1371 Tasting Notes

89

Quick note.

I got this at the beginning of the year as a birthday present. Brewing 5 grams up in 5 oz vessel Gong Fu, I started out with a rinse of 15 sec, then brewed it 3 oz at 20 sec, then 5 oz at 25, 30, 25, 45, 55, 75, and onto losing cout going into minutes.

The rinse had an interesting hibiscus cream note that was really nice, and lots coming from the aroma. The tea’s texture is very soft with a very clean profile. The first brew was floral, creamy, vegetal, and smooth reminding me of lilies and peach skins. 3rd and 4th brews had more fruitiness, with a little bit of pineapple among hyacinth, and oddly enough, hibiscus in an extremely green body. Thick and viscous, but soft. The mung bean vegetal taste was fairly prominent, but complimented the floral and fruity notes in a fresh mix, occasionally giving off a vanilla-orchid note. The later notes are a little stemmy or spriggy, but not really woodsy. If it is woodsy, it’s kind of like fresh bamboo.

Overall, a really pleasing Lishan I’m glad I got to try. It’s very fresh and forgiving….and long lasting. There are others from Wang Family Tea that I liked a little bit more than this one, especially in terms of their Shanlinxi’s, but the huigan is incredible. This is the kind of tea I’m going to take my time with. There were elements of this that made me think of a Dayuling, especially with some of the rose notes I got midway through, but it was overall thicker.

Rating is between 85-95. It’s high quality for sure that leans more in the 90’s. Price is the main thing keeping me from rating it higher, though this tea might grow on me like it’s long lasting after taste.

Flavors: Beany, Creamy, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Green, Green Wood, Hibiscus, Peach, Pineapple, Rose, Sugar, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla, Vegetal

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80

Overpriced sachet splurge, but on a local American company from Michigan. For an easy working oolong, it’s been working, and I was pleasantly surprised.

The description is pretty spot on, but I’m actually curious about what the real oxidation. The leaf quality is pretty good and almost on point to some Lupicia for how intact the leaf is, but the thing that was interesting to me that this was more on the fruity side of Baozhongs. It’s not real heavy, but it’s more stone fruit or even red fruit. It struck me as vaguely canteloup like, but there’s some subtlety that makes it hard for me to narrow down.

The tea is definitely green, floral, and dominated by orchid like most Baozhongs are, but the fruit and creamy elements makes this have some resemblance to an Alishan Jin Xuan. I’m still guessing it’s a qing xin because it’s fruity enough to be one, but there’s enough fruity ness to make me think this has something else going on with it.

I’ve only done it western and in giant 16 oz mugs. It takes decently to longer steeping times in the mug, but it’s not quite as strong as it could be. It does well in a teapot or in a smaller serving. I have had to back off on the temperature a little bit-the heat can drown out the more subtle notes I love about this kind of tea.

Overall, I’m really excited to have some on hand from a company nearby my hometown. They’ve expanded their catalogue with some GABA and Jin Xuan, which you don’t see super often in sachet form, but it’s good. I will also say their watermelon oolongs are worth checking out too, especially for some excellent cold brews. As for this one, it’s my go to easy work oolong for now. Even one of my students really liked it-granted, she is nerdy enough to have her own tea pet.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Green, Lemongrass, Melon, Milk, Orchids, Red Fruits, Sweet, Warm Grass

ashmanra

Their Watermelon Oolong is soooooooo watermelony! Don’t let it languish though, as the flavor does fade, but while fairly fresh it is super fruity good.

Daylon R Thomas

I plowed through the last box and will likely finish this one before July. I actually liked it both hot and cold. The Golden Monkey I have has been languishing along with the Dong Ding…and Earl the Great. I’m not quite as concerned with those because they are darker teas, but thank you! I am also half tempted to get the Trappist Monk blend, but I don’t know since it is a darker Assam based tea.

ashmanra

Oh, I haven’t tried their Golden Monkey, don’t think they had it back when I ordered. I may need to take a look at that one!

Daylon R Thomas

It’s okay sachet. It does have a little bit of peachiness, but the tea was kinda flat.

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89

Sipdown backlog from Friday. Gong fu, 35, 25, 20,30, 45, 120, 150, ?, ?, ?,seconds, 4-5 grams, 4-5 oz.

Especially rich with lilac, macadamia, vanilla, and frosty floral notes amidst spinach and greener ones. It got more vegetal in the later notes. The Traditional Oxidation is slightly tastier because it’s fruitier, but this one remains as an extremely satisfying Dong Ding. It’s pretty close to being a 90 for me and it’s not bad for it’s price, but I personally want to save up room in my cupboard for both the snootier and the cheaper teas I have. I still would recommend it because Phoenix Village Dong Dings are good period, and it’s good for the free shipping in the U.S.

Flavors: Almond, Citrus Zest, Floral, Frosting, Jasmine, Nutty, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla, Vegetal

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98

Bumpin’ up the rating as I sip this down because it is hands down one of the best Shanlinxi’s and experimental teas I’ve had.

There were more notes with the fruity notes I wrote earlier, but more floral notes and vanilla. Sugar also came up, surprisingly yesterday, along with orchid, peaches, and dessert.

There were more vegetal notes like Swiss chard, lots of orchids and green notes, and green sugar cane. It is more vegetal today, than yesterday with hotter weather and more leaf, but still extremely refreshing and tasty.

To my surprise, this was actually a winter 2020….and it is one of the most unique teas I’ve had. I cannot recommend this one enough for those who want to splurge because it’s special.

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90

Backlog:
“Apple, Carrot, Fruity, Orange, Peach, Rose”
Oddly enough, none of those are off.. Personally the rose carrot and peach standout with strawberry. Had to try this one out, and it is nearly identical to the other fruity lapsang I have in profile. So far, I’ve mostly westerned and tumbler fueled it and have been pretty satisfied. It’s extremely forgiving and versatile.

I’m not confident what to rate it yet, and I really like it. I actually kinda prefer the Daily Jin Jun Mei so far, but I need to try it out gong fu. This is the kind of tea I need to pay more attention to. It’s still served it’s purpose as an appropriated “I need to get motivated and wake up” tea for lunch and breakfast during work and last weekend, so there’s only more to come from this tea as I go through it and the rest of my overstuffed stash of black teas.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Cherry, Floral, Resin, Strawberry, Sweet Potatoes

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85

Sip down western. I didn’t tumbler it when I could have, but I think I got to enjoy more out of it western/gong fu combo style (closer to Japanese brewing style with 45-minute sec increments) with 9 steeps. I was impressed by the fact that the later steeps were more floral and creamier that earlier ones. It’s not a super flavor forward tea, but it’s complex.

My biggest gripe is the price. I know the tradeoff of free shipping is upping some of the tea prices, and I do this one is unique from a less common way of making Dong Ding, but I’ve had very similar style teas for cheaper, and the other Phoenix Village Dong Ding that Tillerman has is extremely close to this one for less. This one enjoys having more dimension than the others and is usually a 90’s rated tea for me, but the above $10 for half an ounce still gets me.

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Coconut, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Green, Nut Fruits, Nutty, Peach, Savory, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal

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91

Have I seriously not written a note on this one?

Well, this is overdue by about a year. I’ve had a horde of around 50 grams of this stuff that I drank nearly daily when I first had it, but then hid it with my other teas. I had one nearly identical to this tea from Unytea, and decided I could use some more.

I’m not going to go in a lot of depth since I got to workout soon today, but I’m going to go ahead and leave a quick review. This one personally really shines gong fu, and it can be thicker western. The jasmine in the tea can get bitter grandpa/tumbler style when I over leaf it, despite the tea being relatively forgiving and not very astringent or too malty. It still works well, but I have to be careful when I brew it. I also personally notice the tea can make me a little sweaty for some reason. Qi?

The flavor notes are straightforwardly jasmine with a bit of the sweetness you get from most Fujian tea, bordering on citrusy. All the while dominantly floral and silky in its texture, it has a bit of a citrus orange blossom aftertaste in mid steeps, and a healthy dose of acidity that is close to grapefruit. The “chocolate” approximation notes sometimes come up western like intense dark chocolate orange, but the heady jasmine still leads.

I honestly did want to see how it would compare to Whispering Pines’s Alice, but the style of the tea really sets it a part. This one actually has more longevity and more citrus amidst a slicker profile, whereas Alice is more like powdered chocolate and jasmine amidst sweet potatoes. There were times where I preferred this one for it’s more elegant and “grown up” character. This is the kinda tea you want to serve in an upscale modernist room gilded with gold, black, and stone because of how sophisticated it is. I’m going to leave off the weird notes at the bottom, and I’m curious to see what other people think of it.

It is without a doubt one of the better Jasmine Blacks I’ve had.

Flavors: Citrus, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Goji, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

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84

Ooooooooooooooooh I like this one. I like this one a lot….I might love it. I bought 100 grams for just over $12, but should have gotten the bigger package. It definitely compares to more expensive black teas.

It’s solidly in the elusive “chocolaty” category of Fujian teas. The dry leaf is incredibly aromatic, smelling like chocolate covered fruit. The taste is not quite as dense as the aroma western, but it was very flavorful and naturally sweet. There was not too much complexity, but the light malt, heavy caramel, medium milk to dark chocolate, honey, citrus and hinting berry notes with a slight drying finish were really nice. It’s fairly forgiving, but has enough black tea bitterness to give it some edge. Chocolate notes were the most dominant in the first cup, fruit ones in the second, and maltlhoney in the last. The tea did not have too much staying power, but it was a happy medium that was very satisfying.

I need to gong fu and grandpa it before I rate it, but I’m already very satisfied with this tea. I think it might solve my black tea cost woes if it’s still around.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML
tea-sipper

This sounds more like the Jin Jun Mei I’m thinking of!

Daylon R Thomas

Unlike others, it’s not bud based or gold. I read that it uses a Meizhan varietal which is why it’s cheaper. Either way, it checks all my personal boxes for flavor so far.

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Finally got my White2Tea package!

Alright, so this is not going to be a waxing poetic note. I was not a huge fan of this one. The packaging and presentation were awesome-I love the fox wrapper and the the gold and black tea coin.

Trying it out…eh. I plopped the coin and wasn’t sure what direction I’d go. I let it sit in 195 water for about 15 sec…and not much. Tannin, wood, cherry, and thinness. I then decided to go western for 2 minutes, and that was a bad idea with a 7 gram to 5 oz ratio. The tea came out bitter, woodsy, and a little bit flat. It’s got a nice malt and thick dry Yunnan quality, but it’s heavy with the tannin.

I tried again lighter with 30 seconds, the same bitter malt notes came up with some tomato. I haven’t touched it since.

I think I probably brewed it wrong, but I kinda expected more versatility. A part of me wishes I bought the Snowflake Dancongs instead. I’m holding off the rating to see if the second brew with my last coin is better.

Flavors: Bitter, Cherry, Drying, Malt, Tannin, Tea, Wood

Leafhopper

I almost bought their Dancongs and/or most of their Lapsangs in their last sale, but held off because I have so much tea. I really overdid it in 2020 and am paying the price now as all the spring teas come in.

Daylon R Thomas

Same. I over did it with the black teas last year, and a little bit with oolongs, though I’m not regretting it as much with the oolongs.

Leafhopper

I’m kind of the opposite. I have around 300 g of 2020 Taiwanese oolong I want to drink before buying any from 2021. At least black tea keeps longer—except, of course, for Darjeeling, of which I also have a lot.

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Profile

Bio

First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Grand Crew Teas
Wuyi Origins Jin Jun Mei Sampler
What-Cha Jin Jun Mei
Good Luxurious Work Teas
A good Qilan
Best Sachet Teas

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwaneese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong

Me:

I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.

Location

Michigan, USA

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