1994 Tasting Notes
Even though I’m not the biggest on yunnan blacks, I ordered a sample of this tea from JK because I do like some (particularly Fengqing, like the black pearls) and I once read someone who drinks a lot of gongfu black tea said it was their favorite black tea. Since I was able to get a sample, I thought I’d give it a try. First trial western steeped, and I’ll do a gongfu session with it at some point.
Well it smells like a yunnan. A bit potatoey, a bit hay-ish. Not quite honeyed, not quite cocoa. The first sips are kind of bitter, but as I drink more the main body of the sip becomes sweeter. The bitterness creeps back in the aftertaste, but it is light. I may try this with less leaf, or less time. The flavor is more like an unrolled black pearl that the steeped tea initially smelled like. This cup is a bit “robust” for me, but otherwise I am relatively pleased with this tea.
A tea I haven’t had for two years, but it made such an impression that I have always intended to get more of it, and I never forgot about it. I’ve even had other coconut pouchongs in the intervening time, but none could come close to the memory of this tea.
Oh coconut pouchong, you smell delightful. You taste amazing. How can a tea taste so much like a coconut macaroon cookie? I don’t know. Sweet, coconutty, with light bakery cookie flavors. So much yum! So glad I finally reordered this one and have it again in my stash.
I have had this tea for quite a while. I drank it once, but I oversteeped it or something and I never wrote a tasting note. I don’t know why, just never got around to it I guess. I am going to try to get through some of my small tins of tea so that I can open new teas from Lupicia (which need 50g tins).
Anyway, this is quite a nice tea. The leaf almost looks like a pouchong, being not quite balled up like other green oolongs, but slightly crumpled. It unfurls into pretty nice looking leaves overall (and a few stems). The flavor is pleasant. The shekwasha (a type of citrus fruit) is light, which I like because it means it doesn’t cover up the oolong flavor, which is very fresh and green. The shekwasha reminds me of a less-tart grapefruit or maybe a pomelo. Citrusy and pleasant. A tasty tea and I just need to remember to keep it in my regular rotation before it ages too much more.
I’m always on the lookout for a good passion fruit black. Passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors, and sometimes you just want an unadultered version of a flavor you love, you know? thepuriTea used to carry a quite good passion fruit black, but they are out of business now, so if I want one I will have to find another good one.
This one smelled promising. The steeped tea has a good amount of sweet and tart passion fruit scent, with a nice hearty black tea underneath it. However, I have to say this is a no for me. There is something about the black tea base that is too strong and almost savory. The beginning of the sip is good, with nice passion fruit flavor (though not quite fresh passion fruit), but then the black tea takes over, masks the passion fruit, and gives it a weird salty-savory and slightly bitter note. Will definitely be cold brewing the rest of this.
I had this tea yesterday but never logged it. I ordered a sample of this tea because I wanted to compare it (bergamot, vanilla, rose) to the new Lady Grey (bergamot, vanilla).
The weird thing about this one was the fact that the steeped tea had a somewhat earthy note. It may have more Keemun in the base, I think. It’s not something I look for in my blends, to be honest, but I’m not really a fan of earthy teas. The flavors were somewhat muted… I wanted more of everything: more rose, more bergamot, more vanilla. But otherwise it was a fairly tasty tea and I had no problem drinking the entire cup. I do think I prefer the Lady Grey between the two of them, just because I like the base a bit better (but not as much as the base on Lemon Drop).
I have to admit I am glad to finally be drinking the last of this one. I have been cold brewing it and finished it off today. I had to do this one carefully: half as much leaf as I would normally use, brewed for no more than 8 hours. Then it was quite tasty, although the jasmine and passion fruit never really came out strongly in the flavor. This was an old tea in my collection, and I’m happy to have finally cleared it out.
I’m not sure why I purchase another sample of this one with one of my Teavivre orders. I think I thought that I hadn’t tried it before, which is crazy because it is one of my all-time highest rated teas on here. Maybe the long name through me off. I felt silly when I went to add it to my cupboard and saw my own effusive reviews.
Anyway, a discussion on oolongs yesterday got me thinking of really fine tieguanyins and I decided to have this one this morning. Man, this tea is just outstanding. It blew me away again! So sweet, so floral, so buttery. I can’t get over how delicious this tea is. If you love green, floral tieguanyins please do yourself a favor and get some of this. It is truly one of the highest quality ones I have tried.
This is the second free sample that I received from ATR with my last order. I was curious to try their take on an Earl Grey Cream, even though I have plenty of a different EGC already in my cupboard (the Tea Spot’s). I have to say that I rarely reach for EGCs, even though I enjoy them. I guess if I want bergamot I usually want a straight up Earl.
Anyway, the scent on this one is nice and creamy, with bright citrusy bergamot. I have to say that, although pretty tasty, the flavor is not quite as good as the Lemon Drop that I had a few days ago from this company. Possibly it has something to do with the base tea… this one seemed a bit thinner, or something. It had a light creaminess but I think if you are going to go EGC you gotta go really creamy, and it just wasn’t quite there. But I did happily drink the entire cup down, and I did enjoy the cup.
I love mangosteens but they are just such a hard fruit to find. They don’t travel well, so finding a fresh one in the states is next to impossible, and they just haven’t taken off as a “superfruit” so you rarely find them dried. That extends to tea… I have almost never seen a mangosteen flavored tea besides a few blends from grocery store teas trying to cash in on superfruit status. But I found out that Dammann has a mangosteen black, and I finally got around to ordering some (since CDV carried it).
The dry leaf certainly smells like mangosteen, that hard-to-describe, tropical, peach-passion fruit-banana-pear flavor. There are also clearly chunks of dried mangosteen in the blend. Steeped up, it retains that scent and flavor, with the addition of Dammann’s traditional Chinese/Ceylon tea base (people who dislike that blend will find the same flavor here; fortunately, I love the blend). The flavor is nice, slightly creamy, sweet and tart. Very pleased with the faithfulness to mangosteen here.
This is the only tea that I ordered from JK Tea Shop in larger than a sample size, namely because they didn’t have a sample size option. But I just had to try it, so 50g it is! A black tea made with Jinxuan cultivar? It sounded awesome.
The dry leaf is dark with some golden flecks. It’s not long and wiry, but not quite balled-up either. It smells awesome, like molasses and toasted grains (like molasses-based horse feed if you’ve smelled it… I say that and people think that sounds weird but that stuff actually smells amazing). Anyway, it’s definitely a smell that I enjoy, and one that many of my favorite black teas have.
I decided to do a western steep first, and my default black tea parameters since I’ve never had this type of tea before. The steeped tea smells sweet, a bit honeyed, with some dried apricot notes. It is not unlike some Taiwanese black teas that I have had before, though with a grain undertone. Like some kind of mix between a Taiwanese and Fujian black.
The flavor is sweet and a bit fruity. Definitely reminds me of a Taiwanese black, which I suppose isn’t that surprising considering it’s a jin xuan cultivar, even if it is being grown on the mainland. As it cools there is a hint of bitterness that is creeping out; I’ll have to mess around with the steeping parameters of this. Overall this is pretty nice but not overly special. There is not much to it that would make me choose it over a Taiwanese black.