1148 Tasting Notes
Okay, I have a hard time letting go of this one. I need to drink it everyday to remain satisfied with life.
I’ve got this song stuck in me head.
I should have written a note before I finished off the rest of it. I might have some left, but drank it quickly. This was by far one of my favorite of the lighter roasts from Wang Family Tea. Like most of them, it had the nutty floral combo with the roast. The first steep is very much like almond, but after steep two, the longan charcoal brings out a bit of a caramelized sugar note, and slowly, brings out some fruit notes. They generally fade as the more alpine floral notes take over. The roast is still there, but it is not as present. It also does have a sweetness and like scotch.
It does not have the stone fruit thing going on like the light roast Alishan did, but it was a different balance of subtlety while resembling that one over the Fenghuang Dong Ding and the light roast Li Shan. It also had a little bit more body than the Lishan Light Raost did. This one was a little bit easier for me to pin point flavors overall, but it was also more complex in the florals. I recommend this one a little bit for more advanced drinkers because certain elements might be a little too subtle for newbie drinkers despite how easy it is to drink. It’s sweet and approachable, but does take a little bit of patience to appreciate it. It was doable western, but I ended up rushing a little too much. It was a little bit better suited in a slower Gong Fu, or a slower western at least. Think like Dolly Parton-sings at an even pace and is rounded in all the right places.
So many more teas to add…I think I have five to go. At minimum.
Flavors: Almond, Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Green, Nutty, Pine, Roast nuts, Scotch, Smooth, Sugar
I’ve had a few Wu Yi style mimic teas, and I’ve personally had mixed feelings about them. The ones I’ve had in my experience tend to up the charcoal and juice out as much stone fruit and cannabis as possible in taste…which I am personally not a huge fan of, especially the one served by Taiwan Sourcing. But this one was a different story and a much needed surprise.
Opening the bag, it is woody and roasty….and almost nutty….like hazelnut or chestnut. I try this out, and the aroma is fairly smokey, but the taste….holy crap it’s smooth and heavenly. I played around a lot with this one, and did a semi western while sipping it ever so often in a smaller vessel. After about 30 seconds, I pour my kyusu, and it is super sweet. It reminded me of Japanese milk candy, but with a slight roast in the aftertaste.
I do it again after about 12 sec, and some fruit comes along. Not quite sure what. The roast is there, but the tea is still super viscous and not cloying or overwhelming.
I brew the rest of the pot after about another minute, and what I was tasting was unusual. It got the milky caramel candy notes with the fruity and the roast, but it rose from floral, to milky, to fruity, to whatever-the-hell is this sweetness is, and then, to a woodsy charcoal in a silky finish that contrasts and balances nicely. I then thought-holy heavens WTF IS THIS. Smoke on the water…..Fire IN MY TEA CUP! DE-NE-NA-ne-NA!
Here’s how they described it on their page:
“After rinsing, the leaves give off a light aroma of sugar, and a strong aroma of wood. The first round of brewing expresses the warming smell of longan charcoal. The first sip gives you a calming feeling. The taste is that of sweet cream with a hint of hazelnut. Already the tea is expressing a mellow cha qi (tea energy). The color of the tea liquor is a dark golden brown. Second round intensifies the woody aroma. The cha qi continues to spread throughout the body. It causes a pleasant warmth. The third round introduces the flavor of stone fruits. With the stone fruits, the charcoal flavor, and the sweetness, it reminds us of flambeed fruit. At this point, the cha qi has spread throughout our entire bodies. We feel deeply relaxed and calm.”
Pretty much exactly what I got. The tea was medium in its re-brew strength, and I usually got 5-8 cups from 5 grams using 10 oz, averaging closer to 6. It’s good both Western or Gong Fu, and good light with grand pa, but I find that I prefer most of Wang Family Teas western.
The Wuyi oolong has quickly become a favorite becuase it is so easy to drink and smooth. It’s warming and relaxing, and perfect for a rainy day. I thought that I’d prefer the greener teas or the lighter roasts, but man, does this tea kick most of their leaves out of the water in balance and smoothness. Now, I pick teas deliberately if they are smooth, but I did not expect it from something that is supposed to emulate a Wuyi style, which tend to be rougher from my experience.
I can say that I highly recommend this tea. It is a lot more like a traditional Lu Yu or Dong Ding in style, but it does have some florals and milkiness that Wu Yi’s can. It’s definitely oolong, and I really think almost anyone could enjoy this one, but I think it might be better for intermediate to experienced drinkers. If someone new tries it, I think they would like it if brewed with care. It is pretty forgiving, but I could see it becoming a little too smokey if oversteeped.
Well, my sample is almost gone. I just give it a subjective 96. I might raise it. I might not. We’ll see. It’s been my favorite in quarantine anyway.
Flavors: Char, Chestnut, Cream, Hazelnut, Roast nuts, Smoke, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
Do not over leaf this, because if you do, you might lose out on the more subtle flavors. That was the mistake I made this and a few others of the teas I got from the order, but I learned. I paid closer attention, and this was the basic form of what I like about Nepal floral blacks. The orange blossom was the most prominent floral, but it was also juicy like red grapes, but the malt comes in the longer you steep it.
The malt gives the tea some nice body, but it can overpower the subtler qualities of the tea. That is the only thing I was not a fan of, but when I brewed it more carefully, I got more muscatel notes that I was really into. I recommend this tea for people looking for a good second flush type of tea. I don’t think it’s as good as some of What-Cha’s other Nepal teas (I’VE DRANK MOST OF THEM FROM 2017-2020), but it is a frickin’ bang for the buck.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Malt, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Wet Wood
This one was a little bit easier to balance out than the Bihar needle for me, but whereas that one was vegetal, this one was floral and sneaky. Dry leaf reminds me of bread, flour, and peonies.
The first failed session did not have a lot of flavor, and was very leaf water like. Second time, the tea is floral like honeysuckle, but a little bit thin. The breadiness finally comes a long to give it some texture, and thankfully, the tea was actually kinda buttery to me. Later brews developed a little bit more florals and thicker texture, but not distinct enough for me to write about yet. I like this one a little more than the Bihar, but I need some time for it to grow on me. It’s without a doubt good, smooth, and lacking in any bitterness or astringency, but I need to get to know it better.
The grain and butter qualities are the only ones making it more distinct for me so far. Otherwise, it’s like any good quality white tea.
Flavors: Butter, Drying, Floral, Grain
I had a hard time getting the right balance at first with this one. It is more on the vegetal side for a white tea, and is super, super light. The first time tasted like rose stem water with fresh green leaves.
Yes, I was a weird seven year old that actually tried the pot water soaking rose stems.
Second time, I used Gong Fu precision using 3 grams, 6 oz, and about three minutes. It was exceptionally smooth, and generally sweet water. The grapey fruitiness is there, but it is very subtle. Like the other review, this is more of a daily drinker white. It took me a little bit of time to like this one because I was bored and unimpressed with the vegetal qualities, but after brewing it more carefully, I enjoy and appreciate it as an approachable and elegant white tea.
Hello everyone. I’ve been on a bit of a computer cleanse, so now that we are quarantined on a global level, I am returning. I also owe Alistair some reviews. (THANK YOU FOR THE WHITE RHINO! THAT ONE IS A FAVORITE!)
Anyway, this is from an older order that I mostly got Nepal floral blacks and white teas. I was really curious about this one because it looked more like a white tea than a usual black, and I had a feeling it would be fruity. Trying it out for my own, the dry leaf smells like dried leaves that you rake in the spring, lemons, cotton, and oaty grains. Brewing it up, the aroma is very floral and a touch fruity, retaining the oatiness I was talking about earlier.
Drinking it up, I used western timing while savoring it in a small porcelain cup at a time. At near 180’s F after I just brewed it, the flavor was dominated by heat, cotton, and then a little lemon wisp snuck by to say hello. The heat was hiding the flavor a little bit, so I let it cool off. The cooler temperature gave way to the same dry oat note I was thinking, being almost bready in its astringency. Then, it reminded me I was drinking the juice of dried leaves and transitioned into the white grape I expected from Alistairs description. I also got persimmon, but that’s just me.
In terms of the florals, it has the viscosity of rose water, but the flavor profile of osmanthus and the lightness of a white peony. That could be from my limited scope of florals, and the tea’s very light yellow brew, but that’s what at least makes sense to me.
The tea can get astringent, so I used a very light 3 grams. I got 3 more rebrews, and let the last steep way to long. Fortunately, it was not too astringent and had a pleasant lemon flavor after a the bready kick of astringency.
Out of the order I got, this tea was the easiest for me to balance out. I also liked this one one the most because of how unique it is. This tea is definitely snob, or more advanced territory because it is a lot more like a first flush Darjeeling or a white tea, so the elements like the dryness and weird astringency can be off putting to some, BUT, this is a lighter, refined tea overall. I tend to like lighter and naturally fruity/floral teas without additives, so I love it.
I definitely recommend it to white tea drinkers and the curious.
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Drying, Floral, Lemon, Muscatel, Oats, Sweet, Tart, White Grapes
Rebranded as Hugo Grey. Opening the back was a little overwhelming-bergamot bambed in my face. I opened it again a day later, and the peppery yunnan black base came through. Here are there notes:“grapefruit peel | applewood smoke | lemon zest” and that is more accurate in tems smell. In terms of taste, it’s doubtless Earl Grey, but with a scotch caramel body accented by cocoa, caraway, and pepper notes amidst a malty body. It could be a little drying like biscuit, but also pleasantly bitter sweet.
My only criticism is that the bergamot is a hair too strong. Otherwise, this tea does resemble some higher rated teas like Whispering Pines Earl Gold, which is impressive to say the least. This one is good western or gong fu. I’d love to see it in sachet form for the convenience of having an affordable high grade leaf.
I have it as the rebranded Jasmine Bai Hao. I’ve slowly re-acclimated myself to green teas for budget reasons, and this is one of the best Jasmine Sachets for the price I’ve had so far. The green tea is in a snail style, and they resemble a half curled Dragon Pearl, even in the sachet. It’s ranged from 5.99-6.99 for the 12 sachets, which is not bad. The company describes the notes like this : “sweet pea | hawthorn honey | nectarine” and it’s on point. You know it’s jasmine, but it’s got a citrus edge and a little bit of astringency that’s not overwhelming. I do recommend keeping the tea light to two minutes, or using 12 ounces of hot water if you want to brew it longer. I do like Stephen Smith’s Jasmine a little more, but for the cost, this tea is great for work, company, and meditation.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Green, Jasmine, Nectar, Orange, Peach, Peas, Smooth