O5 Tea

Edit Company

Recent Tasting Notes

88

This FF Darjeeling smells a lot like dried herbs. It has aromas of courgette flowers, grass, hay, thyme, citrus zest and there is also a subtle sweet spiciness in the dry leaf scent. When wet, further notes of garden peas, acacia flowers, and sage emerge.

The taste is savoury and slightly bitter with a lemon sourness in the finish. There are flavours of green wood, courgette, clear smoke, orchid, sweet grass and others. Aftertaste is also somewhat vegetal and floral, but much more on the sweeter rather than sour & bitter side of the spectrum. I get hints of various spices, vanilla, and cocoa powder, among other fleeting flavours.

Overall, I find the tea to be quite balanced and dynamic at the same time, which is not that common. It is worth noting that it is very much on the green side with little oxidation, even for a FF Darjeeling.

Flavors: Bitter, Citrus Zest, Cocoa, Drying, Floral, Flowers, Garden Peas, Grass, Green Wood, Hay, Herbs, Orchid, Pleasantly Sour, Sage, Smoke, Spices, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Thyme, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal, Zucchini

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

This is an unusual FF Darjeeling in the sense that it doesn’t have a very distinctive aroma. However, it makes up for that with a very nice texture. The taste is strong and delightful, but again not very complex.

Today I prepared it gong fu style with 2.5g in a small gaiwan. The dry leaves smell of citrus, custard, and chicken meat, while the wet leaves have a floral, woody aroma with a thistles like character. Taste is a mix of citrusy, grassy, bitter, and umami flavours. There is very little astringency. It has quite a herbaceous aftertaste. Liquor has an extremely smooth, oily, and mouth-watering mouthfeel, which is the highlight of the session for me.

Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Custard, Grass, Meat, Smooth, Thick, Umami

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML
Leafhopper

Hmm, a tea that smells like chicken. At least it didn’t taste like it. :)

Kittenna

I had the same thought…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78
drank Sejak by O5 Tea
355 tasting notes

During my recent visit of Vancouver, I checked out the O5 tea house. They have a very interesting bar like setup. It is pretty cool, although I guess personally, I would prefer to be able to prepare the tea myself. I also grabbed a few samples of the teas they source, in particular two Korean ones and two FF Darjeelings.

This Sejak can be characterized as having a light aroma, but strong flavour. The smell is medicinal/herbal with notes of green peas and gardenia flowers. I found the taste to be similar to Anji Bai Cha, but more robust with some bitterness, floral and creamy qualities. Unfortunately, the texture is not very noteworthy. However, the tea has an impressive longetivity for a green tea.

Flavors: Bitter, Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Garden Peas, Gardenias, Herbaceous, Medicinal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Hakko Cha by O5 Tea
434 tasting notes

I’ve had this in my cupboard for a while. It’s a weird tea. It’s dark, intriguing, smooth, peaty and fermented like a weirdly fruity shu. The smell is like nothing I’ve ever really smelt in tea before—overripe fruit, maybe?

The tasting notes say ‘oak’ and I get what they mean by that; a drier black tea note, slightly bright, lingers on the back of the tongue. Honey not so much… Three is an overhanging sweetness, definitely more fruity. Not floral. Like the fruit notes of lapsang. Drop fruit? I’m not sure the term.

I gave this one a few steeps (~20-30 seconds) and later steeps felt thicker, raisin/juicy fruits with a subtle sour note. Thirdish steep the overripe fruit sensation was strong; sweet and wine/alcoholic almost when I breathed out. Slurping sort of brought about a more honeyed sensation; not quite floral. Warming.

Flavors: Alcohol, Fruity, Honey, Oak wood, Peat, Pleasantly Sour, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
ashmanra

Could it be stone fruit, or baked stone fruit? I love it when a tea has notes like peach cobbler!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86
drank White Moonlight by O5 Tea
18 tasting notes

The taste is unique and very calming. The broth is very light but also slightly viscous or thick in the mouth if only a little. There is weight to the broth which douses the tongue full of nostalgic memories of night skies. The taste is very balanced and round. The aroma is very flowery and somewhat dewy like grass in the early morning. This tea brings me a sense of calm.

Flavors: Anise, Floral, Flowers, Perfume

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82

Gorgeous cake, mix of leaves and buds that alternate between being almost white to a dark olive color. Medium compression, I think (I haven’t had much experiences with cakes yet, but it seemed pretty middle of the road), with the ability to break off some nice full leaves.

Recommend western steeping over gong fu, but y’all feel free to do your own thing. My default was 3g tea for 240ml water (8oz), 3 minutes the first steep and then add a minute to both steeps 2 and 3. That being said, I went as high as 9g for 240ml, and while it was a bit intense, it never developed any astringency.

For Gong Fu I tried 6g in 100ml, still at 175F, but for one reason or another I could never get it dialed in. As I really dug the western steeps, I eventually abandoned the attempts.

Flavors: Apricot, Hay, Honey, Licorice, Raspberry

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank High Mountain Black by O5 Tea
141 tasting notes

I smelled this one in the shop in Vancouver and was like yes. It smelled a lot like a laoshan black in store, but since I am still in vancouver visiting family I don’t have my teawares here, I’m brewing in my mom’s .. one of those all in one gongfu pitchery things, with unfiltered vancouver water at who knows what temperature, off-boil.

O5 is a bit weird, they have their tea bar as the main focus, where you sit and pay for a session that they make for you, and then also sell the teas in tins. The problem is that the tins are prepackaged in 40 and 80g tins, this is the second one I’ve gotten now, and this one was really broken leaf compared to what I saw in the stuff they would’ve used at the bar.
It was a little upsetting, however my package smelled just like those truffle chocolates, and so I wasn’t as upset.
thick, decadent taste, cinnamon or nutmeg, plus this sugary sweetness, maple and earth
It’s weird, the second steep is quite a bit mustier, still sweet, earth? I don’t know. all of that. A little dry and bitter too. Lingering aftertaste of something similar to .. I don’t know, like dragonfruit or something. It’s familiar and I can remember eating it but it was when my dad brought home some weird fruit for us to try when I was young…
I lose a lot of body in the third, very thin and light and musty and dry. Some chocolate.
4: sort of a minty chocolate covered in dirt
5: It’s almost flavourless? I don’t know man. kind of generic root vegetables, and darker sweet fruits
6: sorta stewish, more muddy, chocolatey, thick with this cooling sensation
7: bad. thin, beany, medicinal weird.. stale feeling
8: pretty much the same

It’s a familiar flavour profile, some good moments, I appreciate the dynamic flavours, overall it was decent.
Happy new year guys :) Here’s to some good harvests this year!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Wild Bush by O5 Tea
141 tasting notes

I.. I wasn’t sure whether I was going to review this because I wasn’t really in the mood for writing but then I smelled the aroma in the warmed gaiwan and It’s this incredibly distinct and unique aroma, it has like this gummy blueberry aroma, but there’s also this.. shellfishy thing and it’s wonderful I’m so excited.
Anyways this isn’t on the website, it’s a taiwanese black tea, from Yuchi Township. O5 describes the flavour as “spun sugar | fruit”
https://www.instagram.com/p/BMLGpufDRsa/?taken-by=mackie_tealife&hl=enThe wet leaf has a very burnt, charcoal aroma, with some raisin and dates,
Oh wow it is incredibly sugary, and like cotton candy, with lovely malt and cherry, orange, and like stawberry ice cream,
The second steep is super different, like the strawberry ice cream is still there, but it’s more cocoa, milkiness, woody,
I get like a deep raisin loaf in the third steep, maybe even acai and like lemon, a bit of cocoa, some tangerine.
Fourth is more malty, rye bread, buttery, maybe like chocolate covered raisins, it is very dry, that could be more .. me. I haven’t eaten in a while and my mouth was a bit weird before starting this, some lingering acidity in the aftertaste.
I get cooked apple and cinnamon in the 5th, honey, malt.
I get the same apple, but it’s a bit fresher, no cinnamon, it invades a bit into the aroma, not much else in that one.
It’s becoming like milky apple cider.. Why are all these teas milky all of the sudden lol I’m starting to think I might be crazy. I think this one’s creamier than the other milkies.
I also got some cerealy grains later, it’s like drinking cereal with milk :DThis was wonderful. Genuinely, super tastey, super interesting, I highly recommend. Also O5 is a really cool shop, check them out if you’re ever in Vancouver!

Mackie

I have no idea why there’s a bunch of repeated parts.. It’s not like that in my editing screen..

Mackie

Hey I fixed it :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85
drank Balhyocha Noeul by O5 Tea
14 tasting notes

First time trying this oolong from Korea in its Spring 2015 version. This is a new universe for me. The dry leaves smell nutty and remind me of high quality chocolate with a high cacao concentration. The wet leaves smell sweet with a hint of wood bark and blond tobacco leaf. The first infusion was really special with a very powerful cacao note that is very dark and has some sweetness to it, some clover honey at the end. Very long tasting note in mouth after this. This tea stays with you a while. The second infusion developed some white flower surrounded by cacao notes still. The sweetness slightly disappeared to give place to some green leaves of raspberry. the soup is orange and clear. the third infusion has some more oak honey this time and drifts on blond tobacco leaves and some spices developing very light clove and some freshness appearing at the end of the sip.

Flavors: Bark, Cacao, Honey

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Jin Jun Mei by O5 Tea
1040 tasting notes

This is just flat – boring. JinJunMei should be bold with lots of interesting nuances. Not this one – just one note. For a relatively expensive black tea, it really was definitely disappointing. I’ve had lots of much better JinJunMei that weren’t this expensive.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Sejak by O5 Tea
434 tasting notes

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Sejak by O5 Tea
434 tasting notes

Brewing korean greens in japanese teapots. What a world.

Worked out fittingly, since the first note I get is seaweed. It’s not bitter, but I was pretty careful about the water. Seaweed with something else vegetal. Definitely not sweet, and it tapers into a very mineral aftertaste.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Balhyocha Noeul by O5 Tea
434 tasting notes

Gaiwan. Might be a little too dark for a gaiwan, but we’ll see.

I was slightly zoning out on the computer while sipping this, though. Mainly got chocolate and plums or raisins; sort of a dark fruityness. Something stickysweet hits you in the back of the throat, like maple.

Jillian

I was just at O5 a few days ago while I was visiting Vancouver and that was one of the teas I tried.

AJ

@Jillian I got one of their sample sets with this and their Balhyocha Saebyok.

Jillian

Ha, I got the exact same sampler

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Old Cultivar Shui Xian by O5 Tea
1040 tasting notes

Drinking a Shui Xian tonight from O5tea.
This is heavily roasted, tons of mineral notes, and a little drying. I think it’s too much for me. I don’t mind heavily oxidized, and this isn’t really smoky – it’s more of a burned taste. Will try a few more steeps and see if it mellows, but at this point, not my favourite.

ETA: Steeps 5 and 6 are much softer and more to my taste, but this still isn’t my fav oolong.
https://instagram.com/p/4xyRlyuE-Q/?taken-by=dex3657

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91
drank Yang Si's 2009 Mao Cha by O5 Tea
278 tasting notes

First tea from my new O5 order. Pedro sent so many amazing teas. Eeeeeee! So excited.

So this one is lovely. Smells like apricots and other fruits. There’s a smidge of bitterness once in awhile, and ooooomg… nice Qi. I’m feeling a little woo. And maybe a little woo. Of happiness. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML
boychik

Sounds so yum

MzPriss

I vote for Pedro

SarsyPie

Vote for Pedro!!!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Cask Aged Ghorka AF by O5 Tea
278 tasting notes

Leaving a note just so I remember what I did wrong.

The first time I made this, I used very short steeps. The tea was weak and flavorless. So then I tried a 3 minute steep. And it was insanely bitter.

If I can get another sample, I’ll try a lower temp and maybe a 2 min steep. sigh I was really looking forward to this one. :(

AllanK

Is this a puerh?

SarsyPie

No, it’s listed as a black tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85
drank Semi Wild Hong Cha by O5 Tea
278 tasting notes

Pretty yummy! I received this as a sample and found it to be quite lovely. It made a perfect tea to start my day! Sadly at the current price, I don’t think I would get more. But I’m definitely glad to have received a sample. :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Semi Wild Hong Cha by O5 Tea
434 tasting notes

The dry leaf has a very strong, deep smell. Brewed, it has the maltyness of an assam but without the bitterness or astringency. Pretty much what I expect in a china black. There’s a bit of cocoa in there as well. Sort’ve my everyday favourite, except not at /this/ price.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80
drank Cask Aged Ghorka AF by O5 Tea
434 tasting notes

Brewing this, it smelt strongly Darjeeling. I wish I still had a plane Nepal tea on hand to sniff in comparison, but I finished that up a while ago. I remember it having a more Ceylon smell.

The taste is definitely more Ceylon. Bright and lightly astringent with definite honey tones. The astringency doesn’t hit right at first, but does build up with sips; it’s not sweet, more of a dry tea. Definitely not as sharp and muscatel as a Darjeeling, that seems to have just been the scent.

I don’t think I’m getting much from the wine barrel it was stored in, but that might also just be the afore-mentioned burnt tongue. Definitely not as astringent as the Nepal teas I’m used to though, so I think I’ll enjoy the rest of this.

Edit: This actually steeped up a pretty nice second cup at five minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90
drank Balhyocha MLH by O5 Tea
434 tasting notes

I took the rest of this sample and made it alongside Balhyocha KSH to do a sidebyside taste test (I knew having two gaiwans would come in handy).
*
This one, I found, had a stronger scent—strong, dry cocoa. The leaves were also smaller than KSH’, but that might just be that the smaller sample bag (I had this one in sample-form and 1oz of the other) for this one crushed the leaves a bit.
It strongly reminds me of Simple Leaf’s Dawn, a tea from Arunachal Pradesh, India (/Tibet, pending claim). But I tend to compare a lot of teas to that one (mostly because I miss it so much). This definitely has some qualities.
The taste is dry but not astringent (I guess powdery); its own sort of malt without any real similarities to Assam or Yunnan teas.
I’ve gotten worse at describing teas.
It’s much different from KSH, and I definitely favour this one. At any rate, my sample’s finished.

Flavors: Cocoa

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100
drank Golden Curls by O5 Tea
348 tasting notes

The cat woke me at the crack of 8
Begging for water, attention or some other ill-fate.
Since sleeping in was no longer the ideal,
I figured I’d start the day with a liquid meal.

TeaCuplets: http://lazyliteratus.tumblr.com/post/80892039954/teacuplets-o5-tea-yunnan-golden-curls

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
gmathis

And a gold star for the whimsy! (If Tazo slept that late, we would do the dance of joy. His body clock starts ticking between 4:30 and 5:00.)

Geoffrey Norman

@Gmathis – Thanks! I’m playing around with a review style to notch off teas at a far quicker rate.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

Described as having notes of pumpkin and cocoa. It looks like the name—golden curls, and steeps up fairly light for a black tea, a golden brown. It’s a rather mellow tea. I don’t find it reminiscent of cocoa. I don’t find this earthy. But a spicy pumpkin-like note is there I think. My aunt liked this tea even more than the Yunan Tian Hong we enjoyed yesterday.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

74
drank Balhyocha KSH by O5 Tea
434 tasting notes

I took the rest of this sample and made it alongside Balhyocha MLH to do a sidebyside taste test (I knew having two gaiwans would come in handy).
*
Quite different from MLH. This one had a weaker smell, no real notes of cocoa—it had a pepper flavour that strongly resembled a Yunnan tea. I don’t have any basic Yunnans in my cupboard right now, but if I get any before I run out of this, I’ll do a comparison.
The second steep had a few more similarities to the MLH—more cocoa, slightly dryer. By the third steep though it was a bit sharp, and the cocoa was gone.
It was nice, but “meh” to me in that it was just reminiscent of Yunnan (don’t get me wrong, I like Yunnan teas; I was hoping for more).

Flavors: Malt, Peppercorn

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.