478 Tasting Notes
i received a box of 4 samples for review.
Gui fei is bug bitten kind of oolong.
quoting from Totem tea website:
“Leaf-bitten teas deserve to be in a category of their own. There are several stories about how Gui Fei’s preparation method came to pass, and it appears that the most reliable story is that in 1999 there was an earthquake in central Taiwan and the tea farmers of Fenghuang village were forced to evacuate. Upon returning the farmers noticed that the tea plants had been overrun with cicadas that had nibbled on the leaves and stems. They processed the least damaged leaves and found that an almost magical transformation had occurred. Tea tasted completely different with an intense sweetness.
Shortly after the cicadas had bitten the leaves the plant created more sugars to heal itself. In addition, the leaves began to oxidize while still living on the bush, as opposed to the post-harvest human-assisted oxidation that commonly happens by tossing and rolling the leaves."
Dry leaf smelled so good of roasted nuts.5g 100ml glazed pot 200F
no rinse/30/15/10/15/20 sec etc
This tea is fruity sweet and citrusy too with touch of roasted nuts. Complex, changing with every steep. so delicious and refreshing during heat wave we experiencing now.
I dont recommend to have long steeps as it becomes somewhat bitter and astrigent but short steeps take care of this problem.
This is a sample for review.
i received box of samples from Totem Tea. I really like they included samples two of each. its very thoughtful in case I want to try different parameters.
Im quoting from their website. "Taiwan is world renowned for its oolong tea but little is known of its phenomenal Black tea which is often referred to as Sun Moon Lake Black tea due to the location of its growth and production. This black tea is as unique and special as the oolong produced on the special island.
Ruby #18 is relatively new tea cultivar developed in 1999 at the TRES (Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station) by crossing Assamica with a wild Qing Xin. In the production process the tea is brought to full oxidation, where it develops a rich and sweet brew that has some mi xiang (honey taste) qualities."
The leaf is gorgeous, full, not broken, long and spidery kind
I used my own parameters. and since i have another packet i will try Totem tea parameters next time.
5g 100ml glazed teapot 200F
i dont rinse Taiwanese teas anymore, i find the rinse is so flavorful and hate to throw it
The aroma is intoxicating. the brew is dark reddish amber color.
It is honey sweet with plum notes, raw nuts and unmistakable minty cool freshness, lasting long after ive finished the session. That makes this tea welcoming in a heat of summer.
Thank you so much Totem Tea for the chance to try it, it was very enjoyable morning session
Another session from a cake I bought
Compression of the cake isn’t tight, easy separates with needle or even by hand.
It tastes pretty much the same as first time: minty cool and fruity with notes of tobacco. This time I’ve noticed very powerful qi. It built up around steep 5 and was very long lasting.
5g in 65ml Yixing pot
As I pushed steeps later on it didn’t get bitter or unpleasant , only thicker mouthfeel
i got a sample with recent purchase. im always on look out for not overly expensive sheng with some age.
I wasnt disappointed. it was very nice fruity camphor sheng. florals were present but kinda on the background. Because of Guangdong dry storage the tea mellowed and smoothed. the color is orange. Former tobacco notes i always pick up with mengku sheng really mellowed out and were barely noticeable just because i knew they were there. later steeps picked up some more astringency/bitterness but nothing unpleasant.
Im expecting some in a mail soon ;)
5g 65ml yixing 212F rinse and short steeps
last night i was “talking” to my teafirend on IG while drinking Liu bao and having breakfast. he asked me if i drink any Darjeeling and Assam. it been a while. Chinese and Taiwanese teas took over. i said i used drink Indian/Ceylon teas only
I remembered i had this tea i bought last year. the leaves looked fresh and very aromatic.
took 3g for 8oz, 195F for just under 3 min
resteep @5min wasnt bad but i havent finished the 2nd cup
The cup was lovely. Sweet and flavorful, very aromatic. I did enjoy it a lot. Happy Earth Tea mentioned that this year Arya Ruby first flush was ruined by hailstorm. i thought it was a good idea to finish the pouch but after learning this sad news ive changed my mind.
im back to hoarding it
Another Liu bao last night. very interesting.
the leaf material is really nice, long intact and not too much sticks.
same parameters as i have for sheng
5g/80ml yixing 212F
this Liu bao is nice, smoky not overly. it has that cooling pine needle /minty flavor.
But… its not a midnight drink. I was starving and had to fix myself a breakfast. eggs, mini bagel and cheddar. i felt quite energized and packed few more never ending boxes ( moving to a new place next week)
To sum up: it is a better version of Lapsang Sauchong. it is smooth and smoke is not harsh. i bet it will only improve in a few years
its my second try of this tea. i dont think i can give the proper review. still trying to figure out the notes.
First time ive tried i remember it being stone fruit sweet. last night it was a little different. very enjoyable but not as complex as the first time ive tried. could be many factors. with later steeps astringency built up but it was pleasant
still, it was very good. qi is mild. i felt relaxed.
no chest burning, face melting, eyes popping or lungs moving. very pleasant overall
4.5g/55ml yixing 212F
rinse i drank it
Ahh last 3g . hoarded for too long. It was a time to let go.
made it in my 60ml shiboridashi i love for tiny tastings
Leaves are thin and long like spider legs and so aromatic even though i have it for a couple years already.
The aroma of the brew is intoxicating. its like fruit bomb. Ive got pineapple, lychee and cinnamon. Spice is quite nice complements the fruit notes and make it more complex and interesting
Im not a huge fan of Dancong. Most of the time its floral (not my fav) and finicky too. its hard to nail the right temp and length of steeps. and it will vary even if its the same tea.
This tea is the solution for me. being processed as hongcha/black tea it is not as sensitive as regular dancong. it takes higher temps and longer steeps quite well without getting astringent or bitter.
Time to restock!
Ok people. my Liu Bao affair continues. I have Liu Bao almost every night.
I really like this one. it is non smoky. it tastes clean even though its young in Liu bao age. the color is lovely orange. it is sweet and spicy. nothing overpowering or off putting. very safe introduction to Liu bao i think. it is pretty complex and qi is noticeable.
Very nice night drink
i brew it as i would do sheng
5g/80ml yixing 212F
rinse/ very short steeps increasing to my liking
this is a generous sample I got from my teafriend – thanks so much
I’ve got a lot of shou. I love it. while drinking a lot of it i developed some preferences. im more picky than before, just clean taste is not not enough.
i really liked this Brown Sugar. It is so rich, dark, bittersweet. The fermentation flavor was present in the first 2-3 steeps maybe ( i rinse my shou once only) and then faded away. it went thru many steeps. later steeps had some creaminess.
Very enjoyable cup. thank you teafriend for sharing. i should definitely get this brick with my next order