135 Tasting Notes

73

This had an unexpected taste! I used leaves from spring 2020. It’s somewhat floral, with a milder taste of fruit and some minerality. The flavours balance out well against one another. There’s also a slight bitterness which reminds me of a lot of the black teas from Africa I’ve tried, though it’s less pronounced in this tea than in those others. Overall, I like it.

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Mineral

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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55

I tried a younger variation of this tea (from 2002) on the same day for comparison’s sake, as it had arrived as a free sample from Mud & Leaves. This tea was more mineral and less malty than the 2002 version. I’d say it is a comparatively gentler tea, but not mild.

The roasted taste lasted longer than that of its younger cousin, and there was almost a note of so-called ‘Thai red tea’ there as well. It lasted five steeps rather than the younger tea’s six, and the first steep was more watery, so it’s a less durable tea than the other one. I think the taste is slightly better, though.

Flavors: Malt, Mineral, Roasted

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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51

Mine is from 2019. Interesting flavour. It has a malty, dried-fruit sweetness reminiscent of figs or even prunes. There’s some taste of cocoa, but it’s not prominent. Despite its sweetness, the texture is drying and almost acidic in feel. It’s not a tea I would get again, but it is definitely unique.

Flavors: Cocoa, Dried Fruit, Drying, Fig, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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48
drank Monkey-Picked Oolong by Teavana
135 tasting notes

This tea is really not as good as I remember from years ago. Possibly that is in part because the tea I have is a few years old (though well-stored). It has a marked minerality, and is a bit astringent and quite drying in texture. I think my initial favourable impression of it was probably due in part to its being the first loose leaf oolong I ever tried, about a decade ago now. Having tried many good oolongs since then, it no longer seems as delicious.

Flavors: Astringent, Drying, Mineral

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
Leafhopper

This was the first oolong I tried and fell in love with as well. I’m not surprised it wasn’t as good as I remember.

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60
drank Chai Rooibos by Yogi Tea
135 tasting notes

A nice herbal chai. However, I prefer some of this company’s other herbal chais. I can definitely taste the rooibos here, so if I’m in the mood for that, it’s a good choice.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Rooibos, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 13 OZ / 384 ML

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82

I tried the Summer 2020 version of this ‘bug-bitten’ tea. While not heavily roasted, the leaves are a dark brown colour and the brew is rich gold. It has a very nutty, sweet flavour that’s complex and strong without being overwhelming. The texture is smooth and full.

This is one of my favourite oolongs, though some dan cong oolongs provide close competition. It’s certainly my favourite roasted oolong. I originally had it in a sample pack, but ordered a larger quantity afterwards.

Flavors: Honey, Nutty, Round, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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55

A lightly roasted oolong with a classic taste. I had the 2020 version. There were some nut flavours and some astringency – kind of a standard mixture. While I enjoyed it, I didn’t find it as interesting as some of this company’s other teas.

Flavors: Astringent, Nuts

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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55

This was a somewhat darker roasted oolong, but it didn’t have much of a roasted flavour. Very mineral, with some tart dried fruit taste. A good quality tea, but not up my alley.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Mineral, Round, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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55

Brewed according to the instructions, I found it unexceptional and somewhat overly mild. In a gaiwan, it had a very odd, slightly toasty taste – almost like genmaicha, but milder and possibly less complex. It reminds me vividly of the breakfast cereal puffed rice.

Flavors: Rice, Toasted Rice, Toasty

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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60

The leaves are slightly more broken than I think is ideal, but that seems to be typical of tea from this particular farm. Not prone to bitterness, which is surprising for broken green tea. It has a slightly roasted flavour with notes of caramel, and no particular sweetness. I actually prefer it Western-style over gongfu; it comes out milder, but a bit more complex.

Flavors: Caramel, Grass, Roasted

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec 3 g 13 OZ / 384 ML

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Profile

Bio

I like trying unique teas, especially those from areas of the world not known for tea production. It’s always something of a gamble and can lead to all kinds of surprises.

While I’m usually not into flavoured or scented teas, there are definitely exceptions. Hei cha which is not pu-erh tends to be my favourite category of tea, but I like some teas of all types. Smoky, creamy, and honey-like tastes generally appeal to me the most.

Top five teas I’ve had thus far (in no particular order):

Mekong Breakfast from Rakkasan Tea Company

2015 Gao Jia Shan “Cha Duo Tang” Wild Harvested Hunan Fu Brick Tea, from Yunnan Sourcing

Asahina Gyokuro “Hon Gyokuro” from Hojo Tea

Any good Lapsang Souchong

2018 Cha Yu Lin “Liu Bu Xi Village” Tian Jian Basket Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Location

Rural New England

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