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Recent Tasting Notes
I can’t remember the last time I drank a Tie Guan Yin, which is something of a surprise as it’s become one of my favourite oolong varieties. I was more than pleased when I came across this one, not least because it’s a good opportunity to reacquaint myself. This particular Tie Guan Yin is from the Anxi Nature Reserve in Fujian Province, a major Chinese tea growing region (although one I seem to associate more with black tea than with oolong, strangely enough!)
Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/10/26/anxi-tie-guan-yin-from-teasenz/
Okay twice now I’ve deleted my review of this part way through. This is why I started handwriting back when.
Okay so the dry leaves are whiter than any green tea i’ve ever seen before. I started an instagram for tea so you can see them for yourselves:
the dry leaf aroma is reminiscent of a lovely, subtle jasmine, some sweet grassiness, slight earth, and a wet-rock sort of a smell. It smells much better already than other jasmine teas I’ve had.
in the warmed gaiwan, I get a very similar aroma, just significantly sweeter
In the early steeps, there’s a creaminess, with strong jasmine notes, with a lot of dandelion tastes, and a good amount of sweetness, In the third steep, astringency and bitterness start to creep in, and it makes me feel as though the tea’s very.. genuine. I think the bitterness really helps to give the impression that you’re biting into a flower petal, the dryness in the mouth only adds to this effect. If I were someone who drank flavoured teas with any sort of regularity, and I was also someone who really liked florals, then this would be just what I’d been looking for in a tea. Of the few jasmine teas I have had, this is vastly superior. I got a peach-like note entering mid-late into the session. The jasmine flavour on this one was really well-done, no doubt numerous successive flower batches. The flavour never fades.
If you’re a jasmine tea person I think you’ll appreciate this
the dry leaves of this TGY looks and smells very nice, a lovely floral buttery aroma, the leaves are nicely balled and vibrant in colour.
The package says 100C for temperature, which I’m a bit uncomfortable with (is this typical for tie guan yins? I honestly don’t know, I’d never think to do them this high though). Well whatever, I’ll try and brew it there.
I think I’m a really atypical example, I have a lot of experience with green oolongs, mostly from taiwan, but very little experience with tie guan yin, this is my second or third ever, and it’s been a looong time since the last one, this should be interesting.
I get a nice buttery creamy grassy, spinachy aroma from after the rinse, the aroma’s very powerful, I can smell it from like a foot away,
The taste is very smooth, with a cooling sensation, there’s a very grassy taste to it, but it’s sweet like peas, like very freshly cooked peas, it’s incredibly aromatic, lovely fruity orange notes, sweet like candy my goodness this is delicious, I get candied lemon-lime notes, a nice thick body, some grape notes, there’s something so satisfying right when I swallow, it’s so thick and creamy in texture, it just coats the mouth, and the sweetness is just perfect, it’s like drinking cream right from the .. cream thing. It tastes like it should be really unhealthy. It’s just such a dessert-like tea.
I get further notes of green beans and cabbage entering in steep 3, there’s this teeny bit of that acidity that really bothered me in verdant’s mao xie, there’s also a tiny bit of astringency that enters here, but it’s so pure, there’s absolutely no bitterness with it that makes it really pleasant.
It loses a bit of complexity, and just becomes this fruity vegetal sweet soup, which actually happened on steep 4, increasingly on steep 5, also by this point the leaves had unrolled entirely, which seems a bit fast, but this could be the 100c brewing temp or maybe the leaves are just loosely balled, either way, this brewing style for this tea gave me a really concentrated sweetness and fruitiness in the first few steeps and then it sort of faded, creaminess and thickness are still there though.
There’s sort of a spiciness that comes forth, raddish notes,
I got maybe 6 or 7 steeps in until the sweetness faded and it wasn’t really enjoyable for me after that, I think this would be appropriate for quick dessert sessions, also this one might do really well western because it lacks some of that longevity, but damn that was tasty for those 3 steeps. It had me thinking it might’ve been the best green oolong I’d ever had, and if it lasted a bit more it would’ve been replacing the dayulin in my hall of fame.
its been a really long time since I’ve had a keemun. Like a year, I think I’m always put off by them because the leaves always look broken in pictures and that makes me uncomfortable tbh, and I guess my regular vendors don’t tend to stock keemun black but here we are.
The dry leaf aroma is so hard to describe it’s like some kind of weird woodsiness with earth but there’s this like fruitiness or i don’t know, raddish sort of smell? but it also kind of smells like an earthy grapefruit or orange or something, and it’s slightly reminiscent of a shu like with a mushroomy smell. The dry leaf aroma doesn’t really appeal to me, but that doesn’t mean all that much I suppose,
Anyways, pretty typical keemun-looking leaves, decent amount of breakage, and just very small twisty leaves and some stems actually
Okay I let it stew for like a minute in the warmed gaiwan and I get an aroma of like charred meat, like charcoal and barbecued beef or pork.
Tastes of stems, earth, some mushroom, a sweet smokey taste, a sugary sweetness, chocolate, there’s sort of a beer-like taste right when I sip, I get a very distinctly bok choy aftertaste.. I ate some bok choy a few hours ago, but I just had a tea session before this and that one didn’t taste like bok choy so I think it’s actually from the tea. Anyway, it has a nice thick, satisfying texture.. oo it reminded me momentarily of those um those minty chocolatey.. these things:
What are those called?
I don’t even know why it reminded me of that it frankly doesn’t taste like those at all but its ok. You know what it is, it’s the same kind of sweetness, and the same feeling in my throat as those candies. okay anyways I definitely didn’t like keemun last time I had it and I understand why, the flavour profile isn’t really something i’d ever go for, but I’m actually enjoying this much more than I thought I would from the dry leaf aroma. Some of the chocolate and earth goes out around steep 5 and there’s a nice floral note that enters in its place, with still a strong smokey flavour, which I’m finding to be a bit of a strange combination.
The really nice thing is there’s absolutely no bitterness or astringency, it’s totally smooth all the way to the end of the session. Well, maybe a teeny bit of astringency.
I’m gonna be frank, I don’t reeally like this, it isn’t by any means a bad tea, I think it’s objectively of better quality than the other two teas I’ve tried from teasenz thus far, but I’m really not big on the sweet smokey taste. It’s just not something I’d ever choose to drink. If you’re into like lapsang souchong, then for sure pick some of this up.
Brewed at 95C, filled gaiwan like a quarter of the way because the leaves are so tiny
The dry leaf smell like fresh bread, a light fruitiness reminiscent of cherry and apricot, and some wood and cocoa.
after settling in the warmed gaiwan, I get an aroma of sour cherries and/or sour peaches, hay, dark cooking chocolate and wine
First steeps have an aroma of barley, cocoa, wood, something that’s vaguely fishy, raspberry, there’s something leathery too.
There are notes of mango, hay, honey, the same kind of florals that you might find in a bai mu dan, but it has an enormous body, a really lovely mouthfeel, with very pleasant bitterness, a decent amount of astringency, and a slight metallic feeling (no metallic taste), with thickness. A wine-like aroma entering on the third steep, this really tastes a lot like white tea, it’s strange.
They astringency gets strong quickly, and becomes a bit overpowering around the middle of the session; I had to decrease my steeping time quite a bit to make it tolerable and at that point the rest of the mouthfeel is a bit emptier, I can’t find a nice balance anymore
It softens up a bit in the mid-late area, but the flavours get a bit bland around there, sweet honey, hay, and a bit of cocoa and a lingering taste,
It’s a tasty tea, nothing spectacular but it’s enjoyable
Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Earth, Flowers, Hay, Honey, Mango, Peach, Raspberry, Red Wine, Roasted Barley, Strawberry, Wood
Thanks to Teasenz sending me these samples!
I’ve been sick the last couple weeks, unable to smell or taste properly and that was horrible, that was the first time since I got really really into tea that I couldn’t appreciate tea and it was very unsettling, but finally I got my sense of smell back today, I have a whole bunch of new teas I couldn’t even sniff for weeks!!
The dry leaf here has a very earthy and woody aroma, the leaves look quite nice, maybe a tiny bit of breakage, but quite beautiful.
I filled the gaiwan maybe halfway, maybe a bit more. After sitting in the heated gaiwan, I got thick fruity notes of mango, pineapple, strawberry and hints of peppermint.
After the rinse, it has a nice earthy, woody, pine tree aroma with hints of mint and .. Can you smell bitterness? I’m temped to say that it smells bitter, sort of like plant stems as well. It’s a nice dancongy aroma
In the first steep, I can’t help but feel that there’s something .. missing. the mouthfeel is very flat, I mean it’s thick and creamy and smooth, but it’s like the mouthfeel is very separate from the taste, it feels almost one-dimensional in a way, it’s not dancing on my palate like Verdant’s did. Well, anyways, the flavours are actually very nice, lovely mango and earth/wood.
The second steep is a bit more alive, it’s creamier, with a pleasant bitterness that I’m quite enjoying. More mango with honey and flowers. The flavours linger for several minutes along with an increasing dryness in the tongue and roof of the mouth.
Some smokiness develops in the aroma with time, and the body unfortunately wound up thinning with each successive steep after number 2.
Dancongs for me are so calming and warming, very comforting, and this totally has all of that, and I’m actually really enjoying this, but around steep 6 or 7 the thinness that had developed became unpleasant and the body wound up putting me off more than I expected it to.
I think this is a really solid dancong for the price point ($0.13/g). I’ll get another session out of the sample which I’ll drink happily :) I am curious what cultivar this is, it doesn’t say anywhere.
I’d say it’s a nice entry level/daily drinker dancong
Flavors: Earth, Honey, Mango, Pine, Wood
Bought these as a replacement for Teavana’s Black Dragon Pearls.
It didn’t quite work for me at home, but it’s perfect for work. Usually, work teas are those I’m hoping to use up quickly.
Easy to measure, consistent chocolate and malt taste, and works well with inconsistent brewing.
This one I will reorder because it’s a solid black and very convenient.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
I really adore the whole gamut of Big Red Robe teas, from the sweet ones to the smokey and robust ones.
These twisted black leaves with only a few golden brown ones mixed in attest that this will be one of the roasty ones.
I tried this yesterday with Chocolate Silk Pound Cake, strawberries, and freshly whipped cream. It was fantastic with food, with a nutty flavor like dry walnut skin contrasted with a light underlying sweetness. I didn’t pick up on smoke as much as nuttiness.
Today I had a cup by itself, and was surprised to find that it tastes much smokier on its own, bordering on a mild Lapsang. (This is a Lapsang loving household!) The smoke was really front and center, whereas yesterday walnut predominated.
Both days I noticed a light drying effect which was nice with cake as its clears the palate. I really want to try it iced as well. I think it would be great!
Reviewed for Sororitea Sisters here! http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/08/31/da-hong-pao-teasenz
Finally picked up some of this and I’m pretty glad i did.
This is molasses brown bread with some mild peppery notes and honey notes. I let it steep a couple minutes too long so the honey is kind of a burnt honey. I don’t get any citrus in the aftertaste but the burnt honey and pepper do linger. Looking forward to another try paying more attention to the time. So silly, I measured the leaves, got the water temp according to recommendations, looked at the time then wandered off and got distracted. :)
Leaves: medium green curled leaves
Color: medium yellow
Taste:When measuring out the leaves 1tsp didn’t seem like enough leaves so i added a bit extra. When adding the water i made a mistake and didn’t allow it to cool for another 50s due to me reading the temperature of 185 on the package but on the website i read 80c (176). Even when using too hot water the tea flavor was nice no bitterness or anything.After that cup i went back for another this time using the water at the proper temperature and it was still great.
Thank you Teasenz for this sample!
With that being said this wraps up my Teasenz reviews!
Leaves: long thin bright green leaves
Steep: 3m, 4m
Aroma: spinach, vegetable
Color: pale yellow
Taste: When looking at this tea online for the first time i thought it sounded quite interesting its a labeled a white tea but is also considered as a green. Opening the pack the leaves were very long and thin so i knew right away i wouldn’t be able to use my measuring spoon. The initial aroma of the dry leaf was that of spinach. To measure i first pour what i think is going to be a good amount into the bottom of my french press. The taste of this tea was nice and light with no bitterness, where the vegetable aroma is faint but noticeable. I went back for a second cup after having my first.
Thank you Teasenz for this sample!
Leaves: solid medium ginseng dusted uneven leaves
Aroma: non-floral, Ginseng
Color: golden yellow
Clarity: good, it improved to great as i drank more
Taste:This is my first Ginseng Oolong tea! I’ve always wanted to try Ginseng infused tea so i was quite excited when i saw this one. Upon opening the packet the leaves look completely different from any thing I have seen before. The leaves were solid uneven dusty/powdered murky green color. Before brewing i watched a video on the company website and i noticed that the lady in the video didn’t rinse her leaves which is something i would normally do, but this time i knew not to do so. When making this tea the first time i realized i used wayy to many leaves 2.5tsp for 1 cup. They later unraveled as the tea was steeped. With that being said the taste was light i didn’t notice any special ginseng flavor. Overall i say this was an okay cup.
Thank you Teasenz for this sample!
I decided to give this one another go, this time using 1tsp of leaves for 8oz of water with a 4m steep. the color remained golden yellow, while the clarity improved i could see the bottom of my cup & the micro particles that escaped my strainer. The classic oolong aroma shined through with a hit ginseng. The taste was light and smooth.
The box has landed! I happened to have today off, so I’m enjoying tapping into the box and sifting through the many, many goodies to see what I want to try/sample. There’s a LOT to go through!
I’m surprised this one caught my eye; I’m not big into green tea but I think the very unique shape of the tea leaf really intrigued me. The description says that each little curl/ring is done by hand which is just crazy to me. Can you imagine being the person who has to curl the leaves? They’re just so petite and charming. I mean, certainly not the craziest shaped tea leaf I’ve ever seen but just so beautiful none the less.
I got two infusions out of this; I feel like a third would have been possible but there are just so many other teas to try. With the first infusion, I was a little taken aback by how smoky this tasted. Like, it’s really smoky. There are other nice notes too: it’s vegetal and has a bit of a green pepper note as well as a kind of butteryness. The finish is also a little nutty. Second infusion was much more smoke and nuttyness.
Definitely liked this one! Wish I’d had a camera to take pictures of the little rings as they unfurled; it was hella pretty.
Leaves: very tiny golden brown buckwheat
Aroma: Sweet & Wheaty
Color: bright yellow
Taste: With this tea i decided to go by my own brewing technique instead of following the direct instructions. Using 8oz of water & 1tsp of buckwheat. The aroma shined once i opened the packet it was sweet & wheaty. I’ve been curious about buckwheat but never tried it till now. I also read else where you can eat them when your finish brewing tea. Pouring it in my cup it was nice i didn’t need a strainer because the tea gather in its own little cluster not moving as i poured. Only 2 pieces escaped the cluster falling into my cup. The color was bright yellow with a hit of cloudiness but i could see the bottom of my cup completely. Overall i found this to be not too surprising taste wise, just a nice simple cup of tea. I can see myself having it again.
Thank you Teasenz for this sample!
Leaves: very tiny fuzzy purple flower buds + a bit of green
Aroma: Lovely & Relaxing, classic lavender
Color: clear grey
Taste: I tore away the silver tab at the top of the tea, not even opening the package i could smell the scent of lavender when i brought it to my nose! It one of my favorite scents so opening the packet completely i got the full aroma. Such a nice pleasant aroma having that relaxing feel to it. I noticed the directions on the website were different from my usual tea making calling for 500ml/17oz of water & 2-5grams of tea which i googled 5g and found it to be equal to 1tsp which is what i went with. I also read that this tea is sometimes too strong on it’s own so i might try my 2nd cup with a touch of honey. It’s also 1am when i decided to brew this i wasn’t ready for bed just yet so i thought why not make a cup of tea. When finish brewing (some of the buds had also bloomed) & poured in my cup I noticed that instead of a purple hue i was expecting the tea was a clear grey color. The aroma before steeping remained even after brewing. As for taste i find it to be very light not too strong on its own. Overall i found this to be a nice tea, i’m going to try brewing it again to see if i can achieve a purple tone using less water but the same amount of leaves.
Thank you Teasenz for this sample!
I made this again with 8oz of water and 1stp of tea to see if i would get a purple color as shown. Sadly the color only turned to a dark gray color.
You can read the full review on my blog:
Christina gave me a big sample of this tea and I’ve enjoyed it 2 times aleady! Thanks Christina!
I like to add a little honey to this tea to give it a bit of sweetness and bring out more of the honeysuckle floral taste. I’ve been feeling pretty good drinking this tea and love the fact that it’s anti-bacterial. I have to get some more of this tea for the winter months ahead.