135 Tasting Notes
This is pretty good. The ginger isn’t as prominent as I’d have expected; if anything, I can taste more cinnamon and cloves than ginger. There’s a bit in the aftertaste which is probably from ginger. The citrus is pretty much just mandarin orange, and goes well with the spices. While it has a rooibos base according to the package, I can’t taste that much rooibos.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Orange
I tried the April 2020 harvest. Visually, this is a very attractive tea, with fluffy, multicoloured leaves.
The dry leaves smell incredibly like apricots. When wet, they still smell like apricots, but a little less strongly.
The taste is balanced, mostly fruity but with some floral flavour coming through, and an initial bitterness that quickly fades. The texture is thick and silky. I usually don’t find textures like that in teas with predominantly fruity tastes, and it works really well here. Overall, a very nice tea!
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Sweet
A bit odd. Mine was from the autumn harvest of 2020. The dry leaves smell very ‘green.’ The wet leaves smell a bit vegetal, quite a bit grassy, and ‘green’ in a way that reminds me less of green tea than of spring leaves from some sort of tree. There is a less pleasant note to the scent of the wet leaves as well; it almost reminds me of wet fur.
The taste is more mineral than I expected based on the smell. It’s predominantly vegetal, though, in a bold, sort of thick way slightly reminiscent of some senchas I’ve had.
The texture isn’t notable except that it caused a slight tingling on my tongue. I wonder if this is due to the hair on the tea leaves; I get a similar sensation from eating kiwis, which also have little hairs.
Flavors: Grass, Green, Mineral, Vegetal
This one was very good, and if it didn’t cost an arm and a leg I would definitely make it a regular order. I tried the spring 2017 version.
The dry leaves have a strong passion fruit scent. That carries into the aroma of the brewed tea, but unlike many fruit tastes, it doesn’t bring any acidity along with it. The wet leaves smell a bit tangy, but that doesn’t come through in the flavour of the tea, which is very smooth and full, with a milky taste and texture. In later steeps, a pecan flavour comes through as well.
While the tea is pretty strong even in the early steeps, it never developed any real bitterness. I would call it a savory tea, though, as there was no particular sweetness either. It lasted for quite a few steeps – I think six or seven.
Flavors: Milk, Passion Fruit, Pecan, Round, Smooth
Sweetish and gently floral – it’s a milder tea than I’d anticipated. I tried the March 2020 harvest version. The floral taste isn’t overly flowery, if that makes any sense; it reminds me a bit of violets, though possibly that’s partly because I had purple on the mind on account of this being a purple tea. The flavour has a small amount of bitterness, but this mainly just balances the other tastes and doesn’t stand out much on its own. It’s quite good overall!
Flavors: Bitter, Flowers
This one took me by surprise. The liquor is an interesting greyish colour, which doesn’t sound appetizing, but which is actually quite attractive. It reminds me of the colour you get from steeping lavender. I tried the April 2020 harvest.
The taste isn’t overwhelmingly strong; however, it leans very heavily into an umami flavour that isn’t fishy but nonetheless reminds me a little of mussels. That taste is reflected in the scent of the wet leaves as well.
I’m not quite sure what I think of this tea; it’s unique and not unpleasant, but I don’t know that I’d want to get it again or drink it regularly.
Flavors: Dry Grass, Umami, Vegetables
Pretty good, but I found it a little lacking in complexity compared to other similar teas. It is well-balanced, with some sweetness and astringency joined by a strong, savoury flavour that’s sort of bitter and sort of earthy. The initial taste has a note that almost reminds me of shou, though it fades quickly, and the tea is recognizably a dan cong oolong. It resteeps many times without losing flavour. The leaves I tried were from the spring 2020 harvest.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Earth, Milk, Sweet
I tried the spring 2016 version. This tea has a very strong, fragrant aroma. The taste is relatively complex, very ‘round,’ with a little minerality and some characteristic dan cong fruity creaminess, but it’s less sweet than other dan congs I’ve tried. It also has some bitterness. The wet leaves have a flowery and slightly fruity smell.
I liked it less than any other dan cong oolong I’ve tried, but that’s not to say it isn’t an excellent tea; if I had not tried any other dan cong oolongs, this would definitely be up there among my favourite teas.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Mineral
I drank this later at night than I should have done, but I regret nothing. I just really wanted to try a new tea.
When I think of a classic oolong taste, this is it. A bit mineral, fairly complex, slightly roasted… At least in the USA, most oolongs that are easily available seem to be done in this style, but this one is exceptionally well-balanced. I wouldn’t count it among my favourite oolongs because it’s not really exceptional, but it would make a fantastic daily drinker.
Flavors: Mineral, Roasted, Vegetal
This tea has a squash-like flavour – pumpkin, I think – but with less sweetness than I usually find in teas with that taste. It’s oddly vegetal for a black tea, but it works pretty well. All of the Taiwanese black teas from Mud & Leaves that I’ve tried have been very different, which is nice.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Pumpkin, Toasty, Vegetal