Tea Mountain

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Recent Tasting Notes

81

A very comfortable white tea with sweet leathery aroma of burdock, fresh wheat when dry and of fish/mussels, lemon balm and honey when wet.

The tea is bitter with notes of hay, walnuts, and lemongrass, as well as a particularly warming and sweet aftertaste.

Flavors: Bitter, Dry Grass, Fish, Hay, Honey, Leather, Lemongrass, Sweet, Walnut

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74

A great tea for autumn times, which however doesn’t impress in any particular dimension. It has sweet aromatics and a taste that is mineral and a bit more savoury at first, but later turns into a little flat taste permeated by grape sweetness. The liquor feels light in the mouth, the aftertaste seems to have more presence.

Specific notes remind me of baked goods, pear liqueur, and custard in dry leaf aroma; and then wood, nectar, grape vine, and bubblegum in the wet leaf aroma.

Flavors: Alcohol, Bubblegum, Custard, Grapes, Mineral, Nectar, Pastries, Pear, Perfume, Sweet, Vineyards, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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68
drank Wu Yi Rougui Oolong by Tea Mountain
852 tasting notes

This Rou Gui didn’t stand out to me in any way, it’s fairly standard.

Preparation
8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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81

I don’t have much experience with Xiaguan tea, and even less so with aged ones. This one strikes me as a very good example though. It has an engaging aroma, super pungent and enjoyable taste with a fragrant aftertaste coupled with powerful huigan. The tea induces a pretty numbing sensation and there is also significant astringency despite the clearly aged character overall.

The aromas remind me of kahlua and barn when dry, and wet earth and freshly cut wood when wet. The liquor tastes of red grapes, black currants, and has also many sour, woody notes. It is bitter and warming with a good dose of umami too. In the aftertaste, I additionally detect a sandalwood essence.

One thing I would count as a potential negative is that the tea really doesn’t last so long. As it is very pungent though, one could try to brew it less aggressively to prolong the session, which is however not so easy given the leaf size.

Flavors: Alcohol, Astringent, Barnyard, Bitter, Black Currant, Grapes, Sandalwood, Sawdust, Sour, Umami, Wet Earth, Wood, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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84

Really good tea, albeit not too complex. It carries a lot of pungency and a strong bitterness for a sencha. The taste is nevertheless quite smooth and cooling with a sweet vegetal finish. There are also strong notes of pine and acacia, as well as mineral ones like shellfish.

Flavors: Bitter, Mineral, Pine, Pungent, Seashell, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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88

One of the better examples of Shui Xian in my experience, at 6 years of age the roasting is well settled.

In particular, it has a very pleasant molasses aroma, complex taste, long and evolving aftertaste and a cool texture that is at once bubbly, slick and dense.

There is a mild drying bite to the tea and it carries flavours of salt, tamarind, juniper, and parsley roots among others.

Flavors: Berry, Biting, Bitter, Drying, Molasses, Parsley, Roots, Salty, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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84

A couple days ago, I found out about some mould growing in one of my aged pu-erh cakes, ouch! Thankfully, I caught it quite early and I only found in two other samples (from Tea Mountain) which were stored next to it. I will have to be a bit more careful when putting new samples into my storage. I think it has been a good decision to keep most of them separated in any case.

This sample was unaffected as far as I could tell, however. Its dry leaves have a funny look – they remind me of aged moonlight white tea with plenty buds. After the rinse, they smell of kahlua, limestone, peat, and leaf compost.

The taste is a little sour and bitter with a woody/honey sweetness to it. Overall, it is a mild tea and the bitterness really only comes in the middle of the session. There are flavours of nuts, grains, decaying wood, and pinecones.

The body is also on the lighter side and the texture has a drying edge to it, kind of like tree bark. I quite like the overall woodsy character as well as the relaxing energy of the tea.

Flavors: Alcohol, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bark, Bitter, Coffee, Compost, Decayed Wood, Grain, Honey, Limestone, Nutty, Peat, Pine, Sour, Sweet, Woody

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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72

[Spring 2016 harvest]

A good yan cha whose aftertaste is the most intense and memorable aspect. Unfortunately, it only lasts for 6 infusions.

It has an aroma with notes of vanilla pudding, chocolate cookies, and cherries. Taste-wise it reminds me of tobacco, sweet wood, blood, and black currants. The finish is savoury at first, then turning more sweet and woody with a buttery flavour. The body is light and the cha qi mild and warming.

Flavors: Black Currant, Butter, Cherry, Chocolate, Cookie, Metallic, Sweet, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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94

This is a really nice comfort tea, I’ve enjoyed it on every occasion and it never demanded too much attention from me despite being quite complex and full bodied.

When dry, its aroma reminds me of curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, green wood, and Chinese leek. Then, while brewing, I can smell hints of maple syrup, eucalyptus, and yeast.

The liquor is oily, thick, active and yet quite smooth. It tastes quite nutty and fragrant at first, more sweet and herbaceous later on. There is a lasting numbing sensation coupled with a spicy aftertaste and notes of hops, honey, sugarcane, coconut water

I don’t think I’ve ever come across a Darjeeling tea that is as warming in the body as this one – truly one of the impressive examples of Himalayan teas.

Flavors: Curry Leaf, Eucalyptus, Green Wood, Herbaceous, Honey, Hops, Leeks, Maple Syrup, Nutty, Red Apple, Smooth, Sugarcane, Thick, Wood, Yeast

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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93

This is one of the best sencha teas I’ve had. It has a soft, creamy texture and a well balanced taste with a mild sour bite. Its character is bready and floral with a very sweet finish.

Flavors: Apple, Bread, Creamy, Floral, Pleasantly Sour, Rainforest, Salty, Soft, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
7 g

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93

Amazingly refreshing FF Darjeeling here. It smells of fried vegetables, lime zest, and courgette. The tea has an oily mouthfeel, crisp biting bitterness, fruity acidity, as well as notes of vegetables, pine, and white wine. The aftertaste is very pungent and somehow both drying and mouthwatering. There is a floral sourness and pear flavour to be found too.

Flavors: Biting, Bitter, Citrus Zest, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Lime, Oily, Pear, Pine, Pungent, Sour, Vegetal, White Wine, Zucchini

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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80

[Spring 2022 harvest]

Great warming and crisp white tea with some green edge to it. The mouthfeel is a little too watery for my liking, but otherwise I like it a lot.

The aroma is a mix of peas, squash flowers, pancake, and thistles. Taste is bright and savoury with good umami and grassy sweetness as well as notes of sand, shellfish, apple leaves, and rapeseed flowers. The aftertaste is sweeter with a fruity apricot note present.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Flowers, Grassy, Mineral, Peas, Plants, Sand, Shellfish, Sweet, Thistle, Umami

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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75

This is a somewhat average aged oolong. I like its depth in aroma with plenty of heavy sweet, woody and coffee notes. However, the rest of the experience is not as distinctive, and the tea loses steam quite early on in the session.

The mouthfeel is a little tannic and sticky, while the taste has a notable TGY presence without any particular roasty notes left. The profile is grainy and almost earthy at times.

Flavors: Coffee, Earthy, Grain, Sweet, Tannic, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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90

The long dark green needles of this handmade kabusecha are among the most elegant I’ve ever seen. Besides that, this tea shines in its mind clearing effect, powerful and engaging aftertaste as well as the layered bitterness. As such, I think it could appeal to young sheng drinkers too.

The taste is very mineral and bitter from the first infusion already, one that is also full of umami notes as expected. The second steep has a notable vegetal bite and gin-like bitterness. The third is more brothy and woody with a sweet grassy finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and not too thick, but it has a lively evolution – developing a range of tingling and numbing sensations.

The aftertaste is very strong and long lasting. Overall, floral and herbaceous notes dominate, but others like peas also appear. At some points it also reminds me of a yellow tea aftertaste.

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Green Wood, Herbaceous, Mineral, Peas, Umami, Vegetable Broth, Vegetal

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 7 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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92

Meng Song shengs are consistently among my favourites and that includes this one too. I just love the complex, cooling nature of the tea with many floral and bitter notes; its sweet and fragrant aftertaste; as well as the thick and oily texture.

Dry leaves smell of leather and warm grass, while wet ones more like a mix of unfiltered beer, compost, and wild garlic.

The taste has a really good depth already from the first steep. There are notes of vegetables, butter, menthol, apple; and a really good huigan to top it off. Middle part of the session is dominated by sweet and bitter flavours including citrus zest, IPA, apple must and others. The aftertaste additionally shows hints of mushrooms, honey, wood, and bubble gum. There is a floral sourness to it that complements the sweetness nicely.

Flavors: Apple, Beer, Bitter, Bubblegum, Butter, Citrus Zest, Compost, Garlic, Honey, Hops, Leather, Menthol, Mushrooms, Oily, Plants, Sweet, Sweet, Warm Grass, Thick, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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83

This sheng is a funny one – first few infusions remind me of yellow teas and it only brings the familiar Mansa profile in the second half of the session. The leaves also seem browner than what I would expect for a tea 1 year old, although they are brown in a non-uniform way so it is clear that’s not an artifact of aging. Also the liquor has a dark yellow colour with hardly any traces of green. Overall, the tea is mostly lacking in aftertaste, otherwise the price tag of 0.4$/g would be appropriate.

The leaves smell like a wooden cabin when dry and more like fresh hops, lemongrass, marjoram, and nuts after the rinse – which is super savoury, nutty and herbaceous. First proper infusion has a soft, cooling, and sticky moutheel and a strong vegetal bitterness. Hay note is strong here, it is somewhat acidic for a fresh sheng and while it isn’t sweet at all, there are hints of honey sweetness in the finish – a sign of what is to come.

Third steep is already a bit sweet, but also astringent now. The pungency and overall sweetness intensifies from the next one onwards. Nevertheless, there is still some fermentation-like sourness that is reminiscent of yellow teas. There is also a celery root flavour there. On the other side of the peak of the session, the tea is very sweet, floral and woody. The mouthfeel remains quite attention seeking, it is a bit like a smooth sandpaper in the finish but not so dry eventually. The qi is not particularly strong, I mostly noticed a chest warming sensation throughout.

Flavors: Acidic, Astringent, Bitter, Celery, Floral, Herbaceous, Herbs, Honey, Hops, Lemongrass, Nutty, Sour, Sweet, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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86

[Spring 2022 harvest]

This green tea requires a bit of attention to fully unravel its qualities. One can easily brew it too light for instance – here I would recommend high leaf to water ratios and possibly also longer infusions initially.

Dry leaves smell like a mix of floral (lavender) and vegetal (spinach) notes. The wet leaf aroma is then quite sweet and grassy – like the taste profile as well. Besides, the tea is also somewhat juicy and refreshing. Specific flavours include butter, rapini, cooked celery root, custard and a bready note that one may often find in gyokuro.

The texture is full and spacious with a slightly biting and metallic mouthfeel that turns numbing too. Aftertaste is floral and savoury with hints of sunflower seeds and menthol.

Overall, it’s a refined and a little unique green tea – I’m happy it was the first 2022 green tea I’ve had.

Flavors: Biting, Bread, Broccoli, Butter, Celery, Custard, Floral, Grass, Juicy, Lavender, Menthol, Metallic, Spinach, Stewed Vegetables, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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92

A superb gao shan oolong for a very reasonable price like this one is always nice to encounter! I love its smooth mouthfeel, and a mix of more brothy flavours on top of the floral ones. It is a well balanced tea, with sweet, savoury, and bitter notes of hops as well as grassy sourness.

Dry leaf aroma is milky with a strong floral sweetness, while wet leaves give a more seaweed like vibe.

Flavors: Beer, Bitter, Broth, Floral, Grass, Hops, Marine, Milky, Seaweed, Smooth, Sour, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Skysamurai

OOoooo I’ll have to remember this company! I love a good oolong. If you haven’t heard of them yet you should check out Wang Family. They make fantastic oolong

Daylon R Thomas

I second that.

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97

This is an extremely satisfying tea that demands attention, but rewards also casual brews. It might just be the best Darjeeling I’ve ever tried. It induces a pleasant warming sensation throughout my body. Another point in its favour is that it lasts for a very long time, I commonly get 250-300ml per gram of tea.

In dry form, it brings aromas of cape gooseberry, hay, and forest floor. Wet leaves then smell of courgette flowers and strawberry leaves. The liquor has a velvety and slightly numbing mouthfeel, which is engaging, but the tea really shines in its complex, pungent taste with great breadth and protracted flavours.

It is consistently subtly floral and sweet, which is counterbalanced by savoury mineral notes that are almost marine at times. There are also thyme, vanilla flavours and a sour, effervescent finish that leads in to an evolving aftertaste with notes of sorrel, oak wood, grass flowers, and later also carrots and sea buckthorn juice. Towards the end of the session, I find that the tea slowly moves towards a sheng-like profile with more floral bitterness and a sweet/umami of a mushroom broth.

Flavors: Alcohol, Bitter, Broth, Carrot, Floral, Flowers, Forest Floor, Gooseberry, Grass, Hay, Marine, Mineral, Mushrooms, Oak, Soft, Sour, Strawberry, Sweet, Thyme, Vanilla, Vegetal, Zucchini

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Skysamurai

Wow. This one sounds incredible!

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78

A good quality DJ that however doesn’t stand out all that much. It is very fresh tasting and has a relatively strong and energizing cha qi.

Dry leaves smell of meat and hay, while wet ones have an aroma of pepper flowers, bread, and onions. The tea is pungent with notes of yellow bell pepper, citrus fruits, custard, almonds and plant stems. There is quite a lot of bitter and sour notes, including some goat cheese in the aftertaste.

Flavors: Almond, Bell Pepper, Bitter, Bread, Cheese, Citrusy, Custard, Flowers, Hay, Herbs, Meat, Onion, Plant Stems, Sour

Preparation
4 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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76
drank Tamacha by Tea Mountain
11 tasting notes

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Flavors: Creamy, Cut Grass, Lemon Zest, Metallic

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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58

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Flavors: Ash, Chamomile, Thyme, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 200 OZ / 5914 ML

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58

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Ash, Coffee, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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