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Recent Tasting Notes
Yi Fu Chun is described on Yezi’s website as a smoky black tea…I have an aversion to smokiness in tea, as I’ve been chased out of my home twice by wildfire. I don’t exactly associate smokiness with relaxing around a campfire, more like frantically trying to find pets and belongings to evacuate. SO, I was hesitant to approach this sample.
In the packet, the dry leaf smelled sweet and slightly cocoa-y…hmmm….no smoke! Okay then, steep time!
I am wonderfully surprised by this tea. Yi Fu Chun has similar notes to Fujian blacks that I have had before, but the notes are much more restrained. The bottom note is certainly a deep cocoa flavor that sits on the tongue a bit longer than the sip lasts in your mouth. Then comes mid notes of slight malt/grain/cannabis. The top note is a touch of floral, though I can’t quite place it through my allergies today. It is a similar profile to LB by Verdant and Bailin Gongfu by TeaVivre, but dialed in for a warm summer day. I am appreciating the delicateness of these sometimes cloying notes in the humid (yes, today it is humid. Global weather patterns are weirder and weirder these days) summer day in the Southern California arid heat.
Flavors: Cannabis, Cocoa, Grain, Malt
MzPriss commented yesterday that she liked this better than the Jin Jun Mei. BETTER than Jin Jun Mei? Ok – that’s all I needed to hear for this to become my “inspired by my dashboard” tea of the day.
OMG she’s RIGHT. This is amazing, fantastic, everything I LOVE about Fujian Black tea.
I was at work and I drank about 7 mugs of it through out the day. I don’t measure or time at work – some had long steeps, some had short steeps, some more leaf, some less. Every steep was different, and yet every steep was wonderful in it’s own way. Less steep time, lighter, brighter more fruity. Longer steep times, deep, dark, bitter chocolate. It reacted exactly as it should have. You can pretty much do anything to this tea and it will handle it. If you don’t like it, play with the steep parameters, it changes greatly with steep time. This is very close to being my perfect black tea. Thank you MzPriss for the inspiration.
Some people sleepwalk, apparently I sleep tea order. I totally have an email confirmation for this from four days ago, but only vaguely remember ordering it. But it showed up today.
It was a quiet day at work (calm before the storm) and I shut down early and decided to Gong Fu this. Five infusions later, I love it. I can’t say it’s so very different from the Eastern Beauty from Green Terrace, but that could just be my untrained taste buds. It was all yummy and honey fruity awesomeness though. I would definitely order it again.
I’ve been drinking this at work for the last couple of days….. It’s a strange one.
I normally like Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong – but this isn’t what I was expecting. I didn’t get any smoke at all (I wasn’t expecting full out Lapsang, but was expecting a little). There is something boozy in here – it says scotch, but that’s not it. I’m getting more wine, grape, alcohol and it’s not working for me.
It’s too bad, I like Yezi, but this one just isn’t for me. :((
This Tie Guan Yin is the best one I’ve had yet. I will not go into much detail as I think Yezi Tea’s description of it is perfect. To summarize, it is very sweet and vegetal with light floral notes of orchid and a bit of a resinous camphor note. It has undertones of caramel and honey. Very sweet and rich oolong, love it!
Flavors: Camphor, Caramel, Honey, Orchid, Vegetal
Origin: Logu, Nantou Co.; Taiwan
dong ding (Dong Ding) = mountainous oolong producing area of Nantou county, Taiwan, literally Frozen Summit (冻顶 or 凍頂)
Dry Leaf: Buttery, daffodil-scented yellowish-green tightly rolled pellets on stems.
Method: 4oz Porcelain Gong Fu pot 5grams tea 3oz water 200F No rinse
45 seconds first steeping then 55 seconds for the second steeping
Wet Leaf: Mostly 2 leaves on a stem. Honey and daffodil-scented. Leaves dark forest green now.
Liquor: Light spring green color, scent of the daffodil and honey.
Flavor: First infusion – Buttery flavor and mouthfeel. Not too floral in flavor, it is more on the nose—which is perfect.
Second infusion brought a touch of balancing bitter (but not harsh) and the liquor is a darker spring green color. Very good floral Oolong.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers
This tea is full of warm sweet fruit notes of canned peaches and a hint of mandarin, all mixed in with buttered grains and cocoa. Really tasty and surprisingly rich considering it’s short steep time. Thanks to Dexter for a chance to sample this tea!
Pretty sepia tinged copper brown broth
20s first scent very fruity like canned peaches, cashew butter, roasted notes, cocoa
Taste. Cocoa, peaches, butter, a sweet grain note in between polenta and oatmeal, honey, if you hold the tea in your mouth and breathe in the peach notes are very distinct and their are also hints of canned mandarins, otherwise the flavours blend into each other. the tea tastes very rich even after only 20s, it is thick and slightly buttery on the tongue.
25s fruit notes slightly brighter and stronger, more honey, cocoa, butter, a little cinnamon, less grain notes, a touch of citrus tinged floral.
40s. Cocoa, grain, malt, sharper more citrus toned fruit, honey, butter, sweet fruit lingering in background with a light floral tone.
70s. Similar to previous steep but maltier.
My first tie guan yin! Very floral and perfumey. Loved it <3
Followed the steeping time on the website and started with 45 seconds and worked up. By the 3rd infusion, I thinking it would haven been better to add 15 or 20 seconds rather than 10, but now at least I know for next time :)
I’ve been drinking this tea at work for a couple of days now. The last time I wrote about it, I thought it was finicky and “white wine up you nose” odd.
It seems to have been behaving since then, and we are friends once again. While this is not my favorite Jin Jun Mei – it has been really pleasant the last couple of days.
I love Jin Jun Mei – it’s one of my favorite styles of black tea.
I love Yezi – it’s one of my favorite sources for black teas.
Why am I not loving this today ? – it’s seems finicky – not behaving. One cup was good, one cup was not so good – none were amazing.
Seems oddly “white wine, up your nose astringent” (yes that’s something that I’ve made up, but some teas seem like that to me) when it’s really hot. Much better as it cools, but still not the rich malty, chocolate that I’m looking for.
I’m sure this is just me, I’ve had it before and was AMAZING – just hope this is just me having a cranky day – this is too expensive to be a finicky tea…..
I haven’t had pu’erh in a while, even though I adore it. So I decided to crack this open to start the day.
The dry leaf smells of worn leather and sweet tobacco. The taste is smooth and mellow – a hint of damp earth. While I don’t find this complex, I do find it enjoyable and easy to sip.
I’m on my third steep (western style) and I can see that I’ll get a few more steeps out of it.
Thank you Dexter for sharing this sample with me!
The aroma has elements of cedar, peat, and dry grass. The taste is very slightly of honey and flowers, somewhat like chamomile but is mostly masked by the signature aged taste of puer, woody, a bit peppery and smokey, there’s a slight aftertaste of five spice. and lingering peppery quality. There’s also a bit of green bean in there somewhere. It’s slightly astringent. I’d call it more of an intense puer than a mellow one.
Flavors: Flowers, Green Beans, Honey, Peat, Pepper, Spices, Wood
I’ve been drinking green and herbal teas for weeks. I feel like I need a break and a good ol’ cozy Chinese black tea. Plus, it’s been chilly, overcast, and rainy here over the past couple days and it will be like that tomorrow. I don’t mind cold but where is the sun? :(
So I broke out Yezi’s Jin Jun Mei. Hands-down, one of my favorite Chinese blacks. The leaves are tiny, slightly twisty, hairy, and a mix of brown and tan (cute little things). I brewed them in Verdant’s test tube steeper, a perfect instrument to become acquainted with a tea’s nose and to smell this one’s wet leaf aroma, which so much like fudge brownies. The liquor is golden, fuzzy, silky, full-bodied, and flavorful; and is full of malt, chocolate, and honey goodness. Overall feel is a hug.
Backlog. Received in a swap with KiwiDelight!
It’s been a little while since I had this one, so I’ve only got my notes to go by.
This was my first Jin Jun Mei. It was light, woodsy, and a little drying on the tongue. Floral and grape-y like a Darjeeling. There was a malty feeling left in my mouth after swallowing. Hints of olive oil…and a little sweetness. A very pleasant, quiet and mellow tea! Enjoyable but not something I’ll likely be reaching for in the future. (: Still good.
Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Grapes, Malt, Orchid, Sweet, Wood
120ml Yixing pot
Steeping times: 5s rinse, 45s, 55s, 70s, 85s, 100s, 115s*, 175s, 205s*, 265s
First steep: Perfumey taste, light greenish yellow liquid. The leaves opened up a lot already!
Second steep: Lighter perfume taste. The leaves have now fully overtaken the yixing pot.
Third steep: Still perfume, with a bit of a bitter aftertaste that I’ve noticed with oolongs.
Fourth steep: The perfume flavor is beginning to lighten up a bit and the bitterness has magically vanished.
Fifth steep: Sooo much flavor still left in this! I’m definitely gonna push it past the recommended 6 steepings :)
Sixth steep*: Wooow and just like that almost no flavor. My fault though, I should have known to add more time than 15 seconds for the 6th steep
Seventh Steep: Ahh, yes and extra minute did the trick. The flavor is back! Noticing more sweetness this time around :)
Eight steep: Wow, very noticeably sweet this time! Except I added extra water to bring down the sweetness and ruined the cup :(
Ninth steep*: I can’t believe they seriously suggest only 5-6 steeps. What a crime! This steep has come back down almost the 6th steep level so I’m gonna bump up the next steeping time for one final hurrah.
Tenth Steep: The perfume flavor is mostly gone now and has been replaced by a sweet taste :)
*increase steeping time next time around for better flavor
Here is photo of that last steep: http://instagram.com/p/pEoGQvguIu/
Well, all good things must come to an end. This was probably the best oolong I’ve tasted. You can tell that it’s very high quality. For the record, I’m sure I could have gotten another few steepings out of this! This was just a 5g sample, but I think I may buy a few ounce someday :)
Flavors: Bitter, Perfume, Sweet
This is my second steep for these leaves. I lowered the time from 4 to 3 minutes and then added another 30 seconds since it’s the second steep. The brew smells very green and floral and still has a touch of peach fragrance. The tea has a mild to medium vegetal taste with a lot of floral flavor still. The peach is still there, but it has devolved into more of a vague sweet fruitiness that I wouldn’t have identified as peach if I hadn’t tried the first brew. The floral in this cup lingers on the back of the tongue for quite some time after a sip. There is also a faint bitterness at the end that is not entirely unpleasant. Overall, still a very tasty tea! :)
This is my third and final free sample from Yezi Tea, and it is also my first ever straight oolong. The dry leaves had a surprisingly strong peach smell, which made me very excited to try this tea. Since the packet did not include brewing directions, I looked around on various websites and found a lot of conflicting instructions. XD
I ended up brewing it for 4 minutes, which I think may have been just a little too long. Next time I would go for about 3 or so. The brew has a very strong floral smell with just a touch of fruitiness. The tea itself also tastes very floral (a little bit too floral for me, but I attribute this to the overbrewing) and there is also a very noticeable peach flavor, which I love. The tea itself tastes like a strong green tea to me, but it was a little bit bitter since I let it brew too long. I added a very small amount of sugar to help bring out that yummy peach flavor.
Overall, I really enjoyed this tea, and I feel I will love it when I steep it again for a shorter duration (I will most likely try 3 minutes). I will most likely give it a rating after trying it a few more times. I really appreciate the opportunity to try some awesome teas for free. Thanks, Yezi Tea! :D
Flavors: Floral, Peach, Vegetal
Origin: He Huan Shan, Taiwan.
Thank u to Yezi Tea for this sample with purchase!!!
Dry Leaf: Tiny, tightly rolled green pellets with a mineral scent.
Method: 3.38 oz ceramic gong fu pot, 200F, 1 tsp tea
Wet Leaf: 2 fairly large leaves on a stem, very spinach green colored. Light floral with candy Sweet Tart scent.
Liquor: Light champagne – spring green color. Very light scent—not too floral, more of a light Sweet Tarts scent like the wet leaves.
Flavor: Thick mouthfeel. Not overly floral or creamy, very subtle. There are flowers, butter, spring peas and a nice balance. Not bitter or astringent at all but it is recommended to drink this tea after meals and I drank it 3 hours after a meal and did get a mild stomach upset (very very mild though) so one should heed this advice bc it’s pretty green.
Flavors: Butter, Candy, Flowers, Garden Peas
I must say, I am very impressed with this tea. This is my third steeping and I can’t believe the jasmine flavor is still there! It has definitely become milder with each time, but I think I may actually like this brew the best. I can taste more of the green tea and it’s becoming a little less mellow, which is a good thing in my book. Starting to get more vegetal and hay notes too. Delicious with just a small amount of sugar! Big thanks to Yezi Tea for giving me the chance to try this tea for free. :)
Trying the second steeping of this one now. It tastes surprisingly similar to the first, although the green tea taste is somewhat stronger (a welcome change in my opinion). I unfortunately overdid it a tiny bit on the sugar, so I think the jasmine flavor is coming through more than it otherwise would have. I steeped this in the same manner as the first time but added another 30 seconds to the time. Tasty! :D
This is the second tea that I got as a free sample from Yezi Tea (yay free samples!). The smell of the dry leaf is amazing, floral and sweet. Let me just say, I am rather confused as to what exactly is meant when the word “teaspoon” is used in tea jargon. Does it mean a teaspoon measuring spoon or a teaspoon as in a flatware teaspoon…? If anyone could help me out on this with a comment, I would appreciate it. So when I brewed this tea, I basically said “screw it” and used the whole five gram sample. Since this is a fairly dense tea, I would say it would have been a slightly heaping flatware teaspoon.
That being said, I thought the strength of the brew was perfect. The jasmine aroma and flavor is quite strong, but I could still taste the delicate green tea flavor underneath. I’m not sure what type of green tea it is or whether jasmine pearls count as their own type. Either way, I really enjoyed its flavor – slightly sweet and light with no bitterness and very little astringency. I took it with a very small amount of sugar.
Thanks, Yezi Tea, for the free loot!
Flavors: Jasmine, Sweet
My last cup of this, aww… My sample from Yezi was big enough for two cups since this is such a fluffball tea. Since I think I neglected to say last time, the dry leaf is amazingly creamy smelling with notes of honey and sweet hay. I can’t wait to to try a creamy flavored bai mudan (I’m looking at you, Cantaloupe & Cream!). This time I elected to add a little more than half a teaspoon of honey because I felt it would go beautifully. And it did! Om nom nom. Creamy and hay-like with just a touch of honey taste on the back of the tongue. So far, white tea kind of reminds me of a milder version of honeybush.
It’s amazing how the flavor of this tea gains depth with each steeping. This is my third time around and I have enjoyed it each time. This brew has a strong and very deep straw flavor with just a touch of sweetness. There is still a hint of floral in the aftertaste. Thanks again to Yezi Tea for the free sample of this tasty tea!