646 Tasting Notes
Here’s quite a green looking dong ding. It is tasty, but not very complex. The dominant aromas are those of roasted cocoa beans, wood, stonefruit pits and peat. The taste is bitter and has hints of custard, coffee and acorn. I liked the aftertaste more. It’s long, cooling and tart with notes of sweetcorn and wood. Texture is decent too, the liquor has a soft, silky mouthfeel which thickens as the tea cools down.
Flavors: Cocoa, Coffee, Custard, Oak, Peat, Roasted, Stonefruit, Tart, Wood
From the CLT samples I got, Wildwood is one of my favourites. It is quite a green and floral sheng with a very soft and comforting mouthfeel, good huigan and interesting cha qi.
Its aroma is fairly light and standard. I can smell notes of cilantro, stewed kale, butter and steamed milk throughout the session. The taste starts out peppery and floral with muted bitterness and a mild sage flavour. Then it develops into a sour, grassy and crisp profile with floral sweetness in the finish and hints of dandelion. Over time, the astringency naturally appears, but it never becomes overpowering. The aftertaste is slightly salty, buttery, and quite long lasting and drying.
The best aspects of this tea, however, are its texture and the cha qi. It has a full body and very soft and smooth mouthfeel. The energy can be felt almost immediately. My limbs were trembling, my sensations and perceptions heightened and my body was filled with a comforting warmth.
One thing that I am slightly unsure about with respect to this tea is how it will age. It does seem more green than other sheng I have encountered, which might or not pose a problem in the long term. However, that’s not something I can really assess with my lack of experience.
Flavors: Butter, Coriander, Dandelion, Floral, Flowers, Grass, Green, Kale, Milk, Pepper, Sage, Salty, Smooth, Sour
The classic Lu Shan Yun Wu was one of the first green teas I got from YS and I really liked it back then. This year, an imperial version is offered, which I added to one of my orders. It turned out to be a great decision, this is one of the best green teas I have ever had!
The dry leaves smell of grass, cookies and algae. In a preheated gaiwan, sweet, nutty and toasty aromas emerge. Smell of the wet leaves reminds me of the classic Lu Shan Yun Wu a lot. It is vegetal and buttery with notes of aubergine, lemon balm, guava, white grapes and cooked white fish.
I used 5g with the parameters being 75°C/30s/70ml, 75°C/20s/120ml, 80°C/70s/120ml (I lost track of the subsequent infusions).
The first steep has a strong umami as expected with a nice bitterness and no astringency. It is crisp with an aromatic finish and somewhat dry aftertaste. I notice flavours of citrus zest, courgette, grass. The mouthfeel is very coating and slick with good viscosity.
I made the second steep a bit too light, but it picked out a lot of floral components of the tea and created a super soft, velvety texture. It tastes sweet and briny and a bit like seaweed. Despite being a lighter infusion, the combined aftertaste of the first two is pungent and protracted.
Third infusion sees a return of some bitterness and a fairly tart backbone, but overall it is still very balanced taste. The cha qi is very noticeable now too, bringing clarity and alertness. I feel warmth spreading through my whole body.
Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_O4BrwHWH4
Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Citrus Zest, Fish Broth, Grass, Green, Green Wood, Guava, Nutty, Roasted Nuts, Seaweed, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Umami, Vegetables, Vegetal, White Grapes, Zucchini
This is a tasty Mi Lan Xiang. It has an awesomely pungent scent, but unfortunately the taste pales in comparison. The liqour is viscous and very oily. For the main infusions, it has a full body and a bubbly texture to it.
The smell is initially mineral, very sweet and fruity, the closest to it may be a mix of nectarine and guava scent. In a preheated vessel, I also notice woody and flowery aromas. Once wet, the leaves smell more earthy but retain a sweet woody character. As for the taste, I find it hard to place, but it is definitely quite mineral with a floral bitterness in the finish. I catch some fleeting flavours of red apples, hay, apricots and later on in the session also various flowers.
All in all, this is not a Dan Cong that would wow me like some others do, but it’s a pleasant one to drink for sure.
Flavors: Apricot, Earth, Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Hay, Mineral, Nectar, Red Apple, Stonefruit, Sweet, Wet Rocks, Wood
Hey there Steepster folks, I am back after a short break caused by a great deal of travelling and basically being away from home for about two months, visiting Orange (California), Zurich and other places in Switzerland, Slovakia, Banff, and Vancouver. I should get back to tea reviews now though.
Here’s a tea I chose for today’s evening session, my first tasting of Midas Touch. I found it to be a good quality, medium-bodied tea that could be very enjoyable 10-20 years down the line, but it’s not interesting enough at the moment for me personally.
The dry leaf scent is mild and most reminiscent of green peppercorns. On the other hand, the wet leaves smell of cannabis, pumpkin leaves, sandstone and cookies.
The wash presents a mineral and vegetal drink which tastes like a mix of sweet grass and wet rocks. The first proper infusion is more balanced with a decent umami and a nice sour note like sorrel. I can also taste menthol and there is a noticeable green tea like bitterness, even though I steeped this one at closer to 90°C than boiling. The aftertaste is not super pronounced, but there is a hint of cantaloupe. The next few infusions produce an even stronger sorrel impression. Around steep two, I notice a strong and disorienting feeling, arriving almost without warning. Overall, the cha qi is pretty strong throughout the session and gets a bit rushy later on.
Later infusions display more floral qualities and astringency as well as notes of honey, brown sugar, fruits and resin in the aftertaste that gets quite drying towards the end.
All in all, the tea has a nice energy, a sorrel like and vegetal taste, and quite a lot of astringency.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Cannabis, Cantaloupe, Cookie, Drying, Floral, Honey, Menthol, Mineral, Peppercorn, Plants, Pumpkin, Resin, Sand, Sour, Sweet, Warm Grass, Umami, Vegetal, Wet Rocks
I don’t have much information about this tea. I bought it in Bratislava in a tea house after trying it out. It was labelled as Shui Xian Huang Pian. I am not sure where it was grown, but it’s quite possible that it is from Wuyi Shan. My guess is that it is the leftover leaves from yancha production, processed as a sheng pu’er.
The aroma reminds me of summer in Liguria with fruity and herbal scents. It also reminds me of a very fruity sheng. In the preheated gaiwan, I can smell coffee tiramisu and black pepper in the background. The wet leaves are mostly mineral and floral smelling on the other hand.
The taste is extremely mineral, bitter, crisp and vegetal with a sweet finish. It really tastes like a sheng, but much more mineral than your standard pu’er. The aftertaste is spicy, expansive with a returning sweetness. Liquor is medium bodied with a creamy texture. Overall, the cha qi is quite body warming and focusing.
Flavors: Bitter, Dry Grass, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Herbaceous, Mineral, Sweet, Tea, Vegetal, Wet Rocks
I found an unsuspecting little bag of some ball rolled green oolong today. After a little inspection, I decided it must be this tea that I received a 5g of from derk some time ago. I thought I have already drank it without realizing that’s what the tea was because I couldn’t find it. Anyway, into the gaiwan it goes. And I haven’t had breakfast yet, oh boy.
As derk mentions, the tea comes accross as an introvert. The aroma is light and nondescript. The liquor looks somewhat watery (especially in the first few steeps) and translucent with a light greenish colour. The taste is definitely not pungent, but I notice this is not your standard Taiwanese green oolong. It reminds me of the Wild Cultivar Oolong, also from MST, but this one is mellower with a grassy taste. There is the same fenugreek flavour, just more agreeable. Mouthfeel is nice, but I can’t really place it.
After drinking the first two steeps the session ramps up though. My eyelids are heavy and my body feels super relaxed. I am worried that I may drop some of this teaware I’m using to make further infusions, but nothing like that happens fortunately. It’s a funny feeling, I can choose to alter between a defocused state and a more or less fully conscious one.
The aftertaste now presents itself as well, and it is pungent. The main note is some floral sweetness. My throat feels like after eating some chillies, but no such sensation is present in the mouth. Late steeps have quite a thick and coating mouthfeel. I find that it’s impossible to overbrew this tea, even with fully boiling water and long times it never gets astringent or bitter.
As I finish the session, I let myself enter a fully defocused state and get enveloped by the music. It feels like a dream without a dream. I mean there’s very little in the way of hallucinations, but I experience reality as if were a dream. After the album finishes, I stand up and function normally, just like that. As if I just woke up. As I am recalling this, the whole session sits in my my mind as if were a dream from last night. Maybe it was.
Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD7bxyzFbC4
I bought this tea for a friend looking for some good green oolongs for a fair price and kept some for myself. I feel like the tea shines in its aroma with strong and fairly complex fragrance. The taste has a strong umami and is very grassy. I find it to be much easier to (drink and) enjoy than most Tie Guan Yin. The sourness in the back of the mouth is there in long steeps, but much less so.
The smell of the dry leaves is milky, sweet and green with some mild notes of cookies and sauteed vegetables. In a preheated gaiwan, it smells of cut grass and vegetable soup, while from the wet leaves I get aromas of roasted chicken, fresh herbs and celery. As I mentioned the taste is predominately grassy, but has quite a bit going on in the background too. It has a brothy flavour and a nice nutty finish. Aftertaste is slightly drying and warming in the throat. There’s notes of sweet grass and celery, but over time it becomes a bit more floral. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth, but not very remarkable.
Flavors: Broth, Celery, Cookie, Grass, Green, Herbs, Milk, Nutty, Roasted Chicken, Sweet, Umami, Vegetable Broth, Vegetables, Vegetal
Teas like this are the reason I love Dan Cong, although I am not that often in the right mood for it. These teas are attention seekers. If you are in the right state of mind to let go, they grab you and take you on a roller-coaster ride through the land of flavours you never knew existed.
Anyway, I have to thanks the extremely generous Peter Jones from Trident cafe in Boulder, who gave me this tea along with a few other Dan Congs sourced by Wuyi Origin (I believe). The complexity of this Song Zhong is absolutely phenomenal. If I had to place it, I would say it is slightly on the fruitier side of the spectrum as far as particular notes are concerned. However, in terms of broader taste profile, it is very balanced actually.
It is a full bodied tea with a velvety and slick texture that’s very smooth to drink, also thanks to being slightly less viscous. The cha qi is very focusing and somewhat calming yet strong. I feel the blood through my vein, I am swimming through the waves of music, I am falling through space.
Ok, now here are a few specific notes that I picked up. I don’t think they paint a very coherent picture of the tea, but that’s common with these teas that are super complex. The dry leaves from afar smell like guava, but when I come closer, it’s more like papaya and nectarine, but nevertheless quite a tropical smell. In a preheated gaiwan, I can also smell cream. During the session, I also get a petrichor scent complemented by aromas of fermented fruits, agar wood and later on popcorn. The liquor itself smells of peach and various flowers.
The 80°C rinse is very mineral with herbal bitterness. There are flavours of flowers (lavender), red soil, cape gooseberry (physalis) and I can taste longan in the aftertaste. In the actual infusions, there is more sweetness and the cape gooseberry returns often. Second steep is slightly earthy with a roasted nut note and a sour finish. The aftertaste is mineral, drying in mouth, and very cooling in throat. It has flavours of almond, lychee, apricot, cloves and a strong huigan.
New flavours keep appearing basically in every infusion, including ones of bread crust, nut grass, flowers I am not even going to try to pinpoint (because I cannot), persimmon, basil, guava and grapefruit skin. The tea has often a nectar like, syrupy feel to it, but the sweetness and bitterness are well balanced.
Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylTY9WbMGDc
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Baked Bread, Berry, Bitter, Cloves, Cream, Dark Wood, Drying, Earth, Flowers, Fruity, Grapefruit, Grass, Guava, Herbs, Lavender, Lychee, Mineral, Nectar, Peach, Petrichor, Pleasantly Sour, Popcorn, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tropical
Thanks for the sample derk :)
This is a very nice one, robust and tart with an expansive, strong and spicy aftertaste. At two years of age, it sits in an interesting spot and the profile is a mixed bag of minty/floral and fruity/tart. There’s also various mineral and woody notes as well as some malt and cinnamon in the aftertaste. I think it would have been interesting to track its progression and I think it could age pretty well too.
As much as I enjoy the flavours of this tea, I have to say its aroma and mouthfeel are somewhat underwhelming. It’s still the best tea from MST that I have tried though.
edit: In the end, I got 13 steeps out of this with several infusions being overbrewed. That’s a very good longetivity for a white tea with not that many buds I’d say. Also drinking this tea made me think that it could be interesting to press a cake of white tea from this cultivar. I wonder if anyone has done it.
Flavors: Bark, Cinnamon, Licorice, Malt, Mineral, Mint, Peach, Stonefruit, Wood