141 Tasting Notes
Certainly a great any time of the day tea.
You will be hard pressed to have a good golden tippy full leaf Assam tea for the price of around $8.
It carries a medium punch of caffeine along with good astringency.
I tend to like the serving color at amber, which would mean cutting the recommended steeping time in half (8mins is recommended).
Beware: Steeping for 8mins or longer will produce a much higher astringency (bitter, even) and a jolt of caffeine equaled to a kick from the south end of a north bound mule! :)
I cut the steeping time in half, definitely made the tea easier to drink. This is such a small leaf tea that carries a great punch! If you are looking for a good breakfast tea, this may be the right choice. It is very bold and not for the weak at heart. :) I did finish this pot off by sweetening it just a touch and pouring it over ice. Personally, it seemed to tame the overall flavor (yet not watering down), and became much more delicious with a resemblance of a robust Assam black leaf.
Found this shou puerh at such a bargain! It was >$7 for 150grams. With that being said, I prefer it well above any of the other puerhs I have found in this pricing structure.
It infuses very fast and is a nice clean tea to the palate, even on the first steeping (after, of course the leaves being washed). The fragrance of the leaves resembles a green oolong, yet when steeped it looses most of that fragrance. Honestly, it smells like gold fish food; no joke! That is the only thing fishy here though, because the taste is excellent. It sips very smoothly and lingers this smoothness well after you are done drinking (for the moment:) It certainly has you coming back for more!
Very aromatic and smooth to the taste, with a very light floral note. It tends to have a very slight bitter aftertaste (even with a shorter steep time and lower temp). I personally brew this tea a minute shorter than recommended, results in a lighter tangerine amber color and less bitter aftertaste. Also, I find it a great midday/early afternoon choice of leaf. There is no need for sweetener,however will splurge occasionally with a turbinado sugar, orange blossom honey or white agave nectar.
I tend to steep this Houji-Cha a little longer than the 30 sec recommended time. I prefer: 2 min 30 sec @ 175 degrees Fahrenheit. This produces a pale amber colored cup, with a light honeysuckle nectar with a lasting toasted almond notes. Reminds me of a weaker Phoenix Dan Cong oolong; also, lingers like some the dark teas (pu-erhs). This is a great option for one that wants to mix it up a bit and still stay with a straight tea.
This is a such a treat for a black tea. It has just the right mixture of delicious orange peels that awakens the senses and plenty of creamy floral notes of the Sri Lanka Silver Needles, not to mention an added small jolt of caffeine from the Golden Yunnan black tea. Delicious!