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Recent Tasting Notes
Got a 5 g sample of this in my mystery grab bag for the Chinese New Year.
It is incredible. The leaves are a vibrant green with the most delicate furry silver buds. Just on appearance alone I knew this would be a superior tea, doesn’t have the dry dead leaf look of some other Bai Mu Dans. It looks fresh and alive like a white tea should and it smelled floral and fragrant.
I brewed gongfu in a 120 ml gaiwan. The liquor was a beautiful bright yellow and had such an incredibly delicate velvety mouthfeel. It just felt so good so I let it linger there for a while. Very floral opener with an aftertaste of pure cane sugar. I felt like a kid sucking on a lollipop but I even have to get a shot. This is what I always imagined the Big Rock Candy Mountain would taste like. Look at me now.
All I can say is dreams do come true with places like Tea Drunk around.
I’m new to tea and this tea started the new obsession. I first enjoyed this in NYC when I visited Tea Drunk and did a tasting. It has an earthy, woodsy taste to start with nutmeg and roasted nuts behind it. There’s a very slight sweetness to it that reminds me of vanilla. I got about five steepings out of it. While I brewed this at 195, a little lower would probably be fine as the first steeping tasted a little bitter to me, but the second steeping tasted just as it had when it was served to me. Highly recommended. Tea Drunk’s price point is a bit high ($24/25g) so I may try this type from other vendors and see if it’s just NYC pricing or if that’s to be expected.
Flavors: Nutmeg, Oak wood, Roast nuts, Vanilla
Most interesting. Tried the 2015 spring. I must say that after drinking mostly shou and hong cha for last 3 month its great to do a gongfu session with a superb Dan Cong. I mean I did try to make this several ways, grandpa and western style but it doesn’t do this tea service. This tea only can be drunk as a gongfu session, IMHO. Used a lot of leaf to a new celadon pot and went outside to brew and watch the bluebirds vie for nest boxes. The tea is of medium roast and gives a supple soup pumpkin in hue with medium viscosity. The first few steeps offer up the most intense floral honeysuckle and orange blossom flavors and aromas. Middle steeps send the florals into the background and a vegetal sweetness takes center stage akin to butternut squash. Next presence of minerality adding a bit of nuance during the later steeps. Overall not too lengthy, 8 steeps but that is just what it wanted me to have. Again if you have the bucks and really enjoy a bring it home gongfu session with Dan Cong , try any of Tea Drunk’s selection, they’re that good.
Just finishing this summer tea off, found in the back of the cabinet. Hasn’t lost any of its flavors at all, mild buttery spinach flavors, an alluring saltiness with a hint of sweet as it goes down. Zero astringency, sturdy enough for 4 resteeps, makes me long for the warmer weather.
This is the high end Ya Shi from TeaDrunk, nearly broke the bank but it’s well worth the price. Overtly fragrant with lychees, orange blossom honey, and a hint of smokiness. The soup is enrapturing with a mid level butteriness and then flavors of lychee fruit , magnolia and a slight sourness at the finish which is surprisingly inviting given all of the over the top sweet sensations that come before. If you have the cash this tea has the flavor.
Classic rock Shui Jin Gui, heads of aroma and flavors of plum abound, with a light roast. Steeped in Yixing 140ml pot, the flavors abated around the 8th with the rock appearing early. If you dont like Yancha because of the heaviness this tea will be a good alternative as its more light and airy.
Drinking this tea follows directly behind drinking Cha Ceremony’s ShuiXian.
I hesitated posting this review because 1. I’m tea drunk and cant really get my mind to analyze flavors like I want it too, 2. a dog chewed through the paper bag this tea comes in thus compromising the tea.
And yet on my first steep this tea left me too much in thought not to at least start a review.
The first thing that hit me about this tea was the smell. Now usually Shuixian is a bold foward tea, in the world of Yan Chas a good Shuixian’s body can only be rivaled by Tie Luo Han. So when I smelled this tea and noticed its soft complexity I was driven by a wonderuous curisosity to brew it up.
The aroma is defiantly floral. Oolongs as a category are floral, but this floralness is bold yet subtle. Confident yet quiet. Like a beautiful woman on the street who only needs to give you a small smile to solicit your full undivided attention. While that struck me, the lack of roastiness also caught my attention. I assume Shuixians to be very roasty, yet this one the roast also seems softer.
The first steep left me in silent ponder of what I had just tasted. The roast was much lighter than Im use to for Shuixian. But it is very inbalance with the rest of the tea, so it is not a flaw. The floralness is exactly as I smelled, beautifully quiet: like a masterful painting on the wall of a museum. If I wasnt inravelled enough in this tea, the finish was more complex than I think I have ever seen in a yan cha.
The lid of the second steep showed signs of a developing roastiness and body. (Did I accidently drink the rinse?). The flavor had deffiently developed. Here was the Shuixian flavor I knew. Bolder, a sturdier roast, with a mettalic-floralness that comes toward the back. Notes of fine ecspresso also showed themselves, but not too strongly, just enough to be reconize and enjoyed.
The tea is roasting in the front, but leaves a clean finish in the back. It leaves your mouth very refreshed with a bit of a come back sweetness.
Through the many steeps this tea, kept its character. It lasted a long time and showed very small flaws. (A touch of sourness here or there). The texture was good and I didnt detect any bitter or stinky green.
I always can tell if I like a tea by how much I drink it. Some teas even though objectively I know they are good, after a few pours I get stop drinking. This tea I kept brewing and kept focusing on. I paid more attention to this tea than any tea in the last few months.
Objectively: I like it
Subjectively: I like it
Positive points: Many
Flavors: Espresso, Floral, Metallic, Peach, Rosehips, Spices
Wu Dong is the top location of Feng Huang Shan, and it is probably one of the only types of Feng Huang Wulongs I truely Truely enjoy. My major dislike of Feng Huang comes from the personal opinion that they are all perfume aroma and nothing else. The low to mid quality ones tend to be a a little monotones too, one or two major characterstics and that’s it. When you get it from Wu Dong though, it is a different story.
A real Wu Dong wu long has a more controled aroma and boasts more complexity then your average wu dong, especially in the case of Bai Ye. Bai Ye is one of the most straight forward wulongs. It has a very strong peach aroma and is known for being one of the least complex. (For this reason it is usually the least desired and the cheepest).
Bai Ye from Wu Dong still has a very confident and clear peach aroma, but also buttery notes of flowers as well. While still not incredibly complex, the Bai Ye Wu Dong has a nice is just complex enough to be an enjoyable tea and simple enough to be drank causually without having to pay too much attention to enjoy it all. I highly recommending taste Tea Drunks Wu Dong and non Wu Dong Bai Ye side by side to really understand the importance of terroir and what it mean to be a Wu Dong wulong.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Peach
Another outstanding year for this jewel of a tea. Vegetal tones of asparagus and spinach with a hint of sweetness and smooth as silk on the tongue. Really top notch. Pricey but if you need to pamper yourself this is where to do it.
This tea is from 2015, and I have to say it is pretty solid. I am not really a fan of Phoenix Wu Longs. I find no great flaws in them, but they dont get me excited. I find them a little to perfumey and thin. I bought Tea Drunk’s Zhi Lan Xiang cause I knew the cultivar was a little stronger than other Feng Huangs.
This medium roasted tea is quite nice. With a medium body, I describe this tea as having a squash/pumpkin taste. The fact it is a feng huang does add a little bitterness and texture, but this compliments nicely with the simple full flavor.
I would probably rate this tea higher, but since I am not a feng huang fan my bias comes into play.
Flavors: Pumpkin, Roasted
This is one of my favorite teas. I like this version better than their 2014. (The 2014 is still very good.)
This tea is freshing and sweet which gives it an overall cucumber sort of taste. When you dive into it a bit you taste a great honey comb flavor. To be clear I dont mean honey I mean honey comb, so its honey sweet but there is a waxy nuttiness too. Very clean finish. It subtle but there is a lot of flavor. Near perfection.
Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Honey, Nutty, Vegetal
Definitely a great example of yancha sourced by this shop. Very expensive but it makes up for it in quality. Hand made of medium-high roast this tea from the foil package smelled so inviting, I literally drooled on myself. Brewed up a nice coppery tan with traditional gongfu in a thick walled gaiwan. Fruity floral aromas as soon as the first bit of water hit the leaves. The flavors are so perfectly blended that none stands alone, raspberry, chocolaty smokiness. Full bodied even after 7 steeps and a essence of the rock creeps in around that time. First class Tie Luo Han for those who want to pamper themselves.
I’m a sucker for well made Yancha. Never tried this varietal. Described as having intense floral aromas and that is exactly what you get and should get from anyWu Yi medium roast Yancha. Then onto the flavors of dried cherry, plum and the requisite smokey roastiness but it really doesn’t present the smoke as much as the roast. Mouth-feel is thickish and with subsequent steeps (Gong Fu, 100ml gaiwan) you need to wait until about the 7th for the rock to hit.
Everything you want in a Dan Cong. From dry to the spent leaf there is abundant florals touch of sweetness and amazing structure. Bright yellow-orange soup from my medium walled gaiwan, flavored direct representation of orange blossoms and peach-apricot pit. It is so pleasing that you dread finishing. Hats off to Shunan at Tea Drunk, her sourcing continues to marvel.