174 Tasting Notes

94

After having a sample of the Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mt Dancong and finding it quite fascinating I asked for a sample of this.

The tea leaves are a dark brownish-green and slightly twisted. Dry and wet the leaves smell of roasted fruit. After a quick rinse I brewed this gaiwan style. My sip of this tea left me baffled as to what the taste was. First I thought oh there’s some sort of floral note, soft light note of jasmine. Then I thought hazelnut with the nutty taste and creamy texture. Then there was sweet toasted marshmallow followed by an orange note but more in the taste without the citrus texture, kind of like a creamsicle. The aftertaste was spearmint with the tingling sparkling sensation.

What madness is this?! It seems whatever I wished to taste I could find in the tea! As I continued tasting I came across a lightly buttered croissant, lightly grilled stone fruit, and some sort of pine wood. As the steeps continued the roasted flavors came out more and mineral/stone notes came into play as well.

This is a bizarre and wonderful tea than unfolds and shows so much in flavor. It is not nearly as bold and has less roasted notes than that of the Mi Lan Dancong. It still has roasted notes and mineral notes, which I am not a big fan of, but this tea is just so complex that it makes up for those notes!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

A tea taste vortex! A monster wave you ride on a longboard! Exhilaration! Isn’t this what we are looking for?!

ashmanra

Sounds amazing!

Invader Zim

I’m not a fan of the really mineral notes or the roasted/grilled notes, but these dancongs are just so amazingly complex they blow my mind!

Lynne-tea

Oh my! I want to try this so bad now! It’s been in my shopping cart many times.

Sil

thanks for the great review! Though now i have yet another tea to add to the list…

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82

Sample from Teavivre

Cold brewed this time. I just realized that I didn’t write my original tasting note in here…I’ll have to do that later. Anyways, Cold brewed I found this tea to be much more enjoyable. Before when I brewed it hot I found it to be very floral without much of the tea base coming out and it lacked a bit of the sweetness that I have found in other jasmine. It also had a bit astringency no matter how I brewed it.

This time when I threw it in the fridge over night I gave it a sip and threw some in my travel mug for class this morning and boy was it delicious!

The slight astringency was gone, the jasmine had a wonderful sweetness to it and I could taste some of the tea base. The tea base wasn’t very strong, it was there enough to taste it and help balance the jasmine. But the sweetness of the tea was what really impressed me since I wasn’t getting any of it hot.

I didn’t add much sweetener either, 1 Tbsp brown sugar (not packed) for a quart of water with 2 heaping tsp of tea. That’s how much sugar I always add to cold brews, but this had that natural nectar-like sweetness to it…delicious!

I only have a little bit of this left and it’s all going to be cold brewed!

Thank you Teavivre for this sample!

Preparation
Iced

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85

Backlogging from Sunday.

This was the biggest reason I wanted to try the Shang sampler and I had such huge hopes for this one. Wild honeysuckle grows along the roadside where I grew up and where my parents still live. I still love to walk down the road and to pick it and taste the sweet nectar.

My dad has a convertible and puts the top down when we go out somewhere in the spring and summer and I always bug him to take the back roads so I can smell all the honeysuckle blooming. It grows everywhere, even along the highways. It is one of my favorite things about spring and early summer.

So, I opened the little sampler bag and smelled a slight sweet floral scent. The wet leaves smelled of sweet hay with a floral note. The taste was sweet hay, slightly floral with a nectar note in the aftertaste. It didn’t jump out and say “Hey! It’s me, Honeysuckle!” it was very subtle, I almost had to look for it. It was a light enough floral that had I not been told it was honeysuckle I may not have guessed it was.

I had too high of expectations for this tea to live up to. I was expecting it to be similar to jasmine teas, to be able to scent and taste the floral notes and go “Yes! That is honeysuckle!” to be blown away. Unfortunately this tea is not that for me.

Even though my expectations were way too high for this, after getting past the fact that I was not going to be blown away by honeysuckle, this was a good white tea with a soft floral note added to it. It was more like the tea picked up the floral notes by growing in close proximity than actually being added to the tea, that’s how soft the floral notes are.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Lynne-tea

Oh jeez. I absolutely adore honeysuckle. I wonder if just a tiny touch of agave would bring out the honeysuckle more? I do not like to put things in my tea, but I randomly experimented with Super Chocolate by Davids Tea and the other flavours that were hiding came alive and danced in my mouth. I only added about 1/8th to 1/4th of a tsp of agave too.

Invader Zim

I didn’t think about sweetening it, and the sample was all or nothing size of sample…just dump the whole packet. If I get this again I may have to try sweetening it and see what happens.

Lynne-tea

Ohh bummer! I am accustomed to larger sample sizes I think, hence my assumption that you would have a cup left to try. =)

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89

Last tasting note of the day…I can’t take anymore. I feel like my eyeballs are floating and I’ve got quite the caffeine buzz going on causing a slight headache. I can’t remember the last time I drank so many different teas in one day and each tea is being brewed at least 2-3 times. Tea drunk perhaps?

This one intrigued me because it supposedly resembles jasmine. Mmm, jasmine. The dry leaves appear to be mostly curled dark green leaves with some white leaves mixed in. The dry smell took me a while to place. It smells like the black licorice candies you get for Halloween. That put me off a little because I don’t like licorice. The wet leaves smelled like that candy licorice, some sort of citrus note, floral notes and a vegetal note hiding in the corner.

Taste was floral, not jasmine, a lot softer than jasmine, definitely not soapy. There were hints of sweet citrus and grapes and a tingling sensation on the tip of the tongue in the aftertaste. The licorice taste was still there but it wasn’t that icky sticky sweetness in the back of the throat. I didn’t care for it but it wasn’t entirely unpleasant.

The one thing I really noticed about this tea is that it is really calming. I’ve been drinking so much tea that the caffeine is really making me twitchy and giving me a headache. This tea is calming me down even though I’m still very alert and my headache has calmed down to barely noticeable. A nice bonus.

I would rate this tea a bit higher, but that candy licorice is slightly off-putting to me. It’s the only thing I have bad to say about this tea. Other than that it is wonderful.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
SimpliciTEA

The calming effect may be from the theanine in the tea; I primarily think of green teas as having lots of theanine, but my understanding is some teas in other classes—especially the teas that are largely composed of buds—can also have lots of theanine.

TeaBrat

Drinking too much caffeine gives me migraines… I am definitely trying to cut back. I have heard if you steep your leaves more than once, the other infusions will contain less caffeine. :)

Bonnie

Whites have the most caffeine anyway don’t they?

SimpliciTEA

I have personally not seen an accurate and straightforward answer to the ‘caffeine’ question. My understanding is that are primarily three things affect the caffeine in the tea liquor (there seems to be number of minor ones, as well). 1) The number of buds in the dry tea, as buds are purported to have the most caffeine. 2) Steeping time: the longer the steep, the more caffeine that is extracted. 3) Steeping temperature: here is a great graph (from Den’s Teas website) that show how the hotter the temperature, the more caffeine that’s extracted http://www.denstea.com/perfect_brewing.html (You may have to scroll down to see the graph).

White teas white teas are traditionally bud-only teas, but these days, some of the lower-graded white teas have more leaves than buds. They are often brewed at temperatures lower then with the other classes of Tea; they are often steeped for shorter on longer that other classes of tea, depending on the class. I often drink white tea in the evening (steeped about 160-170F, for 2 – 5 minutes) and have never had a hard time falling asleep. I am susceptible to caffeine however, and have had problems sleeping after drinking black teas in the evening. So, it all depends on how you brew it, and how your body reacts to it, as far as I see it.

TeaBrat

I always heard white teas had the least amount of caffeine and black teas had the most…

Angrboda

As I understand it, all types have the same amount of caffeine. Black tea just tends to release it quicker, because the leaves are broken into smaller pieces. So the leaves have the same concentration but a cup of black will have a higher concentration than a cup of white.

Invader Zim

the whole caffeine issue confuses me because there is so much conflicting data out there. All I know is that I drank a lot more than I usually do and I certainly felt the effects!

SimpliciTEA

Determining wow much caffeine is actually in that cup you’re drinking does indeed seem to be complex. As Angrboda brought up, and as I understand it, the ratio of surface area to the weight of tea also pays a part. The more broken the dry tea is, the more surface area there is (by weight), thus the faster (and perhaps easier) it is for the water to penetrate into the leaf.

btw, from what I have read, I don’t think the method of processing (i.e. whether a leaf is processed into green, or black or white, etc,)
has a dramatic effect on the amount of caffeine that particular leaf has (although, theoretically, the shape of it may determine how quickly it releases caffeine into your cup).

Invader Zim: If the teas you drank were composed primarily of ‘buds’, and since you drank lots of them, then I can understand why you felt the effects.

CHAroma

@SimpliciTEA, I think you’re spot on with your caffeine in tea research. I’ve done my own research and come up with the same conclusions.

SimpliciTEA

Thanks, CHAroma. I always appreciate hearing about the conclusions of others—whether they are the same or different than my own (especially when they’re based on ‘scientific research’—using that word loosely here).

Invader Zim

Most of the teas were a mix of big peony leaves and buds.

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88

White tea Shang sample of the mid afternoon. Yes, I realize I’m drinking a lot of tea today and I have become close friends with the restroom because of it. My first jasmine white tea of Shang. This is a nice soft jasmine taste that isn’t overly perfumey. I’m getting a spearmint-like sensation at the tail end of the sip. The aftertaste has a slight drying effect with a hint of sweet hay note. This isn’t my favorite white jasmine tea, but it’s not bad by any means either, just doesn’t really stand out in my opinion.

Edit:
Just a quick side note that I just realized…this is my 100 tasting note!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Scatterbrain

I’m right behind you!

LiberTEAS

Congrats on 100 tasting notes. I do really like Shang Tea, they have some of the best white teas I’ve encountered.

SimpliciTEA

So that’s who you got your new package from: Shang Tea. I’m glad you’re enjoying the teas. I vaguely remember reading some good things about them, as a company at least (Although I don’t remember seeing a company review written about them in under the ‘online’ Places).

Sad to hear your husband doesn’t seem to share in your enthusiasm about tea. :(

Congratulations on the 100th tasting note!

Lynne-tea

Congratulations on the 100th tasting note! How exciting =)

Invader Zim

Thank you everyone!

SimpliciTEA, the new package I got today is from Verdant, I got Shang’s tea package yesterday!

The husband doesn’t share tea enthusiasm at all. I have him try some and he’ll just stares at me and shrug his shoulders after swishing it in his mouth.

Bonnie

Happy 100!!!!

DaisyChubb

Yay happy 100 indeed!

LiberTEAS

@Invader Zim: be glad that he takes a sip at all. My husband rarely even does that. One time, he emphasized his point that HE DOES NOT LIKE TEA by taking a sip and promptly going to the bathroom to vomit.

Ah well, I’m ok with that, because, all this tea in this house… all of it, it’s MINE! He can’t have it. My precious. MINE!

ashmanra

Happy 100, IZ!

SimpliciTEA

Silly men! : }

Bonnie

LIBERTEAS crackin up! Reminds me of the uglies! My ex -husband was so mean that he wouldn’t have ALLOWED me to even HAVE tea in the house girl! If it wasn’t about him …it wasn’t!

Invader Zim

LiberTEAS: your husband seems to take it a little too far, but yes more us! and I love you precious analogy!

SimpliciTEA…you are a man aren’t you?!

Bonnie: I apologize if i offend you, but it sounds like there’s god reason he’s an ex.

SimpliciTEA

Invader Zim You bet I am, and I have no problem with poking fun at my own sex. : )

CHAroma

Hahahahahaa! “close friends with the restroom” LOL!! So funny! Congratulations on your 100th tasting note too! I always enjoy your posts, so keep ’em coming! :)

Invader Zim

Thank you CHAroma, it’s always nice to know that they are being enjoyed!

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93

White tea of the early afternoon. I’m having a ball with these white tea samples! This one confused me dearly because it says white tea yet is says wu-long which I know is another way of spelling oolong…mind blown. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it so I brewed it like I do any other white teas and I was very much impressed.

The dry leaves are dark brown and slightly curled with some fuzzy white curled leaves mixed in and smelled of apricot and stones. The wet leaves smell more earthy with hay notes…now I’m getting more confused. Taste…o_O sweet hay notes, sweet apricot notes, stone/mineral notes, a very smooth, creamy texture, like butter, yet it remains light. Is this a white tea or an oolong…I get notes from both types.

This tea is as confusing to me as it is delicious.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I keep thinking I need to get more of this!

Invader Zim

I intend to get more next time I order from them simply because of how different this tea is…in a good way of course!

TeaBrat

Yes, 9I totally agree!

Shang Tea

Thanks for all the reviews Invader Zim. Just wanted to clear up the confusion, this tea comes from the White Tea Plant Varietals that we grow on our farm (Da Bai and Da Hao), but it is processed like a Wu-Long (Oolong) tea.

Scatterbrain

This sounds delicious.

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94

Another early morning white tea from the Shang sampler. This is divine. Beautiful white fuzzy buds brew up to have lovley cucumber notes, slight sweet fresh hay notes, a nice juicy melon dew texture. This tea is very light and crisp and subtle. The hay notes are one of the prominent notes but it doesn’t overwhelm your mouth and taste buds like other white teas can.

This tea reminds me of the beautiful early morning hours of pre-dawn right before the sun comes up when the sky is starting to lighten but is still nice shades of blue. This is the best Silver Needles I’ve had, it’s just so wonderfully light, crisp and airy.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Very nice expression of the silver needle!

Invader Zim

Thank you Bonnie. It was a lovely transportation experience I got from it.

SimpliciTEA

Yes, you said so much with so few words.

Bonnie

I have a lot of those. The way that the natural tea aura of wellbeing interacts with my existing brain malfunctions produces a kind of euphoria. I’m learning to be more aware of how to drink quality tea like this one slowly :)

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92
drank White Peony King by Shang Tea
174 tasting notes

Today is definitely a white tea day…and lots of it. Tomorrow probably will be too. I drank a sample of Shang’s yesterday and had an inner fight to not drink more samples late into the night. My will power won and I got some decent sleep and immediately started drinking this early this morning.

A lovely white peony that smells like sweet hay like most white teas do. The infusion was nice and light and had a slight sweet smell to it. Taste is what separates this. Sweet hay notes, slightly earthy and robust, and a hint of floral. Usually I get cucumber or melon notes but not a nice earthy robust flavor.

I’m preferring these Fujian white teas over Yunnan just a tad because the Yunnan whites I’ve had typically have some sort of spice/black pepper note and I am not getting any of that in any of these samples so far. Definitely a plus for me.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Wild White Tea by Shang Tea
174 tasting notes

I finally ordered the sampler package after seeing so many good reviews on here and it arrived today, which is really fast shipping…3 days I think. Anyways, this was the first one I picked out, I want to save the ones I think I’ll like best for later, but I’m not sure how that will go since I’m already having an internal argument of whether or not I should try another sample since it’s getting into the evening and I don’t want to stay awake from caffeine, but I also have nothing to wake up early for tomorrow, and so my dilemma continues!

The actual tea now…dry and wet leaves smell very much like sweet hay. In taste is carries a very sweet note in it that is slightly creamy in texture, like honey. The hay notes are very prominent, fresh and crisp. There is a slight floral note that I cannot quite pinpoint it’s origin.

The one thing that really surprises me about this tea is the sweet, creamy honey notes. It tastes like it was added but I assure I did not add anything to this. I brewed it 175F for about 1 minute in a 12 oz vessel. A delicious sweet white tea, and a good start for the samples!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

Nice! I loved working my way through these samples they are quite good!

Invader Zim

Almost all of them sound delicious, but I do love my jasmine teas.

Azzrian

Just DO IT! :)

Invader Zim

I’m still brewing this one for now. Steep #4 I think I’m on, holds up rather well. But we will see, there’s still plenty of time before I decide to go to bed tonight!

Bonnie I think you’ll make it! Sounds enjoyable.
CHAroma

Phew!! That is expensive! Seems like the sampler is definitely the way to go.

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92

This is a very pretty tea, tightly rolled green balls with jasmine flowers ans little pieces of orange rind. It doesn’t smell much different than a regular tiequanyin. The extra pieces don’t seem to add much in smell.

Taste starts out floral, orchid and jasmine, but the jasmine is very soft like it’s part of the tea, like the orchid is, and not like a scented tea. There is the buttery texture with a rich mouth-feel lasting into the aftertaste. The orange rind adds a slight citrus note that compliments the floral and creamy notes quite well during the main sip. It also adds a bit of a sparkling quality on the tip of the tongue in the aftertaste. There is also an extra bit of sweetness to it, i might be from the saffron but that’s a wildcard for me.

The oolong is still very predominant and the extra add-ins compliment and enhance the tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec
Lynne-tea

Oh this sounds delightful!

ashmanra

All you folks drinking Verdant’s teas are making my mouth water!

Autumn Hearth

I really need to order some Alchemy Blends ::sigh:: I’ve been wanting to try this, Elderberry Pu’er and Eight Tressures Yabao especially but also Imperial Breakfast, Temple Green and Mulled Hibiscus. Okay so I really want to try them all, those are just my top priorities right now. I’ll be wanting all the “chai” spice teas come fall.

Bonnie

I have yet to find anything disappointing.

Azzrian

I was bummed when I made my order a couple of nights ago and they were out of the Elderberry Pu’erh

Kittenna

Azzrian – if you get this message, I have Elderberry Pu’er I can send you to try :)

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Profile

Bio

I’m an avid tea drinker, it’s what I drink all day and why I’m here. I don’t sweeten my teas except for the occasional iced tea or cold-brewed tea. I typically brew my teas with a brew basket in a 12 oz cup. If I brew another way I will always note it.

Dislikes: black teas, milk flavored oolongs, hibiscus, red rooibos, licorice, dessert teas, mate, guayusa.

Loves: straight teas, especially Chinese green teas, sencha, jasmine, dan congs, mint, coconut.

My ratings are based mostly on the smiley faces. If a tea is of good quality but not to my taste preference I try not to rate it because I think that is unfair.

I drink a lot of the same teas and will not record every time I drink them. I log them the first time I try them and then again if I did something different and/or got different results.

I also try to keep my cupboard updated to what I actually have for those that wish to swap, although some of them are merely samples.

100 – http://steepster.com/teas/verdant-tea/32720-hand-rolled-top-grade-jasmine

Location

Pennsylvania

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