1124 Tasting Notes
I hesitated with this one. It had everything I liked in tea, and had se chung which isn’t your run of the mill base. But then, there were reviews on Amazon that compared this tea to smelly socks.
So here is what I found. If you brew it in short steeps via teabag gong fu, it is an awesome liquor of smooth fruit and floral oolong that you really don’t expect to be good. If you brew it too long, it smells like the dry leaf-over ripe blackberries that caused someone to vomit, and now the smell got into your mouth turning into a flavor of its own.
So, I love this tea in short steeps. I also think it is totally deserving of being called disgusting if I brew it more than 30 seconds. I consider it the tea you drink with gong fu beer goggles for quicky sippings, which is very harsh, especially from me. I will play with it, but I do NOT recommend, which sucks because I like blackberry and jasmine more the apricot and peach.
One of my favorites from Wang so far. Very light color in the liquor, but nicely creamy and citrusy with all the floral you can love, and the freshness of of spring and summer. I’ll be lazy and post their description. This is true gong fu or in tumbler mode.
“Starting with a visual inspection of the tea leaves. We see that the leaves are medium in size, tightly curled, and have a wonderful verdant green color to them. There is a light sweet aroma to the dry leaves. After giving the tea a quick rinse, we are rewarded by an enhanced aroma of sweetness that is joined by a strong aroma of freshly cut grass. Moving on to the first round of brewing, we start to see the true character of this tea.
The tea liquor is as clear as glass, and has the color of citrine. The aroma of this tea continues to sweeten. The previously mentioned aroma of freshly cut grass gives way to the more refined, elegant fragrance of orchids. The taste of this tea is a perfect reflection of the teas aroma, sweet, with the enchanting taste of orchids. The aftertaste of this tea has that distinctive orchid sweetness that grows stronger with time.
The second round of brewing brings more changes to this teas character. While the tea maintains its aroma and taste of sweet orchids, a lighter, more bright character of florality starts to come through. Upon sipping the tea, you’ll notice that the texture of the tea has become softer, and rounder. We feel that this tea has a comforting feeling in the mouth and throat. Very smooth.
The third round kicks up the sweetness. The florality introduced in the last round starts to become more dominant. The aftertaste is also stronger. It now lingers for quite a while."
It’s green oolong done right, and a favorite. I got more florals than orchid alone, like Iris and honeysuckle and orange blossom, but that’s personal. I’ll down this one quickly.
Flavors: Apple, Citrusy, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Honeydew, Lemongrass, Orchids, Sweet
I wish I had more to play around with, because this was an interesting tea. Of course the company’s description is the most reliable, but I’ll summarize it instead of just quoting it.
I did shorter and longer brewing parameters, and as with most of these teas, longer steeps are better suited to them with a rinse. When I did it on my own I started going more in the 30-45 second range. Then I read how they do it online, and the do it using 55, 45, 55 which is better suited for the later notes. I’ll write more about how that turns out.
The first thing that struck me about the tea before was that it was more on the floral sweet side of roasted, albeit nutty. Whether western or gong fu, it starts up woodsy and transitions into the sweet honeyed peanut notes in the first brew. Sometimes, it’s closer to brown sugar for me. The second one has a stonefruit note that comes up, and it got more apparent with each rebrew as the charcoal slowly fades into a background note. It’s got floral hyacinth, lilac notes, with maybe some osmanthus, but the nuttiness and peachy notes lead the way. Sometimes, I did think of plums, but lighter peach is what I get and it’s not super apparent, but present. It’s gets a little bit more green, but not super vegetal towards the end.
I really like this one and have a little left, though I gotta say I don’t properly know it quite yet. I can see it being great tumbler fuel-then again, almost all of the teas I’ve had from Wang tend to be durable. I’ll leave it at a 90 for now, and then figure out how I’m going to drink it next time. I have more What-Cha and other Wang Family Teas to catch up on.
Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Green, Honey, Nutty, Peach, Peanut, Roasted, Stonefruits, Wood
Backlog of the many that come…hopefully.
History lesson about my tea journey. At first, I was into green jasmines. And then, I was into oolongs, falling especially in love with the graham cracker complexity of Rishi’s Tie Guan Yin. And then, I got to know Andrew, and dived into tea…falling in love with the Nuclear green Gaoshan, and got bored of some roasted oolongs. Then I slowly got back into it, and as I’ve sampled Wang’s family teas, I’ve slowly gotten back into them.
Although I prefer Wang’s green oolongs right now, their roasted teas are frickin awesome and typically balanced by the longan charcoal they normally use. And this one is a nice pick up tea. I think-well, I want something I wouldn’t mind, and then I have the tea, and I more than don’t mind it-I actually enjoyed it.
I didn’t take any detailed notes, and I paid a little bit attention, but I remember cookie and nuts being one of the things I picked up. It’s fairly roasted and woodsy, being between the green and roasted bit. There’s some greenness more akin to cooked squash or zucchini, but this is not a vegetal tea. The company’s description does more than fine describing the rest:
“The taste is smooth, and sweet. The longan charcoal flavor is present, but is in no way overpowering. Successive rounds of brewing deepen every aspect of this tea. The color of the tea soup shifts from light yellow, to a vibrant gold; the aroma is strongly nutty, and now has a hint of cream; the flavor of this tea has become very sweet, woodsy, and slightly fruity thanks to the longan charcoal. The finish is sweet, and lasts for a good amount of time.”
I got anywhere between seven and ten brews out of the tea gong fu, and a minimum of six cups western. It’s consistent for the most part. It’s creamier in the second through fourth brews, and the fruitiness is towards the end. It’s more stonefruit-peachy, but it’s super subtle amidst roast, nuttiness, and just a pebble of minerals. The sweetness is close to brown sugar, but it’s not as obvious as it is in the Alishan Light Roast.
What strikes me about this one is its durability and balance. I think I might have enjoyed it a little bit more in colder months, but I kept coming back to it, and finished it in three days. I’m curious to see how someone a bit more experienced or preferential to traditional Dong Dings think. This is more for intermediate drinkers, but it’s very easy to drink and very chill. This is a “Hey, you want to chill, bro?” tea
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Cookie, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Nuts, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal, Wood
This is backlog, and I’m still not quite sure what I think about it. I decided to do a cold steep instead of a full blown cold brew, and it was fantastic. I used too many leaves, but because cold water slows down the diffusion, upping the leaves for the most flavor was the way to go. I got custard, gardenia, buttermilk, water chestnut, and of course, vanilla. But when I’ve brewed it hot, there’s something off about the flavoring. It’s like a heady floral vegetal mix that can be a little cakey. It’s hard to describe. I’ll experiment more and see what some people’s recommendations are. I think this one is good, but I personally prefer Mandala’s so far.
I’m bumping up the rating. Got some jasmine in the notes today, and this is one that I want to keep coming back to, but at the same time, savor. It’s one of my personal favorites at the moment because it’s the right balance of flower bomb and subtlety. There are A LOT of teas I should catch up on…hopefully I can remember them all as I write. Anyway, this one is back in stock, and I still recommend it.
I gotta say-this makes an awesome sachet tea…that I am addicted to. It makes for an awesome lunch pick me up, and a good morning pick me up. The sugary notes are prominent, and whatever they use for the french toast background and deep vanilla makes this so frickin welcoming. Oversteeping it can make it into a mess of syrupy brown sugar cardamom malt, but more water or shorter steep times than the standard three minutes or 8 oz for every bag does the trick for me. It also grants me three to four very drinkable cups, despite how faint the flavoring and malt get. The black base is also good-I wonder what varietal it is.
My tea snob senses to rate it more in the 80’s, but my love of cardamom and brown sugar tastes pushes it in the 90s for me.
I was tempted to get it sachet since Roswell raved about it, but since hibiscus is hit or miss for me, I got a pour over ice and was satisfied for the hot day. The flavors play very well together-going from the tart citrus of the grapefruit to the Turkish delight refreshment of the rose and hibiscus. I did not taste too much oolong personally, but its there in as a green background that’s smooth and hard to notice. I deeply enjoyed it as an ice drink without any additives and highly recommend it as a summer one. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much hot due to the hibiscus, but that’s a personal preference.