10 Tasting Notes
Here, have a copy of the notes I took for myself while I was trying my sample of this tea:
10s: Petrichor and gentle bitterness. I can smell honey and light woodsiness but not taste it. Warmth and a bit of roughness in the back of my throat. Immediately relaxing, which I desperately need this morning. Texture is soft.
15s: A bit less bitterness, a bit more woodsiness, otherwise pretty much the same. Oh, and texture is getting less soft and more oily – I’m starting to feel it coat my mouth. There’s not much flavor, it’s just a very calming experience. I think I could fall asleep to this tea pretty happily.
20s: Mostly same but getting sweeter, especially around my teeth afterwards. I shouldn’t have started this one before work, wish I had more time to push it.
25s: My ears just popped. That was weird. Maybe unrelated. Anyways, getting a bit more astringency I think. No, wait, my left ear definitely feels warmer inside. What is going on here.
35s: I think I just hit a floral note? Both my ears now feel like they’re filled with warm liquid, and my mouth is getting a bit fuzzy. It’s naptime, but I’m hella late for work. This is pretty decent tea, and I have erred.
In the first few steeps I was blown away by the richness. The smokiness was balanced by a sort of deep fruitiness, lovely and smooth. Happy roasty warmth lingered down my throat for a while afterwards. Later steeps lost the surprising fruitiness and got a bit thinner and more mineral, and the lingering aftertaste down my throat got cooler. Overall: this really lifted my spirits on a cold, hard day.
I went 11 steepings, starting at 10s and ending at 1min. The flavors were very light, starting almost floral and getting a bit more savory/woodsy later on. More importantly, the texture started creamy fluffy early on, getting more oily towards the end. A bit of bitterness early on that faded in later steepings, as a metallic/mineral sensation grew instead. (I didn’t get any of the fruitiness other reviewers have mentioned, though.) The aftertaste was quite literally tooth-achingly sweet throughout.
I’m often a big aroma/flavor person, but here it’s the texture progression that I found fun, and how long the sweetness lingered afterwards. It feels like excellent value for the money.
I tried my sample of this one last night. I’m pretty new to sheng, so take my commentary as novice, but – I thought it was entirely pleasant but not mindblowing. It had a nice light bitterness at the front with big warm soft hay/straw sweetness behind it, and I felt a sort of soft pillowy thickness in my mouth. The aftertaste was nice and cool and sweet, but it only lingered a short while and didn’t go far down the throat.
I went 9 steepings, got a burst of energy and jumped up to do a bunch of cooking halfway through, and when all that was done I stuck the leaves in a jar of water in my fridge to cold-brew overnight. This morning, the coldbrew was light sweet hay/straw with no bitterness at all, totally pleasant.
Overall, nice and gentle and light and refreshing. Soft, but the light bitterness zings it up enough to keep it interesting. If this was cheaper I’d be really happy with it as a daily drinker, but given the price I think the short-lived aftertaste and lack of complexity means that I won’t be ordering more even though I did enjoy the sample.
Loved this one! It’s a compressed white tea – I got a small coin as a sample, and split it up so I could gongfu some now and try the rest grandpa-style later on. I’m using 5g in about 120ml gaiwan, boiling water, 15 second steeps.
It took a long time to open up, and after the 6th steeping I manually pulled the tightest bit apart and found that the center was still pretty dry. I think this actually did interesting things for the flavor progression, though.
It started out like a dark zambian honey, then got a bit maltier and oxidized tasting, then after I broke it up and exposed the center it turned into strong orange blossom honey. I started getting that sweet sensation over my front teeth afterwards, and watering in the sides of my mouth. It was honey through the 9th with just enough bitterness to make it interesting. Then the 10th-11th moved towards a gentle black tea taste and a bit more mouth-watering astringency, but still with some honey aroma to bring it all together, and finally a bit of that cool air feeling in my mouth after the 11th.
I tried a few longer steeps to finish it off, 25s and then 90s, but it felt done to me – no off flavors or anything, just getting blander than I’d prefer. Still, a nice long run until it hit that point.
I can’t wait to try this one grandpa-style too, and I ran off and ordered a whole brick immediately.
A bit smoky, reasonably thick, some sweetness coming in in later steepings. Definitely nicer than the other milan dancong I’ve tried, but still not really as complex or intense as I’d prefer.
Ultimately, I think what I’m learning is that as a matter of personal taste I just don’t love most dancongs (though there have been exceptions).
I’m mostly only bothering to post this in case anyone wants me to put the rest of the bag in the mail to them. :)
I wasn’t entirely sure how to classify this tea when adding it to the steepster database: The bag says oolong, and iirc the menu at the shop did too, but the webpage for it claims it’s a white tea, as of course the name also implies. The leaves didn’t have the white down on them that I associate with white tea, but it’s lightly roasted so that seems reasonable, and it smells more like white tea to me when brewed.
All that confusion aside, I like it!
I gongfu’d it at 5g in a 140ml gaiwan at 200F, about 10s for the first steeping and taking it from there.
The first steeping was super savory – I really do see where they get the sundried tomato thing from. Fascinating stuff. But with the second steeping, a honey sweetness snuck in around the sides of my tongue. Still mostly savory, but it’s an interesting contrast as the flavor goes through me.
There wasn’t much change in the flavor after that – it feels like it gets all its complexity out up front instead of changing over time – but the flavors are so interesting from the beginning that that’s really okay and still works very nicely for me.
This has been my favorite tea from the eco-cha tea club so far! (I’ve been a member for the past year and a half or so.) It’s such a warm thick roasty treat. It’s mellow without being mild, deeply flavorful in a very relaxing sort of way. No bitterness, nothing challenging to it – it just makes me feel good all over. Gotta admit, I especially appreciate that it’s delicious when drunk grandpa-style at work throughout the day.
From the moment I opened the bag, I knew this wasn’t for me. It had an odor I found very off-putting, though perhaps this is what other people describe as camphor and sometimes seem to like. I also got a bit of smokiness, though not in a good way (though I usually enjoy smoky flavors). I didn’t bother to get past the first steeping.