1028 Tasting Notes

94
drank Shan Lin Xi by Camellia Sinensis
1028 tasting notes

Spring 2020

Dry leaf smells like spiced walnuts, pineapple-mango-coconut, vanilla sugar and flowers. Wamring brings out a sweet, creamy vegetal character with spinach, coconut cream, walnut and vanilla sugar. Intoxicating. Rinse brings out a more pungent, tropical fruit character with pineapple, mango, coconut and jackfruit on a spinachy base.

The leaves quickly unfurl. The tea is silky, oily, mouth-watering with salt and other minerals. Complex, rich and evolving aromas, tastes and aftertastes. The strength of the aroma gives the illusion of sweetness, but I’d say the tea is rather mineral-salty and somewhat tangy. Lofty notes of coconut cream, vanilla sugar and rich white florals on a crisp lettuce-straw base change to macadamia and coconut to cream and butter. The aftertaste contains the fruitier notes of the tea. The sweet aromatics blend seamlessly into the aftertaste and when that subsides, the fruitier notes of the tea display with green apple skins and pineapple. Some gentle cooling in the mouth early and later, an impression of sugarcane fills the throat. At the end of the session, coconut and floral vanilla make another appearance in the aftertaste. Burps bring out some of that spinach quality of the warmed leaf.

This tea easily takes boiling water and lower and does well with a variety of brewing methods. I couldn’t stop preparing cup after cup. It’s really that easy-drinking and addictive. The creamy quality of the tea suggest Jin Xuan cultivar to me but I see it’s actually Qing Xin. A beautiful representation of Shan Lin Xi. Thank you, Leafhopper :)

Flavors: Apple Skins, Butter, Coconut, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Green Apple, Lettuce, Mango, Mineral, Mint, Nuts, Orchid, Pineapple, Salty, Spices, Spinach, Straw, Sugar, Sugarcane, Tangy, Tropical, Vanilla, Walnut

Leafhopper

I’m glad you enjoyed this tea! I always have to pick some up when ordering from Camellia Sinensis because it’s just that good.

Daylon R Thomas

I’m gonna love it then when I try it out.

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drank Taiwan Jade Oolong Tea by What-Cha
1028 tasting notes

March 2020 harvest. A mystery oolong pick that Leafhopper shared with me when we went a little crazy in November.

The dry leaf has notes of spinach, walnut, cream, gingerbread and honeysuckle. This transforms into a very floral perfume with the rinse – notes of lilac and gardenia, plus cream and gingerbread.

The tea is one of the most fragrant unscented teas I’ve ever had, so strong that it’s dizzying — in a good way if I were to find myself in a mood that warrants such an effect — but I couldn’t handle it either time. The tea is creamy, sweet, soft and silky and produces a wonderful mouth-watering effect. The floral perfume lingers long in the aftertaste.

The characteristics of the tea soup point to good quality, but the floral aroma is much too intense for me. I can see why this tea garners such positive reviews here, but it’s simply not for me. This is truly a Jade oolong and for those sippers with a major floral tilt, I would recommend it.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Citrus, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Gardenias, Ginger, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Mint, Orange Blossom, Perfume, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Sweet, Warm Grass, Walnut

Leafhopper

After reading your review, I’m glad I kept most of this tea!

derk

Yes, better to be in a home where it’s appreciated!

Leafhopper

LOL, I chugged the 40 g or so I had left in less than two months and am considering getting the 2021 version. I guess I like really floral teas!

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98

Silky, nourishing, grounding, clean. Cooling, lingers in the mouth and throat down into chest. Mild sweetness, mild tang, salivation, tingling. Gently stimulates digestion. Brews much darker than the taste. Excellent tea, especially after acupuncture and dinner, and a stark contrast to the other Fu Zhuan tea I’ve tried which is sharp, smokey and dry. This is loaded with golden flowers. My my.

Togo

Sounds lovely! :)

Natethesnake

I really enjoyed this tea too. Was even considering getting a brick but it’s like 3kg…

TeaEarleGreyHot

Natethesnake, A 7-pound brick of tea does sound a bit overwhelming! However, for others reading this, it is also available in smaller sizes — as little as 50 g package for about 10 bucks. Save on delivery by ordering it from their .US website.

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78
drank Georgia MANNA Green Tea by What-Cha
1028 tasting notes

I’m excited to try a green tea from Georgia thanks to Martin!

Summer 2020 harvest, certified organic. The tea is soft and thick on the sip and transitions to a clean, mineral swallow before leaving a lingering salty and lightly drying finish. Notes of grass seed, green olive and the barest hint of spiced apricot are greeted by a mild astringency. Combined with the mineral-salty character, it creates an excellent palate cleanser and is treating me with a gentle hand upon waking.

While it’s a simple, mild tea, it excels at what it does. I’d say it easily plays a supporting role to the excellent black teas that What-Cha offers from Georgia.

Flavors: Apricot, Grass Seed, Mineral, Olives, Salty, Spices

Martin Bednář

Considering that Georgia produces mostly black teas… I think this is a nice surprise!

derk

Yeah, I’m interested in seeing how their green tea processing techniques might change over the years.

TeaEarleGreyHot

Is this tea from the Eastern European country of Georgia? Or is it one of the several State of Georgia, USA -grown teas?

Martin Bednář

It’s European country Georgia TeaEarleGreyHot and they do a great black tea. Check out Guria Likhauri from Dobra Cajovna I found out last year!

derk

The Guria Likhauri Martin shared with me is one of the best black teas I’ve had.

ashmanra

Oh yes, Martin’s suggestion of Guria Likhauri is quite a good one!

TeaEarleGreyHot

Thanks, everyone! Although I’m also interested in trying the US-grown teas from Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, and elsewhere! I was impressed to read that some have imported varieties from Taiwan!

gmathis

I’ve tried a couple of varieties from the Charleston Tea Plantation. Their American Classic is pretty basic but an improvement over grocery store brand “just tea.”

TeaEarleGreyHot

Gmathis, that’s rather what I’d expect from a garden started by Lipton and today owned by Bigelow. They specialize in “just tea” from the grocery store (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But smaller operations may be more likely to incorporate other local ingredients as well to create truly unique tea. I’m thinking Georgia peaches, Texas citrus, southern nuts and berries. Herbs and spices and flavorings. And of course, reflecting the unique terroir and climate. They can also act as an accessible gateway other than mass merchants for others to begin exploring international and orthodox teas

gmathis

It’s been too long ago for me to remember clearly, but I think Charleston variety #2 was a classier upscale loose leaf … not seeing any offerings like that on their website now. But you’re right—a Yankee spin on domestic varieties would be great!

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drank Just Beet It by DAVIDsTEA
1028 tasting notes

Kiki:

“Oh boy! whispering What is that smell?? Candy, candylike. louder It tastes like strawberry jello. Am I close? hehe Strawberry or raspberry. Tastes very fruity. It’s very pleasant. It’s like drinking jello water before it sets. whispers I like it. It’s so sweet. It’s up there, it’s up there in the eights. It’s the wildberry flavor that we’re tasting burp and smelling, isn’t it? It’s a berry tea.”

derk:

I’m stealing a few sips. It definitely smells tangy, like strawberry jello. Yup, hot strawberry jello water. Boring. Huge list of ingredients. Why do I taste nothing? Nothing bad but nothing.

Flavors: Artificial, Hibiscus, Strawberry, Tangy

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drank 2019 Bi Luo Chun by Mandala Tea
1028 tasting notes

I….. don’t think 2 years has done this tea any favors. Oh well. It was drinkable and that’s all I ask for! Thanks, White Antlers <3

Flavors: Flowers, Green Beans, Olives, Salty, Straw, Vegetal

Mastress Alita

At least green teas abused by age still make good cold brews.

derk

that they do

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56
drank Nearly Nirvana by Bird & Blend Tea Co.
1028 tasting notes

Kiki:

What is that, like wintergreen or something? Yeah. No, it’s a mint. Huh, it’s peppermint. It’s got some kinda root in it. Maybe. It’s mellow, it’s very mellow. Does it have spearmint and peppermint? It’s like a linden or chamomile. burp Marigold. No. hahaha But it’s tasty, it’s not too bad. It’s at least a 7.5. Geran- no. Chrysanthemum. Is that it, the chrysanthemum? It tastes kinda soapy, the fragrance of soap, that must be lavender. That’s what it is.

Nope.

hahahaha I’d say a solid 7.5. Huh, soap. Are you sure it’s not rose or something?

derk:

Arby nailed this one for me, even down to the undertone of pottery: https://steepster.com/arbutus/posts/409973. I do get orange blossom. It’s pleasant and light, though rather perfumey.

Flavors: Astringent, Clay, Cut Grass, Floral, Jasmine, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Perfume, Spearmint

Cameron B.

“It’s got some kinda root in it” ba ha ha!

derk

heh, she’s a nut

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The dry leaf smells like roast and apricot jam. The warmed leaf is sweet, fruity and floral with notes of honey, burnt brown sugar, apricot, powdered sugar and daffodil.

Following a long rinse, the tea is strange in the first steep, light in flavor but it leaves a very strong buttered lima bean aftertaste. The second steep better shows the Oriental Beauty character. I can taste a gently sweet honey, orange blossom, minerals (silica?), grass seed, osmanthus and a light nuttiness. This steep still displays the buttered lima bean aftertaste but in the subsequent steeps it turns into honey, orange zest and vanilla with light cream.

For being a tea 6 years old, this is a serviceable oolong. I don’t have much experience with Oriental Beauty but I found this version from Thailand, while much less oxidized than a regular OB and without the autumn leaf taste, to be more true to that style of oolong than to a GABA oolong, which is what Leafhopper thought it resembled. Maybe it’s somewhere in between!

Thanks for the share, Leafhopper :)

Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Butter, Char, Cream, Drying, Floral, Grass Seed, Honey, Jam, Lima Beans, Mineral, Narcissus, Nutty, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Osmanthus, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla

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88
drank Mi Xiang Hong Cha by CHA YI Teahouse
1028 tasting notes

Very aromatic and full-flavored. In the mouth, a bright and fruity peach-apricot-osmanthus note melds perfectly with the rich and deep cocoa-honeyed plum body that’s balanced by woody tannins. A touch quieter pasty-french bread note tempers, creating a cohesive flavor profile. It made such a great morning tea that I never bothered to sit down and pick it apart. My only issue with this one is that it needs to be brewed long western to get my preferred cup, giving only 1 truly excellent steep; a shorter brewing time leaves it a little too high-pitched with a tart blood orange tone.

Thanks for the share, Leafhopper :)

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Blood Orange, Cocoa, Dark Wood, Honey, Mineral, Osmanthus, Pastries, Peach, Plum, Round , Smooth, Tannin

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drank Orange Glow by DAVIDsTEA
1028 tasting notes

Kiki:

“Ohh orange! Orange candy. Here, try it.”

Oof, that’s not for me!

“Too much orange peel? Smells kinda like cat butt, though.”

There’s one flavor I got right off the bat besides the orange (beet-carrot).

“Is it a creamsicle?”

No, it’s not quite a concept tea.

“Oh it’s orange. Is it like a French one?”

No, not quite.

“Lemongrass. Everytime I smell it, I smell a little cat butt. talking to my old girl on her lap Kinda like yours. I like your cat butt. Is there a little clove in there? You know how much I love clove. I like it, though. I like the vibrant orange. Kinda makes your tongue burn a little bit. There’s the cat butt again. I kinda like the cat butt smell. cackles Is that cinnamon in there, cinnamon? It’s like drinking juice. I finished it, I like it. 8.5, maybe a 9.”

Oh?

“Yeah, uh-huh. See, I don’t drink juice anymore, so anytime I can drink burp something that tastes like juice, I go for it. burp Mhm, so sweet. Is there sugar in there? SO what is it?”

Orange Glow. I rattle off the ingredients.

“Natural orange flavoriiiing… why can’t they use the orange peel?”

There is orange peel in it.

“That’s it. Thank you, Cameron. Can I send you some pot? cackles Okay.”

DrowningMySorrows

Mmm cat butt tea! Kiki’s descriptions always make me giggle.

Mastress Alita

What are you feeding your cat to get lemongrass-scented butt?!

Leafhopper

LOL! I’m not sure I’d give a cat butt tea a nine.

gmathis

(Note to self) Time to go buy some potted catnip and lemongrass.

ashmanra

Well, I do have a beverage waiting to be tried that we agree smells like “beach bathroom plus extra hint of sand with decaying crab.”

derk

My longtime friend https://steepster.com/visigoth just sent me a singing voice message in the tune of that Folgers Coffee jingle: “The best part of waking up is cat butt in your cup.” You’ve been caught lurking my reviews, friend!

Todd

Hahaha, that is beautiful.

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Bio

Always open to gifting or swapping teas. I do send international when feasible. Please follow and send a message if you see a tea in my notes or cupboard that piques your interest.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng puer, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently.

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes. I might have attention issues. One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.

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Sonoma County, California, USA

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