39 Tasting Notes

The first couple steps are light and sweet with wildflower honey, black tea, dried apricot, and citrus notes dominating the golden brew, with a sweet earthiness in the background. It quickly becomes bittersweet and turns orange. I normally would have reduced the steeping time, but the bittersweet steeps have a deep, aromatic, resinous wood thing that I love, and it disappears in lighter steeps. The bitterness is quite tolerable anyway. The next few steeps move toward a more generic but still pleasant mushroomy earthiness, and that’s where this session ends because I’ve had a lot of puerh today and I can feel it.

Flavors: Apricot, Citrus, Earth, Flowers, Honey, Mushrooms, Resin, Wood

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Today ended up being an oolong roast day. I tasted a Si Ji Chun I roasted in September after hating its vegetalness unroasted. The roast brought out some woodiness and spice reminiscent of a yancha, weirdly enough. Four or five steeps in, it had a strong brown sugar sweetness. I decided to roast it some more and see where it goes.

I also roasted an Alishan Jin Xuan that was a victim of poor storage at a cafe for a few years. I got several ounces of it ridiculously cheap because of that. Initially I tried a short refresh roast, and while it smelled great–honey, flowers, apricot–all that disappeared when I poured water on it, and the taste just wasn’t there, hardly any better than before reroasting. I roasted it a little further and I’ll check on it in a couple months.

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The roast isn’t very heavy and doesn’t overpower the lighter floral notes while also bringing out some nuttiness and hints of spice. It finishes strongly citric, but not sour. Overall, it’s medium bodied with mild astringency and not very complex, but enjoyable.

Flavors: Citrus, Earth, Floral, Nutty, Spicy

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drank Snowflake Dancong by White2Tea
39 tasting notes

This is wonderfully aromatic with a good amount of complexity. It’s primarily fruity, lots of florals too. The mouthfeel is almost oily, as usual for Dancong. It tastes best to me with slightly less tea than you’d expect to need flash steeped with boiling water, although it can take longer steeps just fine if that’s what you prefer; this seems to be pretty low on bitterness for a Dancong no matter how it’s brewed.

Flavors: Apricot, Fig, Floral, Pineapple, Raspberry, Tropical

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drank 2018 Splendid by White2Tea
39 tasting notes

I initially used a stronger ratio and flash steeps, and it gave the impression of a generic young sheng: vegetal, astringent, fairly bitter. Removing some leaves and steeping longer revealed more of the tea’s character. It’s mellow and slightly fruity, with hints of apricot and berries. Lots of caramel as well. There’s a bit of vegetal bitterness to balance all that sweetness, and some intermittent spiciness that I love. The mouthfeel is quite thick for the age; it’s almost like a syrup. The best part is probably the desert-like finish. I need a cake of this to see how it ages.

Flavors: Apricot, Berries, Caramel, Peppercorn, Toffee, Vanilla, Vegetal

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drank 2018 Waffles by White2Tea
39 tasting notes

I’m not sure I get shou. This just tasted earthy and fermented, as shou usually does, with the typical ultra thick mouthfeel of shou. Early steeps were more interesting, though difficult to describe.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dirt, Earth

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drank Lot #23060 by Mountain Tea
39 tasting notes

OK for the price, but nothing special. It has a nice mouthfeel, but each steep has the same fairly simple flavor profile. Somewhat sour finish.

Flavors: banana, Butter, Citrus, Floral, Roasted nuts

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drank Wuyi Ensemble by Adagio Teas
39 tasting notes

I liked this more than I expected based on my experience with Adagio’s oolongs. The roast is on the lighter side for a Wuyi, so it’s a little more floral and fruity than I’m used to Wuyi oolongs being. There’s also a sweet cinnamon note and some dark chocolate. I enjoyed this sample, but I wouldn’t buy it because there’s a lot of high quality Wuyi oolong out there for a similar price.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Fruity, Roasted

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drank Golden Yunnan by Adagio Teas
39 tasting notes

A light tea with an earthy, malty, and slightly peppery flavor. Not the most interesting Yunnan black tea I’ve had, but not bad either.

Flavors: Earth, Malt, Pepper

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The leaves have a baked, nutty and woody smell that comes through into the brewed cup. It’s fairly tannic, with a bittersweet chocolate and muscatel finish and moderate level of astringency. This doesn’t taste like first flush Darjeeling.

Not sure what I think of it. It’s quite different from the kind of Darjeeling I’d pick out when reading tasting notes and smelling dry leaves before buying.

Flavors: Chocolate, Herbs, Muscatel, Nuts, Toasty, Wood

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Profile

Bio

I mostly drink roasted oolongs, Chinese black tea, Darjeeling, and occasionally sheng puerh, aged white tea, or Japanese green tea. Assam, Ceylon, etc., don’t interest me much, and I don’t like flavored tea except Earl Grey and chai.

I don’t think rating tea is very helpful when everyone rates on a different scale and looks for different things in tea, so I will probably never rate anything I review.

Aside from tea, I also like single origin coffee, wine, and craft beer. Other interests include listening to and making music, music-related electronics, sci-fi and fantasy, writing, and cooking.

Location

Michigan

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