25 Tasting Notes

drank Fei Zi Xiao by Verdant Tea
25 tasting notes

Dry aroma smells like a really fruity black tea.

100ml, ~200F, w/ a 5 second wash

Gorgeous dark red/orange colour. Looks like liquid cherry

It tastes like one of those complex black tea blends. Lots of fruity colors: peach, citrus, apricot, prune, grapes, cherry, and tangyness. All of this is backed by that general chinese black tea taste that’s common with most chinese black teas. Honestly, not a bad combination at all.

The further steeps have a really nice ‘dynamic’ combination. The fruity bits are strong and the primary flavour is both sweet, astringent, and slightly bitter.

One thing to note is that this tea is sensitive to heat. If temperature drops to 190 or below, you’ll get a significant less flavour per steep.

Overall not a bad tea whatsoever. It’s mainly a combination of lots of fruity flavours along with that ‘traditional’ chinese black tea taste. Quite nice.

About ~7 steeps in and tea’s almost out of flavour. Pretty decent. No drastic change in flavour over time, just flavour slowly dwindles (~6 steeps in and it’s like 20% the original potency).

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Blackberry, Citrus, Fruity, Peach, Tangy

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Brewing this ~100ml, with a wash, 5g (sample), at around 190F

Colour is this very clear yellow/gold, looks fantastic (pic: http://imgur.com/H4tY18b).

I’m doing standard infusion time: 5s + 3s for each infusion.

I normally dislike wuyi oolong teas, due to the heavy mineral/rock taste, but this one is quite smooth and good.

The mineral taste is rather soft, and it isn’t rash but instead complementing. There is a sort of pumpkin taste to it as well as chamomile. It has a flower taste to it too. There is no sense of acidity or acridness from this tea. There is a slight fruit flavour, I would say reminiscent of apricot.

Really refreshing taste, but very weak aftertaste — you lose the taste of the tea after around like 5 seconds, so it’s advised to ‘swirl’ it inside your mouth before swallowing, savouring the flavour. It is a bit ‘one dimensional’ in taste, as it’s not particularly complex nor does it evolve throughout the steeping session (5th steep at the moment), but it’s refreshing and it is a pleasant surprise to one who generally dislikes wuyi oolongs

Flavors: Apricot, Flowers, Mineral, Pumpkin

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Forgot to save my previous note on this, so this will be just a short and quick review.

I prepare this tea mainly gongfu style, but I have also done it western

With gongfu, early steeps contain a very fruity apricot taste (specifically dried apricot). But subsequent infusions adopts a heavier wood-like taste with malt and dried apricot background. I haven’t seen how it tasted following the end-stage infusions, so can’t give much of a comment on that.

I did prepare this western style once quite a while ago, and I do have to say that western style is the recommended way to approach this tea. It had a very complex yet harmonic taste, consisting of fruits (with apricot as main), honey, general sweetness, light wood, chocolate, and a maltyness around it. I believe gongfu style doesn’t allow the blend of leaves to steep sufficiently enough to have the combined flavour from all of them, but instead prefers the faster steeping leaves over the others.

Not a bad tea, but not recommended if you prefer tea gongfu style.

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Malt, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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Darn, accidentally pressed escape and all my text disappeared. Lovely.

In short for my future self, this mainly tastes like wood with a very slight ‘dark chocolate’ taste to the overwhelming wood taste. It’s a little fruity regarding a slight raising taste, but this tea mainly tastes like wood. Wet wood. Mmmmm…

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Raisins, Wet Wood, Wet wood, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Unfortunately, at the time of this tasting note it seems that this tea is out of stock and removed from their shop.

Going with ~5g, 100ml, at 200F. Started with a quick 5s wash

Smells strongly of dark chocolate mixed with a mineral, rocky scent and raisins. This definitely smells like a nicely flavoured wuyi rock oolong tea.

Steep times were as follows: 5s, 7s, 10s, 12s, 20s, 25s, 35s

First thing I noticed when tasting the tea is that the taste is identical, literally identical, to the smell. Dark chocolate and raisins with an underlying mineral background.

Around my third steep, the dark chocolate taste remains more prominent with a ‘roasted mineral’ taste coming in. I do want to note that this tea isn’t sweet at all so far, it’s a little bitter but not overly so, just a ‘flavour bitterness’ if you will.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Mineral, Raisins, Roasted

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Starting this one off with ~5g, 180F at 100ml with a 5s quick wash.

I’m fairly certain this is a type of milk oolong, as it looks just like other milk oolongs I’ve had in the past as well as having the distinct ‘creamyness’ that’s associated with milk oolong.

Steep times are as follows: 5s, 5s, 8s, 12s, 15s, 20s, 40s, 1m

For first impressions, this is a milk oolong tea that focuses less on the creamyness from milk oolong, and more on the floral flavours that the tea contains. Probably the most ‘floral’ tasting tea I’ve tasted to date with a rather persistent after taste.

When slightly oversteeped, it doesn’t get that nasty flavor of ‘petals’ that most floral teas taste, instead starts to adopt the heavy vegetal taste that other milk oolongs have.

This tea mainly has a very strong, but not piercing, floral flavour that rides over a smooth, creamy undertone. It’s a pleasant tea to relax with, regretfully it’s out of stock at the time of this posting, but a pleasant tea nonetheless.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Vegetal

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Phenomenal tea right here. Drinking this is just a wonderful treat.

85-89: Extremely good tea but it’s just missing that one thing to make it exceptional.

80-84: Very good tea. May not be the best, but it certainly is excellent for the times that you crave them.

70-79: Good tea. The types of teas that have that one characteristic to them that makes it worthwhile despite lacking in all the other areas

60-69: Average tea. Doesn’t excel at anything but isn’t’ horrible in anything either.

40-59: Below average tea. I can see how someone else would like this tea but I definitely don’t like it. Could be an issue with my brewing or just my taste in general. If it’s a brewing issue, rating will be adjusted accordingly.

0-39: How is this tea. Better beverages could be made by grabbing a clump of dead grass from my front lawn.


El Paso, Texas

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