Stone Leaf Teahouse

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88

From the Here’s Hoping TTB

This was a very interesting tea. I was initially put off by the strong roasted aroma, but the taste was an unusual balance between the heavy roast (not nearly as strong in the taste as in the nose) and a sweet maple flavor. The light, sweet, maple flavor rode over a heavy dark roast, and the contrast was very interesting.

I brewed it using gong-fu style, which was a mistake, since the maple faded faster than the roast. Surprisingly, this didn’t seriously affect my enjoyment of the tea. It subtly changed to a more tobacco flavor over the course of about 3 steeps, but maintained the same character of a light flavor riding over a heavy one. I liked it so much that I’m keeping the last 7 grams, so I can try it western style.
Inkay

I’m glad to see you enjoyed this one! I have been eager to hear other people’s opinions. I also did gong fu style the first time and have enjoyed it mostly western style and, sometimes, grandpa style since then.

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drank Rou Gui by Stone Leaf Teahouse
356 tasting notes

This comes in pretty small packets, so steeped up a very small amount of it the first time trying it. The leaves have a lovely, sweet, creamy and roasted aroma and steep up to a red liquor quite quickly. Tastes of cinnamon and spices, but I think I will definitely want to be less conservative and steep up a larger amount of this next time so I can get a more in depth feel for it.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Creamy, Roasted, Spices, Sweet

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So we were very intrigued when we saw this released on Stone Leaf’s website recently and grabbed a sample along with a few other things to try. I was quite eager to try this once we received it, so we steeped it up one morning when I had to go to a symposium for work.

The aroma in the sample bag is like a blend of cereal and maple syrup that makes us think of French Toast Crunch.

The rolled leaves have a hard exterior and a candied looking sheen, and they clink lightly against the bottom of the gaiwan as I pour them in. The maple aroma intensifies once the leaves are wet. “It smells like breakfast,” were rhinkle’s exact words, I believe. The liquor steeps out to a gorgeous red.
The flavor of maple unmistakably comes through in the first steep, a reflection of the syrup itself and the underlying flavor of the base tea. There is sweetness there, as well, though it still allows the flavors of the tea itself to come through—cinnamon, cereal grains, milkiness, hints of delicious dark roast—and in the end we conclude that this tea tastes a bit like warm milk in which Cinnamon Toast Crunch was soaked.

I enjoyed this tea enough to thermos steep it for the symposium that same day, which allowed all the flavors to meld together a bit more and get more of those bold, dark oolong flavors in each sip. Just ordered more of this one to stock up on, as it’s a great one to share, a unique experience and it tastes good!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Creamy, Grain, Maple Syrup, Milk, Roasted, Toast

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This is one we had from an order rhinkle made quite a while back now and we had a session with it recently.

Nice, dark liquor with an appreciable sweetness overlaying notes of mushroom and fruit. Very smooth in texture with a subtle creaminess that lasted several steeps.

Easy to drink and affordable.

Flavors: Fruity, Mushrooms, Sweet

Preparation
8 g

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Had this with lunch as per rhinkle’s request. Gave it a quick wash before doing a short first steep. Very light golden liquor with a gentle creamy, floral flavor that takes a few steeps to really start to develop.

Once it does, I start getting some nice, nutty notes with smooth cream and bright florals and, eventually, some sweetness pushes into the forefront, as well. The mouthfeel on this one gets quite thick, viscous and silky, which helps further define this tea as my last session of the day comes to a close.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Nuts, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

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rhinkle had been waiting for us to be able to try this one together, so I broke one coin in half and threw it in the gaiwan tonight to eat with the daifuku we just finished making. Gave it one wash and the following steep produced a very light liquor that became a deeper gold over subsequent steeps.

From the very first steep, this one has a super smooth texture and a delicate floral flavor that eventually reveals fruitiness and a hint of underlying creaminess.

A few steeps in the qi hits suddenly. A few more steeps later and a distinct sweetness emerges. The material in this ended up being quite broken up, but this was still very good!

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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drank Gui Fei Cha by Stone Leaf Teahouse
356 tasting notes

Drank the last of this yesterday morning. Nice way to start the day, and I would definitely order again!

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drank Gui Fei Cha by Stone Leaf Teahouse
356 tasting notes

Glad to be revisiting this one this morning. The sweet, roasted fragrance, the bright, tropical fruit flavor, and the developing honey sweet creaminess that builds over multiple steeps. This stuff makes even the roughest day better.

Flavors: Creamy, Fruity, Honey, Nuts, Roasted, Sweet, Tropical

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drank Gui Fei Cha by Stone Leaf Teahouse
356 tasting notes

The SO wanted oolong this morning, so we decided to try out two gui fei oolong. This was one of them. This oolong is on the greener side with just a light roast, which is how I tend to prefer them. Nice fragrance comes off the leaves as soon as the water hits them, and they begin to unfurl rather quickly after a very brief wash.

The liquor steeps out a very light, transparent gold that has a nice, sweet, lightly roasted smell. First sip tastes like roasted sesame oil! The texture is super smooth, and more and more sweetness and creaminess emerges over subsequent steeps.

Definitely like this one!

Flavors: Creamy, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 9 g

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Autumn 2016 harvest.

Drank this alongside the 2016 tung ting and lost my notes in a freak browser accident. Fun times. This is Stone Leaf’s darkest roasted oolong at the moment, and the leaves have an appropriately roasty aroma. Steeps out a nice, deep amber that gradually lightens over subsequent steeps. The roast in this one brings with it a distinct, pleasant sourness that complements the vanilla notes and deep, dark sweetness present in this tea, and adds some complexity to the otherwise smooth texture.

I feel like this one holds up to additional steeps a bit better than the medium roast, maintaining its bolder flavor very well.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Pleasantly Sour, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g

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drank Tung Ting by Stone Leaf Teahouse
356 tasting notes

Spring 2016 harvest.

Drank this alongside the 2016 bamboo roasted tung ting, but lost my notes yesterday. This one is medium roasted, and steeps out a bit lighter in color than the other initially, but the color of the liquors gradually becomes more similar after several steeps. The roast definitely helps bring out some of the flavors in this one without overpowering them. I can still get a sense of florals, but they’re rather light, and there is a vanilla cream sweetness present. At the beginning of the session, there is a lemon peel-like hint of citrus that gradually evolves into more of the orange peel flavor noted by the vendor.

Easy to drink and lasts for a good number of steeps, remaining smooth and creamy throughout the entire session.

Flavors: Floral, Lemon Zest, Orange Zest, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g

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drank Kabusecha by Stone Leaf Teahouse
356 tasting notes

2016 Harvest, which Stone Leaf says “stands out as truly exceptional.”

I have to say, I cannot disagree. This is very good. Steeped my usual way. Did about 7 grams in 100ml gaiwan with 70C water for just over a minute to start. Comes out a nice, transparent green.

Very nice umami flavor balanced with a pleasant vegetal sourness with sweet, creamy chestnut swirled in. Smooth texture

Second steep, 80C for about 20 seconds. Not as much flavor as I’ve had come out in some other shaded greens on the seconds steep. I can taste the umami, but I can also clearly taste the water. That leads me to conclude that I could either use even more leaf or steep this one a bit harder than my others.

Overall, this is a very good, well-balanced kabusecha that is a bit on the gentler side, making it great for not being in the mood for an umami bomb, or introducing someone to shaded Japanese greens. I can definitely see myself getting more of this!

Flavors: Chestnut, Creamy, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Amacha by Stone Leaf Teahouse
356 tasting notes

Been looking forward to trying this one! Trying to look up more information about amacha keeps turning up results for matcha…but finally got some guidelines, and threw a few leaves of this into the steeper. Smell is quite sweet, which is what is to be expected.

Aaaaaand it’s sweet. It tastes almost like…what I would imagine nectar to taste like. rhinkle thinks it tastes like stevia, which I don’t quite agree with, but I can see how one would find it to be similar. I could see myself blending this with something that I wanted to sweeten, especially something that I would drink while sick, like a homemade ginger tisane.

This would also be perfect for having first thing in the morning for me when I’m just cold and want something to warm up before moving on to the sessions that carry me throughout the day.

Flavors: Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 1 g 15 OZ / 450 ML

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drank Genmaicha by Stone Leaf Teahouse
356 tasting notes

Received order from Stone Leaf last night and was very excited to dig in this morning. rhinkle, shockingly, picked this one to try first.

It tastes a bit like sesame at first, and as you continue to drink, the vegetal taste of the sencha and the more distinct toasted rice notes emerge.

A very nice, light-flavored green tea and toasted rice blend, in my opinion.

Flavors: Nutty, Roasted, Toasted Rice, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Artist Lin oolong is a unique High Mountain oolong! This one has a really oily thick texture with notes of tulips, honey, pine nuts, and butter. It is bright and crisp, with a long aftertaste. I quite enjoyed this oolong, and if you are a texture floral freak you’ll love it.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/artist-lin-oolong-stone-leaf-teahouse-tea-review/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 0 OZ / 12 ML

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54

OMG This is one of two puerh’s I’ve tried and /liked/ let alone tolerate… It’s very smooth, mellow, velvety almost, with a dry finish. No fishy-fungusy-sawdust taste like other puerhs I’ve had. This one is certainly earthy, but very good. I had it with a dish of eggs on salad with shredded cheese and it “made” my breakfast. Kind of a metallic, watery aftertaste, if that makes sense, when the food is gone.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
nvnohi

I’m having this again this morning and I agree with my earlier statements. It’s very dark and smooth, still velvety, still a dry finish. :)

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93

This has that usual “light” taste to it, with the soft, slightly flowery hints and a little bit of a dry finish. Quite nice, a little sweet. I like. :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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94

Delightful – as always from Stone Leaf Teahouse!
Full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 30th but here are the snippits:

Gui Fei Cha from Stone Leaf Teahouse is a more earthy tea but the honey note is one of the first things I tasted and the note that tends to linger along with the rose.

Gui Fei Cha has a wonderful note of bamboo, tropical rain soaked trees and plants, notes of honey and a slight spice note. And as for that bite as mentioned in the description, think of it like an astringency type of bite. Not bitter, but just this kick at the end of the sip.

With each sip I feel a little smile creeping over my face and by the time I am tasting the lingering notes that are left behind the sip, I am beaming.

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97

Thank you Azzrian for sending me some of this tea! I’m glad I’m finally feeling healthy so that I can start trying some of these marvelous teas you’ve sent me!

Oh this is good! I do love a good Golden Yunnan and this one is certainly just that. The sip begins sweet, with notes of caramel, cocoa and grape (yes grape!) that seem to intertwine to create a taste that is so very pleasantly sweet. By mid-sip, the sip transitions toward a more savory taste, with hints of pepper that prepare the palate for a freshly baked bread kind of taste … but not just any freshly baked bread. Imagine one of those artisan loaves, with the olives baked inside? Yeah… that! It tastes so rich and savory, and that hint of olive is so surprising and delicious.

Throughout the sip there is no sign of bitterness, and there is very, very little astringency (as in, it’s difficult to notice any at all) to this cup. This would be a great tea for those who generally avoid black teas for fear of bitterness or astringency, because well… there’s next to none. Just delicious, rich, smooth flavor. Amazingly good.

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84

Azzrian sent me this! Thanks so much!

This is very nice, subtly sweet, creamy, and mellow as well as comforting. As it cools it becomes a bit more brothy and a tad vegetal.

Pretty nice tea!

Azzrian

Stone Leaf Teahouse is pretty awesome! Glad you enjoyed it! :)

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93

Full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 10th of April but here are the snippets and also see previous review:

This Yunnan Golden Strand Spring 2011 from Stone Leaf Teahouse has the sweetest bready flavor. It reminds me of raisin bread, or fig cake. There is even a yeasty quality to the sip that makes it even more like a true gourmet baked good.

The mouthfeel of this tea is heavy but not thick. It fills the mouth and has a near creamy feel, but with all the sweetness it finds a way not to become syrupy. It has a clear finish.

Other notes worthy of mention are caramel, cocoa, fruit, hay, cane sugar, indeed it is a strange brew, but quite delicious.

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93

Are you really missing Verdant’s Golden Fleece? (edited thanks to Kittenna!) Never got to try any and fear you may never get to? Then get some of this!!!
Its not the exact same tea, and there are noticeable flavor differences but this is as close to it as you are going to get in my opinion!
Stone Leaf Tea is quickly becoming a new favorite tea vendor for me. They have excellent customer service and quality teas!
Granted nothing will replace my love for Verdant or their much desired Golden Fleece but there is no reason we can’t spread the love around!
This is a quality black tea!
There is a slight bit more astringency here than GS but it is not bitter.
I love the flavor notes of pepper, olive, and I also get a buttery mouthfeel.
Its quite pleasing and I plan to keep it around!

Veronica

Mmmmmmm. I am going to have to try this.

Azzrian

Its lovely – Verdant’s is still better though I just don’t want to hype it TOO much but its as close as it gets!

Kittenna

Golden Strand? :P Golden Fleece!

Azzrian

Uggg THANK YOU I will edit haha

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