908 Tasting Notes
This is a somewhat subtle, medium bodied tea. Not too complex, but quite satisfying to drink. It seems to oxidize quite quickly too. I have had it for 3 months now and I can see big changes in all aspects.
Wet leaf smell has a strong fenugreek note to it with a hint of chlorine in the background. The taste is mostly herbaceous and sour with vegetal and floral undertones and sweet aftertaste. There is a little bit of astringency, bitterness only comes in the second infusion. The mouthfeel is buttery, but neither thick nor coating.
The tea only lasts for 2 infusions, but given the price I got it for (something like 3.50 USD for 100g), I cannot really complain.
Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Sour, Spices, Sweet, Vegetal
The tea has a unique dry stalk aroma that is very woody. This is the first time I am trying it out so the brewing parameters are very much an experiment. I used 5g of stalks in a glazed clay gaiwan.
steep #1: 80°C, 1 min, 80ml
The smell of wet twigs is also quite robust, main notes being decaying leaves, wet earth, forest, peach and brown sugar. A very unusual and interesting combination. The liquor has medium body and is less robust. There is no bitterness or astringency. It is actually decently fruity and sweet, with roasted butter flavour emerging in the aftertaste. Empty cup smells of compost and beeswax.
steep #2: 80°C, 30 s, 80ml
Similar, but slightly weaker smell. The taste is now more woody and sour in the finish and the texture is a bit lighter. The aftertaste has some spiciness to it too, which is nice since there is no astringency as I mentioned.
steep #3: 80°C, 1 min, 80ml
Ever more fruity smelling, I can now notice the lychee mentioned in the description. Also, alcohol tones appear, especially once the twigs have cooled down. Mouthfeel is again slightly on the thin side, but has a nice mouth-watering effect and cooling aftertaste. Also, for the first time a little drying in the finish. Not much sourness in this infusion, there is more of subtly bitter and vegetal notes.
steep #4: 90°C, 90 s, 80ml
Colour is darker now, more on the orange side rahter than yellow. However, it seems that the taste profile is flatter and again more sour, even though still really pleasant to drink. The aftertaste has some really nice fluctuating roastiness and woody aspects too.
steep #5: 90°C, 150 s, 80ml
Finally, some hints of astringency appear. Taste is more fruity, sweet (honey) with drying, citrusy finish and cooling, alcohol-like afteraste.
steep #6: 100°C, 3 min, 80ml
The darkest, almost brown, infusion yet. The taste is somewhat vegetal and reminiscent of later infusions of a Taiwanese amber GABA oolong. I think it’s time for the last steep over the flame.
steep #7: simmering, 10 min, 150ml
Smells of honey, caramel, rosehip and brioche. Colour is somewhere between dark red and brown. Taste is not extraordinary to be honest, but better than infusion 6. It’s definitely more bitter and quite sweet. It also has a similar quality to it as bug-bitten teas. A nice way to finish the session in any case.
Due to the high price, I don’t think I will be buying this tea again too soon, but I would recommend experienced drinkers in particular to try it out at least for the novelty of experience. It definitely isn’t bland, which is what I would normally expect from such a tea. Just a bit more on the subtler side, but the complexity is there. In any case, I will try different brewing methods the next few sessions I have left with this and see if my opinion changes.
Flavors: Alcohol, Autumn Leaf Pile, Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Dark Wood, Fruity, Honey, Lychee, Peach, Roasted, Rosehips, Sawdust, Sour, Spicy, Sweet, Wet Earth, Wood
A very good green tea, not as pungent and delicate as the imperial version, but in terms of the price/quality ratio they are comparable.
The dry leaf smells of chestnut, seaweed with a hint of sweet (maybe vanilla) aroma. Wet leaf has more of a beef broth smell, complemented by some fresh grassiness in the background.
The taste has a mix of brothy, vegetal, mildly bitter and surprisingly also fruity (strawberries) notes. My favourite steep is probably the third, because of the thicker texture, cooling aftertaste and a bit more astringency. Taste-wise, it is not extraordinary, but definitely a pleasant savoury drink with sour and fruity undertones. In fact, this infusion somehow resembles a brighter version of Dong Ding oolong. I know it sounds strange, and maybe I am just imagining it, but that’s what came to my mind now.
Flavors: Broth, Chestnut, Fruity, Pleasantly Sour, Seaweed, Strawberry, Sweet, Vegetal
Opening the bag, a pleasant light roasted cookie like aroma emerges. After the first rinse, it becomes surprisingly fruity with some floral undertones. I can smell apricots, nectarines and orchid. The floral aspect gets stronger later on, with noticeable lavender and jasmine notes.
The liquor is very smooth, soft and velvety with medium body. It’s a very nice mouthfeel, as I would expect from a Dan Cong tea. The taste is not dominated by any particular flavor. There is some herbal bitterness, vegetal notes and some more robust roast flavors, which are unidentifiable for me. Aftertaste is VERY long (20 minutes or so), slightly sour, drying and extremely fragrant. I have never experienced something like this. An association that comes to mind is a high quality gin, but even that is quite far off.
The effect of the tea has been to make me very dreamy and defocused, already after 3 steeps or so. I definitely wouldn’t drink this tea while working.
The price point for this tea is great. Sure, maybe the aroma is not as pungent as the higher priced ones, but it delivers a good body, great aftertaste and has some nice cha qi as well. If you are a fan of bitter, herbal and floral flavors, I would recommend trying this one out.
I am going to stop writing now though, because I feel like I cannot write coherent sentences anymore :D
Flavors: Alcohol, Bitter, Floral, Herbaceous, Jasmine, Lavender, Orchid, Pleasantly Sour, Roast Nuts, Stonefruit, Vegetal
The dry leaf has an awesome fresh, fruity & “green” aroma with some alcohol (fruit brandy) in the background. Once rinsed, the smell becomes really pungent. The dominant notes are wet hay, freshly cut grass, cooked cabbage and anise. It evokes the feeling of being at a meadow after a summer rain that has broken a period of dry weather.
The liquor is full bodied, quite thick and astringent, especially when brewed this strong. It seems to be drying and cooling in the throat, but warming for the body. Other than that, it makes me really relaxed and somewhat lightheaded, which could be because I didn’t eat a lot today though. I didn’t notice any strong caffeine rush effects.
Taste-wise, this is also one of the most pleasant teas I have had a chance to try. It is fairly complex with a protracted aftertaste. The vegetal side of the taste is the most prominent, but there is definitely a strong fruitiness as well, often very alcohol like both in the taste and the mouthfeel. The way I brewed it, there is a decent amount of bitterness, through which the fruity sweetness emerges. There are also notable woodsy tones, mostly cedar I would say.
Now that I finished my sample, I can definitely see myself getting the whole cake at some point. The price seems more than adequate given the quality of the material.
Flavors: Alcohol, Anise, Astringent, Bark, Brandy, Cedar, Compost, Drying, Freshly Cut Grass, Fruity, Green, Hay, Pine, Summer, Thick, Vegetables, Vegetal
The dry leaf possesses aromas of tomato sauce and seafood. Those are also present in the wet leaf smell, which is very enticing and unique. There is a slight reminiscence of the Dehong Ye Sheng hong cha by YS, but only in the robust base notes.
The taste is quite fruity and bright, a mix of sweet and sour initially with more vegetal character in the finish. Overall, it is quite mellow taste due to the lack of bitterness and astringency, but it has decent depth and complexity.
Flavors: Fruity, Pleasantly Sour, Seaweed, Sweet, Vegetables
What an interesting tea! The smell reminds me of a very clean barn with some sweet, hay and peat notes. Later I can smell some sea air and spicy notes of cloves and black pepper. It is not a pungent aroma, but it has some nice subtleties. When smelling the empty cup, the sheng qualities tend to pop up more, with beeswax being the main association.
The liquor is super smooth and coating with no astringency. The taste I found to have a very nice bitter base, sweetness in the aftertaste and a lot of other tones like blackberry, honey, coffee etc, which were quite hard to pinpoint sometimes as the tea changed its more nuanced qualities a lot throughout the session.
Flavors: Barnyard, Berries, Bitter, Black Pepper, Cloves, Coffee, Honey, Hot Hay, Peat Moss, Salt, Sweet, Vegetable Broth
I used quite a lot of leaves today and I am glad I didn’t split it into two sessions instead. I got a really nicely balanced and well rounded taste with a lot of depth. The combination of vegetal, nutty, floral, sweet and sour notes together with the astringency, without any of them dominating, is what makes this tea a great choice.
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Nutty, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet, Vegetal
A light to medium bodied tea with mostly vegetal notes of asparagus and seaweed in the smell, accompanied by somewhat sour taste and drying, buttery mouthfeel. In the aftertaste, the seaweed notes reappear again. The wet leaves have a bit of a floral aroma, but nothing significant.
Flavors: Asparagus, Butter, Drying, Fishy, Floral, Seaweed, Vegetal
Half a year after I got this tea and more than one year after harvest, I can see some slight development going on. It has definitely darker yellow colour now, a little bit fuller body and for some reason I also got more flowery aromatics on the nose. This is a very pleasant and inoffensive tea overall.