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Recent Tasting Notes
Picked a small bag of this up at the Tea Source after hearing intriguing descriptions of milk oolongs.
The tea taste is quite green, and mostly buried by the milk flavors. They impart a buttery, creamy flavor and texture. It’s an enjoyable drink, but not in the same way that most teas are enjoyable to me.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Tea, Vegetal
I love pearled tea. So easy to travel with and measure out. Nice large leaves when it’s all done. I’ve been looking for a black version for awhile so I had to snag some of this, and it ended up being an interesting tea in its own right. First off it smells rather amazing like dark dried fruit. In playing with this in the past few weeks I’ve found it to brew kind of light so I go heavy on the leaf and steep for at least a full five minutes. It has a bit of tannins that keep it bright, but don’t seem to make it undrinkable if oversteeped so this is definately a travel infuser candidate. The tea has a bit of cocoa notes and dark sugar plus a long lingering aftertaste as well as the feeling of a bit of tannins on the teeth.
This is a lovely rich oolong. If you would like to try something a bit darker than a typical Ti Quan Yin, this one does not have the lighter, vegetal taste. Very smooth, nice aroma and a nutty barley flavor. Perhaps adding some honey it reminds me of a puffed cereal but can’t recall the name of it. There is a dry slightly tannic mouthfeel after.
The leaves look to have a couple more infusions in them. As a good oolong should.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Grain, Hay, Nutty, Roasted Barley, Smooth
Hmm, not quite sure what to think about this one. The scent and flavor of a honeydew melon are definitely present and the smooth, light white tea base is a good match. But for some reason, I’m smelling and tasting a slightly yeasty note as well…unbaked bread dough is the best description I can come up with. No idea where this is coming from, but it makes for a rather disconcerting experience! Wondering if cold-brewing would amp up the melon and knock out the yeast? I’m going to have to do some experimenting!
Flavors: Hay, Honeydew, Melon, Sweet, Yeast
A sweet, very slightly citrusy, unchallenging tea. I get 3 good steeps out of it before the flavor starts to fall off sharply.
I think this would be a good tea to introduce someone gently to green teas.
Flavors: Citrus, Tea, Vegetal
So I was wondering what it would take to steep this tea to the point that it would be to astringent. Well, I got pulled into a meeting and forgot about my little pot steeping for a couple of hours, lol. That finally did, but surprisingly it wasn’t unbearably astringent. Just added a little extra water and ended up with more flavorful pu’erh with a little dryer finish I like. Of course, I am in now way advocating steeping your pu’erh tea for hours. :D
Dry leaves have a sort of turmeric, pepper and straw aroma.
Wet leaves smell very much of hay.
1st (20 sec): Very light sweet taste, smooth mouthfeel and a soft finish. Not a lot of flavor in the first steeping, but that seems common with pu’erhs.
2nd (15 sec): Very smooth, full mouthfeel. There is a wonderful sweetness that blooms into the finish. I don’t know if I’d call it plum, but it’s really nice.
3rd (30 sec): Wanted to push the steep time to test astringency, but 30 sec is the minimum recommended by TeaSource. Really smooth tea. Sweetness is still there with a dry finish
4th (30-40 sec): Really good pu’erh
The tea aroma is an odd turmeric and straw aroma
not over powering, but so hard to describe that may be off putting to some. Whether you like raw pu’erhs as I do or are new to raw pu’erhs this one is definitely worth a try especially given the low astringency when not over steeped.
As stated by someone previous I’m really surprised that this tea is rated so low. It makes a great alternative to coffee in the morning for really waking you up and the flavor and aroma is amazing. I agree that it smells more of almonds than of chestnuts, but for an early morning tea it’s really hard to beat. My wife also loves this tea so this is one of very, very few teas that I buy by the pound. If nothing else try a sample.
Flavors: Almond, Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa
I love most of the blends I’ve tried from TeaSource, but I’m not a fan of their rooibos. No matter what they flavor it with, I always mainly taste that sharp, medicinal rooibos base. This one is, unfortunately, no exception. There are hints of mild chocolate and coconut flavor, but not enough to satisfy me. Definitely won’t be re-purchasing this one.
Flavors: Medicinal, Rooibos
Had this at Tiny Diner. It’s always nice to be able to get decent loose leaf at dinner. I chose this one not sure what it was, and could not quite pin down what it was supposed to be. It was sweet, floral ,and slightly fruity. I didn’t get much bitterness but then again I have no idea about how it was brewed other than that it was given to me with the infuser still in the pot. I was surprised to later find out there was cherry flavoring as I rather dislike it but it was subtle here, no cough syrup or cherry coke flavor. Still it will probably be enough to keep me from getting it again.
Another fantastic Chinese black tea from TeaSource! This one is very similar to Golden Snail from Whispering Pines: tightly curled black leaves with tons of golden tips that give off a rich, malty scent. It has a dense, chewy flavor with notes of baked bread and honey. It can be re-steeped multiple times before it starts losing it’s flavor. I don’t love it quite as much as their Golden Mao Feng, but it’s definitely a lovely option and very affordable!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt
This tea is absolutely divine! I already knew I loved TeaSource’s Black Mao Feng, so I decided to sample this one when I was in Minneapolis over the weekend. Oh my goodness! The leaves are super long and twisty with TONS of golden tips and the aroma is delicious: malty sweet goodness. Steeped, the liquor is a warm golden brown and the flavor is out of this world: notes of malt and sweet potato with a lingering honey sweetness and just the slightest hint of astringency that keeps you taking another sip…and another…and another. It’s also super smooth, with an almost velvety feel on the tongue. I didn’t have a chance to re-steep, but I’m quite confident from the quality of the leaves that this would hold up to multiple steeps. I can’t buy more tea right now, but next time I place an order this one will be at the top of my list!
Flavors: Astringent, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes