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Recent Tasting Notes
Oolongs are one of the most enjoyable teas to watch when brewing. With Da Yu Ling, the dark green leaves are curled tightly into tiny, crooked balls when dry. By tiny, I mean smaller than a button. As the tea brews, the leaves unfurl to reveal their full, beautiful almond shape about the size of your thumb. That’s huge, compared to other tea leaves! This visual surprise is one of the reasons why I love oolong tea.
Also, oolongs have a distinct orchid fragrance compared to other teas. It’s lightly floral, with more exotic and regal hints than a typical floral or green tea. From there, the oolong scent spectrum expands, ranging from vegetal to sweet to slightly fruity. When dry, Da Yu Ling lies on the vegetal end; but when brewed, it exudes an enchanting mix of orchid, grass, and butter. I don’t detect the tangerine notes described by Yezi, yet the richness of Da Yu Ling’s bouquet is exactly what I look for from a good oolong.
Apart from Teavana’s Monkey-Picked Oolong, Da Yu Ling Oolong is the first tea I’ve tried that the vendor recommends to steep multiple times. For the first cup, I brewed about 1½ teaspoons for 1 minute. The water turns a pretty pale gold, with a minty green tinge. Of course, there’s no mint whatsoever when you sip it. In fact, the first cup of Da Yu Ling tastes like green tea – fresh, grassy, natural. Maybe that shouldn’t surprise me, since the dry leaves gave off that scent. Yet it did.
What makes Da Yu Ling a star is its additional steeps. The leaves release more flavor as the brew time increases. The steep I savored the most is at 90 seconds. Here, the liquid takes on a beautiful gold hue, and the orchid current starts to weave itself through. The tea also develops a smooth, buttery texture and a delightfully sweet finish. Whenever the 90-second brew is gone, my heart flops with disappointment because I enjoyed it so much – but then my mood flips to excitement, because the empty mug means I can make a new cup! I’d advise against brewing Da Yu Ling past 4 minutes, however. Beyond that point, a mild bitterness replaces the sweetness and eventually overpowers the floral notes.
Read my full review here: http://bibliophilesreverie.com/2014/09/17/tea-time-at-reverie-yezi-teas-da-yu-ling-oolong-tea/
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Orchid, Smooth, Sweet
I’ve been loving using my new variable temperature kettle, so I thought that I would try out a white tea. First off, it was evening, and I didn’t want to much caffeine. Secondly, I could finally use my new kettle to get the proper low temp that white teas need. Now all I need is a scale to measure tea in grams rather than messy teaspoons. It’s especially hard with this tea to use teaspoons because it is so fluffy. So I just kind of ended up eyeballing it and steeping for about one minute at 180 degrees.
The tea ended up a lovely transparent yellow/brown color. I’m not sure if this is because I may have underleafed, but the flavor was very very delicate. I could almost barely taste it… which probably means I should add more leaf. Despite this, I do think I detected some grassier or hay notes. After I read the description on the Yezi website for this tea, I do think I started to detect some plum notes in there as well. Who knows how much of that was psychological, though, haha.
Overall, a very pleasant and mild tea that was the perfect fit for a calm evening. I’m going to hold off on rating the tea because I have not tried too many straight white teas yet, so I’m not sure how this measures up in comparison. I do have some left from my free sample, though, so I’ll definitely come back around to it sometime.
The dry leaves in the warm gaiwan smell nutty and roasted, but they also smell like heavily fried foods, particularly fried chicken. The first infusion is very bold and vegetal, with green bean and asparagus notes with a hint of char. There’s also a fried food nuance in the flavor. The tea feels very wet and clean in the mouth and has a lingering sweetness that makes me salivate.
The second infusion yields bolder flavor, despite brewing for half the time as the first. It is more intensely vegetal with more green bean flavor and still tastes quite a bit like fried chicken skin. There’s a bit of astringency that turns into lingering sweetness. The third infusion is more subtle but with similar flavors, not by any means weak or bitter at this point. This tea is not particularly sweet but has a lingering very subtle sweetness that causes me to salivate. It’s nice. This tea is like having dinner. I really enjoy how hearty it is.
Flavors: Asparagus, Char, Green Beans
This is a sample I received with my Yezi order. Thank you!
I am kicking myself for not using this sample to brew this tea GongFu. Oh well I guess that means I might just have to order an ounce of it down the road. I am drinking this as my morning cup this morning. The last cup I had was a tad weak so I made sure to let this puppy brew for a decent amount of time this morning.
This cup is malty, sweet, with a finish of fruit. I am really digging this up this morning. I read in a few tasting notes about molasses. I am definitely picking up on that. I think I have one more Yezi black tea to try, Ming Hong Black Black Tea. I will have to add this to my wishlist so I remember to pick up a sample next time.
Man, there is just the strongest scent of flowers coming off the brewed leaves of this tea. This is stellar. It’s backed by some nutty roasted flavors and hints of vanilla and cream.
The first infusion tastes slightly like wood or bamboo with a creamy sweet finish. There’s a healthy dose of mineral that is more noticeable if you drink it hot. Rolling the scent a bit in a Taiwanese aroma cup, it smells just like honey. Letting the tea cool gives you a much smoother, creamier cup.
Oh my goodness, I was not prepared for this. The second steeping of this tea is SOOOOO good! The taste is of honey and a very strong taste of flowers. I’m not tasting a lot of mineral this time, other than in the finish. There are tiny hints of the sort of camphor and spice notes I’m used to in Da Hong Pao but they do not dominate the cup. The taste is somewhat reminiscent of Yezi Tea’s High Grade Tie Guanyin, which is one of the best TGY I’ve had.
The third infusion is bringing out more mineral and char flavors, lessening on the sweet and mild ones. The fourth infusion brings out more fruity, floral and sweet qualities once again, perfectly balanced by the mineral and char tastes to give a really complex flavor.
I will definitely be buying some of this tea soon!
Anyone know why it’s “Shui Xian Da Hong Pao”? Is this a blend of Shui Xian and Da Hong Pao???
Flavors: Char, Cream, Floral, Honey, Mineral
I placed a Yezi Tea order a while back when they had their free shipping promotion. I have really really been enjoying straight blacks this summer and so I thought why not. I have had the opportunity to try quite a few Yezi Teas with out making a purchase so thought I would go ahead and support these guys. I threw this one into my cart without trying it and I will be honest it is not all that I had hoped for. It is a decent black tea, but nothing about it is unique. It is more like your every day cup of black tea. I am okay with that. I need this on those days when you just don’t know what you are looking for. It is a light tea with hints of bread and slight hints of cocoa. This tea won’t go to waste, but it probably will not make it back into my cupboard after I finish this 2oz. I have quite a few more from Yezi that I love more.
My second black tea of the morning came from KiwiDelight. I’ve had several Jin Jun Mei teas before and enjoyed them, so I requested this one in our swap. The leaves are familiar – small, thin, wiry, and mostly gold in color. Dry scent is strong malt with some sweetness and molasses tones. I steeped a heaping teaspoon for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Once brewed, this tea smells rather savory with strong malt and grain aromas. This reminds me of another Jin Jun Mei I had in that it has a nice savory smoked meat flavor to it. However, it’s not the main flavor in this tea. I get a strong toasty grain note along with a nice creamy texture and together, they remind me of white tea. There’s an underlying richness that makes me think of molasses and it helps to deepen the overall flavor. I can taste a touch of sweet potato as well. Overall, a lovely savory tea with layers of flavor.
Flavors: Creamy, Grain, Malt, Molasses, Smoked, Sweet Potatoes, Toasted
Well, this confounded my expectations. I have never had an unroasted Dong Ding, so this is a new experience to me.
The first steeping was light with hints of sweet soft floral. By the second the infusion color is a light yellow-green with a very generous buttery flavor and mouthfeel and a finish of floral and sweet vegetal flavors. A few infusions in I’m reminded a bit of a Tie Guanyin. There are the nice hearty leafy qualities with just hints of floral and spice. In later steepings the tea is more mellow and buttery with just dull sweetness, but it is good for many infusions. I’m on 6 and and though there is a bit of a mineral flavor emerging, it is still overall good to drink. By infusion 8 the bitter/mineral quality seemed to back off again and the cup is mostly sweet, if not a bit weak. I’m doing a 9th infusion before I stop (can you tell yet that I’m brewing Gongfu style?). Wow! On the 9th infusion the flavor changed completely and now it tastes like artichoke! Surprising! There’s a little lingering sweetness, and as it cools I’m getting more of the clove/camphor notes from before. Okay, maybe one more won’t hurt. 10’s a good stopping point. Oh yeah, now that I’m trying it, it’s quite interesting. Really different from where this tea started out. Still buttery with some nice artichoke and cream notes.
While I must confess I find myself more drawn to the roasted type of Dong Ding, this unroasted version is unique and fun to enjoy. It really gives you a peek at what nuances in the tea leaves develop into the qualities you’d find in a roasted Dong Ding when it is roasted.
Flavors: Artichoke, Camphor, Clove, Floral, Honey, Sweet, Vegetal
This is my first time with a Da Yu Ling. The taste was overall reminiscent of a Jin Xuan mixed with maybe an Ali Shan. The flavor was mostly what I’ve come to expect from a high quality Taiwanese oolong, light and floral with notes of mountain greenery. There was a hint of spice like maybe camphor or clove on the first steep as well as a bit of a creamy taste. As the infusions went on, they became more floral and subdued with a honey-like sweetness.
With other Taiwanese oolongs, there is often a quality that sticks out to me and makes it taste unique. Dong Ding has that dried fruit kind of flavor, and Jun Xuan is very milky, while Shan Lin Xi is very foresty and Tie Guanyin is floral and leafy. As for Da Yu Ling, it seems like a balanced tea and nothing particular stands out to me in the flavor, so it is not one I will likely be keeping in my own cupboard, but if you love a nice clean and floral Taiwanese oolong, this is a good pick.
Flavors: Floral, Forest Floor, Honey, Spices
T&C TTB 23/23
I remember saving a small serving of this to try because I remember someone liking this more than a Verdant one that I don’t even remember the name of anymore. I saved this for months thinking I would hold off until I could write a proper review. Well I still can not but this is a yummy, malty, bready tea, I should purchase some or something like it and have it more often.
I haven’t reviewed on Steepster in a bit, so I figured I’d write a new one.
This Master Grade Tie Guanyin has all the makings of a Tie Guanyin, the buttery vegetal quality, the foresty and floral notes typical of Taiwanese high mountain oolong. As Tie Guanyins go, this one registers on the softer and more mellow side of the scale. There’s a gentle (and I really mean gentle) honey sweetness to it and a really soft vegetal flavor, reminding me slightly of spinach and zucchini. It is definitely floral. I can see the ideas others have offered of orchid or honeysuckle, but they are not quite on the mark from what I’m getting. Anyway, it’s hard to attribute other flavors to a tea in any case, so those are probably close enough, maybe a bit of a jasmine-like quality is there too.
What’s odd to me about this tea is that it is the Master Grade variant Tie Guanyin that Yezi offers, and it has less prominent and memorable qualities to me than the High Grade Tie Guanyin, which is a step down in grade and pricing. I’ve drank both today, so I have them fresh in memory to compare. Where the High Grade had the unmistakable scent of holiday spices and hints of camphor, the Master Grade is more round and no flavor or scent sticks out to me distinctly. It does seem more buttery than the other.
If it comes to personal recommendation though, I actually prefer the High Grade to this one as I think the “spiced” quality and camphor notes are what make that one really wonderful to me.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Forest Floor, Honey, Vegetal
Got a sample of this with my Yezi Tea order.
A few months ago I got Tealux’s version of as a sample from Virginia, and I absolutely loved it! So when I saw this tea on the Yezi Tea website, I couldn’t resist getting it!
It has that floral, perfume-y tea that I so adored in the Tealux version.
It has a certain creaminess, that’s not really my thing in oolongs so much, but the floral-ness makes it more drinkable for me.
It has that certain creaminess that I’ve tasted in milk oolongs…the kind that makes me kinda feel sick. xD So I’m glad that there’s a lot of floral in this.
But I think I like the Tealux version better.
Still a lovely cup of tea though. (:
I’m pretty easy to satisfy as far as jasmine green teas go, so choosing this as a sample from Yezi felt like a safe bet, and as it turns out I was correct.
Opening the packet, there’s a really nice jasmine aroma, just purely floral and fairly strong. Upon brewing, the same aroma persists — they’re not playing around with the jasmine here!
The actual liquor has a surprisingly light taste considering the strength of the scent — it’s not bad, especially for a tea that’s advertised as being good for multiple steeps, just more subtle than I expected. It stands on its own without sweetener, which I don’t always find true of floral teas, probably because the green tea isn’t the slightest bit bitter. Just a nice soft, smooth jasmine.
I don’t feel like this is dramatically different from other jasmine greens, but it’s an excellent version and one of my favorites.
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine
This is the only non-sample sized tea I got in my Yezi Tea order. Thought I’d like this one best. But gotta admit, kinda disappointed by this one.
It’s pretty earthy above all. Once you get past that you begin tasting sweet potatoes. But mostly just earthiness. It will probably grow on me since I have an ounce of it, but…it’s just alright for me right now.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet Potatoes
I was a little hesitant to try this tea because of the supposed smoke in the description, but it seems to be positively reviewed so I will give it a try! Sipping… I’m glad that there isn’t a bunch of smoke here. It’s earthy, smooth and tastes a bit like caramel and milk without any heavy sweetness. This is another tea that I would like to be stronger. The flavors are all nice, but are quite faint. It’s difficult to enjoy the more delicious elements because the earthiness sort of takes over for me.
Brewed with glass test tube steeper. Steeping times: 45, 60, 75, 90, 120.
The leaves are dark green and long and twisty, like gnarled branches in an old forest. They are perfect for the test tube steeper. I liked watching them become enlarged and turn into a lighter green. Very alive and plant-like. The dry and wet leaf aroma alike are thick with vegetal and buttery notes. After the second infusion, the wet leaf began to smell like dried pineapple. The liquor is bright green with fuzzy particles, yet clean with a bright personality. Texture is a little creamy. Flavors of spinach, bok choy, and sugar snap peas are present, and the aftertaste is predominantly floral. Overall, the feeling is fresh and clean. Good for all year round: complements warmer months, evokes spring warmth during winter.
This is the only Wen Shan Baozhong I’ve had, but I really like this. One of my favorites of Yezi.
Origin: Li Shan (Pear Mountain), Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: Spinach green color rolled balls with scents of vanilla wafer
Method: Gaiwan 200F immediate rinse-45"-55"
Liquor: Pale Spring green with Orchid scent
Flavor: Floral, creamy, sugarcane
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Sugarcane
Dark brown strip-style leaves smell minerally and like a burnt Almond Joy candy bar if ever there was such a thing.
200F Gong Fu
Liquor has a light pearl color with a floral scent. The flavor is creamy, vanilla orchid, baked coconut husk.
Leaves open up to be forest green in color. I have never had a Da Hong Pao this mildly roasted before. It is subtle and lightly toasty not heavily roasted and coffee- like. This is a very enjoyable Oolong.
Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Orchid, Vanilla
I have never written a note on this tea! That is not good haha because I loveee this tea. Yesterday I was going through my cupboard and found this one and thought yeah, I want that tomorrow. So I made it for the morning at work today. Yes, the flavors are a bit muted from the travel mug, but this is a delicious light black tea just dripping with honey flavor. Like this is a HONEY tea. A favorite black tea of mine that I definitely do not drink often enough. This is fresh honey from the comb on toast with creamy butter underneath. Or a cup of cream mixed with honey. Whatever it is, honey is the dominant note and it is just so yummmm.
In other news, I am still ridiculously tired..I think my sleep schedule got messed up beyond repair with the long weekend (late nights, relatively early mornings) as well as the cat waking me up with his meowing at various times in the night (different each day, sometimes 2 am, 3 am, 4 am….ughhh). This weekend hopefully I can recuperate and fix up my body, I am zonked at work again.
Back to the tea briefly, overall, a delicious tea that I highly recommend!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Creamy, Honey