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16 Tasting Notes

78

A very generous sample from Enjoying Tea.com. I bought a couple Gaiwan and and this tin came along. For some unknown reason, my oolong collection is almost exclusively made up of Taiwan oolongs. I think I went through a phase of trying to decipher the subtleties of high quality, lightly oxidized Taiwan high mountain teas. Undoubtedly, these Taiwan teas are light, bright, fresh, fragrant and subtle. It seems, probably because my palate lacks sophistication, that I prefer a more robust, assertive flavor profile.

This Fujian oolong displays a fairly strong, tobacco-y dry leaf scent. Quite strong, but once rinsed and heated transforms into a pleasant roasty nuttiness. Obviously, this tea has undergone a modest amount of oxidation producing a yellowish – lt. brown liquor that is pleasing to the eye.

I had to experiment a little to get the my desired water-to-leaf-to-flavor ratio. The first steep was fine, but I thought this tea had better potential. I added a bit more leaf and steeped a bit longer and was impressed with how much deeper the flavor evolved. I was able to coax out a hearty, nutty swallow. As my cup cools, maybe a little leathery hint arises. Unlike Taiwan oolongs I’ve tried, this tea almost entirely lacks any floral aroma. On the upside, this tea has better endurance than most Taiwan teas.

Overall, this is not a great oolong, but it is a pleasant cup. Worthy to be served to company as long as the company isn’t too fancy.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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93

This is a special tea!!! I just received this sample. Next thing on my list is to order some more of this stuff!

The dry leaves emit a very nice floral, jasminy aroma; very pleasant and inviting. With the addition of very hot water, pure magic springs to life. The wet leaves smell as expected with a very slight and pleasant sourness (vaguely like the smell of fermenting grain or hops). There is a tanginess that is present in the taste of the first steep. There are a lot of delicious flavors in the first couple steeps, predominately cocoa and sweet spice in the beginning which turns to floral flavors later on. This tea has great rhythm. The evolution of flavor from cup to cup is like watching a Wagner Opera: you never know what’s coming next, but you will surely find it enjoyable.
I’m amazed at the shear numbers of apparent and subtle flavors culminating in a memorable tingle and a perfectly clean throat. This is a memorable tea!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Bonnie

Ah Wagner. All that drama. My mother sang Opera so early memories of her singing Wagner. I know what you mean when the tea begins to rumble up unexpected notes of flavor like rhythms as you said.

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87

I’ve been chiseling around on a fairly obscure puerh cake my Father-in-law gave me for a few months now. I’ve been wondering what my next everyday, “workhorse” tea would be. I think I’ve found it!! This little Tou-Cha has all the characteristics of a quality and comfortable puer.

After having a hot bath, everyone in the house is greeted with a fairly concentrated and heavy aroma of leather and moss. My first drinking infusion (after two 30sec rinses) is only 3-4 seconds, producing a caramel colored liquor that is bursting with assertive flavors. This tea penetrates my palate on a couple different levels even on the first infusion. Strong woodsy flavor in the front turns to velvety sweetness on the back of the tongue. Overall a warm comfortable aura envelops me when I’m holding a small cup of this shu.

Second, third and forth infusions:
Because of the short infusions (still mere seconds), this tea builds different, complicated flavors on top of each other. I know they are there because I can taste them. Unfortunately, my palate is not so discriminating as to adequately describe them. They start fairly wild and end exceeding sweet and smooth.
Nostalgia is playing a part in my very favorable review of this tea. A couple of years ago my wife’s Father (who is a fairly well know actor in Malaysia) took us all to a very popular Bak Kut Teh restaurant in a suburb of Kuala Lumpur. BKT is a herbal soupy stew that is both delicious and touted as being very nutritious. In a culture where “food is medicine”, an outstanding (and probably expensive) puerh was served with the meal. After commenting on the quality of the tea, I got “the look” from my Father-in-law. The look of recognition that I had finally, after so many years, developed a discerning palate.
This Puerh reminds me a lot of that meal. It begins strong and assertive. After a couple of infusions, a full-bodied mellowing leads into a complex melding of flavor and aroma. Mushroom and leather are the predominate inclinations with hints of cinnamon, and coriander. This tea has amazing endurance, and better yet, it doesn’t get bitter or astringent. However, please remember that I kept all infusions to the bare minimum. Even after 6-7 infusions, they were only 10secs.

This is a quality tea which I highly recommend. I purchased this tea from Pure Puer. The customer service from Mr. Chin was unbeatable and a pleasure. I look forward to dealing with them in the future.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Lovely review. Very enjoyable!

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79

Given the choice, I inevitably choose shu puerh. Truth be told, I like this tea, although I’m finding it difficult to find the tell-tale characteristics of a traditional shu.
The aroma of the dry Tou-Cha is unremarkable. After a quick wash and warm up, the aroma emitted from this tea is really amazing….sweet corn with butter roasted over a fire. Appealing.
First infusion: 5 sec – light liquor, straight forward corn smell, no complaints. The flavor is as advertised—corny. Clean, refreshing, and direct. I’m not finding a lot of complexity, just corn, butter in a velvety mouth coating.
After many, many short infusions, still only about 10-15 secs, I’m getting a beautiful amber color with consistent aroma and flavor. I’m trying hard to detect some other subtle flavors or hints, but apart from a pleasant tingle in the center of my tongue, I’m getting only corn.
Two extraordinary attributes this puer displays are endurance and throat. This Tou-Cha will outlast my drinking session. It has a LOT of life in it. Secondly, and probably the highlight of this tea, is its persistent, clean throat. This tea leaves me happy after I swallow. Sniffing the cup is as enjoyable as the taste, and probably more memorable.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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62

Interesting tea, well worth drinking, but not for the less adventurous among us. After washing and awakening the half toucha I used, the air was filled with a pronounced wild, vegetal aroma with a sweetness bordering on unpleasantness. It was not offensive, but probably would back off some people, but that is as far as it went. We have a horse farm located about 4 miles from a very famous bourbon distillery here in central KY, the aroma of this tea is very reminiscent of that of roasting sour mash from the distillery. Initially strong and perhaps unpleasant, but quickly turning comforting and reassuring that all is as it should be.
First steep – Lt color (think Ginger ale)
– The first taste begins innocently enough, unremarkable, however, when reaching mid-palate, things start to get interesting. A rather unexpected taste begins rising. A green taste, but not of grass, more like arugula,a peppery, vegetal taste. Surprising, yet not unpleasant. The finish is clean while leaving a lingering tingle — no astringency or bitterness.
Overall first infusion: Light color, uneventful beginning, surprising mid-palate flavor with a clean, complete and memorable finish.

2nd infusion: 30 sec.
Darker color, more refined aroma- definitely moving into a more familiar “tea” smell. The taste is still building as if we are travelling deeper into the forest. Woodsy and wild, becoming more complex.

This is not a great tea, but it is a pleasant adventure. It evolves quickly and even after 4 or 5 infusions, changes, albeit predictable, are still occurring. The only truly bad aspect I found was that when this tea cools bitterness appears. Almost to the point of undrinkability.

Not a tea to drink everyday, but good on occasion and I’m sure it would work well with chili or vinegar.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Azzrian

Thanks for following! I look forward to more of your reviews. :)

Bonnie

Too bad this became bitter. I don’t run into this with pu’erh almost ever but then this is a sheng which I don’t drink often. I noticed that Amy said the same thing about it being bitter sweet.

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Bio

My foray into Asian culture in general and tea specifically began about two decades ago upon meeting my future wife early in our university years. I call it my Sino-ification, but generally it took more than a decade to become an honorary Chinese at least in the eyes of my family. I am still casually referred to as “white devil”, “barbarian” and “big nose”. However, I am indebted to my Chinese in-laws and asian friends for instilling in me, among other things,a great respect and love of tea culture, and all of its nuances.

Over the years, we have had the great fortune to travel throughout Asia, particularly in Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and of course in Malaysia. Along the way always eating the local fare and drinking tea.

I am so glad to finally be connected to this site to further my knowledge and appreciation of tea.

Location

Lexington, KY / KL Malaysia

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