473 Tasting Notes
Great value tea from FLT. Not an overly complex oolong, but very enjoyable regardless. Aroma and flavor are both mostly roasted nuts, coffee, and a strong caramel-sweet finish. This one does a good job of toeing the line – it tastes pretty heavily roasted, but isn’t sour or dominated completely by roasty notes. Texture is smooth and full throughout the session as well. Really pleasant daily drinker type of tea.
I was really looking forward to this one, after having enjoyed FLT’s Lishan Tie Guanin more than I have enjoyed much of any tgy previously. I was a little disappointed, unfortunately. It was certainly enjoyable, but that metallic tgy taste was quite prominent. I find it rather distracting in teas, as it is not a taste/sensation I appreciate, personally. The description of this tea specifically states that it has the “classic metallic mouthfeel that TGY drinkers love,” which leads me to believe I may have been correct in classifying myself as a non-TGY drinker.
That said, it wasn’t too overpowering, and it was accompanied by some nice ripe fruity notes and a bit of caramel roastiness. I would not personally go for it again.
Mine was the 2018 version of this tea.
Tuhao as Fuck is a pretty big and powerful tea. I pick up some wet straw and apricot in the nose. Flavor was mostly bitter, a little bit of astringency, followed by a stone fruit finish. Not particularly sweet, even in the finish, though. I found this one more about body and feels than flavor – it certainly tasted nice though. The body was thick and full in the mouth and down through the throat. I felt progressively warmer as the session went on, getting almost uncomfortably hot towards the end. Went along with a pretty relaxing feeling as well. Hmmm, I liked it better than my review indicates, but I never took particularly good notes on it or anything. This one will definitely be on my radar if I decide to buy some higher-end cakes anytime soon.
A really complex and tasty shou. More than I would normally pay for a shou, but if I was more into them overall, I could see myself going for a cake.
Aroma is woody, spicy, molasses. The flavor is definitely woody, but not the forest-floor sort of woodiness I get from a lot of shou. This one was cleaner, but definitely a bit “old” tasting if that makes sense. It brought to mind images of a well cared for antique chest and/or spiced wood. Texture is pleasantly thick, and there is zero funky pile taste or anything like that. Not musty or even particularly damp tasting.
A nice ripe puerh for sure. I’ve had a sample for a couple of years I believe, but I just got to it. Has a strong, slightly sour note in the first couple steeps that I don’t usually encounter in shou. It wasn’t bad, but certainly unexpected for the first session. After that, I got a lot of earthy notes, some dry chocolate, like a very dark chocolate, and some very mild spice notes. Good body. A solid shou for sure. I might check out one of the newer versions of this one, considering it’s sold out now.
Nice tea with a medium roast on it. I’m usually not a fan of TGY (especially green ones, but sometimes have trouble with roasty ones as well), but I ordered a few nice sounding ones from FLT. The metallic taste common in TGY is always where they lose me. Until rather recently, I thought that was the result of a fault somewhere in the processing of the tea, but in talking to teafriends, I have learned this is an intentional, often sought-after flavor in TGY. It was enlightening and helped lead me back to giving TGY another try with a more open mind. Based on this tea, I’m sure glad I did.
The dry leaf had a buttery and salty aroma with a bit of that metallic/sour character. Also maybe some fruit, like lychee. After a rinse, the leaf smelled richly fruity, with notes of raisin and honey, and a light sourness. The roasted aroma was surprisingly subdued.
The flavor started off rather light, with fruitiness and a savory brothiness. The finish reminded me of sweet melon. There was some bit of sourness to it, but not the sharpness in the corners of my mouth that I have experienced from some TGY. The mouthfeel was pretty thick, and could also be described as brothy. This tea’s flavors deepened as the session went on – fewer of the high notes. The melon-y finish yielded to more of a sticky, dark fruitiness. The sour note remained throughout the session, but I found it pleasant rather than overpowering.
I am curious whether my palate has changed from the previous time I tried TGY, or if this tea is simply a much better example of the style, and this lighter sour/metallic note is what my teafriends praised. I have a few more TGY from Floating Leaves to try, so hopefully those will help me find the answer.
Flavors: Broth, Fruity, Honey, Melon, Pleasantly Sour, Raisins, Sweet
I’m really glad I ordered a lot of these little Planets that CLT released last year. Some people aren’t big fans of the teaball format, but I don’t find them to be too much of a hassle to deal with. Just takes a liiiitle bit longer to get opened up. The dry leaf is very sweet and floral smelling – even more so, with a bit of green veggie nose after the rinse.
This one was really a creamy floral bomb that got nicer and nicer as the ball opened up. A thick and pleasing mouthfeel that went down the throat as well. There was a small bit of vegetal astringency, but it never got particularly intense – instead just balanced the overall flavor of the tea. Good stuff in a little package.
I tried this tea alongside Old Ways’s “normal” Shui Xian. I was a little bit surprised by the results. Visually, the leaves looked pretty similar, though slightly lighter in color, and I suspect roasting level. Aroma was dominated by roast, but I was able to pick out a bit more along with it. Floral notes, and a bit of toasty sugar, almost like creme brulee.
The flavor was harder to wrap my head around. Compared to the regular Shui Xian, the flavors were a lot more subtle. I got much more out of it when I drank it alone versus the side-by-side session I did with the two. Flavors are similar – roasty sweet in the front of the sip, but a little softer with the Old Tree. The finish was stone fruit, floral, and mineral. Very soft feeling overall if that makes any sense. This roast is skillfully done and well rested. Very smooth.
A very good tea in its own right. I wouldn’t consider it superior to the regular Shui Xian, but certainly different. A lot of that might be my relatively inexperienced yancha palate. The slightly heavier hitting flavors of the “regular” Shui Xian stood out to me a bit more, so I very slightly prefer that one. Both are good teas though.
Bottomline comparison between regular and Old Tree Shui Xian – Regular has bolder, stronger, more straightforward flavors, whereas the Old Tree is more about subtle floral notes and aromas, along with the smooth roast. Experienced yancha drinkers may get more out of the Old Tree, but both are quite tasty.
Recently ordered a bunch of samples from Old Ways Tea – excited to start trying them. I haven’t had enough yancha lately. This leaf smelled delightfully roasty and sweet – it was also visually striking. Long, twisted leaves with a deep black/purple hue from the roast.
Flavor was mainly roasty at front of the sip, with some steeps yielding a lightly sour note that kind of reminds me of really dark chocolate. The lingering finish was the highlight for me. Returning stone fruit sweetness, which is washed away a few seconds later by a smooth mineral sweetness. This tea also steeped out a little bit longer than a lot of the yancha I’ve had.
I got a small packet of this tea a long time ago – it’s been kicking around my storage for quite a while, and I pulled it out today at random and decided to brew it up. The base material is quite nice. I noticed the rum/barrel notes most on the nose. They didn’t come through all that much in the taste. This shou is more sweet than woody. Some heavy vanilla, somewhat rummy in taste, lightly floral, molasses. Again, mostly got the rum on the nose, which made for an interesting session compared to most shou. I don’t generally think of aroma as being a big part of shou compared to a lot of other teas, but this one definitely bucks that trend. If LP ever did another run of this or something like it, I’d seriously consider picking some up.