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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you Vicony Teas for this free sample.
The dried leaves were a mixture of lime-green and darker green hues, and smelled sweetly-toasty. Most of them were whole, but some were broken, appearing to be chopped. After brewing, the leaves smelled more grassy and retained their toasty aroma.
The brewed tea had a light yellow color, and also smelled sweetly-toasty; the flavor was very similar, with sweet, nutty, and toasty notes. The flavors were more pronounced than some other Longjing teas I’ve had in the past, and each sip was very smooth. The second brew was a bit lighter and floral, however the toasty notes were still present. This brew tasted a bit more grassy than the first, which mixed well with the nuttier tones. The third brew smelled more floral than the other brews, but retained the same flavor as the second. I did notice that the tea’s color changed from a light yellow to a more green color. The fourth steeping had no toasty qualities in it whatsoever. However, the brew was rather floral, nutty, and vegetal; I didn’t expect such a drastic change in character in the fourth brew.
This Longjing tea was different in character than some others I’ve had in the past, yet it still held the characteristics more typical of Longjing. Each sip was very crisp, and I’m thankful to have tried it.
Vicony Teas Company sent this to me as a free sample with my order. Based on their website, this is one of the top qualities in production. The tea is named “Pre-Ming” because it was picked before the Chinese “Qingming Festival,” marking its quality.
The dried leaves were comprised of a one bud to one leaf ratio. From a distance the leaves looked like jade: light and dark greens mixing with the pale leaf buds. The brewed leaves were more beautiful when brewed, and smelled vegetal, floral, with a tiny hint of nutty-smokiness.
The brewed tea was pale-green, and had very little color at all- the liquor was very light and clear. The flavor was light, floral, sweet, and a bit nutty in the finish. Each sip was silky smooth and crisp. The second brew was more sweet and floral than the first. Every sip was like drinking nectar. The third brew tasted much the same as the second, and didn’t lose any flavor. The fourth steeping brought out some vegetal notes, but retained the floral-sweetness of the other brews.
This tea was very good and refreshing. Not all “high quality” teas taste good, due to processing, storage, or other factors- this tea, however was wonderful. It would be interesting to taste other grades of Huangshan Maofeng tea to see the differences in flavor and appearance. I’m glad Vicony Teas sent me the free sample, and had a great time tasting it.
Using up the last of this wonder white peony today. Not enough leaf for two and a little much for one. In it goes. The room is filled with a fresh grassy hay scent. I over steeped on purpose to amp up the flavor as I have been sipping brisk teas all morning. This is hanging right in there. Not so much melon/cucumber steeped long as it is earthy hay. A great finish to a great tea.
I stayed away from the spice drop candies today to avoid pickle tea :)
So I’m sitting here typing notes to put in packages I will be sending out in a day or two (if I promised you one – its coming soon) and waiting for this cup to cool enough to sip. Forgetting what I’m doing with the tea while thinking on the notes, I reach over and pop a couple spice drop candies in my mouth. Tasting tip: don’t eat spice drops when drinking white tea. Good grief. I really need to move the candy dish out of temptations way.
Normally a good white tea will have fresh hay, cucumber, and melon notes. Looking at my previous notes on this one it was a fine example. It is still scented of hay but the taste is decidedly pickle. Not that I mind pickles but it is not what I was going for this morning. Amateur. Oh well, in the time it took me to complain my taster has mostly calmed down and this is once again a lovely tea with earthy notes. I will continue to sip it today and then I have enough for one more session another day.
FYI: I have read up on white teas and it seems a good one if well stored will remain tasty for 6 years or more. Knowing you don’t have to drink it right away makes an expensive tea seem a little more worth it.
Another oldie in my collection becomes but a pleasant memory. This is grown and produced in Guadun, Tongmu Guan home of LS teas. However this one is not smoky and tastewise is midpoint between Nature’s Tea Leaf Fujian Congou black tea and Teavivre’s Yun Nan Dian Hong black tea. An exceptionally good cup for those who enjoy the type.
I used the last of the leaf – which was more than I thought – and increased the steep time around 3 minutes. Dang this is good. I don’t get any long jing inferences. It is somewhat creamy. Strongly but wonderfully bitter with a dandelion greens aftertaste. Very, very, nice. Wish I had tried this earlier.
I have had this over a year. It has been stored in zip lock bag inside a zip lock pouch. The age doesn’t seem to have had any adverse affect. I remember being on the fence about this one when I first tried it. I later had Teavivre’s version which I liked better at the time. Today though I am finding this interesting. The color is a very pale green/yellow tint. At first it just tastes sweet, then it switches to a light green vegetal flavor. Late in the sip it almost becomes bitter but suddenly transforms into a cross between dandelion and pine. I am noticing a wonderful cooling sensation all the way down into my lungs. Awesome. This is the last of this sample but it should re-steep a couple more times. I am looking forward to each mug. It is interesting how tastes can shift a little after a year. Leaving the rating from a year ago.
TastyBrews random steepings note inspired me to dig out this one. It is said to be of the lapsang souchong family. Today I have a little more experience than a year ago when I first got this. To me this is very similar to Fujian Congou. It is not a heavily smoky tea, in fact the smoke is more background and hard to detect. This is cocoa, malt, and grain. This is the last of the pouch but it will steep the rest of the day. Great start on the day. Thanks Tastybrew for the inspiration.
I have several teas that really need a sipdown due to age. This is not one of them. It is supposed to get better with age. I just couldn’t help myself and now it is gone. A wonderful fermented white tea. Retains enough of its white tea traits to be recognizable and supplements it with fresh raw puerh like earthiness. This is from Yunnan but I don’t know if it is truly a puerh but somehow calling it dark tea doesn’t seem correct either. How about I just say it was really good. Definitely worth trying if you can find it.
I enjoyed the white tea I had yesterday so much I almost had it again, but I have been wanting a puerh lately. This tea settles both the cravings. This white bud leaf is processed like a raw puerh. It tastes mostly like a silver needle but slightly heartier, with some maltiness and a very mild sheng earthy quality. There is zero bitterness. This is very very good.
I went to bed at 11. I have been awake since 2:30. At 5:30 I gave up trying and got up – sort of. While staring at the ceiling I decided I would start with a Vicony tea. Grabbed this one. Didn’t think about what I was doing and steeped it like 5 minutes. Uhmmm last time I used a 10 second steep. So it is a wee bit strong. Besides being sort of coffee like this is still intensely good. It is a LS but only hints of smoke. Mostly it is everything I love about Chinese black teas – chocolate, honey, malt, sweet potato. This is just the whole package. Last time I had this I steeped it 4 times. Given the length of the first steep today, maybe not as many. A truly excellent tea.
Rummaging through my box of samples and found this one. Looks like I last logged this 9 months ago. The leaf is long for black tea and dark. The dry aroma is of grain. The brew scent is light smoke and malt. It is fairly sweet and lightly smoked. It reminded me of Bailin Gongfu when I last had it. Today I would say it doesn’t have the chocolate notes. What ever. This is a really nicely smooth satisfying cup. Two thumbs up.
Thank you Vicony Teas for the free sample!
The dried leaves were dark black with some bits of gold showing on some of the tips. They were very thin and smaller than other black teas. Their scent was of malt and perhaps like cinnamon. The brewed leaves smelled floral, malty, chocolaty, and savory.
The brewed tea was amber brown. It tasted floral and malty with a chocolate finish. The flavor was very light and delicate. Each sip had a very long lasting aftertaste.
This brew brought on notes of grapes and wine. This steeping was also floral and fruity.
What a delicate Hong Cha. This tea would go great at any time of day.
Thank you Vicony Teas for this free sample!
The sample was comprised completely of tea buds attached to another leaf or two. The flat, green leaves were very fragrant and delicate. The brewed leaves smelled sweet, vegetal, and fruity. Their color didn’t change much even after the second brewing.
The leaves created a very light, pale yellow brew. It tasted sweet, delicate, and perhaps a bit nutty in the finish. The first brew beat other dragon well teas I’ve tried by far.
The second brew was sweet as well. The nutty finish transformed into a more fruity one. I noticed a tiny vegetal flavor underneath the more floral notes.
The flavor had not changed much since the second steeping. In fact, the only difference was that it was slightly mellower.
This was a really good Longjing tea. I haven’t had a great one in a while.
Thank you Vicony Teas for this free sample!
I’ve heard quite interesting descriptions of Tunlu tea; some prefer it as an “every-day tea” while others choose not to drink it as much. I suppose I’ll see which party I belong to.
The yellow-green leaves were rolled into small, floral gems. The scent was a bit strong for a green tea, which hinted at its flavor. The brewed leaves smelled very sweet and astringently floral.
The tea’s color was light yellow. The flavor was milder than I suspected, but the aftertaste lasted a while. Upon my first sip, I noticed the great floral qualities of this tea. My last sip ended with a pineapple-like finish that I hadn’t noticed in the previous sips.
The second brew was sweet, fruity, and astringent. It already seemed like a good tea to relax with.
The third steeping was quite delicious. Fruity, sweet, and floral. The aftertaste was still quite astringent.
If I had enough of this tea, I suppose I would drink it as an “every-day tea” in the evenings. It’s quite enjoyable.
This is the third tea cake I ordered from Vicony Teas. The others tasted pretty good so far; I’m hoping this one will too.
The leaves of this tea were loosely compacted in the usual Bing shape. These were some of the whitest leaves I’ve ever seen from a White Peony. Almost every leaf was covered with downy, white fur. Even the leaves of a richer green color had a whitish hue. The initial scent was rather sweet and reminded me of dried roses. The Brewed tea leaves turned slightly darker, were more green, and smelled lightly floral. I could already discern what the liquor would taste like.
The leaves produced a light yellow liquor. It’s scent was very light, as was the flavor. Though light, it sure was delicious. It was sweet, floral, and fruity. It was like a hummingbird drinking nectar. The first brew was excellent.
The second steeping reminded me of a Ti Kwan Yin Oolong. It was smooth, quite floral, and sweet.
This brewing was even better than the first two. All the qualities of the second steeping were present, but were more pronounced. Each sip finished with a melon aftertaste that evolved into a citrus one quickly before disappearing.
This steeping was more mellow than the third. However, it was still just as good. The delicate tastes mingled together in this cup. It could easily last 2 or 3 more steepings with longer steep times.
This was a wonderful tea. I’m very glad I bought this, and can’t wait to try the samples they sent me.
This is the second white tea cake I’ve tried from Vicony Teas Company. I ordered this along with another tea.
The leaves in this cake were quite loosely compacted, and showed a variety of colors. I was able to pull apart most of the leaves whole; the majority were brown, others white or melon green. There were a few buds mixed in with the generally larger leaves. They were quite fragrant as well. The scent reminded me of a mildly floral Oolong. The brewed leaves were floral as well, and some expanded to be even larger than I had thought. All leaves retained the same color after brewing.
The tea yielded a golden-yellow liquor which smelled floral, sweet, and fruity. It tasted much more like an Oolong than a white tea, bringing melon qualities with every sip. The flavor was also fuller than most other white teas I’ve had.
The second steeping was as sweet as the first, and the melon qualities were more pronounced. It didn’t taste as floral as it smelled, but it was still quite delicious.
The third brew was light and floral. The melon notes were only present with each finishing sip. The aftertaste was sweet.
It will be interesting to see how this tea will change in flavor over time.
I put all of my Vicony samples in one big resealable pouch for storage. I think it had unintended but pleasant results. This starts light green then mid sip I am getting smoke. I never noted smoke before so I’m pretty sure this is cross contamination but it is exactly what this tea needed! late sip it turns creamy. The aftertaste is bitter but not offensive.
I had a rough day today so this was a pleasant distraction.
Back in my heavy tea bag use days, I drank mostly flavored Ceylon or Assam blends. I never really cared much for straight black tea. I still find most breakfast teas to be beige. They have bite. They leave you with bad breath. I usually don’t remember what they taste like. I did really like the Paisley breakfast tea – it was a good different.
I find I really like Chinese black teas. I generally use the same descriptors – cocoa or chocolate, malt, grain, maybe a little smoke. Yet the combinations are different so they all taste different.
This is a lapsang souchong tea. Before I tried it the first time I thought LS always meant BBQ like highly smoked leaf. Nope. This one is not smoky. The wet leaf smells like cocoa toast. The sip is one of the richest malt, grain combination I have tried. It feels thick. No bitterness. No astringency. Kind of like golden monkey but darker. This is what breakfast teas should taste like. The aftertaste is nice too :)
Thank you Vicony Teas for the free sample!
This is a very peculiar Oolong. It’s aged from 1993, and was refired about a year ago.
The leaves of this Wuyi Yancha smelled substantially different than that of the others Vicony Teas sent me. I detected a faint smell of licorice root with a tiny bit of smokey fruitiness. It was very intriguing. The leaves were a mixture of brown and black. The brewed leaves smelled a bit earthy when I was pouring the tea, however they lost this quality when they were fully separated from the water. They began to smell like muscatel and a bit leathery.
The liquor was a yellowish-brown. The scent was unexpected for an Oolong. It smelled a bit earthy, and toasty, and tasted similar. There was one flavor which stood out: smokey chocolate. The chocolate and smokiness combined reminded me of a Pu-erh. This brew had very interesting qualities I’ve never tasted before in an Oolong.
This cup was a very nice red-copper color. The first sip brought on a sweet nuttiness. The smokiness carried itself on to this brew.
Great floral notes appeared for this cup. Toasty, sweet, a bit earthy, and floral.
I’ve never tasted an Oolong like this before. I’m glad to have tried it, especially since the company ran out of stock.
Thank you Vicony Teas for this free sample!
I decided to try this tea while listening to D. Scarlatti sonatas. Tea always makes listening to music more enjoyable for me.
There were no stems, only long, dark leaves. They smelled of sweet fruit. Like the other Wuyi Yancha teas I’ve tried, the leaves themselves remind me of little charcoals. The brewed leaves smelled of cherries and wine, and were a bit toasty.
20 second steep times for this tea.
The brewed tea was a light brown, and smelled very buttery with a hint of toastiness. My first sip was smokey, buttery, and sweet. Very nice.
This cup was very floral, and much sweeter than the first. Some smokiness showed through, however it was not as noticeable as the first.
This was nice, silky, buttery, and floral. The characteristic smokey flavor from the other brews was still present.
I really liked this tea, and am happy to have tried it- especially with great music.