1979 Tasting Notes
This one comes to me thanks to Sil! I figured I would get started on this giant pile of tea that she sent me with this buckwheat tea.
I thought this would brew up darker, maybe because it’s called “black”, but the liquor was a pale yellow. It smells sweet and savory, bready and nutty. It tastes fantastic. I never thought I would be into a buckwheat tea, but it’s delicious! Ever so slightly sweet and salty, like natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butter on dense bread. As it brews longer, it gets more and more pretzelly. The sweetness gets more on the aftertaste, but it’s still there. What a fantastic dessert tea! Thanks for sharing, Sil. I’ll be interested if anyone finds a source for something like this in the future!
Sipdown, 122. It’s been a loooong time since I’ve had an oriental beauty, so I am interested in seeing how this one plays on my newly dark-oolong-sympathetic palate.
The scent has a kind of fruity floral that I sometimes find in black teas, perhaps darjeelings, surprisingly enough. It’s not a fruity floral that I’m super fond of, but we’ll see how it plays out here. Fortunately for me, the scent doesn’t quite translate into the taste. This has a super smooth and creamy texture that is really awesome. It’s not really roasty or toasted, and it’s not particularly vegetal either. Honey for sure, and a breadiness like a yeasty, crusty loaf straight out of the oven. A hint of fruit as well, although it’s subtle for sure. Definitely enjoying this one, and glad to try it out again!
Sipdown, 123. This is an oolong that I haven’t yet tried from Teavivre, yay!
Wow, this one smells amazing! I guess I didn’t know quite what to expect, but yum. It smells like floral candy. Not just sugary, but like actual boiling sugar, with the slight hint of caramelization and everything. My mouth is watering!
It is less candied and more leafy in flavor, although there is certainly a lovely sweetness that lingers in the aftertaste. I do get a hint of a bite, although it is different from typical bitterness/astringency. It is a sharpess, almost spicy like arugala. I brewed it fairly strong, so the bite may be a factor of that as well. The beginning of the sip is buttery and slightly floral. I really like this one and find it more interesting than most Taiwanese high mountain oolongs that I have tried before. I may have to pick up more of this to play around with eventually. What can I say, I’m a sucker for sweet green oolongs with interesting layers of flavor.
Sipdown, 124. I actually meant to grab a different sample pouch this morning, but my brain is somewhat addled from poor sleep last night, so this one it is. Another of my winnings from Teavivre’s latest fall oolong giveaway.
Apparently the last time I had this tea (probably a different harvest) I found it to be not very toasted in flavor, but this one seems more roasty in the aroma at least. It is sweet and toasty, reminding me a bit of floral honey on toast (because there is also an awesome honeyed sweeteness in this one). Didn’t get that last time… I wonder if it was my leaf to water ratio? I am packing the leaf a bit more these days, which I think is making a difference when it comes to these oolongs. I am for sure enjoying these toasty oolongs more… maybe it’s my palate changing, maybe it’s that I figured out my optimal brewing for them, maybe it’s the fall weather that’s back! Nice and cool, perfect for curling up with a cup of tea.
Sipdown, 125. One more sipdown in, yes! Gongfu session.
To me, this is a pretty nice shu puerh, but it doesn’t stand out too much. It is a lot sweeter than a lot of other shus that I’ve tried. This one is woody, with a good bit of earthiness. It is one of those puerhs that really reminds me of a barn… The wood, the dirt, the leather, a bit of hay and sawdust. And sweet. An interesting tea, but not my style. Thanks again to Teavivre for this sample!
Sipdown, 126. Gongfu session earlier today.
Call me a heathen, but I prefer this one western style. It was sweeter, and I liked the layers of flavor then instead of each layer individually. I was tasting each steep individually and then pouring the remainder into a larger cup to drink a bit later, and I have to say that enjoyed the cup more than the individual steeps. But, the point is that I did really enjoy this tea! Of all the teas I’ve experienced through the reserve club, wuyi oolongs are growing on me most.
Sipdown, 127. Made strong, with additions.
I am behind by one on sipdowns and we are going out today, so I am trying to squeeze them in. This one I decided I wasn’t super into plain, so I have been drinking it with milk and sugar at home. It is sweet (duh) and nutty, but not particularly caramelly. Ah well, it was a decent tea overall.
Sipdown, 128. Ah, yabao. I know when I drink it, I am going to be drinking a forest.
It is gross out today, hot and humid. I want my fall weather, dammit. I thought maybe drinking a piney forest would be cooling. First sip of the first steep is interesting! Not as piney as I was expecting. Actually very smooth, creamy, and a bit sweet. Notes of green leaves, but not entirely in a savory way. Like kale ice cream or something, although that sounds horrible. This is not, and I’m surprised that I am enjoying it as much as I am. This yabao reminds me more of the silver buds yabao than of the older yabao that came previously in the reserve club.
A few steeps in it loses the sweetness and becomes more leafy, but it’s never as earthy, woody, or piney as I expected. This was a really interesting and lovely tea, and one I’m really glad I got a chance to try.
Sipdown, 129 (had to add the Yezi tea samples that I just got to my cupboard!). Gongfu session.
I think I prefer this one a bit more gongfu. The smokiness is lightly present in each steep, but it doesn’t multiply so much to be super strong as in the western steep. It’s a bit fruitier, and a bit more honeyed. Of course, it also has surprising “bite” to it, which I wouldn’t have expected in this format, but it’s there. Definitely bitter chocolate qualities. Still not my favorite black tea, but a nice session this afternoon.
Sipdown, 127. This is one of my winnings from the recent Teavivre Taiwan oolong giveaway.
Apparently I have tried this one before, although I don’t know if the name has slightly changed because I don’t remember it being specifically Taiwanese the last time I had it. Well, I’m happy to have it again. The smell is definitely traditional TGY… green, but a little roasty too. I looked at the steeping instructions on the sample packet, which said boiling water for 3 to 10 minutes. LOL, whut. That is insane. And perhaps a misprint, since the steeping instructions are different on this page.
Mmm, this is such a pleasant tea. I have come to enjoy the roasted flavors of this type of oolong, and drinking this really makes me see the similarities between traditional TGYs and the unroasted Wuyi oolong I had earlier today. This tea is honey sweet, like honey on a pastry. Yum. Who knows, maybe there is a place in my cupboard for traditional TGY after all.