23 Tasting Notes
I recall /loving/ this when I first had it several years ago. Since then I’ve found new favourites, but I still love this one. I think it’s a very good “introduction” to looseleaf teas because Ceylon teas are so common that people are sort of familiar with their flavour. Being looseleaf makes it even better. Anywho… Sweet, ceylon scent, typical “bag” flavour but fuller and less astringent. Good all-around cuppa… I like mine with cookies. :)
Similar to a Feng Huan Dan Cong; a robust oolong that settles into your soul and makes you feel like you’re dancing in front of a fireplace. It does take a bit of coercing to get it just right, otherwise it’s a little watered-down-tasting. However, get it right and it’s a deep, awesome flavour that hits the back of your tongue with soft, roasted force. Mmm.
This is the dustiest tea I’ve ever seen. I like An Ji Bai Cha, but not from TeaCuppa. It didn’t even look like what I was expecting. Instead of thin, twisted strands of yummy goodness, it was flattened and dusty as if it were some sort of long jing or dragonwell. Surprisingly, however, I will say this – it tasted ok. It had some elements of An Ji Bai Cha, but honestly, I wonder if they sent me the wrong thing. Given the pricetag, it might just be a very cheap version of it or a fake. I won’t buy it again, though.
Tried this a few days ago. It was very similar to a decent An Ji Bai Cha, only far less expensive. It tasted “older” to me, and judging from the leaves, I’m guessing the leaves themselves are picked when they’re grown as opposed to the younger ones I am used to. It did not taste as “fresh” as a more expensive variety, either. Still, wonderfully light tea, not a hint of bitterness. Forgiving. I enjoyed maybe four steepings of the same leaves, then it was nearly flavourless. The leaves are pretty to watch but a bit brown-edged compared to the younger stuff. Oh, the taste is slightly (very slightly) vegetal, more nutty if anything. Would definitely buy again but I’d prefer the better stuff. (Who wouldn’t?)
First steeping: Mild, slightly vegetal, but sweeter than most greens I’ve had. Definitely requires cooler water (hotter and it gets VERY bitter). Reminds me of a greener version of Ali Shan, but not quite. Not sure if it was me or not but I had this last night and stayed up WAY past my bedtime. I am not usually so affected by tea before bed. Anyone else notice this with this tea? The leaves unfurled are beautiful. Subsequent steeps yielded a much smoother mouthfeel, sweet, and the leaves become prettier each time, I think. I never noticed the purported “smokey” flavour at all. I got about four steeps before the flavour faded. The third was best, in my opinion, for taste at least. Prefer Ali Shan over this. Rating is lower due to the easy-to-obtain bitterness of the tea. Taste-wise, I liked it just fine once brewed perfectly.
I’m saving the below since my first note stated 1min, and that probably had a lot to do with it. I actually do like this. Definitely vegetal as I mentioned, a bit grassy, but not bitter or death-like when brewed with a lower temp and shorter amount of time. Very touchy, though.
—-earlier note below (was 190F instead of 175F, 1min instead of 30sec; temps are estimates anyway)
First steeping: Smelled a bit like death and flowers to me in the bag but once brewed it was definitely floral. Taste: Slightly bitter. Very vegetal, a bit grassy. Smoother with a fuller feel. Bitter finish, moderately astringent. My water was likely still too hot, if that helps. This is definitely a green in the green sense. My rating reflects the fact I’m not a fan of most greens.
Multiple infusions permitted (I prefer three, maybe four). Good tea. I need to drink another cup of this. Later. LOL
Taste: Almost salty initially, fades immediately into a sort of “round up” (yes, the weed killer) taste/smell but in a good way, rich, satisfying, almost woodsy somehow. Astringency lingers a bit on the finish.
My preferred brew: Mesh infuser in 6oz porcelain gaiwan, not quite boiling water, rinse cup first, add 1 tablespoon tea, fill gaiwan with hot water, steep about 2 minutes.
On-the-go brew (tastes sweeter this way): place 1-2 tablespoons of tea into infuser in the lid of an Aladdin 12-ounce travel infuser mug (infuser drops down into container and you can also brew upside down for smaller batches). Fill mug with water and leave top off. Microwave water for 1.5 minutes. (Do not microwave this mug more than 2 minutes tops, it’ll melt supposedly.) Put lid on and drop infuser into water. The tea doesn’t seem to get horribly bitter so if you overbrew it’s usually OK, just stronger and more roundup-like.
I’m not kidding about the roundup… it’s really strange but I like it, sort of like Puerh drinkers like drinking fishy sawdust…
Smooth oolong… I tend to brew a lot of this in my 21oz personaliTEA pot by Adagio, maybe about 2 minutes. Typically oolongs don’t like really hot water but I use boiling water for this one, and rinse the pot first. 2 minutes. Not particularly good for a second infusion but I’ve done it occasionally since it’s a bit on the expensive side. Similar to Da Hong Pao (same source) but I think Da Hong Pao is a bit deeper of a flavour and, to me, better.
Very good tea with slightly malty assam notes, yet not really assam-like. Hard to describe. A bit expensive to me, since I like other teas better that are cheaper, but I’d drink it any time. Did mine in a typical mesh infuser, 21oz boiling water in Adagio personaliTEA teapot, 2 tablespoons of tea, maybe 3 minutes. I accidentally left it about 7 minutes the other day and it did NOT GET BITTER!! In fact it was better than I’d remembered…