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Recent Tasting Notes
I was about to start saying that this one’s really different from the rest of the thai oolongs, but this is from myanmar! So I guess that makes some sense. This is a lot like a baozhong crossed with an anxi tie guan yin. It starts out really perfumey and floral, with a little astringency and bitterness at 100C, and nice green tea sweetness. Notes of asparagus, broccoli, spinach, seaweed, lots of umami, and a nice thickness to the brew. This isn’t really a profile that I would tend towards and this one isn’t making me reevaluate that at all. But in a certain mood it’d be nice. It’s definitely not a bad tea by any means. I’d recommend.
The first aromas from the dry leaves in a warm gaiwan are of cocoa and apricot. After the first infusion, the wet leaves are much more fragrant with fruit aromas or white grape, nectarine, and lychee. The pale yellow first infusion is quite sugary and light with a flavor reminiscent of lychee, both fruity and floral.
On the next infusion I’m getting more white grape flavors, more of the flowers and lychee, and a lot of honey-like sweetness. More of the same flavors in infusion three. This tea has a very thick, velvety, quenching texture, and there isn’t a hint of bitterness present. The sweetness lingers on your tongue like honey. There are spice notes and autumn leaves in the aroma. I’m on the fourth infusion and the flavor has been pretty consistent so I think the most helpful words I can share are to compare this to other Oriental Beauty oolongs I’ve had. This one has really nothing I’d describe as an earthy flavor. It stays well on the floral, honey, and fruity side of things (descending in that order), while some others I’ve had add a layer of earthiness or woodiness beneath all that. This one should delight those who like their Oriental Beauty oolong sweeter, especially if you like floral tones.
Flavors: Floral, Grapes, Honey, Lychee
I mostly smell honey and fresh flowers from the dry aroma of this tea, a little bit of grass. The wet aroma of the leaves smells sweet and grassy with floral notes and hints of warm oats.
The taste of the first infusion is pretty complex. At first I get oats and cream and some evergreen. The finish evokes cinnamon and camphor.
On infusion two the tea liquor has a really nice floral scent, and in the second and third infusions it has that nice foresty, floral kind of familiar taste that you get with classics like Tie Guanyin. Hints of camphor in the finish.
The fourth infusion is similar. This is overall a pretty commonplace green oolong by my book. Good, reliable, not particularly special. Well priced in that regard.
Flavors: Camphor, Creamy, Floral, Grass, Oats, Pine
The dry aroma of the leaves is rich, creamy, and buttery with lush green notes of evergreen forest and flowers. The wet aroma is the same but more vibrant.
Brewing in a gaiwan, the first infusion tastes subtle, green, and buttery, though there’s a surprising tang in the finish. I’m moving ahead to the next infusion as this one turned out a bit too subtle to really analyze. The second infusion is again buttery, green, this time a lot more floral, and there’s a somewhat bitter finish. Third infusion quite similar.
Fourth infusion I’m getting more floral than anything, reminds me a bit of Jasmine.
I anticipated really enjoying this tea from the aroma, but there’s something missing. There is no sweetness to it at all, and not enough umami to balance the floral tones. The finish comes off rather dry, and at times bitter. I don’t detect a lot of complexity and overall i feel this tea is sour.
I went ahead and checked their description to see what I’m supposed to be getting here and I’m not getting any of the sweet berry tones (unless we’re talking pretty tart berries), I can see the safflower and crysanthemum references they made though. Definitely not getting sweetness or a caramel taste even by the fifth brew. I did find that it was subtler and more flavorful on the fifth brew though, with less tartness.
Of course, I don’t mean to speak badly of this tea. It’s just not one that leaves a great impression on my palate. I have this problem with certain varietals of green rolled oolong, particularly Alishan. This one reminds me of that. Others might like this more than I do.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Green, Pine
I’m pretty excited to try this young sheng because the scent from within the bag they sent me a sample in is just awesome. Notes of plums, flowers, rain, and loam. I call myself a noob to Puerh, though that’s probably just in comparison to the fanatics. I have probably tried at least 50 kinds, so I mean, I don’t think that’s too few to get an impression of the nature of Puerh, but I will say, I don’t have a firm foothold in what I really like in Puerh, and I think over the last year it may be becoming evident that I’m more into the flavor of young cakes than aged ones. Hmm.
The aroma of the wet leaves after a hot rinse in my gongfu teapot is difficult to describe. It’s got a pretty strong smell of loam and stream water, and reminds me of a forest fresh with summer growth. Lots of leaves, hints of flowers and decaying fruit on the forest floor.
I did a really light first infusion but it already made me say “woooow!” out loud. It’s very floral, but not in a tone that I’m used to with tea. Reminds me of lilacs, fading into a subtle sweetness. The flavor lingers nicely, and the bitterness expected in young sheng is very subtle. There’s a really subtle peppery note in the finish and a lingering honey sweetness.
The next infusion is a bold yellow and the wet leaves still smell sweet and mild, floral. I swear I need to switch toothpastes because I brushed like an hour ago and still feel it is messing with my taste perception a little bit. Overall, this infusion has a rich and more bold flavor, a rich mouth-filling sweetness that to me doesn’t have a really distinct flavor. The bitterness in the finish is more prominent now, but it is a welcome type of bitterness.
The third infusion’s taste reminds me of grapefruit, but in a good way. I can’t stand grapefruit because of its acidity/bitterness, so I don’t really eat them, but I love the smell. I guess this tea tastes like what a grapefruit would (and should) taste like if wasn’t acrid. It has more of a floral than fruity tone to it though, so maybe grapefruit tree flowers, and maybe even a bit like lilac still. Again, there’s a prominent bitterness in the finish, but it is not a harsh kind.
I took some leaves out. Admittedly, I think I was brewing this a lot stronger than I prefer Sheng. On this fourth infusion the flavor is a lot less bold and a lot more sweet and subtle. We’re back to subtle fragrant flower bush territory with just a hint of bitterness.
I really like this tea, especially brewed lightly. It is very rewarding, sweet, and tasty when brewed that way. I would strongly consider purchasing this, but the price for a cake is a bit outside my budget, sadly.
Flavors: Flowers, Forest Floor, Fruit Tree Flowers, Grapefruit, Loam, petrichor