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Recent Tasting Notes
So when I got my samples from Teasenz, the box looked like the mailman used it as a seat cushion. Fortunately most of the teas were fine, unfortunately, this one had sprung a leak. I was a little hesitant about contamination, but for some reason decided the best course of action would be to cold brew it (the hot water of a regular steeping probably would have killed the germs, but cold steeps are so great for taking to class).
So far I haven’t felt ill so I take that to mean that it wasn’t contaminated. And now for the reason I took a risk with this tea, it’s smells to fresh and vegetal that I couldn’t bare tossing the sample. The liquor smells like spinach and some kind of stone fruit, apricots maybe, and a bit of nuttiness that I’m starting to thing is the infamous chestnuts note that lots of greens apparently have (I’ve never had chestnuts so I wouldn’t know).
Taste wise, this is fresh and green and vaguely nutty and stone fruity. If refreshing was a flavor, I’d say that it was the strongest one here. First and foremost this tea is clean and fresh, like rain water, and then there’s a mid sip taste of mild vegetal notes that transform into a soft apricot chestnut taste, with the vegetal returning in the lingering after taste. Another good contender for an iced tea on a hot day.
Okay, tried a new brewing method with this one! Aaaaand I overbrewed it… just a little… add some hot water. Now it’s just fine. Hehehe.
I am picking up a lot of sort of smokey flavor in this one. It reminds me a lot of a Jun Shan Yin Zhen I’ve had before. It’s delicate and a little bit sweet and has a strong aroma and flavor of green beans and spinach. I am not gonna go into too much detail here because Amanda’s review is very well written and covers pretty much the same points.
Flavors: Broth, Green Beans, Smoke, Spinach, Sweet
Alright! Here we go! This is my first time drinking Tie Luo Han, or “Iron Warrior Monk” Wuyi oolong. It came to me as a sample from a friend at an opportune time because I’m just getting into the traditional Wuyi oolong Gongfu method and needed some test subjects. That said, I am using a gaiwan with 4g of leaf per 100ml of water at 203F/95C. No rinse, first infusion 10 seconds, then flash infusions afterward.
I’m immediately surprised by the very complex aroma of the leaves after the first infusion. There are so many bold scents: fig, licorice, spearmint, and mineral are the most evident, with a bit of roasted scent. The flavor is out of this world! There’s a strong minerality that could almost be mistaken for smokiness and a very wonderful fig-like sweet fruity flavor which outlasts the other flavors and really stays on your tongue for a long time, becoming more of a raspberry or blackberry kind of flavor. As it lingers it becomes even more delicate and sweet, reminding me of sweet cherries.
On the second steeping it tastes much more roasted and I’m getting less of the sweet flavors. I may have overbrewed it, but it still tastes good. On the third infusion, more of the sweetness is there, but mostly a mineral and roasted flavor. The sweetness is mostly in the scent. The fourth is much like the third but a little more subtle.
I almost jumped the gun on this tea and gave it a perfect 100 rating, which I don’t do often. I absolutely would have if any of the later steepings tasted like the first one, as that was one of the most incredible and complex tea tastes I’ve ever enjoyed. After that though, it seemed to mostly yield a darker and more roasted flavor with just a hint of sweetness and none of the particularly fruity flavors.
I would buy this tea though just for a chance to taste that initial steeping each time, not that the later steepings are bad! They’re just quite a shift towards a more dry, earthy flavor.
Flavors: Cherry, Fig, Mineral, Roasted
I’ve recently decided I needed to have more oolongs, so I had to try this one. It has a creamy and slightly floral scent. The milk (creaminess) comes out more in the flavour, along with floral/ vegetal notes. Having it a bit cold is nice too.
Flavors: Floral, Milk
Method: 1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 205 degrees, 1.5 min, Forlife brew in mug strainer
Dry Leaf Aroma: mildly earthy
Brewing Aroma: mushrooms and cinnamon
Flavor: mushrooms and dirt, with a hint of citrus so subdued, you repeatedly ask yourself if it’s really there. The mushrooms and dirt are also mild, but contrary to what you’d think, the tea is good. I’m not ready to trade in all my oolongs and profess my love for pu’erhs, but I thought this was a fun tea.
Method: 2 tsp @ 205 degrees in 8 oz, grandpa style
Aroma: Dry and Steeping aromas smell sweet and candy-like. These are a type of date, and that’s just what they smell like.
Flavor: I added a little rock sugar from the start because in my mind, date tea should be sweet. It was only 1/2 tsp or so, and the sweetness is very pleasant. The tea tastes warm, and I don’t mean the temperature. It definitely tastes like the dried dates I like to purchase. I wonder if I can make a tea out of those!
Method: 1.5 tsp @ 208 degrees in 8 oz, 4 minutes, French Press
Dry Leaf Aroma: Cocoa and light malt
Brewing Aroma: Strongly malty
Flavor: I was really hoping to pick up some of the honey flavor from the description, or at least some sweetness, but this was pretty neutral. I enjoyed the malty flavors, and I didn’t find the tea to be overly bitter or astringent, but I also did not find many interesting notes. I think this is a good tea, but not my fave.
It’s not milky, but it is excellent.
Method: 1.5 tsp in 8 oz at 200 degrees, 3 min, French Press
Dry Leaf Aroma: Sweet fruits, melon
Brewing Aroma: Same
Flavor: I don’t taste any of the usual milk flavors, and this doesn’t seem especially creamy to me. That being said, I think it’s an excellent tea. It’s sweet on its own, and the fruity flavors are really amazing. I usually pick up many florals in an oolong, but not as many fruits. This tasted kind of melony, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on the exact fruit. Either way, I really enjoyed it!
I’m torn on this review! I like this tea, but it isn’t really a good representation of a Keemun, infact it tastes more like a Yunnan black tea than a Keemun.
A nice lovely chocolate taste, but it got that yunnan element to it. So do I rank this tea high because I like its taste? Or lower because it doesn’t represent Keemun in my opinion.
Gonna go with the rank high. :) taste is all that matters!
This is the latest in my quest to try as many Chinese black teas as possible. It has a lovely scent of honey and maybe bread as well. The flavour is sweet with hints of orange, along with a bit of wheat toast. Overall, I’ve found this to be a good morning tea.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Orange
I was looking forward to this sample. It smells awesome! Like sweet potato crisps and honey. The honey comes out a bit more in the flavour, and I get a little roast yam too.
Any tea that can taste like my fave tuber is a hit for me.
Flavors: Honey, Yams
I have been wanting to try this one for a while. So I was pleased when Teasenz would send me this to try. It smells like running through a field of wild flowers that is near an orchard. (This here means, I get floral and citrus scents.) The flavour is mild, and refreshing.
The Aroma of the dry leafe is really sweet and honeylike, most pleasant.
The leafe appearance is beautiful golden yellow buds with very small visible hairs, very pretty to look at, they look a little different from most of the other yunnan golds I’ve had.
I steeped this one first as directed on the website 3-5 minutes at about 203degrees, I went for 5 minutes.
The taste is delicious with very nice yet slightly subtle flavors, sweet fruit notes and malt a little peppery on the end, very slight astringency on the aftertaste.
The taste is really good tho it is a little weak to me just not quite as bold as some yunnan golds and dian hongs that I’ve had.
The second steeping is a little better than the first the flavors are a little stronger but still sligthly “weak” I hate to call a tea weak like that maybe it’s just not bold enough for my personal preference, I think perhaps a rinse would have made the first steep even tastier so i’ll do that next time.
Overall this is a pretty good tea to me, the fact that it is a little weak to me means not much really because it is still very tasty and enjoyable, perhaps this would be perfect for some folks.
I think I’ll get some photos of the leafe and rewrite this as a blog post tonight, the leafe is really pretty to me I want to show it off :)
This is the most interesting sounding tisane I’ve ever has. It certainly smells like dates, except slightly more baked (date bread maybe). I ate a couple. This is fruit, right? Pretty good too, tasted a little more like berries (of the goji variety).
Brewed- it does smell more like bread now. There is a sweet, fruity flavour.
I have a feeling this would be good iced… or as a snack.
Flavors: Berries, Dates