Unknown from China

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Recent Tasting Notes

75

a great tea!

when i smell the leaves dry, i smell a roasted smell.

when i smell the leaves wet, they smell roasted with coffee/espresso notes.

when i smell the brewed tea i smell roasted, coffee and espresso notes.

when i taste the brewed tea, i taste roasted, coffee and espresso tastes.

i rate this a 75 because it was quite cheap and is not the best

Flavors: Coffee, Espresso, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 10 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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Woo, 700th note!

I bought this from the Toronto Tea Festival about 5 months ago and haven’t added it to the database until now.

A few nights ago I steeped it in a gaiwan at 80C. Didn’t keep track of the steep length, but the tea was fairly neutral tasting, though as I went on it became more astringent and drying. I’d love to try steeping this with hotter water to see if develops the sweet, syrupy nature that made me buy this tea when I sampled it at the festival.

Nichole

Congrats!

TheKesser

wow!! Congrats on 700!

Indigobloom

700!! congrats! :D

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100

little glass pitcher (grandpa style)

when i smell the leaves dry, they smells toasty and roasted

when i smell the leaves wet, they smell a lot like a Chinese version of gokujo hojicha

when i smell the brewed tea, it does smell like gokujo hojicha but with oolong smell

when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes toasty and roasted and similar to gokujo hojicha

many thanks to toad thomas for this amazing tea :D

Flavors: Roasted, Toasty

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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95

When I did my little blind taste of this tea, I only used around half of the packet and kept the rest to use another time. I started back at work full time, last week, so have been working through teas that work well either prepared Western style or grandpa style.

This one seemed like it might hold up Western style, but my infuser is currently away. I improvised a little and used a tumblr and a glass – I dumped the remaining leaves into the bottom of the pre-warmed tumblr, filled it 2/3 with boiling water and let it infuse. After a minute (maybe two – it wasn’t exactly a scientific affair), I poured the tea out into my glass.

Amazingly, I think I preferred this tea when prepared in this way! It was sweet, creamy (like when made in the Gaiwan), but it also had some cake-like notes. It was really good :O

I got two really delicious infusions like this and a fairly good third one. I think I may stick to making this Western in future – it was really good :O

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95

Backstory:

I’ve been promising a number of blind taste tests to myself, recently, and I finally went ahead and did one today! I had around 3g of this oolong left, and I still have a number of packets of the “gift tea” DHP that I was given in late 2014. So, I thought they’d make an excellent pair for comparison!

I used my two Gaiwans (Yixing Dragon from Butiki (~100ml) and my Jingdezhen one from Verdant(~120ml)). I prepared everything in an identical way (pre-heated cups, fairness pitcher and gaiwans), added the teas blindly (long story and hard to explain, but I managed XD), let them heat in the hot Gaiwan and then rinsed them both for ~3 seconds). I took notes on the fragrances and appearances of the dry leaf, and then went ahead with the tasting!

Review:

So, I did three steeps in all this morning (and I’ll do more later on): 5", 10", and 15".

I was really surprised by just how different this tea was to the one from Verdant :O For one, the dry leaves were much more intensely scented – a really strong, dried-lime like smell, with hints of roasty/blackened food. After the hot gaiwan/rinse treatment, it was much the same – intense, but almost refreshing!

The drink itself, particularly when compared against the astringent, light-bodied Verdant offering, was really smooth and full-bodied. It’s like, for the coffee fans on this site, the difference between Sumatran and Central/Latin American coffees – this one was definitely closer to the Sumatran varieties! It had such a thick, creamy mouthfeel that really coated the inside of your mouth.

The way I ran this “comparison” was to brew one and then, whilst it was cooling in the pitcher, brew the other. Then, whilst the second cooled, drink the first. Then drink the second.

This one turned out to be in my Yixing Gaiwan and was one I tasted second, after the first infusions (I hope this still makes sense). So, after the refreshing, almost tangy Verdant DHP, I took a sip of this and it was so odd – it was like it just wiped out any traces of the other tea! It felt like it immediately coated my palette with it’s thick texture, and almost dull, heavy flavour in comparison. I was so shocked that the difference would be so marked, especially given how zingy and citrussy this one smelled.

Don’t get me wrong, though – this tea was plenty tasty. It carried those blackened, charred, roasted lime flavours that, as the infusions progressed, became slightly sweeter and even creamier. In the final steep, a chocolatey, roasted-nut flavour came through (kinda like dark chocolate coated roasted peanuts).

I’ll carry on drinking both teas later, but I really was amazed by how different these two teas were :O

Flavors: Char, Dark Chocolate, Lime, Roasted

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
DeliriumsFrogs

This note was so much fun to read!

Red Fennekin

Heh, thanks! I hope it wasn’t too confusing XD I can’t wait to do similar tests for the Dung Ding oolong and the various Jade TGYs I have – I think this ‘format’ worked really well for simultaneous comparison :D

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77

Thanks to Sil for this sample! I can’t believe its taken me so long to get through them(samples). Has it really been almost two years??? Yikes.
I think I like this one! It had just the right amount of cherry flavouring and depth. Not especially unique, but I

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84

One of my mystery teas.

I know this is a 2009 sheng fro Phoenix Mountain. I don’t know the name of the factory or company who produced the cake.

Anyways, it’s quite good. Apricoty, of course. Low smoke, but with a pronounced bitter hit on the end. It smooths out over later steeps. I think this one will age very nicely!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
TheTeaFairy

Happy it’s decent, after all your troubles!!!

Sarsonator

Interestingly, it gets sweeter and less bitter as it cools. I normally find the opposite to be true!

boychik

Today I had sheng that acted exactly the same. Bitter in the beginning as cooled was very sweet. I thought I imagined it

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This tea is very frustrating to me.

Oh, it has nothing to do with the tea itself. It’s a very pleasant oolong of some description that I’m quite enjoying, though I need to eat some more before I drink my next infusion because oolong on an empty stomach makes me headachey. A colleague at work gave it to me after we had a conversation and I gave her the rest of my Spiced Orange Tieguanyin (Verdant) because I don’t like it enough to drink the rest of it.

I have a picture of the package I wanted to put into the picture field of this tea. I’m not being given an option. This is frustrating. I’ve tried on 2 different browsers. I cleared my cache and cookies. I can’t drag and drop. There isn’t even an option to put a URL or file in. Nothing to click at all. Very frustrating.

ETA: This is an instagram of the tea wrapper in question. I was trying to use this as the photo but it’ll work here too.

http://instagram.com/p/sBVW_4HTsI/?modal=true

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83

I’m almost sure this is a Da Hong Pao, it is all in Chinese except for “Chinese Refined Tea”

The smell like a Wonderful Oolong, Roasty, Nutty and Sweet smelling with a touch of Earthy scent.

It is surely Oolong very dark with roasty cocoa spicey notes almost bitter. Taste like Da Hong Pao not bad at all, pretty good even. Not sure where to get more, I don’t even know where this one came from.
This one was sent along as a “tea gift” with some piece of teaware that I bought from I have no idea who, I have lot’s of different little unknown tea gifts like this that I just throw them all in a box.

If I had more of this I’d drink it from time to time BUT I’d open it right quick just to smell it even more often lol, It smells really really good.

Flavors: Bitter, Cocoa, Roasted, Toasted

mj

That sounds like a wonderous box of “tea gifts” :) Also, you should try Whispering Pine’s Da Hong Pao!

Thomas Edward(Toad)

I love WP Da Hong Pao too, I’m a big WP fan :)

TheTeaFairy

Oh yes you are ;-)

Cwyn

Nice identifying here, only experience gives this skill!

mj

Haha, me too :)

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93

this seems such an inappropriate way to classify this amazing tea!!! huge thanks to MissB for this. she surprised me a few weeks back with a lovely package and i’ve been saving it for crunch time (ie now).

she included 4 big black pearls simply listed ‘chinese black’……. they were black blooming teas! i have always thought if you see something that is supposed to have colour and brilliance in black or grey, consider yourself warned. the rule absolutely applies to this tea! ….i chucked in 2.

beautiful black prongs, a ball of claws unfolding…. this tea smells beautiful and looks mean. just what i needed to lock in my 35% final mark in geography! lol. i did a quick poll of FB friends, OMGsrsly told me to knock it off and stop pushing the word limit. CelebriTea said something similar. 1778 when your cap is 1500 isn’t too bad…. right? (what kind of a picklehead gives that weighty a project such a low cap anyway?!!!)

the prof did not like me. this they knew (as did i), however he was looking very forward to the interview i’d managed to get…. and i’d managed to build some models i was fairly certain would impress.

end of the day? 90% …. apparently it would have been higher but i bungled something in my citations. sigh. IN ANY CASE i drank this pokey black tea all day! it was awesome! MissB, if you tell me where to get it i’ll grab more in a heartbeat…. i stopped at 7 steeps? and the flavour was still solid.

smooth black, cocoa notes, light on the malt. light elements of underlying vanilla. no fruit tones, no vegetal tones….. somber, serious. reminds me of verdant’s zhu zhong and laoshan blacks combined but with an almost sparkling element.

i will always affiliate this tea with that win.

one more essay. 2 days…… what tea shall i choose?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9F6zGP3kkc

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML
OMGsrsly

:) 90% isn’t too shabby…

JustJames

nope! not when it holds up 35% of your mark. although he was a bit snippy saying i’d non-specifically botched something in my citations (my constant bane) and had i not my mark would have been higher.

i am happy with 90. he also said it was very interesting. originally i had to convince him to even let me choose this as a subject. …… noticing a theme? i don’t seem to like easy roads. sigh.

OMGsrsly

Do you use citation software? I use Zotero, which is FREE. :) Saved my butt on a lot of occasions. Much better than trying to do everything by hand.

JustJames

yeah! i do! i use bibme. honestly- i’ve washed my hands of it. i am out with an overall A, keeps me happily in the running for ‘my’ scholarship. i’ve let it go. 90% is nothing to cry over. especially seeing as i haven’t been able to read much.

OMGsrsly

:) Do you have Kurzweil? Highly recommended. The main problem my friend has is having the resource centre scan everything in a timely manner. But it works great for journal articles.

JustJames

i am just experimenting with tech. i’ve been approved already…. i’ve tried read/write gold. i have to start into kurzweil. i have to evaluate and pick one. R/W gold is pasky for reading my e-texts. =0(

gmathis

Never tried a black blooming tea…for that matter, I’ve never seen one on any vendor sites. Cool!

JustJames

me neither! MissB has a knack for finding stuff ;0).

big pearls too— 3/4 inch? beautiful. awesomely lethal looking!

yyz

I’ve seen some on some aliexpress sites. Probably not this tea though as the most recent one were like traditional blooming teas with flowers and stuff in them. Yay!

JustJames

=0)))

everytime i knock down a class and finish with an A i feel like i won. i have no clue if i’ll get the scholarship- but i do not want to excluded from getting it because my grades dropped.

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drank Random Black by Unknown from China
2970 tasting notes

Er… Is this listed under another name? I’m sure one of you has got to have tried it…

Anways, thanks to Sil for this one. The bag is labelled “random black”, but the moment water hit the leaves, I remembered that “random black” was mislabeled and it is actually a loose leaf pu’erh. The aroma was… unmistakeable… And by that I mean kinda fishy. And the flavour… is a little weird. Not fishy, but it tastes kind of old. Again, seems weird for a strongly-flavoured tea, to me. Starting to wonder if some weird old-smelling thing did get into that box of mine… I’ll have to try something that’s a bit more delicately flavoured to see. Boo! This hasn’t happened to me before :(

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49

Summary: Award winning Chinese green tea from Jiang Xi region.

Leaves: Dry – very tightly rolled leaves and tips with soft white down. Dark green and white, almost grey, colour to the mix. Wet – Small full leaves, and small pieces of leaves. Tips also small but full.

Liquor Body: Dark yellow – almost a very light brown hue.

Aroma: Dry leaves – sweet, more floral than vegetal. Maybe a first flush is or this sweetness from the tips?

Flavour & Sensation: May have steeped for too long – quick bitter/tannin rush followed by a rather nice floral note than melts away sadly into a bitter after taste. Taste tends to stay in the top of the mouth – particularly back of the tongue and behind upper lips.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
yyz

You probably brewed it at too high a temperature and for too long. I generally brew my greens at around 80-85°C and if they are more delicate early spring types in the 70 ’s. I usually brew it for 45s to a minute though you could brew it for longer if you brew it Western style. Sometimes bitterness can be due to overleafing as well.

Jordan Kerr

Thanks yyz! I’ll re-brew and update :)

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68
drank Strawberry Cream by Unknown from China
6357 tasting notes

FInally getting around to try this one from when i was in china. This isn’t a bad rooibos, though the strawberry is slightly artificial tasting. It’s not as creamy as i’d love it to be, but still, this is leaning towards being similar to walter bishop but with rooibos. Too bad this wasn’t honeybush!

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78

Thank you Sil for this sample! Twas quite the yummy cuppa. I was pleasantly surprised.
Mind you, I had it a few days ago during one of the Steepster outages, thus am logging it now… so all I can recall is that it was sweet, with a hint of smoke and a whole lotta artichoke or the “green” part of avocado (ie not the creamy taste)
Either way, it was delish :)

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Sil, is this the “smokey black tea from China?”
Last time I logged it under ‘Random Steepings’, LOL.
Oh well, no matter, it’s a sipdown!
I didn’t find it really to be THAT smokey, but it was tasty, with an interesting menthol taste & tip of tongue sensation during the last couple of sips!
Thanks Sil!

Sil

haha there’s random black; golden tip 1; golden tip 2 and i think smokey black… along with the fuzzt green; dragonwell; wild cherry and uh one other. lol not that it matters!

Terri HarpLady

Right, it’s gone now.
Just for the record, I went a little nutso last night on the tea ordering…lol. Got some stuff to split with you, of course, & a few other things I wanted, which you’ll get samples of. It’s gonna be another awesome swap!

Sil

Lol here we go again…..

Terri HarpLady

Might as well quit counting our teas ;)

Sil

No! I will continue to fight the good fight lol

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drank Wild Cherry by Unknown from China
554 tasting notes

1 tbsp used for 248 ml

Too much astringency. Dark cherry flavour that seems authentic.

Thanks Sil for sharing this with me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Thanks to Sil for this sample!! It’s a backlog from ages ago that I completely forgot to log. Oops!
Anyhow, not bad for a random rooibos. The strawberry is very faint and slightly artificial, but pleasant. I was super sleepy so can’t recall more than that. I’ll have to rate it next time.
Thanks to Sil for the sample!! All the way from China :D

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drank Golden Tip by Unknown from China
6357 tasting notes

Apparently i haven’t logged this the few times that i’ve had it but yay for sipdowns!I enjoyed this one and have been drinking it up while watching the weakest link doctor who special (uk) :)

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drank Fuzzy Green by Unknown from China
6357 tasting notes

Had this one this afternoon to see if a green tea would help. I also figure i need to make it through some of my randoms from china, especially the green ones in relatively short order. I wish i had ANY sense of what this one was because it’s a lovely sweet cup of sunshine.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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73

Sooooo… my baggie reads “Other Random Black Golden Tip” – is it this one, or the other one?! Ahhhhhhh :P I’ll have to find the first one and see if there’s any visual difference or anything, otherwise I may never know…. (Sil, Raritea – any clarification on this? I know you guys packed it up :D).

Anyhow, my house is shockingly cool enough for me to want warm tea! This coming on a day where we hit 32C, and 42C with the humidex. Good work, A/C! (Gonna be expensive though, eeps!) So I grabbed a couple random-ish teas from one of the various billion boxes upstairs to make a bit more headway on smaller samples.

This tea, although not bad, isn’t really my thing. I think I brewed it a bit weak (maybe 2 min wasn’t enough), though that’s not really an issue – it’s just more hay-y than chocolatey, and I much prefer a good dose of chocolate. That said, there’s no astringency, and it’s warm and malty… certainly a good tea for those with a greater acceptance of black teas than me!

Thanks for sharing some of it with me, Sil!

ETA: Re-steep was unremarkable.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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83

sipdown on this one today as well! I’m very nearly out of the teas i brought back from china – well the ones that weren’t packaged in tins or individual servings. While it makes me sad, i’m also really glad that i’ve been able to get through them and enjoy them while i’ve had them…as well as share with others!

Terri HarpLady

I enjoyed the ones you sent me! :)

Sil

we’re tea sisters :)

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83

had this today too. bed time now. overtired and overwhelmed. tomorrow will be a better day.

Terri HarpLady

sleep well :)

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83

I guess i forgot to log this the first time i had it. This is one of the teas i brought with me back from china. What is most surprising is how much raritea enjoyed it since she’s usually on the other end of YAY! in terms of types of teas we like :)

This tea though? I wish i knew what it was since it’s smooth, chocolatey and sweet with no additives. It’s a very very nice black tea, on the less ROBUST IN YOUR FACE variety, but a very pleasant cup.

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