Eco-Cha Artisan Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

94

Spring 2022 harvest.

First time trying Eco-Cha’s Wenshan Baozhong and it did not disappoint. This is an all around excellent tea.

Out of the bag, the dry leaves are beautifully aromatic and fresh with a fragrant aroma of stonefruit, sweep sap, and flowers. Lilac and balsamic aromas appear in the wet leaf. It has that classic Baozhong lilac forward taste. This is accented with notes of water lily, bergamot, and orchid. Clean and medium bodied with lingering perfume in the finish. The top notes disappear and the flavor lightens when topped off but still very pleasant.

I mostly steeped it grandpa style @ 190-195 F topping off with boiling water. I preferred it this way to gongfu which was richer but missing some subtleties.

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Lilac, Lily, Orchid, Sap, Stonefruit

Cameron B.

Just pointing it out if you haven’t already noticed, you posted this note twice.

LuckyMe

Thanks, looks like Steepster ate my first tasting note and spit it out along with the second one.

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94

Spring 2022 harvest.

First time trying Eco-Cha’s Wenshan Baozhong and it did not disappoint. This is an all around excellent tea.

Out of the bag, the dry leaves are beautifully aromatic and fresh with a fragrant aroma of stonefruit, sweep sap, and flowers. Lilac and balsamic aromas appear in the wet leaf. It has that classic Baozhong lilac forward taste. This is accented with notes of water lily, bergamot, and orchid. Clean and medium bodied with lingering perfume in the finish. The top notes disappear and the flavor lightens when topped off but still very pleasant.

I mostly steeped it grandpa style @ 190-195 F topping off with boiling water. I preferred it this way to gongfu which was richer but missing some subtleties.

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Lilac, Lily, Orchid, Sap, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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95

I think this is the first tea that I’ve almost exclusively cold steeped. I find that I actually prefer roasted oolongs this way. It brings out more of their sweetness and caramelized flavors and less of the roast.

For a budget tea, this one really impressed me with its depth of flavor. Elegant, brown sugar sweetness with notes of marzipan, raisin, and crème caramel. It’s fine hot steeped, but the roast is a little more assertive and loses its subtleties.

I tried the green version of this tea a few years ago and it was okay. The roasting takes it to a whole new level, unveiling real complexity and nuance.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Custard, Marzipan, Raisins

Preparation
Iced 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I do for some of them too. I have a lot of roasted oolong from the club I get rid of through cold brew.

LuckyMe

Cold brew is really a godsend for getting rid of less loved teas.

Leafhopper

I’ll have to try this with some of my “aged” roasted oolongs from the tea club.

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84

I sent this tea to Daylon a while ago and thought I’d made a note about it, but I guess not. This is a summer 2015 harvest that has been languishing in my tea museum for seven years, so most of the tropical fruit notes mentioned in earlier reviews have dissipated before I could enjoy them. Why pay for aged tea when you can age it yourself, right? :P I’m following Daylon’s gongfu parameters to see if I can get more out of this tea, steeping 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain pot at 195F for 25, 35, 25, 45, 50, 70, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of dark chocolate, cherry, pastry, wood, and malt. The first steep has notes of cherry, raisin, dried fruit, cocoa, pastry, honey, wood, and malt, with hints of maple syrup and some bitterness. I get whisps of papaya in the second steep, plus cherry, darker chocolate, wood, and pleasant sourness. The fruit is less noticeable in the next couple steeps, with honey, pastries, wood, malt, brown sugar, and tannins becoming more prominent. The tea is also quite drying. The next couple steeps retain their cocoa, honey, and pastry notes, but veer more toward wood, malt, earth, and minerals. The session ends with notes of honey, hay, malt, earth, and minerals.

This is an enjoyable tea, though I think I would have found more of the flavours I gravitate toward if I hadn’t waited so long to drink it. It fades rather early and can get a little drying in later steeps.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cherry, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Drying, Earth, Hay, Honey, Malt, Maple Syrup, Mineral, Papaya, Pastries, Pleasantly Sour, Raisins, Tannin, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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From the depths of the Tea Museum curated by Leafhopper, comes this 2016 Taiwanese Wuyi black tea.

Dry leaf base aroma is earthy-woody and sweet like wood buried within damp humus. The mid- to high notes are of red sweet potatoes baked with honey and nutmeg, a hint of dried and sweetened papaya.

First whiffs of the warmed leaf smell like pure honey soaking with nutmeg and golden raisins. Beneath that is “tea”, nectairine, passionfruit and plums. Overall, It’s a very intense woody-earthy, spicy-sweet aroma.

When I finally get around to drinking the tea instead of burying my nose in the leaf, it comes across first with the impressions of “tea”, a flattened malty-suede effect. Honeyed spring water follows and is chased by nutmeg, leather, plum and rosewood with barky tannins. A decadent apricot-squash-cream aftertaste comes out, dessert-like yet dense and savory. It is quick to present but morphs at the pace of poured molasses. and sticks to every surface before giving way to something more earthy. Infusions beyond the third hit me with sweet nutmeg and allspice top notes, while hanging on to the tea-malt-suede flat character. it takes 7 infusions for the tea to fade into something woody.

This is an incredibly aromatic tea with gorgeous spice and sweet taste and accompanying deeply warming energy. I’m not sure I’ve had a tea with those notes so prominent. Most bug-bitten Taiwanese blacks have a similar profile but this one is truly at another level of spice and sweet. It does suffer from that flat, suedey effect, though. Regardless, this tea is a treat! A tea I could devote to the month of November.

Flavors: Allspice, Apricot, Bark, Cream, Earthy, Flat, Forest Floor, Fruity, Honey, Leather, Malt, Nectarine, Nutmeg, Papaya, Passion Fruit, Plum, Raisins, Rosewood, Savory, Spicy, Spring Water, Squash, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tea, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Leafhopper

Glad you liked this! I wish I’d kept some around to see if I could detect some of the notes you found.

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90

Leafhopper, this one is making me drool. Most of the Shanlinxi blacks I’ve had lean more towards papaya, and while this certainly has it, the tea gong fu or western is extremely thick and sweet. Western so far consisted of 3 min that became 4 min, 3 minutes again, and 4-5 min again. Gong fu was 25, 35, 25, 45, 50, 70, 90, 3 min.

I get more complex fruit and cocoa notes with some nice woody and hints of floral qualities gong fu, and a chocolate covered cherry flavor western. Sometimes I’d border to say maple syrup in some moments, and others chocolate syrup with a sweet aftertaste too. I can see someone write honey for the notes, but it’s undivorced from the chocolate sweetness, middling between milk and dark chocolate. There’s some really pleasant bitterness that occasionally sneaks up and textures the sweet flavor. I’m also getting the funnel cake quality that I’ve gotten in other Taiwanese blacks that’s a bit of an exaggeration.

Either way, it reminds me of Cocoa Amore in some ways in a more pure form. This is easily the kind of tea I could live with, and which is actually harder to find online for an affordable price. My only complaint is that it’s not long lasting. I’ve not been able to get it more than 6 steeps gong fu as it lost strength after steep 5, and it begins to really lose lustre after steep 3 western. I’d easily rate this 96, but the fading quality puts it at a 90 for me. Definitely my favorite black of the collection I got so far.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramelized Sugar, Cherry, Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Papaya, Plum, Raisins, Sweet, Tropical Fruit, Wood

Leafhopper

Glad you enjoyed it! I also thought it was good, though probably closer to an 80 than a 90. I got cocoa, sweetness, some bitterness, faint florals, and that funnel cake/pastry note you mentioned, though no cherry that I can recall.

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82

Finished this off yesterday-thank you Leafhopper! It would only last two-three solid steeps each session, 10, 20, 30, and then malty woodiness. The flavors were forward and had heavy honey, malt, some chocolate, dried papaya, a little bit of passion fruits, herbs, wood, nectarine hints, and of course, tea. It tasted like it was a ready boba with the brown sugar already in it, with a little bit of the Taiwanese fructose sweetness.

I liked this one quite a bit, and am glad I tried it.

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Purchased as part of the Eco-Cha Tea Club sometime in 2016, this hongcha has spent too long in my tea museum. Its flavours are very soft and hard to coax out, and I have a feeling that’s due to age. I also laughed at the description of this as small leaf black tea, as the leaves of this tea are wiry and huge! I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 20, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 180 seconds.

The dry aroma is of rye bread, wood, honey, and cherries. The first steep has notes of rye bread, honey, malt, wood, minerals, and tannins, with aromas of cherry and raspberry that don’t make it into the cup. Mild raspberry appears in steeps two and three, and there’s a pronounced honey aftertaste. There could be some sugarcane in there too. The next couple steeps add raisins and spices. The tea fades into rye bread, wood, tannins, and minerals.

I wish I’d tried this tea when it wasn’t over six years old! It has some characteristics I associate with Taiwanese Assam (though I’m not sure this is actually an Assam tea), but I’ll be happy to see it leave my cupboard.

Flavors: Bread, Cherry, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Raisins, Raspberry, Rye, Spices, Sugarcane, Tannin, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I had a hard time coaxing out a lot of Black Tea flavors from Eco-Cha.

Leafhopper

That’s interesting! I haven’t had many black teas from Eco-Cha, and the ones I’ve had have been older. I think I had a Ruby 18 from them that was flavourful, but I tend to like other Taiwanese black tea cultivars more. I have an old Shan Lin Xi Black from the tea club to try next!

Daylon R Thomas

Oooh, that’s going to be good.

Leafhopper

Fingers crossed! :)

tea-sipper

This one is in my tea museum as well.. I also had a laugh at the “small” leaves.

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Better today and yesterday. I did short then long steeps and overwhelmed it a little. Today, I only did short steeps and the florals were more prominent. It was green, slightly grassy, and orchidy with some clear cardamom notes going on this time. Really cool tea. I’m not ready to rate it because it’s still so finicky. I’ve been so tempted to get Eco-Cha’s Yushan, but I have too many oolongs already.

Flavors: Cardamom, Floral, Green, Orchid, Smooth, Sugarcane

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I thought I’ve added or written about this one before. Guess I’ll write about it now, which maybe again.

I got this one because it was the same growers and roasters as the Phoenix Village Dong Ding that was in the club. This is a spring 2020 or 2021 crop, it the box notes the florals and dry fruit more than anything else.

I get those, but this tea is extremely tricky. Either I under leaf or over leaf this bad boy. Given Eco-Cha recommends a whopping 9 grams for western, this tea really needs to be pushed to coax out the full flavor. Every session has been refined, but earlier teas would mostly give me vegetal impressions of fruit, florals, and honey. The honey notes were shy, and usually showed up later. Doing this tumbler style over does the tea, making it too vegetal, and too malty somehow, reminding me of those raw fruit based fruit rollups or That’s It! bars.

As I’ve kept the tea for a little bit, my dry leaves have breathed out. I get more florals and fruit, and less vegetal qualities lately. It’s not super forward, but it’s complex having shifting tones of mineral, macadamia, plumeria or lilac, maybe vanilla, and other florals under a swiss chard body. Western has been the better method so far because it draws out the flavors instead of forcing them out at once giving me more complex mugs that change flavors as it cools.

I’m not sure what to rate it, but maybe between the 80s and 90s. It’s got high marks for aroma, complexity, and individual notes, but it’s harder to brew than the Club’s counterpart of the same kind of tea. I like that it’s easy going and not astringent or super grassy, yet there are so many aspects that are easily missed or overwhelmed by other qualities. I do think this is a much higher quality tea in taste than I gave it credit for, yet it took me a while to get down to it. I still think I overspent when I got it. I am, however, thankful I got so much so I can play and experiment with it. I still recommend Eco-Cha, and especially recommend this for someone willing to do a professional tasting of it. I can easily see some one meditate with this tea, and drink it in one large cup, slurping in spoonfuls after a busy day.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Drying, Floral, Gardenias, Honey, Kale, Mango, Mineral, Nutty, Orchids, Spices

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84

From the vaults of the tea museum, here’s a Wuyi hongcha from the beginning of the Eco-Cha Tea Club in the spring of 2016. I’ll call it “aged” instead of neglected. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of sweet potatoes, honey, raisins, earth, and medicinal herbs. The first steep has notes of raisins, plums, sweet potato, anise, earth, tannins, malt, sugarcane, wood, and spices, perhaps nutmeg. The plummy stonefruit is more prominent in the next steep, but so are the tannins and the astringency. The next couple steeps add cream and apricot, and I got a floral edge in one of my gongfu sessions. Fortunately, the medicinal character is gone, though there’s still sugarcane and faint anise in the aftertaste. The next few steeps have notes of spiced plum, raisins, squash, honey, cereal, tannins, earth, wood, grass, and minerals, with a nice honey/sugarcane aftertaste.

For such an old tea, this is complex and full of flavour. The honey and spices remind me of other Taiwanese black teas. I wonder if the strong raisins and stonefruit are due to aging, as they’re not noted in the few other reviews of this tea when it was younger. I’m sure Derk and Daylon will be able to add some nuances to this tasting note, as I’ve included it in their swap boxes!

Flavors: Anise, Apricot, Astringent, Cream, Earth, Floral, Grain, Grass, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Plum, Raisins, Spices, Squash, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Leafhopper

It’s an interesting one!

Daylon R Thomas

I wanted to get that one from their reserves, but it always ran out. They also have a Yushan I’d be into, but shipping and Wang Family Tea options. I’m mad that the Jasmine Shanlinxi ran out.

Leafhopper

Do you mean the new Yushan oolong Eco-Cha released this year? (Or maybe I’m confusing it with another one.) I probably have a couple more old Eco-Cha black teas lying around, as well as some oolongs from my couple years in the club.

It’s also too bad that the Jasmine Shanlinxi ran out. I’ll have to ask them to set aside 25 g of the Cuifeng Tie Guan Yin for my summer order.

Daylon R Thomas

As for the club, I’ve got a lot too. I have too many of the darker roast oolongs I haven’t touched in a while, and I haven’t drank the Jin Xuan Black or GABA black. Those give me headaches for some reason. I’m not sure what it is.

Leafhopper

I think I left the tea club before you joined, so I have different roasted oolongs and black teas. :) I’ve always meant to get a Jin Xuan black, but haven’t got around to it.

Daylon R Thomas

They can be smooth, but bordering on cloying or syrupy in terms of sweetness. I have at least 100 grams of it that I have barely touched.

Leafhopper

That makes sense, as Jin Xuan tends to be sweet.

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I’ve had this sample for a while, and rediscovered it entombed in my White Lotus bag Whispering Pines sample as I was trying to find what happened to my other Zhao Zhou Jun Chiyabari black tea sample. Hysteric understates my mentality when trying to find my sample-because it was not where I thought I put it. So sifted through layers of my reused bags to see if I put it in a weird place, and I decided to finish off the whopping 7 grams I had of this at once in a full teapot using flash steeps.

I think this tea is underrated because it combines a higher oxidized tea with gardenia scenting. I wasn’t in love with it at first because it was cloying and bordering on tannic, but it’s grown on me as I’ve fallen in love with similarly profiled teas like Qilans. It is sweeter and ruddier, but I like it enough to at least have two cups of it. I get notes of incense in the dryleaf smell, and woody incense again in the taste, gardenia, brown sugar, and a little bit of tannin.

I still wouldn’t buy this, though I appreciate it now more than I have over two years ago.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Gardenias, Jasmine, Rose, Tannin

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70

This is from SkySamurai, quite a while ago now. Thank you! This has always been a puzzler for me. Even the name of this “small leaf” seems like a joke because the leaves here are HUGE. The flavor is on the lighter side — hints of peach possibly, but then wafts away until it is mostly mineral and cotton tasting. Maybe sweet hay turning into dried black cherry. I’m sure this tea is very old by now. Somehow with these flavor notes I’m making it sound both better but also worse? hmm… I don’t think even fresh leafed that this tea would have been something I would gravitate towards. It’s too light for me.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for big mug // 21 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep

gmathis

I think you described it well.

tea-sipper

why thanks :D

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Ayup, and it’s a sipdown!

#long time ago internet hiatus sipdown

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91

I thought I reviewed this one…oh well.

I had this one two years ago, plowing through half of the 75 grams. I saved the other half which has been untouched for two years, and I re-discovered I had it when I inventoried some of my tea.

I delayed reviewing because I had initially mixed feelings on the tea. I fell in love with it the first time around since it has the sweet cocoa flavor I look for with enough citrus, caramel, or sugar sweetness to balance out the incredible dry cocoa/hot chocolate powder and yammy notes, not to mention an incredible aroma like fresh medium roasted coffee, but the remaining sessions tended to yield a more drying tea when I went with Eco-Cha’s 7 grams instructions. It had the same flavors, but it tasted like stale chocolate bars, sesame seeds, and raw sweet potato skins. There were times where the tea bordered on vegetal on the squashy end, other times more sweet. While this tea is far from bitter, it could be a little bit tannic like coffee, which was interesting to taste in a black tea. I finished the half of this tea fast, but was let down by the dryness until I fell in love with it on the last session of it 2019.

I decided to open back up, and it’s still as fresh as it was nearly two years ago. I am going to finish it quick before it dries out too much like the other half did. It retains all the notes as I brewed up between 4-5 grams gong fu, and I brewed it 35, 25, 35, 40, and 55 so far. I changed the water ratio a few times from 4-3.5-3.5-3.0-and finally 2.0 oz to savor the flavor. The experiment actually worked and yielded some nice flavor, adding a little bit of vanilla and cherry hints in the later steeps. I am going to go at it one last time, but I think I’ve spent the tea at it’s height.

Of the Tea Club’s blacks, this one was my favorite because it’s a complex flavor pleaser that I’d rate between an 87-92. I was also more satisfied with this black tea because the club went through a phase of doing nothing but Jin Xuans, Bug Bitten, or GABA oxidized teas that started to taste the same after a while. Some of them were too fruity even for me which is saying something-a lot of them tasted like pluot or papaya with an intense caffeine dose bordering on the effect of some purple teas….which can give me bad headaches. This tea was a lot more easy going and flavorful, and while my main criticisms are the dryness and lack of staying power, I’m relieved that I saved this tea.

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Caramel, Cherry, Chocolate, Citrus, Cocoa, Coffee, Drying, Oats, Peanut, Savory, Sugar, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Vanilla, Yams

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90

Gong fu 1g tea to 15 g water, 20s wash, 50seconds + 15 each steep

Received as a sample from eco-cha’s subscription service (twice, actually, but not complaining)

Everything I love in high mountain oolong is here: nice balance of savory/sweet, smooth buttery mouthfeel, intense aroma. Highly recommend!

Preparation
Boiling 10 g 150 OZ / 4436 ML

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99

Two very nice gongfu sessions, one with shorter steeping times and one with longer, closer to Leafhopper’s parameters. I’m finishing off this swap tea brewed 2g in a 100mL teacup and think I prefer it this way!

There are 2 layers of aroma in the dry leaf. The first layer is perfumey florals while a closer whiff presents sweet cream and fleeting peach and pine. With a deeper smelling of the leaf in my hand, these notes all sit on top of the second layer: a molasses ginger cookie. Warmed and rinsed leaf are similar to each other with daffodil, gardenia, spinach, walnut.

Intense, heady and sweet indolic daffodil, gardenia and orange blossom florals well integrated into a clean and soft mineral water broth. Body has notes of dewy grass, crisp lettuce, mild spinach, walnut, cooling fir and the light acidity of sweet lemon mixed with sugarcane. Spices are revealed as clove, sweet cinnamon and a hints of allspice and nutmeg when brewed longer. Light butter on the swallow gives way cleanly to an aftertaste of peach skin, grass, candied orange rind and orange blossom with intense sugarcane returning sweetness. Spiciness and warmth is felt in the throat and chest. Bottom of the cup smells like sugarcane, tarragon and cherry blossom.

Leafhopper, this tea is from 2017? It’s incredible and balanced despite the intense florality. This tea reaffirms how an expert light roast can take a high mountain oolong to a stratospheric experience for me. Thank you <3

Flavors: Butter, Cherry Blossom, Cinnamon, Clove, Cookie, Cream, Fir, Floral, Gardenias, Ginger, Grass, Herbs, Lemon, Lettuce, Mineral, Molasses, Narcissus, Nutmeg, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Peach, Perfume, Pine, Spices, Spicy, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet, Walnut

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C
Martin Bednář

Well, this tea sounds incredible! But I am not that sure I would be able to notice everything!

derk

You’d probably appreciate its general complexity :)

Martin Bednář

That’s true!

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74

Posting to see if Steepster is frozen again… Thank you SkySamurai – this was a while ago!  Even though I just received her half of a swap yesterday! I keep trying this one.  Even though it appears to be a green oolong in person (unlike the photo that is clearly roasted), I’m only really tasting the roast on this one… even though by appearance… there really shouldn’t be any roast flavor here at all.  My brew color certainly isn’t deep amber like the photo! My brew color is the usual pale yellow. I loved the fragrance of the leaves after the rinse though – it was like tamarind (from my remembrance of the Butiki blend anyway).  I wish the actual oolong had tasted like that.  But sadly only roasted flavor here.  It should be fine – I’m only steeping one teaspoon and not overdoing it.  Bigger bundles here!  Charcoal tasting oolongs just aren’t for me. It’s always a shame it’s so one-noted for me.
Steep #1  // 1 teaspoon for full mug // 26 minutes after boiling  // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2  // 20 minutes after boiling //  2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 2 minutes after boiling // 2 min

tea-sipper

It looks like this note hasn’t posted to the dashboard…

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84

I received this back in 2017 when I was an Eco-Cha Tea Club member. Thank goodness it has some roast on it and can presumably survive a few years in storage! I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

Dry, these tightly rolled nuggets smell like a floral gingersnap. The first steep has notes of sweet pea, orchid, cookie, butter, nutmeg, grass, and light roast, with a floral and grassy aftertaste. The second steep adds nuts (maybe pecans?) and even more florals, though also, sadly, more of that grassy taste. Cookie, honey, mild spices, honeysuckle and sweet pea florals, nuts, and grass persist into the next couple steeps. I find the tea to be smooth and a little viscous. In the fifth steep, herbs and spinach peek through the cookie goodness. The session ends predictably with walnuts, butter, roast, spinach, and grass.

This is a pleasant, though perhaps not extraordinary oolong with some tasty spice cookie notes. (I’m getting those a lot with lightly roasted oolongs lately.) I’ll have no trouble finishing my 75 g package, though I won’t miss it terribly when it’s gone.

Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Floral, Grass, Herbaceous, Honey, Honeysuckle, Nutmeg, Nuts, Orchid, Pecan, Roasted, Spices, Spinach, Vegetal, Walnut

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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70

I ordered this tea in March of 2016, which means that it’s probably—gasp!—from 2015! Yes, I’m a bit embarrassed by this. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is typical Red Jade: menthol, cinnamon, raisins, malt, and stonefruit. The first steep has notes of sassafras, menthol, malt, cinnamon, cream, raisins, tannin, and wood. The next steep has more malt and menthol and not much fruit. There’s some astringency in the background and a drying aftertaste. Aside from a bit of raisin, the third and fourth steeps continue to be all about the malt, menthol, tannin, and sassafras. Later steeps emphasize malt, tannin, earth, wood, and minerals.

This tea has all the standard Red Jade flavours, though it’s on the maltier, more astringent side. I won’t have any trouble finishing the bag, but don’t need to buy more, as it isn’t anything new or spectacular.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cream, Drying, Earth, Licorice, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Raisins, Stonefruit, Tannin, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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88

I’m surprised I’ve never reviewed this tea before. It was the tea that initially attracted me to the Eco-Cha Tea Club, which I still regret leaving. It was made in the winter of 2015 and I’m down to my last couple sessions. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of charcoal, roast, honey, grains, and flowers. The first steep has notes of honey, roast, smoke, autumn leaf pile, wood, and grains, and is not as sweet as many bug-bitten oolongs. The second steep is woody, roasty, and drying in the mouth, with the honey mostly in the background. The third and fourth steeps develop a sharper woody and sappy character, although with a lovely honey and floral aftertaste. The honey, grain, wood, sap, roast, and autumn leaves persist through the next few steeps. As expected, the finish is woody and roasty.

When I first had this tea, I was blown away, but either the roast has grown more prominent with age or I’ve become used to drinking sweeter bug-bitten oolongs. Still, as perhaps the second bug-bitten oolong I ever drank, it holds a special place in my heart.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Char, Drying, Floral, Grain, Honey, Roasted, Sap, Smoke, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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81

Thanks very much, SkySamurai!  This was shipped here well before the teabox.  I’m still working on the pre-teabox package!  I steeped this a couple days ago but bungled purely everything in every steep so HAD to try it again.  Now it’s much better. I even forgot the rinse last time and I saw tiny particles in the rinse, which seems odd for this type of oolong.  I love a good Baozhong.  The dry leaves have a great sweet creamy scent which is also what it tastes like!  Though the brew is still VERY yellow in color which I guess is why I thought I had bungled it in the first place, but I guess this is the color it should be!  The flavors are tough to piece together, they seem very one note, which is surprising to me for a Wenshan Baozhong.  Mellow, sweet, minerals, creamy.  And very very consistent but not as complex as I’d wish for a Baozhong.
Steep #1  // 1 heaping teaspoon for full mug // rinse // 28 minutes after boiling  // 1 minute steep
Steep #2  // 16 minutes after boiling //  1 1/2 min
Steep #3 // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 min

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