183 Tasting Notes
This is smooth, minty and leathery, not particularly thick or complex. Sweetness increases after a few steeps. It actually feels like a mild ripe to me. I didn’t feel the tea bloom in my mouth or throat as I expected and I wasn’t particularly floored by the qi, as some people were.
I think my bias toward the dynamism of younger shengs colors my impression of this mellow tea. I like it but I don’t think it would be something I would drink regularly.
I’m immediately struck by the thickness and strength of this tea, which really blooms in the back of the throat. This tea has been well-reviewed and I agree it’s a standout. The mouth feel is rare for a young sheng and the peach flavors pleasantly mingle with the nutty notes you would find in a dragon well green.
Those of you with sensitive stomachs: beware; it’s hard-hitting and can be bitter if you don’t keep the steeps short. Still, I believe an experienced drinker would never get bored with this beguiling tea, one that, like a great poem, rewards re-readings.
I’m actually reviewing the Spring 2016 version of this tea. I wish there was a way Steepster could archive reviews of previous harvests of teas that are produced annually, so we don’t end up clogging the site with multiple entries of the same tea.
Anyway, I’m not much of an oolong drinker but I’m trying. I’ve been impressed with TS teas and this one in particular. It’s a beautiful, aromatic and delicious tea that tastes vegetal when it first hits your mouth but then boasts a zesty clove/cinnamon/allspice component to give the tea a little kick.
It coats the mouth and throat like a quality Sheng and promotes a beatific mood.
I have to agree with the YS description—this is a unique tea with a challenging flavor profile. I can tease out some pepper, nuts, and chocolate flavors but the overall body and mouth feel is unlike anything I’ve tasted. Maybe a hint of Rou Gui and mountain stream water when you hold the tea in your mouth for a bit.
Overall, it’s very tasty and intriguing—a good choice when you want to sit down and focus your attention.
Ho Hum. Just another in a long line of delicious old/wild arbor black teas from YS. This is not raisiny and malty like the Yi Wu mountain Assamica tea, with more brightness on the tongue, some caramel sweetness and a little bit of that leather/cherry flavor that you find in Keemuns. Amenable to all kinds of brewing approaches with absolutely no harshness.
This was included in my latest Laoshan Black order and I have to say, it’s quite delicious. The chocolate notes that dominate the flavor profile of the Laoshan are sublimated in favor of a deliciously sweet caramelized sugar taste. It’s also more effervescent and complex than the Laoshan Black, which can sometimes overwhelm me with its strong cocoa flavor.
I’m still somewhat of a neophyte when it comes to Oolongs, but I think I can recognize a truly spectacular one. This is both delicate and substantial at the same time with the perfect balance of melon, lemon and orange flavors. I’m still experimenting with steep times, but the tea is pretty forgiving and there’s something in each steep to enchant.
I know I just reviewed this wonderful tea, but I wanted to also note how the experience of drinking this tea invalidates a lot of the thinking about tea types and caffeine. Personally, I’ve always felt that caffeine levels are not a true indicator of how a tea affects someone and that caffeine labels should be taken with a grain of salt. Case in point this shincha which shouldn’t be sending me for a loop based on caffeine alone but clearly has a chemical profile that is making me quite tea drunk! I’ve had many black teas that haven’t affected me nearly as much.
The 2016 version of this is absolutely delicious, incredible, and powerfully energizing. Getting my hands on some of this each spring has become a requirement and I’m not even much of a green tea drinker. But this transcends individual predilections and stands as a tea everyone should taste for its smooth, fresh vegetal taste.
The Greek gods ate ambrosia. . .this essential nectar can’t be too far off.
By the way, I brewed this three times in a Kyusu at 1 minute, 2 minutes and 2.5 minutes and didn’t experience any bitterness and the flavor endured.