1371 Tasting Notes

80

Coming back from Florida three days ago with my Zhao Zhou order arriving!

This was gifted with another Jin Chiyabari First Flush sample with my order, and I was pretty ecstatic. I followed their parameters using 150 ml of water, 5 grams of tea, and 15, 20, 25, 15,10, 20 sec steeping time.

The tea was full bodied and herbaceous, floral. First steep had a citrusy and grainy aroma and thick viscousness. Lemon peel, herbs, hops, bread, malt. Second one was much the same beginning to lean into the beer character. The fourth steep was the most complex and full on tasted like a citrus beer with lemon and orange in a wheaty aftertaste, some grass herbs and hops from the trichomes. Thick as ever. Later steeps grew bitter and more herbaceous.

I’m definitely happy for this one. I’m not sure I’d reach for it, but it’s the kind of style white tea I like that still has enough fruity elements and texture to keep me going. There are more first flush black qualities in this tea than white qualities since it’s not delicate. It’s a little malty, but refined and zesty. The citrus and texture felt great on my throat as I am sick and recovering from Bronchitis and my booster. I wish I saved some for a cold brew, but with how cold it is in Michigan right now, I’m satisfied with my hot cup. Not sure if I’ll rate it-but at least an 80 min.

Flavors: Beer, Bread, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Floral, Grassy, Herbs, Hops, Lemon Zest, Malt, Orange, Thick, Wheat

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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They had samples!

I was extremely curious about this one. I used to really like matcha, but moved away from it and towards oolong. When I saw this, I wanted to try it out. Like the company owner describes, it’s got the same mouth feel and flavor profile of a Lishan, but slightly fuller. The only issue I had was the texture, and the tea was significantly earthier as a matcha. I used a proper matcha bowl and whisk, 160 F hot water, and z patterns with the whisk and there were no round clumps leftover, but there was a lot of green sludge left in my bowl after I poured some into my cup. I don’t know if I used to much, but the earth and dirt taste overpowered the Lishan delicate elements making me not enjoy the tea as much. The color was a perfect dark jade green, but I think I need to got lighter with the sample next time as to not remind me of the basic truth that I am literally drinking grinded grassy leaves raw.

I’ll try it another time. Not sure if I recommend it yet or not. It’s got a different kind of umami, and somehow, I’ve had much less earthy matcha. I still prefer whole leaf lishan after my first time, yet I still want to give it another chance. It’s more complex in notes than a regular matcha, though I think I might stick to a regular matcha.

Flavors: Cream, Dirt, Earth, Floral, Grass, Sugarcane

Leafhopper

I’m glad you were able to order this in a sample size! My inner tea nerd really wants to try this, but my inner pragmatist is saying it’s a bad/expensive idea.

ashmanra

Harney recommends using a tiny amount of cold water added to your matcha bowl to make a paste and then add your hot water and whisk for clump free tea. It works! I wonder if that would be a better method for this tea?

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85

Heavy on the floral Dong Ding. I should have had this tea then the MiXiang because the leafhopper bitten version was far better than this one. Red Blossom notes are pretty on point because this one is lead by the orchid aroma and flavor overall.

It’s vegetal, but very balanced. I can kinda get gardenia, but orchid still dominates it with the more vegetal snap-pea and water chestnut notes. There’s some hints of sweetness that might be interpreted as persimmon or apricot. I wondered if this were actually a Cu Yu varietal because of the orchid/snap-pea profile reminding me of Jades and Tie Quan Yins, but it’s Qin Xiang. It’s also pretty forgiving in the oversteep towards the end. Not the most luxurious Dong Ding I’ve had, but more than passable.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Green, Orchid, Persimmon, Snow Peas

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93

I used Christmas money to finally try out Red Blossom Tea, and I ripped open this sample on new years day. Safe to say it compares more favorably to higher elevation oolongs than to other Tung Tings. Passionfruit and honey were the most prominent things about this one, and tropical floral and fruity smell. It is on the green side of the oolong spectrum having some Gui Fei similarities, but not as totally as vegetal as other tung tings-maybe squash-like? It was also full bodied from steeps two onward having a honey malt flavor until it got into floral-leaf-oil-water-leftover-tea-phase.

Either way, I was hugging myself while drinking it last night. It’s been my favorite of my Red Blossom purchase so far and something I would consider getting again, though not too soon. High cost of living in California is keeping me from purchasing it as often with my Michigan income.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Green, Honey, Malt, Mango, Passion Fruit, Spinach, Squash, Tropical

Leafhopper

This actually sounds better than the Lishan Matcha. :)

ashmanra

Ooooo sounds good!

Daylon R Thomas

Yeah, it is. I should have gotten more than one sample. It was only 5 grams. I should have thought-mixiang is literally up your alley. Oh well, I will still get to spoil you.

Leafhopper

LOL, that’s okay! I don’t expect you to send me every good tea that crosses your path. :) I’ll have to put Red Blossom on the long, long list of vendors I want to buy from eventually when my cupboard is somewhat manageable.

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97

Yeah, this cold brews well in Florida. Still creamy, still floral, still sweet with something my brain reads as strawberry, even though that’s probably imprecise as a descriptor. I have a cough, so the sweet violets have been an effective cough suppressant. Bumping up the rating for versatility and some medical usefulness.

derk

I had a cough, too. Wonder if it was an expression of covid. Hope you’re well!

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57

I wanted to try this one, and lo and behold, a Target in FL had it. Trying it out, I don’t think the tea is nearly as balanced as other Harney and Son’s blends. They usually kick butt with their caramel flavors, but it’s overwhelmed by the Bourbon and the lapsang. I also don’t taste the vanilla. I personally would have picked a Wuyi Oolong to blend with the other Chinese black to make the tea smoother while keeping the smokey taste. It’s not as strong as other lapsangs-I think or guess it’s got some Keemum in it too-could be wrong.

I do enjoy this tea since I like booze flavored teas, but I am pretty disappointed with it and have had better Harney Teas and better bourbon teas. At least the tin is cool. I also think it would be a good for people wanting a non-alcoholic option.

Flavors: Alcohol, Ash, Char, Cherry, Peat, Smoke, Vanilla

Evol Ving Ness

Booo. Which caramel teas do they kick butt with, Daylon?

Daylon R Thomas

Paris. It’s not a caramel tea strictly, but they add it in the mix with the bergamot and other fruit flavors.

Evol Ving Ness

Hmm. Thanks!

CrowKettle

I forgot about the caramel-esque qualities of “Paris”. Miss that tea a little.

Lexie Aleah

I got my tin of this one from Target too but I liked this one! The tin is definitely pretty too!

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97

This is officially a favorite and something I want to be a staple. Clearly, a few other people get it in bulk and make it their staple too because it keeps selling out. It is no wonder, though, because the tea is that good. I guess everyone wants to commit cremes. It’s pretty flexible under my tumbler, and less is more with the approach. It can actually gong fu, but western serves it well. I know the jin xuan is flavored too, but there are natural florals that blend seamlessly with the violet, and it’s not an overly spinachy base either.

I’m not sure what to rate it since I’d almost do a hundred, but I’m doing 95….for now. My friends have also deeply enjoyed it. It’s really more of an late eventing tea, but I can drink it any time.

Roswell Strange

Earlier this year my friend Marika bought them out of it entirely – it’s definitely a favourite of us both.

Mastress Alita

It’s always been sold out any time I’ve checked the site…

Daylon R Thomas

How many grams? I got 2 2 oz to have some lol

Roswell Strange

I think she bought something like 400g of it

CrowKettle

One day it will be available again and that’s when I shall try this company. One day.

Daylon R Thomas

I joined the mailing list to get it. I stalked the website for a month until it restocked.

Daylon R Thomas

I feel your pain…

CrowKettle

Is this a Whispering Pines level of desperation?

Thanks for tip about the mailing list :|

Daylon R Thomas

Close. Brutaliteas is not as expensive or snobby as Whispering Pines, but I had that level of Desperation as I did for frickin’ Rivendell. There are good teas for the bases though. This is actually not an expensive tea at all-like $13 for 2 oz, and Evoolong is actually a really good pure Jade Oolong.

CrowKettle

I’ve made peace with never drinking Rivendell again… But I want to partake in Voilet Cremes with all of you :P

Leafhopper

I’d ask for a small sample of this in our swap, but you’re probably hoarding it. :P

Daylon R Thomas

I’ll put it in. Luckily, I got 4 oz worth in two bags, so it will be easy to share.

Leafhopper

Thanks! :)

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85

I’m still into this one, and there’s finally an ice cream taste to it from the combo of vanilla, salt, amaretto, and milky jin xuan. I wish it were a regular instead of an overpriced limited edition.

But I’m going to go on a little gleeful ramble. I finally got to see Evanescence and Halestorm live in concert, in the flesh, and was thrilled. I’ve been obsessed with them since I was nine and have had a huge crush on Amy Lee for years, and yet, I have never been to their concerts. I had an opportunity to see them at the Machine Shop up close at a bar, but the kicker was that I was 18, not 21, and therefore not old enough to be there. This particular event was special because I have not gone out to do something for myself or with friend in three years, even before the pandemic, and I finally got to and see two of my favorite bands in person. I also got to see two of Lzzy Hale’s and Amy Lee’s duets, and both gave me goosebumps.

“Yeah, it’s perfectly reckless
Damn, you leave me defenseless
So break in
Break in”

My best friend went with me, and we both belted out the Evanescence lyrics by sheer impulse and after grueling weeks of teaching in December. Of course we were off key. Of course we got some glances, but of course, we weren’t the only ones singing our hearts out. Also, so many people broke out crying when singing My Immortal. Both my mom and I cried at the exact same time of the song, and both of us recorded our voices breaking “And I held your hand through all of these years, but you’ll still have all of me” in sobs.

So yeah, I had a cathartic weekend. I actually like Evanescence’s new album a lot. I know it won’t rival Fallen for many, yet I like that the lyrics have actually matured a little bit from stereotypical angst. The lyrics are still steeped in themes of loss, but they’ve moved in a direction towards coping. I’m going to cherish this memory as one of the most emotional one’s I’ve had in a while.

Mastress Alita

I also love Evanescence! (“Breathe No More” is a deeply personal song for me that I will always love dearly)

Daylon R Thomas

SAME! Hello is another good grief one.

CrowKettle

Evanescence was my first concert as a kid – luckily at an all-ages venue (and lucky to have a cool older sister)! Glad that you were finally able to see them and make such great memories! They’ve left a everlasting impression on me too :)

Tiffany :)

Oof. $45 for 4 oz or $25 for 15 sachets (https://www.smithtea.com/products/ice-cream-royale?variant=39540805861511)? I mean I spend thousands of dollars on tea and this tea does sound good but this seems a bit steep.

Daylon R Thomas

It is. I only get it if there’s a discount of at least 20%. Even then, it’s overpriced.

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I am still testing this one out. It’s a very clean and easy going oolong so far, but I’ve not find the leaf ratio I like yet. I’ve overleafed it once. So far, creamy and floral with hyacinth in that department for sure . Full texture, light body and flavor. Water chestnut is the big note for me so far, maybe something resembling unflavored almond milk. Aroma is very soothing, but it doesn’t always show up in the flavor. It is easy to oversteep, and I’ve lost on some complexity before gong fu. It gets milkier as it cools off western. It’s not particularly sweet, yet very approachable with healthy L-theanine calming energy.

I’ve already plowed through half of my package as I’ve abused and experimented with it. Easy western with 2 minutes has worked best for me so far. I may need to up the temperature gong fu. We’ll see. I’m curious what Eastteaguy got from this one. I can say that I wish I got more of the Lishan on sale, but I’m happy to be drinking this one. The clean qualties impress me the most so far. It’s not extremely brothy or spinachy as some Gaoshans can be, and leans more floral watercress than vegetal. I’ll come back to it and likely will finish this off before the year ends.

Flavors: Almond, Chestnut, Creamy, Floral, Green, Milk, Spring Water

Evol Ving Ness

Has anyone heard from our eastkyteaguy? I’ve been thinking of him all day with the latest news. Worried.

Daylon R Thomas

He liked a post yesterday, but that’s it. The latest I saw was the current job he’s trying out, but I haven’t heard anything further from that.

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks. I hope he’s ok.

mrmopar

I will see if I can email him.

Evol Ving Ness

Much appreciated, thank you, mrmopar.

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85

Really digging this blend I asked for as a sample. Maybe should have gotten a little bit more. I personally get the pineapple, orange, and a few rosy accents the most, and I shared some while playing a D and D like campaign with friends. They were really, really into it, and two of us went in for seconds.

I got the dragonfruit mostly in the first steep, but not so much in the second steep. Pineapple is still the biggest thing I notice, but like my friends said, this is a pineapple person’s kind of tea. That’s weird to say considering this is a dragonfruit tea, and dragonfruit does that tropical component, but it was not as prominent. It’s also nice and light, which I enjoy.

I thought I’d want more white tea in it, but I like it adds slightly more body to the fruit of the tea. Thankfully, I don’t get as much from the hibiscus. These are also decent silver needles that aren’t over the top expensive, and that makes my inner tea nerd happy. I’m personally really satisfied with this tea overall.

Flavors: Citrus Zest, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Pineapple, Strawberry, Tropical

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
CrowKettle

This company’s tea names are delightful.

Daylon R Thomas

YES! Brilliant way to sell them. And their blends actually have decent quality bases-it’s not just the usual Ceylon or Assam all the time.

CrowKettle

Sounds like a good balance! I particularly want to try that violet oolong, so this is all firmly cementing them near the top of the list of future tea explorations :)

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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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