Ten Ren's Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you so much LaFleurBleue for sharing this lovely tea with me.
It comes directly from Singapour and I took ages before trying it : that’s not fair from me.
Now my tastes have changed, I am revisiting my swap box and rediscovering a lot of lovely samples I wasn’t prepared to taste at this period. Now I am ready !
I respected the detailed brewing instructions given by LaFleurBleue and I am enjoying it. The dry leaf smells herbal as the smell of the liquor.
The liquor is just a kind of liquid pale gold, incredibly clear and attractive.
The taste is surprising, very refined and delicate, quite herbal with a very very very light touch of pleasant astringency at the very last moment.
While cooling I can detect some fruity notes.
A very relaxing tea.
I just realized my last tasting note of this tea was so old and frankly outdated. I brought some of this tea at the office and had some usually with lunch and in the afternoon. The more I drank it, the more I liked it. I just know it will provide me with the perfect brew, quite delicate, slightly grassy, very mild though flavorsome. I never have had any problem sleeping even when I drank my last cup around 6pm. I did up to 7 brews with the same leaves and could probably have gone on for quite a few more rounds, as the flavor was still there.
The price was outrageous – I rediscovered the bill some time ago when tidying my papers and wide-eyed I checked that I was not mistaken, then I wondered how I could have paid such a price for 150g of tea. Thinking of it back now, I realize it was not that much, as a very small quantity (less than 5 beads for one cup) does the trick and works with as many steeps as more.
Every time I realized the number of beads in my office small tin were getting scarce, I had to restock it as I could not imagine not being able to drink it at lunch. That’s the only tea I brought to the office that made me do that – all the others (flavored all of them) I had to change and replace by a new one after a few weeks, even if I restocked a few of them once or twice before changing. This one, no, I really feel now that it’s a basic I cannot live without.
This explains my upgraded and almost perfect rating.
I’ll have to try other oolong, but I have to admit I’m wary of being disappointed.
LaFleurBleue kindly sent me some of this in a swap and she sent some great detailed instructions. Which I misplaced (so sorry, lafleurbleue, I appreciate very much the effort just the same) and then kept postponing trying this in case I got this wrong – it´s my first formosa high mountain oolong, did not want to screw it up. And having found finally the entry for this tea after making it, I did indeed screw up the process but it does not matter because it forgave me and keeps forgiving me.
I used maybe water at 70 -75 for 2 or 3 minutes for the first brew, and then a bit hotter water also for about 2 minutes for the next ones. Which is not as I should have done and will try the brewing instructions next time now I found them. The first brew I got some astringency, but not an unpleasant astringency at all. The next brews are fantastic IMO, a very clear liquor, a very light pure kind of taste but magically invigorating and a herbal type of taste which is just lovely. I am going to keep steeping these leaves – which btw is sort of magic, such tiny tiny little compact balls of green slowly unfurling (only at 3rd steep are they really open) to huge leaves and branches. Magical. If you get the chance brew this in a clear container to enjoy the unfurling.
My wife bought this tea for me at the local Asian supermarket. After just a few pots it has become one of my all time favorites. It has an amazingly smooth, almost “creamy” or “velvety” flavor and aroma. The Ginseng is very subtle and only helps to enrich the aroma. Best part is you can easily get 3 or 4 draws from it which actually makes it quite inexpensive.
I thought I had reviewed this one already.
One day I went tourist shopping in Singapore Chinatown, entered a tea shop, tasting the tea-du-jour, a nice oolong, wandered and smelled almost all the varieties available, as I had lots of time and there were nobody in the shop anyway. Their product range was definitely on “simple” green and oolong, plus some black, some pu-erh and lapsang souchong (I usually do not like the taste of those two last, just the smell is enough to tell me I do not feel like drinking that); nothing flavored, except maybe some jasmine.
I have to confess, I am far from a specialist in teas and usually tend more on the side of “I like drinking something with a nice taste”, hence my preference for flavored teas.
I decided to give a chance to a Taiwanese oolong, as the cup I had tried was rather nice (though not really available for sale for a reason I could not understand and which seems totally stupid).
I settled on choosing the most expensive of the common range, excluding the exceptional with off-the-charts pricing teas, which I am not knowledgeable enough to appreciate to their value.
At the smell, it smells greener and less astringent than the other ones; I had the feeling when smelling it that it would hardly turn bitter, while I had some doubts about even the second best. It comes as small pearls/beads, very nice to look at, quite convenient for serving IMO and hiding usually nice leaves.
The first times I brewed this tea in my usual big teapot, which was not a great idea. Recommended steeping time is to be short but it does not work so well with big water quantities, so I tended to oversteep and it turned a little bit bitter / not so nice. Another problem was that the leaves couldn’t expand nicely, as I use a teaball (I’ve got to get a filter though).
Today, I finally decided to try it, chinese style, with the gaiwans I also got in this shopping spree, and which I usually just use as regular cup. I’m a bit of a klutz and have to use the two of them – one to brew the tea, then the other to be poured in to drink after steeping. Thus I could try the first 60s first steeping (well more around 75 s), 40s second, 40s third and 50s following.
It’s better : no bitterness at all and a very green, very fresh taste. I have the feeling I could resteep the same leaves many times.
And the surprise was when I realized how big the leaves really were : around 6 to 7 cm ! I had never seen leaves this big unbroken before.
As a conclusion, after all this ranting, I’m glad I bought this tea as it really has a very delicate taste and contributes to further my education in fine teas. In my inexperience, I’m not sure oolong can get much better. Maybe it’ll grow more on me and I’ll feel more often willing to drink it as opposed to flavored tea, now that I know how to prepare it.
Oh hai, Canadians, I’m in ur country, drinkin’ ur tea. Ok, so this isn’t really Canadian tea, but it was possibly the tea shop closest to the Calgary Airport, and since I was just flying in to drive out into the boonies, I needed a quick fix. I saw on the website that they had rose milk tea at the shop and decided I had to go. It took me a bit to find it because the tea shop was actually inside a huge asian grocery. But eventually, success!
This was a really tasty rose milk tea. Most of the time with these you can’t really taste the “tea” base but the important part to me was the rose, and that was of course in evidence. The boba were a little too soft, which was my main complaint. Otherwise, I loved it. Gotta find a way to make rose milk teas on my own. The ones I’ve had all seem to use a thick rose syrup/jelly type thing with rose petals in it for the flavoring.
I cold brewed this one for maybe 24 hours. The taste is sweet with what I perceive to be a licorice flavor. The ginseng buzz is enough to really get you going. When I brewed this in the Gaiwan I noticed I was getting a bit edgy so I wanted to try the cold brew. It really is a nice refreshing tea. When I shake the Mason Jar it gets a foamy head with a nice amber color. I definitely prefer the cold brew….
A decently long time ago I bought a ginseng oolong tea from Ten Ren that I labeled “kings tea,” so I’m not sure where to rate this since there seems to be both a kings tea and a ginseng oolong, but I’m pretty sure they are the same thing. Anyway, its highly delicious and makes for a soothing reading companion. Perfect for dreary rainy sundays.
Holy bitter tea, Batman! This tea isn’t just bitter…it’s bidd-ah! Yikes! (And I drink my coffee black.)
The description says that the liquor should be “brilliant reddish brown”, but I’m getting opaque dark brown. Unless I hold it up to a light, it looks like a cup of black coffee…if not darker. The tea smells like most pu-erhs in my book. Sharp smoke with a thought of barnyard. Nothing fishy, thank goodness. The taste progression goes a little something like this: Bitter. Smoky. Barnyard…and finishes bitter and earthy. I also pick up some dark tobacco hints. Like a good maduro cigar before it is lit. Not bad for a pu-erh, but still not a tea that I’m in love with. This particular pu-erh tastes a little thin to me. Perhaps I’ve grown too accustomed to chewy, bake-y teas. I’m not appalled, so I guess this can be seen as progress as my venture into the pu-erh world continues.
Thank you SoccerMom for your generous samples. I will be trying this again.
roasted and nutty, sweet aftertaste
I picked this up at a Ten Ren’s shop located near me. I only know that this is a Dong Ding because, the large storage tin says “Dong Ding” on it. Other than that, it was hard to communicate to the merchant, who didn’t know much English.
The leaf quality is dark, tight bound leaves, the smell was lovely with it’s smokey-toasty smell. I brew this in my gaiwan, at shy of a boil on one minute ascending brews. The result was a very enjoyable, toasty, woodlike, caramel in taste. Reminds me of coffee. It’s take was rather easy, and it finishes up quite like a Wuyi oolong. Despite being a roasted oolong it’s medium to light in body. I can’t compare to a regular green Dong Ding, as it’s been a while since I have had a cup, but I’ll update in another note, if I end up having both on hand.
It’s an “awlright” oolong. I’d have Lupicia’s TKY mucha, or Zhi Tea’s TKY over this anyday.
Fourth and final tea of my night of ExpeEeEerimentAAAtiooon.
Got it for my birthday in November from my sister. The box is mostly in Chinese, so all I really know about this tea is that it’s an oolong. Also, that it’s from Taiwan. And, since my sister left the price marker on there, it’s $12 for 150g. Upon tasting, I think it’s a green oolong.
Mmm… it’s okay. Not the best tea I’ve had, but also not the worst. Though I wish I knew more about it, it’s not a terrible tea to keep around. Gentle flavor.
Third thing to research tonight – the intricacies of the differences between green and dark oolongs.
Fourth thing- a general consensus on the proper maintenance for Yixing pots.
That’s all for t’night, folks.
This pu er reminds me of what drinking a cup of folgers coffee might be like. I don’t drink coffee so I can’t say that with 100 percent certainty but it’s what I would imagine it to be like. It steep light amber and then gets magically darker and darker till it becomes black blacker than any black tea I’ve ever had it could be mistaken for a cup of coffee.
It smells like it is going to be hard to get down in terms of it has a bitter smell to it not fishy like some pu erhs I drink. It is fishy on the rinse though, It has a smoky almost a bit of a tobacco/nicotine smell to it but the taste is not so bad not something I would ever crave like my beloved oolongs but it is definently an appetite suppressant when I drink a glass of this I’m not hungry for a couple hours.
A family friend brought this from China he lost 80lbs last time I saw him after drinking this tea for 6 months he says he’s just not hungry when he drinks a couple cups of pu erh a day. While I don’t need to lose 80 lbs I thought if I could lose 5 or 10 lbs drinking tea why not.
So while it is not a tea I would recommend it makes me interested in trying more pu erh until I find the right one (or two or three) to suit my palate.