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Recent Tasting Notes
I tried this tea hot last night and mentioned it would be nice iced, so after I wrote the review I got my ice tea bottle and prepared some. I left it in the fridge overnight so I can have it in the morning. While it’s not as hot as yesterday it’s still going to be a scorcher.
I feel like I steeped this a little too strong but it’s probably right on. Raspberry notes are more sour and it’s floral with a perfumed after taste. Slightly dry too. It’s refreshing and hydrating in this mornings heat.
Out of the two I think I prefer it iced, so now I know what to do with the rest of my stash. I think I have around 40g of this left so that is a good few batches of iced tea.
On the cat front, the new stray I have rescued (called Misty) is a little more settled today. It’s still less than 24 hours but she loves her fuss and has finally had something to eat. The litter is another story, I will have to see if she uses it. I haven’t seen her go at all so far but she may have in the night.
I’ve had a feral cat before, Honey became my best friend over time. She took almost all of my patience over the first couple of years but she settled and became happy. She died earlier this year but she was going to be put down without my care, and I feel the same with Misty. She may be younger than Honey was when we got her but no one wanted her and RSPCA refused to take her in. She would either die outside from the dangers (heat, foxes, dogs etc) or someone nasty would find her and hurt her. I still think I am doing the right thing. My other cats are not sure what to make of her but it’s early. And my husband is grumpy…but at least I can sleep knowing I’m trying my best.
What a crazy day! It’s a heat wave with highs of 33 degrees c (which is 91.4 Fahrenheit) and because work is a glass building I had to work outside in the heat. I have also got a new cat now to make number 5. This morning when I pulled in to work someone near by said she has a cat living there and no one wants her. She is black, fairly small and lives in a hedge. I have been talking to my husband all day and after some arguing I brought her home anyway. She has been here for about an hour and half, she’s in my living room with my other female cat. Though they are not seeing eye to eye Cassie is being patient and gentle, the perfect introduction I think. My boys have had to be kicked out of the living room as they stalk her, she needs to be introduced slowly. For now she has no name but I am thinking Misty.
So for a change of my usual tea taste (which has been black and Sheng) I pulled this out of the cupboard. Originally I wanted a green tea but saw the osmanthus in this and thought it was perfect for the heat.
This smells very sweet and floral, the osmanthus clinging to my nostrils like perfume. The steep revealed the leaves are not great quality (some discolouration and holes) but it tastes nice enough. It’s sweet with a slight sourness to it like raspberry and the Oolong is light and milky. On the whole it’s only mild strength and the osmanthus doesn’t last long in the after taste.
Further steeps remain consistent, even the raspberry quality. Essentially it tastes like creamy raspberry tea which is not a bad thing on a hot day. It was 50g for around £3 so I didn’t expect much from it, needless to say it is nicer than I expected. I can see myself using this for iced tea in the near future.
I pulled this out of my stash after the recent clean, forgot how amazing these leaves look. They are large, long, thinly rolled and consist of dark green, green and yellow tones. Very large and full leaves, so beautiful to look at. Scent is smooth, sweet, fresh and floral. Mix milk, honey, butter and flowers in a bowl and that would reflect how this one smells. (I can imagine).
Teapot: Gongfu 200ml
First Steep – 1 minute
The colour is yellow.
The scent is buttery, floral and soft.
Flavour is as buttery and soft as it smells, also floral with peony and sweetpea notes in particular. An after taste of milk and lightly toasted grass with a dry finish.
Second Steep – 2 minutes
More floral tones echo among the toasted grass, butter and milk that blend into one delicious, smooth nectar.
Third Steep – 3 minutes
Mild astringency starting to form around the toasted grass. Also the flowers are thickening to resemble perfume, with a dry finish. Lingering aftertaste of sweet flowers. A bouquet of flowers.
Fourth Steep – 4 minutes
Mild steep and completely toned down from what it was. Subtle sweet but toasted flowers is pretty much all that remains, with a light dry finish.
Fifth Steep – 5 minutes
My last steep. The toasted flowers finish what was a beautiful Oolong.
The quality throughout this was exquisite!
Perhaps one of the nicest Phoenix Dan Cong that I have ever tried. It was a complete surprise considering it was from AliExpress and not a well known company. It just goes to show that sometimes it’s worth the risk of trying something from somewhere new.
Flavors: Flowers, Grass, Honey, Perfume, Sweet, Toasty
This looked like a green tea in pictures and was listed as such but I’m inclined to think it’s actually a herb. There are two types of Kuding tea traditionally, llex kaushue and Ligustrum robustum. This is the Ligustrum robustum trype, which is basically a shrub or small tree that grows all around Asia and is included in the top 100 invasive plant species across the world. Frankly that is misleading from the green tea description I saw when purchasing this so called tea.
As much as I don’t like being duped, I also don’t mind the chance to try something new. And just look at these Chinese medicinal claims: “disperse wind-heat, clear the head and the eyes, and resolve toxin, thus being used for common cold, rhinitis, itching eyes, red eyes, and headache. It is also said to calm fidgets and alleviate thirst, especially when one is suffering from a disease that causes fever or severe diarrhoea. It transforms phlegm and alleviates coughing, thus used in treating bronchitis. Finally, it is said to invigorate digestion and improve mental focus and memory.” – As taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuding
Also another read.
So this is a Chinese herb used in traditional medicine to aid with a number of ailments. As I am not ill I suppose the best it could do for me (should it be true information) is to help with my digestion and concentration.
The leaves are small and curly, bright green too which made me think it was a green tea (well that and the fact it was named a green tea). Once steeped the leaves open and they are very small but mostly fill leaf, and very cute! Also super duper bright green.
The steeped water smells slightly sweet but pretty unscented, though the colour is darkish cloudy yellow.
Flavour is sweet yet bitter and rather strong at times, though it reduces quickly. They don’t call Kuding Cha “bitter nail tea” for nothing! It’s not as bitter as you might think though, it’s manageable. It tastes like a very mild green tea that you’ve steeped a little too long and it’s bitter, but still with some sweetness and remaining fairly mild. Strange and unusual but not horrible or without it’s charm. Not something I can drink often but if it truly does have health benefits then I may drink it purely for that. Similar to how I started with matcha.
So this was not a tea, but a herb, and I’m still getting used to that. Though for all the mistakes in the labelling of this on AliExpress I am still happy I picked some up. I say some…it’s roughly 250g!
From the EU TTB – Round 3
I’ve never tried white tea dragon balls before, so this was a must-experience! The compressed leaves are mostly dark brown/black, although there are a couple of silver buds evident on the surface. There are also some leaves, so I’m guessing this is a pai mu tan style white. The scent is sweet and a little malty, with a light mushroom note that reminds me of Teavivre’s Xi Gui Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh. I’m brewing western style at work, so I used 1 ball (they are seriously large!), and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 170 degrees. The ball is still tightly rolled, and nowhere close to unravelling.
To taste, it’s pleasantly sweet with a touch of hay and a light floral note. Pretty standard white tea, in other words. I think more steeps are required!
Second steep, and the ball is just starting to unravel a little. It’s still fairly tightly rolled, however. The liquor this time is a little darker, with an almost greenish tinge. It smells more strongly floral (peony), but tastes very similar to the first steep. Sweet, with notes of hay and a light floral.
Third steep, and it’s unravelled a little further. It’s still a ball, though, except now bits are sticking out! The liquor has retained its greenish cast, and is otherwise unchanged in flavour, although it has taken on a slight creaminess.
I’m sure this one would be good for many, many more steeps, but I’m running out of time at work. I guess I’ll have to call it a day here for now, but this is definitely one I’d be happy to try again in the future, should the opportunity arise.
The leaves smell sweet and floral, almost creamy.
In appearance they have a high shine and contain a mixture of green colours. Mostly with leaves being whole, dry and crisp.
Flavour is sweet and grassy with a dry almost perfumed after taste. Also has strong broccoli and savoy cabbage vegetal tones. The sweetness is rather buttery.
Now I’m drooling over the thought of purple sprouted broccoli cooked on a griddle with butter.
The dryness increases, if it wasn’t for that this would be a very nice Long Jing. The quality was nice though and so are the flavours. This is the lowest grade of Long Jing that the store sells, I will definitely try their better grades. Would say it’s perfect for everyday Long Jing.
Flavors: Broccoli, Butter, Drying, Flowers, Grass, Perfume
Quick review as I’m playing Pokemon Sapphire while I try this tea. This was a random tea purchase from AliExpress, I don’t remember trying this tea before as white is not a favourite of mine, but it was cheap enough for me to give it a go. £2.34 for 50g – roughly 10 balls.
I used 2 balls which are large and made of dark brown and silver tipped leaves. They have a sweet yet wooden scent. I used 2 balls as the instructions says to try 3 or 4 in a gaiwan, that would fill my gaiwan with no room to expand so 2 balls roughly 10g should suffice.
Flavour has mild sweetness with a touch of malt and wood. The balls are not breaking down easy, even after a two minute steep. But the flavour does get a little stronger over time. It’s like a black tea, it’s super sweet and malty…I didn’t think this was possible for a white tea.
It’s pretty nice but I just wish the balls would break down a bit…perhaps a few steeps should sort this out. Otherwise the flavour is very pleasant and to my taste. So far, so good.
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Sweet, Wood