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Recent Tasting Notes
“Gui Hua” is the enchanting aromatic tree that blooms multiple times in China, lovely apricot-peach floral fragrance from the tiny yellow flower is what is blended with this high quality oolong tea. Prepared in the traditional method of scenting tea, the Osmanthus (“Gui Hua” in Chinese) flowers are layered between fresh Camelia Sinensis leaves to absorb the complementary flavor. Sweet, “green”, and peachy, our Gui Hua Osmanthus Oolong is a traditional tea treat you won’t soon forget.
I love Tealyra’s (used to be Tealux) Gui Hua, it is pure, floral and sweet.
Flavors: Apricot, Osmanthus, Peach
I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad Tai Ping Hou Kui but does this tea live up to the Supreme added onto the name? I think not but still a good brew.
First I have to critique Tealyra’s instructions. Use 1 tsp of tea. Really???!! Like how do I get those massive straight leaves in a spoon? They need to revise this and change to weight measurement. Then to steep 2 – 3 min. I think that’s far to long for this tea. I brewed 1 min and even at that time some faint bitterness comes through.
I brewed this in my test tube gaiwan (Love that gaiwan!). 1 min and just eyeballed the amount. It’s fruity- something I always love about this type of tea. A bit vegetal, light sweetness, and a bit of bitterness creeping through. Unless, I need to revise my steeping method, I would say this is not a tea that is “Supreme”. It’s still a nice cup though.
Flavors: Fruity, Sweet, Vegetal
Had a cup of this earlier. I’ve never been a huge fan of dark oolongs, but either my tastes have changed or this is different from what I’ve had before. It’s very earthy and woody, with a roasty quality that reminds me of good black coffee. This cup was a little watery, so I may adjust next time, but I will be reaching for this a lot as the weather gets colder.
I just read a post in the disscusions that Tealux had changed their name to Tealyra. This package is labeled Tealyra, so I’m guessing this is the right tea to review this under, but I’m not 100%.
This is super bright green in the bag and turns into a really deep green color when mixed in water. There is a little bit of a bitter tang at the start of the sip, but it gets less as I continue to sip. It is really smooth, but doesn’t seem to have much of the matcha taste. It is a little grassy, a little floral, but just by a hint. This isn’t really doing it for me. There isn’t enough flavor happening for m taste.
Upon opening the packet I am met with a large leaf and floral blend, which was not quite as I imagined it somehow. I was expecting pieces of butterscotch in the blend to create the flavour, instead we have ‘natural flavours’ in their place to create a synthetic version. With that in mind I give it a sniff, and while it’s sweet (and again floral) it just is not butterscotch like. It does smell creamy and well it’s still a pleasant scent but not quite right.
This will be interesting! I put two teaspoons of leaf (as it’s large leaf) into my steeping mug with 90C water for roughly 3-4 minutes.
The resulting tea liquid is golden brown in colour and bares a sweet scent that actually does resemble butterscotch rather well. Less floral than it’s raw blend form but not as creamy or thick as actual butterscotch.
In terms of flavour this is very pleasant, a dark, toffee and treacle mix (without a lot of sweetness) with some creamy, floral undertones that linger in the after taste. It’s not bitter but I think the flavours would be enhanced a bit better with some sugar or honey, just to make it more butterscotch like. Even without anything extra it still does have a butterscotch essence and though it may not be perfect it’s still very well created.
As it cools it becomes creamier and a little thicker in the after taste, particularly the floral tones. At this point I can taste the white tea a little better and it’s also becoming increasingly dry.
For more information please view the SororiTEA Sisters post.
I had this gong-fu to help me wind down for the night. I ended up spilling the first gaiwan contents (and hot water) in my lap, so I had to remeasure out some more. This is a very neutral Shou. The brew isn’t anything to brag about, but it isn’t a poor quality brew either. The flavor is slightly musty with some decayed sour wood. The aroma is almost like cinnamon. This brew does lack a lot of flavor. The liquor is a deep thick crimson soup, but it tastes rather diminished. This helped wind me down (on the second attempt), and it gave me energy to search for another brew. I’m glad I got to try; because, I can now check another pu-erh off my list.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Decayed wood, Musty, Sour
Sipdown! Although I probably shouldn’t count it as I picked up more… a lot more in Tealux/Tealyra’s Halloween sale. But It’s not here yet so I’m marking it down.
This tea is honestly so damn good. Brown sugary sweet with notes of sweet potato, strawberry, apricot and malt. It really shines gongfu, but western brewed it does just fine too. If you haven’t tried this one yet, I definitely recommend picking up a bit to try. It’s one of the best teas I’ve had.
Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Malt, Strawberry, Sweet Potatoes
From the EU TTB
I’ve been wanting to try this tea for a while now, but I’ve not placed an order with Tealux in a while so it’s not happened. Thanks to the EU TTB, I now finally have the chance! The leaf here is rolled, and does have a dark black/purple appearance. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a medium golden brown, the scent rather charcoal-like.
To taste, I can immediately tell this one’s not for me. It’s very roasty, with that underlying metallic tang that I honestly can’t stand in oolongs. It reminds me of some of my early experiences with oolong, which almost put me off for good. I had hoped I’d get some of the cinnamon/plum notes this one reputedly has, but sadly not.
Still – another one crossed off the “to try” list.
White Comparison 8/17/15 Tea #3
Time to be honest: The first time I purchased yellow tea was 100% because it is not common.
This tea has an aroma that fills up the air and it’s kind of that funky ‘left around in the house wet green tea’ smell. The best part of this tea is that mouth feel that lingers for about 7-8 seconds and then fades after the last sip taken. Teas that give me a feeling, whether it be mental or physical, always makes me happy. The taste is like 25% dragonwell, 40% unique, 15% wild earth, and 20% random perception.; if that makes sense…
I’ve had two yellow teas of the same shape/color and they tasted like green tea left in a sock of mine from 1999 only to be brought out and steeped. This tea is not like that which brings me a lot of relief.
White Comparison 8/17/15 Tea #1
Tealyra, Tealux, TEA WHA???
These two companies be confusing me like Teabox and Golden Tips
Anyways: Ladies and Gentlemen, here is a fabulous pai mu tan!!!
While the color looks distant of being fresh, I assure you that the flavor with this on is there.
Hold on, why is this fabulous though… make it short for us please as we just worked all day.
Simply put: This tea gives you the integrity of that white tea taste but also includes a sweet finish; this is something I have not come across in a pai mu before and makes me quite happy. A white tea with a sweet finish that doesn’t have jasmine? This is a winner :)
I think that I might like medium roast oolongs. This one reminded me a lot of the Rou Gui Oolong-the smell had the roasted nuts character with a weird floral, vegetal background. The same is said after my first 15 second rinse, or brew, about six ounces of water at 190. It was vegetal to me, but very nutty and has a buttery yet dry sweetness like toffee. Light but so flavorful and lingering.
Steep two after about 30, then upped 45 seconds wasn’t as sweet as the first one, but had the same vegetal nut type character to me. It was a little bit saltier, but still buttery.
Number three, after a minute and seven seconds, it’s primarily floral. Still has the roasted nut character, but fainter. Much fainter yet very pleasant.
Number four..trying to gage how long I should steep it. Maybe two minutes. Quick sip after a minute and a half, and a light floral sweetness. Another sip after two minutes, and it taste like a roasted Tie Guan Yin. At two minutes and a whopping thirty seconds, it taste like water that was soaked with coconut skin without the meat-the the hairy shavings of the shell itself.
So, it’s official. I like medium roasted oolongs. I still love green oolongs, it’s just that in terms of flavor, it’s a random gamble as to whether they will have the full profile or just taste like flower water. When they do have the full profile, they are my utmost favorite. But as for the medium roasts, the ones that I had, they always have something to offer in terms of taste.They are my preference now, equal to a good green Tie Guan Yin, my #1. Thank you Liquid Proust for aiding me on my journey. Oolongs are now the type that I drink the most and would drink the most. There are still a few greens and blacks that will never get old on me, but oolongs are now teas that I can drink almost anytime.
Back to the tea itself, this one is really what I needed this morning. Very warm, comforting, and smoothly energizing. I wonder what a Shui Xian taste like now…
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Floral, Nuts, Roasted, Sweet, Toffee, Vegetal
Wow…this is by far one of my favorites that you’ve granted me, Liquid Proust. Rocks, leaves, cedar, and Fall are what I smell in the dry leaf. There was something familiar about this one, like one of the ones you made…I shall not tell.With the few near-five grams I had, there was a need to make it Gongfu. I brewed five ounces of water heated to 195 degrees approximate, and steeped only fifteen seconds. It was creamy feeling and roasted, with the notes presented in the previous review. Cedar was distinguishable as a flavor, crisp and fragrant, but warm, and somehow sweet with an iron bite which showed up more in the second 25 second steep. The mouthfeel was almost buttery, and very similar to a Tie Guan Yin, but closer to a jin xuan.
It was consistent in the third steep at 50 seconds, but was closer to roasted nuts. I can see why people describe this tea as having a “cinnamon” note. It doesn’t really taste like cinnamon itself, but it has a weird, spicy metallic character that is very similar.
On the Tour of Oolongs, this is by far one of my favorites. I can now say that it’s an Oolong that I definitely prefer, especially compared to a Bai Hoa and the Li Shan’s I’ve had. I like the woodiness of the Wu Yi’s I’ve had, but the problem is, well, they taste like wood which is something I don’t always want to have. The Li Shan’s are usually hit or miss: they either have a sweet, almost fruity character and buttery mouth feel with some sort of floral aspect that I LOVE, or they taste like flavorless water with a salty or buttery texture.
This tea fits all of my preferences. It’s crisp and deceives me into thinking that it’s lighter, but it is more complex and sophisticated than presented. There’s full range of flavor and it is sweet enough to be perfect on its own. This tea could really be brewed Gongfu or Western, but I personally think that it is sweeter and more nuanced Gongfu while Western would be more robust and maybe earthier. Officially one of the best teas I’ve had because of its sophistication in the guise of nutty simplicity. I’m not sure who I’d recommend this to. I really think that this one would apply to a pretty broad audience.
Flavors: Cedar, Cinnamon, Metallic, Nuts, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet
I’ve always wanted to try a roasted Tie Guan Yin, and Liquid Proust, you made that possible!
Anyway, I experimented with this one to see if I could do it Gongfu. I did a ten second rinse of it first, and I tasted it to see if it would be strong enough for a session. Strangely enough, it had a taste that kind of reminded me of cocoa. I sipped it again just to see if it was just me wanting that flavor, but no, it was totally there. I drank that, then made another 45 second cup. Unfortunately, the cocoa disappeared, and there was more of a paint, woodsy, roasted character. The same went on for the other few steeps. I had high hopes, and those hopes were satisfied in rinse one, but then left wanting in the others.
Flavors: Cocoa, Roasted, Wood
This is much better than the stuff you’ll find in teabags but not quite as good as the chamomile I’ve had from Rishi and Arbor Teas. It just seems to be lacking a little something. Can’t quite put my finger on it, but its missing that sweet chamomile flavor and tastes a bit stale. Although it was cheap and is a very drinkable tea, I wish I hadn’t bought 100 g of it on Amazon.
Regardless, it is good on it’s own and mixed with other flavorings.
This was on my wishlist, and LiquidProust sent me the perfect sized sample of it! This is thank you #2.
The leaves themselves aren’t purple, but for whatever reason, it comes to mind smelling and tasting it though the color is brown. It’s a lot like polish, or stained wood. I’d maybe guess that the wood would be a cherry wood, because that’s the best guess as to the hidden sweetness. There some creaminess to it, but more in texture than actual taste. This goes for the first steep. To liven it up, I added a little bit of raw sugar, and for me, the cherry and almost coffee berry note were disinterred from the earthy, smoke, woodsy body. Probably wouldn’t be bad with cream, but I’m going for purity right now.
On steep two after four minutes, the tea is significantly smoother, and it’s cherry wood to the fullest. Reminds me of a Halloween fog machine.
Steep three is a lighter version of steep two, but smoother. A little bit smokier to me than the other two, but I tasted some of it earlier in those steeps as well.
In summary, this is a very unusual roasted tea to me. It’s got the same wood and earth character of darker oolongs, but with a cherry polish-the kind you would smell in an old ornate home or hotel.I think the taste should perhaps be close to a 80 in terms of quality, but I had a slightly biased expectation for coffee and sweetness. I expected the fishiness: I had a purple tea before and it tasted exactly like crab. I am really glad that I got to try it, and it is definitely worth trying. Not something I’d ever recommend to a newbie though; more for an adventurous taster.
Flavors: Cherry Wood, Earth, Musty, Smoke, Smooth
I will have to admit that having Art of Tea’s purple 99% oolong has pretty much set the standard for what I look for in this type of oolong.
This doesn’t seem to be as potent and therefore is not as fun to steep or drink. The leaf is a bit smaller than I would want and doesn’t expand much, which is a look aspect but it does translate to the somewhat flavor flavor beyond the roasty’ness.
Thank you Liquid Proust for this sample!
Tasting #1 – Steep Time 2 Minutes
Has the aroma of a black tea, very light but smooth flavor. My mouth feels soft just drinking this tea.
Tasting #2 – Steep Time 4 Minutes
Now more earthy flavors are coming out, like cedar bark. My mouth still feels soft even though these flavors tend to be hard. Its an interesting balance that I’m enjoying.
Tasting #3 – Steep Time 7 Minutes
It smells very much like the kuki hojicha now. How do I describe such a smooth bite? Its very distinct and pleasurable to drink.
Tasting #4 – Steep Time 10 Minutes
Almost a metallic aroma now. Very hard flavors, like steam rising from rocks. Absolutely delicious.
I love this tea. I love how complex these flavors are and how they change. I love how these hard flavors give me the mouth feel of something lighter and creamier, like a milk oolong. I love that the longer it steeps the more of a bite I get but it goes down smooth. This is in no way a simple sharp tasting tea, this is carefully roasted so that the natural flavors of this tea can still come through without making you reach for a glass of water. I tend to prefer greener oolongs because I find the roasting process makes it difficult for me to continuously drink the darker oolongs unless I drink them cold. I’m not only amazed but very happy to drink this tea hot as I’m going on 20 minutes of continuous tasting now.
Flavors: Cedar, Earth, Metallic, Roasted, Wet Rocks
Got this tea in a swap with Amanda ‘SoggyEnderman’ Wilson! Oh goodness girl, I keep having to copy and paste your username because it’s so long! XD Thanks for sending me this though!
This one wasn’t my absolute favorite, but it wasn’t bad. It had strong woody notes, as well as strong bready notes. I drank a whole cup and a half of it. It helped break up the milky/creamy notes in the ice cream oolong this morning. :P
Was the perfect contrast haha!
This tea wasn’t super flavorful but it was decent. Not my favorite, but a pleasant cup of tea. I enjoyed drinking it. And I mean, I probably would have spent my own money on it one day but I am glad I didn’t. Too much woodiness for me personally, but that’s alright. It was a pleasant cup still and happy to have tried it through a swap. Thanks again! (:
Flavors: Baked Bread, Wood
Great tea! I bought this from Tealux via Amazon. When I opened the bag the smell was a little… Off putting to say the least! It smells like a leaf pile and trees, like the smell when you walk up to an Oak tree and smell it, not cut wood but living tree wood. I brewed this in a Yixing clay pot after rinsing once. At first the flavour surprised me, still pretty leaf pile, grassy, but smooth! A nice creamy aftertaste and not astringent at all. I infused one more time, and this time the flavours were much more subdued but the aftertaste was still quite astringent. Would definitely reccomend you to try!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Creamy, Grass, Smooth, Wood