1738 Tasting Notes
The shape of these rolled oolong leaves was reminiscent of an Alishan oolong I once had – small, compacted clumps of leaf. They carry quite a vegetal smell, almost more like a green tea than an oolong. I started out by steeping two teaspoons of leaves in two cups of water for three minutes.This resulted in somewhat of a weak brew, so I put the leaves back in for another minute or so (I like my oolongs stronger).
This completed brew is delightful. Light and creamy oolong scent with just a hint of that original vegetal strength with a bit of peppery smell too. The liquor is a very bright and clear light brown, and the taste….ooooh my. Light and soft, it caresses the tongue while still putting out moderately bold flavours including floral, vegetal, and peppery notes all wrapped into one tasty package. If this oolong went to school, it would be said that it was a very well-rounded individual, as this is a very well-rounded tea, encompassing a variety of different flavours that all serve to complement each other.
The second steep brought out the floral notes in the tea to a much fuller extent. The taste overall mellowed out a lot and brought out a bit more of the vegetal side as well. I could easily see this tea going for at least one or two more steepings. I really enjoyed this tea, and am giving it an 80/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
Looking at the dry leaf, I loved how the tiny flowers were mixed in with the tea leaves. What was a bit disappointing was how crushed the leaves were. This might have been partly due to shipping, though few of the other teas I received at the same time were like this. Regardless, the dry leaf has a wonderful dark oolong smell with great flowery notes.
Steeping some of this tea as per the website directions (3 minutes, 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of water), the finish liquor has a pleasant aroma of a light oolong with great floral tones. The smell of the flowers diminishes yet improves, at the same time. My first sip, however, did not impress me. It tasted very flat, for an oolong, and the flowers did not come through at all. Not to be put off, I continued on with my tasting. The flavour grew bolder as I continued to drink the tea, and I gradually became aware of the subtle flavours imparted by the flowers.
Over a couple steepings, this tea grew to be quite pleasant. The moderately light flavour would make this tea a good accompaniment to some light appetizer dishes, such as a cheese and cracker plate. I enjoyed this tea, but one must have patience with it to get the most from its leaves.
Wow, what a delicious medley of fruit scents that is being held in the dry leaf of this rooibos blend. Sweet and juicy notes mix together with a slightly tart undertone. Steeped, it remains fruity in smell, with some nutty scents mixed in. The liquor is bright and clear and light red in colour.
For all the intense smells, the taste of this tea is very much muted. Regardless, it has an all-around fruity flavour that is strong, but does not overwhelm the taste of the rooibos. This alone was a welcome change from many other rooibos fruit blends I have tried. The tea also manages to keep the tartness to a minimum (again, very much appreciated).
I quite enjoyed the fact that the ingredients were so well balanced. None of them seemed to overwhelm the complete flavour of the tea, leading to a pleasingly blended finish. This was a great drinking experience, for which I give this tea an 80/100. I am really glad I tried this tea.
My first reaction to this tea was that it smells very sweet and a lot like potpouri! The scent of roses blends nicely with the fruity smell of mango and the sharp scent of jasmine.
After four minutes of steeping, the previously strong aroma really mellows out to a pleasing blend of primarily jasmine and mango scents. My first sip seemed to be entirely roses, followed by hints of tropical fruit and some jasmine. Quite pleasant, if not a bit much in the way of flowers. Taking a bigger swallow, a myriad of flowers and the mango taste flooded my mouth, though everything seemed to be tinged with the flavour of roses. There really is not much taste of rooibos in this tea, as it is overwhelmed by all the other tastes…and it really is okay. I see no problem with that (excepting that one of those tastes is sadly not rooibos).
To be quite honest, I cannot say this is something that would have caught my eye and held my attention if I had seen it in a tea shop. Perhaps it would have required a second glance at the ingredients and at the tea itself, as it is very attractive, and unique looking, both in the dry leaf and in the list of ingredients. It is tasty, the flavour is quite pleasant, and I believe it is a tea that some will very much enjoy. As for myself, I give it a 75/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
With the first steeping of this unique tea, I could tell this was going to be an awesome pu’erh. Unlike other mini tuocha I’ve tried, this one did not make me wait one, or even two infusions, to reveal to me its delicious earthy tones. The first steeping produced a light brown liquor with a light earthy aroma that also smelled faintly of tobacco. The flavour was rich, even with this first infusion, hinting at even stronger flavours to come. The smoky, earthy liquor was mellow from the beginning, sliding smoothly across the tongue. I was really impressed that this was only the first infusion and yet this tea was giving so much.
The second infusion steeped darker and stronger, smelling woody in addition to earthy. The taste became strong while still not overwhelming. Something of note which I found interesting was the fact that while there is much flavour upon first sipping the tea, very little aftertaste remains behind. The earthy rich flavour of this tea very nearly drove me to distraction as I contemplated it and sat thinking, completely forgetting for a few minutes about the review I was writing.
During infusion three, things changed. The tea went from being the colour of milk chocolate to being a dark brown, akin to dark chocolate. The aromas of the tea grew in intensity, and the flavours increased in strength, lending large amounts of dark, woody flavour to the tea. These flavours reach out and grab ones attention, seeming to strive toward drawing the consciousness into them. Mmm, delicious.
Infusion number four held a certain small degree of bitterness while continuing to carry those flavours from previous infusions. I stopped after four infusions, quite pleased with how this tea had turned out.
I would give this tea an 85/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
To begin this review, I have to say that I’m a bit of a sucker for pu-erh sold in bird’s nest form, just because I think it looks really cool. However, I will attempt to not let this affect the bias of my review. Soooo, without further ado…
The dry tuocha smelled dark, dark and rich. Its very earthy scent had a touch of spicy notes to it as well. Wet, it had spicy and tobacco tones about it.
I chose to infuse this using multiple short infusions of about 30 seconds each.
First infusion: The liquor was still very bright and clear, a light brown in colour. It smelled faintly of the dry tuocha. The taste is very light, and I wonder if 30 seconds is not long enough. It certainly does taste earthy though. It is not as spicy as the smell led me to believe.
Second infusion: This time, the brown liquor deepened and darkened in colour, while maintaining its brightness. The scent is now very earthy, with almost a bit of fishy smell to it. Mmm, the taste has deepened. Full-bodied, the liquor tastes earthy and mellow. It goes down smooth, as though it barely brushes the tongue and throat.
Third infusion: The colour of the tea is now a deep brown, nearing dark chocolate in colour. The aroma has not changed much, but the flavour is much stronger and feels more mature. Very delicious at this point. I am quite enjoying this tea and I wonder how long this tuocha will last.
Fourth infusion: This cup was just as enjoyable as the third and had the same strength and characteristics. It seems as though this tea could certainly continue with more infusions. When I have more time, perhaps I will give one of these tuocha a test of how long it can last.
I loved being able to try this tea as it continued to grow and mature in taste and aroma. I truly cannot wait to drink it again. I rate it an 85/100 on my personal enjoyment scale!