Popular Teas from What-ChaSee All 553 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Very interesting tea and unlike everything else! Very sour, citrus and fungus notes as well as soy-sauce.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2015-bancha-goishicha
I tried all the new teas I got in the same day, and I am fairly happy with them. This was a must try sample I had to splurge on. It’s been a little bit since I’ve had a good light Bai Mu Dan, and the Elvish silver and green quality of the leaves sold me.
Glad I got a sample, and a generous one at that. The leaves were just as they looked in the picture, and they were fairly long with some being pretty big and fuzzy. Fuzzy silver is always a good sign.
I’ve tried it Gong Fu and Western, and I prefer western. Gong fu brought out the typical qualities of the variety with a soft mouth feel-the leaves were still fuzzy when I accidentally chewed a few. Notes were bound to a light flux of herbs, cucumber, peony, and a soft sweetness gong fu. Western at 2-3 minutes had the more pronounced lemon after taste that Alistair described, and the one I was looking for all the while being soft and almost creamy. I got four more cups that I could say the same with more of a light flux, and the liquid getting sweeter despite getting lighter and daintier with one more minute each time. I should also note that the last steep was Grandpa Style for 7 minutes, and it was not astringent whatsoever.
This tea is quality. It has all the right notes that you would expect from a white tea, but the basics of what makes a Bai Mu Dan good shine. It is also INCREDIBLY forgivable for the steeping, and I found it barely getting bitter when I accidentally stagnated the leaves. I can see this for regular grandpa as well, and the natural sweetness shines more in longer steeps, or at the 2-3 min recommendation.
I’m not sure if I’d buy it again and again because I’m desperate for some Li Shan, but I’d recommend it for light tea lovers and white tea lovers. I’m also rating it a 90 because it meets most of my targets for a tea: naturally sweet, complex enough to pay attention to, light enough to Grandpa Style it, flexible enough to drink every season (though Winter and Summer would be my picks: lemony florals= good for the sun or for a setting covered in snow), and set a price that competes with other companies for the same high quality. It might be harder to sell to some one newly experienced tea because it tastes like cucumber detox flower water, but the groovy detoxers might be the people to sell it to other than drinkers who know what they are looking for.
“This tea has heavy-hitting notes of fruit. I’m getting a very sweet raisin.
It reminds me a lot of Sun-Maid raisin boxes my mom used to throw in my lunch when fruit wasn’t on sale.
(Did you know that honeycrisp apples are around $3.99/pound right now? Even crappy apples like Red Delicious can get costly for a family of four. Raisins are a steal, friends.)
I loved those boxes of raisins. I loved how the beautiful Sun Maid lady was in a circle-halo like the Virgin Mary. I enjoyed pulling the stems out of the raisins. I liked their squishy pop. I was super-into digging into the bottom of the box to get the last raisins that were stuck down there. Raisin-scraping was just as satisfying as picking my nose, but socially acceptable. Every box was a project unto itself. No raisin was left behind."
Flavors: Fruity, Raisins
First thing first, I did not enjoy this tea hot. I thought it was relatively mediocre and tasted like a generic black tea. The second stipulation would be that this tea is no longer available so I don’t know what to tell people who want to try this tea. This tea is absolutely delicious flash iced. It has a massive amount of sweetness that did not show up in the hot brew. It has a delicious maltiness that although commonly found in black teas has an extra kick to it that makes it almost taste like a darjeeling. This is a perfect summer tea and something to either make a big pitcher of or flash ice it and have it around throughout the day.
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Spices, Sweet
The smell of the wet leaf from this tea smells a lot like lychee and the first steep tasted as such with quite a bit of mouthfeel. There are honey notes and a quite of ashiness. This tea’s theme is lychee with some nice floral notes in the background. There is a lot of mouthfeel on this tea. Towards the end of this tea’s life it developed into a quite honey sweetness. I would recommend this tea for people who are new to tea. I think it is easily approachable and probably much better at a lower temperature then what I brewed it at.
Flavors: Ash, Floral, Honey, Lychee, Smoke
The dry leaves of this tea smelled strongly of lavender and refined sugar so I was extremely excited to brew this up. First steep had quite a few notes that I have more commonly found in black teas. There was a lot of lavender in this tea and with what seemed like a bit of lemon juice with a sweetness at the end. As I continued steeping there was a certain amount of bitterness and astringency and lemon flavor cooled down. There was a lot more maltiness on the later steeps as well. The sweetness of this tea died down to 0 sweetness. This tea had a nice mouthfeel and coats the tongue nicely. Definitely and interesting tea considering that it is from Kenya and most of the teas that I have seen from Kenya are CTC black teas.
Flavors: Bitter, Lavender, Lemon, Malt, Smoke
The first time I brewed this tea I didn’t quite know what to expect. I had heard much about how this tea was processed and I was excited to try something that was pretty unique. Along with being from Taiwan which is probably my favorite tea making region. The first time I steeped this I went crazy and went with a 6g/70mL ratio. The first steeps were incredibly sweet. The front notes just taste like deep baked cherries that were shoved in a pie with a bunch of spices like cinnamon. It reminds me a lot of my mom’s kitchen when she would back in the winter and let me have some warm cider (non-alcoholic). I’ve had this tea many more times and bought a pretty large amount after receiving the small sample I got from my first order at What-cha. Every time I make it those strong baked cherry notes transport me back in time. This tea is delicious at almost every temperature but I think 195 is the best for me. A little cooler you get more fruityness but like smokyness and less spices. Hotter and there is not enough fruitiness and a lot more smokiness.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cherry, Cinnamon, Honey, Smoke, Spices
Thick, crisp, and incredibly green. Florals were there, but the greenery and grass notes were stronger with slightly fruitier ones in texture. In terms of specific notes, it reminded me of a granny smith apple in its sour crispness, or a greener mango. The florals were a little bit more vague for me. Those who are better with the language of flowers could do a better job. It kinda reminded me of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc white wine.
I prefer this one Gong Fu to Western to diffuse the mega green taste a little, though I need to try Western with less leaves. Western brings out a milkier texture whereas gong fu brought out the delicate florals. I started out with rinse and a 30 second beginning, 45 sec, and 50 improvising the rest of the steeps based on aroma. I looked for higher florals in the smell to brew up the cups.
As mush as I liked the tea for its crispness and the typical pineapple skin taste that I love from these oolongs, I found myself preferring What-Cha’s Li Shan, the Indonesia Bao Zhong, and the Jade Oolong. -Gasp-I know, I prefer a cheaper tea over a fickin’ Shan Lin Xi. This does have many of the notes that I enjoy of this varietal, but the thick grassy taste with the slightly sour (if that note is remotely accurate) is a little overwhelming for me. Shan Lin Xi’s used to be one of my all time favorites, but lately, I have not been enjoying them as much because many of them have just tasted like a slighlty more nuanced green tea. I don’t know if its because of the weather for the recent harvests or if its just my changing preferences, but I really have gravitated a little bit away from them.
With that nick-pickiness said, the crisp apple taste is awesome. I see this more as a summer tea despite the insanity of drinking it in 90 degree weather, or something in the winters as a reminder of coming spring. It’s oddly refreshing in its own right, and I would devote this tea to specific days when you want something green. Lovers of this varietal would be fairly happy with this along with green tea lovers, and I recommend this one to you. Know that it is GREEN.
Autumn 2016 harvest. Revisiting this tea, and I remember why I ordered more. It isn’t pretty – twiggy and rough-rolled, but it redeems itself in the flavor and texture. Juicy and sweet, with that raisiny dried-fruit sweetness one more often encounters in red teas. A unique spice kick on the finish (past the first few steeps) makes this an interesting and fairly complex oolong.
The tea was good enough for me to crave it, and then come back to it. It was also good enough to be preferable to a Milk Oolong I have. So I’m finally rating the tea.
Although this is a daily drinker and really a quintessential green oolong, it is naturally sweeter than the average oolong. The florals are present in but not pronounced in a creamy texture bordering on butter and an corn like aftertaste. It was good western for three brews. I have not gong fu’d it like I normally do before a rating, but I bought it specifically for easy preparation.
It’s satisfying for easy preparation, and it might not be a bad way to introduce someone to general oolong….that is, after you sell them with something like a Li Shan or Ali Shan. This was not as grassy as so many of the oolongs that I have had though it was definitely green. It was not as grassy as the Shan Lin Xi, which I’ll review in this week. It’s simple character and its butter like profile against a Western flavored sweet tooth might be the only detractors. So if you are buying this tea, don’t expect to be blown out of the water, but really, don’t expect anything other than an understated oolong.
Backlog: I was pleased with this tea. The “Creamy, Floral, Grass, Milk, Sweet, Corn Husk, Jasmine, Melon, Butter” notes were pretty spot on, and the tea sweeter than I expected. Corn, butter, and cream came up to me the most. It was milky, and it was a little grassy, but not nearly as grassy as a few other oolongs. The florals were present but subtle bordering on jasmine, but not quite as fully developed. I might actually rank this one higher out of the daily drinkers that Alistair has recommended from the oolongs. The Four Seasons was nothing but heady, and the Baozhong was floral and creamy, but neither were quite as naturally sweet as this one. It actually reminded me of Mandala’s Milk Oolong in some ways though it was not nearly as flavored. I could even get a little bit of a nutmeg thing going on in the aftertaste. I won’t rate this quite yet, but this tea was a pleasant surprise.
This is a frickin’ good jasmine tea. The jasmine scent is very natural, but it is so strong and sweet with the oolong that it made me think of valentine candy hearts. I’ve done this at 1 minute starting using heaping 3 grams in 6 ounces, and a minimal of six small leaves in six ounces for two minutes.
The jasmine is always present, I could taste the oolong itself more in its mouth coating texture and background. It’s very creamy and does have the right milk note that distinguishes the Jin Xuan varietal, and has some mild fruit hints in the very last steeps. There is some evolution in the steeps bringing out a few different variations of creamy leaning more on the vanilla end than on the buttery end, almost being custardy. It is also naturally sweet having a mega green sugarcane note with the powerful florals.
I think this tea might overwhelming for a lot of people and I strongly encourage less leaves. It’s a little strong even for me, but that’s something I can easily remedy with more water. Even though the jasmine naturally fuses with the oolongs natural taste, jasmine is at the front lines at all times. The teas texture and mega creamy quality is what distinguishes it from other jasmine teas as well as its general lack of a lot of grassiness….which is weird considering its a green oolong. Anyway, I definitely recommend it. It’s a 95 on the jasmine tea scale being in my top five, but 85 for me personally because of preference and I honestly don’t know how often I’d drink it. It’s tasty enough to drink everyday for me, but it is too powerful for me to drink everyday because of how buzzed the florals make me. I might raise the rating over time, but I’ll leave it at a good recommendation for now.
Thank you Ubacat for adding this to the box as it was one tasty tea. It reminded me of coconut rice I get from a restaurant called Spoon & Fork – creamy, sweet, buttery, and coconutty. Just delicious. Plus it smells like buttered popcorn. There was a bit of a disconnect between that flavor and the floral oolong base but nonetheless, I definitely enjoyed this tea. Check out my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/05/28/thailand-sticky-rice-khao-hom-oolong-tea-from-what-cha/
I have some 2015 harvest, it’s holding up well. Very juicy as another reviewer noted. Sweet, with a different profile than Chinese oolongs, with a greener aroma. The astringency can be brutal if you aren’t careful, flash steeps work well, and I think it has calmed down some with age.
I’m rating this now, and it deserves a ninety…at minimum. I did not expect to like the tea nearly as much as I did, but it is a very well balanced oolong tea. The roast perfectly accents the natural green florals of the oolong the way a good roast is supposed to. Pistachio is the nut that the roast makes me think of, in fact. The grass taste still borders on lemongrass or orange peel even when cooled, the florals a little more in line with lillies and others that I’m not distinguishing in an otherwise fairly creamy texture. I was half tempted to get myself another two ounces of this, and if I could, I would trade a lot of the jade oolong I currently have for it. It’s also not bad at all in terms of price either. I’m going to miss it when I finish it off.
I’ve wanted to sample this for a while and ooooooo this one is good. The light roast is fantastic and the tea is naturally sweet. It had a weird lemon-citrus thing that the Tong Mu Wild Lapsang had, or I could just have imagined it. Anyway, this was a very well balanced oolong that was naturally sweet and nutty, being on the lemongrass side overall. I got five cups out of one session, and it went from really creamy and nutty to lemony towards the end. I’ll write about this one again, but it is one of my favorites so far.