893 Tasting Notes
2 more brews before I sip this down. I made some this morning and it was a pleasantly earthy wake up. Cocoa, malt, earth, and some tannin. I’ll wait before rating it again. It was in the 90’s when I first tried it, now, I’ve been spoiled with so many other teas. I need to write about the Nepal Imperial because I finished that within the week I received it.
I’m not surprised I’m upping the rating. I accidentally over steeped it for about 3 minutes and 15 sec in my French Press, and the result was a sticky and sweet blackberry concoction of slightly spicy notes. How they sang from the body was incredible, making this 22-year-old virgin silently mouth carnal exclamations that he could only imagine. Go two and three did not have the same honey sweet ecstasy, though number two’s blackberry sage notes rose back up as the liquor cooled. Number three was a pale ghost of the black tea that it was – even after eight minutes steeping. Yet the memory of the first experience remained as an unfortunate reminder that it was a one morning stand. Perhaps we could meet again in the future, but what could a student teacher really afford at this time? Til the next sippin’…
This is one of the better Jin Xuans I’ve had, or one of the fruitier ones in the least. The dry leaf smell is also fruity, kinda like fruit loops cereal. I’m having a hard time picking out the fruit-so far I’ve got honeydew, maybe kiwi though not that tart, or peach. Honeydew is probably more precise. I’ll come back to it. The fruit loop general tropical fruitiness is the most accurate.
Since the tea is as light as the other review described, going a little heavier in the leafs was better-at about 5 grams. I started off with 45 sec, and first steep was creamy, slightly floral, and fruity. Every steep is lightly sweet. The second steep was closer to 50 sec, and it was a little drier that I expected-making me think of dry oats-then it immediately goes to being a little green and then again fruity. This tea does not have a strong grassy presence that a lot of Jin Xuans have, but when there is grass, it is more floral and definitely fresher. I’m digging this aspect. It can be difficult to find a light oolong that is not too grassy and not too delicate. This tea leans towards the delicate side, but the present fruitiness makes me like it.
More to come…and much of the same thing. This tea has some decent strength for three more steeps, but the profile was generally there. Steep five had a high point of fruity strength that I did not expect. There is strength for a seventh brew, but it would have to sit for a while.
I am fairly impressed with this tea. I was not a huge fan of the first Indonesian tea I tried, but the Baozhong and this tea have changed my mind. I actually liked this one a little more than a few Chinese and Taiwan Jin Xuan’s I’ve had in the past because of its fruitiness and its light sweetness. The only downside is that it needs longer steeping times or more leaves to shine. I am so glad to have a sample before it sold out, though.
I do recommend this tea generally, but I do not know who exactly would be drawn to it. It is very easy to drink, so it is approachable for a newbie, but it has enough nuance for a more experienced drinker to try. I’m not sure if it would leave an impression, except for the fact that it is a good Jin Xuan from Indonesia. I’d hope it expand someone’s sense of geography in the very least.
Upping the rating ‘cause this one has never let me down no matter the mood or weather. I keep sippin’ on almond-pistachio-citrus floral goodness. I am glad to have 50 grams of this indeed, Alistair. It’s slowly grown into a favorite.
There’s something unique about this tea. I’ve had many Baozhongs and this has their general profile, but there is something about the balance between its nutty roast and green floral notes that sings. Some one else should write about this to see how off or on point my cooky descriptions are.
Thank you, Alistair! I’ve been looking at this one for a while and glad to try it. I went with 2 minutes Western in my gaiwan with 194 F and an eyeballed amount of leaves. I used between 3-4 grams of the wiry leaves and got five brews out.
The first steep was the best, and the blackberry notes were thick and sweet followed by the greenwood honey aftertaste Rasseru mentioned, or the spiciness that Alistair described. It made me think of a few blackberry sage flavored teas I’ve had before, only it was not as malty. I could even think of the blackberry sage chocolate bars I used to hoard. The notes did not change too much in the later steeps. The blackberry-spice flavor got lighter, but the texture remained.
As prominent as the notes are, they were very balanced you could still tell that this was a black tea. It reminded me more of a Alishan black tea I’ve had before. I’m also glad that it was not as brisk or astringent as a Taiwan Assam. One review on What-Cha’s website even described it as soft, and it is on the softer side for black teas.
I would probably get this again in a 50 gram amount if I had the option of it again. If only I did not already have a lot of tea. I think this tea is good for general audiences- it has enough complexity for people to like it for notes, but it’s also easy to drink as a black tea on its own. It might be too light for cream and sugar, but I’d have to try that to be certain. I’d still prefer this straight gong fu or western. I’ll write more later.
Flavors: Blackberry, Honey, Sage, Sweet, Thick
Another lovely gift from Grandma. I hope she knows how much I appreciate this, especially since this obsession with tea is far from practical.
Again, I recommend the tea shop and I highly compliment the staff. I also have three more teas I need to write about.
Now, I have had MANY milk oolongs over the past few year, flavored and unflavored. I might have said this before for other teas, but this one is basically the standard of what you should expect. It has the general profile I like about these types of teas: creamy, sweet, floral, buttery, a little coconut-y, and a touch complex. It is undeniably savory and dessert like.
The first steep was the sweetest, and was better Western with slightly less than a teaspoon at 2 1/2 minutes. Short steeps do work for this tea at 15 sec with a little more leaves, but since the flavoring of the tea is stronger than the natural notes of the tea, it can be tricky to find it’s right balance. This is drinkable straight, but a touch of honey or sugar is recommended.
It can rebrew well; however, some sessions were better than others. If you get butterscotch in the smell, than you’ve done it right. The vegetal qualities of the oolong can unfortunately contrast with the flavoring and make the tea seem a little more artificial. The flavoring/tea leaf balance is my main criticism, and this would be easier to sell to tea newbies or those who are not afraid of stronger flavored teas. The more experienced snobs might think it’s slightly too artificial.
I might not buy it in bulk, but I enjoy a small amount of it. I would not say no if I were offered a single drink of it.
This was a gift from my gma while I was in Raleigh. Tin Roof Tea’s had a nicely organized and filled shop with a few new tea gadgets, wears, and a comprehensive collection. The customer service was also top notch.
This tea looked interesting online, and the aroma was great. The tea is naturally sweet and fairly tropical without sweetener, but more balanced with a little bit of honey. I noticed the dragonfruit, kiwi, and rhaspberry fairly easily though the Sencha was a tad bit grassy. Sometimes it tasted natural while other times it was a little bit artificial. I preferred brewing it at 2 minutes. I could rebrew it, but the later steeps had a weird balance. The flavorings fluxed while the fruit remained strong and the tea getting a little bit grassier and slightly drier, never mind I do not think this is a dry tea. The sencha was my only complaint. I’m glad to try it and my fruity liking tea friends enjoy it, but it’s not a must have for my cupboard.
Thank you Grandma!
Had some of this at a vegan shop in Canada, and it was not bad after two boiling minutes. The 12 oz was a good serving size, and it was a usual malty black tea with a little bit of nutty and floral nuance. I can see the muscatel thing people talk about it, but that is expected from a black tea. Serviceable indeed.
I’ve wanted to try this tea for so long. The descriptions were a little confusing with some people not knowing whether or not this was flavored or natural, and I was not sure how strong the overall flavors would be. Berylleb underplays it a little by saying it has a peculiar sweet and buttery taste. After reading the notes and trying it for myself, I can say it has a very pronounced and sweet peach-guava taste in a very floral and buttery background overall. Gong fu is the better way to go because this is a STRONG tea, though Western might be doable with a minimum amount of leaves. Now, I think I might want an amount of it….along with so many other teas.
Considering how long I’ve wanted to try it, I feel validated in that this tea is actually what I’ve been looking for for a while. It is an affordable and sweet oolong with fruit and florals. I’m surprised that not more people like this tea because it is VERY similar to Mandala’s milk oolong-it has a fruit taffy amidst a buttery toffee sweet second steep and gradually becomes more naturally fruity, floral, and vegetal as it is rebrewed. The later steeps are smoother in terms of flavor whereas the beginning is overwhelming-which is why I would recommend steeps of 15 seconds starting off. The body is also fairly thick and sticky in the beginning, and remains full into the later steeps. I got 9 brews, though I went from 15 sec to 30 immediately and brewed it fairly heavy into a 6 minute finale.
The notes that are up: Butter, Fruity, Cream, Guava, Peach, Vanilla, Vegetal, Flowers, is the best description available. Guava is one of the things I picked up immediately, and there were times where I swear it was distinct from the peach. It’s almost like it fluxed from guava, vanilla peach, flowers, and then sweet buttery vegetals in the first four brew sips. Strong flavor is the only deterrent as it really could be too strong for some.
I’d be very surprised if this tea was not flavored, but oddly enough, I think the fruity notes comes from the tea itself whereas the sweet vanilla candy thing is the flavoring. I could be wrong, but the guava-peach thing is something I associate with Dong Dings. It’s why Beautiful Taiwan’s Dong Ding was my favorite at one point. Then again, fruit and vanilla is more pronounced than ‘milk’ is. There were times where the taste felt a little artificial, but the later steeps were very natural.
I’m not sure who I’d recommend this to because it fits more of my personal criteria than a few others. It belongs to Gong Fu Cha in terms of brewing, the sweeter taste would appeal to dessert seekers and those who do not mind flavorings, but it might be overwhelming for anyone if the leaf is not kept down or the brews short. I did not add to much dimension to has already been written about this tea, but all the reviews of it are fairly accurate. It is fruitier than you might expect, and if you like fruity fatty veggie buttery creamy oolongs, this is it for a decent price for $15.99 per 100 grams.
I rate it 95 because of price, flavor, longevity, slight complexity, and preference. I should do it grandpa in a Tumbler Test, or western with less leaves before I make a final judgement, but I have a feeling I need minimal leaves (good thin) and that it is better gong fu. The flavor’s potency and slight artificiality (if it is artificial) is the only thing keeping me from rating it higher or drinking it more often.