The Mountain Tea co
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Recent Tasting Notes
I was going to hold off logging this till I had done a few more steeps, I’m brewing gongfu after all and I’ve only brewed for 5-8 seconds but oh my goodness this tea is blowing my mind and I had to share. First off, thank you to tperez for sending me a big pouch of this, several ounces in fact along with many other delicious teas. When I saw this on the swap board I didn’t look it up, I just thought it was the large rolled balls of black tea. I was surprised and delighted when it arrived and I found out that it was far more unique. I think tperez mentioned it was a Taiwanese oolong processed as a black and described it as tasting similar to Teavivre’s Bailn Gongfu Black, yum! However this says it Sumatran, I once passed on a Sumatran Oolong at TeaGschwender and regretted it. Anywho!
At only five seconds this is rich and dark and sweet. I picked up dark rye, raisins and dark chocolate. Then something happened in my cup that flipped my world upside down. I had never understood how a black tea could be fruity, never experienced it beyond the wine notes or a hint of plum or raisin in Darjeeling and a few high mountain teas. But this, oh my goodness, fruit! There are berries in my cup! Raspberries and strawberries and juicy plums and now that I’m reading it, yes apples!
Mind you I didn’t read any descriptions or tasting notes before drinking my first cup. But now I’m off to brew a second and am very excited. I hope the fruit sticks around for awhile! I should probably also eat something, as my head is swimming, beyond my giddiness.
So much tea. So little money in my bank account. Can you say, shouldn’t have bought enough stuff to make lip balm forever? Cries.
But at least I can just live off tea I guess until I get the rest of my money in two months. Or maybe this sampler box that goes on sale tomorrow will bring something in, because it is now slooooooow online at least.
I am so so so so so so glad I got up this morning for Formula 1. IT WAS THE BEST RACE. I just have to gush somewhere. My favorite driver had to start from the pit lane, and he worked his way up the field not once but TWICE and managed to take third place and keep his lead in the championship.
My second favorite driver won, the two of them are best buddies, so it was awesome. The only thing is, the race was in Abu Dhabi so there was no champagne on the podium…instead there was fizzy rosewater. Here is a priceless reaction from the guy who got second place: http://www.abload.de/img/untitled-1o2qfr.gif
Now this tea!
Being that this is the kind of tea I got a yixing pot for, I decided to make it in there. I had to modify the brewing instructions a bit. I used 7 grams of leaf.
First steep, about a minute: I could probably have gone just a slight bit longer on this one, but it’s delicious as is. It’s smooth, sweet, and a little fruity and floral, with just the right touch of cream and pepper. It’s not as creamy as a milk oolong, but it’s not too far off. It’s like one with added fruit.
At this point I’m not getting peach but we’ve only just begun.
Second steep: Now I am getting peach, but I think my choice of steeping this tea gives me far more floral notes than peach notes. And that is okay, because this is a super tasty oolong. And given it’s $2 an ounce, you SERIOUSLY cannot do much better than this, I’d think.
Third steep: I think I like this one the most! It tastes pretty similar to the second, but it seems to have more fruitiness to it.
A pleasant, typical, no-nonsense jin xuan oolong – floral, creamy, and sweet. The dry leaves promise a creamier tea than the liquor delivers. But an enjoyable tea nevertheless at a nice price.
First infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz water, 90 deg., 2:30 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 5:00 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 10+ min.
Last time I brewed this it was over three steeps. Now I’m trying it for 3 minutes in one long steep. Something I can easily drink whilst playing Magic – The Gathering on PS3.
sip Ahh lovely, that will do nicely. It’s rich and smoky but with a light floral side. It has translated very well do the one steep and it is certainly on par with the three steeps. Worth trying again :)
See other notes for a detailed review
One of my purchased teas from momo and one that I am looking forward to trying. My current tea cravings are for anything strong and dark and this has been saved for such an occasion.
The oolong balls are dark brown/black with a few balls having stemmed tips. They are very tightly rolled and are mostly only a few mm in diameter. They have a thick burnt wood aroma with a hint of fermented fruit and chestnut.
Brewing 7g with my Gongfu teapot for three steeps.
First Steep – One Minute – Tea is yellow in colour with a rich, fire roasted and chestnut aroma. In a sense it reminds me of roasting chestnuts on an open fire that I have done once before many years ago, the smell is very similar.
Taste is not as robust as the scent. It offers roasted, nutty, floral, buttery and sweet notes in one smooth and refreshing hue.
Steep Two – Two Minutes – A little deeper in strength but still at the perfect lightness to remain refreshing. It’s less like chestnut now but there is a touch still there in the after taste. Also going to mention that it’s not too dry either as some roasted Oolongs can be.
Steep Three – Three Minutes – The balls have completely opened up to reveal dark green, long and very curly/crinkly leaves that have no discolouration or breakages. In other words the leaves are in tip top condition and quality.
In flavour all that remains is a subtle roasted, smoky and floral soup that cleanses my mouth with the perfect goodbye parting as it greets my lips. The perfect end to the perfect oolong (for my mood).
I have tried tea from The Mountain Tea Co before and in both cases I have been impressed with the quality and essence of their teas. This is something I’m happy I purchased and my husband also agreed, takes a special tea for him to like it so.
Another sample pulled from the never-ending tea drawer. This is a pretty little tea, with small clusters of green tea leaves. The tea leaves smell very lightly of sweet fruit, and the tea liquor has an earthy aroma with a hint of peach and honey. The flavor is very lightly sweet. There is a peach finish with a soft aftertaste of citrus and honey. All of the flavors are very light, and it’s a very sweet tea on it’s own. I did add a little sweetener, which brought out some more of the fruity notes. While I am enjoying this cup, I will probably finish of the little bit that I have but not order any more. It is very refreshing since it is such a lightly flavored tea. Thank you, Nicole, for this sample!
-Dry blend has small clusters of rolled green tea leaves.
-Dry leaves smell lightly fruity and sweet. Tea liquor aroma is earthy with a hint of peach and honey.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium yellow color.
-Lightly sweet flavor with a peach finish. Soft aftertaste of citrus and honey.
-Best with sweetener.
-Good tea. Very lightly flavored. Naturally sweet.
A pleasant, typical, no-nonsense Tie Guan Yin. It has the usual floral aroma, but is a bit sweeter (honeyed) than others I have tried. An enjoyable tea at a nice price.
First infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz water, 90 deg., 2:30 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 4:00 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 10+ min.
Drinking some of this again (finally) while working on the boat loads of work I have to get done for the end of the semester. As much as I’d really like to go into great detail with this amazing oolong, I can’t at the moment (again). So I’m going to keep this brief.
Smell: Honey notes, with some nice vegetal notes, and slight nutty aspect. I can’t exactly pinpoint the veggie in question, but it’s slightly sweet. Maybe spinach? Anyway, this smells heavenly. There are also some creamy notes in the cup.
Taste: Stronger vegetal notes (spinach?) than honey notes, but there is still a sweetness present. Nice and smooth cup, with some floral notes floating around. There is also a milky aspect in the taste, which is reminiscent of my favorite milk oolongs. Light, vegetal, and smooth – that’s what this one is.
Next time around I’m going to try this one in the gaiwan – I think that’ll be really good. I like this one a lot. It’s light and smooth, and perfect for this nice Spring nights. Enjoying this one a lot right now. More on it later.
EDIT – As I continue to sip on this one, another taste popped into my head. Stone or rock. I’m getting a mineral aspect here, which is refreshing and really nice, in my opinion. I’m glad it finally came to me, because I was sitting here trying to pinpoint exactly what it was I was tasting. Now I might be able to concentrate on my work (yeah, right…).
Logging this for now. Tasting notes will follow when I have more time. Midterms, midterms, midterms right now. =/
For now I’ll leave you with a first impression: Like a mix of milk oolong, da yu ling, and a white tip formosa. Very nice!
UPDATE: Adding the tasting notes I managed to scribble down… may not be the most in depth tasting, but at least I’ll get the general profile out there.
As mentioned above, there are aspects of formosa oolong, milk oolong and da yu ling. Yum. Smell-wise, it’s both vegetal and creamy. There are spinach notes, butter notes, slight honey/sugar notes. Also getting subtle cinnamon notes…interesting! Very sweet smelling.
As it cools a bit its more honey-ish.
Taste: I’m getting vegetal/spinach, along with a nice milky, smooth taste. Some floral aspects are present, and the whole tea is slightly sweet. Honey notes are very light in this first brew, but come through a bit more as it cools.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do another steep, so I’ll be expanding on this the next time I brew the tea. Look out for another tasting note on this one soon. I’m leaving the rating blank for now, as I can’t recall what I would’ve given the tea.
Thank you Emily M for this wonderful oolong.
I finally found an oolong with floral notes that I might have to purchase. The floral notes in this one are very delicate, but they are a welcome addition to the more vegetal and creamy flavor of the tea. This oolong has a savoriness about it that I haven’t found in other oolongs.
Also, my husband, who previously said that he has no interest in trying teas of the floral kind, came into my room an asked what I was drinking. He said it smelled really good. That’s something coming from a coffee-drinking resistant-to-conversion guy.
Not all flowers are my enemy after all ;)
Wow, this is fantastic! I was skeptical, because the dry leaves smell rather grassy. But the taste is a floral honey, like wild honey, like the fancy jar of white gold honey I could eat straight up by the spoonful. The second steep is the best, though the first steep comes out better if I give it only 2 minutes.
FWIW, my order arrived faster than I expected, and although the tight vacuum packaging delays my childish “I want it now” diving into a newly delivered box of teas, and further requires a transfer to an empty tea canister (b/c I’m so inept at opening the silly vacuum pack), all is forgiven because the tea is so delicious.
Wish I could justify a tea order. This is so incredibly good this morning. I love how a little scoop of leaf becomes a press full of leaf in under three minutes. This is sweet and creamy. It is floral but not brightly so, if that makes sense. It has a darker taste to it. Welp, cup is empty. Time to belly up to the tea bar. Another round! I’d raise my score a notch if I knew how without a mouse.
I am just getting started today with this tea from Nicole. Half a cup in and I can tell you I love this. A light oolong that is not, so far, heavily floral (though I don’t mind if it becomes more floral). It has a sweetness to it, there are citrus notes, and I taste cinnamon faintly. I am not getting the peach notes yet but I just started. Very good!
I cruised over to Mountain Teas website and found this in the clearance section. It is $10/5oz! I have no idea what shipping rates are as I can’t tell where this ships from and the site doesn’t allow me to check rates. Anyway for those interested this could be the deal of the week.
A lovely gift from the equally lovely Emily M, this was a surprise addition to our trade. I absolutely adore this tea, and my husband had some, added a little honey and some lemon (his throats bothering him) and he seems to equally love it. This is the first I’ve had of this brand, and I can say I’ll be trying them soon in a bigger quantity, if only to get more of this.
Thanks Nicole for sending a sample of this! This is the type of oolong I love after having too many ick charcoaly flavored ones lately. This is sweet, floral, peachy, apricot, a little bit vegetal. It just has a very full flavor since there is so much going on. The second steep was very peachy and floral. It’s hard to say which cup was better. The first had more happening, but the second had a stronger floral and peachy flavor, and seemed more committed to being just PEACH and FLORAL. The third cup was okay, but not the best. All of the steeps were around three minutes. This is a nice one!
An interesting and beautifully complex tea. Steeped in a gaiwan, the first infusion came out very strong and Black Tea like with chocolate and molasses notes, with a subtly sweet, almost fruity after-taste. I agree with other tasters that the tea mellows out on the third infusion, lacking the strong Black Tea flavor of the first 2 infusions. Overall a great tasting tea; however, it can be a bit overpowering on the first couple infusions. Good on occasion, but I can’t see this as an everyday cup.