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Recent Tasting Notes
i’m back from vacation. While it was a great vacation…i got to drink NO tea because a) the water had a dirt like quality that i wasn’t loving and b, the kettle at the place we were staying at was just…NO.
so i’m happy to be back drinking tea… sadly i got carried away with catching up at work while drinking this one so i don’t have a lot to say yet. the colder it gets, the more chocolate notes poke through, but i for sure need to have this one again. Glad dexter was able to send enough for me to have a couple cups :)
For a key to my rating scale, check out my bio.
10/10 would recommend. This is a pricey tea but very worth it. Very clear notes of wildflower honey, floral nectar, and cantaloupe. A delicate, floral flavor (hits all of the high notes), yet a ridiculously creamy, smooth mouthfeel and an immediate 回甘 (sweet finish) that just doesn’t end. Do yourself a favor and try it.
NOTE: Just going off the dry scent in my warmed gaiwan, I found that the charcoal roast was a bit heavy for my liking, so I rinsed the tea. Normally I don’t do this for Phoenix oolongs (to make sure I don’t waste any fragrance since that’s the area in which these teas excel), but I would say that this tea actually benefited from the rinse – if nothing else, the flavor was certainly not diminished by doing so.
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Melon, Nectar, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Wood
For a key to my rating scale, check out my bio.
Incredibly aromatic / floral but not sweet at all, this is a very interesting Ya Shi Xiang, or as Red Blossom calls it, “Persimmon Blossom Fragrance”. The dry fruit sweetness typical of Phoenix oolongs is replaced with nutty / cereal grain notes.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Bell Pepper, Bitter, Cacao, Floral, Fruity, Leather, Molasses, Nutty, Oak wood, Osmanthus, Wheat
For a key to my rating scale, check out my bio.
This season’s harvest is sublime! Incredibly creamy, with a nice balance of sweet and smoky tones. Complex and interesting, but most importantly delicious. If I had to describe this tea in one word, it would be “yummy”.
Flavors: Campfire, Char, Citrus, Coffee, Cream, Grass, Lemon Zest, Marine, Meat, Milk, Seaweed, Smoke, Sweet, Tangy
Lovely tea. The notes are hard to discern, although the “apricot” from Red Blossom’s site does a reasonably good job at getting at the experience. Strangely lacking in vegetal tones despite how unoxidized it is. There’s also a “powdery” vibe, though perhaps that’s a psychological effect of the fuzzy/powdery aesthetic of the leaves themselves.
The more I drink the tea, the more I love it. When I first got it in the mail, I wasn’t that dazzled. But a month or two into enjoying these silver needles, I actually look forward to sitting down to it.
I’m not a fan of Indian Assams, so I was excited to try this Formosa version to see if it could turn me around. It did. Gone is the disgusting bitter astringency of the Indian variety. What’s the left is a smooth, delicious Assam that is all you could hope for. There’s not much else to say. It’s a big favorite of mine for the first cup of the day.
Flavors: Fruity, Honey
I purchased the Spring 2016 incarnation of this tea, and have now enjoyed it several times. The scent of the steeped tea is classic high mountain Taiwanese oolong: soothing and slightly milky. On the palate, I got quite a bit of florality, some fresh/vegetal elements, a light brown sugar vibe, and yet little to no milkiness. Very pleasant, but in the same genre, I still prefer Red Blossom’s Mi Xiang Tung Ting.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Floral, Vegetal
When I took a whiff of the steeped leaves, I suspected I was in for a treat. There was this autumnal quality — not spicy, but clearly warm and milky. And when I took my first sip I went, “Oh, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.” It’s delicious. While Red Blossom’s site says orange blossom, honey, tropical fruit and buttered rum, I got exactly zero of those from it. What I did get was a florality, but it certainly wasn’t orange blossom + there was a flavor of what I can only describe as something exquisitely “comfortable”, milky, and like tonka beans or another baking spice nature has yet to invent. It’s as if I were drinking rice pudding in tea form. Hands down my favorite tea.
Every time I drink it now, I wonder if I’m really going to like it as much as I remember. I do. It’s amazing. And even as I purchase other mountain/high mountain Formosa oolongs, this is still by far the best example of them I’ve yet had. It’s silly how much better this is than all the others.
Flavors: Floral, Milk, Spices
The tasting notes on Red Blossom’s site make this tea seem like magic. And for $30/oz., I was expecting as much. Sadly, it’s quite bland. Smooth and pleasant enough, with the light taste of some indiscernible fruit, it’s nothing I would look forward to having again. Yet I bought a couple ounces, have had it a half-dozen times now, and will be clearing it out, little-by-little.
Revisting the tea a few times since I first reviewed it, I’ve found being more heavy-handed with the initial dose makes it much more interesting. It makes for a pricey cup of tea, but the appeal is there.
After almost a year long hiatus where I drank mostly puerh, black, and green tea, I thought maybe my love for plain white tea would have simmered down. Thanks to OMGsrsly, I can now put my doubts aside.
I love you white tea. I love you so much. the milkiest Milk Oolong, the nuttiest Dragonwell, and the sweetest black dessert tea have nothing on you. Marry me.
Flavors: Cream, Hay, Lemon, Sweet
This is a very generous sample from teafriend .
8g 90ml Yixing teapot 212F
Rinse and short steeps
The brew is dark, thick and rich. Flavors are unusual, savory, some spice.
I really enjoyed it. It also had a strong qi that sent me into nice nap. It was pretty refreshing.
Thank you so much teafriend for sharing. I wish I could get more of it, but it’s not available on Red Blossom website
This tea is amazing. I got super generous sample from teafriend. Very unusual notes I don’t find often in aged Sheng. It is savory and sweet. Fennel, allspice, cinnamon comes to mind. Really good with longer steeps I pushed to a minute and longer. Very dark and syrupy consistency.
Dry, it smells like dates and chocolate. I put about 5 grams in a 6oz gaiwan. After rinsing and letting the gaiwan lid rest over the leaves for a minute there is a more pronounced chocolate smell, like chocolate covered fruit and leather. The first few infusions (starting at 45 seconds and adding 15 to subsequent ones) gave a roasted, chocolaty with subtle peach flavor. It does have a drying quality in the back of the throat, though it is by no means unpleasant. In later infusions it begins to back off of the roasted flavor and becomes more fruity. I only got 4 infusions before it started to die out.
Flavors: Chocolate, Dates, Peach, Roasted
Yesterday I came home and had a headache so I took about 10g of this and dropped it in my kyusu. This is not normal for me… 10g is a lot of loose leaf to use at once.
I steeped this five times and had really strong and thick liquid. Really enjoyable, but I can’t make a remark on the tea for what it should taste like when correctly brewed.
In general: San Lin Xi is some of my favorite anyways because TU sold me all that 89 and it’s lovely :)
Sipdown this morning and a little bit more realization for tea preference. I crave Dan Cong’s for mild caffeine or warmth during cold days. It’s nice to know that I really don’t need a large quantity of Dan Congs or Yanchas when I crave them.
Now, the remainder of this tea was particularly fruity, being something between orange and apricot. The nuttiness, the florals, and the wood notes were there two, but superseded by the fruity taste. This does not make a bad slow wake up tea, and I was glad to enjoy it for the last time this morning.
Thank you LP! I really enjoyed this Yan Cha. Orange blossom, a little bit of citrus, floral, nutty, almond, and woodsy. This was gong fu. Only thing was I got four solid steeps-30, 55, 60, 2 min, and finally four-five min as a weaker, light floral cup. I’d recommend it for Dan Cong lovers as something to enjoy. For me, it was sweeter-but that’s psychological. Citrus for me=sweeter. And I’ve had Da Hong Pao’s that weren’t as sweet or floral.
After a few weeks of obsessing over the 2014 I tried at a restaurant, I finally caved and bought the 2015 Heritage Golden Buddha from Red Blossom without even tasting it first. Brewed 3.5g in my 150ml gaiwan at 200˚F.
Dry leaves smell so creamy and dark roasted. The wet leaves look gorgeous, such a dark rich green with almost a metallic lustre. I may be in lust with this tea.
Rinsed for 1 second.
1st infusion: (1:00)
The lid smells like flourless dark chocolate cake––not sweet like confectionery but rich and substantial. Just heavenly. Liquor tastes balanced and round, with a slight nutty, toasted bread and caramel flavour. I’m not tasting anything as doughy or buttery as pie crust or graham cracker but it’s still lovely.
2nd infusion: (1:30)
Leaves beginning to smell a bit plummy and more vegetal. Liquor has dark chocolate notes on top of that smooth base of toast, and the finish is really sweet on the tongue this time. This cultivar seems to have extracted all the best parts of Wuyi yancha without the hard, minerally taste. I need to keep buying this.
3rd infusion: (2:00)
Mellower flavour but still has subtle chocolate and nutty notes and good body.
4th infusion: (2:40)
Even mellower, a little thin now. Would love to try this tea in an Yixing teapot.
Yeah this did not work. It’s basically hot water.
Flavors: Brown Toast, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Roasted