The Mountain Tea co
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
2 teaspoons tea/16 ounces water per steeping.
I made the mistake of drinking 32 ounces of this on Monday night between dinner and bedtime and I was awake All. Night. Long. Caffeine normally doesn’t bother me but that sure did! But the leaves were so neat as they completely unfurled on the 2nd steep – I just couldn’t help myself.
This tea has grown on me. I like the dark, malty, natural taste. It is a thick tasting tea. Second steep was equally good. I could have gotten another 16 ounce steep out of it without appreciable loss of taste. I won’t drink that much of it in the evening again, but I will be replacing it in the cupboard when I run out. :)
Steeping at boiling definitely makes a difference. Taking rating off as it is unchanged from my previous 84.
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.
I say part II because I drank the first half of this sample from Alpha kitty on saturday. It was ok, but a little bitter, & after comparing notes with Alpha, I decided to steep the 2nd half of the sample in a Gaiwan. It is MUCH better!! I did the 1st 4 rounds at 10 seconds each, combining them in a little glass pitcher & sipping them out of a 4 oz cup while I’m doing desk work. It is sweet, a little oatmeal-like taste, fruity, & there is a little salinity, & even a little bit of a rocky taste. Very different from the 3 minute steep of 2 days go. Much better! It is not bitter at all, & I made another pitcher full, this time at 20 seconds each. I’ll keep enjoying it until it’s steeped out.
Thanks Alpha! For the sample, & also the suggestions :)
Here’s another tea from the book club trade with Alpha Kitty!
I immediately liked the looks of this tea! It’s dark, rolled up, & visually appealing to me, with a dry smell of sweet apple pipe tobacco with a hint of chocolate! MmmmmMMMMmm!
There were no instructions, so I went with 3 minutes.
The wet leaf does not smell quite so appealing to me. It still smells fruity, but there is a bitterness to the aroma.
The cup of tea smells fruity, malty, & bitter.
Flavorwise, it’s ok. Malty, for sure, roasty, a little bit of a buttery taste, & the aftertaste de apple-like. I drank it straight.
Not bad, but not on my list to purchase. Nice to sample though.
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.
Full review will be up on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 7th of Feb but here are the snippits for now:
Medium Roast Dong Ding from The Mountain Tea Company is Mmmmmmm delightful! Dong Ding Oolong is my all time favorite tea. This tea brings me back to everything I first loved about loose leaf tea.
I really love the lingering floral taste the tea leaves behind. Yes, even beneath all the roasting, the caramel notes, brown sugar notes, sweet barley, and woods, this lovely little spring of floral note comes out just barely gracing your palate. Its lovely!
Another one from Nicole! Thanks so much — it’s very appreciated! This one sounds interesting! It looks really delicious too — very dark leaves for an oolong with hints of red.
First steep —waited around 10 minutes for the water to cool. Then I would infuse for 20 seconds, take the infuser out, sip a bit of it, and then steep for another 20 seconds. I did that until I got to two and a half minutes. Somehow, the flavor stayed consistent. I wasn’t finding the magic in this cup like others have found. There is like a light charcoal flavor and fragrance. I wasn’t finding the apple or anything else fruity that others have mentioned. There really wasn’t any typical oolong flavors here. There is something oaty and vegetal about it. It also dries the mouth a bit. It’s a tough one to describe.
Second steep — I used just boiled water and steeped for one minute. I couldn’t taste test right away — the water was too hot! But it tastes exactly the same as the first cup.
I can’t really tell if this is a tea that you should steep for around 15 seconds or minutes. It seems to taste the same either way. The Mountain site wasn’t too helpful either! I don’t dislike this one, I just think I’m missing something!
Full Review on www.sororiteasisters.com on Feb 3rd but here are my snippits:
Upon sipping Medium Roast Osmanthus Oolong from The Mountain Tea Company I find it to be surprisingly lighter than I had anticipated. Keep in mind however I love oolong, the darker the better, so maybe its just lighter on my palate.
There are woodsy notes, and even some notes that lean toward a vegetal flavor slightly, but I am not picking up on the sweetness of the osmanthus. I do get the floral aspect of the osmanthus for sure which is lovely, fresh, and delightful. I was hoping for the sweetness from it however.
Now I am a huge fan of The Mountain Tea Company, I repeat, huge fan, but this is not my favorite tea from them. That is not to say it is a bad tea whatsoever! It is quite nice especially if you love floral notes in your oolong. Its not as sweet as some of their teas, nor as complex in my opinion, but what it does deliver it delivers well.
This is a well-balanced roasted oolong. Although the roasting comes through in all infusions, there are also distinct floral and honey notes when one allows the liquor to cool before drinking. Quite pleasant.
First infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz water, 90 deg., 1:45 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 2:30 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 4 min.
Fourth infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 10+ min.
This was a tea I had bought during the black Friday sales. I left it vacuum packed in a box under my desk since my usual cupboard didn’t have room for more tea at the moment. I vowed that I wouldn’t open new packages of tea (except samples :p) until I made more room. Well, my dogs had other ideas.
Husband and I went out to dinner with friends and came home to find a pair of furry escapees waiting for us at the door and a pile of vomited tea leaves. They found the tea under my desk and chose this one to rip open and gorge on until sick. Genius. I’ve got to say though, best smelling pile of vomit ever. So floral and sweet smelling. Too gross? haha
Thankfully, pup was fine, and I got to have some new tea. Weee! While this is a very tasty oolong, I wouldn’t say it’s particularly honey tasting. Very creamy and milky. Nectary stone fruits. Fresh and green and summery. Delicious. Subsequent steeps are vegetal like steamed greens. Still smooth and milky. Not much honey. Am I missing something? Maybe I should try again when I haven’t just had banana spice waffles for breakfast.
This one of two teas I ordered from Mountain Tea’s Black Friday sale. I don’t have any plain green teas in my collection – the closest being some Genmaicha – so I decided this would be a good opportunity to try some!
This tea is different from any plain greens I have encountered. Even the look of the dry leaves is unusual – large, dark and curled. It brews up into a pale green-yellow liqueur. The taste is very smooth, vegetal and curiously salty. It reminds me very strongly of the sea.
I think this tea is quite nice, though I find that it’s more enjoyable in small quantities. I say this because whenever I brew an entire pot, I start out enjoying it, but after a while the taste will become a bit overwhelming. Just an observation, but otherwise it’s a nice change from the usual sencha!
Full review will be on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 21st – until then here are my snippits;
Ginseng Oolong from The Mountain Tea Company is just like every tea they sell, perfection! I have to say, I approached this tea with trepidation. I really don’t know why but ginseng is not an herb I favor. I have plenty of experience with herbs and I know the health benefits of ginseng but I simply have never really cared for the flavor of it. Ginseng, to me, has been something you have when you are needing an energy boost, or are falling ill, etc, and I generally prefer to avoid it. Well you should see me blush when I found myself actually enjoying this cup of tea!
Just as their description says, you can still taste the beautiful oolong beneath the ginseng which does not over take the cup with cloying sweetness but is perfectly balanced between sweet, floral, herbaceous, and creamy.
If you are like me and fear the ginseng – don’t be fearful! This tea is something I would drink anytime, anywhere!
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.
WOW! This really is quite different!
Full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 14th but here are the snippits:
I will confess, I am getting a bit of a tea high while sipping on it. Either that or I just need a nap but I am feeling quite laid back and cozy in this sipping moment.
The aroma is a sensory explosion! Sweetly floral, and fruity, peppery notes, and the aroma of a wooded place. The aftertaste is so very familiar – what IS that flavor? Savory, vegetal, something buttered perhaps, GAH what is it? … Squash, Zucchini perhaps. I will come back to that another time it may drive me batty. It is delicious regardless!
Ah the second infusion really brings forth the fruit notes! Now I get that raisin note that another reviewer had mentioned on Steepster!
I am also pretty sure this is the type of oolong served at a couple of the local Asian buffets here local to me. Now granted I do not think they are near this level of quality of an Oriental Beauty Oolong but hey at least its not Liptons!
Oh and if you order from The Mountain Tea Company be sure to look for the button on their item pages that says “Tweet for Discount” if you have a twitter account you can get a code for 5% off your purchase.
Appearance: med size, knobby oolong, bicolor
Aroma when Dry: milky, sweet (eastern)
After water is first poured: vanilla and milk
At end of first steep: deeper milky notes, almost hinting at spice
At end of steep: clear
Preferred time of day: afternoon, evening
At first: creamy, buttery, deserty
As it cools ? Starts to get nutty, little less creamy, less sweet
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, buttery, thick, creamy vanilla-ish notes, slight citrus quality
Second steep 4min
at first: nutty, deep, woody, no milkiness
As it cools? tea sweetens again, milky, nutty layers
third steep (6min)
Milky, sweet still but getting lighter, floral notes surface
Soo many teas I need to try and write notes for! And I think I have some more waiting for me when I get back to school. :P
Dry leaves: The dry leaves have a thick, chocolaty aroma that reminds me of brownie batter. Its mostly chocolaty, but with some nutty/bready smells as well.
Brewing: The wet leaves have a strong, juicy aroma of red apples. Not like “a little bit apple-ish”, like “if I was blindfolded I would think there was a red apple in front of my face” haha This tea brews lighter than I expected, with the red-gold color of oriental beauty.
Tasting: The tea has a heavy charcoal flavor that sort of reminds me of the coffees grown in Sumatra. I wonder if this is coincidence, or a flavor imparted by the land like the Wuyi “rock” flavor? There are notes of honey, walnut, fresh red apple, and I might be crazy, but anchovy? Not in a bad way, just interesting and I don’t have a better word for it. The tea has a soupy quality that reminds me of some Chinese greens like long jing and bi lo chun.
Overall this is a fairly nice tea. Not a favorite, but definitely unique and worth trying, especially with Mountain Tea’s low prices.