430 Tasting Notes
I had no intention of buying a Taiwanese oolong when I went to this teashop on Monday but the owner and I started discussing teas we enjoy and she wanted to show me this one. Once I smelled it I was sold. It smelled like candy; a slightly floral, fruity candy with hints of melon and stone fruit and spice.
The dry leaf is a tightly rolled glossy blue spruce green with bits of yellowish olive.
I used enough leaf to cover the bottom of 150 ml gaiwan and gave the leaves a rinse. I used water @96°C.
I hoped for a resilient tea as the seller suggested this tea could be steeped 6-8 times even using western style brewing and so far it’s delivered. I am still enjoying this tea after the 11 th steep and it is still imparting a well balanced sweet fruity spicy floral tea that has a creamy body and produces a tingling in my mouth. I started with short steeps because of the intensity of fragrance. My times so far have been 5,7,10,12,15,20,25,30,40,60,80s.
Flavour notes I have noted are: cream, tart peach, melon, papaya, pineapple stewed pears, and apricot which appears more towards the end; honey, candied rose petals, gardenia, a bit of lilac, and magnolia, with the floral notes heading towards a nutmeg spice later on mixed with a creamy cool magnolia and orchid; corn, sweet vegetal notes with a bit of artichoke later on, and occasional hints of sandalwood and citrus notes. The sweetness and floral spice mix often intensifies in the aftertaste. Overall this tea is leaving me feeling balanced and cleansed and I look forward to continuing this session. What I have noticed is this tea appreciates a rest between steeps. Once I have allowed it to rest this tea tends to have a more balanced flavour profile. This tea is also very well balanced between it’s floral and fruity elements with both being well present but with neither overpowering the other. I’m looking forward to continuing this session and am enjoying my impulse purchase.
I’m finishing off this session after 19 steeps. (The final ones being 130, 180, 240, 300, 300, 360, 600 and 600s). The tea still retained a fruity honeyed sweetness with spice and still produced a tingling in my mouth.
This tea is a nice resilient tea with a lively cream, and sweet vegetable flavour that became sweeter and spicier towards the middle grouping of the 11 steeps I gave it ( 45s, 25s, 30s, 40s, 45s, 50s, 60s,90s,110s, 3min, +5min (after a rinse). It also taught me that I think I prefer fruitier Jin Xuan’s ( this is quite a nice tea but I am finding I prefer either really fruity or really floral green Oolong’s).
The leaves were a bright colour with noticeable attached stems and smelled of cream, peach, and clover.
This tea needed a noticeable longer first steep than some of my green Oolong’s. I tried 25s at first and found it to be quite weak. The broth is a light yellow that deepens in later steeps.
The tea smelled of corn, milk, and peach and citrus.
I found the following flavour notes: corn, peach, cream, sweet coked vegetables, citrus, honey, a light soft floral, lilac, and indistinct spice.
The tea retained a thick creamy body throughout the steeps without much of the tingling sensations I get in my mouth from green rolled Oolong’s.
Altogether a nice tea that delivers the notes promised.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre! This sample has taught me a bit about my preferences when it comes to Jin Xuan. I appreciate the opportunity.
The first time I tried this tea its beautiful, soft floral flavour and the beautiful colour of the tea stayed with me. It was not as biting a floral as I usually prefer in green Oolong’s but it had distinct lilac, gardenia and magnolia notes that remained distinct above it’s other notes despite its soft creamy nature.
It’s been awhile since I first tried this tea but I recently had time to revisit it and what I stated above still stands.
The dry leaf ranges from a pale milky green to spruce green and has a bright floral scent tempered by citrus and green notes. tightry leaf ranges from a pale milky green to spruce green and has a bright floral scent tempered by citrus and green notes. Then leaves are a bit more loosely wound than some rolled Oolong’s I have seen.
The following are my impressions of this session:
40s colour pale gold green tinged yellow.
Scent, bright yet soft green and citrus tinged floral, with hints of lilac, the creaminess of magnolia, and a bit of gardenia.
Soft but rich flavour. Citrus note on top opening up to a green floral note that is almost freesia, and then suddenly dissolving into honey with a bit of peaches and cream. Hints of cut grass mixed with the green floral, and the slightly drying citrus note dissolves into cream. Aftertaste of creamy green floral and honey.
20s. Above plus a hint of spinach in the scent. The event is also sweeter.
Citrus with a hint of spinach immediately opening to lilac and honey. There is much more spice in this steep. Cream, peach, and cool green notes become apparent as it cools. It leaves a tingling on the upper roof of my mouth. There is a floral spicy and cooling aftertaste.
22s. More blended a fragrance with all of the above notes plus magnolia.
Sender in body with cream, green,spicy floral notes, and a hint of spinach up front. The spice lingers and builds with the following honey notes. The aftertaste is a spicy floral that is first warming than becomes cooling.
26s good blend of all the flavours with green floral and honey up front with a hint of vanilla opening up to a slightly bitter spice note that tastes a little bit like chewing on cinnamon sticks. This sweet spice is mixed with a bit of spinach. Cream blends the early and later notes together.
30s the floral is a little bit warmer and more enveloping it is still a green floral but is more gardenia like with its rich heady fragrance and is full of spice, the honey, cream and vegetative notes are very much in the background. I love this steep.
35s. Creamier in mouth feel and taste and sweeter with honey, cream and magnolia opening to cream, honey and spice with a very faint hint of vanilla and spinach and a hint of stevia, warming opening up to cooling and a lingering mix of honey and spice. Another wonderful steep.
40s similar to above with the introduction of a mineral note and nutmeg. Lingering honey and cooling spice.
50s spice and a soft floral up front opening to green notes and nutmeg mixed with honey and spinach with hints of mineral notes and cream. Creamy on the tongue.
70s similar to above with mineral and nutmeg notes moving forward and slightly less honey.
110s cream, honey, nutmeg, cinnamon and spicy warm flowers.
180s cream and honey with nutmeg and vanilla dominant with lilac in the background. The tea still has a creamy and thick body.
320s cream, spice, gardenia, hints of cornsilk, honey, spinach and a mineral tone and a brighter green note. The tea is still yielding a dense creamy body.
This is a really lovely tea for when your craving a soft creamy floral. I would definitely consider picking up some of this in the future.
Thanks too Angel and the ever generous Teavivre for the chance to sample their tea.
This is an Assam that reminds me of a Darjeeling it smells of muscatel, honey, peaches, and pastry and brews to a copper gold red.
Top notes are peaches and muscatel with honey opening up to malt and grainy pastry notes and an indistinct bitter note. It is a bright and light tea with enough astringency to give it body. It resteeps very well with a consistent flavour and a little more body. This is an interesting tea but not at all what I expect in an Assam. The leaf is not fully oxidised and contains green and light yellow blades among darker pieces. I have never had an Assam processed in this way and it’s an interesting experience.
The following is an interesting article on the history of this estate and Assam teas in general.
This tea makes me happy. It reminds me very much of one of my favourite JJM’s that I bought from a now closed aliexpress store. While that tea was a little sweeter and more resilient this tea shares with it the good balance of tart fruit and malt, cereal notes, and cocoa which make it a great all day tea.
The dry leaf is quite pretty although it does not look quite as tippy as the picture and smells strongly of malt and cocoa.
My first steep was in the lower 90°C range for around 45s which resulted in a Maple coloured brew. Later steeps were short steeps at boiling which brought out more of the red tones in this tea. My steeping times were (45, 10, 12, 20s, 2min and 7minutes).
The tea smelled of hints of the upper tones of malt, cocoa, honey, plums, and cream.
I captured flavour notes of a smooth, slightly tart mix of malt, oatmeal, barley, and cocoa, with longan, plum and faint citrus notes, honey with cream, and hints of a slightly green floral note with bits of cinnamon in the first steep. Honey lingered in the aftertaste.
Subsequent steeps added notes of lychee, cream, sugar, cucumber water, cocoa butter, and mineral notes to the above. The early steeps at boiling had more assertive flavours and were more astringent. Throughout the steeps the tea maintained a medium density. Altogether a very nice all day tea.
This Assam casts off scents of baked goods, citrus a hint of sweet potato, cocoa and spice.
It brews to a deep red orange.
The first sip is full of spice over the deeper tones of malt, mixed with cocoa, charred crust and a bit of sweet potato. This opens to a mix of red fruits and citrus blended with molasses, malt and a bit of bread. This one has a dense mouth feel. There is a mild bitterness that tempers the sharp fruit. It is not overly sweet. This is not an Assam that is rich in honey or dried fruit. In fact the fruit references a tart red wine. What it does have is a good blend of malt, spice, tart fruit and grainy bread notes. It reminds me a little of pumpernickel, or a dark crust artisinal brown bread. It’s a little like breakfast in a cup.
Edit. The second steep is a little sweeter with a bit of apricot among the other fruit, spice, bread, cocoa and molasses notes.
I just had to cups of this pleasant tea. I have decided that it would make a nice travelling tea as it did not get bitter when I over steeped it a little and it has very little astringency.
The leaf is mostly dark with scattered greenish gold buds and a few rust coloured leaves scattered here and there.
I steeped one teaspoon in 225ml of 95°C water. The first steep was over three minutes.
The tea brewed to a beautiful orangey red and smelled of sweet potatoes, malt cocoa, honey, soft and spicy sweet floral notes and red clover nectar.
The tea had a denser body than some Nepali teas I have had and a soft flavour. I detected notes of: honey, sweet potato, a spicy complex floral ranging from rose to spicy clover, cocoa, a light hint of muscatel, plum, cream, and malt. As it cooled it developed pastry and cherry notes.
The second steep of 3.45min. Tasted of cream, oatmeal, honey, sweet potato and malt with cherry, hints of cocoa and a spicy floral towards the end of the sip.
Altogether a nice and pleasant tea.
This is a nice example of a classical Keemun. It brews to a nice red colour and has the classical fruity red wine notes blended with a really nice floral spice mix with honey and grain notes to tie them both together. A bargain for its price and better quality than I expected in a grocery store tea.
This tea is one of the maltier versions of a jinjunmei I have had. The first time I had it I used my standard method for jinjunmei’s ( boiling water 5-10s steeps) and the tea overpowered me with the tart upper tones of malt so this time I steeped 1 tsp at closer to 90°C for @1 minute.
The result was a tea that smelled of smoke spice, cocoa, honey, cream, plum.
It yielded a flavour full of grainy notes mixed with cocoa, caramel and a light dose of wood smoke, with hints of malt and plum and cream.
This is a tea where temperature matters. If brewed at higher temperatures this tea becomes very malty and the cocoa and caramel notes are masked. Caramel and plum notes strengthen as it cools. The tea has a nice full body and is heavier in body than many of the Fujian blacks I have had.
The 2nd steep( 2minutes) tasted of malt, caramel, cocoa, plum, and smokey notes with grain accents.
The 3rd steep was similar.
This tea could easily yield more steeps.
The leaf is very similar to the picture with dark blades with golden tips and buds scattered throughout and had a smell of molasses malt and cocoa.
Although I prefer the other teas I have from this seller. This is a nice, good value, malty tea.
I definitely prefer it brewed at lower temperatures where the malt is balanced by the other flavours.
Jay Shree Tea and Industries Ltd which owns the Meleng Tea Estate describes this as a strong and sparkling tea. Having tried this steeped a couple of ways I can agree with this. I can get a delicious cup using only 1 sugar spoon worth of tea (@1.5g ) steeped for only 2.5minutes.
This tea has mid-sized wide dark blades with a very liberal scattering of saffron to gold coloured tips. The dry leaf smells if the sharp upper tones of malt and cocoa.
Once steeped the tea is an orangish red that is approaching the red tone of a Keemun.
The steeped tea smells of currants, barley mash, malt, hints of spicy floral, honey, and hot lemon.
I found that using more leaf and longer steeping times emphasised the tart fruit and malt notes of this tea. Using less leaf and shorter timings resulted in a sweeter and more balanced cup.
1.5 sugar spoons:
@3min.Smooth yet tart, upper tones of malt with the deeper tones underneath supporting the tea. Honey, currants, tart red fruit, grainy notes underneath, hints of cracked wheat, hints of orange and spicy floral notes. Honey and deeper tones become more apparent as it cools with plum and orange mixed with deeper tones of malt and a hint of blackcurrant and cocoa.
2nd steep sweeter and spicier with hints of lemon, cherry, along with more apparent deeper malt tones. The flavour is more rounded and balanced. . Mild to medium astringency. A bright, tart tea.
3rd steep 4 min. Similar to second and still very potent with a bit more cocoa and honey. This tea could easily yield another steep.
1 sugar spoon:
Using less leaf and a shorter steep time ( 2.5 minutes) resulted in a less tart and more balanced cup with the base elements more apparent in the flavour and a hint of yam. The natural sweetness of this tea is also note apparent with the cocoa mixing with honey and the floral notes in away that reminds me of some Keemun.
The astringency in this tea does create a texture that may come off as sparkling to some palates or as woodiness to others.
Altogether this is a bright and fruity and spicy Assam with a sweetness lying underneath. It is a very resilient and well made cup.