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Recent Tasting Notes
The taste…wonderful! You can never go wrong with a decent Sun Moon Lake Black tea. It’s rich and a delight for tea-thirsty mouths.
It’s sweet with a slight astringency but nothing that bothers you. Very well balanced!
If you like cinnamon flavored black teas, this tea has it naturally. And a quite intense one. I loved it!
It offers fruity tones as well. It’s hard to pinpoint but I get a mostly citrusy taste.
The mouthfeel is slightly thick and velvety.
The aftertaste is quite persistent, particularly the cinnamon taste, and refreshing. It left a nice trail of spicy and fruity flavor both in my throat and mouth.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Mint, Sweet
Dry leaves are composed of tightly rolled rather dark green leaves. They have a nutty, roasted smell. The liquor has a color of the orangish yellow liquor with great clarity. The taste has nutty and fruity tones. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and velvety. It’s got honey-like sweetness with almost no astringency. The aftertaste was quite persistent and left a nice refreshing feeling in the mouth.
Flavors: Honey, Nutty, Roasted
It cupped out light green liquor with great clarity. The taste is quite floral and light which is quite expected of any nice quality High Mountain Oolongs. It’s quite sweet and has a mellow mouthfeel. The aftertaste was long enough to leave a nice refreshing floral touch in the mouth.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity
The liquid has a pale, light yellow-green color. The aroma has scents of brown sugar, peaches, and lighter scents of honey, Ceylon cinnamon, and sweet cream. The body is medium, with a refreshing, clean texture. There is no astringency or bitterness. The taste has notes of brown sugar, peaches, floral honey, and lighter notes of Ceylon cinnamon and sweet cream. The aftertaste carries the sweet floral notes, and leaves an impressive lasting floral essence on the breath.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey, Peach
The liquid has a bright, light yellow color. The aroma has scents of stewed apples and pears, orchids, brown sugar, and touches of Ceylon cinnamon and floral honey. The body is light-medium, with a honey-like texture. There is no trace of bitterness, and just a touch of astringency. The taste has notes of stewed apples and pears, floral honey, orchids, and lighter notes of brown sugar and Ceylon cinnamon. The aftertaste is incredible, carrying the fruit and honey notes, then evolving into an excellent orchid essence left on the breath.
Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Honey, Orchids, Pear
This is another great Fong Mong Tea. You guys this company has produced some amazing teas. From the first sniff after opening the package to the last drop descending your throat everything shouts exceptional tea. The moment I opened the package and smelled the slightly sweet marine and mineral notes I knew it was a lightly oxidized oolong. And then of course you look at the tightly rolled, dark green leaves and you know, yup that is definitely an oolong. When the water is poured over the leaves it gives off a vegetal smell. Which is slightly amusing because if you pick up the cup to smell it 5 seconds later …. you don’t smell it. Quite interesting. It has a smooth mouth feel with mineral, vegetal, and a few hints of grassy notes.
A noted correction, this is top grade.
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
Flavors: Honey, Honeysuckle, Sweet, White Grapes, White Wine
The wet leaf has the most interesting smell. So much so that I am having trouble being able to put a descriptor to it. Perhaps its hints of eucalyptus in mahogany sawdust in a mixture of compost and wet leaves. It’s such a complex aroma! Somewhat medicinal as well but not in a bad way. A silky mouth feel and dark, clear amber in color. Quite an earthy tea. The aroma carries over into the after taste but the first time the liquid hits your tongue a full force of earthy flavors assault you. I’m not really sure I would say it’s minty like their website describes but it does have that slight mouth clean sensation that mint gives you.
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 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