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Recent Tasting Notes
O-Kay! This took me by surprise. I remembered trying it before and not finding it much better than the standard Yun Nan Dian Hong that Teavivre offers (which I love). I won the Teavivre sampler in their recent contest so I have two more samples of this to try again. I used about half of the pouch as this is a very full leaf tea and 7 g seemed a bit much at one time. Plus I am stingy. This is still priced at 3 times the standard Yun Nan so in my world this is a premium tea (at $15.90 CAD for 50 grams).
The dry leaf was a slap in the face of molasses. Oh my, does it smell good. Like I’m about to make brown bread and I’ve got my molasses, shortening and water mixed up and cooling with the aroma filling the house with sweet hot molasses! First sips do retain some of the molasses flavour but it has morphed more into finished brown bread with some ‘bakiness’ and a bit less sweet. Very tasty and smooooth. No bitterness anywhere ever. I think I could steep a pound of this for an hour and all it would be is strong.
I will definitely give this another steep or maybe two and will enjoy the rest of the samples. I am grateful for the opportunity to try it again (in a punctual manner, haha). It is too expensive for me to stock regularly but this is a nice change from my usual Yunnan rota. Mmm!
(Rating increased because apparently I was insane last time. I am not factoring in the price though, if I were I would have to put it down a bit. Cuz I’m still stingy.)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Molasses, Sweet
Trying this again today with much more leaf (the rest of my sample – 1.5, nearly two TSP). I am getting much more aroma during infusion than last time, likely because of the volume of leaf. I think this is overkill actually. It definitely wasn’t enough for two cups but too much for one. I just can’t win with this tea!
The liquor is deep brown and almost muddy – again a result of over-infusion. The aroma doesn’t yield any bitterness which is impressive. First sips are rich and slightly malty with no bitterness at all. This is very smooth but not yielding a variety of complex flavours like I expected. This is much better than my first try but still not a favourite. I don’t know why this one isn’t rocking my world like everyone else, but at least I gave it the old college try. Enjoying but not remarkable. Sipdown!
I was re-steeping yesterdays leaves and forgot about them. For twenty minutes. While I am amazed that this tea can handle a twenty minute steep without becoming undrinkable tar, I am equally amazed that it STILL doesn’t have very much flavour! It’s only slightly more flavourful than yesterday and still doesn’t wow me. Perhaps it’s too subtle for my tastes, but I definitely am not picking up on any of the flavours that other tasters have mentioned. I am glad that I don’t get any sweet potato though as I can’t stand the things. Blech!
I’m positive I’ve had this tea before now but apparently I have yet to log it. It’s good timing as I am considering another Teavivre order and was really impressed with the regular Yun Nan Dian Hong but wondered if the next level up was superior enough to justify buying that instead. This one costs approximately three times the price of the regular dian hong, so I am hoping for a remarkable experience. This has a remarkable quantity of golden leaves, I wuld say it is at least 3/4 golden tips. Very beautiful, and left lots of little tea leaf fuzz in the bag.
I am at work so I steeped this in a T-Sac rather than a brew basket or gaiwan. There is lots of room in it for expansion though, so I’m not too fussed. Three minutes in I have a lovely golden orange liquor and an appetizing aroma. Sweet cocoa, a sense of astringency but it’s not fully developed. It smells rich and almost has some aromas that remind me of bread. I can’t quite explain those so I’ll just enjoy.
First sips yield sweetness but surprisingly little flavour. I expected a POW of cocoa and tea, instead I get a whisper of each. I had some carrots as a snack earlier and I actually taste them more than the tea. Maybe this one requires more steep time? As I continue to sip the flavour builds on the tongue, but still doesn’t reach the level I expect of Teavivre’s teas, especially at this price range ($18.90/100 grams).
I will be fair and admit that this is an old sample (give or take a year) so it may have lost flavour in storage but it was stored well, in a double sealed bag. I will definitely try again, but this just didn’t have the punch I was looking for. A very nice tea but not the flavour I expect for the price and the quality of the leaves. I feel a little let down, but at the same time am buoyed as I can guiltlessly pick up the cheaper Yun Nan in my next order!
One of my samples from Teavivre. Thank you!! What a generous company.
This is my first Milk Oolong and what a treat. Dry, this tea looks like little rolled leaves, quite darn in color. However, once brewed, these leaves open up. You can appreciate the whole leaf and see how it was picked. The liquor is pale greenish-yellow. The taste is velvety, sweet, faintly vegetal/mineral. I can taste traces of honey. All and all a wonderful cup.
I think that when I first tried this tea, I had a much more unrefined palate. Since then, I’ve grown to like different teas than I once did, and this tea is a great example – it seems I previously thought it was only okay, but now I think it’s quite delicious – basically, very closely matching my favourite oolong profile, which now is a combination of roasty, savoury, very oolongy, not overly floral. It’s pretty great to have in a travel mug, so I’ll use up the last of this rather old sample that way, and if it’s still available, it will go on my list to purchase in my eventual Teavivre order.
I think my tea preferences have changed… I’m surprised I only have this rated at 67! I really enjoyed it yesterday in spite of the fact that the package is probably getting close to 3 years old, and has been open pretty much the whole time (sealed as much as possible with a clip). This is a lovely oolong, with the roasty notes I crave from aged tieguanyins, and lots of creaminess, with a bit of that characteristic oolong “green” note (not vegetal, more paint thinner? In the best way possible.), and a minimum of floral. Upping the rating for sure, since this and roasty dancongs are my preferences now. May make a Teavivre order for my mom to share with people… and I think I’d include this.
blink So this package was already open… but I have no tasting note?? Weird. I wonder if I opened it and thought better of brewing it one day. Or maybe Steepster ate my tasting note. Anyways, thanks to Teavivre for this generous sample!
I need to look up whether monkey-picked oolong is somewhat aged, or what, because this tasted strangely reminiscent of the aged Anxi TGY from Verdant that I drank last night. Same sort of aged vegetal quality, and the leaves, although greener, were certainly not as green as, say, Verdant’s Tieguanyins, and the flavor was considerably different. Or perhaps it’s a consequence of taking too long to drink this…? Either way, it’s not bad, but not a favourite either. It worked nicely in the travel mug though, so I suspect I will finish it off that way. Second infusion, with the same parameters but in half the water, was equally tasty.
I have tried one other taiping houkui in the past. I tried it several times with varying parameters. While I learned to appreciate the cup I never really reached a point of deeply liking it. When TeaVivre offered the latest round of samples I wanted this one included. I wanted to know if it was the tea I wasn’t crazy about or the particular version.
The scent is grassy and fresh in aroma. I used the whole sample and steeped for a little over a minute. The resulting liquor was green tinted. The wet leaf made me think ocean and vegetal.
This bordered on bitter and sour but never crossed the line. The taste, to my poorly trained palate, is somewhere between a cross of bamboo shoots and celery leaf. It becomes sweeter as you sip. The aftertaste is long and lingering in a good way.
I enjoyed this without additives sweetener added nothing and really was more of a distraction. You will rarely hear me say that.
I can say once again TeaVivre has impressed me. While this may never be a must have staple in my tea drawer, I did greatly enjoy it and would gladly accept a cup if offered.