11 Tasting Notes
What an amazing tea! I love high mountain oolongs and Floating Leaves has many great options, but I hadn’t been such a big fan of baozhongs because they are usually a little too light/mild for me. This one is not! At its apex, it has a rich honeydew melon-like sweetness and a pleasant bitterness that is distinct from the higher elevation oolongs like Lishan. It tastes much greener, as well. I brewed it gong fu in a ~140 ml yixing-style clay pot with ~96C water for 30 seconds each infusion. The first 2 infusions were very floral and not all that rich, but by the third infusion it had opened up a lot! Significant body high feeling, as well. Brews strong for easily 6+ infusions, increasing time slightly after infusion 4.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Cut Grass, Floral, Honeydew, Tannin
An interesting tea that can be quite tasty, but is easily overbrewed, drawing a strong artichoke and chrysanthemum flavor that is a bit odd, but not entirely bad. It’s a long-lasting tea with a silky mouthfeel that’s well rounded in sweetness and tannin, but the artichoke flavor makes this more of a novelty that’s interesting to try rather than a tea I would love to sip on all day.
Flavors: Apricot, Artichoke, Caramel, Tannic, Wet Wood
Fantastic offering! Brewed in 200 ml yixing at ~195F, gets about 8 good steeps. It’s a bug-bitten tea, and the honey notes are immediate and up front in the aroma and the taste. I’ve had dongfang meiren (“Oriental beauty”), another bug-bitten tea, but I think it’s even better here as a black/red tea. Good sweet/tannin balance, long lasting finish, fairly thick mouthfeel. Up there with the best un-aged teas I’ve had.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Roasted Barley, Tannin
First off, the packaging is almost definitely lying about this being hand-picked, as the leafs are cut mainly to ~1cm squared pieces. However, it’s a very pleasant tea. The aroma is very floral. Although it said to steep for 1 min, I did only about a 20 sec first infusion in 5 oz. water after a quick rinse. It still had a moderate amount of astringency, which I liked. Beyond that, I agree with the “muscatel” description; pleasant sweetness, not very spicy, mild woodiness. Moderately thick mouthfeel. I can get several enjoyable infusions.
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Muscatel, Raisins, Wood
Appearance: twisted reddish-brown whole leaves when dry with very few stems or non-tea parts. When brewed, the leaves appear to be about half oxidized. Aroma: astringent, spicy up front, with fruity and nutty notes. Mouthfeel: middle of the road. Taste: 1st steeping: Considerable astringency, followed by a distinctly lychee-like flavor, with some cinnamon and black pepper mild spice, as well as nutty and woody notes. There’s some of the longer-lasting mild bitterness, but not it’s more at the front of the mouth than the back of the throat like a high mountain greener oolong would have. 2nd steeping: similar, but more of a honey flavor, and the astringency and spice notes are considerably reduced. This trend continues with increased steepings. Overall, I like the first steeping very much, but the following steepings lack some complexity.
Flavors: Astringent, Black Pepper, Honey, Lychee, Wet Wood
This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted! It has a long-lasting mildly bitter flavor that sits with you well after you finish sipping It feels warming in the throat. Its flavor is complex – spicy, herbaceous, roasted, fruity, slightly sweet, with a sweet and bitter finish. It has a slightly viscous mouthfeel. I am sad I only have a few grams of it left.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Black Pepper, Caramel, Fruity, Herbaceous, Nuts, Roasted, Spices
Vegetal, grassy, fresh, and very light, with limited depth, and not much back-of-the-throat pleasant bitterness that I like so much from higher mountain oolongs. It’s quite pleasant, but not particularly remarkable.
Flavors: Apricot, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Guava
What a long-lasting tea! At first steeping of 3 minutes in a 6oz. yixing after rinsing, I was shocked by how forward the smoky flavor was. Very complex nutty, slightly sweet aftertaste, with a slight back-of-the-throat lingering tannic flavor you get from a greener oolong. I steeped this 6 times, and the flavor was still decently strong at that point. The smokiness was less overpowering each steeping, and the sweet, stonefruit-like flavors became stronger until the 5th steeping or so. The first steeping was a bit unbalanced, but the 2nd through 4th steeping were great.