1131 Tasting Notes
I wish I had more to play around with, because this was an interesting tea. Of course the company’s description is the most reliable, but I’ll summarize it instead of just quoting it.
I did shorter and longer brewing parameters, and as with most of these teas, longer steeps are better suited to them with a rinse. When I did it on my own I started going more in the 30-45 second range. Then I read how they do it online, and the do it using 55, 45, 55 which is better suited for the later notes. I’ll write more about how that turns out.
The first thing that struck me about the tea before was that it was more on the floral sweet side of roasted, albeit nutty. Whether western or gong fu, it starts up woodsy and transitions into the sweet honeyed peanut notes in the first brew. Sometimes, it’s closer to brown sugar for me. The second one has a stonefruit note that comes up, and it got more apparent with each rebrew as the charcoal slowly fades into a background note. It’s got floral hyacinth, lilac notes, with maybe some osmanthus, but the nuttiness and peachy notes lead the way. Sometimes, I did think of plums, but lighter peach is what I get and it’s not super apparent, but present. It’s gets a little bit more green, but not super vegetal towards the end.
I really like this one and have a little left, though I gotta say I don’t properly know it quite yet. I can see it being great tumbler fuel-then again, almost all of the teas I’ve had from Wang tend to be durable. I’ll leave it at a 90 for now, and then figure out how I’m going to drink it next time. I have more What-Cha and other Wang Family Teas to catch up on.
Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Green, Honey, Nutty, Peach, Peanut, Roasted, Stonefruits, Wood
Backlog of the many that come…hopefully.
History lesson about my tea journey. At first, I was into green jasmines. And then, I was into oolongs, falling especially in love with the graham cracker complexity of Rishi’s Tie Guan Yin. And then, I got to know Andrew, and dived into tea…falling in love with the Nuclear green Gaoshan, and got bored of some roasted oolongs. Then I slowly got back into it, and as I’ve sampled Wang’s family teas, I’ve slowly gotten back into them.
Although I prefer Wang’s green oolongs right now, their roasted teas are frickin awesome and typically balanced by the longan charcoal they normally use. And this one is a nice pick up tea. I think-well, I want something I wouldn’t mind, and then I have the tea, and I more than don’t mind it-I actually enjoyed it.
I didn’t take any detailed notes, and I paid a little bit attention, but I remember cookie and nuts being one of the things I picked up. It’s fairly roasted and woodsy, being between the green and roasted bit. There’s some greenness more akin to cooked squash or zucchini, but this is not a vegetal tea. The company’s description does more than fine describing the rest:
“The taste is smooth, and sweet. The longan charcoal flavor is present, but is in no way overpowering. Successive rounds of brewing deepen every aspect of this tea. The color of the tea soup shifts from light yellow, to a vibrant gold; the aroma is strongly nutty, and now has a hint of cream; the flavor of this tea has become very sweet, woodsy, and slightly fruity thanks to the longan charcoal. The finish is sweet, and lasts for a good amount of time.”
I got anywhere between seven and ten brews out of the tea gong fu, and a minimum of six cups western. It’s consistent for the most part. It’s creamier in the second through fourth brews, and the fruitiness is towards the end. It’s more stonefruit-peachy, but it’s super subtle amidst roast, nuttiness, and just a pebble of minerals. The sweetness is close to brown sugar, but it’s not as obvious as it is in the Alishan Light Roast.
What strikes me about this one is its durability and balance. I think I might have enjoyed it a little bit more in colder months, but I kept coming back to it, and finished it in three days. I’m curious to see how someone a bit more experienced or preferential to traditional Dong Dings think. This is more for intermediate drinkers, but it’s very easy to drink and very chill. This is a “Hey, you want to chill, bro?” tea
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Cookie, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Nuts, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal, Wood
This is backlog, and I’m still not quite sure what I think about it. I decided to do a cold steep instead of a full blown cold brew, and it was fantastic. I used too many leaves, but because cold water slows down the diffusion, upping the leaves for the most flavor was the way to go. I got custard, gardenia, buttermilk, water chestnut, and of course, vanilla. But when I’ve brewed it hot, there’s something off about the flavoring. It’s like a heady floral vegetal mix that can be a little cakey. It’s hard to describe. I’ll experiment more and see what some people’s recommendations are. I think this one is good, but I personally prefer Mandala’s so far.
I’m bumping up the rating. Got some jasmine in the notes today, and this is one that I want to keep coming back to, but at the same time, savor. It’s one of my personal favorites at the moment because it’s the right balance of flower bomb and subtlety. There are A LOT of teas I should catch up on…hopefully I can remember them all as I write. Anyway, this one is back in stock, and I still recommend it.
I gotta say-this makes an awesome sachet tea…that I am addicted to. It makes for an awesome lunch pick me up, and a good morning pick me up. The sugary notes are prominent, and whatever they use for the french toast background and deep vanilla makes this so frickin welcoming. Oversteeping it can make it into a mess of syrupy brown sugar cardamom malt, but more water or shorter steep times than the standard three minutes or 8 oz for every bag does the trick for me. It also grants me three to four very drinkable cups, despite how faint the flavoring and malt get. The black base is also good-I wonder what varietal it is.
My tea snob senses to rate it more in the 80’s, but my love of cardamom and brown sugar tastes pushes it in the 90s for me.
I was tempted to get it sachet since Roswell raved about it, but since hibiscus is hit or miss for me, I got a pour over ice and was satisfied for the hot day. The flavors play very well together-going from the tart citrus of the grapefruit to the Turkish delight refreshment of the rose and hibiscus. I did not taste too much oolong personally, but its there in as a green background that’s smooth and hard to notice. I deeply enjoyed it as an ice drink without any additives and highly recommend it as a summer one. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much hot due to the hibiscus, but that’s a personal preference.
I went over the border to Sarnia, and took it as an opportunity to be an innocuous liberal going to Canada for the sole purpose of organic vegan food and tea. I got a bunch of sachets of some of the staples like Forever Nuts and Cardamom French Toast, but I had this one to go. I didn’t expect it to be nuanced, but it was super sweet and tasty as you’d expect from a Maple Syrup flavored tea. Kayla, the person who served it, said it tasted like pancakes, and it did. This one would be especially awesome during the fall.
I thought I had a note for this one. Anyway, I’ve been saving it for when the moment strikes me since it is a VERY good tea. I had a little bit when I first bought it, and it does incredibly well gong fu or western. I can’t remember everything about the first time I’ve had it other than its general profile. The notes were a little bit closer to an Bai Hao than other Himalyan based black teas I’ve had, but it is very muscatel, juicy, and floral the way I like it. I prefer lighter blacks and muscatels anyway…I’m a snob.
Moving on to tonight’s session, the dryleaf has a nice aromatic that sneaks up a few seconds after you open the bag, then nuts, orange blossom, hibiscus, cocoa, earth, dried leaves (NO DUH), and something else wafts through the air. Orange blossom, red grape, muscat,and autumn leaves come to mind amidst its viscous mouthfeel, although the tea is oddly refreshing right now. Woodsiness starts to come through as it cools.
I admit that I upped the leafage to just over 5 grams for 8 ounces, and I didn’t count the steep time. I would guestimate under a minute, probably 30-45 seconds. The water was 180 F. I did 40 seconds the 2nd steep. More wood and muscat, a little bit of something that reminds me of red and orange flowers. The texture is still mouth coating and oddly thirst quenching. Dryness rises a little bit at the back of my tongue a little, but its sweet and very pleasant. It’s the woodsy note I was talking about.
Steep three…. I did not keep track of how long I brewed it. My cuppa was excellent nevertheless. The same notes popped up with a bit more mouthfeel. It began with dryness at my teeth, juiciness at the tongue, and a little bit more floral dryness at the throat. Eastteaguy will no doubt describe the florals and dryer notes more profoundly. I can’t wait to seem him write about it. The longer brew reminded me it was indeed a black tea, but it’s still closer to an oolong to me personally.
I know I can get more cups out of this session. 5 was the highest number I got last time western, 7 gong fu. We’ll see.
I’ll write again later. Although I have the Vietnam version of a Bai Hao, this one serves that craving more despite being a black tea. It is comparable to the best 2nd flush Darjeelings I’ve had, but then again, I actually like Nepalese teas more, especially Jun Chiyabari. Too bad it’s sold out.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Flowers, Grapes, Honey, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Peach, Sweet, Wood
Backlog: I was impulsive, and got a treasure chest of nearly every one of Wang’s Teas except their Shan Lin Xi. I’ve sampled several so far, and this was one of the first ones.
I think the company’s description does this one the most service. It’s got the nutty profile of any light roast in the dry leaf, and brewing it up, the aroma is also nutty like almonds and marzipan with a little bit of a roast, something that you find in peanuts. The first brew is very light, yet smooth. I get the brown sugar note the most in the first and second brews gong fu and western. Honeysuckle was the most prominent floral to me, though there was another lighter airy floral. Maybe hyacinth, but I’m not sure. It’s not heady, but it’s noticeable. Later brews turned into the usual green oolong notes you can imagine, though more on the floral and vegetal end. It was also a little bit woodsy in profile, but pleasantly so.
I finished this sample very quickly. The tea was fairly resilient grandpa with lighter leaves, though I had to be careful with western. The roast would occasionally smoothen over the florals, but it was still very forgiving. Pie crust and squash would also be good equivalents. I highly enjoyed this one. It was a little bit too light for my preferences overall, but it was still very good and among one of my favorites so far. It’s like a friend you don’t see often, but always appreciate when they are there.
Flavors: Almond, Brown Sugar, Creamy, Floral, Honeysuckle, Nuts, Peanut, Squash Blossom, Sweet, Wood