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Recent Tasting Notes
Gah, I was just in the middle of typing a tasting note for this and I accidentally closed the window I was writing in. Don’t you just hate that??
Anyway this is a really nice yunnan from Teance. First steep was at 205 F for 1 minute in the yixing. Tea liquor smells like brown sugar and I am getting notes of malt, sweet potato, pepper and brown sugar. A very smooth and sweet infusion and delicious. The 2nd steep I decided to go for 2 minutes. It is definitely darker and peppery notes are becoming more prominent, but it also has yummy brown sugary, bready notes like a delicious pastry. I am definitely not disappointed with this but yunnans are probably my favorite black tea at the moment.
I’ve been searching and searching for the best Yunnan Gold Tips out there and these are it. Teance should be more reviewed on here because their commitment to finding the best tea is unmatched. The viscosity of this tea is out of this world. I’ve never had a more satisfying cup of red tea… Laoshan Black from Verdant comes close, but this has a complexity that you just don’t quite get from the Laoshan.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Cacao, Malt
A friend of mine gave me a bag of this tea a long time ago. I never opened it because I thought that would save the freshness until I wanted to enjoy it. I have the April 2013 harvest…which is over a year ago, so I was a little worried it would not still be good. It tastes absolutely delightful! Nice and light, smooth, crisp, and I get light melon notes, as indicated by the package. I will definitely be enjoying this one now that it’s open. :)
Not quite feeling this tea this morning. I should have gone with something stronger.
My bursitis in my shoulder has gotten really bad to the point I only got a couple of hours of sleep last night so I’m feeling kinda crummy.
I mentioned using this as a cold steep when I move. Well I move tomorrow! I won’t have access to all my stuff from storage still monday and even then it’ll take forever to unpack, especially trying to protect my shoulder. I still haven’t decided where the Giant Cabinet of Teas(GCT) is going in the apartment yet. Better figure that out soon!
But so excited I’ll be able to have an address and access to all my teas so I can do swaps. I don’t even remember half the teas in my GCT are! It will be so nice to get reacquainted.
Ok enough about my move. Back to the tea. As it cools it’s tasting much better to me. No longer weak, just delicate. The fruitiness is like a juicy peach. Peaches and cream. The cream note isn’t as strong as like a milk oolong but it’s definitely noticeable.
I’m certainly making an assertive black for my next cup but starting to relax into this cup and enjoy it.
Flavors: Cream, Floral, Orchid, Peach, Stonefruits
I wrote a long review of this and steepster ate it!
The sort version—a lovely fruity light oolong with notes of stone fruit and melon. With a definite touch of cream.
I think once I finally move into a house and get all my stuff unpacked and have access to my iced tea pitcher I’ll definitely be making this cold brewed.
It resteeps amazingly well. The problem with teas like this is they’re imposible to sipdown! I have almost 2 oz of this and it’s over a year old eeep. I better get drinking! I’m very grateful to have this one on the boat with me.
First to review this tea, eh? No pressure.
I got this at a little tea shop in Berkeley about a month ago. They had some interesting blends and I got this little sample packet, to try this oolong, which suggested notes of vanilla and clover honey, which are surefire discriptors to get me to buy a product.
They are not kidding with the term Light Oolong. This is so delicate and subtle that its taken me a few cups to really get a hold on this.
Light, but not bad. A watercolor wash of oolong, and, yes, a subtle after taste of honey floating by. Its very calming and gentle, and I like it.
I may not ever have it again, but this was a lovely pot of tea.
thank you CharlotteZero for a sample of this one! I had no idea how to steep this one, so I just wung it… but then I realized I had a Phoenix oolong from Verdant before. Verdant’s suggestions: Use 4-5 g of tea per 8oz or water. Rinse leaves once with 205 degree water. Steep for 25-35 seconds. Enjoy at least 5 infusions. Yeah, I kind of knew I was overdoing these steeps. Definitely should have looked it up before I steeped, as I usually do. I used two teaspoons and forgot the rinse.
Steep #1 // 8 min after boiling // 2 min
Almond oolong sounded interesting, but I don’t taste the almond here. The dry leaves are twisty, dark and dusty but once steeped they turn green. This cup wasn’t terribly overdone, but it did have hints of astringency. Rather than almond, the flavor was like juicy honey peach.
Steep #2 // a few min after boiling // 3 min
The first cup tasted like it probably should have, but this one was sadly ruined. Too bitter. I was tasting peach from Verdant’s phoenix oolong and really enjoyed that one (looking at the tasting notes), so it’s too bad I ruined this one. I have a few steep sessions worth to actually do this tea some justice…
I got a sample of this last year at Teance, but now I don’t see any reference to it on their website. Oh well! On to the tea!
This tea is strange. It is very smooth and balanced. It has a little bit of a fruity taste, but it is also almost savory. It isn’t salty at all, but it reminds me of salted preserved plums that you get at Asian markets. It seems well done, but isn’t striking a chord with me. I may try it again and see if my opinion changes.
Steeping instructions on the bag say 1tsp to 1c water at 205F for 1 minute and it is good for 4-5 infusions.
So, this morning, Casey, my boyfriend of 10 months (8 months of which we were cohabitating) decided to break up with me. We weren’t even fighting. I asked him how he was doing this morning and his answer was (to put it only slightly more succinctly than he did): “not good”. And then he packed a bag. Life is weird sometimes. It was literally only yesterday afternoon that I booked us tickets to visit my father in New York on Easter weekend. I was encouraging him to stay at home because the tickets are expensive, he has limited PTO at his new job, and the trip isn’t exactly a vacation. But he told me that he wanted to go because he wouldn’t be able to sleep without me. He referenced a night recently when I stayed up all night working in our living room and he told me that he missed me in our bed and that really wanted to be on couch next to me all night…And less than 24 hours later, he spoke the words that amounted to he never wants to sleep next to me again.
I’ve been through enough in my life to know that I am okay being alone…But I loved and trusted this person more than anyone else. I always knew that, emotionally speaking, he wasn’t getting as much out of the relationship. He had a very hard time opening up and putting his feelings into words, but I thought that pushing him would only make things worse, and that it would get easier for him with time…But now our time is up.
Tea was fine.
Brought this tea to work today. I knew it would be a difficult day, and I figured an Assam would be a good strong tea to keep me going. This one’s getting a bit older, but it’s still very good. Its astringency is balanced and the aftertaste is very much like honey.
You can see how un-used to the new Steepster I am by looking at the three Teance logos I tried to upload, not realizing that the old ones would be kept. Please may I never accidentally upload a personal photo…
Trying this tea again! I had it without sugar and noticed it has a sweetness of it’s own and doesn’t need sugar. Again, the second steep isn’t as impressive. I may actually dump it. This tea is nice, but I’m feeling like if the price is on the steep side (and I don’t remember what it was), it may not be worth it for a tea that is only good for once steep.
Got a sample of this when I went into their Berkeley store. The first steep was super flavorful! They aren’t kidding when they describe it as tropical. The lichee is very distinct and the tea is really smooth and balanced. I could have gone lighter on the sugar, but I was in a rush to get out of the house with tea on the go and just spooned it in quickly and thoughtlessly. The second steep isn’t as nice as the first. There is a strange taste to it like stale water or something. Maybe I need to clean my kettle, but I’m chalking the second steep tasting odd to user error for now.
This is a very lovely tea. This might actually be one of the highest ratings I’ve ever given!
Lovely complexity of taste in a subtle shade. I’m very thankful I followed the brewing instructions as the almost clear liquor packs a distinctively flavorful kick. Really this is what green teas should taste like.
Vegetal notes with subtle floral. Its hard to distinguish between (I got bok choy and spring peas, as well as green bell peppers as it brewed longer, all with the sweetness of roasted chestnuts and faint gardenia/rose). Really this is an amazing tea.
My one concern was that the price was a little high, but if someone bought this for me…(hint hint), I would gladly accept. ;)
My coworker generously gave me pretty much an entire bag of this tea yesterday. When I asked her why she was giving it away, she said although she likes it, her husband doesn’t, and they typically enjoy tea together. They’re so cute! Honestly, this does not look like it was a cheap tea, so I feel a little bad about taking it all. It was harvested in 2009, though, and it appears that Teance has a recent 2013 harvest available, so not sure how long she’s had it. Ha!
I really enjoyed 3 steeps of this today. It’s yummy! And no worries, it doesn’t taste stale. ;) I got buttery, vegetal, and some floral notes. Very smooth and thick. I think the vegetal note is like an artichoke, although I’m still working at refining my palate. Overall, a very enjoyable oolong that I am happy to add to my cupboard! :)
The Final Sipdown: Day 12.2
Got this tea thanks to the ever generous Auggy and I must say it was one of the ones I was most excited to try. However, pretty descriptions does not a pleasant tea make, because…
This tea sounds a lot more impressive than how it tastes. Mostly, I am getting hay. Hay with maybe a hint of not particularly distinct floral. The tea itself tastes of the smell of hay, if that makes sense. And…I’m thinking raisins?
I dunno. I used the entire sample and, much like my prior log, am finding this not unpleasant, but altogether unremarkable.
Is it because I’m so tired? I feel slightly guilty that these teas might be served a light injustice via my fatigue, and so I’m going to call it a night and leave these both sans ratings.
In an effort to catch up, I am going to officially declare tomorrow Tea Day. Down with turkey! Up with tea! And up with being awake enough to pay attention when I’m drinking tea and cogent enough to log them without writing idiotic logs. Time to go to sleep to the dulcet tones of Vince Guaraldi. How is it that A Charlie Brown Christmas is so simultaneously dull and comforting at the same time? It’s a holiday tranquilizer.
Anyway, nothing, AND I MEAN NOTHING, is going to keep me from counting this towards my TFS total. Tomorrow, TFS shall rue my existence! For now, Christmas tiiiiiiime is heeeere, haaaappinesssss and cheeeeer… Zzzzz.
Teas Downed: 20
CharlotteZero sent me a couple of these little things to try. I really appreciate it — thank you! I’m just now trying them, since this was my first little pu-erh cake and I was a bit intimidated. But it’s a rainy day here, so I thought this one would be nice to try. Originally I thought I should cut it in half or something, since I would be brewing western style… but the cake looks like a teaspoon sized bird nest anyway. So I rinsed the mini cake for a few seconds (until the cake was saturated) and poured out that water.
Steep #1: I waited a few minutes for the water to cool to pour the mug about 3/4 of the way full for maybe 10 seconds and took out the infuser. That may have been a couple seconds too long (according to the tiny bit of astringency.) But the flavor is exactly what I expected a “sweet rice” to be. It’s kind of like kettle corn! Just a bit less sugary sweet.(“Kettle corn’s a fun time snack!” says Troy from ‘Community’.) The pu-erh itself is hardly noticeable. There isn’t much of a typical pu-erh flavor, letting the sweet rice really shine through.
Steep #2: Eight seconds with the mug half full of water. This one is just as tasty. It’s so buttery. I could swear I was tasting some green tea here though.. which might be where the astringency is coming from. I’m not finding the “dark, earthy” taste from the description though. The leaves are entirely out of the little nest now.
A BUNCH more steeps around ten seconds with the mug half filled all tasted the same. Just as delicious and buttery! Then I steeped once at 20 seconds which seemed even more buttery… which led to:
The last steep: I decided to go with Teance’s instructions and brew this for two minutes with a full mug of water. It still has that buttery flavor, but it tastes a bit more like a pu-erh now. The one that I had from Verdant anyway: a bit like some sort of woodchip, in a nice way! It is still very mild flavored!
I have one more of this little cakes that I will save to savor! ( I think I just like saying “little cakes”.) I thought about buying some more of these but yowzas, these aren’t cheap… though they might be the cheapest thing on Teance’s site. I enjoyed this immensely though!
The dry leaves are green-white finely rolled balls; they unfold somewhat but not completely when brewed to reveal high-quality full leaves.
It produces a golden-white liquor that honestly reminds me more of white than green tea.
The leaves and liquor share a fresh vegetal scent with strong floral/jasmine notes.
Astringency is extremely muted.
The dominant flavors are jasmine (surprise) and a fruity taste. I’d say it’s melon of some sort. There’s also a pleasant, mellow vegetal taste that I could say is snap peas or something like that. Unfortunately, to some degree the jasmine overpowers the vegetal notes. I do not have much experience with jasmine greens, so I do not know if this is a flaw of this tea or of jasmine greens in general.
I did a second steep, for 3 minutes instead of two. I noticed more of the melon-like flavor. It’s almost a green apple flavor on this steep. The jasmine’s definitely still there. I could say there’s something almost soapy about this tea. I wouldn’t call it that, but it’s bordering on that. I believe the potential issue is that the jasmine flavor is very strong and to some extent overpowering the green tea base. This is not to say it’s not a good tea – I like it a lot – but I would like the jasmine to be a bit milder.
Since Teance is close by, I’ve stopped in there store to drink gong-fu style tea at their tea bar a number of times. The quality of the teas is always very good, but I’ve refrained from buying any due to their steep prices. Then I found this tea in a local store for literally around half of its price in-store. So I bought it. I am thoroughly happy with it, although it’s not mind-blowing. Its most distinctive feature is its sweetness, which is really quite pronounced.