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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks go to Angel of TeaVivre for this tea sample!
I prefer robust teas and find oolong selections to be a little lighter in flavor and kick than I need, particularly in the mornings. However, I am starting to enjoy oolong and green teas at those times when I don’t need to be jolted out of my morning stupor.
I opened the sample of this tea and was greeted by an earthy aroma and little rolled green leaf pellets. I steeped the pellets at 212 degrees for two minutes as recommended by TeaVivre.
The brewed color was light gold with a greenish tint. The aroma was slightly floral and grassy.
My first taste of this tea produced a very faint sweet, earthy, and grassy flavor. In all fairness, this is the beginning of Fall and allergy season here at home, and my sinuses are already being assaulted.
After a few more sips, the sweet, floral, and slightly leafy flavors became more pronounced. The tea was smooth throughout without bitterness. A very gentle floral aftertaste seemed to remain. Even though I live in the Southeast, where Osmanthus is said to thrive, I don’t remember running into it in my neck of the woods. I therefore would not be a good judge of the authenticity of Osmanthus flavor in this tea.
Although I initially struggled to register the complete flavors of this blend (again, this could be due to my allergy-challenged sinuses this morning), once I did, I found them to be quite pleasant, peaceful, and polished. I would enjoy sipping this selection in a tea room with friends on a Saturday afternoon while watching THE USC (University of South Carolina) football.
I’ll be honest, the selling point of this tea for me was the “milk” part of it, I am a very avid drinker of oolong and was very enticed with the idea of it having a nice sweet creamy flavor. The trick with this tea is in the steeping times and temperature, I found that when it was slightly over steeped that it had lost it’s sweet creamy flavor, and when I used too hot water (200F) that it became slightly astringent, and the creaminess was replaced with a grassy flavor. Once you get the steeping times and temperature down, this tea doesn’t fail to impress! After a quick rinse, the leaves were already omitting a sweet milky scent. The first steep had very nice sweet creamy tasting notes, with a slight grassy taste, I was quite surprised with this very prominent taste of sweet cream, and the second steeping didn’t disappoint! It was the same as the first steeping in terms of flavor, and was slightly darker with a little more tea dust in it, and the third steeping the sweet cream flavor was lessened, and was replaced with grassy flavors, but it had very nice flora accents with it as well, so it was a nice trade off, and was a very very nice light oolong, I highly recommend!
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Milk, Sweet, Vegetal
This pu-erh is hands down, one of my most favorite pu-erh teas I’ve ever had; although I am rather new to pu-erh tea, I know what a bad pu-erh can taste like! After about two 5 second rinses, letting the tea leaves rest in between the rinses to open up better, the first two steeps were rather uneventful, a slight vanilla flavor in the background, with a very earthy/moldy aroma, and was a little astringent. The third steeping is where the flavors really boomed, very nice sweet taste complete with a rather prominent vanilla flavor in the background, just a little earthy and fishy, but that isn’t a downside for me, personally I like it. The color of the tea was a very dark amber color, but it wasn’t a “slap-in-the-face-flavor”, it was actually very light in contrast to its color. The mildness of the tea means that you can’t really mess it up/over steep! I accidentally over steeped mine majorly (about 3 hours), and it was comparable to coffee, which I am an avid drinker of, but it had all of it’s delicate flavor notes still. After drinking that, I decided I would try to get an extra steep out of it, and got 4 more! This is definitely an all day tea, which is a major plus.
Flavors: Earth, Fishy, Floral, Sweet, Vanilla
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Flavors: Earth, Fishy, Floral, Sweet, Vanilla
I find that I crave a nice cup of Chinese black in the mornings. It’s just a lovely way to start the day. I love the preserved plum flavor in this one. The lingering maltiness.
As I mature in my tea adventure, I find myself not appreciating teas as much as I used to. It’s such a shame. I’ll drink while reading or working and I just don’t notice the nuances anymore. I try to put time aside for a new tea to truly appreciate it, but my schedule is not what it used to be. When I started my tea adventure, I was unemployed and my husband wasn’t out of the house all day going to work and then school. While I’m grateful to be employed and happy that husband’s continuing education will open up opportunities for him, I really miss having TIME. Time to just do nothing or focus on hobbies.
Anyway! Good tea!
I’ve been brewing up a cup here and there over the past couple days, thanks to Heather, who provided me with a sample. I’m still trying to figure out where I stand on Dragon Well.
So far, I’d say this is the most well-balanced straight Dragon Well I’ve had. There’s a balance between the sweet and vegetal flavours. Slightly grassy, slightly buttery, basically what Dragon Wells are all about.
I personally wouldn’t buy any since I’m not a fan of grassy and/or vegetal greens, but it’s always nice to further explore a particular type of tea.
I am so happy to be back to drinking most teas. I still have a lot of heartburn now and then but sixteen years on proton pump inhibitors isn’t going to be easy to overcome. I am committed to making it work.
I made egg fu yung again tonight because chickens are ridiculous and they cracked three of the eggs they laid today. They insisted on getting in the only nest box that did NOT have straw in it to lay their eggs and sat on each other and acted like toddlers in general. As long as the crack is superficial and the inner membrane is intact, the egg is okay to eat as long as you do so quickly because it will lose moisture quickly.
Asian food means green tea usually, but I saw this sample first and since it was handy I tossed it to hubby to make. Wow, I am glad he made this one because it was FANTASTIC.
With the food, I couldn’t help but notice how powerful the floral taste of this tea was, but there was enough mineral taste to make it pair awesomely. This is not a dark oolong, or a roast-y oolong. It is light and green-ish and sweet and smooth. And milky! There is a creamy smoothness to this that gives it lots of body.
I am seriously loving this tea tonight.
We had a few people absent from our writers’ group tonight, and since several of the attendees have really been loving the tea, I offered to use the extra time to do a gong fu tasting of this tea.
The tea was passed around the circle in the display dish. One of the younger members has been to China a couple of times and she really loved the aroma of the dry leaf. These are tight, hard pellets. When I poured them in the pot, they barely covered the bottom of the little 8 ounce vessel. It was going to be fun to watch their reaction to the unfurling of the leaves.
I did a quick rinse and then a short steep. The liquor was a nice solid yellow and the taste was smooth and buttery with a light floral taste. The girl who had been to China said it was nice, and she liked it, but it wasn’t going to be a favorite. Knowing the flavor profile she has liked in the past, I made the next two steeps longer. Now the tea had that little bite with the sweet aftertaste that is found in some green teas like Chun Mee.
As I expected, she said those were her favorite steeps. We made about 35 ounces in all tonight and there are still some good steeps left in these leaves.
Thank you, Teavivre, for the wonderful samples!
Thank you Teavivre for this sample tea!
At first, I underbrewed this tea. It was very pale and delicate…
I let the leaves steep longer in the gaiwan, observing the transformation…playing with the water, moving the lid back and forth in a figure eight then straining the liquor.
The color had changed only a half tone and the taste was as it should be. A delicate whisper.
The flavor was a thin coat of unsalted sweet butter brushed lightly across my tongue, tingling towards the back and a subtle floral finish.
I would never drink this tea in the morning. I’d roll over and go back to sleep if this was next to my bed.
It’s too…relaxing…it…floats in my mind…like sunbeams flickering through the trees.
I’m sipping this Ali Shan and I want to sit by a stream, lay in a hammock, watch the Fall leaves waving back and forth…back and forth out my window.
This is a soft, gentle, tranquil tea.