900 Tasting Notes

94

After I finished my black tea binge earlier in the month, I more or less tore into a bunch of Dan Cong oolongs I had lying around, taking only brief breaks to work my way through a couple extra black teas, some other oolongs, and a green tea or two. The 2018 Xing Ren Xiang from Wuyi Origin was the tea that got the current binge started, but this tea may be the one most responsible for perpetuating it. Specifically, it spurred me to prioritize trying some of the rarer and more unusual Dan Cong oolongs. Unfortunately, I have yet to hit on one that satisfied me the way this tea did. Quite frankly, I found it to be an exceptional offering.

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 produced aromas of honey, peach, tangerine, lychee, cream, and vanilla. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of orange blossom and roasted almond. The first infusion introduced aromas of grass, sugarcane, and orchid. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of honey, peach, lychee, tangerine, orchid, and orange blossom that were chased by vanilla, sugarcane, and grass hints. I also noted a subtle eucalyptus presence in the aftertaste. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of pear, nutmeg, caraway, violet, plum, and cherry. Cream notes came out in the mouth along with notes of minerals, nutmeg, pear, caraway, wood, violet, plum, and honeydew. There were also some subtle notes of red currant, cherry, and apple here and there. By the end of the session, I could still detect subtle notes of minerals, pear, lychee, tangerine, wood, apple, and cream in the tea liquor that were underscored by roasted almond, orchid, grass, violet, and vanilla accents. The subtle eucalyptus presence was still noticeable in the aftertaste too.

This was an absolutely fascinating and fantastic oolong. That cooling eucalyptus hint after every swallow kept me diving back into cup after cup. And for a Dan Cong oolong, this tea was ridiculously long-lived. Each infusion offered something to appreciate, and despite the tea’s depth and complexity, everything worked well together. Yeah, I found this to be a great tea. I can’t really find serious fault with it. It turned a little soapy and slick toward the end of my review session, but even then, the texture was never what I would describe as unpleasant. Definitely check this tea out if you are at all interested in Dan Cong oolongs.

Flavors: Almond, Apple, Cherry, Citrus, Cream, Eucalyptus, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Honeydew, Lychee, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Plums, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Violet, Wood

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Sounds lovely.

derk

I’ve had either this 2017 or a 2016, before I even knew what dan cong oolong was. Sadly, I don’t think I was able to appreciate it at the time. I do remember it being a very intense tea, both in delivery and the amount of pure, clean flavors involved.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Here is another of my sipdowns from earlier in the month. I think I finished my 50 gram pouch of this tea around the start of the second week in December. I was drinking a lot of Chinese black tea at the time and seem to recall this being the tea that ended the binge. I found it to be a rock solid and surprisingly light, delicate Yunnan black tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 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, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of malt, sweet potato, sugarcane, molasses, baked bread, and tomato. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted almond and roasted peanut. The first infusion introduced a subtle banana scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of baked bread, malt, sweet potato, sugarcane, and roasted almond that were balanced by somewhat more delicate roasted peanut, cream, cooked green bean, and wood impressions. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of cream, chocolate, wood, camphor, earth, grass, black pepper, and fennel. Stronger and more immediate impressions of cream, wood, and cooked green beans emerged in the mouth along with hints of banana, molasses, and tomato. Notes of earth, chocolate, fennel, grass, minerals, caramel, and orange zest also appeared alongside hints of camphor and black pepper that were most noticeable in the aftertaste. By the end of the session, the mostly spent liquor was still offering subtle earth, orange zest, wood, cream, and malt notes under a bed of minerals. There were also some fleeting impressions of roasted almond, sweet potato, chocolate, camphor, fennel, and black pepper on the finish.

This ended up being spicier, more herbal, and more vegetal than many of the Yunnan black teas I have tried over the course of the year. It was also a much lighter and subtler tea than expected, frequently emphasizing body and texture over its aroma and flavor components. A lot of Yunnan black teas will captivate and throttle your nose and mouth when they are firing on all cylinders, but this tea was more of a tease. It required patience and focus for me to fully appreciate. That being said, I could still see this tea going over well with a number of audiences. It had more than enough depth and complexity to satisfy people like me who like to peck away at teas in order to unearth their secrets, but it was also approachable and easy-drinking enough to satisfy those who are looking to get into Yunnan black teas and/or those who just want a quick pick-me-up into which they do not always have to invest a ton of thought. Overall, I have had better and more immediately appealing Yunnan black teas, but it was impossible for me to slam this one. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a solid black tea that is versatile enough to meet just about any demand.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, banana, Black Pepper, Camphor, Caramel, Chocolate, Cream, Earth, Fennel, Grass, Green Beans, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Peanut, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91

Those of you who read my reviews are well aware that I am a huge What-Cha fan and review a ton of their offerings. While I am almost always impressed by the quality and tastiness of their offerings, what gets me more about What-Cha as a vendor is their willingness to highlight rarer and more experimental teas. Alistair always seems willing to give a unique tea a chance to reach the Western audience, and I greatly appreciate that. That being said, this tea is another of What-Cha’s experimental offerings. It is a Darjeeling green tea produced from the Japanese Yabukita cultivar that has been processed similarly to a Chinese Bai Cha green tea. That’s right; this is an Indian green tea produced from a cultivar generally used in the production of sencha processed to emulate a specific type of Chinese green tea. Weird? Sure. Tasty? Actually, yes.

To be honest with all of you, I had no clue how to prepare this tea. I do not drink much sencha these days, have very little experience with/knowledge of the unique qualities of the Yabukita cultivar, and prior to trying this tea, I had never tried a Darjeeling green tea. Part of me was tempted to brew this tea similarly to a sencha, though the tea was clearly not processed in that manner. I tried gongfuing the tea at 176 F, and while the results were mostly tasty, the liquor eventually turned a little more lemony than I wanted. Ultimately, I decided to go with a low temperature gongfu preparation for my primary review session. Following the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of the loose leaf and bud mix in 4 ounces of 158 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 14 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, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry leaf and bud mix produced aromas of hay, green olive, honey, and malt. After the rinse, I detected an even stronger green olive scent along with new aromas of butter and grass. The first infusion introduced a clear mineral scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented delicate yet lively notes of butter, cream, hay, honey, malt, minerals, grass, and green olive. Subsequent infusions introduced scents of lemon, dandelion, dandelion greens, umami, turnip greens, and seaweed. New notes of lemon, umami, dandelion, turnip greens, seaweed, dandelion greens, peas, and lettuce appeared in the mouth along with hints of spinach. By the end of the session, the tea liquor was still offering somewhat faded yet clear notes of minerals, green olive, grass, and peas that were chased by hints of dandelion greens, lettuce, umami, and dandelion.

Rohini is one of the Darjeeling tea estates that not only seems very willing to try new things, but also rarely if ever disappoints me. Though this offering may have been odd and subtle, it was very sophisticated and satisfying. The texture of the tea liquor was fantastic and the layering of flavors was fabulous. An impressive tea all around, I would have no issue with recommending this one to anyone looking for a unique, challenging, and highly enjoyable Indian green tea.

P.S. After conducting my gongfu review session, I had enough of this tea left to play around with, and at one point, I opted to try to brew it Western style, though I also decided to vary the temperature a bit as I went. I ended up steeping 3 g of loose tea in around 8 oz of 158 F water for my first two infusions. I then conducted a third infusion at 163 F, a fourth infusion at 168 F, and a fifth and final infusion at 176 F. Steep times for the infusions were 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute 15 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes. The results I got were pretty similar to the gongfu session detailed above, though I did note a few different aroma and flavor components here and there. This time I noted some sweet corn on the nose and in the mouth starting with the first infusion. The second infusion saw some hints of radish come out in the mouth. From the third infusion on, there was saltiness on the nose and in the mouth. It was a very marine saltiness too, reminiscent of sea salt. The final infusion saw cream come out both on the nose and in the mouth. Otherwise, I got all of the same aromas and flavors as the gongfu session.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Dandelion, Grass, Hay, Honey, Lemon, Lettuce, Malt, Marine, Mineral, Olives, Peas, Salt, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Agreed. Alistair’s offerings are just lovely, for the most part, and I appreciate his search high and wide for tea delights off the beaten track to expose those treasures to a larger audience. Also, he is super delightful to communicate with regarding individual tastes and the teas that might just appeal. That said, my making a new what-cha order is way overdue. Need to get on that.

LuckyMe

That’s a weird style tea for sure, and one I’m totally down for. Like Evol Ving Ness, I need to revisit What-Cha.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

Moving from Dan Cong weirdness on to something a little more familiar, pleasant, and comforting, we come to this premium jade Tieguanyin from Anxi. What-Cha generally does a good job sourcing Tieguanyin, though their offerings seem to come from different producers more or less every year. Previous Tieguanyins offered by What-Cha have come from Gande Village, while this one came from a producer in Changkeng. This seemed to be a slightly lower grade tea than the What-Cha offerings I have previously tried, but it was still clearly a tea which came from an above-average picking and produced a very satisfying drinking session.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces 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 tea leaves emitted aromas of custard, cream, vanilla, lilac, and grass. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of butter, coriander, cinnamon, and green apple. The first infusion introduced aromas of baked bread and steamed milk. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of grass, coriander, watercress, butter, green apple, and lilac that were chased by hints of cinnamon, violet, custard, and baked bread. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of citrus, umami, pear, and pastry. Stronger and more immediate custard, violet, and baked bread impressions came out in the mouth along with belatedly emerging notes of cream and steamed milk. Notes of pear, minerals, daylily, apricot, orange zest, pastry, and orchid also showed up to the party. As I ended my review session, the tea liquor seemed to mostly be offering mineral, pear, grass, green apple, and cream notes that were balanced by hints of butter, umami, violet, and orange zest.

This was a satisfying and often interesting jade Anxi Tieguanyin with somewhat surprising longevity and a more overtly savory character than I have gotten out of a tea from the autumn harvest in some time. To me, the differences in terroir between this tea and some of the other Anxi Tieguanyin I have tried were pretty obvious. Even though I saw a little more broken, chewed-up leaf than I would have liked to see, this was still very much a quality offering that I would have no difficulty recommending to fans of jade Tieguanyin.

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cream, Custard, Floral, Grass, Green Apple, Milk, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Pastries, Pear, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

60

My exploration of Dan Cong oolongs has continued over the past several days and has included a couple of teas produced from lesser known cultivars. This Ji Long Kan was one of them. Apparently, Ji Long Kan is a rare cultivar originally produced from the hybridization of Shui Xian and at least one other unknown cultivar and is currently only grown in one village. If this tea were any indication, I can understand why this cultivar is so rare. To be honest, I found this tea to be strange, short-lived, temperamental, and somewhat unappealing. In terms of aroma and taste, it reminded me a little of a Zhangping Shui Xian and nothing else.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 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, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of pomegranate, orchid, cream, custard, and vanilla. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of cherry, violet, orange blossom, sugarcane, peach, and wood that were underscored by hints of almond. The first infusion introduced stronger almond and wood scents and aromas of plum and baked bread. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, vanilla, orchid, pomegranate, cherry, and orange blossom that quickly faded to reveal hints of wood, peach, almond, sugarcane, and violet. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of grass, lemon, and orange zest. Sour plum, baked bread, and custard notes came out in the mouth along with stronger and more upfront almond notes and new impressions of minerals, lemon, grass, orange zest, sour apricot, and marshmallow. I also noted this odd send-off on a number of swallows that reminded me of a combination of cattail shoots, spinach, raw pumpkin, and cucumber. As the tea declined, faded, ragged notes of minerals, wood, cherry, lemon, and violet came to dominate the mouth, though they were backed by fleeting hints of almond, orchid, orange zest, cream, custard, and pumpkin before a dry, somewhat astringent finish.

Man, this was such an odd, complicated, and challenging Dan Cong oolong. The liquor it produced was sharp and tart in the mouth with an alternately soapy and muddy texture to go along with a body that was somewhat thinner than expected. It also seemed to fade rapidly, turning dry, astringent, and somewhat bitter at the end of the session. Now, with all of the above being said, a score of 60 may seem a little high for this tea, but I am rating it as such for a reason: this tea may have been a cumbersome, often unpleasant mess, but it was a truly fascinating and unpredictable mess that never allowed me to lose interest in it. Aside from some similarities in aroma, flavor, and texture to a light roasted Zhangping Shui Xian, there was nothing else to which I could compare this tea. It pretty much stood alone. In the end, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this tea to curious Dan Cong drinkers, but I will say that anyone looking to try some rarer Dan Cong cultivars should give this tea a shot simply to understand why some rarer cultivars are not more common. And who knows? Maybe someone will read this review, go out and try this tea, and come away impressed by it.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Astringent, Baked Bread, Bitter, Cherry, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Fruity, Grass, Lemon, Marshmallow, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Plums, Pumpkin, Spinach, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet, Wood

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87

This was one of my most recent sipdowns as I finished my 10g sample pouch of this tea a couple days ago. Prior to trying this, I do not recall ever trying any other Xiong Di Zai. I found it to be a very mellow, pleasant tea, though it was a little short-lived.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 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, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cream, vanilla, almond, grapefruit, nectarine, and plum. After the rinse, I noted aromas of candied orange, grass, orchid, and orange blossom. The first infusion brought out a subtle peach aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of cream, almond, orchid, orange blossom, candied orange, and grapefruit that were backed by stone fruit and grass hints. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of lychee, nutmeg, violet, steamed milk, and pear. Plum, peach, vanilla, and nectarine notes appeared in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, lychee, custard, lemon zest, violet, pear, nutmeg, steamed milk, and macadamia. There were also some pleasant hints of cantaloupe and stronger and more immediate impressions of grass. As mentioned earlier, the tea faded fairly quickly, and by the end of the session, I was mostly getting fleeting, more or less washed-out mineral, almond, grass, pear, and lemon zest notes that were chased by even fainter impressions of candied orange, lychee, cream, vanilla, and grapefruit that I had to really concentrate on to identify.

This was a very pleasant, easygoing Dan Cong oolong with a great deal of depth and complexity. It was unfortunate that it faded so quickly, though I am also well aware that quite a few higher quality Dan Cong oolongs are not noted for their resilience and longevity. Overall, this was a very nice Dan Cong oolong. I’m now looking forward to trying a few different Xiong Di Zai to see how this one compares.

Flavors: Almond, Candy, Cantaloupe, Cream, Custard, Grapefruit, Grass, Lemon Zest, Lychee, Milk, Mineral, Nutmeg, Nutty, Orange, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Plums, Stonefruits, Vanilla, Violet

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91

This was a more recent sipdown of mine as I finished what I had of this tea back around the beginning of the month. I’m normally not huge on Xing Ren Xiang Dan Cong oolongs and will not often go out of my way to spend money on them, but I received a free 8g sample of this tea with a Wuyi Origin order in the spring and finally ran out of reasons to put off trying it during the first week of the month. Though I did not find it to be a perfect offering, it still kind of blew me away. This was easily the most powerful Xing Ren Xiang Dan Cong I have tried.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 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 almond, cream, and custard that were underscored by hints of orchid and citrus. After the rinse, I noted a much stronger orchid aroma as well as scents of orange blossom, vanilla, and geranium. The first infusion brought out aromas of pineapple, peach, and tangerine that were underscored by subtle rose scents. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, vanilla, almond, tangerine, orange blossom, orchid, pineapple, and geranium that were chased by hints of rose, peach, violet, and grass. The subsequent infusions brought out violet, grass, wood, and nutmeg aromas. Stronger and more immediate rose, peach, violet, and grass notes appeared in the mouth along with belatedly emerging custard notes and new impressions of nutmeg, wood, minerals, steamed milk, and pear. I also noted hints of blackberry, cucumber, honeydew, and roasted chestnut. The bulk of the infusions also saw the tea liquor finish very dryly with pronounced notes of almond and wood in the aftertaste. By the end of the session, the tea liquor was offering impressions of minerals, grass, cucumber, cream, steamed milk, almond, and wood that were chased by subtler notes of roasted chestnut, vanilla, pear, and tangerine before the expected dry finish that saw impressions of wood and almond reassert themselves.

Though this tea displayed a consistently dry, astringent finish, it was very enjoyable nonetheless. I have a feeling the astringency was due primarily to the tea’s youth anyway. Otherwise, this was a mostly nutty, creamy, fruity, and floral tea, one that produced a liquor with exceptional depth, complexity, and longevity. The other teas of this type I have tried do not really compare to it. Check this one out if you are looking for a quality Xing Ren Xiang Dan Cong.

Flavors: Almond, Astringent, Blackberry, Chestnut, Citrus, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Geranium, Grass, Honeydew, Milk, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Rose, Vanilla, Violet, Wood

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

This was another of my November sipdowns. I think I finished what I had of this tea during either the third or fourth week of the month. As unroasted Taiwanese Jin Xuan goes, this one was excellent. I especially appreciated the complexity, longevity, and thick, full mouthfeel of its liquor.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 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, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cream, butter, custard, vanilla, and gardenia. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of sugarcane, grass, and daylily. The first infusion brought out a meaty, brothy umami scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, butter, custard, gardenia, grass, daylily, and orchid that were chased by hints of sugarcane and powerful umami notes. Subsequent infusions brought out aromas of cucumber, daylily shoots, and sweet corn along with subtle orchid scents. New impressions of cucumber, daylily shoots, minerals, sweet corn, spinach, pear, green apple, and seaweed expressed themselves in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging vanilla notes. As I ended my session, I could still detect subtle mineral, daylily shoot, cream, butter, sugarcane, green apple, and sweet corn impressions that were underscored by hints of cucumber, spinach, umami, and seaweed. Interestingly, the faint spinach presence swelled after each swallow, leaving the taste of spinach in my mouth for a short time after the end of the session.

I tend to feel that Mei Shan oolongs do not get enough appreciation compared to those produced in some of Taiwan’s more prestigious terroirs, and teas like this one only reinforce that notion. This was a fantastic offering, one that stood head and shoulders above some of the other Taiwanese Jin Xuan oolongs I have tried recently. If you are looking for a Jin Xuan oolong that provides plenty of longevity and delivers all of the cultivar’s best traits, look no further.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Green Apple, Mineral, Orchid, Pear, Seaweed, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Kawaii433

Oh my, that’s going on my next order. Love your reviews.

eastkyteaguy

Kawaii433, thanks. I’ll keep them coming.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

97

Here is another recent sipdown of mine as I finished what I had of this tea back around the start of the month. Jade Tieguanyin is nothing new to me at this point, but I am always interested in trying new ones. After being impressed by the autumn 2016 version of this tea earlier in the year, I purchased a sample pack of this offering and finally found the motivation to work my way through it after starting to burn myself out on Chinese black teas. After I finished it, I only had two regrets: that I waited so long to try it and that I had not purchased more.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 7 grams of loose tea leaves in 5 ounces of 208 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 13 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, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of lilac, parsley, grass, cream, and tangerine zest. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of butter, coriander, honeysuckle, and orange blossom. The first infusion brought out aromas of rose, violet, peas, and baked bread. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of lilac, orange blossom, tangerine zest, cream, and baked bread that were underscored by hints of butter and then chased by impressions of apple, pear, and honeysuckle. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of pear, apple, sesame, and apricot. Impressions of peas, parsley, coriander, violet, and rose belatedly appeared along with stronger and more immediate butter notes. New impressions of minerals, honeydew, lychee, apricot, and sesame also appeared. By the time I ended my review session, the tea liquor offered dominant notes of minerals, grass, cream, coriander, and apple that were chased by hints of pear, apricot, butter, and tangerine zest.

This was an absolutely fantastic jade Tieguanyin. It leaned heavily on its very pleasant and well-articulated fruit and flower notes, and unlike many other jade Tieguanyins, it never turned overly creamy, vegetal, or sour. It also displayed plenty of body and an appealing creamy, smooth texture in the mouth. Overall, this was just a fantastic jade Tieguanyin. If it had displayed just a little more balance and a little more longevity, I would have given it a perfect score.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Citrus Zest, Coriander, Cream, Floral, Grass, Honeysuckle, Lychee, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Parsley, Pear, Peas, Rose, Violet

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

98

Okay, with this review I am finally working my way back into the teas I have finished this month. I still have a few reviews from November that I need to get posted, but I wanted to move on to something a little more recent. This is a tea that carries something of an excellent reputation here on Steepster, and I was very aware of that going into my review session for it. My expectations were understandably very high, thus my review session could have only gone two ways: I could have come away disappointed, or I could have found the tea to be fairly assessed by previous reviewers. Fortunately, this tea lived up to its reputation. It was excellent in just about every way. As a matter of fact, I was tempted to assign it a perfect score, but chose to dock it a couple points due to a somewhat quick (but still highly enjoyable) fade.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 18 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, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cinnamon, cedar, black cherry, blueberry, orchid, and pomegranate that were underscored by a subtle scent of smoke. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted almond and charcoal that were accented by hints of cannabis. The first infusion introduced an aroma of roasted peanut and some underlying scents of grass. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of pomegranate, blueberry, roasted almond, and orchid that were chased by a pleasant cream taste and hints of smoke, charcoal, and roasted peanut. Subtle notes of grass, cannabis, and black cherry were detectable in the aftertaste. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of raspberry, brown sugar, plum, peach, malt, candied orange, and baked bread. Stronger and more immediate notes of black cherry and roasted peanut appeared alongside belatedly emerging impressions of cedar and cinnamon. New notes of minerals, peach, raspberry, honey, plum, baked bread, candied orange, and brown sugar were easily detectable, and I also managed to pick out some subtle hints of golden raisin, butter, and malt. By the time I ended my review session, the tea liquor was offering dominant notes of minerals, malt, roasted almond, baked bread, roasted peanut, cream, and cedar that were chased by hints of grass, butter, and golden raisin.

A lively and deliciously complex tea with tremendously appealing texture in the mouth, I immediately understood why this tea had garnered such ridiculously high ratings after finishing my review session. I am a huge fan of Wuyi Qilan, and quite frankly, this one was the best I have ever had. If you get the opportunity to try this tea, please take it. I highly doubt you will be disappointed.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Butter, Candy, Cannabis, Cedar, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Orange, Orchid, Peach, Peanut, Plums, Raisins, Raspberry, Smoke

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 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