231 Tasting Notes
My big YS order came in today, kind of a surprise because I was expecting it Monday or Tuesday. http://imgur.com/LxXminp Decided to start it off with this one.
Brews a light orange and emits a very cinnamon-y sweet and spicy aroma. The flavor is very complex; its strongly mineral, strongly fruity, somewhat spicy, and a little roasty. Notes of ripe melon, underripe citrus, wet rocks, toasted barley, nuts, and warming spice. Strong, fruity lingering aroma in the mouth. Later steeps are less fruity and aromatic with prominent woody notes. There’s a marine backnote that becomes more noticeable as you brew on, something like dried shrimp that might sound unpleasant but is actually quite nice.
Overall very nice and a good place to start with my shipment.
Flavors: Butternut Squash, Cinnamon, Fruity, Marine, Melon, Mineral, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Walnut, Wet Rocks
Another tea I forgot I had. This one could almost qualify as “aged” as I think I’ve had it since 2012 when I first ordered from Mountain Tea. I remember not particularly liking this one as it was very floral. The dry leaves seem to have lost most of their aroma and are a little less green.
Brews up floral though! Honeysuckle, gardenia, maybe lavender. Slightly buttery, slightly herbaceous. It has a slight sparkling quality that reminds me of watered down ginger ale.
This might be a pretty good tea if you like floral teas like green Tie Guan Yin, but it’s not for me. I didn’t even make a second steep.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Gardenias, Honeysuckle, Lavender
Brews up a medium orange with a sweet and savory aroma. This tea has a super clean taste and mouthfeel for a black tea, no maltiness to speak of. The main flavor note that I get is maple syrup/molasses, though it’s only slightly sweet. It’s slightly fruity like citrus and red apples, though slightly vegetal like artichoke. I’d also say that it has a bit of umami and mineral/spring water.
The small, black lumps unfurl into nice, big, dark oolong-like leaves. Lasts a decent number of infusions, but not as infusible as most oolongs or some blacks can be.
Overall it’s fairly nice and may be a good black tea for green tea and oolong drinkers. It’s been I while since I drank it, but it’s very similar to how I remember Mountain Tea’s Black Pearl tasting.
Flavors: Artichoke, Citrus, Maple, Mineral, Molasses, Red Apple, Umami
Digging through my tea stash and finding things that I forgot I had!
This is the 2015 version of this, it’s a little bit different than the one I’d had before, but still delicious. Super chocolaty, I think the most chocolaty I’ve had other than Verdant’s Laoshan Black. I remember the last harvest being more like milk chocolate; this one is more dark chocolaty. Nice honey sweetness, wheaty malt, and just a touch of a floral note. It reminds me of a pastry that they used to have at Panera Bread, a dark chocolate and honey croissant. It’s really tasty and I’m glad I found this.
Ming Ming has expanded and opened up a sushi shop, which, while an odd combination with Chinese tea shop, seems to be bringing in quite a bit of business. The sushi is fairly good and very decently priced. I really hope that they don’t stop selling tea, but I doubt that would happen as the husband/owner is a big tea aficionado.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Wheat
I got like six free ounces of this tea during a promotion Mountain Tea did last year. I’m not the biggest drinker of green oolongs, but every once in a while I find myself in the mood and I’ve been slowly working my way through it. Tonight was one of those nights.
I gave it a quick rinse and let the leaves open up for about a minute. Brews a very light yellow-green. Tastes of under-ripe tropical fruits, parsley, kale, and cane sugar. The first steep is a bit thin, but by the second it has a nice creamy texture and flavor. Like some other
greener Taiwan oolongs I’ve had it has a lingering fruity sweetness in the mouth that reminds me of Flintstones vitamins.
Overall it’s a fairly nice, budget Taiwan oolong. Also makes a good overnight cold brew.
I’m planning an order with Mountain Tea to get a big stash of their Amber Oolong, and I want to try their Ruby #18 black and aged Green Heart as well. Any recommendations for other “must try”s ?
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cream, Kale, Parsley, Tropical
The highlight of the teas I tried from the Tea Guy, this is a really nice earl grey. Strong, real bergamont flavor, no “natural flavorings” b.s., and a good quality tea base that takes the background. Fruity and citrusy with a bit of malt, good with or without milk.
Thanks for the samples Tea Guy, I enjoyed trying them!
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Malt
I have to say that I was a little apprehensive going into this, as my experience with pu’erh from vendors who aren’t specialized in Chinese tea has been… bad. It’s also loose leaf, and while I know there can be good loose pu’erh, my first and worst experience with pu’erh was loose leaf, and I still haven’t completely recovered from the horror.
Medium sized brown leaves, aroma of fresh beet root. I did a quick rinse with boiling water and then let it steep to a nice burgundy red color. Tastes of beet root and wet earth. Very smooth, and no fishy or moldy flavors. I’ve certainly had worse, but to be honest it isn’t very good. Tastes like the old, generic tin of ripe pu’erh that my grandma had on her shelf. It’s drinkable, but not something I’d really want to drink.
Sorry Tea Guy
Flavors: Wet Earth, Wet Rocks, Wet Wood
This is an interesting one for me as I’ve only tried one Darjeeling (a 2nd flush) other than teabags. The leaves are small pieces of green and brown with some silver tips. They have an aroma of hay and dried herbs.
It brews a light orange-yellow. Tastes of dry grass, basil , and white grapes with a floral aroma. Slightly medicinal and astringent. I’m not sure I really like it, but I can see someone else enjoying it more than me.
This definitely sounds like the Darjeeling teas I’ve heard about that “tread the line” between being a black tea and green or oolong. It’s definitely nowhere near as oxidized as more standard black teas. It’s interesting to try, if nothing else as a learning experience.
Flavors: Astringent, Dry Grass, Floral, Herbs, White Grapes
Brews up a orangeish-gold. Quite a bit of bitterness, I oversteeped the first brew and had to dump it. Slightly smoky with menthol, peach, tobacco, and floral notes. This must have been a real bruiser when it was fresh! Sort of reminds me of the offspring of a milder YS cake with a burly Xiaguan tuo. Nice lingering sweetness in the mouth and the back of the throat.
Made from 2008 maocha, this tea has had almost a decade of age to mellow out, but to be honest I think it could benefit from another ten years or so.
*Edit: Mellows out in later steeps. Very sweet, reminds me of canned peach juice.
Flavors: Camphor, Honeysuckle, Peach, Smoke, Tobacco
Revisiting this one for the first time in a while. The leaves have turned to a light brown with golden colored tips. Brews a fairly light gold-ish color with a twinge of orange. Smells slightly smoky and camphorous, but I think it may have picked this up from a tea it was stored with.
It’s a very mild brew with little bitterness or astringency. Nice olive oil flavor and texture in the mouth. Good lingering sweetness in the mouth and back of throat. It’s still slightly floral, but no longer green; more like dried flowers. Also has a spring water minerality and sort of a dried wood/autumn leaf pile note. I gave my dad (who is more of a wine drinker) a cup and he said it reminded him of a very mild but oaky chardonnay. It definitely has a “qi” to it; I started to feel it after just a few infusions.
Overall it’s changed a little bit over the past few years, but not a lot. It’s very light and mild, and I don’t think it will benefit much from further aging, so I’ll move it to the top of the “to drink now” box.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Floral, Mineral, Oak wood, Olive Oil, Sugarcane, White Wine