135 Tasting Notes

50

This tea was not great as I first tried it, brewed grandpa style – it had a kind of generic, light, flower and overripe fruit taste. It was better done gong fu, with an odd wet-leather smell and a more savoury, balanced taste. Still not fantastic in my opinion, but much more drinkable.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Floral, Flowers, Leather

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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78

I tried the April 2020 harvest. This tea is almost more reminiscent of a jasmine-scented green tea than a dan cong oolong, but milder and less prone to bitterness. It’s extremely floral, for certain. Very pale liquor. It’s closer to green tea than even most anxi oolongs I’ve tried, but it has the depth of a good oolong. It also benefits from a higher temperature brew than I’d use for a green tea. Definitely worth having again!

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Green

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

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65

I tried the Spring 2020 version. It is a very attractive tea, with shiny, fuzzy, metallic golden leaves. The dry leaves smell like apricots. The brew smells like caramel and overripe apricots. The taste isn’t overly sweet; it’s somewhat malty, and very reminiscent of dried apricots.

Flavors: Apricot, Caramel, Dried Fruit, Malt

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

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75

It’s quite a strong Earl Grey. As usual with Earl Greys, the bergamot flavour makes it difficult to adequately judge the quality of the tea leaves, but structurally they’re fine – whole and medium-sized. Earl Greys are not really my thing, admittedly (I only have this one because it came as part of a sampler pack), but as far as I can tell this is a nice one, with a stronger, fresher taste than many others.

Flavors: Bergamot, Tannin

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 13 OZ / 384 ML

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65

A very juicy tea. It has flavours of apricot and rose, leaning more floral in later steeps. Despite the fruit notes, it’s more savoury than sweet. The scent and aroma are both very floral and very strong.

Flavors: Apricot, Floral, Rose

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

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65

A pleasantly smooth tea with a wet texture and a slightly yammy, roasty taste. Brewed in a mug, it’s not hugely exceptional, but definitely stands out from bog-standard black tea. Brewed gongfu, the flavours are similar, but more expansive, and slightly fruity at the end. The leaves are whole.

Flavors: Fruity, Smooth, Toasty, Yams

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

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55

Opens very slowly, and never quite completely in my brewing equipment. A mild tea, with some complexity developing during later (7+) steeps. Has a ‘dusty,’ aged taste, but nothing overwhelming. Pleasant – but for me, not enough so to be worth the relatively high price. Brewed in zi ni, it’s somewhat reminiscent of the (much less expensive) 2015 Gao Jia Shan “Cha Duo Tang” Wild Harvested Hunan Fu Brick Tea, which is one of my favourite teas, but milder.

Flavors: Dust, Honey, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
derk

Bummer this one didn’t open up well for you. I found it quite the treat. Looking at my note, I brewed this in a tall Taiwanese clay pot with an amount of tea that would normally produce a weak brew in that pot.

Avery F.

Maybe the pot I used was too small – I’ll have to try it in a larger pot.

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80

There’s a sharp taste of… something; I’m not sure if it’s cinnamon. Relatively watery texture for a dan cong oolong, but not unpleasantly so. The flavour is lightly fruity, lightly astringent, and the aftertaste has more cinnamon. It’s good! Very well-balanced, and lasts for 8+ steeps without a problem. I tried the 2019 April harvest.

Flavors: Astringent, Cinnamon, Fruity, Spices

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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45

I’m not sure if I got an unusual batch, or if this tea always tastes this way… I tried the Autumn 2020 harvest. The leaves smell straight-up burnt. Some of that charring comes through in the taste; the rest is classic Anxi oolong. It’s interesting, but the burnt taste doesn’t really add to the tea in my opinion; I’d rather have a standard tie guan yin. Perhaps the batch I got was just slightly too heavily roasted.

Flavors: Burnt, Floral, Roasted

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

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63
drank Yamacha by Dobra Tea
135 tasting notes

Given the age of the tea I had, it was surprisingly good – I’d picked it up about this time last year. It had some typical sencha bitterness, some grassy flavours, and an odd, almost boozy note – not sure if that was present when it was younger. The tastes blended together into a harmonious balance.

Flavors: Alcohol, Bitter, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 30 sec 7 g 6 OZ / 190 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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