1371 Tasting Notes
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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