1283 Tasting Notes

I still have some and need to write a note on it. I was undecided for a while about it, but Togo nailed the complexities of it.

The tea is on the sweeter side and does not exhibit vegetal notes until later steeps western or gong fu, with a very prominent canteloup jackfruit note. I prefer it Gong fu, or with minimal leaves western because the tea is far from weak. It personally gets astringent in steep two and three, but out of all the experimental oolongs I’ve had, this is one of the ones closer to what I think of as an oolong. Going from the Lishan to a cup of this was nearly seamless, only this one is sweeter and has more texture gong fu. The later steeps are immensely yeasty and fruity. It’s also got a little bit of the mental cotton linen note I associate from Darjeelings, but this one has the same fruity and smooth floral profile of other oolongs.

It’s actually my favorite of the Indian Oolongs I’ve had, and while I’ve honestly neglected my What-Cha Indian teas, I’ve at least felt more compelled to come back to this one. I personally have been having some acid reflux/stomach aches that I get from Shengs with this one, which is also why I haven’t come back to it. Maybe I should make it a tea of the day?

Flavors: Cantaloupe, Drying, Fruity, Grass, Pepper, Sweet, Umami, Yeast

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Backlog placeholder.

I’ve only had this one twice, but I’m not sure about it yet. It’s definitely honeyed, but it’s got a very drying herby quality to it that I’m still figuring out bordering between pepper and lavender. It’s either to thin or too intense causing some indecision for me, especially on whether to raise or lower the leaf ratio.

I’ll come back to it. Interesting one, but not sure if I love it.

Flavors: Herbs, Honey, Lavender, Pepper

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98

Another kind of tea that Daylon is totally biased to. This tea was sooooo satisfying since What-Cha hasn’t had a Zhengyan Qilan in a while. This brings back the glories of the one I had horded in 2016. The roast is barely noticeable in flavor, but a little bit more present in the texture-the flavor is dominated by darker red berry notes like raspberry and really nice jasmine/magnolia notes. It’s not really long lasting, but I’ve been small with the leaves. There are other flavors that kinda remind me of chocolate a little bit….and I usually don’t use that to describe oolongs.

The flavor is just what I was hoping it would be! More notes to come!

Flavors: Bamboo, Chocolate, Cream, Floral, Jasmine, Nuts, Raspberry, Roasted, Smooth

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Thank you Trident!

Insanely good and refreshing Long Feng. I got 9 great brews out of it gong fu yesterday, and was hooked. It had the pineapple skin, snap peas, and lemongrass sour floral notes I like, but this particular tea was extremely soft with its vegetals and more floral, and very sweet. The tulip and green apple notes were extremely present with some lettuce and melon in the notes. I can also see the fresh baked bread component-I’ve borrowed “scone” from eco-cha to describe the vegetals before, and it has a warm buttered bread mouthfeel in the texture that’s incredibly with the sweet and lightly tart notes.

I was hugging myself after drinking this, and I was actually late to a workout because of the euphoria of how much I enjoyed this tea. Should have gotten more of this one. More notes to come hopefully.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Green Apple, Lettuce, Melon, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Leafhopper

Sounds like a winner! :) I sometimes describe those bready notes as cookies.

derk

This sounds pretty similar to the only Long Feng Xia I’ve knowingly had, from Whispering Pines, and which I don’t recall reviewing. It was like this weird mix of super squeaky (nuclear?)green fruity-whathaveyou notes, super sweet. In your experience, is this tea a good representation of LFX?

Daylon R Thomas

Absolutely it is. It’s extremely close to Whispering Pine’s Evergreen, but this one was a little bit crisper/more softer, whereas Evergreen had a little bit more cedar/vegetal notes and thicker. It could really just be a difference of season and brewing since I did use more leaves with Whispering Pines, but I am very happy with this one.

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I got this half off along with the coconut oolong for free-the frequent steeper points majorly helped.

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I really liked the smelly dryleaf and brewed, and did an experimental sessions western. I steeped it up in my french press with about 6 ish grams for a good 12 oz serving, and half of it was poured over ice, and the other half hot. It’s better iced for sure, but I could taste more of the individual flavors hot.

It’s insanely fruity, but like Kittena and Roswell note, there’s a clash between the hibiscus and milk oolong. Icing it helps clear up that clash, but the grassy buttery notes clash with the drying fruity ones of the hibiscus. Oddly enough, the milk oolong actually bugged my taste buds more than the hibiscus…which is a first since I am usually picky with hibiscus. The fake milk flavoring might have gotten to me. I think the tea might have been better if either they held off on the hibiscus and leaned more into the dessert qualities of berries and cream, or if they used a more natural tasting oolong and vanilla flavoring instead with the hibiscus.

I’m holding off on rating, but it’s going to be a great ice tea for the heat waves.

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90

Yeah, I still really like this tea. If I didn’t still have my pre-apocalyptic horde of tea, including a whole pile of expensive tea that I’m not drinking at the moment because…..expensive, but I need to finish, I would have gotten more of this one since it’s a personal favorite from What-Cha’s selection.

I still love the thick heady jasmine with the deeply juicy texture and citrus finish. Gong fu is the way to go with this one, all the way. I put essentially a child’s handful of this tea and flash steeped it, and it’s incredibly fruity like Apple Jacks or Fruit Loops ON TOP of the jasmine in a sclick texture. Now, I want to see more people to review it since I tend to hype teas I really like. Objectively, this is heady yet nicely balanced with refreshing jasmine, smooth, and long lasting gong fu, and really good cold brewed.

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80

Backlog, and thank you Alistair! I was wanting to try this one for a while.

So it’ a fun and very balanced light roast. I gong fu’d it in 150 ml, 185-190 F, time increments: 15, 45, 30, 55, 45, 60, 90, 2 min, 3 min, guess work….. you get the gist.

The charcoal was noticeable, but it’s not really distinct until the fourth steep. The roast is still present, and it combines with the florals in a cooked veggie/ buttery honey graham cracker note. The graham cracker profile continues until steep three with some florals, creamy texture, and almond nutty roastiness. Fourth steep is kinda like light roast coffee with some caramel in flavor/texture, and then some healthy amount of browning char. Later steeps are more like cooked vegetables and floral, mainly honeysuckles and grain accenting it.

I personally enjoyed trying this one. I would have really like this when I was first getting into tea, and it’s like a more balanced and creamy light roast Tie Guan Yin’s I’ve had, but better. I don’t think I’d reach for it due to my annoying snobby preference (the 2015 Qilan….soooooooo goooooood), but it’s a really nice light roast that is far from boring that I’d recommend for more intermediate drinkers.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Butter, Char, Charcoal, Cookie, Creamy, Floral, Graham Cracker, Grain, Honey, Oats, Roast Nuts, Vegetal, Zucchini

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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85

This one is no longer on the Renegade Tea site, but this was one of their earlier methods for making black tea from 2019 and was one of the company’s first. The closest you can get from them right now is their Burnished Beauty from what I remember reading from one of their blog posts, which I have yet to try.

I got it because it was a sweet mellow and has the elusive cocoa note, and it’s the easiest of the Renegade Teas I got to drink. Dryleaf, it’s chocolaty/breadsy and has an floral autumn leaf aroma and taste like high quality 2nd Flush Darjeelings; albeit much softer and less acidic or spicy. Like all of the Georgian Teas I’ve had, it’s very forgiving. Even though it technically expired last month, it’s held up pretty well and actually tastes better than when I first opened it and bears a lot of similarities in body to the Eco-Cha Alishan Black I have.

To compensate for the expiration. I’ve dumped between 7-10 grams in a French press for 12 oz of hot water. Western has been the best style, and while it’s decent Tumbler/Grandpa style after 10 minutes, the tea can get a weirdly drying fruity/leafpile sitting too long in water astringency that I’m not sure how to describe. I’ve only done 2 Gong Fu attempts, but the session requires hefty leaf or only lasts between 3-4 cups, first and second being the best of the session.

Since all of the teas I got from Renegade Tea were a little bit lighter than I expected, apart of me thinks I should have tried the more bolder teas to see how bold they actually were. I personally do not like intense Assams or Sri Lanka Teas, so a full bodied Georgian tea might have a little bit more nuance in comparison. I’m going to try to finish of the rest of this that I can today..unless someone can stop me. I am glad I am actually catching up my backlogs and inventory, and I think this company deserves more love because they have some very unique teas that are all very mellow and notable.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa, Drying, Floral, Grain, Malt, Savory, Smooth, Sweet

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2020 Backlog:

Lighter malt in comparison to the Evening Lilac, but more punchy with flavor. Berry Breeze won my heart over the Evening Lilac catching me by surprise. Their notes" red currant, raspberries and hibiscus. A fresh and fruity black tea, no sharp edges." are spot on despite it being a forgiving tea. It has a little bit of cocoa nib dryness to it that’s kinda nice in contrast to it’s juicy body. I haven’t iced this yet, so I can’t say if it tastes like a hibiscus iced tea.

Like it a lot Western, need to experiment gong fu and grandpa.

Flavors: Berry, Black Currant, Cocoa, Cranberry, Drying, Hibiscus, Raspberry

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Backlog: Got 100 grams of this because I thought I’d really like it. Renegade Tea mostly does large servings of 50 grams, and I almost picked the white, but I decided too late as it ran out of stock so I got more of this tea and an older one, First Kiss, which is no longer on the site.

This one’s extremely floral and heavy with Lilac, and juicy and smooth like cranberry juice. In contrast to the sweeter notes, it’s got a little bit of a buckwheat dryness behind the floral component.

I haven’t done a proper session with this one in a while, but it’s a soft, resilient tea lacking astringency. It can get a little bitter like jasmine after an extremely long steep, so grandpa style might not be the way to go unless I figure it out a different way.

That’s all I’ll right for now, but it’s a tea I’m having a hard time getting through. I enjoy it when I have it, but I have to be in the mood for it.

Flavors: Cranberry, Drying, Floral, Grain, Jasmine, Wheat, Wood, Yams

Leafhopper

Your reviews of the teas you sent always make me want to get to them! How did I end up with such a large backlog? Surely it doesn’t have anything to do with my tea-buying habits…

Daylon R Thomas

Lol you should have some of this one from our last swap-so not to worry!

Daylon R Thomas

And it’s thanks to the swaps and traveling tea boxes. I’ve just slowly caught up on my backlog with more to go. Did you get to try this one yet? I wanted to see what someone else thought of it pretty badly because it’s extremely unique for a black. The dryness is what personally makes me undecided about the tea so far, but it’s really nice in cooler weather.

Leafhopper

Yes, you gave me 50 g in our last swap. :) I’ve been holding off on it partly because I’ve been finishing off other black teas and partly because I remember you telling me the brewing parameters were unusual. Cooler weather is a few months away, so I may have to try it before then.

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Bio

First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Tillerman Tea Traditional Oxidation Oolong
Tillerman Tea Phoenix Village Dong Dings
Good Luxurious Work Teas
A good Qilan
Best Sachet Teas

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwaneese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong

Me:

I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.

Location

Michigan, USA

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