1159 Tasting Notes
Whiteantlers!!!!! So glad to see you on here again!!!!!
Anyway, I’m still way behind on my backlog, especially for Wang Tea (GREAT FOR OOLONG LOVERS), Whispering Pines, Fraser Tea, and a new one also from Colorado, Trident Cafe. I have loads to write about that a few teas, but for the most part, my notes will be limited and more concise. I am going to put up the ones that really demand my attention or memory, though there are some new developments from these companies that are all worth looking into.
Beginning again on this note, I was on a sachet hunt before the beginning of lockdown for work teas. Since I could not reasonably afford the kind of tea I want, I figured I could get something to boost my productivity and my own zen in my classroom.
I’ve seen Dan Cong sachets before, and have always hesitated since the leaf quality will likely not be as pronounced and probably have more broken leaves and woodsier tones. i’ve seen an osmanthus dancong sachet blend on Amazon, but I don’t exactly trust them because of their third party problems. Since there was a 20% sale, I got these last year and was pleasantly surprised.
The company doesn’t exaggerate the notes at all, and it was medium to okay quality like I expected, but, I still got a full dancong flavor and the nutty and iris notes I associate with a 8 immortals, or a Bai Xian. Dry leaf is earthy, and floral like a bamboo forest, and it’s surprisingly more medium green and floral, a little bit closer in roast to a medium light roast Dong Ding. Macadamia, almond, and more iris radiate from the cup after about 2 min western, and then I leave it another minute, bringing out more gong fu, and the palette matches the scent. The texture is actually kinda viscous, and there are some nice roasted undertones amidst a predominantly woodsy and floral tea. Again, the woodiness is a little bit more like bamboo and maybe even roasted coconut, but it’s not over the top.
Astringency is not super present in this one, but it can get slightly bitter and almost too woodsy or earthy. If you do it right, it has a nice camphor thing going on. If you do it wrong, it’s bordering on cardboard, but there’s enough umph from the florals to do it otherwise. I still lean towards iris or chocolate orchids for the florals, but there some creamier ones too like hyacinth and honeysuckle, though I’d be interested to see if someone disagrees and describes the florals better.
This one can give you two to three rounds out of the bag depending on how you brew it, and it personally ranks as an 85 for me. I expected it to be more of a 75, but I was pleased that a sachet oolong had enough complexity to get me guessing on the florals. There was no doubt that this was a Bai Xian or a Dan Cong either, which might disappoint some people because I know several find this region’s teas finicky and temperamental. This one is a lot more easy going that other’s I’ve had and definitely more on the Green end like a Yu Lan, even a Wu Yi Qi Lan, but if you’re not into woodsy or floral, than you can skip out on this one.
If I were to describe this tea in a shorter statement, I would describe it as the ultimate medium mellow tea. It’s got enough complexity for oolong nerds to appreciate some complexity actually being preserved in a tea bag, but it’s a decent enough presentation of a Dan Cong that can give novices a better idea of the varietals commonly floral and woodsy character.
Flavors: Almond, Bamboo, Camphor, Floral, Honeysuckle, Nutty, Orchids, Wet Earth, Wood
One of my favorite blacks from whispering pines so far, and one of many teas I’m behind putting. At this rate, I might just put the teas I really liked on here so I don’t have to fuss. The list will still be long, but there are some that definitely need to get on Steepster, especially from What-Cha, Wang, and Whispering Pines
Back to the tea. It has a very creamy texture and leans on the fruity end of black teas. For you tea snobs, it does have a lot of similarities to its less oxidized oolong counterpart when it comes to the tea’s osmanthus like florals and almost apricot like flavor. Nectarine is probably more accurate. There were times I thought of berries, though it’s more akin to the nectarine, but I would not say this is a intensely stonefruit kind of tea. Fruity and intensely sweet with creamy honeysuckle florals, yes. Mega peachiness? Maybe not. I was thinking more passionfruit. Creamed honey, maybe some caramelized sugar. Later steeps were lighter, and its oolong heritage shined through. Shorter steeps makes it especially resemble the oolong counterpart, but with more body and flavor.
It also lasts quite a bit of time western or gong fu. I use my longer 30 second intervals with 5 grams, and upped the by 30 sec each time. I know, not precise. Western was also a lot more experimental, staying in at 2-3 min for the beginning time, but then I did whatever afterwards. Thank heavens this one is forgiving. There are a lot of similarities to some Taiwanese blacks in how sweet it is, and reminded me of Nectar, another good tea that’s occasionally sold on Whispering Pines. This one is more complex in my opinion, but Nectar had a little bit more staying power and was thicker. This is thick, that one was THICC. I feel that there is more to say about the teas notes, but I can’t put it into words right now.
In terms of quality, the rating should be closer to a 90-93. It is also a lighter than average black with little to no astringency and moderate malt. Some might be iffy about it because it is a more mild black tea, but it is by no means as faint as a golden bud black. In terms of how I like my tea, it’s perfect because it’s light floral and fruity. In terms of price, I remember it being decent. Tie Guan Yin blacks are hard to find, and even with other big companies like Yunnan Sourcing and Verdant, they are pretty much seasonal.
You could of course try Tealet or finding vendors/farmers directly, but Brenden does a good job curating teas like this. Sweet tooths, rejoice. I would definitely buy this one again.
Flavors: Berry, Caramel, Cream, Creamy, Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Honeysuckle, Malt, Nectar, Osmanthus, Passion Fruits, Smooth, Sweat
Thank you Brenden! And thank you derk for putting up the page!
I really liked this sample. The leaves were fairly small, like hairs picked off from a golden fleece. I plowed through it quickly over two days and kept on drinking it semi western in a large 12 oz mug and in increments of 1-2 minutes. I’m sorry if I’ve lost the usual specific description for notes….I’ve been backlogging….and I have at least ten more teas to do or more.
Back to the tea. This one was more floral than normal for me compared to some other golden hong cha, but it was very satisfying. I got the same notes derk did in terms of the cocoa,grains, creamed honey, and pepper. I also got some fruity melon ones that were vague but noticeable like cantaloupe. The tea was still predominantly floral, sweet, cocoa, caramel, and balanced by even malt, though it was not overly tense like an Assam or even some Keemum. Viscosity was also nice, and while it was on the lighter end overall for a black, it still provided plenty of body. It’s personally been one of my favorite gold strands blacks from whispering pines so far.
Thank heavens eastteaguy is on here, because he tends to buy the same things I do lol.
I am holding off on rating this one, and I hope some of you have tried it before I did, but I have a very mixed opinion of it. Alistair described this one as a Baozhong style oolong, and it looked like that in the picture. When I got the actual leaf, it was a lot tippier than I thought it would be. It looks as advertised, and is very pretty, though.
As for tasting it, it was stronger than I expected. It’s supposed to be smooth, floral, sans bitterness or astringency, but it has the sharpness of a first flush Darjeeling. I used very light leaves and 1 minute of steeping, but it was still pretty cutting. The florals were there, like osmanthus, peony, major honeysuckle, linen, and it was a little bit sweet, but there was something still strong about it. Sharp is the only way I can describe it, though it reminded me of astringency, drying, or acidity. I could be brewing it wrong and would like some advice for those willing to give. Maybe my palettes off.
So far, I prefer the Hand Crafted Spring Oolong from Rohini, but I need to let this one grow on me before I make a final judgement. I will say this is definitely more for experienced tea drinkers who want to try India’s new stuff. I have not figured out a way for a new drinker to like it yet.
Flavors: Dry Grass, Drying, Floral, Honeysuckle, Osmanthus, Smooth
I swear I’ve grown up with this tea when I lived in Hawaii. I got a free sample of it, and it’s very similar to the Oolong version, but that one is a little bit more tropical and stonefruit in vibes, whereas this one is arguably peachier with the vanilla addition. It’s very smooth and sweet. I slightly prefer the oolong, but the flavoring of this peach is creamier with the vanilla.
I finally got one of the most rated teas on Steepster!
I’ve been meaning to try this one for a while, since I got started on steepster in the first place. The high price and shipping has made me delay for years, especially since I’ve spent most of it on What-Cha. People are usually divided on this one from what I see. Either it tastes refreshing; the natural peach blends the florals effortlessly with the oolong; it tastes fake and the peach overpowers the oolong; OR the peach is the weakest thing about the tea. I eventually was going to try it to see what I thought myself; it’s inevitable.
Since I had slightly more income, I decided to get a few sachets of this tea with the mango oolong. I’ve been using the flavor=sachet, high grade tea=loose leaf rule. I was very close to getting either the Melon and the Queen’s Muscat Oolongs, but I don’t need more than 50 grams of tea , and the current expiration date for the Muscat oolong was in July of this year…I was not going to risk a long shipping time on that. My greedy thirst does want to try EVERYTHING, but I cannot have TOO much more tea.After reading through the reviews on here closely, I expected this tea to be a very light sachet that tasted a lot like those Japanese Kasugai peach and lychee gummies that I am addicted to. They are sweet, but are definitely softer in profile. This sachet’s flavoring is nearly identical to those, and I personally fall under as one of the natural balance of peach and florals reviewers. Opening the bag gave me the immense peach blossom rose that reminded me of lychees, and it made me immediately think of Hawaii. I think I may have been to that store myself when I was really young. So, it’s got some points for nostalgia already.
The nice thing about this tea sachet is that it really does not oversteep in large mugs for me. I had about 12 oz of this one, and I’ve had it twice. The second brew is weaker, but it’s still peachy. The rose is subtle, but I can definitely taste it. I am glad they used flowers instead of a rose flavor since it could have been too perfumey.
As for the teabase, it was not as high grade leaf as it advertises. I think it would have been had I gotten the loose leaf version of it. It’s possible that the Baozhong leaves ARE high grade, but got broken up in the bags. There is some dust, however. It luckily does not make the tea astringent. They could have used a little bit more Baozhong in the sachets or a different source for better leaves, but it would have been extremely easy to make this tea too astringent with a baozhong base.
Baozhongs are one of my favorite oolongs, and they blend really well with fruit flavors, but even on their own, they can become astringent like Green Teas. I think the sachet was made with the notion that someone might leave it in their mug.
So to finally wrap up my ramble, this was the nice refreshing oolong sachet I hoped it would be. It reminds me of home, sunshine, spring and summer. I do agree that the flavor could have been drawn out a little bit more, but I enjoy that it’s intentionally light. I do not think it deserves to cost $1 per sachet, but it’s a unique tea that I do not regret getting. It’s a 75 in terms of tea quality, a near 90 for in terms of aroma, 80 in terms of taste, so I personally rate it 85.
Long backlog and sipdown. I’ve mostly been pre-occupied with reading, school-work, parent contact, and binging youtube videos and Netflix to maintain a sense of humor…and of course drinking mugs of tea.
I’ve relied more on longer steeper times and western more than I have gong fu, mostly relying on larger amounts of water for my mugs. I’ve been bad and purchased more sachets, but I still plow through my good loose leaf western. I’ve also used an uncomfortable amount of sachet teas lately for the BWB blends I love (Cardamom French Toast….), but I still turn to the amounts I have from Wang, Whispering Pines, and What-Cha pre-epidemic.
Though I have splurged on Whispering Pines, Tea Spot, and Lupicia (crossing figures it gets to MI alright and the MOMO SUPERGRADE and RIPE MANGO are good- I really wanted Queen’s muscat, but the expiration date for the tea was in July of this year).
Finally getting to this tea from Wang, there is a lot going on with it. It tops as a must try sample in my opinion despite being more expensive, and it honestly competed with the Da Yu Ling from the company.
I was not quite sure what to expect for this one since it is a Tieguanyin varietal grown in Taiwan. I used to love Tie Guan Yin’s, but the orchid-pepper notes have bugged me lately, and switched to Taiwanese teas a while back. Trying this one out, the Cui Feng notes are more prominent than the Tie Guan Yins. It’s very green and has the orchid/green been notes that you get in a Tie Guan Yin, but it’s loaded with the alpine forest notes, some woodiness, but heavy amount of lilac and hyacinth among a thick body and mouthfeel. It is also sweet, and orchid becomes more prominent.
I’ve mostly done western for this one since it does take some time to develop for what I’ve gotten. I could see it working with a lot of leaf gong fu, but it’s very durable western. I’ve gotten six cups minimum, using brewing increments based on minutes. The minimum I’ve done is a minute, but I usually do 1 minute 45 to two minutes in the first two brews either in my 10 oz kyusu or french press.
I’m not sure how else to describe it. It’s a THICC Tie Guanyin-Gaoshan Baby.