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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.
I made the fourth steep as soon as I got up this morning. There is still so much flavor, and I think I may like this cup best! I don’t know if it is because I am having it with my English muffin or some other reason, but this is really hitting the spot.
This fourth cup is tasting more like a white tea, but after the sip I am getting that little tingle of sheng.
This is quite a tea you have discovered, K S – thank you for sharing!
At last, the moment I have been waiting for! I wanted to taste this one when I could concentrate on it, treat it with careful attention, and squeeze every last possible steep out of it. This is a gift from K S. Thank you!
The leaves seemed to have a sweet, fruity smell. Either that is the melon K S was referring to, or the bag picked up a little of the scent of the Superfruit Sencha. If the latter is the case, I am pleased to say that I believe the taste is unadulterated. As I pour the hot water over the leaves, there is foam, like suds, but I didn’t use soap on this pot and as usual I rinsed it several times before using it tonight. Each steep got a new little froth at the top of the pot. Odd thing to happen, but this doesn’t taste soapy at all, so I have no idea what it is doing.
I have only had one or two shengs. This one is smoother than Ziyun Puerh Maocha, but has that same top note of brash youth one finds in shengs. It is in the aroma only, not in the taste. It really looks and almost smells like a sturdy white tea, but the sheng flavor is there for certain. My first impression was that this isn’t quite like anything I have tried before. As I tried to come up with descriptors, broth came to mind. I could really see using this a soup base and adding some spring onions and chives and soft wonton wrappers and sweet crunchy vegetables. Yes, it would make a wonderful spring soup base!
There is a strong grain flavor, too. I think it is oats that I taste most here. I am not getting cucumber right now. We’ll see if that comes up in later steeps!
Steep two: this is heartier, and I taste the maltiness more. The tea seems dark (in character, weightiness) and oaty as I sip. Now in the aroma, if I Inhale really deeply, there is a fruitiness. That must be the cucumber. They always seem so fresh and crisp and that is mixed with the salty oat flavor.
Steep three: The color remains strong, this tastes salty! Lovely oats and broth, warm white bud or silver needle flavor, mixed with sheng.
Thank you, K S, for a really neat tea experience and for the opportunity to taste such an unusual tea! When I stop sloshing, I may go for another steep!
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.
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.
Thank you Vicony Teas for the free sample!
The leaves were long, dark green, and smelled toasty; there were a bit of stems in the mix as well, though not too much. The scent was more of a black tea than an Oolong. The brewed leaves smelled chocolaty, and a bit acidic. I noticed a minute floral quality to the leaves in my last sniff.
I got an immediate scent of buttery coconut from the 20 second steeping. The color was amber, and looked very nice. The flavor was very toasty as well, and had some muscatel notes with a bit of sweetness.
The second cup was more floral than the first, but was still very toasty, and something new showed up: earthiness. This cup was a bit earthy. However, the coconut also decided to show in this brew.
This is the first sample that Vicony Teas supplied for me (Thank you Vicony Teas!).
It in’t sold on their website, so I’m glad the company let me try it. They also supplied a number of other oolongs for me.
The leaves of this tea were large and dark black to dark brown. They smelled of caramel and were toasty and floral. In my hand, the dried leaves felt as if they were wood charcoals; they were very light for their size. There was a slight hint of fruit in the handful of tea leaves.
When brewed, the leaves took on a peachy aroma. Some of the leaves revealed themselves to be a very dark green rather than black. After the second steeping, the toastiness had escaped the leaves, leaving behind a very fruity scent.
I brewed the tea for 20 seconds with splendid results. The color was yellow-green and almost peachy in complexion. Toasty and sweet- those are the first two things that came to my mind when I took the first sip. The Oolong was surprisingly robust with flavor even with the small steep time. Toasty, sweet, and a bit peachy.
The floral and fruit notes were enhanced this time. There wasn’t much toastiness in this brew. The tea finished with the slight taste of Jasmine, or another flower. However, the last sip is the only time I recognized the specific floral quality. Though not as toasty as the first, this was just as robust.
This steeping smelled of roses. Very floral and a tiny bit of nuttiness.
This brewing was even more floral than the third. However, the robustness of the first three brews had left a bit. The sips ended with a nice peachy finish.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to try this tea. It could have easily withstood further steepings. Thanks Vicony Teas!
I just received this tea today. I ordered 3 cakes (1 to try and two to age). They also sent samples along with this for me to try. This is the first Moonlight White tea I’ve tried.
The tea cake was very beautiful. There were nice browns, black-greens, whites and yellows. The dry leaves had a very faint scent that I couldn’t fully discern. The wet leaves, however, smelled very fruity, sweet, and floral. There was a slight hint of banana among the floral aroma. The leaves didn’t change color much in the short brew time.
The brewed tea was very light in color; clear golden-yellow. The scent was also light, and smelled floral, sweet, and a tiny bit earthy. The taste was much the same as the scent, with a very nectar-like aftertaste. What a silky-smooth tea!
This was more sweet and fruity than the first steeping. It was absolutely delicious. The fruit was more of a peach or plum now.
I really liked this tea. I hope the other two will age well. It had great character. Hopefully soon I’ll get better, as this cold is lasting a while.
This is the last sample supplied to me from my first order with Vicony Teas. Thank you Mr. Richard Zhang for the free sample! This tea is not a smoked Lapsang Souchong, but still carries a small smoky hint in the leaves.
The golden color of these leaves told me that it was made of buds. The dried leaves themselves smelled floral. When I first saw these leaves, my first thought was that they were thinner than Angel Hair Pasta! The brewed leaves smelled chocolaty, as did the other Lapsang I tried from this company.
The chocolate aroma of this tea was more pronounced than that of the previous one I tried. It also had a great floral aroma. The color of the brew was a dark amber. What a wonderful tea!
The taste was also sweet, and had a slight smell of tree bark. I really liked this tea.
Overall, I’m very happy with the teas supplied by Vicony Teas Company. I will be ordering from them in the future.
Thank you, Mr. Richard Zhang, at Vicony Teas for this free sample! I’ve only one more free sample to go.
Note: I edited this post due to a slight error with brewing instructions, on the Vicony Teas website. Thankfully, they corrected it.
The dry leaves are a dark black. One of them had a golden hue to it, however. They smelled malty and sweet. The brewed leaves were very leathery in consistency. Some were a dark brown, others as black as before. They smelled muscatel, and almost acidic (in a pleasant way). They were very aromatic, and had a different appearance than other black teas (the length in particular.
The color of the brew was a hue of copper-brown. It smelled smooth, light, and chocolaty. It tasted slightly malty, woody, and was very smooth. In fact, it was silky smooth- a really nice feature of this tea. There was a slight sweet after taste, and a floral finish with each sip.
The second steeping had a much more light, and brassy-brown color. This cup smelled very floral- much more than the first. A honey-like sweet aftertaste followed my first three sips. After that, the malt made a return. I liked the second steeping better than the first. It enhanced the more subtle flavors.
I am very pleased to have gotten to try this tea (thankfully it tasted better when steeped longer than the original 20 seconds). This is also my first Lapsang Souchong that has not been smoked. A pleasant experience overall.
This is the first of three free samples supplied by the Vicony Teas Company. Thank you Mr. Richard Zhang for the sample!
Only the top two or three leaves were used for production. The leaves looked very much like a Dragonwell tea. There was a nice floral scent emanating from them. There were no lone stems, and the leaves were medium-sized. It smelled very fresh. The brewed leaves smelled very toasty and vegetal.
The very first smell I got was of peanuts- Honey roasted peanuts. Then, I noticed a slightly toasty smell, similar to Genmai Cha. I was expecting the leaves to fall to the bottom of the glass, like Dragonwell, but this did not happen. As the tea cooled for 20 seconds, I began to smell a honey-butter aroma, without any grassy or vegetal hints at all. The brew was a light yellow complexion. It did not lose the nutty aromas. The taste was also slightly toasty, but not as nutty as I had expected. I did notice a very tiny hint of buttery-goodness towards the end of the sip.
This tea was pretty good. I would recommend this tea for late morning to evening.
This is the very top quality of Taiping Hou Kui. It is not sold on Vicony Tea Company’s website, and had to be specially ordered. I understand that only 10kg of this tea was produced for this company. Taiping Hou Kui is one of my favorite teas, so it will be nice to try some in the top quality.
These leaves were 100% hand-plucked, and hand made. They are more dark green than the ‘Superfine Hou Kui Tea’, and have more prominent grate marks on one side. The other side does not have as much grate marks, but shows the leaf’s veins near the stem. The leaves are very thin, but not as flat and brittle as the ‘Superfine Hou Kui Tea’, which was almost transparent. There were slight variations in height, and all of the tea consisted of the top two leaves of the plant. The dried leaves smelled very floral, and very sweet. It reminded me of honey suckle. This was much different than any other Taiping Hou Kui I have tried before; it was a stronger floral smell. The brewed leaves were very elastic, and smelled vegetal, but floral as well. The stems were more red, and had a reddish-green hue to them.
The brewed tea was an extremely clear, medium-yellow color. The brew smelled vegetal, and was actually hard for me to detect. The initial taste was sweet, but turned into a floral, honey suckle taste. Nectar; there was a light vegetal flavor, overcome by nectar. This tea is very sweet, and has a very floral aftertaste. It was a very nice tea.
This steeping yielded a very floral cup. I actually found this steeping to be more sweet! This one retains all of the characteristics of the first one, but more pronounced. Very good.
I could tell that much care had gone into making this tea. It was not pressed by machines, as other Hou Kui teas are. I love the look of the leaves when they brew in a tall glass, and love the delicate flavor. I can see why this is classified as a rare, and ‘’Luxury” tea. I’ll be ordering my Nie Jian Hou Kui from this company again.
This is the first of 2 teas I bought, and 3 samples I received from Vicony Teas Company. This grade is the second highest for Taiping Hou Kui (Bu Jian), however I also bought the highest grade of Taiping Hou Kui (Nie Jian) which has to be special ordered. When ordering, I was very impressed with the company’s assistance, and customer support. They had some of the best customer-company communication I have ever had while buying a tea.
These leaves were very long, and paper-thin. They had a nice, light green color, as well as darker green parts. They were very delicate, and the slightest movement would crack the sweet-smelling leaves. Some leaves were as long as my forefinger, while others only as long as my pinky finger. There were not any pronounced grate marks on this Hou Kui, but I assume they will be on the Highest grade. After brewing, the leaves they smelled very vegetal. They were very elastic, but still delicate. They danced around the inside of the tall glass I brewed the tea. Only the top two leaves had been chosen for this tea. Very good quality leaves.
The color of the brew was a very clear yellow-green. It was not in the least bit cloudy, despite me having brewed the leaves in the tall glass without a filter before removal. The brewed tea did not smell floral, unlike what I had expected. Instead, it smelled more sweet, like a sugarcane. As for the flavor: it was very light. The flavor was lightly sweet, and also floral (which was a surprise, because the scent was not floral at all). It had a very faintly vegetal finish.
It had a sweet and floral aftertaste, and honey notes could be picked up in the back of my throat while sipping. This is a very nice tea to introduce me to Vicony Teas.
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.
Pale yellow brew. This is a gentle quiet tea. As the cup cools it developed a buttery sweetness. A light bitterness underneath the flavor to cleanse the palate. The second cup was the most amazing. Copying from my blog – The smell of the wet leaf in the second cup was more like the fresh air at the lake. Nice and refreshing. The second cup is even lighter in flavor. This is new. I am getting a sticky lip feel at the front of the sip with this green tea. Normally, I associate that trait with sheng puerh. Interesting.
Ok, this is really messing with my head and fascinating me at the same time. Now that the second cup is cooling it tastes and feels like I am drinking a warm cup of milk. This isn’t a milky oolong. How is it doing that? The sip starts a bit sheng like, then to lightly bitter green, and on to milk late in the sip. A beautifully complex cup.
Vicony will send out samples to reviewers for those interested. http://www.viconyteas.com/
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.