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Recent Tasting Notes
Quite interesting, gaiwan-brewed with high leaf ratio, 5g to 175ml. Leaves are broken to bits in my 10g sampler. Initial tongue note of sour powder, like the coating on sour patch kids, rich and malty liquor with lots of body.
I’m getting the burnt hay notes, maybe even chewed pine needles if you’ve ever done that. Malt and astringency cover the entire palate for a long finish which beckons the drinker to pour another cup. Woody too, not quite sawdust but more like cutting through an already charred oak.
I found this pleasant but rather limited in experience, and a little overpowering.
Second steep enjoyed with a tangerine as a snack. Initial power has mellowed but the flavors are still very one-dimensional. The sour and sweet have gone off a bit leaving mostly charred leaves, mineral, and wood. I wonder what this would be like cold brewed?
The tangerine helped offset the astringency and light bitterness present. Probably won’t get much more out of this brew. It’s not bad, just not outstanding as some other variants of Oolong have been for me.
As LetsDrinkTea.com states: “Cheaper varieties [of Shui Xian] have a slightly burnt taste and are commonly found in Chinese restaurants”
Yep, nail on the head with that comment…
Session brewed about 4 times, but flavor fell off steeply on the 4th infusion.
Flavors: Bittersweet, Malt, Mineral
This is a very basic oolong. The dry leaves were broken and smelled of hay and charred wood. I did a three minute steep at 195 degrees. There are notes of mineral, dry hay, and wood. There’s also a strong flavor of toasty leaves. It was pleasant enough that I did a second steep, which was also enjoyable but not memorable.
It has been quite awhile since I’ve had oolong in my cup. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed, but for whatever reason don’t seek out when I’m placing a tea order. This has made me want to do a little research and perhaps add an oolong to my shelf. It won’t be this one, but I’m glad I’ll have the rest of this sample to enjoy while I’m deciding on the next one to try.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Char, Hay, Mineral, Wood
#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #136 overall / Tea #7 for April
Tuesday 04/06/21 — Made of Tea ORGANIC SHUI XIAN OOLONG from December 2019 Sipsby box. Drank a bunch of this 4/4 from cold brew but then re-steeped and finished pitcher 04/06.
#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown #sipdownchallenge
The last Sips by tea! And I’ve cancelled my subscription in favor of Dessert by Deb, so it really is the last one…
This was delightful (I’ve been watching too much Tea with Jann, LOL!). Smooth and soft yet very flavorful with notes of oats, hay, and dried apricot with a nice vegetal undertone.
I need to make sure I pick up some lovely silver needle whenever I order from Teavivre again… I really do enjoy straight white teas!
Flavors: Apricot, Dried Fruit, Dry Grass, Grain, Hay, Oats, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal
True! Her teas would be so good to try in subscription too! Plus the other goodies she includes seem so fun!
This one is from my Sips by January box. It seemed a good choice to enjoy on a relaxing Sunday morning/early afternoon…
I really don’t drink straight white teas often enough. This is really lovely, with a soft granola-like grainy flavor and notes of sweet hay. I also found a gentle apricot note that reminded me of fruit leather, and a hint of soft vegetal flavor that reminded me of a Chinese green tea.
So mellow yet flavorful, an excellent choice for lazily watching Tea with Jann videos on YouTube… :)
Flavors: Apricot, Dried Fruit, Grain, Hay, Oats, Smooth, Sweet
Giving this one a second chance today with more leaf, a higher temperature, and a longer steep time. Covering all of the bases!
Well, it is a bit stronger, but the more aggressive steeping has introduced a musty flavor that sort of overpowers everything else. I do still get notes of hay, oats, and honey, but mostly it tastes like musty hay. The honey pops out a little bit in the aftertaste.
Sorry, tea, you’re just disappointing to me. :P I’ve had some Taiwanese black teas with similar flavor profiles that were so much better.
Flavors: Grain, Hay, Honey, Musty, Oats
From an old Sips By box.
This came out suspiciously weak. I used about 2 tsp of leaf for a 12-ounce mug, which I don’t think is unreasonable? In any case, it works for other black teas. The sample is from February of last year, but it’s completely sealed and I have other, older Chinese black teas that still taste fine. Highly suspect!
The flavors I can taste are nice, I get sweet honey and hay as well as chewy grains and perhaps a bit of bread. There’s a nice light honeyed aftertaste as well.
I have enough for a second try. Reserving judgment until then.
Flavors: Bread, Grain, Hay, Honey, Sweet
I felt like a straight green tea or oolong this afternoon, so I figured I’d start working through a small box of sample-sized straight teas sitting in my tea nook. Some of them are swap samples (I’m sorry, whoever sent them…) and some of them, like this one, are from old Sips By boxes. This tea is apparently from my May 2019 box.
Unfortunately, this tea is very “meh”… It has a very generic dry leafy flavor, and a little hint of smokiness in the background. It’s not bitter or astringent, but there’s not much going on in the way of complexity.
Still, it’s a comforting sort of autumnal flavor that brings coziness with each sip. But I’m glad it’s just a small sample size. ;)
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dry Grass, Earth, Smoke, Smooth
This one was just OK for me. It’s a pretty straightforward oolong (haha, words I never thought I’d say…). But it kind of is. Ticks all the boxes for what you’d expect in an oolong, but in a generic, lackluster kind of way. The leaves are broken up, so it’s not really pretty to look at while it steeps, and I didn’t feel compelled to bother with using spring water and the gaiwan. I just brewed it in my Kati, Western-style, with plain tap water.
The dry leaf smelled good when I opened the packet, like roasted roots. The liquor tastes like standard oolong. Roasted, earthy, mineral-y, with a faint cocoa note, etc., etc.
It’s fine. Just not particularly memorable.
Flavors: Cocoa, Mineral, Roasted
Sipdown! I like gunpowder teas because they’re so fun to watch as they steep, and this zhu cha was no exception— the leaves opened up and looked really pretty and curly in the mesh strainer. I brewed a pot of it in my cast-iron teapot. Flavor is overall mild and mineral-y, a bit musty, and a hint of hay.
I did enjoy this, but it’s not something I would make regularly, so I won’t repurchase.
I didn’t love this zhu cha first time I tried it, but this time was much better. I let it steep a few minutes longer and drank it straight. I could smell hay when the water hit the leaf, and then on the sip, I’m getting a slight metallic note, which mellows out into raisin, honey, and the same kind of mineral-y finish that good spring water has in the aftertaste. It’s very smooth and full-bodied. Really enjoyable.
Upping my rating.
Flavors: Hay, Honey, Metallic, Mineral, Raisins
Just an OK black tea. Nothing special about the flavor. Tastes about the same as PG Tips. I made this as a builder’s tea, with 1% dairy milk. Maybe I need to experiment more with trying it plain and perhaps decreasing steep time and water temp a little. The packaging recommends 4 minutes at 208 degrees Fahrenheit.
Received this in one of my latest SipsBy boxes. I’m not familiar with this oolong varietal, or this brand, so I was interested to try it. Mostly very broken leaves, so stuck to a pretty short steep time. Overall unimpressed. Very strong roasted note that borders on burnt smelling and tasting. No depth or complexity.
Received a sample of this in December’s Sipsby box. It’s a lovely, delicate white tea. I steeped gongfu style. The first steep at 10 seconds was very subtle and grassy. Further in the tea seemed to open up, with notes of honey and hay. In total, I was able to get about 5 good steeps from this tea.
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Honey
Tried to make this over ice when I got back in town yesterday, only to realize I had no ice. Well then. So, I just had this hot. I tried to make it stronger this time, but still can’t really get much flavor out of it. There is a faint hint of hay and sweet grass. And maybe something lightly tart. My palate might not be refined enough for this one.
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Tart
This one is from Sips By. It’s my first pure white tea in a long time. Still getting used to the whole using a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon thing. It feels wrong!
The leaves are long and pretty, with stems attached and a good amount of fuzz. So much that a little collects on top of the water as it steeps. The flavor is very light despite the healthy yellowy tan color. I taste a faint, unexpected tartness. There is also a faint fruity note. Otherwise, this tea might be a little subtle for me. I’m afraid I’m mostly just tasting my stevia. I have enough to try again, so maybe I will use less sweetener and see what happens.
For now, I can’t really taste anything… Maybe when it cools some flavor will appear.
Ron Howard Voice: It didn’t.