335 Tasting Notes
An evening tea choice fell on this sample from tperez and I used all of it, because why the hell not. As others have mentioned the tea does indeed remind one of roses. In fact, I think I like this rose aroma more than most of actual roses, whose scent I tend to find overwhelming. Another very distinctive characteristic is a string minerality and a vegetal nature that comes to the fore towards the end of the session in particular.
In the dry leaves, I can also smell charcoal, blood orange, and stonefruits apart from the florals. The mix of floral and ash reminds me a bit of light to medium roasted TGY. When wet, I get further notes of mushrooms, popcorn, rock salt and various vegetal ones. The taste starts off floral and mineral with a mild banana sweetness and a sour finish followed by a very mineral (almost salty) and buttery aftertaste. Later on, flavours of honey and grass emerge and the aftertaste turns more perfumy. Throughout the session, the mouthfeel is quite thick, but not particularly interesting.
Overall, a nice Dan Cong, but not one I am dying to have in my stash.
Flavors: banana, Blood orange, Butter, Char, Floral, Flowers, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Mushrooms, Perfume, Popcorn, Rose, Salt, Salty, Stonefruits, Thick, Vegetal
I felt like having a Taiwanese white today and I found this sample from derk lying around today after coming home from work. The tea is somewhat less aromatic than other related examples, but the flavours are very yummy. It is sweeter and fruitier than what I remember from other red jade white teas. The texture is very smooth and creamy and the aftertaste very cooling and menthol like with various vegetal notes.
I was also taken aback by the cha qi that gradually started creeping over me. Maybe I should have read the other reviews first, I wonder how much work I can get done tonight lol.
I will be looking to get more of this one, thanks for sharing it with me, derk :)
Flavors: Creamy, Fruity, Grass, Menthol, Mint, Sweet, Tangy, Vegetal
Unlike a lot of other teas in a similar category, this one is very well balanced. It is probably a bit more expensive than what I’d be happy to pay for a cake though.
It has aromas of wooden cabinet, wet earth, water lilies and some medicinal ones. The taste is tart and fruity with a crisp vegetal note appearing throughout the session and a bitter finish. I can taste dates and honey, although the profile is not very sweet overall. In late infusions, the taste is quite spicy too. The aftertaste is dry and has a perfume-like quality with notes of peach skin, wood, and black pepper.
Body is medium to light, but the texture is at least a bit interesting. The liquor has a coating, cooling and slightly numbing mouthfeel with good astringency. As for the cha qi, I found it to be quite heady and elevating with a mild body warming sensation.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Black Pepper, Dates, Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Medicinal, Mud, Peach, Perfume, Tart, Vegetal, Wet Earth, Wood
[Spring 2018 harvest]
I got this tea as a free sample with my latest TS order and kept it sealed until today. I found it to be a very flavour focused tea with good complexity and a very long aftertaste, but lacking body.
The dry leaves exude aromas of baked apple, various flowers, cookie dough, and citrus fruits. The wet leaves have a meadow-like floral complexity and a much sweeter smell with notes of fenugreek, prickly pear, and popcorn.
The taste has a lot going on too. The profile is savoury, sour and floral. In the beginning, I get notes of fenugreek, grass, walnut skin, plant roots and a slightly metallic, sour finish. There are many other flavours appearing later, kumquat and cabbage to name a few. The aftertaste is also very floral, but much more sweet. One extra flavour I notice there is the one of coriander leaves.
Flavors: Apple, Cactus Flowers, Candied Apple, Citrus, Citrus Fruits, Cookie, Coriander, Floral, Flowers, Grass, Herbs, Metallic, Plants, Popcorn, Sour, Sweet, Vegetables, Walnut
An interesting concept, blending white and black tea. It tastes more or less how you’d expect, but the progression of flavours is interesting, with more of a dianhong character early on and aged white notes being prevalent in later steeps.
Aromas of the tea are predominately sweet and woody, just like the flavour profile in the mouth in fact. There are notes of autumn leaf pile, oak wood, and orange blossoms. The taste hits flavours like stonefruits, chocolate, and fermented fruits. There is a nice sourness developing in late infusions. Aftertaste is long and cooling and overwhelmingly sweet. It has notes of apricots and various spices, as well as a slightly metallic tone and a tingling sensation in the throat. The mouthfeel is not very memorable, but decent. It is drying, smooth, and somewhat soft. I can feel there is a decent amount of caffeine in the tea, but the feeling is not too rushy thankfully.
Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Metallic, Oak wood, Orange Blossom, Smooth, Sour, Spices, Stonefruits, Sweet, Wood
Another one of Scott’s shou blends I really like, it has all the qualities I expect from these. The aroma is a mix of fruits (blueberries, blackberries), fresh seafood (calamari) and cooked meat. The first thing I notice is when drinking the tea is its extremely lubricating and oily mouthfeel that makes me salivate. It is also decently thick and a touch chalky. Taste-wise, it is a very smooth and woody tea. It is more savoury than sweet. Among the flavours I get are those of fireplace, coffee, and blue grapes. The aftertaste is more sweet and earthy and balances out the profile nicely. There is a sort of expansive camphor-like fragrance, nutty flavour and hints of sourness, shades of which are noticeable in the liquor itself as well actually.
In the middle of the session, the profile has some bitterness as well, which is nice. Overall, I would describe the tea as a fruity and woody one with little sweetness and camphor-like aftertaste.
Flavors: Bitter, Blackberry, Blueberry, Camphor, Coffee, Earth, Fireplace, Fruity, Grapes, Nutty, Sour, Tart, Thick
This FF Darjeeling smells a lot like dried herbs. It has aromas of courgette flowers, grass, hay, thyme, citrus zest and there is also a subtle sweet spiciness in the dry leaf scent. When wet, further notes of garden peas, acacia flowers, and sage emerge.
The taste is savoury and slightly bitter with a lemon sourness in the finish. There are flavours of green wood, courgette, clear smoke, orchid, sweet grass and others. Aftertaste is also somewhat vegetal and floral, but much more on the sweeter rather than sour & bitter side of the spectrum. I get hints of various spices, vanilla, and cocoa powder, among other fleeting flavours.
Overall, I find the tea to be quite balanced and dynamic at the same time, which is not that common. It is worth noting that it is very much on the green side with little oxidation, even for a FF Darjeeling.
Flavors: Bitter, Citrus Zest, Cocoa, Drying, Floral, Flowers, Garden Peas, Grass, Green Wood, Hay, Herbs, Orchid, Pleasantly Sour, Sage, Smoke, Spices, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Thyme, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal, Zucchini
This tea reminds me of W2T’s Arbor Red, but it’s not as dynamic and complex I think, but with a stronger huigan. In any case, it’s one of the better black teas I have tried for sure. At less than half the price of Arbor Red, it is probably a better value too.
Dry leaves smell sweet and earthy with notes of tomato vine and wooden furniture. Once wet, the aroma changes to a mix of honey and malt. The taste has a strong woody character complemented by decent minerality in later infusions. It is a very clean tasting tea, but that also means lack of complexity. There is a lot of sweetness, a light bitterness and some citrusy quality here and there. One point where the tea really shines is the aftertaste, which is pungent and very long lasting with a strong huigan. It is also somewhat more fruity overall. The body is medium to full, with a creamy, bubbly, and silky mouthfeel. Another thing worth noting is that this tea, more than any black tea I can remember, made me sweat a bit.
Thanks tperez for the sample!
Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Sweet, Wood
I find this tea to be fairly underwhelming, and I can’t quite find that much to write home about, even though nothing is off per se. It has aromas of cannabis and custard, complemented by vegetable compost and mushrooms later throughout the session. At the beginning, the taste is hay-like with a tart finish. The astringency is strong, but not overpowering. Later I notice further notes of dry grass, medium roast coffee, and mushrooms.
I’d say the body is fairly light and the liquor has a distinctively oily mouthfeel. There is also a kind of warming sensation spreading through my body after drinking the tea.
Flavors: Astringent, Cannabis, Coffee, Compost, Custard, Dry Grass, Drying, Hay, Mushrooms, Sour, Tart, Vegetables
After a very nice South Indian lunch I made today, I felt like having a darker Taiwanese oolong, so this sample I have from derk came handy :)
Even better, this turns out to be the best Hong Shui I have tried thus far.
The tea smells of cocoa and peach cake. It has a very interesting tart and metallic quality on top of the expected notes of rock sugar and stonefruits. There is a strong lemon flavour too. The liquor is silky and medium bodied, but not coating, an intriguing texture. After swallowing, it leaves my mouth salivating for a while, which enhances the aftertaste. I can also see some strange mix of warming and cooling effects like derk noted. Overall, the tea enhances my perceptions and makes me more focused, which is good, because I should get back to work now :)
Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8b4-6E8zjA
Flavors: Alcohol, Cake, Cocoa, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Lemon, Metallic, Pleasantly Sour, Stonefruits, Sugar, Sweet, Tart