135 Tasting Notes
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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