer my oolong roasted, but this one was a bit too much for me. My rating is an average of the first session (81) and the second (85), which was high largely because the tea was fairly interesting, not because it was a pleasure to drink (though there was nothing unpleasant about it, at least for me).
On a personal note, I’m a terrible tea hoarder. Despite my participation in two travelling tea boxes and 3 of Liquid Proust’s samplers, this is only my 21st sipdown of the year. the worst thing is that this one was accidental. this sample was in a bag of teas that I didn’t think I had tried. My usual modus operendus is to save the last portion of a sample pretty much forever. i need to change this.
Frankly any old-style, old tree tea and purple varietals are to my liking. This tea combines these two aspects. As one contemplates the dry leaf, before steeping it, it seems to talk of loving, careful hands that cut long, well developed but young and tender leaves in spring 2014 then processed them to a subdued cordovan color, delicately twisting them to come up with an exceptional flavor and aroma for my tasting still now in 2016. This is one of the longest lasting teas in the mouth that I have ever tried. The first time I steeped it, while meditating later on , I was distracted but its persistent taste. Perhaps it lasted almost an hour!
This morning I made two steepings for 3 minutes at 190°F and it is so smooth, so velvety. Nothing harsh, by any means. A full bodied, complex taste and, as I say, long in the mouth. A few hours later, I have made a third steeping at 195°F for 5 minutes and it retains its entire flavor, perhaps gaining in subtly—or is it because I am more awake now? I will later on do a fourth steeping— I have done it many times— at 200°F and for 6-7 minutes and it will still maintain a good taste level, although by this time, it will be less pronounced.
Tea Trekker is indeed true to its reputation which such a fine, very top-notch tea. They definitely have an excellent hand at making their contacts and choices. Their quality is very consistent, indeed.
Wonderfully round, complex, full mouthed, long lasting taste. A high mountain oolong leaf made into a subtle black tea. Very smooth and no bitterness whatsoever. This is a big gnarly leaf which why I used an apparently big amount. I made three excellent steepings, using 200°F water for the last one with only 4 ounces of water for 6 minutes. (With a tea of such high quality, I like to play with time and temperature so as to coax out more steepings.) For my experience, Tea Trekker always comes through with very high quality and decent prices. They have never sold me something that is not in the upper range of premium tea. I have learned to follow their suggestions, descriptions, temperature ranges and quantity of tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Round , Smooth
Bought this last month in my Black Friday order. While I liked the tea there are a couple of things about it. There was a lot of fermentation taste and this taste was somewhat unpleasant if not fishy. There was also a lot of bitterness. That being said there were some good points too. I developed into something nice. It was thick and rich in the early infusions. Even if it was somewhat bitter. There were some notes of chocolate and it did develop something of a fruity taste later on. Rated on the first few steeps this was not very good. Rated on the eight steeps I gave this it was fairly tasty.
I steeped this tea eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 8.5g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rest and a 10 minute rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. Judging by the color of the tea in the eighth steep I’m sure I could have gotten another six or seven steeps out of this tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Sweet
Trying this today from the aged oolong sampler. Thanks again to*Liquid Proust* for all the work he did on this. I would say this is a medium roast tea. It’s also got a strong roast aftertaste. It tastes a bit of charcoal. It had some bitterness but not too much. This one is somewhere in the middle for me, not the best I’ve tried, not the worst. I am still not a big fan of roasted teas in general.
I steeped this tea 12 times in a 60ml gaiwan with 4g leaf and 200 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I think this would go a few more steeps if I had a desire to continue.
This tea is excellent. I bought it during Tea trekker’s Black Friday sale and am just getting around to trying it. There is very little fermentation flavor to it, maybe a little in the first steep and that’s about it. It had clearly been wet stored at some point because there was the faint taste of wet wood in the first two steeps. It had obviously cleared of it’s storage taste while stored by Tea Trekker. It was sweet with virtually no bitterness from the beginning. It was dark and rich in the early infusions. It turned into a fruity sweetness as the tea got lighter in color. Unfortunately Tea Trekker has run out of this. It was priced right at $55 for a pair of 250g bricks. The tea itself was fairly large leafed. I am not sure if Wuliang is the region, the name of the tea factory, or just what Tea Trekker called it. It hard to pin down the exact nature of the sweet taste but it is good.
I steeped this ten times in a 120ml gaiwan with 10.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. Judging by the color of the brew in the tenth steep I’d say I could get another three or four steeps out of this at least but ten cups is a lot of tea.
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Sweet, Wet Wood
Received two ounces of this free with my recent Tea Trekker order. This is overall a very good tea. There was no bitterness to this tea. Despite it being a “green” oolong there was no grassy or vegetal taste. It was perhaps the sweetest oolong I can remember drinking. I have been trying to think of how to describe the sweet notes and am at a loss. They are kind of fruity but with a mineral taste I think. There was also a slight sour note to the first infusion that didn’t last too long. This. however might not have been the tea but what I was eating before I drank the tea. I had just finished some hummus and that might have contributed to the sour note. Regardless this is an excellent tea. It is apparently not available for sale on their website. When I put it in the catalog I had to use the picture for the same tea but spring pluck. The tea has quite a potent mouthfeel and a strong aftertaste. I can taste the tea even when not drinking it and suspect I will for a couple of hours. This is one sweet tea. I feel as if I have added sugar to the tea but I haven’t. It is that sweet.
I steeped this tea eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 8.1g leaf and 190 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. I should note that the website calls for starting with 30 second steeps but I think it was just right with short steeps.
Bought this with my recent Tea Trekker order. This is one good shou. There was only a vestige of fermentation flavor in the first steep. I could still tell it was a shou but I couldn’t really taste the fermentation flavor. This vestage was gone by the second steep. This tea was sweet from the start with no bitterness. There were a variety of complex notes over ten steeps but I would venture to say that dates or plums comes to mind in the later steeps. I didn’t really notice chocolate notes in this tea but I think they tend to come from the fermentation taste of the tea and thins just didn’t have any. This tea had clearly been dry stored as the Tea Trekker website I think says. I found no wet storage taste at all so I believe this. This is also unusual for a ripe puerh in that is wild arbor spring tea, that is if we can trust the people at Tea Trekker. I personally trust them so I believe that this is wild arbor spring tea. The total lack of fermentation flavor in this tea indicate it had been stored a while so I buy it’s age. As far as how much I enjoyed this tea that puts it at the top of the scale. I am also getting some cha qi from this tea, a rarity for ripe teas. I wouldn’t use the term tea drunk but I am feeling good, very relaxing qi. This is definitely one I would buy more of as I only bought four ounces. I was thinking of buying eight but Tea Trekker doesn’t knock anything off the price if you buy even a pound. I don’t think that I would get too many more steeps out of this tea. I gave it ten steeps and had to open up a bit on the time iin the ninth and tenth steep. I suspect that I would get at least two more steeps out of it though. I might go back for two more later on as I figure I have already extracted all the caffeine from this.
I steeped this tea ten times in a 120ml glass teapot with 9.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, and 2 min. This was one good aged tea.
Flavors: Dates, Sweet
Drank this down yesterday with my best friend and came to realize why this will have such a mixed review. While many have had freshly roasted oolong tea, there is something different about aged ones; especially when they were originally cheap and terrible leaf, which I don’t know if this was or not.
This was a dark balled leaf that brewed a lightly colored liquid with a much better aroma than the leaf itself. The taste, depending on steep time, can be a bit roasty. This is the kind of taste profile that some like or don’t (similar to smoky taste).
I was surprised to steep this over eight times, ended with thirteen to move onto the next tea. While I enjoyed this tea, it’s hard to not look at the price of it… which makes roasted TGY much more appealing.
I must say that the lasting flavor of this tea makes it a great experience.
From the Liquid Proust Group buy
I really enjoyed this tea. It is a moderate to heavy roast with a strong nutty/toasty aroma. The taste is soft and round with a nutty flavor and just a hint of bitterness at the end. Long finish. As the tea cooled it developed a more complex flavor: sweet, with a note of raisins. The tea just gives off waves of flavor, as well and a fairly hefty cha qi, and the finish lasts forever.
I was anxious to try this so had a single cup, then drove to a meeting, and could still taste the finish, 30 minutes after finishing my cup. My 2nd steep was several hours later, which is less than ideal: Beautiful aroma. Taste starts out slightly bitter but mellows out. The third steep was simpler: no raisins. Taste is powerful and complex but has a few off-flavors. I think I had a couple more steeps but didn’t record notes. Yesterday I spent 8 hours outdoors in 40 degree weather at a scouting event with my grandson, so the only tea I drank was a travel mug full of Darjeeling (the mulled cider at the event was pretty good, though. Today, 2 days after my initial steep, the tea is still pretty good though with less body and complexity. It is quite sweet. I’m at that point where I’ve doubled my steep time and the tea is still enjoyable but I want to go on to the next tea.
I’m not giving a recommendation or rating because I don’t know how much the tea cost (it is buried in the group purchase, which wasn’t cheap on a per-gram basis) and because any rating might be skewed by my excitement about drinking my first tea from the group buy. However, I really enjoyed the tea.
Flavors: Nutty, Raisins, Toast
I poured these nuggets from their package into my cha he, and I took in their aroma. I wasn’t picking up too many diverse tones. The main focus for these dark nuggets was pure roast. The description states that this tea has been re roasted numerous times, and it is easily identifiable. I placed the rolled oolong into my warmed gaiwan and I gave it a shake. The scent deepened to an even HEAVIER roast. I mean this stuff was like campfire toasted. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The steeped leaves, again, kept the consistent char profile. The liquor was a pale golden, and it carried a slightly different tone. The initial taste was odd and intriguing. The taste began as a slight mineral and fruit note, and then it progressed into a dry oat flavor. This grainy tone had a sweet background; I was reminded on Honey Nut Cheerio’s. The initial few drinks were intensely lubricating in the mouth. I was practically salivating, which was quite enjoyable. The brew then became slightly sour and just a hint more dry. The char notes became present by the third steeping. I was able to pull a decent amount from these leaves. Also, there was an ever prescient sweetness after each sip. I was able to narrow this flavor down to either raisin or plum. The note followed throughout the drinking; however, the note wasn’t as long lasting as I had anticipated. The qi was pretty decent, for I was heavily sweating and heating up quickly during the session. I enjoyed this brew, but it wont be something I’ll get more of. Personally, I am looking for a more sweeter aged oolong. Nonetheless, this was a very fun tea session, and I am happy to have tried it.
Flavors: Burnt, Char, Drying, Oats, Plums, Raisins, Roasted, Toasty
Thank you Liquid Proust for organizing and packing all these samples from the Aged Oolong Sampler. Trying the 1986 Tung Ting today. While I won’t say I didn’t enjoy it it’s a little too roasty for my tastes. I steeped this tea fifteen times and I think it would go a few more steeps if I had a desire to continue. It was roasty to the end. There was another note behind the roast, a kind of a sweet note but I’m not sure how to describe it. Drinking this was an experience, that is for sure. This is not one that I would go out and buy more of. I am still more of a ripe puerh fan at heart.
I steeped this tea fifteen times in a 60ml gaiwan with 4.7g leaf and 190 degree water. I didn’t give this one a rest I was in a hurry. I did give it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, 3 min, and 3.5 min. Not entirely sure if I’m feeling any qi off of this one.
Tea Trekker continues to bring very high-quality tea to aficionados. This is one of their many Darjeeling offerings, and it’s a second flush.
This tea brings a strong, fruity (muscat, stone fruit) aroma and flavor—breathing in the steam from your first cup is heavenly. It’s balanced by the right amount of astringency and slight bitterness to give it some edge and bight. A light, clean texture with a touch of silkiness. Maybe a hint of maltiness lurking, but that’s not the main focus. This is a refined but invigorating tea that’s perfect for a first cup in the morning.
Flavors: Grapes, Muscatel, Stonefruits, Tea
Out of all the teas that AllanK has provided for me to try, I believe this is only the 2nd one that I have not liked; that’s pretty awesome since the number is somewhere around 20.
I believe it is the material used in this tea that I don’t like. For others I am sure it is great, but the taste is a little weaker than the ripe teas that I like and it doesn’t have the same earthy tones to it or the deepness from the first brew. There is some dryness to the tea, but that can be easily overlooked if the taste profile fits with what one likes, this one just isn’t for me. I will say that it does resteep quite consistently though which is a plus.
Never had anything from Tea Trekker before… but someone is buying http://www.teatrekker.com/tung-ting-aged-27-years :)