1500 Tasting Notes
I got this and the Shanlinxi for the free shipping after 30 bucks spent. I also got it compulsively because I usually judge the quality of loose leaf a company has based on the quality of their oolong. I know, not fair, but Lishans and Shanlinxi’s are a favorite I don’t get bored with.
Unfortunately, I am going to have to redo this one. It is full bodied, but extremely soft and complex. I had it on a hotter and busy day, so I was bit distracted. This one is a more pear leaning lishan for sure, specifically the “Asian Pear” as westerners refer to it. Otherwise, it’s a high mountain oolong. I admit I’m starting to get bored writing about them, and this tea deserves better attention.
Flavors: Floral, Pear
I’ve had osmanthus blended with tea before, and mostly oolongs. The only times I’ve had it with a black was with the Earl the Great blend, and in Verdant’s blend with their darker and savory Laoshan oolong.
I watched this one for a few months since I traveled to North Carolina for Thanksgiving last year. I was trying to find good teahouses, and Adhara was one of the ones near me that was recommended. I didn’t actually get to try them in person, but the power of algorithms from facebook and instagram worked. I spent so much money on tea in the last few months after the existential dread of this past school year, switching from stoic frugality to Epicurean YOLO.
I feel confident to say I don’t regret getting this one. It’s unique, fruity, chocolaty and complex comparing to other quality black floral teas such as Alice. The base for this was higher grade golden tip tea, and it’s absolutely gorgeous and aromatic. I’ve done it gong fu, but it’s forgiving to some oversteeping later on. I expect this make a great cold brew too, though I would not push it too hard. I’ve quite liked it so far and compares better than other osmanthus blends I’ve had. There’s something about osmanthus’s floral peachiness that accents the yammy malty profile of the black tea to higher levels.
Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Malt, Osmanthus, Peach, Savory, Sweet, Wood
Leafhopper, this one is making me drool. Most of the Shanlinxi blacks I’ve had lean more towards papaya, and while this certainly has it, the tea gong fu or western is extremely thick and sweet. Western so far consisted of 3 min that became 4 min, 3 minutes again, and 4-5 min again. Gong fu was 25, 35, 25, 45, 50, 70, 90, 3 min.I get more complex fruit and cocoa notes with some nice woody and hints of floral qualities gong fu, and a chocolate covered cherry flavor western. Sometimes I’d border to say maple syrup in some moments, and others chocolate syrup with a sweet aftertaste too. I can see someone write honey for the notes, but it’s undivorced from the chocolate sweetness, middling between milk and dark chocolate. There’s some really pleasant bitterness that occasionally sneaks up and textures the sweet flavor. I’m also getting the funnel cake quality that I’ve gotten in other Taiwanese blacks that’s a bit of an exaggeration.
Either way, it reminds me of Cocoa Amore in some ways in a more pure form. This is easily the kind of tea I could live with, and which is actually harder to find online for an affordable price. My only complaint is that it’s not long lasting. I’ve not been able to get it more than 6 steeps gong fu as it lost strength after steep 5, and it begins to really lose lustre after steep 3 western. I’d easily rate this 96, but the fading quality puts it at a 90 for me. Definitely my favorite black of the collection I got so far.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramelized Sugar, Cherry, Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Papaya, Plum, Raisins, Sweet, Tropical Fruit, Wood
I’m really loving this one, and surprisingly more than some of the higher elevation teas I have on hand. I used the entirety of the sample, so I’m guessing six grams or more. I’m taking some quick notes, but here I’ve got after beginning with a 15 sec rinse I drank, and steeps hovering between 10-25 seconds for the first six brews and subsequent longer minute based steeps:
Macadamia, milk, macadamia milk, coconut milk, butter, light popcorn, custard, vanilla, almond milk, fruity hints, deeply creamy viscous texture, florals, maybe plumeria, some grassiness, and some sort of yellow and white flower I’m visualising but can’t name. I knew this was up my alley, but it was so balanced and full in texture and flavor. I’ll come back and write more.
And looking at the notes of others, I’m getting the daffodil floral heavily and some hints of peach and pear moreso mid session. Later steeps lean into a cooling herbal effect like rosemary. Easily one of my favorites from the sampler so far other than Bok’s Lishan. Thank you Leafhopper!
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Creamy, Custard, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Herbaceous, Macadamia, Milk, Narcissus, Nutty, Peach, Pear, Plumeria, Popcorn, Rosemary, Vanilla
Thank you leafhopper!
Quickie note. I was more into this one than I expected. It’s very woody and heavy on the sweet potato / yam side, but super pleasant in smell and taste. It’s on the cedar, incense, sandalwood spectrum with a little bit of cooling effect in the aftertaste bordering on rosy. The smell is deeply floral like Geranium and Roses. Super comforting. It didn’t change much steep to steep gong fu, but I have some left over to play with. I very much enjoyed it, and actually liked it more than some other Wuyi teas that are more overpowering.
Flavors: Cedar, Floral, Geranium, Incense, Malt, Resin, Rose, Sandalwood, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin
Thank you Leafhopper in all your efforts to save this one, because it’s special. I’m pretty much going to say what Leafhopper wrote before I read hers, but this is a green floral oolong that has the highlight of a soft, slightly burnt marshmallow texture. Green, coconut, bok choy, pineapple, honeycrisp, spinach, lettuce-all of that and more with some tropical florals and fruitiness. I used the entire sample at once and did it short steeps, longer steeps, and back to flash steeps again to get more out of the tea.
I think it’s really good and comparable to the one I have from Trident. I am not sure about the price, but I am very happy to have had the chance to try it.
Flavors: Apple, Coconut, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Honey, Lettuce, Marshmallow, Orchid, Pineapple, Spinach, Stonefruit
Tried this one, and wish I didn’t do it on a hotter day yesterday because the sweeter notes were a bit muddled. Really good shanlinxi that I brewed in my clay easy gaiwan, though leaned heavily into cream,florals, orchids, spinach, osmanthus, nectarine, stone fruits, pine. I made a few mistakes and the tea was too spinachy and grassy in some parts. I will write a full review later, and I’m going to try it again this week.
Finished this off yesterday-thank you Leafhopper! It would only last two-three solid steeps each session, 10, 20, 30, and then malty woodiness. The flavors were forward and had heavy honey, malt, some chocolate, dried papaya, a little bit of passion fruits, herbs, wood, nectarine hints, and of course, tea. It tasted like it was a ready boba with the brown sugar already in it, with a little bit of the Taiwanese fructose sweetness.
I liked this one quite a bit, and am glad I tried it.