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Recent Tasting Notes
Gongfu cha brewing style in a gaiwan:
This tea has a beautiful floral scent like Easter lilies, and the taste also carries a similar floral note. There’s also a nice buttery quality to this flavor. You can taste fresh herbal and evergreen notes that remind me of the mountains.
Not feeling the need to explore and review as deeply as usual tonight, but I think this is a good tea for its type, at the same time not knocking my socks off. I’m enjoying the sample they sent me, but would definitely shop around if I was looking to buy some Baozhong.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Herbs, Pine
Brewed this tea western, gongfu, and this time grandpa style.
Ehhh wasn’t particularly impressed or unimpressed. I’m starting to realize I really just prefer greener oolongs and this lightly roasted dong ding is solid but not that special imo.
Might repurchase if there’s a nice sale and I’m low on my oolong stock.
I wasn’t sure what people meant when they described teas – specifically oolong – as “milky”. I get it now. The feel of this oolong is similar to that of sweet cream.
A mild and very pleasant tea, this sample was a gift from a steepster friend. I detect lightly grassy and floral notes – more vegetal than fruity.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Grass, Vegetal
Drank this one at work.
I wish I’d taken better notes; but lately I’ve just been so… tired? At work, but also just in general. When I get in moods like that it’s hard for me to focus enough to put together the kind of jot notes that I want to be able to put together for these straight teas.
Anyway, I steeped this one up Western style with some honey – it was REALLY good! Very smooth, and while yes it did taste marginally fruity I thought the bulk of the flavour profile was more this light, delicate roast and then a ton of sweeter, nutty notes that were really pleasant/tasty. Pretty light to medium bodied overall.
This is a very tasty oolong. It is slightly roasted but very light. It does not overpower the taste of the tea. I am not sure what to call the sweet notes of this tea but it was good.
I steeped this eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 7g leaf and 190 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 seconds.
Bought this recently when Tea Ave was having a sale. I generally like floral, green oolongs. This one was quite nice. It was somewhat vegetal and had notes of sweet grass to it. It was very good. I gave it eight steeps and I think it would have gone a couple more. But I figured it wasn’t puerh that can usually be pushed to twelve or fourteen steeps. I bought several more teas from Tea Ave and I hope they are all this good.
I steeped this eight times in a 110ml teapot with 7.1g leaf and 190 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.
Flavors: Grass, Sweet, Vegetal
“This tea tastes like going to an imperial palace and walking through a rose garden. The rose and the bright oolong have a spring evening feel. You’re walking through the well-tended garden, your feet on the warm yet cooling stones, discussing diplomacy in really awesome brocade silk dresses.”
Full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/12/26/rose-oolong-from-tea-ave/
Drinking up this sample tonight mostly western style (200mL teapot, 1.5-2min steeps). Overall, the flavor on this one is lighter than I realized. Opening up the sample bag, I was met with a delicate, sweet floral smell that I can’t exactly describe. This is a flavored tea (as far as I recall!) though the brew came out quite light in both color and flavor. It’s smooth and has a sweetness to it, as well as a gentle floral note. I can’t quite pick up on any flavoring (magnolia?) but overall it’s quite tasty, if not a little light.
Second brew I left in for longer, and definitely got more flavor out of it. It’s a very bright yellow color, and reminds me of a jasmine tea in its flavor profile. Maybe a little bit on the sweeter side, with almost a rose-petal sort of note showing up. Overall, a well rounded mouth feel and generally enjoyable, though I find it to be somewhat underwhelming. Maybe decent for a casual drink, but not that interesting all things considered.
Brewing up the sample tea bag that I was sent! I’m just western-style brewing this in a smallish teapot. After about a 1 minute brew, it comes up pale yellow. It has a calm, mellow flavor profile, with an immediate punch of light, roasty flavor and hints of maybe corn and bready grain. I’m not yet picking up too much in the way of fruits, but I might notice some more as I brew.
The second steep comes out deeper in color and flavor. There’s a little more of the roasted note coming out here now, but still nowhere near as much as a heavily roasted oolong (good by me!). It has a very rich and round flavor profile, with a sweetness and a mouth coating viscosity. Very enjoyable and looking forward to trying some of my other Tea Ave purchases!
This one reminded me of plain popcorn, predominant in both the scent and flavor, but there’s a lot more to this tea. Early steeps had a faint aroma that reminiscent of dried cherries; subtle flavors of orchid and cinnamon with a lingering aftertaste of homemade bread. Following this through 6 steeps, the latter half became sweet and mild. A deliciously toasty tea–perfect for those who don’t want an aggressively floral oolong.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Orchid, Popcorn
A gorgeous light, fragrant, somewhat sweet tea whose flavor is a dance of orchid and soft vegetal notes, both always present regardless of which one’s leading. Compared to similar teas I’ve had, I’m surprised by how long the aftertaste of this one lingers on the palate and how the floral notes last clear into six steeps (first steep at 30 seconds and adding 10 seconds to each subsequent steep).
Flavors: Orchid, Sweet
Received this as a sample in a recent order and was not expecting to fall in love. Made this in my gaiwan and got three delicious steeps out of it; easily could’ve gotten a few more had it not been dinner time (not exactly the beverage of choice for pairing with deep dish pizza!). Can’t say I noticed any difference between each cup, but that isn’t to say it’s a bad thing because it most definitely isn’t, not with its consistent notes of lemongrass and honey.
Definitely one I would keep in mind to order later as I need more to spend some quality time with. Could totally see this one being elevated to staple status.
Flavors: Citrus, Honey, Lemongrass
Tea Ave sent a sample of this with my last order. Thanks! The sample consisted of full leaf tea in a pyramid teabag. I steeped it twice in the teabag, then opened up the bag and steeped up the loose leaves two more times in a finum filter.
I woke up craving a solid oolong and this hit the spot. The dry leaf smells honeyed and roasted. The flavor, fairly consistent over multiple steeps, is sweet and gently roasted with a dominant honey flavor. I’m not picking up on the fruity notes that other people report but I’m ok with that.
I looked forward to tasting this tea after listening to a podcast where Robert Coons talked about Wenshan Baochong. A lovely tea with honey or maybe honeysuckle under currents. Grassy taste and smell (in a good way) I associate with a more astringent green tea lasted through several steeps and mixed nicely with the honey and butter. Though I anticipated the dry mouth of a green tea this never came. I could drink this tea as a daily sipper.
I followed the instructions on TeaAve’s package that said to fill giawan 1/2 full so I estimated on the grams added. Filled with 90 C water and steeped for 30 seconds. Each steep afterward I added 10 seconds out to 5 steeps.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Honey, Honeysuckle
This has been my favorite oolong from Tea Ave so far. It’s a perfect balance of rich and buttery, with bright mineral green and floral notes. It’s just so appealing to smell and taste, super smooth and drinkable. Not too savory, not too sweet. I would definitely order this again.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Green, Nutty
I was talking to Oolong-Nug and a few others a couple days ago about hoarding tendencies, and how I’ve held onto a lot of green oolongs because I’m scared to let go of that last session of tea and it inspired me in the moment to finish off a tea that I’ve just been holding onto a single session’s worth of – this one!
So I brewed this one up Gong Fu and enjoyed it during the hangout with some tea friends and their pets! It was actually really nice, and it was a follow up to a heavier tea I’d brewed out just like a half hour earlier so the fact it was sweeter and lighter overall definitely felt a little more overt/noticeable and I think I had a greater appreciation because I was getting that almost immediate kind of contrast.
Obviously this is really rose heavy in general – but that works for me; I absolutely love rose flavoured/scented teas, especially around Spring/the change of seasons. I went on a pretty intense floral tea binge last year in the spring time, which is I think when I initially ordered this one anyway!? Apart from the rose, it’s also pretty green. My first few infusions had a bit of sharpness in regard to that grassy element but it mellowed out overall and the later infusions were more of a mix of soft grass elements and light fruit undertones such as fresh peach.
I didn’t track the number of infusions but I’d guess it was probably close to ten. Middle and end of the session were the highlights for the more mellowed out grassy oolong notes. I’d order this again if that floral sort of obsession hits again this Spring – I’ll just have to more diligent in working against those hoarding tendencies.
Morning cup of tea.
I’m working through a lot of long online training videos for DAVIDsTEA right now because I was recently promoted to keyholder, so I have to go through a training top up. It’s been long, boring and exacting, so having a good solid cup of tea on hand has been a vital resource.
It’s delicate and refreshing with a really clean flavour and overall profile. While obviously rosey, it also has some other fresh flower/Springtime floral notes at the top of the sip transitioning into the mid sip. The undertones are smooth, sweet and grassy with hints of something peachy finding its way in there, as well as a bit of sugar snap pea sweetness. It finishes with a light honey sweetness.
So, so, so good. Better than last time, for sure.
With a touch of honey.
I think I enjoyed this one a little more when I was still on that massive rose/floral kick earlier in the year but it’s still pretty good. The mix of grassy and vegetal notes and floral undertones is balanced pretty well. I actually just wish that those floral notes were more weighted towards rose though; I don’t taste enough distinction here for me to really be completely happy with it/immersed enough.
This is a queued tasting note.
Drank this as a commute tea on one of the really nice days we had this week. Seriously; just gorgeous! Tons of the snow melted away, and it really did start to feel like Spring.
This is the first of the floral/scented oolongs I recently bought; I found myself deeply craving them as the weather started to warm up. Actually, it’s the only one of the scented oolongs I purchased that I hadn’t tried yet either so I was especially excited for it.
- Rose top notes; a little too intense/perfumey
- Just a slight touch bitter
It wasn’t love at first sight, but I see promise here and I’m willing to put in the effort to experiment with steep time/style and leaf amount in order to get this one just right.
Final sample from my Tea Ave order!
- Quite floral
- Even though they’re strong, it’s a little hard placing/identifying the floral notes
- Light to medium body
- Different from Oriental Beauty because I didn’t register roastiness from this one
- Sweet honeyed peach/stonefruit, especially in the finish
- A little buttery
I’d say this was the most complex of the three samples they sent and probably also my favourite of the three.
Received a small sample. When people describe an oolong as “milky” I now know what they mean, because this has a perfect flavor/feel of sweet cream. However, it’s not sweet, in the way that a jasmine tea leaves a floral impression of sweetness. Instead it’s mild and round, like peaches and cream, or oatmeal and honey.