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Recent Tasting Notes
This will be quick, since I didn’t particularly care for this tea and only steeped it twice. I used 7 g of tea in a 200 ml glass teapot.
The dry leaves smell like fruit roll-ups (I’m not kidding). The dry leaves are a darkish green, and they’re rolled up. They unfurl to reveal high-quality full leaves. I steeped it at 190-195 for 1’ and then 1:45.
The tea flavor itself is acceptable but not particularly impressive. It improves dramatically on the second steep, becoming more buttery. There’s an overlaid floral-fruity flavor which is somewhat pleasant but not very well-integrated with the oolong flavors. This is a problem that many jasmine teas have, and this tea shares it. The scent of the osmanthus is very perfume-like, and it is a pleasant smell, but it is not all that pleasant in a drink, in my opinion. (And please note that I love floral-smelling teas such as light Tie Guan Yins.)
I won’t be ordering a full-size batch of this tea.
Received this one from Teavivre’s Autumn tea contest.
This is a very pleasant oolong. It is lightly floral. There is definitely a naturally fruity taste. Reminds me of stone fruits, apricots, peaches.
I brewed this one 1tsp for about 2 minutes, it was quite thick. Still good, but I think I would prefer it for less steep time.
Edit: Made this one at a 1 min steep. I think the flavours are much better at the lesser steep time. The flavours are much lighter, and subtle, but I find I am better able to distinguish the flavours. Whereas at a 2 minute steep, it still tasted good, but I think some flavours were overpowering others.
I wanted to write a note for this tea because I was very impressed by it, and I’m shocked that it has such a low rating (76 at the time of writing). This is an excellent example of a Taiwan High Mountain Oolong.
The leaves are nicely dark and green with minimal oxidation, and they produce a light golden liquid. The leaves smell much like green tea leaves, which makes sense given the very minimal oxidation.
I brewed them gongfu style, 7g leaves with 7 oz of water, starting at 50s and working up. I’d start with 1 min next time or use slightly less water or more leaves. I used temperatures between 185 and 195 F.
Anyway, the flavor was excellent – vegetal notes are very present but not in your face or like you’re drinking asparagus juice. (The slight oxidation smoothes out the vegetality.) They’re complemented by a little bit of florality – there’s not enough oxidation to maximize florality. There’s a nice subtle sweetness. There’s also a buttery-milky flavor and a light-to-moderate mouthfeel. This tea has much of what I like in green tea without any overbearing vegetality, plus the smooth, complex buttery flavors of oolongs.
The second steep was really impressive – more buttery and milky with a wonderfully long finish and some notes of artificial popcorn butter (trust me, they were pleasant!) The third steep was somewhat weaker, but there were still complex herbaceous (kale-like) notes with good sweetness. The final steep was quite weak but still pleasant.
As you can tell, I really enjoyed this sample, and I’ll be ordering some despite it being a bit expensive (but still more than fair relative to other high-quality high mountain oolongs).
I drank 36oz of this yesterday – and will probably continue on with it later today. I was a bit surprised when I opened the packet. I’ve had a dong ding before and had my mind set on what I was about to experience. Except this is Qing Xiang and I did not know that means it is not roasted. The charcoal scent I was expecting was not there (and I am ok with that – I actually prefer the green oolongs.
I prepared it with boiling water and a two minute steep. There is a lot of leaf. I mean A LOT. The brew aroma is my next surprise. It is floral and spicy. Spicy? My second surprise.
I made the mistake of reading Teavivre’s description at this point. A mistake because I will never know if I would have made the osmanthus association on my own. It is definitely there once I know it but I was leaning more towards cinnamon and possibly ginger. I read Stoo’s review and notice he also made a cinnamon connection. Of course he had to run to the store and buy cookies afterwards. :)
I am liking this one a lot. It is floral, spicy, sweet, and has a long lasting aftertaste.
Using up my last sample of this. I’m really trying to use up all the little bits of tea so I can order more. :) As always I am enjoying this. I accidentally steeped it a few seconds too lon g and I can tell in the taste, but it’s fine. Thanks again to Teavivre for all the delicious samples they’ve sent over the years! See other notes for more info on this tea.
Drinking an exquisite cup of this before we leave on our road trip to Las Vegas. I won’t be bringing any tea with me on this trip so this will probably be the only good tea I have for awhile. Unless of course I find a good tea house in Las Vegas! Anyone know of one?
This tea is just wonderful. It tastes more roasted today than the last time I tasted it; mood really makes a difference when tasting tea!
Dry leaves smell fabulous! Can’t wait to try this.
I used the entire sample packet, probably two heaping teaspoons worth.
Yes, this is good tea! I’m not in the mood to get all wordy today but suffice it to say that this is green with definite roasty notes, and a bit floral, with the characteristic creaminess and slight caramel flavor that is distinctly from Taiwan tea.
Ahhhh, wonderful. I brewed up what may have been my last package of this tonight (I really couldn’t say, though… I haven’t kept great track lately). I gave the most to my mom, and she’ll likely drink the resteeps tomorrow, but I poured myself a nice small cup too. Mmmmmm… I brought far too few oolongs with me on my holidays this time, so it was a welcome treat. I can’t wait to get back to my full tea stash (although in some respects, being constricted to just a few means I get more sipdowns!)
Roasty green oolong? Unsurprisingly, this one was a big win for me. Absolutely delicious. Roasted, creamy oolong notes, and if there were floral notes, they were masked by everything else (or toned down, and I didn’t notice them). I’ll have to try this one next to an unroasted dong ding oolong, as well as an aged tieguanyin, because in my head, the flavour profiles are all quite similar (and I don’t think that’s quite true).
Second infusion was very similar to the first – these leaves pack a lot of flavour!
A huge thank you to Angel and Teavivre for including this sample in my package!
A huge thank you to Angel & Teavivre for sending me some oolong samples! It was perfect timing, since I have just been refining my ability to taste the differences between different oolongs (instead of saying they all taste oolongy) and be able to figure out which ones are floral (not my favourites), creamy (yes!), roasty (even better!), or various other flavours.
I kind of randomly selected this tea as one of the first two I brewed up (I couldn’t choose…) I was expecting a tea on the lightly creamy side, since it’s a high mountain oolong and that’s the association I have in my head, but instead, it had much more of a green, floral profile, like a tieguanyin. There was perhaps still some creaminess, but floral notes definitely dominated. As I’m not the biggest fan of floral teas, this wouldn’t be one I’d purchase myself, but it’s pretty tasty if you do like that sort of flavour profile. If, however, you want a milk oolong-type tea, my first experience with this one makes me think that you should try something else first!
I think the verdict so far, after 3 days of oolong sampling, is that I’m just not that into oolongs. This is nice, and smooth, and just a bit floral and vegetal and it’s fine, but… I just don’t see that I’d crave it very often.
It’s good, but what would I ever do with an oz of it?
I’ll rate it when I drink the second pack!
Tea provided by Teavivre for review
Sniffing the wet leaves after the rinse stage, I picked up on butter, spices and a sweet flavour (like corn). This scent is very noticeable and not subtle or boring in any way.
Tasting the first steep, the aroma is much more toned down than I imagined. It’s mellow, floral, and slightly sweet. None of the flavours overpower my senses, and I didn’t taste any bitterness.
From the second to seventh steeps, it held a consistent flavour.
My husband and I had very different opinions on this tea. He really enjoys non-roasted oolongs and I do not. That’s my bias, but I can still appreciate the tea (I’m just not crazy about it).
Overall, I think it’s a nice mellow oolong. Its quiet nature is enjoyable. In comparison with cheaper oolong teas, this has a good long lasting flavour that resteeps well.
Tea parameters (Teavivre’s website suggestion):
100ml gaiwan, 7g sample, rinse and 7 infusions (30s, 30s, 35s, 45s, 60s, 100s, 120s)
Sipdown #3 today!
I’m cleaning out my cupboard to make room for new stuffs, so trying to sipdown what I can. Might manage a 4th later.
So, on to this tea. I have not had a straight oolong in some time. I don’t know why, really, because I do traditionally love them. I get so wrapped up in my shiny shiny that I often forget about things I have.
The leaves are quite typically dark green and shriveled and sort of ball like. The brew is still pale, like the first time I made this. There’s a mild floral scent to it, but nothing so overpowering, and you can pick up a little of the roasted flavour. The taste is a little more roasted and less floral.
As I mentioned in my initial tasting note, this is a very basic medium toned oolong, that is a nice starter one. It is not overly complex, which is actually quite fine. Sometimes the simple things are best. Like today, my lunch was spinach linguine tossed in a brown butter sauce, with a little parmesan. Super easy, super tasty. If my lemon half hadn’t gone bad, I’d probably have squeezed a little juice over it all too. Just simple flavours and sooo good.
Anyway, I like this oolong, but it is not amazing. I am thankful to Angel from Teavivre for providing me with this sample to try.
Backlog…had this last night, and a re-steep this morning.
I used about half of the small sample pouch provided by Teavivre for the steep. I got a very standard medium oolong taste. The liquor was still quite pale in my travel mug, but golden yellow. There was a crisp and clean taste, with a medium floral tone as well…nothing overpowering or perfumey, and a light roasted flavour. But in general, it was mostly clean and floral and I can see why they call this an oolong for beginners.
I don’t think this is quite as tasty as the flavoured milk oolong I have had from them, but it is tasty. I know I will enjoy the rest of the sample pouch, and the other oolongs I have been provided with.
Thanks Angel at Teavivre for letting me try this one.
I drank this earlier today and quite enjoyed it! My toddler did too, which is funny because she usually just ignores my tea, but this time she walked up to my cup and kept trying to drink from it. I gave her a few sips and each time she proclaimed, “Mmmmmm!”. So adorable!
I’m hoping to get a variable temp kettle for Christmas and then drinking this one will be easier.
I think this might be the oolong that I preferred most out of all the Teavivre samples I recieved! It’s just so dark and roasty and perfect for fall. I think if I had a bag of it, I’d be able to experiment more with temperature and steep time to play upon different notes.
It’s too bad you can’t order 50g packs from Teavivre! I think it would take me at least a year to get through 100g of an oolong…
Ok, this is my random oolong sample for the day! I was pretty excited to try it as I’d heard of “Big Red Robe” in other tea reviews and was curious.
I’m on my second steep and having trouble describing it. It’s orange in colour, and tastes very much like oolong. It’s roasty, and just a tad floral, with a bit of a darker vegetal aftertaste. Interesting!
The second steep is even darker and roastier. I prefer this over the first steep. It’s so sweet and roasty, dark and full, yet not like a black tea.
I think I get peach notes too!
I’ll wait until I have the second sample of this before I rate it (and by that time will have had all of them!).
mmm sipdown. Today is a day for drinking things up so that I can do a final tally at the end of the day after i add in dexters teas. That way i know how much i have to aim to drink up on the long weekend heh. This isn’t my favourite from teavivre but it IS a really nice tea. It’s a tea that makes me slow down. Not because it’s blow your mind oh wow crazy good…but because it has those qualities to it. It’s a relaxing, lighter sort of caramel, cocoa, malty, grainy sort of cup. I am really enjoying this as a wake up cup.