239 Tasting Notes
At first I thought that the language was a little flowery for this shou’s writeup, but the more steeps I get through, the more I notice that it does taste a bit like pastry and barley.
It starts out dark and woody, with hints of chocolate. As it steeps out, it has a nice, savory breadiness to it. It’s very cozy and warming.
I never did get the vanilla and other things they described in their writeup, but regardless, this tea was a nice way to start the morning.
As I’m pulling out Christmas decorations, I’m sipping down some of my oolong samples from my tea friend.
This tea is also dark and a little toasty, which is a nice warming flavor for a winter night. There’s a light floral flavor that, when combined with the roast, kind of tastes like roasted flowers. It works.
What I didn’t care for in this tea was the fruit element. The site says it’s lychee. I wouldn’t know, having never tried lychee. To me it’s that wild kind of funk that is translated by my brain as chemical. It’s tolerable, but not my favorite flavor.
I got a sample of this from a tea friend. That being said, this is not a tea I would have picked out for myself.
The roast and the dark flavors of the tea remind me of a really dark, heavy cereal of some kind, like a brown bread crossed with an oatmeal. Perhaps it’s the cold weather getting to me.
Then there’s another flavor on top of that. I had to look at the tasting notes to get an idea of what I could call it. Rye? Caraway? Something seedy and a little bitter tasting. A kind of odd funk that I can’t quite put a name to. I’m not much of a fan.
There isn’t a touch of astringency for me though, which is nice. It’s a pretty decent, warming tea.
The smell of this leaf is soooo strange. Sour zucchini mixed with old books? Luckily I never trust the smell of the leaf being indicative of the tea.
I’m getting a lot of what everyone else is getting: smoke, camphor, and wood. There’s still a bit of that green sheng flavor underneath, but it’s old enough that it tastes like zucchini rather than formaldehyde.
This session was pleasant enough, but I don’t think it’s a flavor I would actively seek out.
Another quick review, as this was a sample I brought to work.
The roast, as it usually does, comes out as a nice toasty flavor. The last reviewer was correct though, as the dominating flavor is FRUIT by far. I wouldn’t call it peach. To me, it’s more like apricot and grape skins. Whatever it is, it’s STRONG.
There’s also a pretty strong floral component, that when combined with the fruit flavor reminds me of sitting in an orchard in springtime. Fruit blossoms!
A very nice sample. Thank you tea swap friend!
It’s malty and astringent, and when overbrewed or overleafed, turns bitter and biting—nothing new for a hong.
It’s bright and dark at the same time. There’s a bit of an autumnal leaf pile and sweetness that lends to the bright side, with a hint of cocoa lending to the dark.
I think the astringency is a bit much in this tea to keep me from getting any more.