144 Tasting Notes
My favorite aspect has to be the wet leaf aroma which carries the scent of flowered and candied orange peel beautifully and has a soft caramel sweetness that takes the edge off of the citrus high notes. The tea tastes like a designer creamsicle. The choice to use oolong in the blend is very wise as it adds subtlety behind the quite obvious fruit and flower notes and softens the profile considerably.
It’s hard for me to “review” flavored tea because it really comes down to: Does it taste like what it says? Is it good? TeaGschwendner has always knocked it out of the park when it comes to creative blends so the answers are: Yes and yes.
High Mountain awesome. Delicate, creamy and floral with a looooong hui gan of peaches and cream. All of the typical “greener style” oolong flavors are there but with an element of refinement as the wet leaf aroma comes through sweet and precise. The liquor is refreshingly bright and smooth that is balanced by a perfectly weighty mouthfeel and the tartness at the end unfurls slowly into the aforementioned sweet hui gan. High marks for this one.
A very down-to-earth looking and tasting tea. This tea tastes like it came from a more tropical estate with a surprising beefiness and heavy mouthfeel not found in many white teas. It also tastes like it wants to be processed into a red tea. Thankfully, we are treated to the unique visual in the dry leaf.
When brewing this tea one has a lot of control over the strength and flavor profile. Obviously, it gets stronger the longer it steeps but I’ve found that shorter steep times provide subtle nuances that are overpowered by the distinct, yet still pleasant, taste of prototypical “tea” in stronger brews. There is, however, a hidden richness in even light brews. One can almost taste the humidity of the air and richness of the soil in which it was grown. Not delicate but nuanced. Very versatile and interesting.
Also, I almost NEVER add anything to my tea but, for some reason, this one seems to beckon for a little honey. It’s great for people who are brandy new to the loose leaf business because it’s very pretty to look at and won’t taste outlandish to them. It is complex enough to pique interest and can be brewed to taste.
Creamy and substantial, pushing into a sweet milkiness spiked with a heavy “green” taste that anchors the liquor and keeps it from floating off into marshmallow land. The leaves unfurl wonderfully and appear thick and healthy. Good for quite a few infusions.
Very clean and rich, a good everyday “greener” style oolong that teeters on the sweet side.
This one opens up really sweet with candied yams, a hint of creamed spinach and a fresh ocean breeze. There is a deep and lasting vegetal taste that somehow attains a childlike playfulness throughout and is not gassy at all. Kind of like shiso and sugar. There are floral underpinnings and a dusting of cinnamon on the finish.
The thick mouthfeel and sweet, sweet base translates into a contrastingly bright and fruity hui gan like eating a cold white peach on a hot summer day.
Nice. Dry florals, a light buttery taste and relatively heavy mouthfeel comprise the body of this tea. Unfortunately, It is slightly astringent (not bitter) and there is that faint taste of hay that I’m not really fond of. However, the hui gan really delivers as the florals return and trail off into a pleasant sweetness reminiscent of high quality honey.
The aroma is a delicious must of an ancient basement carved out of rough earth and sanctified with old incense. There is a warm monkish simplicity to the liquor and a civilized sweetness that belies the wild nature of the leaf.
This is an excellent everyday aged sheng especially for the price.
I’m not gong to lie, I was expecting something quite different than what appears in the cup. Maybe it was the lofty title or maybe the fantastic tradition behind the processing that caused me to have a delusion of grandeur toward this tea. Please don’t get me wrong, it is by no means a bad or even average tea. It’s just not what I expected, that’s all. That’s probably my fault.
Anyway, it is very reminiscent of a mild cooked puerh or aged sheng. The mouthfeel is very smooth and the flavor profile is mild, earthy and warm. It slides in nicely with some of the better dark puerh I’ve had, in fact after the third steep I blended it with some near spent Menghai Orange-in-Orange and the result is affirming to the quality of both teas.
And as an update I’ve found a very interesting dimension to the flavor profile of this tea. Underneath the aforementioned similarity to better puerh is the thick and earthy tone of grilled mushroom. Portabella, to be exact. It adds a meatiness to the liquor and more depth than I had realized. As the seller notes, a dedicated Yixing pot would most likely coax the best possible flavors out of the brew. This, more so than any other tea I’ve had, would seem to benefit most from such nurturing because the best flavors to be found in this tea are also the most subtle. An Yixing would enable the flavors to compound and concentrate wonderfully, I’m sure, though I wouldn’t go so far as to derive notions of immortality from them.
There is only one path to perfect eternity, my friends.; )
Yeah. The aroma has a goji berry tartness and the decadent sweetness of a strawberry and rhubarb preserve. At first I am met with the sweetness of dark honey and clove but there is a subtle flavor of sugar cane and a definite flat fruitedness I can only describe a tasting like persimmon. The hui gan of flaky fruit pastry and a subtle hint of mild curry powder is sweet and complex.
As I progress through the gongfu session, the structure of the tea is revealed and the dryness of good bourbon comes out to match the color of the liquor. There is revealed an underlying flavor of sweet tobacco and rich spice pushing the fruit flavors into a withered and warm mulled cider.
Picked up a sizable sample chunk and got right to it. The compressed dry leaf is unusually attractive in its appearance and immediately smells like it’s going to be a good puerh. Word. The warmed wet leaf aroma is complex and pleasant with no in-your-face mustiness. Moist tree bark, cocoa powder, a subtle hint of smoked paprika and sweet soil.
The liquor is stiff and dry on the palate and not bitter at all. Very woody and full like chewing on a lightly roasted coffee bean, again, without the bitterness. There is a soft talc flavor on the edges that gives roundness and the hui gan is a satisfying dark, dark chocolate. An obscured sweetness blushes the otherwise austere experience into a generous though still serious warmth.