Popular Teas from What-ChaSee All 435 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Currently drinking this one and talking to people on Slack;
I’m looking for new people to follow here on Steepster right now ‘cause I feel like my dash has slowed down a lot since many of the people I follow have become inactive in the last year. So, if anyone can think of something who posts relatively regularly who’s reviews you enjoy seeing on your own dash let me know ‘cause I’d love to follow some new people!
I’m enjoying this one so far – I kind expected it to be a little more full bodied but the medium bodied notes that I am getting are really pleasant/smooth. I actually need to hurry my ass up and finish it off ‘cause it’s starting to get cold now since I’ve been a little distracted with talking to everyone on top of texting my
Most prominent note here is malt which doesn’t surprise me ‘cause I find that a lot of Indian teas really have that strong malty feel and Nepal’s terroir is so similar to India’s that there’s certainly quite a bit of flavour overlap from similarly styled teas. In addition to that I’m getting some nice freshly baked bread notes and a sweeter mid sip/body flavour. I think this is the element of the tea that’s supposed to be fruitier but I’m honestly struggling a little to identify any specific fruit notes rather than just that bright, natural “fructose” type sweetness. The finish has a light sort of “cocoa” taste to it; like a light dusting on the tip of my tongue. Definitely no real presence in the aftertaste, which is disappointing: I like that “imprint” of flavour that creeps on long after you’ve finished the sip. It draws out the mug more because you get to savor the sips longer before taking another…
A little ironic because I’m finding this tea doesn’t really have that aftertaste/“shadow” following the sip. Good song though; it’s been a Wombats day for me. I think I’ve listened to my three favourite songs by them like a half dozen times a piece so far today?
“Kiss me with your fist it’s all right
Wrap your hands around my throat I won’t mind”
It’s almost like those lyrics are describing what I’m WANTING from this tea but not quite getting…
Curse me. I forgot to save the dang note before shutting down the computer earlier. ::sighs::
Well, I remember the important details, such as the fact that this was a rich and deep tea that had flavors I’d like to further explore. A nice dark liquor with a great accompanying scent. I am not really familiar with brandy, but definitely got an “alcohol” burn in the back of my throat during some steeps. Each steep tasted of spices to me, a bit earthy in a woody kind of way. There was even one steep that left a very green tea-like aftertaste that lingered for quite a well, and it did give way to some sweetness as I continued steeping.
I oversteeped by a looooooot twice, and every cup I had still tasted good. I definitely look forward to better familiarizing myself with this tea!
Flavors: Alcohol, Spices, Wood
Dry leaves smelled like sweet tea to me. The first steep is pretty complex and the liquor has a deep color. I can’t quite separate all the flavors, but I’m definitely getting a spiced sense, and it leaves a hint of faint honey sweetness on the tongue. The more I drink, the sweeter it gets. It’s smooth in the mouth and a unique sweet scent clings to the empty cup.
The second steep is definitely sweeter and the aroma is rich in a somewhat woody/earthy kind of way. I got a good few more steeps out of this one with the same good flavor. I definitely look forward to exploring this tea further!
Flavors: Honey, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Wood
Oh lookie, I found a tea from one of my first loose leaf orders. I guess I hadn’t actually finished the Vietnam sampler pack! This tea was pretty decent, but my tasting notes were kind of funny. The dry leaf smelled floral and green – kind of like a high mountain Taiwanese oolong – that comparison was reinforced after I smelled the wet leaf and it had a kind of buttery aroma going along with the floral.
This tea’s name is well deserved. It was floral…with a floral finish. It was slightly more interesting than that sounds however. The floral note in the front of the sip did not taste exactly the same as the aftertaste. The aftertaste was more creamy and crisp for most of the session, though it did start to pick up a bit of sourness towards then end. I would say the aftertaste was the highlight of this tea – a nice and sweet floral aroma filled my mouth after I swallowed, lasting a good couple minutes. I don’t know different floral flavors well enough to pick out which ones I was tasting, but there were certainly different flowers represented in the flavor/aroma of this tea.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Green
Took a few to open up the ball.
first major steep & there is a nutty aroma, but the tea body makes it comes across like a really good black, without the malty taste. Something in the way it feels on the tongue & goes down your throat is 100% like that.
The nutty roasty aroma is really hard to place. Its different from everything else I have tried. Apart from LP’s Coffee & Oolong blend. its a bit like that. Nice.
Taste-wise, if I were to drink this blind I would swear its a black tea, whatever the combo of flavours/body/feel/aroma is, it seems to be in that area. Fruit is ever-so-slight orange or apricots, slightly woodsy but without a malty character. Perhaps a bit of chocolate, it does slightly taste of sheng puerh (of which the leaves are the kind usually used for that)
Its quite soft & rounded, but when pushed an interesting sour note comes out which is covered in a vale of lightly roastedness. It still tastes a bit like LP’s coffee beans & Oolong, but with a different base. Its a bit salty & peanutty.
An interesting tea, one of which my brain puts into the black/red tea zone rather than Puerh or Oolong.
Flavors: Chocolate, Nutty, Orange, Peanut, Salty, Stonefruits, Wood
The first I tried this tea was a bust due to bad water. But now I have good water and some time to enjoy it.
The dry leaf smells like black tea, and not to be too obvious, but old wood. Wood from an old tree holding books. That part is not so obvious-my imagination cooked that up.
So 2 min with 190 F water, and pure malt layered by a woodsiness and chocolate hints. It’s dry overall, but sweet and smooth enough towards the end of the taste. It’s also got some fruitiness bordering between something like berry or cherry. Or the common weird fruity aftertaste from iced black tea. The same goes for steep two at 3 min, and three at 5 min.
This is definitely an old tree because it has that dry wood profile consistent with the aged black teas I’ve had (not to be confused with Pu-Erh), and the complexity comes more from the gradation of tastes upon drinking each cup over the cups in unison. As in it tastes pretty much the same in each cup with some variation, but most of that taste variation comes from the liquor moving down your tongue and throat.
I’d say it’s a stellar example of a black tea, but it is a black tea. Easily drinkable by anyone’s standards, it might disappoint people looking for something to Gong Fu with fewer leaves-although that’s totally possible with high gramage. I might add my notes gong fu, but for now, the short western is what I have because it is simple and easy.
I was bored & ordered some Jasmine tea to try out, I haven’t had any for years, it never used to be my thing & I was dubious how i’d get along with it.
Turns out this one is nice, the jasmine isn’t too heavy & by the 3rd gongfu steep the leaf had opened & the taste & aroma reminds me of a banana flavouring they use for sweets. A bit like banana milkshake. This was the main flavour, stronger than the base still, but I think it was nicely paired up, nothing tasted wrong or off.
By later steeps the aroma faded as well as the base & was left drinking fragrant water.
I think gongfu really is a good way to drink this as you can control the amount of jasmine fragrance a lot easier, compared to a more heavy handed western approach.
Flavors: banana, Flowers, Jasmine
This is a queued tasting note.
Commute to work tea!
So, historically I’ve not been the biggest fan of Milk Oolong but it’s always good to revisit things to see how your tastes have changed and I do really like Taiwanese oolongs in general so I thought it would be nice trying a milk oolong on a Taiwanese base. Taiwanese oolongs are just so sweet and fragrant.
As soon as I took my first sips I was instantly taken aback. I don’t know if it was because of the “base oolong”/origins of the oolong but this was so sweet that it instantly surprised me in the most pleasant way. Easily the sweetest milk oolong I’ve had to date. It really, really was like condensed milk with this rich, creamy buttery undertone and a whisp of something lightly vegetal and floral in the finish.
Overall not an overly complex or nuanced tea, but one that I really appreciated and that definitely awoke a bit of an interest in re exploring some milk oolong.
I was lucky enough to have a sample of this tea, and it is a fantastic Darjeeling. Or it is a fantastic first flush in my opinion because it exhibits some characteristics that I’m not used to.
As much as I enjoy Darjeelings, I find myself liking summer, autumn, or second flushes the most, especially if they have some spiciness, muscatel qualities, and the allusive cocoa-chocolate notes. First flushes for me are usually very grassy, almost like a herbal spice such as basil which is why I hesitate with them. Though they exhibit floral qualities like an oolong, they are usually more drying which is why I wait for highly recommended ones to come along before I purchase them.
I took the $39 budget as an opportunity to try this one, and unlike other first flushes, this tea has more of a bready, chocolate quality along with the more herby and spicy tones. Smelling the leaves gives me the impression of basil and butter smothered bread, with a few pieces of chocolate covered raisins waiting in the background to cleanse my palette. The taste produces a similar effect, but with a buttery smooth body of a mildly sweet dark chocolate with a heavy herby and spicy aftertaste for a tea sans astringency. That profile persists, and the tea is even better when you eat a chunk of 70% dark chocolate for company. The first time I tried this I did exactly that, and then finished off my decadent experience with a Tawny Port Wine. Yes, I’m a snob and enjoy the hell out of that fact.
I’m not sure that everyone would find the chocolate qualities, but drinking this tea straight would definitely find a sweet and savory profile dried up by the herb spiced aftertaste. It’s a black tea with a black teas sweet body but a first flushes green profile. I would highly recommend a try of this tea, though I think that people newer to tea might not get the same impressions that I do, and I am not sure how a Darjeeling connoisseur would think of it.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Chocolate, Cocoa, Drying, Floral, Herbs, Smooth, Spicy
I drank this one out of a Mystery Pack from LP last night – I didn’t know what it was until I looked halfway through the session. I knew it was some kind of oolong, I was guessing a TGY or Dong Ding…never would have guessed it was from Thailand. It was a really good tea!
The leaf had a nutty, just slightly roasty aroma.
The tea was pretty consistent throughout the session. It had a big, creamy body with nutty and fruity sweet notes. It didn’t taste roasty at all. The fruitiness with the creaminess reminded me of banana quite often. I really liked this one – I might have to make a What-cha order to pick some of this (and some other goodies) up.
Flavors: banana, Creamy, Fruity, Nutty, Sweet
Holy extended absence, Batman! I’ve been having a bit of “fun” transitioning from college back to work. I went through job application hell only to end up back at my old job. It’s frustrating to go to school, buy into all those promises of working hard and getting “The Job”, only to graduate into a Mad Maxian job market. Oddly I’m finding my old job a lot more enjoyable now than I did before though, so… win?
Anyway this tea. I think it might be a bit touchy, first time I overleafed it and it was ridiculously bitter, but I added some honey (and milk, which I never do) and it was drinkable but not noteworthy. Second time I did better, I put 2 tsp in my 15 oz Bee House teapot, let it steep for a minute and a half. The resulting tea still had a trailing bitterness, but in a pleasant way. Definitely get the molasses and raisins as described by What-cha. The aftertaste is mostly raisins to me, though there is an elusive “something else” that I can’t quite pin down.
EDIT: I sniffed the wet leaves and holy does it ever smell like grape juice!
Flavors: Molasses, Raisins
Yet another tea and music pairing a la Roswell Strange.
Today’s song is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX5f0NcqlMs
It is a very sexy song. That’s a weird description, I think but you’d get it if you listen to it. That sort of sexy romanticism of the deep yet smooth voice picks up the sleek floral quality of the oolong base while also capturing the bit of smoke the base provides as well. Meanwhile the warmth of the song coupled with the voice reflects the cinnamon richness of the tea. Both the song and the tea have a nice honey-like top note to really round them out.
I don’t have much more to say about this except both the tea and the song were completely new to me and surprisingly pleasant. I am not a lover of oolong and the song had an intro that had me questioning what was to come but I was definitely happy with both. Plus, they compliment each other nicely. Another successful pairing by my awesome tea twin. Thank you RS!!
I had to drink this one again straight away after because it is a bit of an interesting tea. Thinner bodied than the offerings from Greenland (quite watery from my first brew) but with a lurvly aroma, but very hidden away. I think I did 3g for 2:45 12oz water or something. But that aroma & huigan really piqued my interest.
So after the first brew I dashed the leaf & immediately overloaded the infuser & gave it a mini-competition brew, pushing it to see what it was that caught my attention.. so maybe 5g 3:00+..
The aroma is lovely! I didnt think Muscatel in the classic sense, but something more akin to a grapeflower, if that would ever be possible. its heady & yummy.. The taste was more astringent & almost bitter compared to the other Nepali teas, im guessing partly down to this wonderful floral aroma, which is pretty kick-ass if you ask me. Tastes very natural.
There is more of a kaleidoscope effect with the sensations, rather than everything being mushed together. I love that.
Wonderful grapeflower (well my madeup interpretation of a grape-flower mix) Huigan.. More complexity & liveliness in the mouth due to this. Thinner bodied but fruitier on the tastebuds. Slightly sour(?) lip numbing, its very plant-like in a good way. There is a sweetness but its overtaken by the other sourer characteristics.
This one needs a bit of attention in the brew, it can be a bit fussy, one for Darjeeling lovers. It might benefit from a little sweetener (or at least not pushed so hard), i’m unsure on this as ive just drank my whole sample & am now very tea’d up indian style.
That aroma & huigan though. YUM
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Grapes, Plants, Sweet
Another nice Nepali tea from Greenland Organic farm via Alistair, again Darjeeling-esque Spring flush Oolong style. Sugar-sweet with a thick luscious body & lovely nutty-whatever-that-is floral DJ aroma.
I found it forgiving to brew, not astringent or fussy in any way. I get less of the nectarines compared to the pearls (again from Greenland) but as mentioned more of a sugar-sweetness. I’ll have to try the pearls again today to compare back again but pretty much all of their teas have been a pleasure to drink.
Delicious stuff. Relaxing chi, feels really nice in the head – non-spiky/yogic thoughts arise & my body feels thick & heavy. Everything nicely balanced in taste & satisfying. A winner with me this one.
Flavors: Floral, Nutty, Sugar, Sweet, Thick
Many thanks to Zennenn for sending me this tea and so many others! Many of the teas in this box are way outside my experience, so I’m really looking forward to exploring them :)
First up, “Yellow Sun.” According to the description this is an unusual yellow tea, but since I’ve never had yellow tea before, I’m not sure what the “norm” is. The package mentions hazelnut and mango notes. I can believe the hazelnut. Not tasting the mango. There is a strong roast flavor here, like a roasted green tea, and it does have a slight natural sweetness. I steeped it twice and it held up very well to a second steeping, not really any loss of flavor all.
All around, pretty good! Glad I got to try this one :)
Has a very naturally sweet fresh aroma and thin spiny black and cream dry leaves.
I brewed it at 85 c until it was a clear light gold colour. The tea itself has an incredibly delicate and refreshing flavour, with an aroma of sweet dried fruit that fills the nose nicely.
Flavour started to diminish at the 7th infusion, and soon gave up at the 9th.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Floral, Sweet
interesting. white tea that isnt white. Its golden hairs everywhere, like its sporting a giant afro.
smell is weird, I get sweetness & malt. Aroma is the same. Taste is a very very smooth golden tips with zero bitterness or astringency, just sweetness, honey, caramel. (although these arent strong like in other oolongs). I also get orange, but not citrus, very rounded orange taste. Malt, but not malty.
So its either a delicate light red, or a full-bodied white. This is very nice for me, who often wants my red tea to be more delicate/less malty. It certainly isnt chocolatey. Its got pretty zappy energy too. Even after a few sips i felt shaken out of bed.
Second cup I steeped it out a bit and got a very amber liquor, and was met with a dryness more akin to golden tips, so you can make it taste like that a bit more if you want. There is something cake in the body but I couldnt picture what it was (its not doughy or bready), also I was reminded of a 2nd flush tea, although this is Spring. (a bit woody & malty but not overpowering)
Depending on parameters you can get either a few steeps of something more white but full bodied, or a couple of steeps of delicate subtle but still golden tipped red tea, its an interesting mix!
Flavors: Cake, Caramel, Honey, Malt, Orange, Sweet, Wood
(This review is for the Spring flush 2016)
Ahhhh, the taste of terroir..
Nepal borders Darjeeling , & i think this comes out in the taste in a big way. It tastes to me like very forgiving super sweet FF DJ rather than a fujian white. Or is that my brain knowing that Taplejung might as well be Darjeeling? (in India terms its a drive away, :lol:) Anyway I spent a while cross referencing FF DJ process vs White & they are very similar anyway, so great! I learnt something again today. And thinking back on it, they can be very similar, cant they.
I used quite a lot (~5g?) & about 3:30 80c, & didnt get any FF overbrewing. It is pretty delicious. Fresh golden water with essence of apricots, oranges, maybe even raspberry Mixed with the ‘hay’ taste of a white, also some FF nutty underneath. Amazingly delicate but unmistakable smell of candy apples & a sweetness in the feel that just coats the mouth with sugar, while not being cloying. The first cup went very quickly. Its pretty subtle & delicate, but really good.
Second cup I just left the leaf to steep, and drinking a cooler cup I also get a little milk with my fruit.
Third cup I just did 90c & left it again, this one was less of everything else but with a hint of citrus. Still got the sugary aroma though. By this third cup I felt pretty warm & nice from the chi.
ive found quite a few Nepalese teas from Alistair now that I really like, this one I reckon with really pedantic brewing – accurate weights, pushing the citrus flavour out more with 85-90c or just longer steep times you will end up with something even better. Will have to experiment & report back if the fruit can be brought out using this method.
edit* The instructions say to use roughly 85c, I should have looked harder!
But even as it stands with my underbrewing, I would re-purchase this one for sure, & im already looking forward to tomorrow morning when im finishing the rest of the sample with a higher temp
Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Candy, Citrus, Cotton Candy, Hay, Nutty, Orange, Sugar