141 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.

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right when I opened this vacuum sealed package, I took a sniff and the dry leaf is just like those mint chocolates they give you at some asian restaurants with your cheque, like a warmer mint chocolate chip ice cream. I gave it a sniff in my bamboo scoop too and it smelled like banana/mango with some mint. 22 year old Thai oolong from a farm that doesnt even exist anymore? What could be better

Brewing at 100C, in my thick walled glazed 100ml easy gaiwan – 100% full of wet leaf,

In the warm gaiwan is one of the most complex smells. It’s like a whole flurry of spices I cant even begin to get into, and all of the mint chocolate and tropical fruit from the dry leaf over like a nice bed of soil.

After the rinse, the leaves still smell of all of the above, with lemongrass and soapiness added. Above all, there are smells of root vegetables, earth and spices.

With my low profile glazed cup,

The soup is very thick and sweet, a bit of tingle on the tongue, with almond butter, earth, and wood in the taste and lovely dark, rich stonefruits in the aroma. There’s something very pastry-like resembling pie or danishes, the soup is a vibrant lemon-yellow

In a mid-profile porcelain cup, I get a more soapy and tingly texture, predominantly apricot in the aroma, less thickness on the tongue, earth in the taste, with the same pastryness.

(I love comparing cups – low profile wins)

As the tea develops and i go back to the low profile cup, I get Brown sugar, the aromatics move towards cherry/mango, licorice, the pastry moves towards more of a boring bagel than a nice danish.

Anyway, my stomach is feeling a bit unsettled and gross. I don’t think it’s from the tea, but who knows. I feel like I just ate a huge bar of dark chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This is very young shou, it’s not really drinkable right now. While the fermentation is evidently quite light, it does not taste good. It tastes a bit alcoholly, wheaty, salty, and some sort of .. I want to say it tastes like bleach a little, also with hints of raspberry in the aroma. its still thick in the throat, but as of April 2017 it does not taste good. I forced my tea pets to drink most of this session. Uck

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drank Hong Shui Oolong Tea by Tea Side
141 tasting notes

Dark, anxi-looking balls of oolong, dry leaves smell of hay/grass, slightly alcoholic.

In the warm gaiwan, Smells a lot like the red tea from a couple days ago, that Roanji Red tea, dark mango notes, with some woodiness, but really floral, kinda rose-like?

After the rinse, the leaves smell of dark earth, bread, rose, sugars, peach

Brewing 96C, 60ml Gaiwan ~90% full of wet leaf.

It’s weird.
So first the sip hits with this sorta dirty, messy taste in the mouth that’s rather unpleasant but then after the swallow the aftertaste overcomes with an intense sugarry sweetness, with notes of rice, rose and peach. after a few sips I couldn’t really taste the messy dirtiness anymore. Tastes very similar to the Red Tea Roanji

It’s becoming more sweet and floral, less dirty and less full feeling as the steeps go on, it has a nice tingly mouthfeel. The flavours have faded a lot by steep 4, the aromatics move to a nice sweet .. fruity floral melody I can’t really describe, the badness is gone now (steep 5)

Around steep 8, it starts tasting kinda like hot apple cider, delicious :)

Overall not as good as the previous two, but still thoroughly enjoyable

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drank Red Tea Roanji by Tea Side
141 tasting notes

Dry leaves are matte black, no buds, irregular picking, big leaves, smell sort of dark fruit and alcohol

In my warm gaiwan it’s like a peach cobbler, it brings me back to my childhood, to my Nana’s pies

60ml gaiwan half full of wet leaf, 100C.

There’s some of that peachy fruitiness in the taste, a bit of roughness, and a sweet, doughy pastryness. It has a similar syruppyness to last night’s Jin Xuan, and it’s just as fruity, I am loving Thailand rn. This has completely taken over my palate now, several minutes after finishing the cup, every breath is powerfully peachy and apricotty and so sweet.

I think this is listed as “Red Tea Assam #AA” on the website, which is absurdly only $5/50g, this is comparable to verdant’s Feng Huang Wuyi Black, which is like 5x as expensive. I think I prefer this honestly. Both of these Thai teas I’ve had so far have had the powerful sweetness, but it’s more of an artificial sweetness. Not sugary, which I think is really nice here but may objectively be somewhat of a flaw.

In any case this by far exceeds its price point.
my goodness

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So many new things for me in this one tea, first Thai harvest tea, first winter oolong, plus its been a long time since ive had one of my first tea loves, Jin Xuan. The leaves are tightly balled, more closely resembling an Anxi style oolong than a taiwanese one. Not super bright coloured.

In my warm gaiwan, it smells like a mi lan xiang, mango/lychee, with some darker tones.

After the rinse, it’s become even more like a dancong, mango, deep cherry, strawberry even, its just a fruity delicious, vibrant smelling tea and I can’t wait to drink it.

Brewing at 95C, 60ml gaiwan full of wet leaf.

Okay picture a flavour profile somewhere between a ya shi and a mi lan xiang, with a smooth creamy mouthfeel, and then a lingering aftertaste of like rich caramel. Wow. Okay honestly, I chose this one to do first because I had the least hope for it out of all of them, if this is this incredible I can’t wait to dig into the rest of the samples tea side sent me, it’s coated my entire palate in this amazing caramelly, cherry, strawberry vanilla beautiful fruity mess. There’s a throat feel that’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. it’s really syrupy and like a.. diet coke feeling, just.. after its gone flat and such. Anyways this is beautiful. This is one of those teas that.. every time I swallow, coats my entire throat in its oils.
The smooth, creamy mouthfeel is probably coming from the Jin Xuan varietal, and it feels a tad out of place, but that’s probably just because I’m essentally thinking of it as though it is a dancong and it’s.. not being one.

As the leaves have unfurled, the flavours are smoothing out, it has a slight astringency and a bit of a minerally greenness

I’ve never had anything like this. It’s breathtaking

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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It’s been a long time coming but I finally feel like I’m in a place where I have enough experience that I can genuinely talk about shou in a meaningful way. I got this sample over a month ago, and tried it about a week after I got it and it was not great, it was plainly boring and empty, so I let it sit for quite a while, and today I’m drinking this and I am shocked, this is probably the most distinctive shou I’ve ever had:

the first thing I noticed was the heavy compression, which is something I tend to try and avoid with puerh in general, because I love making my shou as dark and oily as possible, and the compression makes that .. difficult? Anyway, after my rinses, the first steep was a lighter colour, but when I tasted it I was overtaken with this beautiful blueberry/blackberry note, which I have not come across in shu before and is one of my favourite flavours in tea. As the session continues, the tea is creamy and milky, strawberry, chocolate, caramel, mint, an active mouthfeel with a bit of a tingle yet fat and oily even though the soup is lighter in colour. it feels like a fruity, delicate black tea met a fat, dark shou and those are my two favourite things.

Preparation
Boiling

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I really want to like bitterleaf, their teaware is amazing and the people seem really solid but their puer keeps falling short for me. Their dancong and blacks were amazing for me, but.. well, I have some of their high end sheng still resting, and this is my first taste of this one.

This is my first really old (>10 years) ripe.

brewing in my 90ml jianshui teapot, just over half full of leaf, rested about 2 weeks since arrival.

It has a very ricey, peanut buttery, earth, chocolate, getting into the mid-session its just a smooth, rich rice taste. The lingering aftertaste is exactly as if I just ate a bowl of white rice, its strange. I like it though. A lot. Doesn’t change too much throughout the session, the chocolate/earth leaves pretty quick, and the mid-end session is sweet, wet rice with some peanuts.

S.G. Sanders

I’ve been considering getting a sample of this for my April tea spree….You had me at " peanut buttery, earth, chocolate."

Mackie

Beautiful :) it was really nice, definitely try only rinsing it once if at all cause that first steep after just one quick rinse was amazing

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Now, I’ve had a lot of black tea since I got into tea, and never before have I seen such beautiful perfect looking leaves. They’re all like an inch and a half long, fat and twisty, matte black with like 1/20 leaves golden

Brewing at 100C in my ~150ml yixing teapot,

The brew is is smooth, clean, malty, light notes of cocoa, and creamy notes, some light, pleasant astringency and peach, berries and earthy woods, thick, lovely coating of the throat, with a tingly mouthfeel. the brew is a very light orange.

A nice cooling feeling enters in the 4th or 5th steep,
the fruitiness sort of shifts to like grape and orange, lots of minerality becomes noticeable later on, there’s definitely grassiness, and hints of florals way at the back, and then later that fruitiness fades, and its this creamy chocolatey appley deliciousness, I think I’m about 10 steeps in and it’s still going strong (the pot is like mostly full to be fair) I never expect black tea to last this long, it’s late and i want to go to bed.. but this tea is too nice and its still going strong, something I appreciate is that not once, when i took the lid off the pot, was there anything inside the lid, these leaves are big and whole and there is no breakage.

I really like this, but I couldn’t justify the price point.

I bought this about 3 months ago now? This is my first time trying it, and I must say it’s lovely, I’m so glad I have a cake of it, thick and oily, but also with this green oolong-like astringency, drying the top of the tongue and roof of the mouth, smooth, slightly medicinal, some smoke, lots of mintiness, and a strong cooling in the mouth, and a medium qi. Herbs, woodsy, plummy, apricot, lemon peel, notes of like… tequila? the astringency is a little strong, but there’s no bitterness, I’m excited to see how it develops :)

gongpoo

i get the tequila!

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Profile

Bio

Hey :) welcome to my steeps!
I really only ever drink straight teas, every once and a while I might have something flavoured, but odds are I won’t ever write about any of those. All of my reviews are done using my 120ml gaiwan unless otherwise specified.

I’m mostly into Sheng, Red tea and Oolongs right now, but I also can enjoy greens and whites sometimes.

My cupboard is NOT up to date. I tried for a while, but it’s too much effort, and so many of the teas I have just aren’t on here and eh.

ig: @mackie_tealife —>
https://www.instagram.com/mackie_tealife/?hl=en

Rating System:

95-100:
|| One of the best teas I’ve ever
|| had; I’m definitely planning to
|| restock
90-94:
|| Very very good tea, I’ll restock if
|| I’m planning to make a purchase
|| from this company anyways, if
|| not I’m alright living without it
80-89:
|| Very good tea, I’d be more than
|| happy to sip again, though it’s
|| not likely I’ll be repurchasing
70-79:
|| Good tea, I drank it happily,
|| though I might not be reaching
|| for it again in my cupboard
|| for a long while
60-69:
|| Okay tea, it was drinkable and
|| it’s probably going to be
|| gathering dust in my cupboard
|| for a while
50-59:
|| I struggled through the tea,
|| but managed to finish the
|| session, will probably be giving
|| it away to a friend.
25-49:
|| I cut the session short, but
|| I think it’s possible for one to
|| have enjoyed it, it’s just really
|| low quality
0-24:
|| No one should enjoy drinking
|| this, and I would have no
|| problem throwing it out.

*This system is used on my first 100 reviews, I’ve decided not to rate teas anymore because I’m definitely not qualified to be objective about quality yet and it’s just pointlessly subjective numbers and that’s not really helping anyone

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