Featured & New Tasting Notes
This is a queued tasting note.
So, I woke up Sunday morning to get ready for work and I had the biggest craving for lychee. I can’t even express how amazing it felt to not only have one lychee tea in my cupboard but two to pick from! Options, motherfuckers!
So this was my commute tea on Sunday: it was brilliant! The bright, juicy lychee top note satisfied that lychee craving in every possible way and the black base tea underneath is phenomenal as well. It’s natural, sweet and smooth honey, malt and cocoa notes are both a stunning contrast to the juicy, floral lychee but also a wonderful compliment. You’re matching not only the intense rich flavour of the lychee but the intense rich flavour of the black tea. Mmmm!
This tea is not bad, also by no means incredible. I did like it in the end even if it started badly. It started out with notes of tobacco and leather. This slowly transformed into something nicer over a period of many steeps. By the twelfth steep I was getting a sweet note that slightly reminded me of prunes. A little bit of sour sweetness if it could be described as such. I think this is a tea that is really just changing. It had a very dark color to the tea liquid. It was aging. It seemed in the middle of the aging process. I don’t have room for this in my pumidor so it will have to be dry stored in the New York humidity. We have hot humid summers and dryer the rest of the year. We will see if this tea improves. It’s not exactly bad tea, there is just a lot of room for improvement.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I am neither going to recommend this tea nor am I going to not recommend this tea. Some people will like it, some will not. The notes of leather and tobacco did turn into something more pleasant. My best description for this new note is a slightly sour sweet taste of prunes. By this I do not mean the tea had a noticeable sour note, just a slight taste.
Flavors: Leather, Tobacco
Additional notes: Sad sipdown of the last sample of this treasure in my tea collection. It was so good while Teavivre sold it. I love the light honey notes on the already sweet, mildly roasted oolong. I’ll be enjoying it on this gloomy day while packaging up teas to go to the post office on Wednesday. :D I have teas for sale on page 13 of the ‘official sale’ thread if anyone wants to check that out for any last minute orders.
My weekend was excellent, even though my sleep schedule is totally off now! I enjoyed fighting games and worked on painting, who can ask for more? Sadly though, my happiness is at an end, sort of. The basement has a hellish flooding problem, so there is going to be a lot of noise and a lot of mess this week, with the warning ‘anyone with lung problems shouldn’t be here.’ Bah. So I am going to spend a lot of time outside, meaning no painting, though I am going to hopefully spend a lot of time at the zoo.
Today I am looking at Tealyra’s Da Hong Pao Superfine, specifically it is a Ban Yan Da Hong Pao (because if it was Zheng Yan it would cost a small fortune) see the term Ban Yan comes from Ban Yan Cha, or semi-rock tea (as contrasted with Yan Cha) meaning it is grown outside of the Wuyi National Scenic Area. It is still a Wuyi ‘Yancha’ in style and spirit, but being grown outside of this rather fancy region means us mere mortals can afford it. Good for people who want to drink Da Hong Pao everyday and not as a special treat. So how do these long twisty leaves smell? Like a Da Hong Pao, strong notes of char and tobacco with undertones of cocoa and lots of loam. It smells like the remnants of a campfire on an autumn’s day, a campfire where someone was smoking a pipe and eating s’mores and the air still holds both of those memories.
Time to use ye’ol Yancha pot, and the aroma of the tea leaves is still fairly char heavy, giving the tea a sharpness. There are also notes of loam and black walnuts with a finish of wet limestone. Not terribly nuanced but certainly very strong. The liquid for the first steep has mellowed out a bit on the char, smelling like wet coals and molasses with an accompaniment of walnut shells and a very faint creamy candy note, not unlike molasses candies…something which I am craving suddenly.
The first steep is surprisingly mellow, it starts with a loamy mineral note, like wet limestone and damp autumn leaves after a rain and then bursts into molasses and scotch. The finish is loamy and gently sweet but does not linger long. It was a good first steep but very mild for a yancha, which is usually balls to the walls from the first sip.
For the aroma of the second steep, there are notes of sweet molasses and chocolate with wet limestone and a nice burst of wet coals at the finish. It is stronger than the first steep, but sadly has lost the walnut shell notes. The taste reminds me of strong dark chocolate, just a touch sweet and nicely bitter with a coal and mineral finish. Often when these rock teas have a strong coal and dark chocolate flavor it reminds me of the burnt edge of a s’more you let catch on fire. Tasty but burnt chocolate!
The third steep’s aroma is faint by comparison, just notes of wet leaves and wet coal with a ghost of molasses. The aroma made promises of faintness that the taste fulfilled, this tea has given up the ghost. All that is left is the ghost of burnt chocolate and mineral, like rainwater more than wet limestone. If you want a tea that lingers for a while I say look elsewhere, but if you want a nice char heavy DHP for a fairly cheap price then this one works and fulfills that craving if you are running low on the higher end stuff.
Sipdown! I’ve had a reasonably bad cold since Thursday evening, so I’ve mostly been drinking comforting teas that I’m familiar with. There’s no point trying something new when I can’t taste it, after all. I’ve enjoyed this one, both with and without milk. It’s super smooth, with prominent chai spices and delicious creamy vanilla caramel. I’ll miss this one.
1 tsp, 2.5 minutes, boiling water. No additions.
This tea is quite good. There was very little bitterness. There was a bit of a green, vegetal taste early on but that did not last. What it had was a honey like sweetness without the actual intensity of real honey but the flavor. This was one good tea. In the end I only gave it eight steeps because I am really watching my caffeine but I thinnk it would have gone a few more. The tea liquid was a very light color even in the early steeps but had a lot of flavor.
I steeped this eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 7.2g leaf and 190 degree water. I gave it a 5 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. It had gotten quite light colored in the eighth steep but still had a lot of flavor. I think there were a couple of steeps left.
Flavors: Honey, Sweet, Vegetal
Thought i’d start the day out with a puerh since otherwise i won’t make time for it. This gives me a chance to take a few moments to wake up, and settle my mind before another day of tearing apart the house. These came to me from christina and were on my wishlist to try, so thank you for that!
initial steepings of this are quite nice. Smooth, a little reminiscent of “special dark” but not quite…some sweetness here as well, richness to the taste. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops.
Bought a cake of this with my first W2T order. It’s a solid daily drinker. Tasty and simple. I prefer it with boiling water and 3g in my 60mL gaiwan, as it makes the texture a little nicer and is still almost completely without bitterness. Liquor is a nice and vibrant yellow color.
I get little hints of stonefruit in the first 1-2 steeps sometimes, but mostly this tea is sweet hay/grass flavors. At times I also notice some soft floral notes. It has a nice creamy/viscous texture as well. Finish has a bit of a nice tang to it at times as well.
I’ve been using this tea as a baseline to play around with different waters. I got a Brita filter pitcher because the filter on my fridge is old, hasn’t been changed in forever, and is no longer produced (though it dispenses water I find to be quite tasty for tea). Water from the sinks in my house have a distinct, almost bitter flavor to them, which the brita filter cuts slightly, but doesn’t get rid of. They’ve been pretty bad for making tea. Spring water from the grocery store (in a gallon bottle) was a bit better, but I still tasted the water too much. Interestingly, other than my fridge water, the best I’ve had so far is water from the hose spigot outside the house run through the Brita. I’ve still got some other sources to try out, and I’m thinking Little Walk will continue to be my faithful and reliable companion.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Hay, Tangy
Oversteeped at two minutes. Slightly astringent Gyokuro with a vanilla accent and bare fruitiness that disappears in the tea. I almost thought I was drinking a matcha.
Steep 2 at 90 sec, and I thought I was drinking the 7 Oolong Blend. There was a weird floral that popped up like osmanthus, though I know that’s the jackfruit seed and the vanilla. Liquid hot sprite. I’m just rambling anyway. A morning of high blood sugars and a breakfast of almonds, coffee, creamer, and tea encourages cogent delirium. However, the weather is heavenly in Michigan. I’ll have a few cups outside before I workout today. I might even decide to dress up and show off.
Another overdue review from Puerh TTB #4
I wish I hadn’t waited so long. This is just the type of tea I enjoy: lots of different flavors vying for attention. First steep (10s) was very rich for a first steep. Powerful apricot flavor with a hint of earthiness underneath the fruit. Very good mouth-feel, depth, and finish. I probably should have waited for the second steep, as the finish from steep 1 was still very strong in my mouth. But I didn’t. Second steep had a strong nose with hints of wood. The wood is more obvious in the flavor, along with a lot of smoke. Builds in the mouth to a huge finish. This is not for the timid! I’m also feeling the cha qi in my chest and shoulders, though not so much mentally, which is how it usually affects me. As the cup cools, the apricot comes forward and the smoke and wood recede a bit, though are still present. The cha qi has now reached my head and I’ll need to take a break after drinking 4 ounces. Powerful tea in multiple ways. After about 10 minutes, the finish was barely noticeable, and the qi had faded enough for another cup.3rd steep: Tremendous. Apricot dominates, with wood underneath, and a hint of bitterness at the finish. The flavors are less separated than before. Still tons of cha qi. The tea still fills the mouth, but feels a bit more acidic in the mouth. In the 4th steep, the wood is dominant, and the smoke tastes a bit like ashes underneath the wood and fruit. This is more noticeable in the finish but is subtle enough so that it isn’t unpleasant. Strange rhythm: the odd steeps have been dominated by fruit but the evens were more woody. No idea why.
Around the 8th steep, it became very sweet. Taste is more like corn than apricot with some wood underneath. Less powerful, but no less pleasant or interesting.
Thanks very much to Essence of Tea, who donated the samples for the tea box.
The teas from bitterleaf arrived for me to add to the part 2 box? haha This one smells quite lovely, different from other yunnans that i’ve had – maybe slightly sweeter? I brewed this one western as i won’t have a huge amount of time for gonfu today, and i’ve got those picked out already. However, i’ll be resteeoing this a few times to see what happens. Brewed, there’s a slight smell of wet dog that’s only now a little damp…or I’ve got puppies on the brain haha. that being said, i like this one. there’s an almost baked good sort of flavour hanging out in the background. sort of bread-y but not quite. It’s a sweeter tea, but not SWEET. this is also a more mild tea, so it’s not what i’d call a breakfast, WAKE UP NOW sort of tea. This would make a great leisurely sipping in the afternoon sort of tea. yeah. this is interesting. Different from other’s that i’ve had of a similar variety.
thanks for sharing bitterleaf!
Knowing nothing about this, I grabbed a sample and took it to work.
How do I put this… after six steeps I wasn’t sure how I would pass off being able to work. Someone thought I was asleep for awhile because I was so zoned.
This stuff kicked my butt and I wasn’t expecting or ready for it.
Finally looking for more info online… not much to go by, but this is really affordable for the year, quality, taste, storage…. everything.
This tea was nothing short of phenomenal. There was no fermentation taste to this tea. It had completely cleared. The storage on this tea must have been perfect because it had taken on no unpleasant storage tastes of any sort. It was sweet and tasty. It had developed a nice fruity flavor to it in the later steeps. It was dark in the early and middle infusions but not at all thick with fermentation flavor. This tea was a gift from John at King Tea on Aliexpress. I looked for this on his web page but could not find it. I don’t even know how expensive it is. It took several steeps before this tea opened up and then in was a nice dark color, sweet with no bitterness. No real chocolate taste in there but it was really good despite this. I stopped at ten infusions because of my insomnia but I’m sure this tea would go twenty infusions at least. It’s still very dark in the tenth infusion.
I steeped this tea ten times in a 150ml gaiwan with 12g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. I would definitely like to obtain some more of this tea.
Flavors: Fruity, Sweet
Lemon? Check. Vanilla ish sort of flavour? Check. “Cake”? not really. this is really just a lemony tea to me. Maybe with a little sweetner added this would be more cake like but it’s missing that sort of heavy, cakelike, dropping with icing sort of feel to it. It DOES hit the intense lemon aspect of pound cake on the head though. Do i love this? eh, it’s decent…certainly don’t need more outside of my sample though. :)
This tea is rather delicate which is not something I’ve come to expect from David’s Tea, with their tendency to oversweeten and flavor pretty much everything. It’s a blend of white tea, jasmine and milk oolong. I did steep this Western style (i’m at work) but would like to try gong fu’ing it someday.
Although fairly subtle there is a lot going on here in terms of flavor. Definite milk/butter, though I understand this is artificial… also I’m getting a bit of nuttiness and some sweetness. It reminds me a bit of cookies, but not in a sickeningly sweet way. Definitely a good tea for the afternoon time, as it’s low in caffeine and pretty relaxing.
Better than I thought it would be!
Drinking this mystery shu from mrmopar while at work…
I think it is one of three things: really cheap, a mixture of sheng and shu, or a 25% cooked cake…
Has a strong grass profile to it while still having evidence that it was cooked. This is pretty odd. Thin liquid and easy to brew, but not the most appealing in taste.
this is a generous sample I got from my teafriend – thanks so much
I’ve got a lot of shou. I love it. while drinking a lot of it i developed some preferences. im more picky than before, just clean taste is not not enough.
i really liked this Brown Sugar. It is so rich, dark, bittersweet. The fermentation flavor was present in the first 2-3 steeps maybe ( i rinse my shou once only) and then faded away. it went thru many steeps. later steeps had some creaminess.
Very enjoyable cup. thank you teafriend for sharing. i should definitely get this brick with my next order
You know a reference I need in my collection? A guide to glazes. I have a wonderful book on symbolism used in Chinese art, many books on tea, but no real references on pottery and the styles used in teaware. I have checked the library’s books on pottery and porcelain and not had much luck, so I need to dig elsewhere. I want to know what makes Ruyao and Geyao different, how long ago was Junyao developed, and what exactly is Huoci? I love the aesthetic of teaware, but what really gets me excited with it (and pretty much everything) is its history and story, even a brand new piece has a history and I want to know it!
Guys, I feel really bad today, so I am going to use this as an excuse to indulge in one of my favorite ways to drink tea when I feel ookie, and that is oolong grandpa/bowl style. Back around my birthday I ordered some tea from J-Tea International and with my order was a sample of Lucky Golden Lily, and it might be well known, I really like drinking Jin Xuan in this style. It is soothing to just take a bowl and toss the leaves in it and fill it with water, not only is it immensely convenient, it is also aesthetically pleasing because you get to watch the leaves unfold while you are drinking. The aroma of the curled green leaves is what you expect from a Jin Xuan, it is buttery and sweet with notes of cashews, cream, sesame seeds, honey, and of course slightly spicy lilies and honeysuckles. It manages to be sweet without being too sweet.
The aroma of the leafy pile and soup is very sweet, creamy and floral with nutty tones, sesame and cashews being the dominant nutty notes with lily and honeysuckles being the dominant floral. There is a slight green undertone, like butterhead lettuce, which is my favorite lettuce if you were curious on that little snippet. In classic Jin Xuan style it starts out sweet, wonderful notes of honey drizzled cashews and sesame, with a hint of chestnuts which gives a bit of extra thickness to the buttery texture. It has notes of flowers as well, though it is light when compared to some of the more flowery oolongs, with gentle notes of spicy Asiatic lilies and honeysuckles and an undertone of hyacinth.
The more the leaves steep and unfurl and the more my bowl is refilled, the more the buttery to the point of being savory notes pop up. I love this about Jin Xuan, it is not savory like eating cooked spinach, and it certainly is not salty as in someone salted my tea, no it is savory like butter and mineral like I just licked a piece of limestone. There is a touch of salinity to it, since most rocks are ever so slightly salty (word of advice, don’t lick rocks unless you know what it is, as some are rather toxic, especially when wet) but it is more mineral than salt. It is not just mineral and buttery, there are flowery notes but by the late game it is faded, mostly gentle ghostly flowery notes remain, the nutty notes mostly faded as well.
I haven’t been to a David’s Tea in Forever, but I got a cup of this to go when I stepped in to get the spring collection today. I asked for this hot, along with sugar and soymilk. I wouldn’t say I got much “cake” flavoring out of this but it is very strong on the lemon flavor. I felt this tea was a bit too acidic for me and sure enough, when I checked the ingredients it does have hibiscus in it. I think perhaps this would be better as a latte. It would probably be good as an iced tea too. I can’t quite give it a high rating because it upset my stomach a bit. Overall it was tasty though.
The rest of this matcha is going to Scheherazade where hopefully it will be appreciated! Gotta share the matcha love, am I right?
I’m sipping this down in two parts: the first is whisked into some almond milk, which was very tasty but really strong. It actually reminded me a little bit of DAVIDsTEA’s Nutty By Nature mate blend which was stonefruit and nuts. I believe I also commented on that blend that it was a little too sweet/cloying for my tastes but the idea behind the pairing was good. That’s my feelings about this matcha milk: almond and apricot go together splendidly, but this is just much too sweet. It probably doesn’t help I’m using vanilla almond milk which is sweeter in the first place.
The second part is in pasta: I made shell pasta and yellow bell peppers for brunch with a really rich sauce made from figs, goat cheese, garlic, almond milk and apricot matcha. I know that sounds like there’s a lot going on but the flavours work wonderfully together to make something very rich and creamy with a great contrast between the savory garlic and the bright, sweetness of the apricot/fig. Everything is well represented and delicious!
This wasn’t my favourite matcha overall but it wasn’t bad at all either! Some fun and interesting things came from experimenting with it.
Had a cup of this to start my morning out ever so long ago. I’ve been busy the last little while so i haven’t had much time to tea log. I don’t mind this tea, but it’s not my favourite. I think i’ve said that before. It’s a perfectly acceptable tea – even good for an average every day tea, but it doesn’t hit the mark i want in a keemun. Still love that genuine tea offers free shipping. period. Will have to check out a few more of their other teas at some point and see if there’s magic there :)