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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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!!!
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
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.
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
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.
Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Grapes
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
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!!
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
Had this yesterday on April Fool’s Day but Steepster was broken on this entry and April Fooled me lol.
This tea was Sooooooo delicious!!! Rich, thick, smooth, well-balanced. Like coffee with lots of cream in it and a subtle sweetness. Touch of oat. Really enjoyable to drink and no bitter or astringency!!! Yum Yum
Thank you to Tea Trekker for this sample with my purchase, loved it!!!
Second Steeping was still great!! Sweet note is gone and it’s not as creamy rich so I’d probably end with this brew as I don’t want to lose the goodness :) Very yummy and need more but I think it is unavailable right now :(
Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Espresso
Dry leaves are cute, tiny, curly, dark moss green whiskers lol with the scent of minerals.
I brewed this in my kyusu.
The liquor smells like fresh cooked greens and is light spring green colored. The wet leaves are very dark spinach green. Scents of buttered beans and spinach.
The flavor is minerals and butter bean. This tastes just like my everyday green teas, I really cannot name the flavor that I call mineral. It is very unique and tastes like rocks smell because I have not been tasting rocks lol. I wish I could pin another tasting note on that mineral flavor. Green tea flavor, I suppose, because this is the only place I have every tasted that taste. Just an Earthy good tea :)
I like that I brewed this one at 170 F too.
I Steeped this 6 times total using my kyusu and it was great every time. It was probably able to steep another couple of times but I was full of green tea by that time :)
Brewed this Western style in a cup size glass teapot at 170F for 2 minutes. This tea has a very mineral scent and flavor. It has mellowed out since I opened the package and I am tasting buttery and bean notes as well today.
mao jian (Mao2 Jian1) = downy tip (毛尖), i.e. new bud, high grade but perhaps lower grade than mao feng. This term is used with lücha
Flavors: Butter, Lima Beans, Mineral
Yummm I am really digging black teas now,,,I just needed to learn more and know which ones to buy!! I love this tea!
The dry leaves are heavy, thick,, gold and dark brown colored all twisted perfectly the same size. They smell like sorghum.
I like the brew I did on this one, 190F for 3". It gave the liquor a caramel brown color but still able to see through and also with scent of caramel.
The flavor is fresh, clean, sweet, raisin, sorghum, no tannin or bitter. Very Very good!!!
Second Steeping – equally as delicious, steeped also for 3" at 190F. This tea has absolutely no harshness or bitter or grit to the tongue. Just sweet clean flavor. Love!!!
Third Steeping needed 4 1/2 minutes. Still good. Probably wouldn’t do another steeping, this was its last good one :)
Having a pot of this Western style this morning. 190F , steeped 2 cups for 3 minutes.
Very malty scented and flavor but not as much sweetness. It has a touch of sweetness. The wet leaves show that this one is all buds and very young leaves. Very nice tea.
Had some of this Gong Fu style this morning.
Flavor is honey sweet. This tea can take longer steeps for flavor and it has no bitterness or astringency bc this is high quality tea. All gorgeous buds.
Got a new tea pet who enjoyed this tea as well :)
Gong Fu style this morning. Naturally sweet, malty, golden liquor, delicious Yunnan tea!!!
jingdong (Jing3 Dong1) = (景东 or 景東) a pu’ercha growing region in western Simao Prefecture
wuliang (Wu Liang) = according to legend, the man who invented oolong by accident by neglecting to dry tea leaves promptly
Flavors: Caramel, Honey, Raisins
I wanted to try some really new and fresh tea and this is really it!! The white tea leaves are still beautiful shades of light green and smell fresh with a slight vegetal or green scent. The leaves feel different in that they have a bit of weight to them because they are so fresh.
The liquor is the distinctive white tea creamy clear color and smells sweet.
The flavor has hints of honey, butter bean, and a tiny tiny touch of sugarcane.
This is really delicious white tea!!
Second Steeping is just as delicious and a bit more sweetness came thru this time with the butter bean and greenness staying in the background.
Third Steeping ,,,flavors not as pronounced but still wanted to try a third since this is a great tea!!
Having a pot of this after lunch. The threads are so pretty,,a sea foam green and cream colored mix of little twisty cuties.
Then the wet leaf reveals that they are all very young and small tender buds!! This is a very delicate and lovely tea!!!
Flavor has green tea qualities like a Long Jing met a White Peony and they had a baby and the baby got mostly Long Jing’s genes lol. Very Very delicious tea for after lunch :)
6/10/14 Having another pot,,,delicious!! I baby these leaves. I poured the water into my pot and then tried to ease the infuser with the delicate leaves into the heat so as not to burn them. Very buttery and not as lima bean tasting. I am adding butter as a tasting note ;)
Had a bit of this today after I had a couple cups of black tea and a cup of yellow tea. This is very mild and creamy. It has some vegetal notes but there is also cream and a touch of honey. Beautiful dry leaf too.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Honey, Lima Beans
Possibly the best tea i’ve ever had at this point in my life. It’s like a perfect blend of the best things about high quality Chinese green tea and high quality Japanese green tea. Just about perfect for my tastes. Kind of an oddly cloudy liquor, but the taste is fresh and wonderful.
This is a rather amazing tea, nuanced and full of flavor. If prepared really well, the first sip is almost shocking; the buttery note really comes through. However, I have only prepared it this well once. This tea is very easy to get wrong. After doing some searching, I found the “top-down” method worked really quite well in a glass or gaiwan. This involves dropping the tea leaves into the glass with the water already poured, watching them fall to the bottom and opening up.
I saw this on Tea Trekker and had to order it. Especially since I was eyeing this tea and 1 other (a dancong grown ali-shan style!), and the other went out of stock. It was like man, I need to buy this one before it disappears too!
Very nice rich and creamy flavor. Definitely still tastes like dong ding, but with extra depth.
I think I severely underleafed this. Tea Trekker states the sample I purchased was 14g, so I thought half the package (7g) would be perfect for 18oz of water. But, on the other hand their steeping instructions call for 2 tbsp for 6oz, and half the package turned out to be not much more than 2 tbsp. So, something is really off…
As I steeped it, it had very little flavor. Liquor was just a cream color.
OK, so this is another roasted oolong. It is less coffeeish than the Butiki one I had yesterday, but now I’m starting to think I won’t be a fan of roasted oolongs. I’m not sure the smoky, toasted flavor is one I really want in my tea.
It was smooth, non-astringent, and flavorful. But, the flavor was largely the above-mentioned smoky, burnt thing. I was planning a second infusion, but didn’t get there because I just wasn’t in the mood for more of that flavor.
Again, not rating this because I’m working on a firm opinion about this type of tea. So far, I’m feeling it’s not for me.
Really want to find an oolong that’s oxidized as much as this one, but not roasted. Please comment if you know a good one! Then again, maybe that doesn’t exist. I’ll have to do some research into whether all highly oxidized oolongs are also roasted. Hmmm…