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219 Tasting Notes
I ran across this tea in my stash when I was looking for my Shu puerh, and realized I hadn’t had this for months. The first thing that struck me when I opened the tin was the strong roasted smell of the leaves. I put some in my tea ball, and let it steep in nearly-boiling water for three minutes. The result is a fairly dark tea that smells very roasted/toasty. The taste is very much like a Wuyi Oolong, much more so that I actually remember. The taste is pretty much the standard heavily-roasted Oolong taste, with no tea distinguishing feature, but the aftertaste tastes mineral-ish, but it doesn’t have the same smooth feeling associated with Wuyi Oolongs. Overall, it was a very pleasant tea, but with nothing special as of yet. I don’t have high expectations, but I’ll see how it develops in later steeps.
Second infusion, 205 degree water for a minute and a half. The tea is a nice caramel color, and the taste has mellowed quite a bit. The roasted flavor is smoother, and so is the aftertaste, making it seem even more like a Wuyi. The roasted taste also lingered pleasantly in my hard palate for over a minute, rounding off a very nice second infusion. I have to confess, this tea is much better than I remember, and the rating is getting bumped up again.
ALright, I had two more cups of this, and it was pretty good, but I got interrupted by some eleictical work that my dad was doing, so I; didn;t have electricity to post about it here. The TL;DR is that it was much better than I remember, and I’m really glad I git 100 grams of this tea.
Alright, this is the first time I’ve had a sheng since Jim Marks made that post a while ago about using less leaves when brewing sheng. I decided to try it out, and the results are amazing! The first infusion is so much sweeter than I remember, and the bitter foretaste is not present at all! While I wouldn’t describe the taste as “buttery” I can certainly taste the walnut, albeit much smoother and refined than most actual walnuts. I’m certainly bumping the rating up a few point, since this is much better than I remember.
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Another neglected tea. I have a ton (~40 gr) of this left, and it’s taking up an entire canister. Anyway, first infusion, 3 minutes and 205 degree water. It smell immediately gives away it’s origin, no other tea region that I know of has the same smell. It’s kinda hard for me to describe, but I would hazard a guess that it’s like dates. The taste is very clear and fruity, and very pleasant for a warm evening like today. It’s also a welcome change from Japanese greens and Yunnan blacks that I’ve been drinking this week.
Unfortunately, I don;t have enough time for another cup, but this is a pretty good way to end the day. Since I don’t get to fully experience the tea, I won;t give a rating, but it tastes better than I remember. I’ll give it a more detailed review sometime in the near future.
Re-tasting this tea, since it’s been a few weeks. 205 degree water for two minutes. The result was similar to the Aztec hot chocolate that I had on vacation for desert: Ghiradellli hot chocolate, chilli, cinnamon, and cardamon. It’s a bit fruitier than the hot chocolate, and there might be some wood flavor, but the end result is still similar.
Once again, I’m drinking a neglected Sencha and wondering why the hell I haven’t been drinking this more regularly. The first cup was made using barely steaming water, steeping the leaves for a minute since this tea is also a bit picky. The result is very sweet, with a pleasant grassy taste and subtle fruity notes, and a smooth, clean finish. I could definitely drink this every day, but sadly I’m running low, and apparently Mellow Monk is waiting on the next shipment…darn.
It’s been way too long since I last had this tea, and I honestly really need to use it as soon as possible…
Anyway, Steeped for one minute is water that was just starting to give off steam. I find that this tea is extremely unforgiving when it comes to water temperature, so I play it pretty safe. The aroma is pleasantly grassy, but is smells “sweeter” than actual grass. The taste is predictably grassy, with just the right amount of sweetness. Honestly, why haven’t I been drinking this more often?
Second infusion, toughly the same temperature, but I only steeped the leaves for 15 seconds. The result is a very sweet tea. It’s still grassy, but the sweetness overpowers it. If it was a bit flowery, I would probably mistake it for the Orchid Oolong I rediscovered a few weeks ago.
third infusion, same temperature, 45 seconds. The grassiness has reasserted itself, but it’s not in any way stringent. This is actually turning out better than usual, and is a rather pleasant surprise. Again, I don’t know why I don’t drink this more often. It would be a great way to unwind after a long day in the office.
Music for today – St. James Infirmary performed by Hugh Laurie
Many thanks to Teavivre for the free sample!
I’m still a bit messed up from jet lag, so this will be shorter than usual. This tea is nice, fairly typical of Taiwanese Oolongs, but it lacks anything truly unique to make it stand out. It’s not very flowery or fruity, the aftertaste lingers, but only for about 45 seconds. The only things that stands out is how creamy it tastes, but that isn’t really interesting. Don’t get me wrongs, it’s still good, it’s just that I’m a bit spoiled but some of my other teas, and this just doesn’t measure up.
Good afternoon everyone! I just got back from a week and a half in London and Ireland, and the seven-hour flight gave me a major craving for caffeine. Honestly, I had only four good cups of tea, and two of those were iced tea at Hard Rock Cafes (I went to both the original London location and the Dublin location on the trip). Anyway, this tea was exactly what I needed: Sweet, yet still very flavorful. The boldness of the malt flavor was a welcome break from the monotony of the cheap hotel bagged teas.
First of all, a big shout-out to Teavivre for the amazing free sample!
I was really busy packing for vacation, and didn’t have time to do my usual format for reviews, but there’s the highlight reel. The first infusion was steeped in 205 degree water for exactly one minute. The result was an amazing sweet tea, with very tasty licorice flavors dominating the palate. It was just about as sweet as the orchid Oolong from Verdant Tea that I had the other night. The infusions continue, decreasing in potency and sweetness until number five, where only a faint taste of barely-sweet licorice remained. Regardless, it was really, really good, and it was the perfect way to relax after the usual frenzy of packing. And, since my destination is England, all I have to say is jolly good!
EDIT: stupid typos…
Wow, what a great way to start off my weekend: I was digging through my room, looking for my iPod, and I found this sample mixed in with some Classic Rock CDs. I don’t know how it got there, but I’m not going to question it…
Anyway, I’m re-tasting this tea after several months, and I have to say that the taste is much better than I remember. It is similar to my Art of Tea orchid Oolong, but creamier, which makes the whole experience so much better. The aftertaste is also a bit stronger, lingering for three minute (It lasts even longer than Tie Guan Yin! How does that happen?!?!?) on the roof of my mouth. Needless to say, I’m bumping up the rating, and I can’t wait to see how it develops.
Alright, second infusion same temperature, steeped fro three minutes. The tea has developed a pleasant sweetness, which reminds me of some sort of confection confection. I don’t know exactly which one, but I would guess it reminds me of one of the Japanese sweets I got from a friend. Anyway, the tea is so delicious, I actually regret only having a small sample left, as this is the perfect desert tea.
Third infusion, four minutes, 205 degree water. The tea lost a lot of sweetness, but it still reminds me of some sort of confection. the aftertaste still lingers for over a minute, and it still retains the creaminess that made it so appealing in the beginning. It’s still an exceptional tea, but I think it’s a bit past its prime now.
Forth infusion, five minutes. The tea has started to loose the creaminess, but luckily the sweetness did not degrade further. Overall, the strength of the taste didn’t change, which is the beauty of Oolongs: Their flavor lasts for a very long time, providing many cups of wonderful tea. I think I’ll probably get eight cups out of this, mostly because it’s a green Oolong, which tend to loose their taste a bit quickly then others.
Fifth cup, stopped keeping track of time, just going by color from now on. The creaminess lingers, but it’s mostly gone now. Interestingly enough, the tea retains its sweetness, as well as the lingering aftertaste.
Sixth cup, process the same as before. It’s starting to get a bit bland. It has lost all of the creaminess, it isn’t as sweet, and the aftertaste doesn’t linger very long. I’m gonna call it quits on this one. That being said, it lasted a long time, and it tasted great. I’ll miss this a lot when I finish off the sample.
Ugh, such a stressful day at work…so glad that it’s over…
Anyway, back to the tea, I needed something without too much caffeine, and I have quite a bit of this still sitting around, so why not? I filled up my tea ball a bit more than half way, and let it steep for 45 seconds in 175 degree water. The tea had a wonderful calming flowery aroma, which was just what I needed to unwind. The taste was reminiscent of smooth and delicate flowers, also great for unwinding, and the aftertaste lingered pleasantly on the roof of my mouth for about 40 seconds.
Also, the music I was listening to was a little piece by David Popper I heard on the radio while driving home. It’s called Gnomentanz, or Dance of the Gnomes in English.
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Another sample from Teavivre.
I let this steep for three minutes, enduring the enticing aroma until the tea was done. The end result is a very nice Tie Guan yin: Fruity, buttery, a hint of saffron. I don’t taste any grassiness, but the taste lingers for two whole minutes in the hard palate of my mouth, which definitely marks this as a really good quality Tie Guan yin. I can’t wait to see how it develops.
All right, after several false starts and a few interruptiuons, here is the second steeping for this Tie Guan Yin. It retained most of the flavor from the previous infusion, with the creaminess actually being a bit more prominent, along with nice development of the saffron flavor. A hint of grassiness might have developed, but it’s really faint, and I might be tasting it because I’m looking for it. Anyway, the aftertaste still lingers for a minute 45, which is pretty impressive. I’m liking this tea more and more.
Third infusion, still no grass. The taste has lost a bit of the creaminess it had, and is starting to get a bit weaker. It also only lingers for a minute now, but other than that, it’s still very good. I also want to note here that this tea is MUCH better if you drink it when it’s warmer. If it get’s cold, it isn’t as vibrant. Unfortunately, this is my last cup of the day, since I need to be able to get up for my internship tomorrow, but needless to say I’m going tosavor the rest of this cup.
A big shout out to Teavivre for the free sample of this tea!
It’s been several years since I last had a Lapsang Souchong, and it’s actually better than I remember. I used about 5 grams, and steeped it in 205 degree water for about a minute (I was being a bit conservative). The first impression you get of the tea is aroma: It’s pleasantly smokey, but overwhelmingly so. The tea is also a lot sweeter than I remember, and was really the perfect way to start my morning.
All right, first sample from the new batch from Teavivre. Thanks again, Angel!
This is also my first Dragonwell, so I’m a bit excited to finally get to try it out. I put about four grams of tea in my tea ball. The instructions said to use more, but that was also to make 8 oz. of tea, whereas my mug only holds 6. Anyway, I steeped the leaves for one minute in 175 degree water, and the results were great. It has a very smooth texture, like the aftertaste of a Wuyi Oolong, which seems to coat the tongue and hard palate. The tea also has a delightfully nutty flavor which reminds me a bit of Hojicha, but it’s not as strong and taste more refined. Definitely a great way to start off the weekend.
Alright, second infusion, same preparation as before. The only real difference is that it has lost a bit of the mineral smoothness, which, while disappointing, does not really affect the taste too much. It is, however, a bit unfortunate, because it seems that I won’t get all that many infusions out of this tea.
Over that past week and a half, this has become my standard morning tea. It’s been an interesting experience drinking it at work, mostly because the preparation is a bit different and the water is cleaner (We have machines that do crazyubermega filtering, and the result is hard to argue with.). I use a about 6-8 grams of tea, and put it in the bottom of an 8 oz. ceramic mug I got a while back, but just dug up in a cupboard. I let the leaves sit in there all day, and when I start to get low, I add more hot water. The result is a milder tea, where the linen taste is less prominent than when I brew it at home with my tea ball. It is also a bit sweeter, which kinda makes me wonder what is wrong with my tap water…
Anyway, I get a good 4-5 cups of tea this way, it tastes pretty good, and it lasts me for most of the work day. What more can I ask of it?
Backlog. Also, really tired. This was my tea for the weekend, seeing as I didn’t have any rooibos to celebrate, and I also didn’t have any tea that could be considered “blue.” Regardless, it was very pleasant, nice and flowery, and great for quenching your thirst (It was annoyingly hot and murderously humid in Northern Virginia). I’m only half done with the sample I got from Teavivre, and I’m certainly glad that I have a lot more of it.
Alright, time for my first legit tasting note for this tea. The website says that this is my 152 tasting note, but I don’t really count my most recent two as notes, since they aren’t detailed, and don’t have a rating. Yesterday was a nice preview, but I getting interrupted by things, so the session was cut short. I don’t have a gaiwan, so I had to make do with what I had available: Two mugs, a strainer, and a steady hand. I didn’t want to use my tea ball, for fear of restricting the leaves when they try to open.
The first infusion was not as intense as most black teas, but it makes up for that with the amazing taste. I did not rinse the leaves before the first steep, but it still tastes well above average. Steep time was more than five, but less than ten seconds, using approximately four ounces of 205 degree water paired with about four grams of tea. The taste is silky, sliding over the tongue in a very unique way. The taste is slightly malty, but not very strong. There is no doubt that this is a Dian Hong, but it is clearly more refined than every other that I’ve tasted. There is also a hint of the sugar flavor I talked about in my note yesterday, but it’s not well developed yet. The tea finishes with an aftertaste that lingers for a good minute on the hard palate of the mouth. Not quite sure what it is, but it is pleasant. I can’t wait to see how the tea develops.
Second infusion, 8 seconds, 4 ounces, 205 degrees. More refined than last time., still silky, and the raw sugar has developed nicely. The aftertaste still lingers on the hard palate, but it has started to stick to my tongue as well. There is also a bit of cinnamon starting to peak through the flavor palette, making the tea delightfully complex. I’m starting to think that this is the platonic ideal of a Dian Hong. Again, I can’t wait to taste the developments of the next infusion.
Third infusion, the only change to the method was I got a bit distracted, and made five ounces of tea, and steeped for 12 seconds. The end result is a cinnamon-flavored tea, sweetened with raw sugar. The mouth-feel is a bit less prominent now, but is still silky, and the tea’s taste is very clear, creating a very enjoyable experience. The aftertaste is weaker, lingering for only about thirty seconds on the hard palate before it fades. The end result is a very nice development of flavors, which combine in such an amazing way to create a great cup of tea.
Fourth infusion, 4 ounces, 12 seconds. Unfortunately, I had a bit o lemonade while the tea was cooling, and that messed up my sense of taste a bit, but here’s what I got from this tea: The cinnamon has really started to get strong, and clove seems to be appearing, but it was hard to tell. The tea feels silky, and is still very clear. I don’t know about the brightness that David mentions on the website, but it was very remarkable nonetheless. The aftertaste has weakened, lingering for only 20 seconds now, but the end result is still exceptional.
The fifth infusion, 15 seconds, four ounces. The tea has become delightfully spicy. The clove flavor has really started to show itself, and the cinnamon is still going strong. There is also some other spice flavor present, but I can’t tell what it is exactly. It might be morel, but I’ve never had morel before, so I can’t really say that with any degree of certainty. Because of this, the tea isn’t really sweet any more, but that just makes it interesting, reaffirming my earlier claim that this is an ideal Dian Hong. Another interesting development is that the aftertaste has gotten a bit stronger again, lingering for 45 seconds on the hard palate. It has also changed in that the aftertaste is tingly, like spice or perhaps something rubbing on the surface of my mouth. Different, yet pleasant.
The sixth, same parameters as usual, 25 seconds. The taste has changed subtly. It is still smooth, but I would no longer consider it silky. It is a bit more like the mineral smoothness of a Wuyi Oolong, but not quite the same. Also, the cinnamon and clove flavors are rather strong, and they are very harmonious at the moment. The mystery taste also meshes well with them, but not to the same extent (at least, not yet).
Ugh, real life decided to be annoying today, so I don’t have enough time to do this tea justice. I promise that I’ll do something substantive tomorrow. I really like it, it’s an amazing tea, with the most amazing palate that I’ve ever had. I have to agree that the mouth-feel is silky, and it’s amazingly sweet. I went and got a sugar in the Raw packet from a friend’s house to comp[are, and it does indeed remind me of raw sugar.
Unfortunately, I’m only at the second steep, and this is probably all that I have time for today T_T. I was really looking forward to the interesting spicy flavors that the profile describes, but I just don;t have time. Luckily, I’ve already got time planned out, and I’m going to do this right. A tea this good deserves nothing less.
This isn’t too detailed, since I took this with me to work, and drank it over the course of about 9 hours. I was really impressed with the flavor, starting out pretty sweet yet intense, like good dark chocolate, but then it started to develop a lovely spiciness. I would agree that cayenne is one of the flavors, and the mouthfeel later on definitely reminded me of clove. Anyway, expect a substantive review sometime this weekend, but not tomorrow. My company lets out early due to the holiday weekend, and I intend to spend most of it trying out my Golden Fleece. Based on Bonnie and Jim Marks’ reviews, it really is something special. I almost can’t wait.
Just a quick little note: I’m starting my internship tomorrow, so my reviews will be more limited until late August.
Anyway, This tea is delightful, espeically now that I understad why Verdant tea has Linen as one of the flavors. David Duckler had a post about tasting that discussed the other sensations, like touch and smell, and how they impact flavor. If you haven’t read it, you should check it out:
I finally understand that the linen flavor is really the interesting sensation that you get on your tongue while drinking this tea, not a flavor in the traditional sense. Anyway, time to get back to unpack stuff from college…
Alright, actually taking some time to properly review this tea. Unfortunately, my allergies are still acting up a bit, so I can’t really smell it (that, and the grass outside was just cut, which certainly doesn’t help). Anyway, the taste is interesting in that it’s both warming and cooling, and it’s actually very “clear.” The other shu that I had was very murky and tasted a bit like lake water. It’s very complex and flavors are all muddled together, but still enjoyable