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Recent Tasting Notes
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
Dry leaf – bit smoky, earth, tea is very twiggy
200F, 5gish, 100ml gaiwan
Earth, fruity, smooth
It’s a solid black tea, but nothing spectacular. Lacking in actual tea leaves, mostly twigs.
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Smooth
Ah, the famed Red Buffalo.. finally getting my grubby mits on this Oolong after hearing people talk about it for ages.
First few steeps: really super smooth honey water with slight cinnamon/spicy notes, especially the aroma of the steeped leaf. In fact from the leaf aroma I would have guessed this was a Dongfang Meiren. I actually have a more spicy Oriental Beauty that would blend very well with this tea im pretty sure, I love it when there is a prominent sweet honey taste to counter the dry woodsy spice which can get a bit overbearing. I was surprised there wasnt a stronger roast, but it turns out its not that sort of tea.
Steeping it out the honey note fades & we are left with a very mellow, creamy & soft slightly woodsy tea – in fact If this tea was any more mellow it would be asleep. Such an easy drinker, & anyone with a sweet tooth its just totally up your street.
This is one of those teas that you give to the unenlightened with the hope you might save their poor nonbeliever souls, that they embrace the one true hot drink & find the pearly gates of Theaven. Its just that far removed from where most mortals think tea should be
Flavors: Cinnamon, Creamy, Honey, Spicy, Wood
Backlog: I had a hard time with this tea. It distinctly tasted like licorice western which was really odd to me. I am not a licorice fan. Then I see the notes Alistair came up with, and he describes it being like anise. I totally get the anise. I will say this is a unique green tea making me glad to try this terroir. I might like it better Gong Fu, but I need to try it. Until then, it was personally not my cup of tea.
I need to drink this tea again. I don’t know if what I tasted was a result of sickness, but all I got was a malty black tea with a drying citrus edge. This was Western, so I need to do it Gong Fu next time. And next time be less congested. I will play around with it Gong Fu and Western with what I have left.
This was one of my favorite new teas I’ve tried this year, with mostly positive aspects and a unique nature. The general effect is that of a bright, sweet, pleasant lightly roasted oolong with a nice range of flavors. Flavor aspects include fruit and floral range, with fruit in the range of melon and floral not completely unlike Dan Cong, the typical honey orchid aspect. I compared it directly in tasting to a nice Dan Cong and it gave up a little related to presentation of refined, clean flavors, not the kind of thing one might notice straight away, more in comparison. I obtained a sample directly from the producer, not from What-Cha, but since it is generally available in the US and Europe through What-Cha I’m reviewing it listed as their tea, identified as from Toba Wangi by them. A more complete review appears here: http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot.com/2016/04/wu-mei-oolong-from-toba-wangi.html
NOTE – this is not the Feng Huang tea, but the 2016 Taiwan Gui Fei. See the comments below.
This is great, the almost-sweet citrus prickliness on the tongue resolving into a thick smoky chocolate – it’s got more body than the greener leaf-bitten oolongs I’ve tasted. The leaf/water ratio is approximate and I know it seems small, but it works.
The liquor is a light red-brown with a touch of orange, and the leaves steep up a smart, very dark green with some brown.
NB I’m 99% sure this is the right tea. Mine doesn’t say Feng Huang anywhere, but it is What-Cha’s Taiwan Gui Fei Oolong, and it looks exactly like the picture.
Flavors: Chocolate, Citrusy, Smoke
A bit more of a grassy aroma that reminds me of a Tieguanyin. The wet aroma is less floral/grass any slightly creamy and milk. The brewed tea is a bit on the light side but really does have some nice milky flavors reminiscent of a milk oolong but not as extreme. I wouldn’t say this tea is my favorite but its still quite enjoyable and decently priced. I would but more of this if I was looking for a daily green oolong.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Grass, Milk, Sweet
This is just a really good priced Taiwanese green oolong which is for sure on the floral side of things. Not too complex but something I would for sure recommend for people who enjoy floral teas, has a taste similar to jasmine. As for me I found it to be a bit too floral and lacking in other things, but I was still able to enjoy it.
Flavors: Floral, Smooth, Sweet