592 Tasting Notes

92

Backlog.

This was the second tea from my Wang Family Tea order. A few months ago when I was knee deep in studying, my tea consumption went way up despite having less time for leisurely gongfu sessions. Most of the time, I just wanted to be able to quickly fill up a mug or tumbler. So I resorted to compounding all of my gongfu infusions into one mug. And to my surprise, infusions often tasted better when combined than on their own. Such was the case with this tea. It expressed itself differently depending on how it was steeped yet was delicious no matter what.

I brewed it grandpa style the first time. Upon opening the bag, the tea leaves smelled of buttered flowers. First sip tasted like crisp, clean spring water with a lily floating in it. Reminiscent of baozhong with its lilac and light floral notes but absent the usual body and minerals of gaoshan. Refreshing flavor with a little fruitiness in the finish. After topping off, it had a more body along with sugarcane and vanilla notes.

Next session was normal gongfu where I tasted each steep individually. The leaves, which had been allowed to rest for a couple of days, now emitted a soft tropical aroma. A heady burst of orange blossom, coconut, and mango following a rinse. The flavor of the tea was sweet, juicy, and mineral rich. Full bodied with a bright, minty herbaceous note, and lingering florals.

The best result though came from combining all of the steeps. Using my 65ml mini kyusu, I stacked 4 steeps at a time and was shocked at how intensely fruity it tasted. It felt like a tropical cocktail in tea form. Fresh pineapple juice accented with with lychee and melon. Some top notes disappeared by the time I got to the later infusions but it was very fruity and delicious.

ashmanra

I will not buy more tea I will not buy more tea I will not buy more tea

ashmanra

I might buy some Wang Family Tea but I will blame it on Steepster

LuckyMe

@ashmanra lol we’re all enablers on this site :D

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88
drank Gangkou Oolong by Wang Family Tea
592 tasting notes

After seeing all of the rave reviews for Wang Family Tea on this site, I finally pulled the trigger and placed an order last November. Picked up 25g each of Gangkou, Lishan, Shan Lin Xi, and Long Feng Xia. I’m happy to report that all of them were outstanding and having experienced these teas, I get the hype for this vendor now.

Gangkou is the first tea I tried and the sole low elevation tea of the bunch. Wang Tea’s website describes it as having five flavors: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy. Indeed, this was the wildest one of the bunch as the flavors are all over the place. The website recommends a high leaf to water ratio and “heavily boiling water“ to steep. Despite my better judgement I followed their steeping parameters initially.

The dry leaf had aromas of flowers and freshly baked cookies. A rinse brought out cucumber and a little incense. The tea starts off with some strong vegetal notes and slight bitterness but eventually this fades and fruitier apricot and pear notes emerge. The bitterness wasn’t as bad as I feared but I decided to revert to my usual steeping method and kept the temperature below boiling which produced better results. Lowering the temperature and leaf quantity brought out gentle floral notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, and orchid intermingled with some sugar plum fruitiness. Along the way, there were hints of autumn leaves, toffee, spice, and perfume. When steeped grandpa style, it has a richer mouthfeel, mineral notes, and a sweet, lingering wildflower honey flavor.

Overall, this was a complex and enjoyable tea although a bit challenging at times due to how unpredictable and inconsistent it is.

Daylon R Thomas

How was the Long Feng? I’ve been meaning to get it, but I always pay too much for all their other goodies. I got a bunch of the green Shan Lin Xi Shui Xian (Chefs Kiss) and Jasmine Shan Lin Xi. Their roasts are also incredible too, though I usually move away from roasted teas.

LuckyMe

I’m currently drinking the Long Feng Xia. It’s quite good, tropical-floral flavor but less in your face than other gaoshans. I’m enjoying it more than some of the LFXs I’ve had from TTC.

Haven’t tried their roasts yet but plan to next time. I really want to order from them again this spring but unfortunately they don’t have baozhong which is one of my must-haves. I may end up splitting an order between Wang Tea and maybe Floating Leaves for the Baozhong.

Daylon R Thomas

I’m having the same kind of issue for the splits I’m looking for. I am desperate for some Lishan Black and tried Green Terrace, but they’re paypal isn’t accepting mine for some reason. No idea why. I’m also interested in some of Wang’s Shan Lin Xi White Tea. They don’t always sell it, but they’ve been really kind to give me some, and now Liquid Proust sells it. Leafhopper has talked a lot about Ethan Kurland on a tea forum that you buy directly from vendors and farmers. I haven’t done that yet, but I know he has some good Baozhong. Trident’s Baozhong is also insanely good.

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100
drank Earl Grey Green by Adagio Teas
592 tasting notes

Surprised to see the low ratings for this tea. I‘m enjoying this one way more than I expected. I’ve tried other green Earl Greys which left me wanting to wash out my mouth with soap. This tea has a bright, invigorating flavor with notes of orange, mint, and cardamom. The green tea base lets the pure bergamot flavoring shine through. My favorite way to steep it is by adding a little bit to spent green tea leaves.

Flavors: Bergamot, Cardamom, Citrus, Herbaceous, Perfume

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95
drank Earl Grey Bravo by Adagio Teas
592 tasting notes

Purchased this as part of the Adagio Earl Grey sampler set. I’m far from an Earl Grey aficionado but this was easily the best Earl Grey I’ve ever had. A serious step up from my last one which came from Trader Joe’s.

The tea smelled amazing out of the bag. An intense burst of bergamot and malt. I prepared this as an Earl Grey latte, steeping it for 5 minutes using water just under a boil. Then added a little sweetener and frothed oat milk. I was worried that the citrus would be overpowering due to how potent it smelled but the flavor was surprisingly light and on point. Just a hint of orange zest and sweet perfume that accented the black tea base perfectly.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Orange Zest, Perfume

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95

Yet another stellar roasted Taiwanese oolong from TTC. The light roast on this dong ding strikes the perfect balance between warm notes of candied pecan, cocoa, and toasted almond on one hand and greener floral notes on the other. Very smooth from start to finish without any bitterness. I love roasted teas that don’t actually taste roasty – not an easy feat – but this one manages to pull it off.

I normally steep this grandpa style using 200 F water. Cold brewing brings out brighter, more lively florals and sugarcane.

Kittenna

Urgh, this sounds amazing. I desperately want to order from TTC again to get more of their delicious oolongs, but I need to finish off what I bought from them like, 6 years ago, first!

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90

Another baked high mountain oolong from the backlog.

Out of the bag, mellow aroma of sweet caramel. Steeped grandpa style using 195 F water then topped off twice with boiling water.

This was a very clean and easy to drink tea with a rich honeyed flavor reminiscent of gui fei. Accented with notes of wildflowers and toasted almond. Next time, I’d like to brew it gongfu and see if I can get even more nuance and complexity out of this tea.

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46

Gross. This one tasted like swampy water mixed with earthy turnips and yams. What’s weird is the flavor bore no resemblance to the smell. The leaves had a citrusy aroma of lemon and tangerine however none of that came through in the tea. Didn’t bother rebrewing and will likely chuck the rest of my sample. That’s how bad it was.

This is likely my last time buying a Taiwanese green. In my experience, they smell great but seldom if ever deliver on flavor.

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92

Backlog.

I was torn on how to rate this tea. If you’d asked me when I first opened it, I would have rated it close to a 100. When fresh, it was intensely flavorful. A dynamic mixture of alpine flowers, tropical fruit, pastry cream, perfume, and minerals. But a few weeks later, the flavor suddenly began to go flat. It lost some of its brightness and body as sharper, more savory notes began to creep in. Usually high mountain teas fade gradually but this one lost its oomph pretty quickly.

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90

Well, it took longer than I expected get back on this site. Had been away for a while to focus on work-related training which finally ended a few weeks ago (whew!). In the process, I sort of fell out of my daily Steepster habit and the mountain of backlogged notes left me feeling a little overwhelmed. Wish there was a way to post my tasting notes from the MyTeaPal app to Steepster.

This was a complex and delicious roasted gaoshan. Despite its name, it did not taste roasty or charred at all. Instead it had deeply caramelized notes of salted caramel, brown sugar, and candied pecan. I steeped it grandpa style at 185-195 F. Lower temperatures brought out more sweetness and chocolatey notes.

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91
drank Oi Ocha Green Tea Bags by Ito En
592 tasting notes

A belated happy new year Steepsterites! Hope 2022 will be a great year for everyone. Still on semi-hiatus due to studies – can’t wait till March when I’m finished with it all – but do plan to post here and there.

I picked this up on a whim a couple of weeks ago when I was in Florida for a wedding. It was in the checkout aisle at Ross of all places. I had bought loose tea with me as I always do during my travels but not sencha. Although I seldom bother with teabags, Ito-En is a reputable Japanese tea brand and I drink their bottled tea all the time. The date of production stamped on the package showed it was only 6 months old, which is about as fresh as it gets with bagged tea.

Color of the tea is intense green and infuses rather quickly, which indicates a fukamushi. The flavor is also characteristic of a deep steamed sencha. At higher water temperature, it’s matcha like with raw wheatgrass and chlorophyll. Smooth and full bodied. Lower temperatures bring out spinachy, grassy notes with a mellow sweet taste. Doesn’t have all of the nuances of loose tea but still delivers with a rich flavor and freshness.

I’ve continued drinking this upon returning home. Despite having plenty of sencha in my cupboard, the convenience of teabags can’t be beat. Especially during busy times when I just need a quick cup and don’t have time to fuss with gaiwans and pitchers. Is this the best sencha ever? No, but it’s more than serviceable and head and shoulders above standard bagged tea. The only downside is it can’t be resteeped so this is a one and done kind of tea.

Flavors: Spinach, Vegetal, Wheatgrass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML
Martin Bednář

Happy New Year!
Ito En, even in tea bag form, are pretty much decent as I have tried a few… actually I guess only Oi Ocha.

Cameron B.

Ooh I like their bottled teas too! Never tried the teabags though.

Cameron B.

And Happy New Year! \o/

LuckyMe

@Cameron B, their bottled teas are the best! I especially love Olden Oolong.

Evol Ving Ness

Happy new year! Good to see you.

Leafhopper

Happy New Year! I’ll have to look for Ito En tea, though I doubt my local grocery stores will carry it.

Evol Ving Ness

I don’t remember seeing it here though I am not often in the RTD tea, soft drink section.

LuckyMe

@Leafhopper I believe Costco carried it under their Kirkland brand.

ashmanra

Happy New Year!

Alreot

Happy New Year! This tea sounds nice I enjoy sencha as well, I’m going to have to give it a try

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Profile

Bio

My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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