105 Tasting Notes

80

I was more than a bit apprehensive to try these powdery, grey-green nuggets. Some people think pu’erh looks scary, but I find these to be far more intimidating.

The taste, however, is quite nice! The first few steeps tasted mostly of the sweet, grassy ginseng, while the later ones showed more of the flavor of lightly roasted Taiwanese oolong. The sweetness of the tea reminds me a bit of stevia, I wonder if there is any sweetener in the ginseng powder, or if that’s from the ginseng itself? The ginseng is quite energizing, and if I didn’t know any better I’d think someone had slipped some Red Bull in my tea. :P

I’m not sure I appreciate the simultaneously peaceful and hyperactive feeling I’m getting from the tea/ginseng mix. Overall this was pretty nice and I’d judge it to be of good quality, but I think I prefer my oolongs plain.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec
ashmanra

I love plain oolongs, but I love this one also and keep it on hand! Perhaps it was coincidence, but I drank several steeps one day when I felt a sore throat coming on and I didn’t get sick. Now I reach for it if I think I might be catching cold.

tperez

Really? I might have to try that the next time I feel like I’m getting sick :)

Azzrian

I was surprised to find how much I love Ginseng Oolong! I was not prepared to like it – actually thought I would dislike it but it is quite yummy!

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82

This is my first Da Hong Pao. It brews a nice warm brown-gold color. The taste is bold and dry and reminds me of a dry sack wine. Its mildly sweet and mineral, and the main flavors that I pick up on are apricot, clove, and slightly cooling spearmint-like note.

I don’t think I used quite enough leaf, as only the first infusion really seemed strong enough. I think I’ll be making it again with a bit more tea.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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88

Received a sample of this with my last YS order.

The leaves are a dark olive brown with plenty of furry white buds. I wasn’t too impressed with the first two steepings, as they were mostly tobacco-ey and bitter. After that, however, the flavor became quite mellow and sweet. The flavors that come to mind here a ginger, almond, and wheat flour. This tea is fairly similar to my 2012 Wuliang Mountain cake, but gives a stronger ‘qi’ feeling which shines on the crown of the head. Very infusible, made about twelve times.

My initial impression was “meh”, but the later steepings were delightful; this is a nice tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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84

Eek! I got this free from Nature’s Tea Leaf for reviewing like a month ago, and just realized that I hadn’t posted a tasting note. Sorry!

The dry leaves are slim and tender with a cool green-gray color and are covered in a downy white fur. This is the second silver needle I’ve tried, and it seems to be much fresher than the first.

The tea brews a nice daisy yellow-gray, and the wet leaves gain a soft, grey, leathery appearance that reminds me of baby lizards.

The taste is sweet and smooth with notes of fresh linen, green peppercorn, and melon. The tea is very slightly floral and reminds me of freshly trimmed gardenia bushes.

This tea was wonderfully soothing and brought me back to center after a long, stressful day.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Denise @ Nature's Tea Leaf

Better late than never. So glad you enjoyed it.

Kasumi no Chajin

“baby lizards” If I was not interested in the tea before, you now have my undivided attention!

tperez

Kasumi, its really good! Did I send you a sample of it in the holiday swap?

Kasumi no Chajin

you did, thank you.

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65
drank Lapsang Souchong by Twinings
105 tasting notes

Got this from the “three free samples” promotion from Twinings, and I have to say it isn’t half bad! Pretty smooth and fairly smokey, but bear in mind this is the first lapsang souchong that I’ve tried.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Kasumi no Chajin

need to try one myself!

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75

Thanks so much Nicole for this nice black!

The tea brews a nice amber color. The taste is smooth and sweet with a slight floral flavor and hints of pecan and red grape.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Black Pearl by The Mountain Tea co
105 tasting notes

Soo many teas I need to try and write notes for! And I think I have some more waiting for me when I get back to school. :P

Dry leaves: The dry leaves have a thick, chocolaty aroma that reminds me of brownie batter. Its mostly chocolaty, but with some nutty/bready smells as well.

Brewing: The wet leaves have a strong, juicy aroma of red apples. Not like “a little bit apple-ish”, like “if I was blindfolded I would think there was a red apple in front of my face” haha This tea brews lighter than I expected, with the red-gold color of oriental beauty.

Tasting: The tea has a heavy charcoal flavor that sort of reminds me of the coffees grown in Sumatra. I wonder if this is coincidence, or a flavor imparted by the land like the Wuyi “rock” flavor? There are notes of honey, walnut, fresh red apple, and I might be crazy, but anchovy? Not in a bad way, just interesting and I don’t have a better word for it. The tea has a soupy quality that reminds me of some Chinese greens like long jing and bi lo chun.

Overall this is a fairly nice tea. Not a favorite, but definitely unique and worth trying, especially with Mountain Tea’s low prices.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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89
drank Black Pearl by The Mountain Tea co
105 tasting notes

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82

Yay, no more cold/flu/whatever I had! On another note, my parents officially think I’ve gone crazy with my tea drinking habit. :P This is the first time that I’ve been home for more than a few days since my tea obsession started.

Ming Ming’s: I got this tea from a (semi) local shop about 45 minutes from my parents house, which I’d been meaning to visit but never had gone through with. The stars had aligned, as I needed to pick up my final paycheck and turn in my uniform from a seasonal UPS job (the UPS headquarters was about 30 minutes in the right direction) and I had dropped and broken my gaiwan (and I saw online that Ming Ming’s sells some) a few days before. For more info, check out my place review, but to keep it short it was a great experience and I was impressed by their teas.

Dry Leaves: The dry leaves have a strong aroma of apricots and fresh hay with a stimulating, menthol-like quality. Most are either single leaf or one bud and a leaf sets. The leaves look pretty fresh despite being harvested last spring

Brewing: After a quick wash the leaves give off a dense, marine smell with vegetal qualities. Asparagus maybe? The tea brews a mellow green-yellow color that reminds me of a light Taiwanese oolong.

1st steep: The first steep has a smooth nectarine flavor with touches of asparagus, white grape, and allspice. A thick, heavy feeling rests on the back of my throat and tonsils.

2nd + 3rd steeps: The flavors of the second steep are rounder and the fruit and spice notes are balanced out by salty-savory ones.

4th steep: This steep brings the tingling, spicy notes to the front. The main player here is allspice, but there are also hints of clove and white peppercorn.

5th steep: The fifth steep brings back the white/green grape (whichever you call it) flavor. The sweet flavors definitely topple the savory here, but its a battle that continually tips back and forth.

Later: The flavors continues to ebb and flow in the later steepings (I got about nine) A delicate dance of peach, ocean, and spice. This tea definitely gives me an energizing cha-qi type feeling. I’ve got to say this is one of my favorite green teas that I’ve had, though I often don’t even like dragonwell.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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82

This is a nice, clean tasting dragonwell from a small teashop near my hometown. Mild, marine flavor with notes of peach, allspice, and white grape. It has a strong throat feel and noticeably high caffeine.

More in depth review on its way when I get over this cold :(

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Profile

Bio

My name is Thomas,

Long-time tea and coffee driker, but I only started getting into the world of good quality teas about three years ago.

My favorites right now are pu’erhs, Yunnan blacks, and Taiwanese oolongs. I’m not much into flavored teas, and jasmine almost always puts me off, but I love a good cup of chai or adding a spice or two to my teas sometimes.

I’m 21 and currently working in Orlando Florida, taking a some time off from school to try and figure out my place in the world.

I’m a music lover and have played guitar and violin for quite a while in classical styles, rock, jazz, etc., and have also learned to love the sounds of the sitar and hindustani music in all its forms. I’ve become a bit of a guitar “grease monkey” and find building, modification, repair, and dissection to be even better than playing sometimes.

I also love hiking/camping and downhill longboarding when I have the time to make it out to somewhere hilly.

My Rating Scale:
95-100 Wowza!
90-94 Pretty darn good
80-89 Nice
70-79 Decent
50-69 Potable
0-50: Blech.

Location

Orlando, FL

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