19 Tasting Notes
I never drink bagged teas, because they lack depth of flavor and can’t release enough tea for more than one real infusion. That said, I’m in a pinch right now and I spotted a brand of white bagged tea in the grocery store, and since I have developed nighttime asthma I’ve been needing lightly oxidized teas frequently to help clear my airways. The description wasn’t disingenuous, so I took a shot in the dark. True to form, brewed at a low temperature, this fanning tea brand brews one steeping of “nothing fancy” Chinese white tea. I prefer to begin sipping a tad early, so as to taste both the premature and mature flavor in one steeping, after finally removing the leaves just at the moment of full infusion.
The aroma is grassy and tangy. The color is a tinge green compared to whole leaf white tea, while not unattractive. Surprisingly, there is somewhat of a soft body to it—that is, if steeped long enough, and with roughly 1.5-2 bags per cup. Watched carefully and with cooler water, it should not become bitter and retains a sweet buttery mouth-feel, true to white teas. If the water is a little too hot, the tea becomes more astringent and less sweet, so it is sensitive in that way.
A mellow honey-and-hay flavor, with delicate fruity notes, and at first a tartly tangy aftertaste. That’s about it, a hit it and quit it shallow white, with a medium-ish degree of caffeine, as the fannings seem to diffuse it well in cooler water. Helps the sinuses and provides a good oomph! There is a vegetal aftertaste which leaves you with a lightly astringent, creamy sensation in the end.
Rather pungent, as bagged teas go, and acceptable if necessary…
A perfectly light and refreshing jade oolong. The dry smell is fresh and sweet, with hints of fruit. After rinsing for several seconds to stir open the rolled leaves, the tea says hello with a candied floral aroma, a hint of toasty fruit, and the sweet squashy scent that is typical for greener, medium leaf Chinese teas. I use gentler heat with the water because this is low-fired Ti Guan Yin, and I enjoy the subtler flavors the most in this tea.
Color is very, very bright yellow, with a warm golden hue and a tinge of green, which looks beautiful in white.
The early steeps are soft, but have a very alluring fruity scent, with plenty of hairs. The honeyed taste is very smooth, with gently increasing vegetal notes, and a floral overtone. The aftertaste is mellow with hints of cucumber or squash flavors.
Into the fuller steeps, the floral taste becomes very pronounced, with a sweet and tangy nectar flavor. The toasty taste presents itself in these full flavor steeps, while opening up to the melon undertone, accentuated with a light, fruity finish. The mouth-feel is sticky and creamy, displaying strong notes of honey. The aftertaste is delicate but very pleasantly rich, and puckering.
Later steeps bring out more vegetal flavor, with hints of grass, and a buttery smooth finish. The astringency is very clean and pleasant, complimented with sweet ripe fruity notes. The lingering aftertaste becomes prevalent, with a delectable roasted greens flavor.
To put simply, another satisfying, quality tea from Tealyra (formerly, Tealux). This is a delicious, calming, sweet and mellow Ti Guan Yin that doesn’t disappoint with it’s complex floral and honeyed flavor, and will yield the best results and many infusions with more leaf in the bowl.
A very serious and mature tea, with which one must tread carefully. The bag is almost empty, but after sensitizing myself over time to try what I would consider the maximum amount of leaf/strength, I finally feel this tea to the root, so to speak.
If I had no clue of what to call it, I would call this “chocolate malt” puerh. When made strong, there is an ineffable chocolaty flavor that stands out even through the heavy and pungent marshy peat flavor. It pairs very nicely with the rich malt for a sweet, thick cocoa cream taste. I still have not pinpointed the subtle note of fruit, and doubtfully ever will, but it is a pleasing note—leaning toward sugary date, perhaps sour plum.
My only caveat, the tinge of earthiness; not the pleasant soil-ish mushroom taste, but the unwanted dirty mud-earth taste muddled with it, that you sometimes find occupying your ripe puerh. However, the mouthwateringly sweet aftertaste, married with the satisfyingly lingering dry mouth-feel makes all the difference. If you like a dry, rich chocolaty malt, give this loose leaf a brew!
The aroma is sweet wood and must, but not library musty, musty like damp woods. The taste is rather dry, lingeringly dry, and sort of coffee-ish, with a pleasantly milky flavor. The sweetness is subtle, with an undertone of cocoa.
For the most part, a very woodsy and somewhat earthy tea, hinting after a few steeps of some fruity taste—maybe cherry, or date? Overall, not a remarkable tea, but quite dry and woodsy and very effective; calming, relaxing, yet stimulating, with a tingling sticky mouthfeel.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Drying, Milk, Wood
Fluffy, light, and soft, like flowers on the mountain air. There is a loud floral overtone, even fruity. It tastes of aromatic perfume, with an undertone of dark wood, reaching down into the soil for a hint of spices that lingers on after the fruit-flowery finish. The malt is strong, with a rich and creamy mouth-feel, medium body, and a puckering astringency that is just right.
The most lovely amber hue, it shines brightly in glass. Similarly, the leaves are mostly unbroken and have a pleasing, autumnal shade to them in glass.
True to form, this Wu long tea must be brewed at Wu long temperature. Heat will immediately bring out an overwhelming astringent mouthfeel and flowery taste. So, this delicate tea requires a delicate heat. Not boiled.
Unusually, I sometime brew this tea in a teapot, for about 3 minutes. Twice, or three times. It is good from the gaiwan as well. Longer steeping seems to favor the spicy notes. The normal amount of leaf is sufficient, as the leaf is somewhat broken. Altogether a worthwhile and elegant tea.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Perfume, Spices
This is a hardy green tea, consistent and forgiving; a good beginning green tea for brewing gong-fu style. The pellets stay fresh for rather a long time, and the flavor is strong. If you’re looking for a light green tea, this is not it. This is a rigid flavor, grassy at first, then becoming nutty and sweet. Perfect for sipping in the rain, with the smell of wet grass. Astringency patiently increases with each steeping. The oak-woody undertone is pleasant, and there is a relaxing hint of cannabis.
Overall, a very affordable, really cheap green tea that doesn’t offer much but a strong, enjoyable brew. Nothing special, but just what to expect. It is very important not to use water that is too hot, despite it’s hardiness, and steep shorter as with other greens.
Flavors: Cannabis, Grass, Nutty, Oak