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Recent Tasting Notes
A sample from Yezi! I wanted to try this one since it was compared to scotch, it had to be their strongest black tea and the furthest from the Laoshan Black flavor profile (sorry Laoshan!) But I have no idea, since I’m not familiar with scotch. I used two teapoons of these black, long and twisty leaves that smelled very sweet and like some fruit I couldn’t place, or maybe sweet potato.
Steep #1 // a few minutes after boiling // 2 min
The cup color isn’t very dark – light brown. The first sip is actually woody, but not in the way that steeped-too-much tea leaves are like. Otherwise it’s tough to describe – it’s a little of everything, hints of smoke and spice, a bit of chocolate and sweet potato.. but many other things I can’t place either. I felt like I had sipped this tea before, and looking up Tealux’s Ying De, I think it was that one. (A big thanks to Steepster for aiding the tea portion of my brain!) It both looks the same and if I can remember correctly, tastes the same. However, this blend is from the Fujian province of China while the Ying De is from Guangdong province of China. At least they are both from China. Though this one is Fujian, I do not get the charcoal flavor that I usually associate with Fujian teas.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Very much the same as the first cup just deeper and more delicious. I think the instructions at the top of the description page for this tea are not for western brewing. (Also for the Ying De I thought the second steep was better as well.) I think I like this sort of flavor better than Laoshan Black. I can’t say how much it’s like scotch but I love this one!
On a side note, I feel like I’ve been watching a ton of movies I’ve missed through the years.. classics I should have watched (also for some reason many movies that seem to be Abed’s favorites from ‘Community’). I feel like movies are the biggest gap in my pop culture knowledge (compared to music, books, and TV). But anyway, I saw Aliens last night and it was AWESOME… not really sure why Abed would want to dress as the alien for Halloween though!
This was a sample that I picked from Yezi tea. Their samples are individually packaged and i love that their black teas are in red bags, while the puerh are in black. Nothing major, but i like it :)
I’ve been drinking it this morning and i’ll try to capture some notes since this is the first tasting note.
I did an initial rinse of this and then steeped for 30 seconds. The aroma was very subtle and didn’t give much hint as to what the brew would taste like. Initial sips found this to be very mellow and mild, but not lacking in taste. There was a fresh taste to this, while still feeling like a puerh. It felt like a tea that hadn’t quite aged as much as i’d prefer.
More to come later, but initial impressions are that I can see myself getting more of this in the future. It’s not quite as developed a puerh as the ones that i love from Mandala (still my favourite puerh vendor) but this is nice. I’d be curious to see how this ages.
This is one seriously floral oolong. It’s very light, very sweet, almost entirely devoid of savory notes. It’s got that unidentifiable jasmine-but-not-jasmine thing going on, floral-wise—I shared this sample with my mom, and she said the floral note (which I’ve gotten in lots of other green oolongs, although never quite to this extent) is honeysuckle, so there you go. Although I’m generally all for floral, I’m finding it a bit much here. I’m used to TGYs being more savory and having a bit more depth, and I do prefer them that way.
In a shocking break from my usual, I did NOT brew this one western style—I actually followed Yezi’s instructions. It’s nice to brew like this once in a (very long) while I suppose, but mostly I was reminded of why I do prefer western style. I just really like settling in with a large (or even mid-sized) cup of tea and relaxing; I don’t find all the measuring and timing and general activity enjoyable. Anyway, this time I did four steeps, and I can’t say I noticed a ton of difference from steep to steep. I feel bad for not loving this tea, but I just didn’t. I can tell the quality is high, though, and I can see someone with different oolong preferences really enjoying it. Thanks for the sample, Nicole_Martin!
Wow, this is really good. I can’t get over how naturally sweet it is. And it has this wonderful quality of feeling, bizarrely enough, both light and clean as well as bold and rich. It’s hard to explain. But this is beautiful. Often Steepster collectively feels like it prizes smooth black Chinese teas above all, and while I’ve enjoyed the zillions I’ve tried I get bored by a kind of…sameness to the most favored ones. This is a class apart though—for once no sweet potato! Really digging this.
I’ve been sipping down teas in anticipation of Black Friday, and decided it was time to try this sample from Yezi Tea. I used the entire 3 grams in 6 oz of water in a series of 60 second steeps.
1st steep: Nose is soft and spicy with hints of straw. Flavor is light and grassy with milky texture. Finish seems more powerful than the taste. As the tea cooled the flavor opened up and became quite buttery, but the spice disappeared.
2nd steep: the nose is more grass than straw, with just a hint of spice. A bit more powerful than the first steep. The first sip just exploded in my mouth: tremendous power! It has an incredibly rich mouth-feel, with flavors dominated by straw and grass, with undertones of spice. The taste transitions smoothly into a long, powerful finish.
3rd steep was less powerful than the second. Mildly spicy nose. Same flavors, but much less buttery texture in the mouth. Finish is still good, but not quite as good as the second steep.
Many thanks to Yezi Tea for providing the sample
Thank you Yezi Tea for this sample!
A strong bodied, slightly earthy tea which is
reminiscent scent wise of old leather and tobacco. (To me)
this is my first Pu’erh tea, and something of an unusual flavor
remonding me of sour dough bread, but it is not at all toasty
and neither is it astringent.
This is not my favorite tea, and yet I am thankful for the introduction
to the world or Pu’erh via this tea.
This could become a staple for me.
I received this today and have steeped it multiple times.
This tea is very consistent steep after steep, and I like that.
Color of an amber-burgundy garnet.
Sipdown, 122. I am officially back down to where I was before my swap with Sil, almost exactly one month ago. I am happy I got to try these teas from Yezi because they are clearly high quality.
This one isn’t quite blowing my mind like the last time I had it, but that is not to say that it isn’t delicious. It has a malty, grainy base that I love in a black tea, with some honeyed sweetness. A bit chocolatey, though not as chocolatey as some black teas I’ve had in the past. It’s super smooth with a great texture, not overly thin or lacking in body. Quite a nice tea overall.
Sipdown, 125. Thanks again to Yezi Tea for this sample.
I brewed this one a bit longer this time to try to bring out the richness in it, but I think I would have been better off with a higher leaf-to-water ratio. It was still quite tasty, but perhaps not as sweet and nuanced as my previous cup. The added boldness also came with a slight rough-around-the-edges quality. I still really enjoyed my cup, though!
Not tasting a whole lot. Added 1/2 packet of Stevia in the Raw (I just don’t like unsweetened tea). Flavor is very subtle. Paid attention to the brewing time (1 minute)…finally learning to do that!
Edited: The second steep, I liked a lot better. Added the other 1/2 of the sweetener, and upped the time to 2 minutes. I liked this tea better than I thought I would, and may actually order more (this was a sample for me).
this is my “required” sipdown for today, though it hardly counts as a sipdown since it’s been in my cupboard for all of a day. Kittenna dropped off tea with me before her trip so i’m just bringing myself back to 160 tonight at the least so that i don’t feel pressured to sipdown things this week. If i do, great, otherwise who cares! only 10 left to go! haha
I think i have LB on the brain since this is reminding me of it – at least as a sweeter, less malty sort of version of it. I could also pick up on the peach flavors towards the middle of the sip in the later infusions. Overall a really nice tea from yezi!
I brought this with me on a trip to the Georgia mountains to visit a friend expecting her first. I knew her as a big tea drinker and thought she would have teaware for gongfu brewing. No luck there so I made due by converting a small sugar bowl into a gaiwan, worked perfectly.
Great bouquet of chocolate malt and dates. Tastes of malt, plum, fig and a decided oomph of my god this tea is fabulous. All subsequent steeps were equally as brilliant. I had this every morning for 4 days and it made my trip extra special being around a person I adore and a tea s well.
Tie Guan Yin Master Grade Oolong Tea from Yezi Tea is an Oolong from the famed tea growing region of the Nanhu Mountain Range. To brew this beauty I decided to go all out, sitting outside on a warm sunny day with my Yixing pot, my vintage Chinese tea bowl, and all my fancy Gong Fu tools. I don’t use my Yixing nearly as often as I would like to, something I plan on rectifying in the future. The aroma of this Tie Guan Yin is nothing short of heavenly, very floral and sweet. I mainly notice orchids and honeysuckles but for an extra treat I can pick out the aroma of scuppernongs. As an afterthought there is a tiny wisp of green, similar to spring time vegetation and an even more scant ghost of honey. This tea’s aroma very much so embodies ideal of Spring.
I was very fortunate to get multiple awesome steeps out of this tea, so I will start with the first soaking of the leaves. The aroma of the brewed leaves is slightly nutty with strong floral notes. There is also a tiny hint of a roasted aroma in the leaves. The liquid is mostly floral, primarily orchid, but there is also a slight hint of vegetal, like spinach. The taste is very smooth and mild! Intensely floral like honeysuckles or possibly lilacs. The tea tastes very clean and fresh, just like a tiny bit of spring time in my mouth. The aftertaste is one of orchids.
The second steep brings in more of a roasted aroma to leaves and a stronger floral aroma to the liquid. The taste of the tea brings in more of a green, vegetal tone. Somehow the tea seems cleaner, like it purifies the water. It reminds me of fresh spring water with a tiny taste of the moss growing near it. Having drank from a mountain spring (it was significantly colder than hot tea) the similarity is surprising.
The third steep brings in even more of a roasted chestnut aroma and it is very heady. The liquid has the aroma of orchids, but instead of being freshly opened these are orchids that have been sitting in the sun for hours and start to have that old flower sickly sweetness. The taste is intense! Best steep of the set, it manages to be intense but still mild (ah the magic of Oolongs) the flavor is mildly roasted chestnut at first and then it fills your mouth with intense orchid. The aftertaste is mineral-like, bringing in the mountain spring imagery from the previous steep.
The fourth and final steep, I notice that the leaves have lost most their aroma but what is left is sweet and evocative of honeysuckle. The taste is sweet and floral bringing out the honeysuckle notes that were in the aroma. There is also a slight mid taste of roasted chestnut and then lastly an aftertaste of mineral spring water. This tea was fascinating and very enjoyable, it was like I journeyed through early Spring with the first steep and traveled through to Midsummer. I recommend seeking this tea out if you want a very different experience with each steep.
Sipdown, 136. I’m having this one in close succession with Teavivre’s Jin Xuan (unflavored) as a comparsion, since I happen to have both on hand. I have had mixed success with jin xuans, although mostly I don’t find them super interesting. I do love Teavivre’s however, and I’m often interested to try new ones.
This one, unfortunately, is kind of boring. Vegetal and slightly floral, but pretty much lacking the creaminess that I expect from jin xuan. Well, the texture is fairly silky and smooth, but it’s not there in the flavor. This tastes more like a generic green Taiwanese oolong to me. A decent tea, but not my favorite.
Love the two black teas that I got from Yezi but I am less enthralled with this one. So it goes!
When I first started drinking this one it was a bit underwhelming. I mean, it was tasty enough, but not overwhelmingly awesome. But then it became overwhelmingly awesome as it cooled. Sooooo naturally sweet, like honey and caramel. And despite Yezi’s description of this tea, not a hint of bitterness. A super smooth and delicious chocolatey tea. I am definitely pleased with my selection of this one! I honestly drank up the cup so quickly (and while working) that I didn’t really pay super close attention to it. But I will with my next cup and try to write a more detailed review. This one may have to go on my to-reorder list!
Finally getting around to trying one of the samples that I ordered from Yezi Tea! Of course whenever people start raving about a Chinese black tea on Steepster, I know I need to try it, especially when its a type that I’ve never tried before.
This one definitely smells tasty. It actually smells a bit like the Laoshan Black Genmaicha, like toasted rice/grains, chocolate, and a hint of molasses. When it was still pretty hot it was a tasty but not too exciting cup of black tea, but as it cools it definitely becomes sweeter and more chocolatey. This one definitely reminds me of LB with more toasted grains in the flavor. I think this is one of those Chinese black teas that does well with a fair lot of leaf when brewed western style, so I may reduce the amount of water for the remainder of my sample. Or maybe just steep it really long… I have a feeling it will just get rich and lovely. Definitely a very tasty tea!
I received this as a free sample from Yezi Tea. Their samples come beautifully packaged in color coded foil packets which don’t seem to allow scent leakage. The whole unboxing experience was very neat and clean. The samples came in a tiny flat box, which was actually small enough to fit into my little apartment mailbox, and there were all sorts of cute thank you notes and notes about “red tea” as a name for black tea and smiley faces and stuff. They seem very promising for a starting tea company, and I hope to place another order with them soon.
The tea: On their website, they call this “I can’t believe it’s not scotch”, but as with the butter substitute, I certainly can believe it. I actually get some sweet, fruity notes from this tea. It has the lightest kiss of smokiness and an undercurrent I can’t place… It’s like a combination of pollen and nuts. The first steeping was a beautiful mahogany, which darkened to a deep raw umber with subsequent steepings. From the scent and the color, I was expecting a heavy handed tea that smacked you upside the head with flavor and smoke and depth, but the zheng shan xiao zhong was actually very delicate and light. All things considered, it was a pretty positive tea drinking experience.