876 Tasting Notes

77

This was my last sipdown of 2019, a year I am so thankful to have put behind me. I am planning on making some big changes over the course of the new year. I say that every year but have already gotten to work on a couple things. Hey, at least I’m actively trying to make some progress for once and not perpetually getting bogged down in the planning stage. I am not at a point where I feel comfortable sharing any specifics here, but more details will likely follow over the next several months. Anyway, this was an odd and interesting tea. Of all the dancong oolongs I have tried over the last two or three years, I could not compare this one to any of them.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of lemon, kumquat, tangerine, sugarcane, cream, and butter. After the rinse, I picked up new aromas of roasted almond, geranium, and yellow gardenia. The first infusion introduced a plum aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor expressed notes of cream, butter, roasted almond, lemon, and grapefruit that were chased by hints of tangerine, geranium, sour cherry, and sugarcane. The subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of grapefruit, roasted peanut, grass, violet, wood, baked bread, and orange zest. Stronger and more immediate sugarcane, geranium, tangerine, and sour cherry notes came out in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging yellow gardenia and plum impressions, Notes of minerals, violet, roasted peanut, wood, orange zest, pear, baked bread, grass, and white grapes also appeared, and I was able to pick up hints of pomegranate, coffee, and kumquat as well. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized mineral, orange zest, butter, grass, lemon, baked bread, and tangerine notes that were underscored by lingering hints of cream, sugarcane, sour cherry, grapefruit, pear, kumquat, yellow gardenia, and roasted almond.

As you may have noticed from the above description, this struck me as being a very citrusy tea. Fortunately, it was not particularly astringent. The way this tea’s aroma and flavor components came together was challenging and truly bizarre, yet I do not recall anything striking me as being out of whack. Everything was actually balanced really nicely. Ultimately, I think I would just classify this as one of those teas that was not quite for me. The yellow gardenia (nothing like what most people would expect) and citrus characteristics were very interesting and satisfying, but I think I tend to prefer nuttier, sweeter Dancong oolongs over the tarter, more pungent styles. Still, I will definitely be trying more Huang Zhi Xiang in the future to get a better feel for it.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Butter, Cherry, Citrus, Coffee, Cream, Fruity, Gardenias, Geranium, Grapefruit, Grass, Lemon, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Plums, Sugarcane, Violet, White Grapes, Wood

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
tea-sipper

Wishing you luck on whatever changes you’re making.

MadHatterTeaDrunk

Good luck in your 2020 journey!
Also, this sounds like a fun tea to be had. I like teas that have such complexity and depth to the session.

mrmopar

What ever path you take you will always have your friends on here.

LuckyMe

Good luck to you in 2020 and the decade ahead.

ashmanra

May 2020 be awesome for you!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

71

Okay, I am kicking off another year of Steepster activity with a review of my first sipdown of the new year. This was the last of the Yunnan Sourcing black tea dragon balls I had lying around, and in truth, I put this one off for so long because I had every intention of making it one of my holiday teas. I’m a huge fan of rose teas and got it in my mind that it was going to be the tea with which I rang in the new year. Honestly, I probably should have picked something else considering that I had a sinus infection at the time and this was a rather delicate tea, but what’s done is done. I was still able to get a lot out of it, and while I would not call it a bad offering, it was not my favorite of Yunnan Sourcing’s black tea and flower dragon balls. That was surprising too, because, again, I love rose teas.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped the entire dragon ball in 160 ml of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cedar, cinnamon, eucalyptus, malt, and rose. After the rinse, I detected a stronger rose aroma and new scents of cream, butter, and baked bread. There was also a subtle vanilla scent lingering in the background. The first infusion brought out a somewhat stronger vanilla aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented very delicate notes of cedar, cinnamon, malt, cream, butter, and baked bread that were chased by hints of vanilla, eucalyptus, and rose. The subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of sugarcane, cocoa, sweet potato, camphor, black pepper, ginger, roasted almond, and caramel as well as more amplified rose and malt scents. Stronger and more immediate rose, vanilla, and eucalyptus notes came out in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, earth, black pepper, sugarcane, caramel, cocoa, camphor, red apple, honey, roasted almond, and cooked green beans. I also detected hints of red grape, grass, sweet potato, orange zest, and ginger. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized mineral, malt, baked bread, earth, cocoa, and roasted almond notes that were balanced by fleeting hints of rose, honey, sweet potato, caramel, black pepper, cooked green beans, cedar, camphor, and orange zest.

This seemed to be a fairly balanced offering overall. One thing I noticed about each of these black tea and flower dragon balls was that each of the floral presences interacted with the base tea in different ways, sometimes thinning or thickening the body of the tea liquor, muting or amplifying certain aroma and flavor components, influencing the time at which each characteristic emerged, and sometimes introducing something unexpected. I basically picked up the same characteristics from the base tea with only minor differences, but each pairing seemed to organize and present them differently. This pairing emphasized harmony and balance, but that being said, it also struck me as a little too even-keeled in many places. I was actually hoping for a heavier rose presence and a few interesting rough edges, but I got neither. One positive aspect of this pairing was that the rose petals seemed to thicken the body and bring out more texture in the tea liquor, which was something I did not expect to occur. Big Snow Mountain black tea seems to consistently strike me as being a bit thin and watery, but I could not make that complaint with this particular offering. Honestly, this was a more or less solid pairing. Though I was hoping for a few pronounced peaks and valleys or a few unexpected wobbles here and there, this tea basically just stayed the course for the entirety of my drinking session. Fans of sweet yet balanced floral teas would probably be into it on one level or another.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Butter, Camphor, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Grapes, Grass, Green Beans, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Red Apple, Rose, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

98

This was another of my more recent sipdowns. This tea was interesting in that I did not know what to expect out of it, yet it ended up being tremendously enjoyable for me. I would venture to say that this is my current favorite Wuyi Shui Xian. Would anyone have guessed that a Tong Mu Shui Xian would ever become my favorite?

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 19 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and 30 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cinnamon, pine, baked bread, malt, charcoal, and smoke as well as a subtle blueberry scent. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, and roasted barley as well as even stronger scents of smoke and charcoal and subtler scents of grass and straw. The first infusion introduced aromas of rock sugar, black cherry, and blackberry. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of pine, roasted peanut, baked bread, malt, charcoal, roasted barley, smoke, and black cherry that were balanced by subtler impressions of grass, blackberry, straw, cinnamon, and dried blueberry before a long, cooling herbal finish took hold. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of caramel, strawberry, orange zest, ash, butter, pear, juniper, moss, and minerals. Roasted almond notes came out in the mouth alongside slightly amplified impressions of straw and grass and hints of rock sugar. Mineral, butter, cream, caramel, strawberry, raisin, cocoa, earth, juniper, moss, ash, nutmeg, orange zest, butterscotch, and pear notes were also evident. I even picked up on some hints of roasted hazelnut and toasted rice. Each swallow left an absolutely gorgeous, relaxing cooling sensation in the mouth that remains impossible for me to accurately describe. As the tea faded, the liquor settled and began to emphasize notes of minerals, moss, earth, grass, roasted barley, pine, roasted peanut, malt, and cream that were balanced by subtler notes of roasted almond, straw, baked bread, toasted rice, raisin, charcoal, black cherry, orange zest, cinnamon, and caramel as well as some late arriving vanilla impressions before the pleasant cooling sensation returned and once again took over after each swallow.

This was an absolutely incredible tea. There is no other way for me to describe it. I loved that it offered some more unique aromas and flavors compared to some of the other Wuyi Shui Xian oolongs I have tried in recent months, and I also was extremely impressed by the depth, texture, complexity, and balance of its liquor. It even threw in a few surprises during the second half of my gongfu session, impressions that I could not find on the nose but were certainly there in the mouth. This was just a superb offering. I wish I had purchased more of it now that it seems to be gone forever.

Flavors: Almond, Ash, Baked Bread, Blackberry, Blueberry, Butter, Butterscotch, Caramel, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Grass, Hazelnut, Herbaceous, Malt, Mineral, Moss, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Raisins, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Straw, Strawberry, Sugar, Toasted Rice, Vanilla

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

This was my most recent sipdown. I actually finished what I had of this tea earlier in the afternoon. This was also a type of Dancong oolong I had never previously encountered. Apparently, it is named after the fruit of a tree, Myrica rubra, that is common in Guangdong Province and is also known as yamamomo (mountain peach), Chinese bayberry, Japanese bayberry, yumberry, red bayberry, waxberry, and Chinese strawberry. I have never tried or even seen one of these fruits, so I have no clue if the scent or flavor of this tea bares any resemblance to those of the fruit. What I do know is that this struck me as being a great tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves presented aromas of cream, butter, custard, orange blossom, orchid, and sugarcane. After the rinse, I detected baked bread and vanilla aromas as well as stronger scents of custard and sugarcane. The first infusion introduced a steamed milk scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, butter, custard, orange blossom, sugarcane, orchid, and tangerine that were chased by hints of pomegranate, sour cherry, grass, violet, and white pepper. The subsequent infusions revealed aromas of grass, coriander, nutmeg, red grapefruit, and white pepper as well as subtler scents of lemon curd and tangerine. Stronger and more immediate sour cherry, grass, white pepper, and violet notes appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging impressions of steamed milk and notes of minerals, daylily, daylily shoots, coriander, and nutmeg. I also picked up on subtler impressions of lemon curd, red grapefruit, and honey. As the tea faded, the liqour emphasized mineral, grass, steamed milk, cream, custard, sugarcane, daylily shoot, and lemon curd notes that were balanced by hints of tangerine, butter, baked bread, sour cherry, violet, and honey and late arriving hay and basil touches.

This was both one of the most interesting and satisfying Dancong oolongs I have tried this year. I do not recall ever trying another tea quite like it. I frequently feel like I write the same things over and over again when I review Dancong oolongs, but this tea was decidedly different as it presented me with a wealth of new and fresh aromas and flavors. This tea’s natural cream, steamed milk, custard, and butter notes, as well as some of its more floral and vegetal components, reminded me of many of the Taiwanese and Southeast Asian Jin Xuan oolongs I have tried, while the stone fruit, citrus, and herb notes reminded me a bit of Ya Shi Dancong. Overall, this was a fascinating and pleasing tea, one I would wholeheartedly recommend to fans of Dancong oolongs.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cherry, Citrus, Coriander, Cream, Custard, Floral, Fruity, Grapefruit, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Lemon, Milk, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Pepper, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet

Preparation
6 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
tea-sipper

I’m also drinking a Dan Cong (teavivre’s) and was noticing grapefruit and lemon which I’ve never noticed in this type of tea, so I’m happy to see my flavor notes are matching with your expert opinion today! I feel like I just tea advanced. :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

I’m slowly coming to the end of my long list of 2017 Dancong oolongs. I’ve enjoyed most of them, though I have encountered a few serious misses along the way. This was another strong offering. It was a little more biting and astringent than Yunnan Sourcing’s Wu Dong Ba Xian that I always seem to like from year to year, but it was still a very enjoyable tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cream, custard, nectarine, orchid, peach, and orange blossom. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of rose, tangerine, and sugarcane. The first infusion introduced aromas of baked bread, grass, white grape, and roasted almond. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, roasted almond, orchid, wood, baked bread, and orange blossom that were chased by hints of tangerine, white grape, sour cherry, grass, sugarcane, peach, and honey. The subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of violet, honey, vanilla, wood, strawberry, apple, and coriander. Notes of nectarine and custard came out in the mouth along with stronger and more immediate impressions of sour cherry, tangerine, grass, and peach. Impressions of minerals, violet, apricot, pear, vanilla, orange zest, and nutmeg also appeared alongside hints of rose, strawberry, apple, and coriander. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, grass, wood, sour cherry, cream, roasted almond, orchid, violet, pear, and orange zest that were underscored by hints of custard, sugarcane, baked bread, coriander, apricot, honey, white grape, and rose.

This was a quality Dancong oolong with a bit of an edge. As my gongfu session progressed, I noticed that the liquor became livelier and more biting while a noticeable astringency built. It is not unusual for that to happen with Dancong oolongs, but I found it to be particularly noticeable with this one. Fortunately, it was only a little distracting and did not detract much from the wonderful aromas and flavors this tea had to offer. Fans of Dancong oolong teas who are looking to get into Ba Xian probably should not start with this tea or another one like it, but for Dancong drinkers who are a little more familiar with teas of this type, a tea like this one would be a good option for expanding their horizons.

Flavors: Almond, Apple, Apricot, Astringent, Baked Bread, Biting, Cherry, Citrus, Coriander, Cream, Custard, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Rose, Stonefruits, Strawberry, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Violet, White Grapes, Wood

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78

This was my second sipdown of the month. It was a tea I wanted to get out of the way more than anything, but that’s not because it was a bad tea. I’ve had a lot of Jin Jun Mei this year, and since Jin Jun Mei is not one of my favorite Chinese black teas, I did not want this tea hanging over my head as the year drew to a close. Actually, it was pretty good as Jin Jun Mei goes. It was definitely less challenging and more approachable than quite a few of the others I have tried, but that being said, it also lacked a bit in terms of body, texture, longevity, and depth.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds produced aromas of baked bread, malt, sweet potato, pine, and cinnamon. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of butter, roasted peanut, and roasted almond. The first infusion brought out a molasses aroma and a subtler scent of honey. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, malt, butter, molasses, sweet potato, and baked bread that were chased by hints of cocoa, roasted peanut, pine, honey, and cinnamon. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of orange zest, cocoa, cream, earth, and marshmallow. Stronger and more immediate notes of honey, cocoa, and pine appeared in the mouth alongside hints of roasted almond, black pepper, and eucalyptus. Notes of orange zest, earth, grass, minerals, red grape, and marshmallow also emerged. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, malt, baked bread, sweet potato, roasted peanut, butter, and cream that were balanced by hints of roasted almond, marshmallow, grass, cinnamon, pine, orange zest, and red grape.

I liked what this tea had to offer and was surprised I was able to pick up as much as I did. If I had been going solely by aroma and flavor, I would have scored this tea higher. Unfortunately, the liquor was a bit thin, and the texture was not as sharp and defined as one would expect of a Jin Jun Mei. I also noticed that this tea peaked early and faded rapidly. Still, this tea had a lot to offer for what it was. This was clearly intended to be treated as a basic offering, and for anyone looking for a quality introduction to Jin Jun Mei or a solid daily drinker, this tea would fit the bill. Did it hold up to more expensive Jin Jun Mei? Well, yes and no. I have had worse higher end Jin Jun Mei, but I also have had better, and this tea didn’t threaten the positions of those higher quality offerings. Again, for what it was, it was good. I doubt I would go out of my way to acquire it again, but I am certainly glad I took the opportunity to try it.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Butter, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Eucalyptus, Grapes, Grass, Honey, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

This was the last of the three Wuyi Origin Shui Xian that I finished a little earlier in the month. Unfortunately, I did not know much of anything about this tea prior to working my way through what I had of it, and I still know virtually nothing about it. I know I purchased it sometime in 2017. I’m pretty certain it was part of my first order from Wuyi Origin. I do not recall whether this was a 2016 or 2017 tea, but I seem to recall it being sourced from Da Shui Keng. I could be wrong about that though. Anyway, this was an awesome Wuyi Shui Xian. I wish I knew more about it.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cinnamon, cedar, pine, straw, smoke, charcoal, and black raspberry. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted peanut, roasted almond, cannabis, mushroom, and earth. The first infusion introduced a clear aroma of roasted barley and subtler scents of orchid and dried blueberry. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cinnamon, malt, cedar, pine, straw, charcoal, smoke, baked bread, honey, and roasted almond that were balanced by hints of dried blueberry, black raspberry, cannabis, orchid, and roasted barley. The subsequent infusions brought out aromas of plum, minerals, orange zest, baked bread, nutmeg, black cherry, honey, and blackberry. I also picked up a stronger and more clearly defined orchid fragrance and some fleeting hints of narcissus here and there. Notes of earth, mushroom, and roasted peanut came out in the mouth alongside slightly stronger impressions of roasted barley, orchid, and black raspberry. I also picked up on notes of pear, grass, nutmeg, black cherry, blackberry, minerals, caramel, orange zest, peach, lychee, plum, moss, hibiscus, and rock sugar as well as hints of narcissus pollen that were most noticeable in the aftertaste. As the tea faded, the liquor settled and emphasized notes of minerals, earth, malt, baked bread, roasted barley, grass, charcoal, mushroom, and roasted almond that were underscored by hints of cannabis, straw, pine, black cherry, moss, dried blueberry, hibiscus, pear, orchid, plum, and black raspberry before a cooling, somewhat herbal aftertaste that faded to reveal a subtle steamed rice impression.

This tea did not quite display the staying power of the 2017 Shui Xian (Narcissus), but it was a more consistently engaging and less predictable offering with a somewhat better afterglow. I ended up loving both, but honestly, I would pick this one over the other tea if I absolutely had to pick between the two. This one struck me as being more fun to drink.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cannabis, Caramel, Cedar, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Earth, Grass, Hibiscus, Honey, Lychee, Mineral, Moss, Mushrooms, Narcissus, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Plums, Raspberry, Rice, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Straw, Sugar

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

I have been so unmotivated lately. Granted, I have not had much time to do anything due to my work hours expanding, but when I have had free time, I have not been able to force myself to use it to contribute to Steepster. I’ve zapped some spammers here and there and have been reading the contributions of others, but I have not been posting any reviews of my own for the past 2+ weeks. With my backlog once again building back up, I figured I may as well take a moment to post something, so here goes.

This was a tea I finished a little earlier in the month. I went on a big Wuyi Shui Xian kick during the first couple weeks of December, sipping down several teas I had been wanting to try for some time. This was the first of the group to be finished and still sticks out in my mind as a quality tea. It was kind of a typical Banyan Shui Xian, but it delivered all of the expected characteristics of such teas with aplomb, so there is no reason for me to fault it. That being said, let’s move on to a more in-depth discussion of the tea itself.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 18 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves presented aromas of cinnamon, baked bread, malt, clove, black cherry, dried blueberry, and strawberry. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted peanut, cannabis, smoke, rock sugar, and charcoal. The first infusion introduced aromas of minerals and cocoa coupled with some subtle narcissus scents. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cinnamon, malt, baked bread, rock sugar, mushroom, earth, smoke, charcoal, cannabis, roasted peanut, and narcissus (if you have ever been in a field of blooming daffodils on a windy day and have smelled and tasted the pollen in the air, you will understand this specific flavor component) that were balanced by hints of dried blueberry, cocoa, grass, straw, and minerals. The subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of orchid, grass, cedar, pine, earth, straw, butter, roasted barley, and juniper. Notes of clove came out in the mouth alongside hints of strawberry that grew stronger on each swallow and amplified notes of grass, straw, dried blueberry, and minerals. I also picked up flavors of orchid, juniper, pine, red apple, butter and plum as well as subtler sensations of black pepper (noticeable mostly on the back of the throat after each swallow), cream, vanilla, roasted barley, and cedar. As the tea faded, the liquor settled and began to emphasize mineral, roasted barley, malt, butter, baked bread, charcoal, and roasted peanut notes as well as a latecoming impression of toasted rice. Underlying hints of grass, smoke, cream, earth, vanilla, juniper, cinnamon, black cherry, rock sugar, strawberry, narcissus, and clove could still be detected, though they were almost always fleeting and elusive.

As Wuyi Shui Xian goes, this one produced a liquor that was very pleasant, and it also displayed respectable depth and longevity to go along with good body and texture in the mouth. It was clearly harvested and processed with great care and professionalism, and the obvious attention to detail on the part of this tea’s producer allowed its considerable gifts to shine. Though it was not the most surprising or intriguing Wuyi Shui Xian I have encountered to this point in my tea journey, it struck me as being one of the most lovingly crafted, and I could see it making an exceptional everyday tea for more experienced Wuyi oolong drinkers.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Black Pepper, Blueberry, Blueberry, Butter, Butter, Cannabis, Cannabis, Cedar, Cedar, Char, Char, Cherry, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Clove, Cocoa, Cocoa, Cream, Cream, Earth, Earth, Grass, Grass, Herbaceous, Herbaceous, Malt, Malt, Mineral, Mineral, Mushrooms, Mushrooms, Narcissus, Narcissus, Orchid, Orchid, Peanut, Peanut, Pine, Pine, Plums, Plums, Red Apple, Red Apple, Rice, Roasted, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Smoke, Straw, Straw, Strawberry, Strawberry, Sugar, Sugar, Vanilla, Vanilla

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

21

This was one of my more recent sipdowns, coming from around the start of last week. I took forever to finish to this tea. Why? Well, Yunnan Sourcing actually gave me somewhere around 32-33 grams of it instead of 25. Also, I thought it was pretty much horrible.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 additional infusions as well as loud cursing and profound disappointment. Steep times for those additional infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of osmanthus, peach, nectarine, honey, and blood orange. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of violet, orange blossom, roasted almond, and straw. The first infusion introduced aromas of sugarcane and plum. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of osmanthus, violet, orange blossom, roasted almond, peach, nectarine, and honey that were complimented by hints of sugarcane, grass, straw, plum, and blood orange. So far, so good, right? Yeah. That was actually a great first infusion. It can’t go wrong from here. Well, BRACE YOURSELF, FOOL! Muddy, bitter vegetal impressions started building in my throat and at the back of my mouth after I finished my first cup. This quickly filled my mouth and nose, totally drying my mouth out and leaving a gauzy, filmy feeling as if I had just enjoyed a couple large glasses of high proof grain alcohol. The bitterness and stinging astringency were horrible. From this point, it did not get better. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of grass, butter, coriander, spinach, brown sugar, cherry, and pomegranate as well as subtle scents of orchid and cucumber. Slightly stronger and more immediate grass, straw, sugarcane, and plum notes came out in the mouth alongside impressions of butter, minerals, cream, sour cherry, gooseberry, pomegranate, red currant, spinach, coriander, orchid, and watermelon rind. I also noted hints of brown sugar, lemon zest, basil, and cucumber that were most evident on each swallow until that horrible astringent, alcoholic, bitter rush of nastiness returned to lay siege to everything above my shoulders. And this happened every single time I took a sip. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized mineral, grass, coriander, cream, butter, and spinach notes that were complimented by hints of sour cherry, roasted almond, osmanthus, sugarcane, lemon zest, cucumber, basil, honey, violet, and watermelon rind. Naturally, the monster continued making appearances after each sip right through the end of the session. I was really not joking about it coming back after each swallow.

I have no clue what was wrong with this tea. I thought it might have just been me, so I gave it a few days and tried it again, but I kept getting the same results. I tried brewing it Western style, and it was the same situation all over again. Trying a slightly different gongfu method yielded near identical results. When I could actually pick out aromas and flavors, what this tea had to offer was very nice. There was a lot to appreciate there, but what followed each attempt to consume, understand, and enjoy what this tea had to offer was so genuinely unpleasant that it ruined the entire drinking experience. What’s even worse is that I found this tea’s energy to be frenetic and overwhelming. I was bouncing off the walls after each drinking session, and I rarely ever get amped after drinking oolong, especially to the point that I feel sick afterwards. I feel like there had to have been something wrong with the tea I received. Maybe it was contaminated by something. I have no clue. At this point, all I can do is wonder why I suffered through the entire pouch. I clearly do not make good decisions.

Flavors: Alcohol, Almond, Astringent, Biting, Bitter, Blood orange, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cherry, Coriander, Cucumber, Fruity, Grass, Herbaceous, Honey, Lemon Zest, Melon, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Osmanthus, Peach, Plums, Spinach, Stonefruits, Straw, Sugarcane, Violet

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
MadHatterTeaDrunk

Dancong and osmanthus already sound like an odd couple. :P

tea-sipper

Persistence.

Bluegreen

Pretty unusual for dancongs: they are rarely outright terrible.

eastkyteaguy

Bluegreen, I was thinking the same thing. Something had to have been up with the tea I received. It is possible to get a bad batch every now and then or have some issue arise that ruins an otherwise goood tea in storage.

Martin Bednář

Not all teas are winning apparently, even they are from Scott.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

If I recall correctly, this was my first sipdown from October. I also recall being very careful while brewing this tea because I only purchased one of these dragon balls and wanted to get as much as possible out of it so that I could eventually post a detailed and accurate review. Of the Yunnan Sourcing black tea and flower dragon balls, this one currently stands as the best of them, though I still have not tried the black tea and rose dragon ball. I found that the Royal Chrysanthemum flowers and Big Snow Mountain black tea complimented one another nicely.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped the entire tea and flower dragon ball (about 8 grams by my scale) in 160 ml of 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry dragon ball emitted aromas of chrysanthemum, cedar, malt, sweet potato, black pepper, and eucalyptus. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of sugarcane and ginger alongside an even more pronounced royal chrysanthemum scent. Subtle aromas of red grape and plum came out on the first infusion. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of royal chrysanthemum, malt, cream, sugarcane, and plum that were balanced by hints of red grape, cedar, ginger, black pepper, and eucalyptus. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of cinnamon, camphor, cocoa, nutmeg, and caramel as well as subtle baked bread scents. Impressions of sweet potato appeared in the mouth alongside stronger and more immediate red grape, ginger, black pepper, and eucalyptus notes. I also detected mineral, cinnamon, camphor, red apple, baked bread, nutmeg, earth, caramel, and orange zest notes and hints of cocoa, tobacco, banana, and cooked green beans. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized lingering mineral, chrysanthemum, caramel, black pepper, baked bread, malt, and red grape notes that were underscored by hints of plum, red apple, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, ginger, sweet potato, sugarcane, tobacco, and camphor.

This was a great offering. What I most appreciated about it was its balance. The last two black tea and flower dragon balls I have tried have struck me as being very unbalanced. The most recent was a Snow Chrysanthemum and Big Snow Mountain black tea dragon ball, and the flowers often struck me as overwhelming the tea. That did not occur here. The Royal Chrysanthemum flowers and black tea worked near perfectly together.

Flavors: Baked Bread, banana, Black Pepper, Camphor, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Earth, Eucalyptus, Floral, Ginger, Grapes, Green Beans, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Plums, Red Apple, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco

Preparation
8 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

Location

KY

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer