187 Tasting Notes
This weekend I decided to experiment with some of my Souchong teas. Of the 3 classic Lapsang Souchong teas this one and Nina’s tied. This one is more refreshing but Nina’s is sweeter and holds up to more steeps.
The dry leaf of this one smells like a campfire with a hint of sweetness and spice that is achieved when burning
hardwood and fall leaves. The tea has a scent overtone of mint and pine and a good measure ofsweetness like semi ripe plums.
The dry leaves are mix of black brown and a touch of grey, you can see the veins on some of the leaves.
It brews to a medium transparent orangey peach brown.
The tea has a scent of light smoke, sweet fruit tones, sap, pine, and sugar syrup. It is not as sweet tasting as it smells, but it is still sweet. Light upper tones disappear almost instantly to deeper plum and grainy tones at the back of the throat which are then followed by an after taste of wood and pine smoke. It is mildly astringent. There is a mild freshening feeling at the front of the mouth as part of a tangy sweet/piney fresh aftertaste.
There is a faint taste of sour cherry. The tart fruit notes dominate over the smoke. The tea is quite refreshing. The aftertaste is accompanied by tingling, cooling sensation. I could see myself ordering this in the future. It Tastes like a slightly damp fall day
once everyone starts lighting their fireplaces. It actually brings back a vivid memory of the scent and taste of woodsmoke in Urbania, Italy. I had been there a couple of weeks when one day the air was full of woodsmoke. At first, I thought it was due to the kilns as there are a lot of pottery works there, but later I found out it was due to the drop in temperature. Electricity is expensive ( my landlord reccommended only turning on the furnace for two hours a day) and many people are using either wood or charcoal to heat or suplement the heating of their houses. This is not my photo but I lived on the top floor of the building on the left and had a huge (capable of waliking into it) fireplace in the kitchen.
3 min second steep. The scent is less sweet, but there is still a potent taste with a stronger reference to smoke, pine mint and grain with an almost floral note. There is still a slightly unripe tart stone fruit taste. Sweet, fresh, but smokey aftertaste that is sweeter than the tea tasted.
3rd steep 345. Honey and cocoa grain notes coming out underneath the smoke
4th steep 5min smoke tones over grainy and bitter cocoa, still fairly strong
5th steep colour fading honey bread and smoke, lighter flavour but sweeter and less bitter.
Overall it is quite a nice tea and very refreshing
The dry leaf reminds me of candy smelling of sour pomegranate flavoured hard candy so I was surprised when the brewed tea reminded me of Christmas. It has a spicy fruity scent that is widely available at that time of year. I’m not sure how old this sample is as I received with an order from I Heart Teas, but the dried leaves still looked bright green and fresh.
As the tea cools one can begin to smell the underlying sweet notes from the sencha, mixing with the fruit and spice. In general the flavouring mostly obliterates the sencha, but I can detect the sweetness and a faint bitterness underneath it. The liquor feels at first creamy on the tongue and the leaves a slight freshness. The pomegranite flavouring is sweet almost like grenadine, but not quite, and the spice seems to be a mix of cinnamon with some cloves and leaves a little cooling sensation in the mouth.
The second steep has less spice and stronger fruit taste it is also not quite as sweet bringing out the tart notes from the fruit. The tea base is still quite strong underneath, suggesting that it will hold up to further steeps. Quite nice.
This Tea is part of a Da Hong Pao sample pack I go from the Fu tea Store on Aliexpress. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/808949 .
Although they do sell other teas, this tea is grown and processed by the seller. I haven’t had much experience with this class of oolongs but I could foresee myself purchasing more of this in the future I really enjoyed it.
The dry reddish brown to dark brown intact leaves smell sweet and buttery and spicy all at once. They brewed up to a nice orange liquor. The tea did not come with brewing instructions so I decided to use the ones from Teavivre. I ended up brewing the tea 10 times after a rinse (25 ,40,60, 80, 140, 220,5*2, 6*2) The later steepings were still pretty flavourful and I could have probably coaxed out more steeps by using shorter brewing times.
On to the tea..
During the earlier steepings the tea smelled of poached dried apricots, faint buttery pastry, a light woody note, cinnamon, mango, banana, cream and vanilla orchid.
It tasted of a faintly green floral top note, followed by cream drenched warm fruit (apricot, and under ripe banana), a light cereal note, cinnamon spice and a hint of vanilla.
It had a very, very smooth and silky texture, and refreshing feeling at front of mouth and warm spicy feeling at back of throat. As it cooled the spice and fruit scent intensified, There was an aftertaste of cream fruit especially banana, with a touch of a woody feeling in upper mouth combined with the warmth of cinnamon with vanilla orchid flavour. The first steep was really good! The cinnamon intensified and lingered in the aftertaste leaving a warming buzz in the back of my mouth.
Middle steepings had a more prominent woody roasted cereal note and vanilla orchid flavour over the fruit tones with the cream remaining prominent. Whereas, in the final steepings a mineral cream note rose to prominence in the flavour profile, combining with the cream and vanilla floral notes.
I’m looking forward to trying the other three in this pack.
Sip down! This tea did not age very well and should probably be drunk fairly quickly after opening. It has lost all its bright fruity notes and tastes rather non-descript at this point.
Blackcurrant tea is not something I crave very often, but occassionally I do crave something with a sharp tangy fruit taste that is not an early grey or another citrus base. This one is quite a nice one as the currant is tempered by a sweeter berry base.
The scent is quite strong especially considering this tea is over a year old and it probably makes a nice ice tea. It smells like a fruit compote with mostly berries, including currant and gooseberries with a touch of grapefruit. The liquor is a translucent reddish brown.
Warm blackcurrant is the strongest flavour note with the elderberry adding complexity and sweetness to it. This is underlain by a fairly robust black tea base with bitter cocoa notes along with red fruit notes and a bitter vegetal note from the blackberry leaves. The base and flavouring do a nice job of balancing each other, and the fruit flavouring is not puckering. Nicely Done!
The dry leaves of this tea is really beautiful, full of golden furry buds ranging in colour from a yellow gold to an almost copper colour mixed with brown leaves coated in gold down. Most of the tea appears to include 1-2 buds and a leaf. The picture doesn’t really do it justice. There are better pictures in the product description available here:
The dry leaf smells of rye bread, chocolate, honey and when allowed to air, dried clover.
This tea is a little bit of chameleon depending on what brewing style and temperature you use. The dominant flavours though tend to be cocoa, honey, and orange with light pepper notes. The honey is fairly light though and is more of a reference to the flavour notes of honey rather than the sweetness of it. The tea brews to a maple colour.When brewed gonfu style at higher temperatures using a light hand with the leaf I got notes of clover honey, cocoa, nectar, plum, malt, cinnamon, and pepper.
With more leaf regardless of temperature there is a consistent mix of cocoa, orange, honey, and pepper. When brewed at higher temperatures the tea tastes thinner and leaves a kind of effervescent feeling at the front of the mouth followed by a heavier feeling at the back of the mouth. When brewed at lower temperatures the tea has a kind of creamy texture.
When brewed western styles there are flavour notes of orange flower, honey, sweet potato, light malt, deeper note hinting at cocoa, light pepper, cinnamon, clover nectar, and light fruit notes including plum, and orange. The tea is slightly bubbly in the mouth. It tastes sweeter as the cup cools with the fruit and honey notes become more prominent. The cocoa and malt also come out more. The tea finishes with bitter cocoa and pepper notes and a citrus top note.
Altogether an interesting tea that I look forward to experimenting further with.
This tea brews to a deep dark orange brown with the opaqueness of coffee. Its scent is of sweet pink grapefruit complete with that bitter sharp twang you get when you peel back the skin, mixed with dusty mineral notes, cooked hearty whole grains like spelt mixed with kasha grain, and yeast.
My sense of taste is still a little bit off after being sick but this tea has strong flavours that combine a mix of sharp initial notes followed by a smooth aftertaste.
The first flavour note is of sour citrus note mixed with a mineral and faintly marine note that is not fishy, but something that reminds me of brisk sea air (ozone, wet vegetation, salt and water) followed by a smooth slightly earthy bitter note that mimics coffee. There are also hints of charred crust. The texture is like that of French Press Coffee. This tea is not particularly sweet, and those who prefer a sweet tea would be advised to add sugar. Otherwise this is an easy introduction into flavoured pu-erhs.
Brewed this tea smells of biscuits raisins and a lychee scent accompanied by a slight sharp citrusy note. The liquor is an aged maple wood colour.
It tastes of biscuit, raisin,and lychee. With the lychee note like that found in canned lychee packed in water, There is a hint of a green floral notes and malty lightly bitter after note. The tea is smooth, with a medium to thick body and no astringency. It is very forgiving you can steep it and forget about it and it remains easily drinkable. It makes a great iced tea and cold brews really well. It re-steeps decently well. Overall a nice affordable every day tea.
When hot Troika reminds me of the Ahmad Tea Special Blend except the base is a little smoother and more forgiving in that it is less likely to get overly bitter if overbrewed. It tastes like a nice lightly flavoured fruity earl grey over a slightly bitter base. For me the sharp citrus of the bergamot was most present at first slightly tempered by the sweeter notes from the orange. As it cooled the orange
became more present for me and sweetend the tea a little. Having said this it is not an overly sweet tea. The orange has a few of the notes from Orangina ( a slightly bitter orange)without it being sweetened. I do get hints of mandarin but more like the taste of tinned mandarin packed in water. The base has a slight natural bitterness which gives the tea some depth. The tea brews up to a nice copper colour. The flavouring is nice and subtle and is suitable for those who prefer a lighter flavouing to their flavoured tea. The base is pleasant enough but not overly complex. It makes a nice afternoon tea.
Thanks Momo for the opportunity to try this tea.
This tea is the first Shui Xian I’ve ever had as well as the first tea from Verdant Tea that I’ve tried so thanks Momo for offering me the opportunity to do so through your sale.
I found the flavour profile of these tea to be interesting and subtle through out my tasting of it. The 16 steeps I got out of this tea ( 5,8, 20,30,35,40,45,50,60,70,80,100,125, 160,190s and 4 min) speak to the quality of it. My first impression of the tea left me with a memory of a really awesome steel cut oatmeal I had in McLeod Ganj ( Dharmasala) in India with hints of cream over starchy fruit like papaya or bananas over warm cereal notes. The tea also had warm floral notes. The tea even at 5 s had a nice creamy mouth feel followed by a freshening feeling at the top of the front of the mouth.
Early middle steeps revealed notes of caramel, honey and woody spice mixed with the tones above.
Later steeps brought out vanilla and some sweet vegetal notes that blended with the existing notes.
The final series of steeps were slightly astringent with a licorice woody spice tone appearing along with a hint of chocolate with the honeyed vanilla cereal woody cream notes remaining.
All over it was quite a nice experience I look forward to comparing it to another Shui Xian that I expect to be receiving soon.