Yezi TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
An old sample from Yezi Tea that I’d never opened (thanks!)
This was a weird one. I expected a classic Chinese black, and although it had elements of that, I was most struck by the aftertaste, which was interestingly astringent. Someone suggested “ash” as a flavour they were picking up from the tea, and I wonder if that might be what it reminds me of. There isn’t astringency on the initial sip, so I don’t think it was oversteeped or anything. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of this ashy flavour.
A curious tea. Should log it again as I drink it instead of the next day.
Sipdown! This must have come my way via Raritea, because her name is on the package, and I see she reviewed it. I don’t recall specifics about the cup (I may have only had a sip before letting someone else have it), but it was delicious. If Yezi is still around, I’d love to someday place an order for some of their oolongs.
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Flavors: Mineral, Wet Earth, Wet Wood, Wood
Dark dark green leaves, like blackened steamed spinach. Smooth and earthy tea, like wet leaves, wet oak. Beautiful saffron color, leaves kind of a mushroom wood taste in your mouth. I liked it, but I don’t know that I liked it enough to buy it again.
Flavors: Mushrooms, Oak, Wet Wood
Really enjoyed this tea! Almond, vegetal aroma; grassy, woody, floral taste. Didn’t taste banana at all. Reminded me of flower stalks. Light-bodied, very delightful experience. Brewed 5 times gongfu style as per the Yezi Tea page suggestion.
Flavors: Almond, Flowers, Green Wood, Vegetal
Smooth, baked bread, a bit of cocoa (especially in the nose) and malt, a touch of peach and kind of a Sauvignon Blanc tone. The fragrance is especially pleasant; it gives the impression of being quite rich though it is actually medium/light-bodied as blacks go. The first steep has the best flavor/personality.
Brewing this in my gaiwan the initial scent after a quick rinse surprised me. It smelled so much like banana. I mean like Now & Later banana, but in a very subtle way. The first tasting had a little of the same banana but was more reminiscent of dried papaya. It has an acidic quality that brings a brightness to the cup, and reminds me almost of the smell of a hair salon. All of this comes together nicely for a mellow, bright, sweet fragrant light tea. It is perfect for the finishing touch on a long day, which is exactly how I am using it now.
Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Tropical
I am happy, why you might ask? Because SNOW! Yes it is gently snowing out right now, and it plans on snowing on Thursday as well, and this pleases me. To celebrate this snow I had Ben help me with a tea picture taking session, though I only really lasted for one steep since I am small, Southern and freeze easily. Ah, I do love the frigid snow and fantasize about the rugged north, but I will have to enjoy it from my pile of blankets on the other side of a window.
It’s Yancha time! Today I am taking a look at Yezi Tea’s Shui Xian Da Hong Pao Oolong Tea, and the name of this tea confuses me. I am not sure if it is a blend of varietals (Shui Xian and Da Hong Pao) or a Shui Xian made to be a Da Hong Pao, I dunno, and frankly I am getting tired of trying to navigate the convoluted naming conventions of teas. Don’t worry, my passion for tea and knowledge is not at all diminished, I just sometimes like to pay attention to the tea and have its stories be secondary. The aroma of the leaves is sweet, nice notes of cocoa, raisins, and dried cherries with char, dried wood, and a distant note of smoke. It balances sweetness and char really well I think, one does not overwhelm the other.
Into ye’ol Yancha pot the leaves go for a hot and short steep, and the aroma of the wet leaves is very rich and sweet, notes of raisins and cocoa mix with autumn leaf pile and char, the char notes do not overwhelm, this tea errs more on the sweet side. The liquid is very pale of color for a Yancha, but the aroma is intense, strong notes of cocoa, raisins, and rich honey, with underlying notes of dried cherry, loam, and char. The char notes are very mild and the sweetness shines.
The first steep is pleasantly smooth and sweet, well it starts smooth in the mouth and a touch creamy with sweet notes of cocoa and dried fruit, it them moves to a slight dryness with tobacco and orchid notes. At the finish is straight up sweet chocolate that lingers for quite a while, though there was a definite lack of char this steep, and only a slight hint of mineral.
The aroma of the second steep has a bit ore char, and some smoke as well, with notes of cocoa, raisins, baked squash, and sweet cream. There is also a ghost of orchid, but it smells more like an orchid tossed on a bonfire rather than a bouquet. Wow, the second steep is super sweet and creamy, very smooth in the mouth and thick too! Notes of chocolate and char with autumn leaf pile at the first remind me of s’mores, in fact blending with the sweet burnt sugar notes and baked yeasty notes, it kinda is like liquid s’more. The finish has a sweet and gentle note of orchid and dry autumn leaves, with a cocoa shell note that lingers for quite a while.
Third steeping time, wow, the aroma did a turn around on me, no longer notes of chocolate and char, it is all sweet creamy honeysuckle and orchids. The taste is a delicate and sweet blend of honey, molasses, honeysuckles, cream, chocolate, and loam. The finish and aftertaste is really where this tea is at, it is exactly like burnt marshmallows, complete with a touch of campfire! This is a delicious tea, usually I like my Yancha with enough char that you might mistake it for actual steeped bonfire (I think because my first Yancha was Shui Hsien by Sea Dyke, super cheap but super good, so it is iconic in my mind) but changing things up with a lighter Yancha is fun, plus it broadens my spectrum of tastes which is always a plus. So whatever this tea is, be it a DHP or a Shui Xian, who cares, it tastes really good!
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Flavors: Blood Orange, Malt, Toast, Yeast
This is one of the most enjoyable oolongs I have had in a while. In fact I enjoyed it so much it sparked about an hour of browsing various other medium roasted type oolongs that I am now considering buying. I had been on a streak of trying oolongs that I didn’t really care for but this one has effectively ended it. It has a peach/apricot like fragrance that was released as soon as I put into my heated gaiwan. The flavor was deep and complex and for lack of a better word, juicy. I was planning on writing this while I drank it but it stole all of my attention. I got about 7 great steeps out of this.
Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Floral, Peach
From a Yezi sample. Yezi’s color coding system suggests this is a higher oxidation oolong, but the leaves are quite green in appearance. This is a good tea. After the first 15 second steep, I got notes of peach, apricot and butter. On the second 40 second steep, I picked up on the slight vegetal and grassy flavors that others mentioned, though it really is very subtle. That’s good because I dislike highly vegetal tea. It smells slightly floral, and it’s not roasted. In terms of taste, it is more similar in flavor to a darker Oriental Beauty style oolong than a green tea, which is good. I guess that probably suggests they’re telling the truth about the oxidation level. I like it a lot, but I find Yezi generally to be a bit overpriced for everyday drinkers.
Lasted for 3 gongfu steeps, but I pushed it to 4 with disappointing results.
Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Floral, Grass, Peach, Sweet, Vegetal
The inhalation of the steam off this tea is transportive to me. Gives new meaning to “high tea” … Has me wondering if the nose can actually taste, because it seems that way with this … pure, natural sweetness of meadow and orchid. I intend to try it before meditation some time soon.
The first steep was far too long due to a distraction yet still produced a delicious cup. Sweet, soft floral, just perfect. This is one of very few teas that I would move into a weekly rotation. Going to keep an eye on Yezi to see if they announce a sale. Meanwhile, if anyone is up for a trade, pm me ;)