265 Tasting Notes
‘Disappointing’ doesn’t begin to describe this tea. I’ve rarely tried a tea that I’ve disliked quite so much as this one. It’s salty and bitter and I’m struggling to find any redeeming features. thinks Nope, there are no redeeming features. It’s just… yuck.
It’s possible that part of the bitterness comes from following the directions and steeping the leaves in boiling water. With most teas, I’d be willing to give it a second chance and try steeping it at a lower temperature next time, but I’m really not feeling inclined to go anywhere near this tea again.
I think this must be my most negative tea review ever – and it totally deserves it! I’m just about to go and pour the rest down the sink.
I’m so incredibly tired right now – jetlag has turned all my sleeping patterns inside out and upside down – but I’ve been trying to properly test-drive and review this tea for almost two days now, so here goes.
This is an excellent oolong, which is pretty much a given just from the name. There is such a lot to this tea that it’s really hard to do it justice in a description. I’m not completely sure of everything that’s going on in the taste, but it’s definitely complex. It’s got the sort of silky/full/floral sort of taste that you’d expect, and yet it’s not quite like any other Taiwan oolong I’ve tried, either. It’s not quite as milky/buttery as some others I’ve had, plus there’s also a thread of astringency in it that really keeps things interesting, and helps to make this tea both sharp and smooth at the same time. Be careful, though. This tea is very, very sensitive to steeping time. Steep it even 20-30 seconds too long and that edge of astringency will turn into a full-on bitterness that will ruin your cup of tea. I know this because I did it yesterday with the second steeping of my first attempt with this tea.
Each steeping has a very definite character of its own. The second is probably the best – assuming that you don’t accidentally sabotage it – but I’m just finishing the fourth right now, and it still has plenty of body even though the floral notes have faded a bit at this point.
I got this with the idea of keeping it as a night time tea, and if I use that as the main criterion for judging it, yeah, it works okay. It’s not going to keep me awake and it doesn’t taste horrible. Judged in more general terms, though…
The raspberry is the element of this tea that really isn’t working for me. It takes over the tea and dominates both the initial flavour and the aftertaste. I’m not a big fan of overpowering red fruit teas, and this one is tending a bit too much in that direction as far as I’m concerned.
As other people have noted, the leaves smell just like Strawberry Quik! After smelling them, I brewed this tea with some trepidation, but the actual taste turned out to be a lot less in-your-face than I was expecting. It isn’t anything like as overpoweringly sweet and fruity as the scent of the leaves, but quite subtle and smooth and with a teensy bit of a tart/citrusy edge to it . I was a bit surprised to find how easy it was to keep drinking this tea and I’ll definitely be revisiting it. I might try it with some milk next time, in keeping with the Quik theme.
Whoa – seriously sweet! I can see why the instructions gave the number of teaspoons of tea for 75ml (about 3oz – I think?) of water. Like Turkish coffee, this stuff is strong, and it’s clearly meant to be consumed in equally small quantities.
Three teaspoons per 75ml of hot water produces a very dark brew, but it’s brown rather than black. It’s incredibly sweet but you can also clearly taste the apple, and it’s really pretty good. I’d like to try it a bit more watered down sometime, and I’m also extremely curious to see what it would be like iced. Part of me almost wants to try significantly increasing the proportion of tea to water but I can’t think of a good reason for needing apple syrup for anything. g
I’ve been awake for something like 35 hours at this point, and now I’m finally home – and reunited with my tea cupboard! So many teas to choose from, but it was actually very easy to pick this one, which is one of the silkiest, milkiest Formosa oolongs you could ever hope to meet. On top of the fabulous taste, it always makes me feel that bit better as soon as it hits my system – probably the antioxidants – and right now it’s even managing to make me feel sort of vaguely awake.
Not what I was expecting. You can smell the peach blossom in the aroma, a little, but there’s something odd and unexpected happening with the flavour. This does not taste like a white tea. I’ve been sitting here, trying to work out how to describe it, and the best that I can come up with is that this tastes like a very mild, lightly steeped black tea.
I’ve just added a little milk to the last of it, even though that’s something that I’d never normally consider with a white tea and… it sort of works. It isn’t totally awful, anyway, and it does give a bit more balance to it. I’m thinking that maybe a touch of sugar might be worth trying, too. Weird, weird, weird.
Interesting balance between the lavender and the white tea. The loose leaves have a strong lavender scent, but this is almost totally missing from the brewed tea. However, you do get a definite taste of lavender from the brewed tea, which stays with you in the aftertaste.
I can’t really get away from calling this tea floral because, well, it is. The floral taste doesn’t overpower the tea while it’s hot or warm, and I really enjoyed it prepared like this. However, the lavender does start to become too much as the tea gets colder, so I suspect this one wouldn’t work nearly as well iced as it does hot.
I was trying to find a really good Formosa Oolong for my friend to try. Alas, Teavana didn’t have anything like what I was looking for. It did have this one, which I’ve belatedly realised – thanks to the description in their printed catalogue not mentioning this – is a Ti Kuan Yin.
Vegetal is the first description that comes to mind. It’s very green, in the plant sense rather than the green tea sense. I don’t remember other Ti Kuan Yins I’ve tried having this quality, at least not to anything like this extent, though it’s been a few months since I’ve had one.
The tea is also a little floral, but nothing like as floral as, say, an Alishan oolong. Overall, it ends up less sweet than I was expecting, and also with none of that silky, buttery sort of texture that I’ve come to expect from the top drawer Formosa Oolongs.
This is not to say that I didn’t like this tea: I did. It is smooth, it is floral, and it is… green. It’s a good oolong if you’re in the mood for a Chinese oolong at the greener end of the scale – but I’ll be ordering a good Formosa Oolong from somewhere else for my friend before I go home. ;-)
I was all about the white tea a few years ago, but more recently I’ve been getting into green and oolong, and my old white tea friends got somewhat left behind. I’ve been getting back into the white tea groove this week and that’s been cool.
Although this is called a white tea it’s really a white/green/oolong blend and the white tea is actually the lesser part of it. The jasmine gives it a beautiful, not-too-overdone floral aroma and the oolong dominates the flavour. If you like the greener oolongs, you should like the flavour of this tea. Overall the taste is very… clean, so it’s no real surprise that this is a detoxifying tea. It’s also just a really good cup of tea. I liked this combination a lot.