188 Tasting Notes
I’ve had two Golden Monkeys over the last two days one was definitely a Fujian and then this one which I believe is from Yunnan though it’s origin wasn’t marked either at the store or online. I enjoyed both. They both had cocoa and fruity notes but with different characteristics. This one had deep cocoa notes and a sweet fruit note that reminded me of grape jelly and a floral note of violet. Really interesting and quite nice. Later steeps had notes of malt and light leather notes.
On the website this is only sold in their Classic series. I think they might be low on stock of this harvest as the leaves in my loose package were slightly broken but no matter the tea was quite nice.
About 75% of the tea was pale gold tips and buds. The tea had a deep rich scent of cocoa. I chose to do short steeps with this tea and finished at 9 steeps.
20s brew a lightly perfumed red brown broth with cocoa, plum, raisin and an almost violet like floral note that tastes of cocoa, with sweet fruit almost like grape jelly, honey, floral violet, with malt, smells and tastes more like some Yunnan’s I’ve had than a Fujian tea. Brisk, a little astringent.
25s deeper cocoa, honey jam in background violet strong in scent but less present in taste, more malty.
35s grape jelly, violet and cocoa, malt
45s cocoa, violet, jelly and a hint of leather.
55s cocoa, floral note, leather , hint of jelly. less sweet.
85s cocoa, floral, leather note
110 cocoa toned tea, with some sweetness.
5min cocoa and vitamin c notes.
If you’re curious about this tea you can find King’s Zen Tea here
The celestial aroma oolong also known as Golden Osmanthus, or yellow gold oolong is made from the Huang Dan Cultivar of tea grown in Anxi, Fujian. Harvested earlier than Tie guan yin , It is known to naturally emit an osmanthus like aroma. This is not a scented tea. This particular example tended to reference the peach like end of the osmanthus spectrum rather than the apricot. This tea is kind of interesting as an oolong it has the bite of a green TGY, It is definitely floral, but it’s fruit notes are kind of unique to the ones I have tried, It doesn’t have the sweet tropical fruit notes I’ve had in some milk oolongs and doesn’t have the spicy cinnamon like notes I get in mid roast TGY. It’s kind of a peach orange mix that softens later into apricot.
The dry leaves were a tightly rolled pale olive green to spruce green with a distinctive aroma of orange and peach and 1st cut hay ( more clover less alfalfa).
After a brief rinse I got twelve steeps out of this tea ( I could of made more but the flavour was losing complexity). The steeping times were 30,20,25,30,35,40,50,70,80,90,120 and 180s, brewed at around 80-85*C.
This tea gets some of it’s names from the loveley yellow gold of it’s liquor which stayed pretty consistant through each steeping.
This tea released flavours of orange, peach and later on apricot, over floral notes including at various points gardenia, honeysuckly and vanilla orchid ( one steep smelled a little like creamsicles) , occassional notes, of artichoke, spinach/green beans, and notes of pachouli and sweetgrass like spice).
The tea produced a cooling feeling on the lips and at the front of the mouth and a warming sensation at the back of the mouth and some of the middle steepings were buttery.
The spent leaves were fairly large, green, and some leaves had faint red edges.
Overall a nice selection when I want a green oolong that is not the sweet creamy fruit of a milk oolong, or as strongly floral as some Dong Dings and TGY.
This tea has the type of bergamot I like in it, bright and complex, fruity citrus with notes from lemon to tangerine with spicy notes that remind me of lavender and ginger. The flavouring is bold and strong which blends well with a strong heavy bodied tea.
Using 1.5 tsp this tea brewed up to a nice red after around 3 minutes. The first flavour note was of sweet potato, followed quickly by citrus spice with lavender and light ginger notes, underlain by deep malt and cocoa. This is quite nice, bright and light tasting on top, with depth underneath and a lovely citrus spice aftertaste.
- To check out their teas go to http://www.justea.com/#!home/mainPage .
I have had this tea twice so far, once using 1 tsp/225ml and the second time using 1.5 tsp. I enjoyed the tea both times but I think I prefer the later.
Using 1 tsp the tea liquor was a rich copper red and
smelled sweet and spicy, with hint of berries, citrus, roasted sweet potato, cinnamon, malt.
It produced a comforting rich cup with a nice body with malt, cocoa, grain ( almost barley) and a hint of potato notes at first opening up to sweeter berries with citrus fruit, and cinnamon and a hint of chocolate with a light floral notes. The aftertaste was tangy with citrus malt and chocolate cinnamon note. The tea was smooth with little to no astringency.
With 1.5 tsp of tea the liquor smelled of roasted sweet potato, malt berry, spice and a deeper cocoa note
The malt, cocoa, grain with a little sweet potato, notes opened to citrus, with at times faintly peppery berry notes, and a hint of cinnamon that had deeper cocoa notes underneath. There were tangy citrus and deep cocoa bitter notes in the aftertaste.
It re-steeps well with the tea tasting brighter and fruitier with spice elements more prominent, and a new rosemary like element coming out.
This method had a little bit more astringency than the 1 tsp method but had a much richer flavour.
Thanks once again to JusTea for this sample. Definitely one of the nicest Kenyan teas I have tried to this date. Check them out at
This is a nice contrast to the roasted sweet potato flavoured Panyong, I’ve been drinking all day. As this one is all spice and chocolate and cherries, when I get it right.
This tea is a little rugged in appearance and texture unlike some of the beautiful tippy version I have seen of this type. I don’t know if this is the style of preparation or has to do with the youth of the plants, this tea is from 1-2 years old( whether this is age, or years in production I’m not sure). However when you get it right the flavour of this tea is wonderful. Unlike most of my blacks I find that this tea is best made with boiling or near boiling water and allowed to steep for 4-5 minutes. Sometimes this tea has some grainy notes but today it released this wonderful flavour which reminds me of kirsch and dark chocolate sprinkled with cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg, with a bit of caramel underneath. The tea has a thick, rugged body and a touch of astringency but it’s worth it for that flavour. This tea doesn’t re-steep forever like some of the teas I’ve had lately, but I should get one or two more cups out of it.
I bought this from aliexpress as an affordable introduction to this type of tea. The store owner seems to have expanded into taps but he has tried to source all of his teas directly from the producers. His shop can be found here:
I wanted something a little bit fruity so I decided to try this sample today. The dry leaf smells like grape juice and prunes. I think I was expecting this to be a brighter scent, but what it smells like is baking, a little bit like a cross between date squares and apple crisp.
The flavouring has scents of fruit, more of baked apple or peach to me than lychee, and cinnamon. The base has a mix of pastry and leather\licorice notes.
The first sip has a floral, lily like note opening upto a peppery lychee note, the base adds a deeper malty note, a slight biscuit note and a hint of fruit. The tea has an aftertaste of floral accented lychee. Without sugar the taste seems disconnected from the scent. Sugar brings out more of the baked good notes and actually minimizes the lychee note and makes it taste slightly more floral. Altogether pleasant for an occasional sip.
I was craving a darker oolong yesterday so I decided to sample the second of four Da Hong Pao’s from the sample pack I purchased from the Fu Tea Store. As a testament to it’s quality I drank it all last evening and have been drinking it throughout today, so far I have taken it through out 16 steepings (8, 10, 12, 18, 21, 26, 35, 55, 75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 180, and 240s). Chen Cha refers to an aged tea and the advantage of this is it allows the charcoal like tones of some heavier roast oolongs to dissipates and allows some flavours to deepen and develop within a well stored tea.
At 8s this tea smelled of dark bread crust, raisin and currants , tobacco, and biscuit. It tasted of sweet fruit like the aftertaste of banana and dried apricot, combined with biscuit and oatmeal and cream
notes. Raisin and cream flavours lingered in the aftertaste.
Over time this tea released flavour notes of raisin scones, faint dark crust, sweet banana aftertaste, vanilla and unsweetened cream, mineral notes, sugar cane, floral vanilla orchid, licorice root, and aged resinous wood. It released a lot of flavour even with these short steeps.
Overall I’ve been impressed with this Da Hong Pao’s from the Fu Tea store.
I look forward to trying the Jin Xuan and Shui Xian flavours I have remaining.
This is a really elegant well balanced assam. It is not in your face with strong bitter malt notes, but rather a well made tea that presents a smooth mix of the fruit, cocoa, malt, spice, biscuit and floral notes that assams often have.
The dry leaf has a cocoa, molasses, floral scent, with rich brown leaves scattered with gold. After 3 minutes at around 94* C. The tea is a deep copper red colour with a scent of spice, red fruit, malt, cocoa, baked goods, and spicy floral.
The tea tastes smooth and elegant with a medium body, with a sweet flavour with notes of light biscuit, blackberry and cherry, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, light floral note, and malt.
It re-steeps really well with cocoa and malt notes strengthening over the sweet fruit spice and biscuit notes.
A really good example of a well made assam.
I really need to try more unsmoked or lightly smoked zheng shan Xiao zhongs because I love the one I’m sipping on right now. The dealer I bought this one from is in the process of re-setting up his e-store or I’d direct you there because I’ve loved all the wuyi blacks I’ve had from him so far.
This particular one smells like dark chocolate with some grain notes when dry and has thin shiny dark leaves with a few red brown leaves. It is best brewed between 80-90*c. I prefer brewing it at around 80 because then it is buttery like an oolong and the chocolate and caramel notes it has dominate.
It has notes of cocoa, caramel, and honey note’s over sweet potato, cinnamon and some grain notes it has some fruity citrus lychee notes and dark crust toast notes as well as a hint of vanilla.
When brewed at a higher temperature the lychee/citrus and sweet potato notes become stronger.
This tea holds up to 5+ brews when brewing 1tsp/200ml.
Really nice tea, so I hope I can get it again. If not I’m going to have to experiment with more sweet and un-smoked teas of this type.
I normally don’t buy Chai as I prefer to make my own. However, when I smelled this tea it’s scent brought me back to memories of waiting out Curfew at a chai stand in front of the train station in Jaipur.Jaipur is semi-arid and can get quite cold at night, especially when it is just coming out of it’s winter season. So, there was a large group of us huddled together around a fire drinking Chai and eating those flaky, unsweetened pastry like biscuits all the Chai Wallahs seem to sell. I remember being asked for my passport by a police officer who seemed to think I was Kashmiri (this was during another period of tension between India and Pakistan over Kashmir) and even after kept trying to trip me up by speaking to me in Urdu. My ancestors are mostly of Irish, Scotch and British descent, but for some reason people have trouble placing me. I have been told at times that I look like a vey tall and pale person from Portugal, Italy or Ireland at times but also have been asked whether I was Afghani, Turkish, or Kashmiri as well, In a way this makes sense and I could truthfully answer yes, because the Celts originated somewhere north of Turkey before migrating west.
Anyways, back to the tea. It smelled pretty authentic in the box, I was nostalgic so I bought it.
The dry tea is a mix of grades of tea ranging from CTC to OP and smelled heavily of cardamom with the other spice enriching it in the background.
Once brewed, the tea smelled of cardamom with a hint of cloves with cinnamon and ginger in the background/ The base tea smelled deep and biscuity and fruity.
The tea is smooth with little astringency. Cardamom is the strongest flavour. While, cloves provides a cooling top note. Ginger and cinnamon follow these flavours. The base is still present and is fruity, and malty with biscuit notes underneath. It is quite a naturally sweet tea with the base and spices blending nicely. It is not peppery and hot like some Chai’s can be. Although Ginger Chai, is still my favourite, I can definitely appreciate this one. The Cardamom is lovely in it and the other spices nicely support it.