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Recent Tasting Notes
My roommate ended her stay with a few cups of monkey picked Tie Guan Yin. She said this one was the heartiest of the teas she had, but also the most comforting. I have converted her to the use of the french press as a tea steeper. She was asking where I got mine and I could see that she was thinking of picking one up. I also gave her several tea companies (including Teavivre on the top of my list since she loves the tea so much)
Thank you Angel and the rest of the Teavivre team for having awesome teas that I am able to convert my friends with! I am almost caught up with my backlog of tea sampling that I fell behind on.
I didn’t get to have my leftover leaves in the morning, so I am having them now. My feet are so sore from work, but it feels good to have a job again.
The third steep still tastes like buttered toast to me. I am getting a little more of the floral that I tasted in the plain Tie Guan Yin, but the baked flavor is still strong! It tastes really good. I think I might have found a new favorite oolong for a while.
I needed that smooth, sturdy pick-me-up today.
I have successfully completed my first training session at McDonalds. I am so excited to actually have a job again and I don’t care that it is a small, part time job. It will show that I actually have initiative to work after college and will look good when I get ready to look for a bigger job or to go back to school.
So, I decided that I was going to make a pot of this to have after supper and then another pot to have after showering and before going to bed. I was expecting this to be a green oolong this time, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw the delicate light brew after two minutes.
I poured out my first cup and smelled toast. Yes, my tea smelled like toast. Then I tasted it and it tasted like dark toasted toast. The taste is mild and the toast taste is really pleasant. It is hovering somewhere between toasted and baked cracker. Though if it is more like a baked cracker then it is the whole wheat kind with sesame seeds baked into the cracker.
It is actually really nice and mellow. It was the perfect tea to have after having a smoked salmon open faced sandwich for dinner, so I guessed my tea choice perfectly. I will have to update this note after I have my second steep to see if the flavor has changed in any way.
Second Steep It tastes a lot like the first steep, only there is something a little creamier in this one. And I am getting more of a nutty taste to this one too. Creamier and nutty. It is tasting a little like the dark oolong than the regular Tie Guan Yin that I had a few days ago. This would be a good one to have when I want the boldness of a dark tea without having the dark tea. I might have to save the leaves and have the third steep in the morning with breakfast!
I must sincerely thank Teavivre (Angel) for the opportunity to try this. I’ve been reading loads and loads on pu’ercha recently (and working through quite a bit of samples), and I would definitely recommend this as a learning experience. Recently I had a (very long) session with this sheng over a couple games of weiqi with a friend who was also impressed with this tea.
I would probably not consider Teavivre to be a go-to vendor for pu’ercha, but what they do have seem to be of a great quality. I’m strongly considering purchasing a tuo of this sheng to age further, because I feel it has great potential and is already quite good as it stands. I may instead go with the 2006 Fengqing cake they sell, which from what I have read has similar properties to this tuocha (at least from what I can compare) and is thought highly of in the blogosphere. I have of late been leaning towards the acquisition of tuochas, though, as they are quite convenient for me: smaller amount of leaf compared to the standard 357g cakes, allowing multiple to be purchased for close to the same price as one cake (which means variety and less per cake on “tuition” costs if I end up making an error in judgment), but still enough leaf to age for a while.
Anyway, back to the sheng at hand. The compression of the tuo is extremely high. The sample bag containing an intact chunk was like a rock and refused to be broken up cooperatively until after a rinse of near-boiling water. The compression shows in the wet leaves, which are a right mess of fragmented leaves and small pieces, but the resulting liquor proves mature, although somewhat murky in early steeps. In fact, both the leaves and the liquor are noticeably dark for younger sheng. Midway through the session, the coloration becomes a dark amber with a faint, but nonetheless noticeable lighter meniscus. All together, these signs seem to point to good storage and a decent bit of aging.
The liquor, while not entirely “complex” in flavor, provides a very smooth mouthfeel that translates nicely into a sweet aftertaste and a cooling huigan. Later on more of a sparkling texture is apparent mid-sip. To add balance, there is a strong, enveloping kuwei (bitterness) in the throat that is not at all unpleasant and lingers expectedly. Based on so many fragmented leaves, the taste is actually far less bitter (and far sweeter) that I would have expected. Sewei (unpleasant astringency) is minimal and mostly detected upon the tongue tip and lips. There are light notes from the fruity spectrum to add depth and touches of tobacco flavors that provide a robustness, separating it from the youthful sheng with grassy, floral complexions. Sweet floral and caramel aromas are trapped under the gaiwan lid, while added deep fruity scents show up in the empty cup.
By the third steep, a developing cha qi is present and becomes quite strong. Good bursts of positive energy that linger even past the 15 or so steeps that this tea can easily last for. Really, I’m quite impressed. This has become one of my favorite younger shengs that I’ve tasted.
Ahhh, right before I was about to post this I found a bit of black string poking out from the wet leaves. No matter; that’s what a strainer is for.
Very nice. I think people who favor green tea, but want to venture out to more black teas would really like this one.
1st steep- very mild, vegetal like green tea.
2ns steep- more of the maltiness of traditional blacks.
3rd steep- still very dark, a slight astringency coming through this time. But still getting a bit of the vegetal.
Steeped this at the same time as another Jasmine pearl which I shall not name here.
The initial aroma from the other pearl was more evident (tho the scent was stronger from this package than from the other one)
I left both teas steeping until I finished sipping them.
This Jasmine pearl had a deeper color liquor and stronger aroma. But it was not too strong for me. It was: just right!
The flavor was perfect too! I also love that it was super smooth…
Thank you Kasumi and Teavivre (samples from them arrived at the same time and Kasumi’s was a surprise! shouldve picked a different tea to sample from Teavivre, hahaha)
will report on resteeps later
I know I’ve tried this tea a few times before yet there is no tasting note nor rating. Odd! I can write something for it now while I add a few bits and pieces to my AliExpress cart for the sale tomorrow. I meant to have this tea on Bonfire night though opted for red wine instead, being my husbands and mothers birthday and all.
The leaves smell thickly smoky, wooden and cigar like.
They are thin, fairly long and curly with some having a golden shine.
Flavour is smoky though in a smooth, smoggy way with mature tobacco and leather tones. They are rather clean tasting and leave little to no after taste. Slightly sweet and clay like.
For a Lapsang it’s rather light, sure it’s smoky but not too much. I really like this tea, as a non smoker it has a nice balance, even the re steeps are pleasant.
I am so mad at my mom right now, she used my desperation and tears about being one week off from seeing my favorite hockey team in Florida on spring break again to book a cruise from Tampa during that week.
Oh no, not for me, for her and my dad. I have to go up there and watch the dog. Never even ran it by me until today telling me that’s what I’m going to be doing.
Never asked. MEH.
So then I decided I had to try this Dragonwell today rather than wait till morning. I’m sure it’s just a matter of it steeping a shorter amount of time, but the other one just seemed so much more creamy and nutty.
This isn’t bad though, 30 more seconds would probably have done it good. It does remind me of peas and a bit like sparkling mineral water. And it smells just so clean! It’s like having spring in a cup, 14 hours before a winter weather watch.
I got this as a sample from Teavivre. The dry leaves are tightly rolled medium and darker green little pearls. I didn’t pick up much roast-y aroma from the dry leaved, more vegetal to me. I did my first infusion and noticed a definite roasted aroma like roasted Hubbard squash. The infusion is a light yellow green in color and smells similar to the wet leaves but not as intense. The first sip is vegetal and slightly mineral to me with a sweet finish. As the tea cool I pick up more of the sweeter notes.
This sample was generously provided to me by Angel from Teavivre. Thank you so much!
I love dan congs, but I don’t love how every single one has had different steeping parameters. It’s so strange because theoretically these are all leaves from the same tree, you know?
Anyway, the recommendation for this one was boiling water, and I’ll try that next time, but it just seemed like that would be too tough on these leaves so I went with thePuritea’s recommended parameters, which are below.
Dry leaf was long and spindly, and had that trademark seaweed/salt air scent that I love. Reminds me of Tybee Island – which was where I grew up. My childhood summers were pretty much spent sunburned and water logged, and I loved every second of it. I don’t really miss the community down there, but oh, I miss the ocean. It’s been hard being landlocked these past few years and I hope to eventually have a coastline near me soon!
The main reason I’m going to try the recommended parameters is that the cooler water yielded a surprisingly thin steeping. Not as nectary, or as peachy as my other dan cong experiences. I didn’t get much of the lingering fruity aftertaste, either. It wasn’t overly bitter or astringent, it just…wasn’t what I’ve gotten used to a dan cong being. So I’m going to hold off on rating for now until I try it with boiling water.
But even while it wasn’t in top form, it was still fabulously relaxing and nostalgic…and I bet once I actually follow directions it will be perfect!
Thanks once again to Angel & Teavivre for this sample.
I put the entire sample into my testtube steeper, & steeped 15/30/oops! I got distracted & let this one go way too long/back to short steeps…lol
Tart & Tangy in a fresh & green way, with an instantly thick mouth, & an rich & resinous quality. The embodiment of spring, I shared steepings with a few students as the day passed. Delicious!
and the sipdown continues:
This is the remainder of the sample I received from Angel @ TeaVivre. Thanks again, Angel, for this generous sample!
I had thought at one point of steeping several dragonwells, side by side, & comparing them. This never happened, and really, it doesn’t need to happen. Why compare? Why not enjoy each alone, for what they offer? So that’s what I’m doing.
Beautiful flat green leaves, sweet, crisp, & green taste. I used to steep green teas in a cup, but more & more I prefer short steepings in a Gaiwan. The ‘fresh’ taste is like a reminder that spring will come soon. I look out over my garden, & begin to contemplate the season…
Thank you to Angel & TeaVivre for the excellent sample!
I chose to steep this gongfu style, drinking several steepings while I had a few students (yes, a few actually showed up!). It is a very nice quality Dragonwell, with a creamy vegetal slightly sweet taste, like roasted caramelized green beans. The mouth-feel is very buttery.