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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample. Up today we have Shanlinxi sunlink sea high mountain. I started by heating the yixing with 190 degree water and putting the dry tea leaves in and giving a little shake. I got a strong peach, stonefruit, and buttery aroma. Then filling the pot and letting it steep for about 40 seconds on the first steep. I decided to just give it a longer steep instead of rinsing.
First steep produced a fairly pale yellow liqour, and had aroma’s of honey, peach, and flowers. The peach flavor is the strongest with other stonefruit also making an appearance. A bit of maybe apple as well. This is a very subtle tea , though it is quite thick and sweet. Very nice for relaxing with when you really just want to sit down and explore subtle flavors.
Second steep is a bit stronger, now butter, nutmeg enter the mix as well, but peach is still the most prominent flavor. I think there is a bit of other spice as well, maybe allspice. Its still quite subtle but very complex. I really like the way all the flavors are blending together in this brew.
Third brew is more citrus, apricots, apple and nutmeg. Also there is still a bit of honey but its not quite as strong now. Its still soft, smooth and buttery. The tea broth is now slightly darker and more golden as well. This is a wonderfully complex tea, and very light, subtle and floral. Perfect for that moment when you need to just sit down and think about the tea and nothing else.
Flavors: Apple, Butter, Floral, Honey, Nutmeg, Peach, Stonefruits
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample. I started by heating the yixing with 200 water, putting the leaves in and giving them a little shake, and I get a nice light floral aroma. Maybe a bit of honey and nutmeg as well.
Giving it a brew of about 30 seconds, I got a liquor that is light, clear and very pale yellow. The aroma’s are pretty similar to before, but the taste has stronger spice and a bit of buttery to it. Its not as strong as cinnamon, more like very mild allspice. Nicely sweet and quite pleasing.
Second brew I get even more of the nutmeg now as well as maybe marigold or some other light floral fragrance. Its not strong or intense like rose or lavender. its very soft and mild, but im not familiar enough with floral aroma’s to really pin it down. I really love how light and floral this tea is.
Third steeping, the color of the liqour is just a bit darker but the flavor and aroma is about the same. I get a bit more butter in this steep, I think its a bit thicker as well. I really like this tea, it makes a great mid morning tea for its lightness and aromatic quality.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Nutmeg, Sweet
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample. Today we have up a black tea from Taiwan. Ive tried a few black tea’s from Taiwan and usually they are very good.
I started by heating the gaiwan, and using about 205 water. I figured I wanted to brew this a little hot and strong to get all the flavors. I get aroma of chocolate, mineral, citrus, and a bit of sweetness from like caramel. The tea liq our is dark red brown, and fairly clear. It has a flavor matching the aroma profile.
Second brew I get a bit more spice, possibly nutmeg or allspice. Tiny bit of astringency in this brew as well as a stronger citrus. Very nice though still, a bit of pleasant sourness as well, perfect for a get up in the morning tea to wake you up.
Excellent black tea, recommended for anyone who enjoys a good cup of black in the morning.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Citrus, Mineral, Nutmeg
It looks like this tea hasn’t been reviewed in five years, so I hope this is the right listing. This is one of my all-time favourite bai hao. I bought it in 2015 and I liked it so much that I took advantage of a sale to buy two more bags this year. This is the end of the 2015 package, and I think the flavour is starting to mellow.
I put about 5 grams of the beautiful multi-coloured leaves in an 85 ml porcelain teapot, which I tend not to use because the pour is so slow. However, this just seems to make bai hao even better. The aroma of the leaves in the teapot is almost nonexistent, though some hints of sandalwood and spice come through. I used 195F water and steeps of 30, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 180 seconds, followed by steeps of 3, 6, and 9 minutes.
The first steep comes in with citrus, wood, honey, and pear, with some sandalwood in the background. There’s no bitterness and a lingering aftertaste. Hints of grape and other fruit show up in the second steep, though they’re somewhat faint. I then upped the temperature to 200F to try and get more fruity flavours, but other than possibly making it a bit sweeter, it didn’t make a difference.
That sandalwood/spice note is the best part of this tea. It kind of tingles on the tongue in some steeps. It also makes the tea seem quite complex, even though I can pin down relatively few flavours. The fourth, fifth, and sixth infusions were the best and most well integrated, suggesting that this bai hao might benefit from longer steeps.
It’s difficult to judge bai hao objectively because I haven’t had too many and I love the flavour profile, which probably skews my ratings too far upwards. Nonetheless, this is excellent and I’m glad I have a stash of it.
Flavors: Grapes, Honey, Lemon, Pear, Spices, Stewed Fruits, Wood
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample. Up today for tasting we have Mi Xiang bug bitten oolong. Opening up the package I could see this is a darker green tea, showing some amount of roast on the tea. I heated up the yixing with 205 water and gave the tea a little shake, and a nice honey aroma came out of the pot. Giving it a super quick rinse to help the tea to open up a bit. I smelled a bit of minerals, nuts and hay? Something like that, though its kind of hard to put my finger on.
First infusion I got a light colored very clear liquor with an intense aroma of honey, and nuts, sipping it I also got that taste of minerals, and some sort of fruit, maybe stone fruits and I still keep thinking hay, but that implies dryness.. maybe oats.. its something like that. Now Im thinking breakfast…. honey, fruit and oats..
Second infusion, I get a strong aroma of honey, even more intense than earlier. Im getting more mineral as well as maybe a slight sourness, but that could be a stonefruit flavor as well, there is sweetness at the end of the sip as well. Still getting a nice nutty flavor as well, and the color is a bit darker.
Third infusion, the flavor of stonefruit , sweet and nutty is the predominent flavor now. It is so smooth this infusion. This is really lovely, I wish I could describe this better. The color is just a teeny bit darker as well. All in all I really do like this tea, and its been a wonderful experience.
Flavors: Honey, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Stonefruits
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample. Up today for tasting we have pekoe gold oriental beauty. First thing I noticed is the leaves are alot of different colors. Almost looking like a white tea with all the color in the leaf. I also got a slight smell of honey before even heating the pot. Heating the pot with about 200 degree water and putting the leaves in, I got a strong scent of honey arising from the leaves.
For my first steep, I went with about 30 seconds and got a really nice honey, sweet, white wine, white grape and maybe honeysuckle flavor. The liquor is clear, light and pale moderately thick. The leaves are so dark after steeping, its quite impressive actually. The flavors and aroma’s in this tea are quite effemoral and hard to pin down, though the feeling of grapes, wine and honey is quite apparent, there might be some other spice and fruit notes I cant quite pick out.
The second steep I went about a minute, and I got a much darker color liquor , a medium honey color now and the flavor and aroma are quite a bit stronger. Grapes, wine and honey are still the predominant flavors at this point, but maybe flowers, or peaches. There is definitely something else there but Im not sure what it is. The taste of wine sans alcohol is so much more pronounced now, that really is an unusual flavor. There might be a bit of malt flavor too. Its really interesting what happens when the bugs bite the tea..
Third steeping, I went for about 2 minutes, seeing if I can push this tea a little. The color got slightly darker, but the aroma is about the same. Still wine flavor, but maybe a bit darker now, very interesting. This tea has been wonderful, Ill steep it out a few more times. Sunday I will be tasting the bug bitten oolong and comparing.
Highly recommended for anyone who likes tea with honey aroma!
Flavors: Honey, Honeysuckle, Sweet, White Grapes, White Wine
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample , up today for tasting we have charcoal roasted Dong Ding oolong. I started by heating the yixing to get it nice and hot and then adding the leaves and giving a short little shake. I got a very strong aroma of Honey, roast, char, anise and Caramel. I decided to skip the wash on this as I dont want to lose the flavor of the roast which usually comes out strongest in the early roasts.
First brew I got much of the same aroma as the dry leaf but more intense, the dark honey flavor especially so. The liqour is a medium dark color and the flavor added in sweet and cinnamon as well. I really love how the yixing clay brings out the spice notes in oolong, it really makes the tea shine. The flavors in this tea are quite complex and trying to pick out all the different spices is very interesting. I do like this tea alot.
Second brew, I brewed it just a bit shorter as the tea has opened up a bit at this point. Ohh right choice, the flavor and aroma of char and roast is much stronger in this brew.. so nice.. sweet, honey, and caramel are still there but also a bit of minerality at this point as well. Also might be a slightly coffee flavor as well at this point, but its hard to pinpoint that with the strong roasted flavor.
Third infusion the tea is slightly lighter in color, the minerality is more in prominence now as well as sweet and cinnamon, the roast and char is starting to fade at this point, but there is still nice spice notes. This tea is a wonderful afternoon tea with the strong flavor profile, perfect for going with a sweet snack. I really recommend this one for any who likes the stronger roasted tea.
Flavors: Anise, Caramel, Char, Cinnamon, Honey, Mineral, Roasted, Sweet
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample. I started by heating the yixing with 200 degree water, and putting the dry leaf in for a little shake. I gave the tea a super quick rinse just to help it open up a little. I got an aroma of honey, cinnamon , nutmeg and apple. There might be a bit more floral and fruit under that, but Im not getting them yet.
First brew, I get a clear pale honey color liqour, showing the roast on this is light to medium. Which seems to fit in with the flavors and aroma Im getting, a mix of floral,fruit and spices. Though not much actual roast flavor or aroma.
Second brew , with this brew im getting a bit more roast as well as more spice flavor including cloves. Im a bit surprised by this as its not an aroma I normally pick up in TGY, but it smells heavenly. The color is also a bit darker.. maybe I should have given it a slightly longer rinse :P . Oh the flavor is really nice as well, a bit of roast, fruits, spice all blending together wonderfully.
Third brew is slightly darker still with more clove, fruits, less roast. Still some floral, I also inspected the leaves after this brew and they are quite large and leafy and very nice looking. Im also getting a bit of peach and honey now. Wonderful tasting tea, a perfect after lunch or afternoon tea.
Im going to brew this out a few more times, as it seems it really has some life left in it. Roasted TGY tend to be pretty strong brewers. This is an excellent tea if you are looking for a light to mid roast TGY.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Clove, Honey, Nutmeg
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample. Up for tasting today we have healthy GABA oolong. I dont have all that much experience with GABA tea, and wasnt really sure what to expect. I started by heating a yixing with near boiling water, then putting the dry leaf in to smell. I got an aroma of honey and spices.
I decided to skip the wash as the leaves look pretty clean and open already and just go right for the first brew. The flavor is a bit hard to describe, honey, spices, nutmeg, malt and a bit of sweetness. It does have a few of the flavor profiles of bug bitten, but more spicey and malty. The liquor is clear, reddish brow, the color of whiskey or dark honey.Second brew I got much more intense honey aroma and flavor, almost overpowering the other flavors and aroma. Also just a tiny bit of black tea flavor. Not really bitter or astringent, but a bit of the tea flavor of black tea, I cant think of another word to describe it. The liqour got a bit darker at this point as well.
Third brew is about the same color as the second and seems very similiar though the flavor and aroma is drifting from honey to malt. There is a teeny bit of astrigency in this brew as well. Some spice notes, and possibly nutmeg again. Tiny bit of coffee note as well, again a flavor I usually get with black tea.
This has been an interesting experience as I dont drink much GABA tea, so I didnt really know what to expect. It almost tastes like a cross between black tea and bug bitten. This tea type is supposed to be very healthy , lowering blood pressure and sugar. I do recommend trying this tea for yourself and seeing what you think.
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Nutmeg, Spices, Sweet
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample. Up for tasting today is Gaoshanchi Taiwan Fushoushan High Mt Oolong. I dont think Im going to try to pronounce that one. I started by heating my green oolong clay pot. With just under 200 degree water, putting the leaves in and giving it a little shake. I got a nice floral, peach, stonefruit and honey aroma from it.
I decided to skip the rinse on this one, Im going to steep this out a bunch of times anyway, so Im not worried about the leaves fully opening on the first steep. Giving this about a 30 second steep. The liqour is light pale, very light, even for a high mountain oolong. The aroma is hard to describe as its floral, and not strong like roses, but subtle. Also honey, cinnamon, white grapes and stonefruits. Its also quite sweet when I sipped it. The aroma and flavor is quite ephemeral on this tea.
Second steeping the aroma changed slightly, as its now nutmeg, apricot, and still white grapes. There is a teeny pleasant sournote in there, but with white grape and apricot that does make sense. The nutmeg aroma surprised me a bit as that doesnt come up often on rolled oolong. But its very nice, this is one of the more complex tea’s Ive tasted. Its a bit hard to pin down the exact flavors.
Third steeping is slightly more sweet. White grapes is very prominent as well as honey. The aroma is so ephemeral that it almost seems to be changing as Im walking sipping it. THis really shows its high mountain bona fides.
Im going to brew this out a few more times, but I might like this one better than their Alishan tea.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Floral, Honey, Nutmeg, Peach, White Grapes
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample. I started by heating the gaiwan with 190 degree water. I usually use 190-200 for white tea as it helps bring out the sweetness of the tea. Even if it loses a little of the floral flavors. But for this tasting I decided to go with 190 to bring out more of the floral and fruit flavors in white tea, especially since its a high elevation tea.
I decided not to rinse or wake the tea, I usually dont with white unless its well aged. First infusion I gave it about 30 seconds at 190 in a very small 75ml gaiwan. After pouring it off I smelled the lid and the aroma is intense. Floral, fruit, mostly stonefruit as well as a bit of yeast and strong honey aroma. There is a bit of grassy vegetal flavor as well, but the stonefruit and honey is much stronger. The color of the liqour is a nice pale clear honey.
Second infusion I decided to leave it just a tad longer and got almost a tiny bit of spice in the aroma this time. I cant quite put my finger on it, still honey and peach, but there is another aroma as well. Im also noticing some of the leaves have a bit of green on them as well, Im guessing that is where that slight aroma of vegetal and grass is coming from. It all adds up to a nice subtly complex tea.
Third infusion is a darker richer honey color liquor. The aroma is more intensely sweet as well, and it tastes very strongly of peach. This tea changes quite a bit with the infusions. Its very nice. Also im getting just a teeny bit tea buzzed from this tea, which is a bit unusual with white tea, but not unheard of.
Im goign to steep this out a few more times, as I think it still has some flavor left to give. This tea is very subtle and I will probably make a follow up review to this as I try to get more specific of the flavors.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Stonefruits, Yeast
I have tasted many white teas over the years, and this tea has instantly claimed a spot in the top three. Incredibly fruity, sweet, and floral, with a touch of earthiness and mineral. A medium body with a lush, juicy, luxurious feel and a lasting fruity, floral aftertaste. Seriously incredible. Well done, Fong Mong Tea! The full review will be available shortly at https://teajourneyman.wordpress.com/ . Cheers!
Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Honey, Melon, Orange Blossom, Peach, Vanilla, Wet Rocks
The Zhu Lu Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea is a pleasant, standard, everyday quality Taiwanese oolong. It has the classic floral and sweet characters in the aroma and taste that Taiwanese oolongs are known for. The number of quality infusions from this tea were very respectable. Check out my full review at https://teajourneyman.wordpress.com/
Flavors: Cream, Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey, Peach
Today we have up Pou Chong Oolong from Fong mong, thanks to them for this sample.
I started by heating the yixing and then adding in 6 grams of leaf. Using 200 water, I decided to skip the rinse for this as Im doing a longer steep about 45 seconds on this to bring out the intense aroma. I got a clear pale yellow liquor that smelled of an aroma of maple syrup, honey and cinnamon. Tasting it , I also got a floral taste as well as lingering sweetness. I really need to try this someday at breakfast. Its softly flavored but intense in the aroma.
The second steep is very similar with just a slightly darker liquor this time. Also the sweetness seems a bit more prevalent, though there is still a general note of spices, Im still going to stick with naming it cinnamon but it could be allspice. This tea makes a very nice last morning or early afternoon tea, but I can imagine it going well with breakfast.
Third steep the aroma is much more pronounced in the floral area, Im not really good at placing floral aroma’s. So I will just leave it at this. There is a very slight astringency on the back end now as well, not disruptive to the flavor at all, but it is there. It might actually be a little better like this as it feels more complex and full now.
This is an excellent tea I plan to brew out a bunch more times.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Floral, Honey, Maple, Sweet
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample.
I started this one by heating the yixing and giving the tea leaves a quick rinse. I picked up an aroma of spice, floral and fruit. There is also a slightly honey aroma in there as well. After giving it a quick rinse it was time to proceed with the steepings.
First steeping is rather pale golden straw color liquor. Giving it a quick sip, I got a slightly stronger spice aroma and taste, more anise and cinamon now. I also got some peach and stonefruit, as well as floral taste I cant quite put my finger on. Also its quite sweet with a nice honey aftertaste.
Second steep the liquor got slightly darker as well as getting more stonefruit now. The spice taste isnt quite as intense now as it was in the first steep. I believe the yixing I brew it in intensifies the spice aroma. Which I do happen to like. It is also a bit more floral at this point, but I cant quite put a name to it.
Third steeping is about the same color, but there is a slight grass or vegetal aroma now entering into the picture, the aftertaste is all sweet and honey still.
I feel this tea will brew out for at least 8 times based on this assesment and I plan to enjoy every one of them. This is a very fine tea,
Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Floral, Honey, Peach, Sweet
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample.
I started by heating the yixing and giving it a quick shake in the pot. I got a slight aroma of anise, cinnamon and honey. Giving it a quick rinse to wake up the leaves I get a slightly stronger aroma, now with roasted notes, as well as toast and maybe a little cream.
Starting the first infusion I get spices, and toast, it reminds me of cinnamon toast, the roast on this is fairly light. So there is some floral green under the roasted flavors, but the spices are really intense and taking front stage, so Im having trouble picking up some of the under flavors, they might come out more strongly in the later steepings.
Second infusion Im getting much the same, but the anise is much stronger now. Also more honey flavors, and still a slight sensation of toast, as well as a delicate tingle on the tongue. Very nice tea, with good body. The tea liqour is a very light pale brown, its clearly got some roast on it, but its very subtle and light.
Third steeping the roast is much more intense now, as the leaves fully open up. The color has darkened slightly to a honey color now, the honey flavor has also gotten more intense. The liquor is also a little thicker now as well, and there is just a tiny bitter note on the finish of the tea. Im also getting a bit of straw flavor now, which is a bit unusual for an oolong. Much sweeter though, the spice flavor is also dissipating leaving more of the sweet honey flavor.
Fourth steeping , im getting the toasted flavor again, as well as a touch of anise. There is still a tiny tingle on the tongue and the caffiene in this tea is moderately high as Im feeling a slight buzz coming on. Its tasting like roasted honey, or caramel, or something like that now.. very nice, very smooth.
Im going to brew this out a few more times as it seems like a very strong steeper, I highly recommend this tea if you like light roasted oolong.
Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Honey, Roasted, Toast
Thanks to Fong Mong for this sample.
I started by warming the yixing and then giving the tea a quick rinse. Using 5 grams of leaf for about 90ml of water. I got a subtle spicy aroma. Then moving onto the first infusion, I brewed it pretty quickly, only about 20 seconds. I got a nice clear slightly darker yellow color, like a dark straw color. The aroma got more intense, nutmeg, allspice, peach, apricot. Tasting it the flavor matches the aroma with a very pleasant sweetness.
Second infusion was much the same, though the spice is getting slightly more intense, cinnamon now as well, its like a peach cobbler is what it really reminds me of. The sweetness now is absolutely divine as well. Its subtle and soft and very mellow, relaxing and a wonderful evening tea to wind down the day with.
Third infusion I got a little more of the nutmeg aroma now, its really peachy and nutmeg, its even got a tingle of sourness on the finish. I really recommend brewing this one in a clay pot, it really pushes those subtle spice notes out. Im not getting as much of the floral as the description says, its there but its rather subdued. I think the clay pot brings out the spice notes, the peach flavors while subduing a bit of the high floral notes.
This tea is holding up incredibly well, I expect to get at least 10 steepings from it.
Flavors: Apricot, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Peach, Sweet
Thanks to Fong Mong for the sample.
I started by brewing this in my yixing. Starting with a quick rinse I got a clear pale yellow liquor that had a strong aroma of nutmeg, apricots and peaches. I was actually a little surprised how intense the aroma was, much stronger than other Lishan’s, especially the spice. I know the yixing brings out the spice notes more intently.. but wow..
First infusion I got a slightly darker liqour with an even more intense spice aroma, nutmeg and cinnamon and maybe a teeny bit of allspice. Still getting that stonefruit aroma as well, and the flavor is floral, and stonefruits, which is what you would expect from high mountain Taiwan oolong.
Second infusion was much the same, though the apricot is coming out more strongly now including a very slightly tangy note. That spicey sweet soft flavor is just incredible… I really love the way yixing’s make high mountain oolongs really pop.
Third infusion and the color is staying consistent, a pale golden yellow color with that sweet spicy peach aroma. Its so smooth and just leaves the slightest tingle on your tongue. Its getting sweeter now and that tang is fading, but there is still a hint of it there. The tea is definitely getting sweeter as the infusions progress.
Fourth infusion and its getting harder to describe the flavor and aroma, I wish you all could taste this. Im just going to say, this is the best Lishan Ive had yet. IM going to brew this out at least 6 or so more times, its seems a very strong steeper.
Highly recommended for fans of high mountain tea.
Flavors: Apricot, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Peach, Stonefruits
Thanks for the sample to Fong Mong
Lets start off with 6 grams of tea in a 100ml yixing. A quick rinse to start things off and a milky spicy buttery aroma comes off the cap when I lift it. The liquor is clear, light and very pale yellow. Pouring that over the yixing, Im actually just starting to notice a very slight patina starting to form.
First infusion I got a very slightly darker pale yellow liquor as well as a quite a bit stronger aroma. The buttery flavor of this is a little stronger now too. This is also a floral sweetness and a little spice to it, subtle and soft. The tea also has a nice body to it as well. I wish I could describe this aroma better.
Second infusion was very similiar with just a bit more spice in the second infusion, and a slightly stronger floral aspect but I cant place where its from. Sweet and stonefruits is still prominent at this stage.
Third infusion slightly more stonefruit, more clearly peaches or apricots now. Slight sourness would be the wrong word for it, but its not bitter either, but its that slight taste you get with firm apricots. Sweetness, but the spice has slipped off a bit now as well.
Fourth infusion creamy and sweet, still apricots and floral scents I still cant quite place. This tea is holding up quite well over infusions and I will probably steep it out 6 or so more times.
Highly recommended if you like Taiwan Jade tea!
Flavors: Creamy, Peach, Spicy, Stonefruits, Sweet