379 Tasting Notes
The first time I tried this tea, I gongufed it and didn’t like the musky, brothy flavor. But not every tea is made for gongfu and in this particular case, generic western steeping actually worked best. I dropped about 7 pearls into a 200ml teapot and brewed it for 3 minutes or so until the leaf began to unfurl. The tea had a lovely sweet incense like aroma. Soft, creamy flavor with a faintly floral aftertaste that reminded me of white tea.
I can see why this is used as a base in jasmine scented tea. The subtle flavor works well in many blends. I added a dried persian rosebud and the tea complemented the rose very nicely.
Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Sweet
I tried Long Feng Xia for the first time a year ago and loved its elegant, citrusy flavor. However this batch from TTC reminded me once again of how drastically the same tea can change from one harvest to the next. It gives wonderful aromas of daffodils and tropical fruit but none of it comes through in taste. The flavor is mostly grassy-vegetal with noticeable astringency that hangs around for the first few steeps. Some fruitiness peeks through later but it’s muted and the flavor is flat overall. It doesn’t have the balsam notes nor the delicate floral quality of LFX of past. A very disappointing tea.
Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Orchid, Vegetal
Backlogged review. Another stellar Laoshan green from Verdant. This one sat in my fridge for 4 months before opening yet still tasted amazingly fresh and packed quite a punch. I love how potent these Laoshan teas are.
Dry leaf has a sumptuous aroma of soybeans and creamed spinach. The brewed tea is rich and vegetal. It’s got the signature soymilk flavor that’s characteristic of Laoshan green teas with slight floral hints and anise. Toasted grains appear in the second steeping along with some brothiness. Later steeps have notes of green bean and a little saffron.
A delicious tea for sure, but to my palate didn’t taste very different from their regular grade green tea.
Flavors: Anise, Cream, Green Beans, Soybean, Spinach
I was surprised at how much I liked this tea. I seldom reach for puerh and my experience with most sheng has been rough to say the least. But this tea was a different story. It’s super smooth without any funk and a mild earthiness that doesn’t overwhelm. Really nice and clean taste. It’s not quite sweet but it’s not bitter either. I’d describe the flavor as a hearty dried prune with a little earthy kick.
The tea brews to a rich, dark cherry wood red liquor that quickly stained my gaiwan brown (note to self: don’t steep this in white porcelain again). There’s next to zero fermentation flavor here. The flavor is quite mellow and aside from a hint of woodsiness and slightly tamer earthiness later, it changed very little in 6 or 7 steeps.
This is a mild ripe puerh that’s great for easy sipping. I enjoyed this one a lot and would recommend it as an introductory tea for puerh newcomers.
If I had to sum up this tea in one word, it would be corn. There’s all sorts of corny aromas and flavors going on here.
The dry leaf smells like matcha popcorn and soybeans. Wet leaf brings out toasted nori.
After a quick first steep of 30s, I got what tasted like warm grass and creamed corn. The corn intensified in the second steep, this time with corn husk and silk notes and accompanied by toasted rice. The flavor smoothens out in the next two steeps and becomes more of a sweet corn on the cob affair.
This was a fun tea to drink. Compared to Chinese and Japanese green teas, there’s less of the vegetal and umami taste you typically encounter. I could see a resemblance to genmaicha in its toasted corn notes. I prefer grassier green teas so I won’t be seeking out this tea in the future, but it’s worth sampling to experience the unique flavor profile of Korean tea.
Flavors: Corn Husk, Popcorn, Toasted Rice
Picked this up from a Steepster stash sale and it turned out to be a good one. Being a flavored milk oolong, the milkiness is definitely assertive but not cloying or fake. The tea has a pleasant aroma of cream and dairy. Taste matches the aroma exactly. A soothing, creamy milk flavor that lasts through many steeps. Eventually the milkiness fades into the background and the tea becomes fruity and sweet.
The milk flavor is natural and doesn’t clash with tea’s own flavor. Not much else left to say except this a simple yet incredibly smooth and delicious tea.
Flavors: Cream, Milk
Can’t quite decide how I feel about this tea. It tastes different every time I steep it. The first time I tried it, it was very citrusy like orange dish soap with lemongrass and a bit of earthiness. Tonight, it veered more toward floral. Strong rose and chrysanthemum tones. I think the flavor is determined by the random mix of ingredients you get when scooping out the tea.
I got about 3 steeps out of this tea. The flavor largely fades after the initial infusion leaving behind just the chamomile in subsequent steepings. A decent caffeine-free herbal but nothing to write home about.
Flavors: Citrusy, Earth, Lemongrass, Orange, Rose
This one tastes like a darjeeling or bug bitten oolong crossed with a Chinese black tea. A pleasant cherry like fruity aroma greets you upon opening the packet. The tea opens up with lots of wood and a little chocolate and malt in the background. The chocolate becomes more pronounced as the steeps progress and the woodsy notes soften to smooth out the flavor.
I recommend gongfu brewing this one. Western steeping brings out a nice dark red color but loses its nuances and some chocolatey goodness.
Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Wood
As much as I love green oolongs, every once in a while I need to switch things up a bit with a baked tea. Most dark oolongs are too roasty for me but light baked teas such as this one fit the bill perfectly: green with a warming personality
The first whiff of the dry leaf reminded me of cream and butterscotch. Wet leaf had a toasted nuts scent to it. It was too roasty gongfued so I steeped it western style and grandpa with good results. First steep was light bodied but very sweet with notes of honey and baked bread. Second steeping brought out toasted barley, nuts, and caramel. Starting with the third steep, the tea begins exhibiting a greener character. The baked flavor diminishes and eventually disappears by the 5th steep leaving a mellow fruity flavor behind.
Overall, this was a satisfying tea without the heavy char you typically see in dark oolongs. I enjoyed its sweet, caramelized nuts flavor but wished it had some more depth and the florals of BTTC’s light baked Alishan. Also the gradual transition from dark to green doesn’t happen as smoothly as the BTTC tea.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Butterscotch, Caramel
Hmm, the smell and taste of this tea don’t seem to match. It has the unmistakeable floral aroma of an oolong, but tastes like a green tea. Light buttery with a dominant vegetal flavor. The body is thin and has a slight sour/bitter note in the end if steeped too long. No matter how I brewed it, I couldn’t coax out any florals or fruity flavors from it. A rather atypical oolong.
Flavors: Grass, Vegetal