391 Tasting Notes

The Tea fairy and Dexter inspired me to have this today. Still love it. The first steep is reminding me of black forest cake with a chocolate sacher torte, vanilla cream and kirsh vibe happening. The cinnamon is present as a warming spice which presents a certain sweetness. This tea is not as syrupy and sweet as the mystery yancha I had last night, but I still love this.

TheTeaFairy

Mmmmm….Oolong just rocks! And so does this review :-)

apt

nice! shame that they named it so sloppily though. Rou Gui and Da Hong Pao are seperate cultivars – both are Yancha aka Cliff Teas aka Rock Teas.

yyz

I know, I’m pretty sure they know that too. The tin is labeled just Rou gui. They tend to put a lot of associated names on aliexpress to maximise it coming up in searches.

apt

DHP is super-famous compared to Rou Gui, it’s like a brand name :P

yyz

Exactly. You see dealers on aliexpress listing rock teas as Yan Chas as cliff teas, rock teas, dhp, black teas and other associated names of teas in this family. Some companies are very specific, but most tend to not be. Their are others I wonder about like this one where the heading is more or less correct but then they say the variety is Assam. Are cliff teas derived from an assamica ssp.?
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Fo-Shou-Buddha-s-Hand-Ancient-Tree-Wuyi-Rock-Tea/1410428562.html

apt I don’t know for sure, but I’d like to give a nice, large Hell No, as DHP has existed for longer than Indian tea and I can’t find anything online about it. DHP is known for messing up labels (Labeling Shou Pu’erh as Sheng…)
yyz

All my sources say it is Camellia sinensis. I allowed myself to wonder for a bit though because I know a lot of pu-ehr is made from var. Assamica and it made me wonder about other styles. Its probably an error in the description, this is surprisingly common on aliexpress. When I can I like Togo to company websites or Two a where descriptions are usually more accurate. I also find that they use Souchong and keemun as processing styles and not as tea types as well. Though some regions do have a sort of vqa type regulation in ASN attempt to maintain quality.

Miss Starfish

I wasn’t hungry, really. Then I read this. Now I’m raiding the dessert cupboard. Oh yzz… ;)

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drank First Flush Darjeeling by DAVIDsTEA
391 tasting notes

I got this in store when I picked up some tins in store the other day.

This tea is sourced from Chamong Estate in darjeeling. For those who are curious here’s a link to the Estates website and a picture.
http://www.chamong.com/chamong_tea_estate.html
http://www.happytrips.com/darjeeling/chamong-tea-estate/ps35785017.cms

The tea itself is one of the nicer straight teas I’ve had from David’s.

The leaf is decidedly towards the green range and smells of flowers, hay and cream. When brewed the tea was a sepia tinged saffron yellow.

Flavour wise it lies between the hay and acidity of some white teas, the sweet vegetal and nutty notes of some greens, the floral spice of some Oolong’s, and the muscatel, malt and cocoa notes of black teas. It makes a nice light almalgamation of these flavours.

3min. Scent:Cream, hay, faint hint of floral gardenia, peas, fruit.

Flavour: Muscatel softened by cream, plum, hay, spice, clover and dames rocket. Light upper tones of malt and a very faint hint of cocoa, hint of peas. Hint of chestnut.
Snap peas, cream.

Resteep 4 min. Flavour: stronger muscatel, and nutty notes with increasing astringency.

I’m glad I picked some up to try!

boychik

This sounds very interesting. If only I had Davids around here. Another month to wait :( I have free tea to redeem. Maybe it’s the one?

TheTeaFairy

That’s interesting, thanks for reviewing. I bought a lot of teaware from them lately and I now have 100g of free tea to redeem as well from their reward program. Since I’m not interested in their flavoured tea, I knew I was getting Oolong Supreme and Gyokuro Yamashiro. Might as well get their most expensive stuff! But being the Darjeeling fan that I am, I might reconsider…

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drank Black Pekoe Tea by Gorreana
391 tasting notes

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drank Pineapple and Peach by Bonomelli
391 tasting notes

Once again the smell of this tea is almost bang on. Both the peach and pineapple are present. The peach smells a little like Tim Horton’s peach drink and the pineapple is juicy and slightly floral in scent. On the tongue the pineapple is apparent at first sip with a sweet, juicy, slightly floral tone. At times it references chamomile even though chamomile is not an ingredient. The peach is present behind it. It is a warm, cooked peach kind of flavour, that is given just a hint of tartness by the hibiscus in the blend. Once again this ingredient is used to enhance rather than overwhelm the flavour. I’ve quite enjoyed this series of fruit teas. They are quite well done and with only 10 bags to a box, I don’t feel guilty having a few of them in my cupboard.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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This might be my favourite Andrews and Dunham tea so far. It is a nice moderately smoked tea where the smoke is strong enough to leave a slight tingle at the back of the throat but not enough to overwhelm the rest of the flavours of the tea. Instead it contributes a certain spiciness to the tea as well as a certain depth to the flavour ranging from roasted smoke notes, pine and pine tar. It is not as smooth as you would find in a straight Lapsang Souchong. The base tea is slightly tart from red fruits and has a bready note and texture. There is a hint of molasses heading towards a maple note, and a bit of cocoa. There is a bit of sharpness and astringency to the tea.

I did two steeps of this tea at around 95°C at 3 and 4 minutes. The resteeps was flavourful, and was slightly sweeter and fruitier. This makes for a nice cozy and flavourful tea. Thanks boychik for the opportunity to try this tea!

boychik

yay! happy you enjoyed it. i bought a second tin of it.

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This one definitely falls into the fruity spectrum of Yunnan’s with the brewed tea smelling of apricots along with something a little bit sharper, leather, malt honey and grain.

I steeped 1 TSP in 220ml of water three times at about 95°C.

1 min. Apricot, honey, grain, and hints of malt and leather spice. The tea is sweet, grainy and rich. As it cools, deeper malt tones become apparent and a prune note appears.

2 min. Apricot, honey, leather, cocoa and grain.

4 min. Malt, leather, grainy notes, and a bit of cream.

Nice and different from my existing Yunnans

Thanks boychik for the sample!

boychik

glad you liked it;)

Cameron B.

Sounds amazing! Must wishlist. :)

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

I’m also glad you enjoyed the tea. Excellent breakdown of the various flavors at each steeping interval. Thanks, Joe

yyz

Thanks! I’ve very much enjoyed sampling your teas so far.

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This tea reminds me of the corn syrup my mother used to pour on ice cream as a child. It has a rich sweet flavour, mixed with roasted notes, cocoa, a hint of malt and sweet dried fruit. It is really smooth brewed at high temperatures and very short steeps ( boiling and 5-10s to start). In later steeps it mellows to a caramel. The aftertaste is very sweet and lingering. It resteeps really well and I ’ve steeped it past 11 times. When brewed western style the flavour becomes too much for me and heads to an acidic molasses. The liquor is red edged with gold even at short steeps.

The dried leaves are small, very tightly wound and like to interlock with each other. It can make it difficult to get out of the bag. They are shiny black, with reddish copper buds and smell like raisins. It makes a fantastic dessert tea.

boychik

this sounds delicious! how do you pick on aliexpress? im completely lost. did you know the seller before you placed an order? or its like gambling?

yyz

I just lost a big long message but I’ll start again. First I’ll say that I have really only had issues with transactions twice. Once the seller cancelled the transaction before shipment with no communication. This was no big deal, my money was refunded without issue, it was just a little rude. Later on I found out that the item was out of stock. The second time was more serious as they put the item into shipped status, then said the item was out of stock and tried to foist a whole bunch of unwanted alternates on me. This was not a big sale and eventually I agreed on a tea because the sale was under five dollars and not worth going to dispute. Otherwise my experience has been positive and I have now done over 30 transactions on the platform.

I guess it is a little bit like gambling as I have bought from sellers ( all positively) with no sales history ( the first sale was the Laoshan which was an amazing price of $12/250g including shipping). Generally I will attempt communication with the seller as this will often tell me whether they no their stuff or are simply copying adds from Taobao. Remember though that English is not their first language usually and tyhei can be mix communications. I have had some great conversations with sellers and learned many things. Some things to bear in mind: descriptions can be misleading so look at the factory produced description if possible and look for information about shipping weight etc. If it is not clear ask. I mostly ignore the star system 4 or 5 stars simply means that the transaction was completed successfully and the buyer got more or less what they expected. If their are negative ratings look at what they are about. Mostly its items that the seller can’t do anything about like shipping time and sometimes it’s only one product that has skewed the ratings. Don’t discount sellers because they sell non tea related things. Often this is where you can get family grown, or more unusual products, or in some cases you can get great deals because they can afford to buy in volume. I found most of my sellers either through searches of specific items is. Rizhao tea, or by looking at the sales page ( that’s how I found this seller. He had great tea but is currently not selling). If the item is not unique to the seller copy the description into the search engine and see what comes up. I’ve seen the same tea varie in cost by over 30$. I got this tea for under 13$ where other sellers were selling it for over 90. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask.

boychik

Thank you for sharing your experience. I bought on aliexpress only once. Some one recommend me the link for the cake, so it was very safe transaction. It is so addictive I can’t stop browsing

yyz

I sometimes have that problem as well;).

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drank Honey Pistachio Biscotti by Tea Guys
391 tasting notes

The dry leaf smells a lot like butter pecan flavoured coffee which reminds me a little of this wonderful woman I worked with when I was in university. She often brought me food and coffee when I worked with her. She kind of mothered me but her kindness was always appreciated.

The tea smells of coffee, honey and roasted pistachio. There is unfortunately something a little soapy in the scent as well.

The tea has a biscuit like note, with a coffee note, a good dose of honey and a nutty note. The base tea is bready and flowery,with a touch of fruit. It brews to a rich red orange. The flavour is pleasant but the floral note seems out of place. As it cools the floral note dissipates and the base becomes much more fruity with red berry notes. I much prefer this to the floral notes when hot.

This is a nice tea for those who miss flavoured coffee or who like a mix of bitterness balanced by sweetness in their dessert teas.

Thanks JustJames for the opportunity to try another tea guys tea. It suits a certain craving of mine.

TheTeaFairy

Oh, yummy!

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The makers of this tea did a nice job of scenting this tea. They managed to keep the rose subtle, juicy and spicy and minimised the bitterness you can sometimes get in rose teas. The rose in this tea ranges from bright citrusy tea rose to sweeter and spicier damask. The base tea underneath is soft with cream, lemon, honey and peach and pineapple notes. It is also savoury with notes of white sweet corn, green beans, sandalwood and aged cedar. This tea resteeps quite well and has an interesting and changing taste profile. The floral notes are mostly from the scenting as any in the base tea seem very subtle. It took a couple steeps for the rose to develop in flavour. My favourite steep was probably the third but I came to really appreciate this tea.

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