Thanks for the sample Marzipan!
Everyone is right, this is very good stuff! Rich, sweet malty and full of cocoa goodness. I feel a Whispering Pines order in the future…my husband is in love with Golden Orchid :)
“Thanks for the sample *Marzipan*! Everyone is right, this is very good stuff! Rich, sweet malty and full of cocoa goodness. I feel a Whispering Pines order in the future...my husband is in love...” Read full tasting note
“*Cameron B* sent me so I could try some Whispering Pines teas. After I brewed it, I got a scent of sweet potatoes, and a some baked bread. The flavour made think of raisin bread, except a bit dark,...” Read full tasting note
“This is one of those teas that when I have, I want to smack old me on the head. For some reason I used to avoid unflavored black teas like the plague. I guess I assumed all black tea tasted like...” Read full tasting note
“Tea of the morning. Nom nom nom. We are off to a Ticket to Ride tournament because we are geeks. Have a good Saturday!” Read full tasting note
About the Tea
Ailaoshan Black Tea is one of the most breathtaking teas I have had the chance to indulge in. This tea is grown at over 2000 meters above sea level and shrouded in warm mist nearly year-round. It is harvested from tea bushes that have been cultivated on the edge of one of the most diverse subtropical ecosystems in the world — The Ailao Mountains (Ailaoshan) Nature Preserve. This nature preserve is home to at least 550 plant species and 460 animal species, including the black gibbon and bengal tiger.
Harvested in mid-spring of each year, Ailaoshan Black Tea is carefully processed and carries a warm aroma of toasted cocoa and caramelized plum. At first taste, a range of fruit notes can be identified amongst the delicious cocoa and caramel undertones. The most noticible fruit note is that of caramelized plum, followed shortly by a mix of black currant and longan fruit. A savory quality is experienced at mid-sip as well as in the aftertaste, and salted caramel with a hint of roasted fruit lingers on past the last sip. This is a truly memorable cup of tea and will please any connoisseur of rare and extraordinary black teas!
How to brew the perfect cup:
Steep 1/2 tablespoon of leaves in 8 ounces of boiling water for 3 minutes.
2nd infusion: 5 minutes
3rd infusion: 8 minutes
Company description not available.
2002 Fu Cha Ju Ailaoshan Zhuan Ripe 250gChawangshop
2002 Fu Cha Ju Ailaoshan Xiao Zhuan Cha Raw 100gChawangshop
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Black Currant Black TeaSimpson & Vail
Cameron B sent me so I could try some Whispering Pines teas. After I brewed it, I got a scent of sweet potatoes, and a some baked bread. The flavour made think of raisin bread, except a bit dark, and maybe molasses.
This shall definitely be part of a future order.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Molasses, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes
This is one of those teas that when I have, I want to smack old me on the head. For some reason I used to avoid unflavored black teas like the plague. I guess I assumed all black tea tasted like McDonalds sweet iced tea (which, as much as saying so might get me stoned by the cult following said tea has down here, I can’t stand).
Thankfully, and to my total surprise, straight black teas can actually be good! Especially this tea. I get a great amount of cocoa out of this tea. Cocoa and caramel are the two strongest notes I get. I’ve never had caramelized plum (sounds divine) I can imagine that the dark, tantalizing, fruity undertone that I’m getting here is just that.
Absolutely amazing, this tea is a symbol for everything I was missing when I was shunning black teas.
Whispering Pines is going to be the death of me, but at least I’ll die a very happy, tea-drunk death.
Method: 1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 203 degrees, 3 minutes, French Press
Dry Leaf and Brewing Aroma: light malts and honey
Flavor: Why, WP, WHY?!?!? Every time I think I’ve found my favorite tea, I end up with another beauty. And then I have to go order some. This was a sample from MzPriss(HoneyBelle) and I was dying to try it after her glowing review.
This tea is just lovely. Really wonderful. It has a very mild, smooth feel. It’s naturally sweet, and very noticeably so. It has a light malt flavor, but then there are these juicy fruits on top of that! I’m really amazed at how good this is. This is going on my list of teas that I want to drink every day.
I had a wonderful evening last night with dinner at the Macaroni Grill and then some RiffTrax Live Sharknado! I woke up in a great mood and this tea just enhanced my morning. I’m starting to think that MzPriss may be a Tea Secret Agent, writing amazing reviews and then sending out samples to make me buy more tea! LOL. And her co-conspirator is TheTeaFairy!!!
I got a sample of this from Nicole (I also have a sample from Whispering Pines and I have another ounce coming on Wednesday). I’m kind of anxious to try it since it seems to have quite a following around here. The leaves are very dark and spindly – like a miniature version of Taiwanese black leaves. They smell of raisins and cocoa, with some malt, tobacco, and honey notes. Brewed according to the package directions.
The brewed tea smells strongly of sweet potatoes, with a malty edge. There’s a deep molasses scent, and a lighter raisin note that makes me think of golden raisins. The taste is pretty similar to the aroma. Lots of sweet potato with strong malt taste. There’s a fruitiness that reminds me of plums and raisins. I don’t get any chocolate from this at all. And there’s a floral aftertaste that kind of seems soapy to me? The body is lighter than a lot of other Chinese blacks I’ve tried, maybe a little bit thin.
Now I know that this will probably get me pelted with rotten vegetables, but I don’t love this tea. And I’m unhappy because I feel like I didn’t get the flavors that a lot of other people mentioned, like chocolate and caramel, and it makes me feel like I’m at fault somehow in my tasting of this. Frustrating…
Holding off on the rating until I give it a couple more tries.
Flavors: Floral, Malt, Plums, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco
This is my #1 favorite tea, hands down. I’ve already had it many times Western style, but I thought I needed to experience it gongfu style too. Let me tell you, that experience deserves its own review too! Here’s how I brewed: 3g at 205F H2O for 15/15/30/40/60 sec
steep 1: This steep is all bread and chocolate with a honey sweet finish. Chocolate croissant, anyone?
steep 2: The chocolate hides for this steep, but caramel comes out to play and brings its friend butter, all over the bready base. Mmmm so buttery and smooth!
steep 3: This was a repeat of steep 2. I’m not mad about that at all.
steep 4: This steep is where it’s at. OMG. Dying. Caramel + dark chocolate + honey. So sweet and so smooth
steep 5: And we finish up with buttery, scrumptious bread. Steep four was my favorite, but this is actually a really nice way to finish the session!
Everyone, do yourself a favor and get your hands on some Ailaoshan Black. You’ll be in total tea love too :)
From the unflavored TTB.
I used less tea than I normally do per the instructions in the TTB. I didn’t need more than 1 gram. Powerful nose is a blend of autumn leaves, chocolate, and smoke. The taste is similar. This is a very good tea, but I think I prefer the Yunnan stlye that is heavier on the chocolate. The finish is almost ethereal: the blend of the flavors changes subtly and it fades very slowly. Others’ tasting notes mention caramel, and the flavor now seems obvious to me, but I don’t see the honey, raisins, etc.
Although this isn’t my favorite flavor mix, the tea was so well made and interesting that it still rates a very high score.
This is my 400th tasting note so I wanted to make it a good one!
I brewed up some of this for breakfast, about 3 min at boiling.
Very tasty! Flavorful, malty, fruity…no chocolate notes for me though.
I enjoyed the cup a lot and would consider it for a future order. It’s no Golden Orchid, mind you. I may have to drink the rest side by side with North Winds and Fujian Black to compare, then maybe I would have more to say.
In my memory, these tasty black teas all sort of become one. Except Verdant’s Laoshan Black. And WP’s Golden Orchid, but that’s flavored with vanilla so it doesn’t count as a straight black.
Also except anything Golden Monkey. Those are on a whole other level.
I tried a resteep of this one but the flavor just wasn’t really there for me.
I’m sorry, this is a crappy 400th tasting note. I liked the tea.
Thanks a bunch for sharing, Courtney!!