Tea Trekker

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

Really nice tea and great presentation for travel.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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84

Enjoyed this black.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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84

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Light and fruity. Maybe a touch sour for my taste, but I may have brewed too many leaves.

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80

I am on the fence with this tea (Autumn ‘14 harvest). Great quality leaves which results in a beautiful golden colored cup of tea. The name is very appropriate, because the taste is not overpowering in any aspect. I like to drink it before meditating because it won’t leave any taste to distract.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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94
drank Doke Black Fusion by Tea Trekker
113 tasting notes

This tea has been getting some good press lately and I would say it’s warranted. The leaves are a striking dusky grey/black—long and twisted. The liquor is dark molasses and tastes something like a cross between an Assam and a Nepalese tea, malty and sweet, with hints of vanilla and pepper. It’s smooth and delicious—reminiscent also of Mandala’s Black Beauty—and immediately jumps to the upper echelon of teas I’ve tried in the last few years. Based on this and the two Darjeelings I’ve tried recently from Tea Trekker, it’s clear they choose their teas intelligently.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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93

Given the bias toward Chinese teas on Steepster, I feel I need to carry the torch for the poor forgotten darjeelings, which are still the tea I feel compelled to drink most often. I don’t think I need to repeat what Tea Trekker has already provided in terms of description. I’ll just affirm that this is a tea where every component is in perfect balance, creating a harmonious whole. The perfume is perfect—not too strong or too subdued. It really is the prototypical second flush.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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91

The dry leaf is among the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen and highly unusual for a darjeeling. The picture doesn’t accurately represent the length and thickness of the leaves. Both the wet and dry leaf have a strong aroma of soybeans, also unusual for this type of tea. The soybean remains in the flavor along with the classic muscatel taste. There’s absolutely no astringency or bitterness—the tea is incredibly smooth and drinkable. I’m still trying to decide whether it’s too subtle for my personal darjeeling preferences. It doesn’t grab your attention; instead, you must bring your attention to the tea in the same way some music can remain in the background, but once you listen closely, you realize how great the music is.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

nice I heard there weren’t too many second flush darjeelings this year due to the drought

Doug F

There weren’t, but Tea Trekker has a few intriguing ones. I ordered their second flush from the Sourenee estate and it’s a really excellent tea. I’ll log it soon.

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90

This is a nice “combo” tea. It’s all fully oxidized darjeeling, but some of the leaves have been left green to peek through in both the appearance and the flavor. It’s nicely dry and snappy, a solid afternoon pick-me-up. I think this would be a good one to feed to friends who are only familiar with tea-bag tea so they can start to understand the wonders of loose leaf.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

Weeeeellll… I guess you can’t love them all. A little fairy told me that.

The color here is amazing, like pale amber. And the dry tea smelled nice, but the wet tea had a heavy earthy smell. I did two rinses and some short steeps.

This sample is from AllanK and he did warn me of the strong bamboo flavor, but it’s a bit overwhelming at first. It seems to taper off in later steeps. And even though the earthy flavor gets quieter, it lingers at the end of the sip. I can handle it a little better when it’s at the front of the sip and more pleasant flavors remain in the aftertaste.

I’m really grateful to try this one and I have enough for a few more sessions. Maybe I’ll learn to like it a bit more.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
boychik

i remember trying some hei cha, could not even swallow. its great we dont love everything.

AllanK

Most of the Liu Bao I have tried seems to have that bamboo flavor. I don’t know if it is because it is often stored in Bamboo baskets or if that is coincidence. When I bought this I was hoping for something like the Serenity Liu Bao from Fang Gourmet Tea but they did not turn out to be similar.

Sarsonator

I would try additional years and makers, because I can’t write off the whole style from one try. :)

AllanK

The problem with buying Liu Baos is its more hit or miss because there just aren’t that many people selling it. The favorite sellers of mine don’t carry it at all. You can’t get it from Berylleb, Dragon Tea House, or Yunnan Sourcing. Fang Gourmet Tea no longer had it listed on their website but she might get it back in stock. Hers was really good, and really expensive.

Sarsonator

I guess it’s not the “in” thing right now. Harder to find

AllanK

The seller whom I bought the Lucky Dragon from has a lot of Fu Zhuan for you to look at. I thought of telling you this because of the Fu Zhuan you liked so much from Camellia Sinensis, Streetshop88. I bought one of their Fu Zhuan and reviewed it here. It was decent but not as good as the ones you reviewed.

Sarsonator

Thanks, Allan! I’ll take a look. I would like to find a spot to order a whole brick of the fu.

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99

This tea is absolutely incredible. I had drank it before and liked it western style. I needed to gonfu this to get the full effect. This tea had strong notes of honey and fruit notes as well, perhaps apricots etc. This tea was naturally sweet. This was amongst the very best tea I have ever had. At one point I added fresh raspberries to it, but it was so good without them I stopped adding them, wanting to get the full flavor of the tea. I normally only rate ripe puerh to be this good.

I steeped this five times. I wanted to steep it some more, but I need to sleep tonight. I steeped it in a 150ml gaiwan with 190 degree water and 6g leaf. I steeped it for 15 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. The spent leaves had an honey like aroma to them, not the usual vegetal aroma you often get from oolong. This was as good as any tea I ever drank.

In fact, this is the last tea that Cha He will ever hold. I managed to break it tonight. It was as if the Cha He had tasted perfection and couldn’t bear to have another tea so gave its life. Does anyone know a US seller for tea presentation vessels, or Cha He.

Flavors: Apricot, Honey

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 150 OZ / 4436 ML
AllanK

Does anyone know a US seller for Cha He/ Tea Presentation Vessels?

Sarsonator

Not really. I got a nice one from Dragon Tea House. There have to be some US vendors, though.

apt

haha, broke a cup today as well. bad day for porcelain

AllanK

I finally found one. Missed it on purepuer.com initially. May order it tonight, unless I find something nicer. I found a teapot on their site to die for but its $178.

AllanK

I had an episode of teaware mania and bought that incredible teapot. Here it is.
http://purepuer.com/puer_tea/do/product/all_teaware/Chen_Yu_Zhuang_Taiwan_Clay_Teapot_B

Sarsonator

Wow, A. That’s impressive.

AllanK

With any luck I will have that on Monday. Spoke to Larry on the phone and he said they could ship out tomorrow. Purepuer sells some excellent teas although many are beyond my price range. He’s got one cake for $1300.

TheTeaFairy

I think I might need this tea…

AllanK

Tea Fairy, I will save you a sample for our swap. Mine was the 2013/2014 Winter Pluck. I think the one they are selling now is the 2014 Spring Pluck.

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80
drank 2007 Hei Cha Liubao by Tea Trekker
561 tasting notes

The first time I drank this tea I was put off by the strong bamboo flavor, but it is growing on me. There is a sweet flavor behind that as well and I will have to gongfu this tea sometime soon. Today I brewed it western style as my morning tea. I brewed it once in an 18 oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 15 sec.

Most of my Liu Baos I notice have this bamboo flavor, it must be common to Liu Bao. At first I thought it was poor storage on the part of Tea Trekker, but as the puerh I got from them did not have the same flavor I doubt it. It could be that these Liu Baos were stored in bamboo before I got them, that is common with Liu Bao.

Flavors: Bamboo

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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94

Pleasantly fruity with a slight taste of toasted grain and a classic tea fragrance. Very good quality tea with little bitterness or astringency but not enough body to make a good breakfast wake-up beverage. It is meant to be served in perfect tiny cups with tiny, expensive sweets.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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86

This tea still tastes more like an oolong than a black tea to me. It is good, somewhat astringent and quite malty and just a little bitter, just a little. It has a roasted barley taste to it like a da hong pao but not tremendously pronounced. There is another flavor behind that which I can’t identify well. This is a good tea but I don’t know if its good enough to buy again.

It should be noted that the leaves of this tea are dark black and rolled like a Tie Guan Yin oolong tea, not straight and wiry like the average black tea.
I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 200 degree water and 3 tsp leaf for 3 min.

Flavors: Roasted Barley

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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86

This review may be a little sketchy, because I drank it this morning before being called in to work. It is an enjoyable, slightly bitter tea that tastes much like an Oolong rather than a pure black tea. It has a little of that characteristic oolong bitterness along with some black tea sweetness. In fact, if you just saw this tea and didn’t know what it was you would definitely think it a heavily roasted oolong. However, it is fully oxidized. It is available from Tea Trekker and I think they do a good job of sourcing their teas. It is good enough so that I might buy it again but am unsure, so many teas to try after all. I steeped this twice in a 18 oz teapot, planning to steep it just once. The second steep I put into a thermos and took to work. First for two minutes then for three. I used 2.5 tsp leaf and boiling water. It is called frozen summit because it is so high mountain that you can get frost in the warmer months even the summer I think.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML
AllanK

Tea Trekker is an interesting site, lots of good quality tea. www.teatrekker.com

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drank Mao Xie by Tea Trekker
251 tasting notes

Very delicious Oolong. No harshness, bitterness, or astringency. This is lightly roasted so it has a great balance of cream, floral, and lots of natural sweet notes.
The leaves do open up to look like a hairy crab as the tea is named after :)

Flavors: Cream, Honey, Honeysuckle

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 189 ML

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50

I got this as a freebie with a Tea Trekker order and was looking forward to it since Golden Monkey is one of my favorite varieties. I was kind of disappointed. It was a rather thin brew with none of the nuttiness or slight fruit sweetness that I have come to expect from the monkey. I’ll try the rest in a gaiwan and see if that helps focus the flavors, but I’m not optimistic.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Shui Xian Squares by Tea Trekker
251 tasting notes

Origin: Fujian Province, China
Dry Leaf: Cute compressed squares of fall colors; greens, browns, rust, black, each wrapped in paper.
Method: 22oz ceramic teapot – 16 oz H2O
1 square = 10 grams tea
185F for 3 minutes
no rinse but I will if brewing gong fu style—-the square did open right up and is not tightly compressed but it is best to rinse :)
Wet Leaf: Long stems with 2 large leaves attached that have been rolled inside the squares.
Scents of honeysuckle.
Liquor: Clear, dark golden with scents of honeysuckle, cream, butter biscuit.
Flavor: Rich, flowers, nutmeg, peas, asparagus, clean mouthfeel-not too creamy.

Flavors: Asparagus, Flowers, Garden Peas, Nutmeg

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 10 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
donkeytiara

do you blog? your reviews are all about the tea….and I love that!

Lee

Thank u! No I don’t have a blog :)

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94

From the Jun Chiyabari Tea Garden, single estate located in the Himalayan hills of mid-eastern Nepal.
Gardens are located at 6,000 to 6,500 feet in the ‘hills’ around Hile, a typical Himalaya hill-town, about 15 km west of Ilam (the major tea-producing region of eastern Nepal) not far from Sikkim and Darjeeling to the east, and Sagarmatha (Mt Everest) to the north.

2013 late Summer pluck.

I could tell I was going to like this green tea because the dry leaf smells like White Peony white tea. The leaves are gorgeous, twisted and plump at the same time. Their color is beautiful moss green with snow cream green leaves mixed in.
I brewed this Western style and I think I under leafed it a bit and it was still fantastic.
The wet leaves smell zingy and like grape leaves or the dolmas wrapping/ grape leaves.
The liquor is a light pearl green color. Gorgeous.
The flavor is cream and has a creamy thickness to the liquor. I taste the grape leaves with tiny tiny elements of butter bean. There is a slight cleansing to the palette so this is a great after meal tea.
I re-steeped the leaves in my gaiwan to concentrate the flavors and found that these delicate leaves do not want to be re-steeped because I brought about some bitterness :(
One steeping and delicious!!!
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8/27/14
Western style today and I put in the recommended TBSP leaves. This tea has a tiny balance of bitter but not too bad. Otherwise, it has good flavors of cream, greens, and maybe a touch of almond.

Flavors: Almond, Cream, Green

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

2014 Pre-Qing Ming – Yunnan Province China
Wow!!! The dry leaves are so attractive, light moss green and white delicate threads. All uniform and the scent is fresh, Spring scent, hay, greens, nutty.
The liquor is a light champagne color with scents of butter bean, fresh spring peas and vegetables. Each leaf has opened up to be a perfect light Spring green bud. Very pretty.
So fresh and loving the chance to taste this new tea. The flavor is buttered peas with chestnuts. It is like green tea and white tea together. There is a natural sweetness that resembles white tea and then the green tea is nutty and a subtle buttery pea with no bitter or astringent qualities. This is really really delicious green tea!!! Probably one of the best I have ever tasted.
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7/27/14
Having a cup this afternoon. This is a great green tea to pair with a savory snack or meal. It is buttery peas flavor with an accent of chestnut or almond and even has a bit of salinity to it. The dry leaf is gorgeous too.

Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Lima Beans, Peas

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

Miaoli County, Taiwan 2013 Late Spring Pluck.
The dry leaves smell of rye bread and they are larger leaves than I have seen in other Oriental Beauties that I have tried. They have the distinctive speckled appearance of browns, dark browns, moss greens, and cream leaves.
Brewed this Western-style and tasted at 2 minutes, wasn’t sweet or strong enough so left the leaves steeping for a total of 3 minutes.
The wet leaves turn into large brown fall colored leaves with an orange spice scent.
The liquor is golden brown and has flavors of apricot, tangy grape skins, cream.
Delicious.

Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Grapes

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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100
drank Fuding Wild Curly-leaf by Tea Trekker
251 tasting notes

From wild tea bushes, Fujian Province China. Organic 2013 Pre-Qing Ming.
I love these leaves! They are wild, curly, different colors of green , and they smell creamy and of dried sour cherries.
The liquor is golden, smells creamy and like wild flowers, cooked peaches plus a little wild strawberry.
The flavor is cream, graham cracker, herbs, tiny tiny touch of sweet wild strawberry. Very delicious,, I love white tea and this is probably the best one I have tried. Yum


Second Steeping — same amount of time and temp and still delicious !!!

Flavors: Berries, Cream, Peach, Plants, Stonefruits

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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99

This is one of the most attractive and interesting teas I have enjoyed!! The dry leaves are little tiny rolled pearls with a shiny patina, very beautiful. They don’t have as strong as a scent because they are so tightly rolled as to preserve them. The skill to do this must be high.
The leaves unfurl to be tobacco brown curly smoky cuties.
The liquor is dark brown, chocolate-looking smoky and tobacco scented.
The flavor is very thick, rich with a slight touch of sweet but not too sweet. It has a mineral flavor too. No bitterness or astringency. Good
Thank you Tea Trekker for this lovely sample!!! Loved it!!
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5/16/14
Drank the rest of this sample today and I wish I had more. It has some smoky elements that taste like Lapsang Souchong but not overpowering, just subtle and then mixed notes of a sweeter black tea. Such a beautiful dry tea and then interesting flavors to drink!!!

Flavors: Mineral, Tobacco

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Terri HarpLady

Oooh, this sounds nice!

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