Floating Leaves TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
2021 Version from Leafhopper. I made a few mistakes on this one. I really wanted to try it from floating leaves with the promise of a fruity oolong. Making it, it’s fussy. The realy rinse produced a thin lilac flavor and aroma that didn’t produce much. Heat coaxed the sugars out a little bit. The second steep was supposed to be 30 seconds that turned into 3 minutes that was a little bitter and overbrewed, but had nice floral flavors with some fruity. The overall vibe was closer to cool whip with some vague fruitiness.
The next two were 20 and 30 sec respectively, and had more pronounced profiles that were mostly soft in flavor, but headier in the aroma department. Steep 5 had more fruit by far, drying finish, and then it lost lustre as it cooled into a grassy soup.
I’ve gotten two more cups that didn’t stand out as much. I’m really glad I got to try this tea, though I think it was a little too subtle for my preferences. Then again, I’m reverting back to old tastes for flavored teas lately and rely on oolong for too much “green dessert” experiences.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Freshly Cut Grass, Fruity, Grass, Lilac, Orchids, Twigs, Whipped Cream
Sipdown. I saved enough for gong fu, but….it was just so goood western mug style that I did it again for the cold weather. I got so many complex flavors even this time by heavy leafing 6 grams into my strainer mug. First steep was dark cocoa, butter, wood, honey, and earth, second steep had an immensely sweet fruit like plums pulsating from the aroma, and than wood and slight peach in the taste. The rest of the resteeps were buttery, vaguely floral, earthy, with just the right amount of wood and tannin I like in both black teas and oolong.
I’m sad to see this one gone. I’ve got other dark oolongs that aren’t quite as good. This was a treat, Derk, especially since I haven’t had a darker oolong that I’ve enjoyed as deeply as this one in a while.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cocoa, Cookie, Earth, Honey, Plum, Savory, Sweet, Tannin, Wood
The second and third rebrews were not as rich as the first, but still comforting. The tea mostly went into woody dark oolong territory that actually resembled some of the darker Dahongpao’s I used to get. The notes were thinner, but it was honey, cedar, buttery texture, wood, and of course, tea. I don’t know if I want to finish this Gong Fu or Western for the sip down. I really enjoyed my cup western.
Thank you derk for this one sooooo much. I have been staving off my roastier oolongs for cooler weather. Michigan had a whiplash of 80 degrees to 50 degrees and 40 in the same week. SEMCO fixed a gas leak, and now, my house isn’t getting heat properly, so any tea that’s on the more savory side is well welcomed.
I plopped this into my strainer mug for 3 minutes, took it out, and it smelled like cookies, butter, and autumn leaf piles and cedar. Tasting it, I thought I was drinking a black tea. It’s got a caramel chocolate thing going on for my palette, more specifically bakers chocolate or older chocolate with fresh caramel. There are times it reminds me of those endangered species chocolate bars with dried fruit plopped in for some flavor.
Anyway, I’ll come back to it. I’m loving mugstyle. I wanted to try this one for a while, and I’m very happy to have a sample. I can already tell I’ll rebrew it a few times yet I’d only use it for special or needed occasions. The tea would be too heavy on it’s own for my palette, but it’s super soothing and tasty so far.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Chocolate, Cocoa, Cookie, Cranberry, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Honey, Savory, Wood
Leafhopper sent me this tea, so thank you! Kind of sipdown, but it wasn’t in my Steepster cupboard and also it’s single session tea.
My first impression after putting the leaves to gaiwan was popcorn. Yep, that. Also some roasty notes and flowers in the background.
Did a quite long rinse, and about 5 minutes of rest under the gaiwan lid. After that the aromas changed rapidly. It is indeed roasted oolong by aroma, some pine there, sweet and bready notes too.
First steep, 25 seconds long (I am following Leafhopper steeping method); was smooth and surprisingly floral with nuts, very thick body, long mouthfeel. Second sip was bready for me.
Second steep, was more bready, but florals were still strong enough to play the major part. Again very smooth and thick mouthfeel. Not that long this time, but also very nice, nevertheless. In the aftertaste there is some pine. Not able to recognize the flowers.
Third steep, 25 seconds and floral notes and roasty notes are fifty-fifty in this steep. The dark notes of roast and nuts are here, but very fast they are tackled by the florals making great round mouthfeel which seems very memorable for this tea. Sadly, flavours not that much.
Fourth steep, 30 seconds is about stronger roasted notes, florals translated a bit into more boring — grassy and vegetal notes. Also there are nutty flavors, closely followed with that popcorn impressions from dry leaf.
Another 30 seconds long steep is actually the same as previous one. Maybe a bit rounder.
Another 30 seconds long steep generally brings same flavour profile.
Afterwards I went to long, uncounted steeps. They were all pleasant.
Song pairing: various instrumental music and a few Finnish songs I don’t understand, but I think they are good;
Besides: writing a several postcards for postcrossing;
Mood: Much better now.
I received this sample as a gift from Derk, thank you!
I kept putting off having this due to my belief tea like this “has to be brewed gong fu,” and I just never have the time for gong fu, so I finally decided to be a heathen and brew it western. 3.25g to 350ml 205F water, steeped for 3 minutes.
The liquor is a lovely pale yellow with just a tinge of a green hue. The brewed tea smells beautiful, like a spring garden full of lilac bushes and fresh greens. There is also a hint of cream on the nose. The smell alone is reminding me how long it has been since I’ve dipped into a Taiwanese oolong, one of my favorite tea types.
The mouthfeel is very silky, with a strong floral note… orchids, lilacs, gardenias. Beneath that is a bright citrusy note mixed with fresh greens… sweet grass, wildflowers, garden peas. Ashmanra mentioned “baby powder” and I totally get that. Has a very relaxing energy, and the bright floral and vegetal flavor fits for a spring day (usually we are well into summer in this area by now, but our winter lasted into April, so now our Spring has been pushed all the way into June… Summer might finally start rearing its head by next week. I’m not looking forward to it!)
Thank you, Derk!
Flavors: Baby Powder, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Garden Peas, Gardenias, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lilac, Orchid, Silky, Smooth, Sweet, Warm Grass, Vegetal, Wildflowers
Holy shit, derk. Thank you. This is everything.
Bowled. This tea… this is where I resonate. My tea. I didn’t take a single note and just sat there transfixed (and muttering expletives).
How the hell is this a GABA? As if my mind wasn’t reeling enough. “I don’t like GABAs,” she says.
It doesn’t sound like this is going to be available any more… I don’t know what to do with that. I have enough for one more bowl. Maybe I’ll take better notes next time; maybe I’ll just be.
Flavors: Butter, Campfire, Caramel, Cedar, Dried Fruit, Floral, Leather, Peanut, Perfume, Pine, Resin, Tobacco, Vanilla
Ever since the packet from derk arrived, I have been waiting for the right time to have this. We no longer gong fu at night as we have become more sensitive to caffeine. Getting an afternoon when Ashman is home and we don’t have something to do or somewhere to go has been tricky, but today was the day. We got Sam’s weigh in out of the way early and settled in for a session on the living room floor.
Given a choice of chocolate, nuts, or other to accompany the tea, Ashman chose chocolate. Kuhflecken for me, Milka Strawberry for him.
Aroma in pouch – fresh cut grass on a farm, sweet, thick grass, not the usual neighborhood variety. Smells exactly the way the farm where my son lives smelled last Sunday when we visited and the scent of the grass (being mowed about an acre away) was thick and heavy on the air.
Aroma in warmed, steamy pot before steeping and before rinse – mid-summer blazing hot stone or pavement and the aroma of popcorn, plain with no butter, fresh off of a skillet.
The leaves didn’t open up immediately so I made a quick call to do a rinse instead of drinking the first water that hit the leaves.
First steep – 25 seconds and the leaves have really opened. Ashman likened it to the smell of the motor of the little slot cars we played with as kids. He looked at me squinty like he thought he had made a bad comparison until I told him I had thought of hot pavement, hot stone or slate in summer sun too hot to touch.
Second steep – always his favorite with oolongs, this time he said, “Big change!” Slot car and stone are gone, vegetal and floral notes have come. Lightly mineral.
Third steep – creamy, light baby powder, and soft grass but no sour grassy taste. A little floral, light vegetal. One of my favorite steeps because I loved the creaminess.
Remaining steeps were similar to steep three and we are both relaxed and sleepy.
We have had summer muggy weather in early spring – mid to high 80’s, but today is cool and cloudy, windows open, windchimes adamant in their song. Time to nap.
10 second rinse
30 second steep
45 second steep
brewed in oolong seasoned yixing teapot
the first steep was very mild, but tasty. it was difficult to discern notes that described the experience as a whole. words came to me, but i felt like they were more subtle undertones and not representative of the tea as a whole. i found the broth to be round and full and mellow. the first steep was very easy to drink and i was excited to get more depth in the next one.
the second steep was a rich golden. on the nose i could sense vibrant, ripe fruit notes. this one’s a bit hard to put into words, but i quite enjoyed it
for the second steep,
I made a big Floating Leaves order over the Black Friday weekend, so the least I can do is finish a few of the teas from my last order in 2021 before my haul arrives. This Dong Ding is from either spring 2021 or winter 2020. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds, plus some long, uncounted steeps.
The dry aroma is of walnuts, hazelnuts, roast, and flowers. The first steep has notes of nuts, cream, banana bread, honey, minerals, grass, and char. The next steep has more banana and nuts, plus honey and narcissus/orchid florals. The roast is on the lighter side, and the body of the tea is thick. The next couple steeps feature nuts, graham cracker, roast, pine, florals, and grass. Steeps five and six are a little more grassy and vegetal, though they still have a nice, round honey and roasty flavour. Subsequent steeps are a bit more nutty and roasty, with floral and grassy undertones. The final long steeps have notes of graham cracker, roast, nuts, butter, minerals, and wood.
I want to like Dong Dings more than I actually do, as I find most of them too roasty. This one was on the lighter side, however, and I thought it had more character than some others. The florals and banana bread were a nice break from the roast, and it never started tasting like overbrewed coffee, as some other roasted teas can. I’m glad I tried this tea, but don’t regret leaving it out of my 2022 order.
Flavors: Bread, Butter, Char, Cream, Floral, Graham Cracker, Grass, Hazelnut, Honey, Mineral, Narcissus, Nutty, Orchid, Pine, Roasted, Vegetal, Walnut, Wood
The tea last night western and to-night gong fu was extremely bready and buttery.
Western: 5 grams in Kyusu, 2 min, 3 min, and oversteeping, but still very good. Gong fu, still brewing as I write, 10, 25.
More sourdough in profile, butter, peony, honeysuckle, a little bit of qin xin pineapple, but immense florals and herbaceous qualities. I know I’ve used rosemary before, but it has the kind of aftertaste rosemary gets when it’s infused into bread or butter. The smell is incredible and vegetal. Makes me think of the butter dishes you get from Red Lobster.
The best session so far was the first because it had all the qualities I listed above and was significantly fruitier. Now, it’s more vegetal and bready, having a little bit of umami.
Third steep of maybe 25-ish seconds, and more heavy in florals. Kind of almond milkish, leaning into some lilac and white floral profiles. A little bit flower bitter, not overly so.
So far in later steepings gong fu, I don’t always notice a significant difference. The savory, floral, and green vegetal qualities shift around a bit, usually leaning into more vegetal with an occasional floral fruity surprise like in session one. Right now, it’s leaning more vegetal and floral.
I’m really not sure what to rate it because it’s almost a 90 for me. The tea is forgiving, but requires finesse and careful attention to get particular tastes. Even if I mess up though, I always get heavy mouthfeel. Floating Leaves Teas usually require more refinement and precision anyway.
Clearly, I like it. It’s #3 in ranking so far, though I’d say it’s a summer tea or a seafood matching tea for sure because the higher heat doesn’t detract from the tea at all.
Flavors: Bread, Butter, Corn Husk, Floral, Herbs, Honeysuckle, Lilac, Peony, Pineapple, Savory, Umami, Vegetal
I GOT THE PACKAGE FROM LEAFHOPPER!!!!!!!
It made my night after a tough day. I decided to sample this first, then Bok’s Lishan.
I will write more later, but this tea tasted very strongly like pineapple to me. It was more fruity in the earlier steeps than later ones gong fu shifting more floral. It does get sweeter, but sugarcane/almost gardenia sweet. The dry leaf is super complex in the smell, bordering on nutty and toasty, and the nuts was more prominent in the rinse and third steep.
Either way, this checks all my oolong lover boxes so far. I will go into depth when I’ve got more time.
I always buy Baozhong, then let it sit because I’m not sure how to steep it properly. Hopefully these swap boxes will allow me to offload some of this tea and encourage me to experiment with brewing parameters. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of lilac, honeysuckle, cookies, citrus, and pineapple. I must have done something right because the first steep is a pile of flowers, with lilac, honeysuckle, violet, and maybe peony. There’s butter, cookies, and grass as well. The second steep has hints of pineapple and citrus, but is still mainly floral, with stronger lilac and honeysuckle notes. There may be lilies and sweet peas in this flower pile, too. The next couple steeps are sweeter, though they also have more spinach and grass. The tea gradually becomes more vegetal, with lettuce, spinach, green peas, and herbs, though it’s still sweet and a bit floral. The last few steeps are like a floral green tea.
As someone who likes floral teas, I enjoyed this Baozhong greatly, though I wish the fruit had been more prominent and the last few steeps had been a bit less vegetal. This was a lovely spring tea in the middle of winter.
Flavors: Butter, Citrus, Cookie, Floral, Grass, Herbaceous, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Lilac, Lily, Peas, Peony, Pineapple, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal, Violet
This is my second tea from this spring’s Floating Leaves purchase. It took a great amount of willpower not to cut open all my vacuum-sealed bags at once, but it’s worth it to have fresh tea for the next few months. Alishan typically isn’t a favourite of mine, though I’ve had some really good ones. The Alishan from FLT is generally good but not amazing. If I’d waited until the Taiwan site had posted a few more teas, I might have bought something else (I took a gamble on the free Shan Lin Xi, which I’ve reviewed here). I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain teapot using boiling water for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of cookies, orchids, honeysuckle, gardenias, and grass. The session starts off with butter, cream corn, cookies, orchid, honeysuckle, spinach, and gardenia, and the Alishan is floral, woodsy, and quite sweet. The second steep adds sweet pea flowers, broccoli, and an herbaceous note I don’t often find in Alishans. The aftertaste is vegetal. Hints of citrus, orange blossom, and apricot appear in steep three, as the grassy and vegetal notes increase. The fruit persists in steeps four and five, though the florals once again predominate with the vegetal and woodsy notes. The heavier florals are still going strong in the next few steeps, particularly orchid, honeysuckle, and orange blossom. The tea remains floral until the end of the session, though the grassy and vegetal notes are more noticeable.
This Alishan has a nice range of florals and some interesting flavours that evolve throughout the session. I’d say it’s on par with other Alishans I’ve had from Floating Leaves. The aromas and flavours I get from this tea also complement the summery smells of flowers and cut grass coming through my window, making it a beautiful accompaniment to the day.
Flavors: Apricot, Broccoli, Butter, Citrus, Cookie, Corn Husk, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Herbaceous, Honeysuckle, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal
I was thrilled when Floating Leaves moved their store to Taiwan, as it meant I could afford to have their teas shipped to Canada. I took advantage of their opening sale to get a free 50 g bag of this tea, then bought another 60 g bag because I anticipated the tea would be amazing based on previous SLX I’d had from this company. After some unpleasantness with DHL over import fees, which the vendor generously helped to clear up, I tore into this tea and was slightly disappointed by how vegetal it was.
I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain pot using boiling water for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of coconut, pineapple, honeydew melon, orchids, and bok choy. The first steep has notes of orchid, butter, cookie, coconut, honeydew, and lettuce. I get some slight minerality, though that could be due to the vendor description, and the tea is already somewhat vegetal, especially on the swallow. The next steep highlights coconut, pineapple, passion fruit, and honeydew, with orchids, honeysuckle, and lilacs in the background. The bottom of the cup smells like coconut fruit punch. The honeysuckle and other florals become more prominent in the third steep, as does the passion fruit, pineapple, and especially the coconut. However, this is mainly in the aroma, and the taste is becoming quite spinachy underneath all the fruity florals. Coconut and spinach are the dominant notes in the next steep, backed up by pineapple, honeysuckle, spinach, bok choy, and grass.
The coconut continues into the fifth steep, though the tea is losing some of its complexity. I still get lots of florals plus the vegetal/grassy note. In the next steep, I notice a bit of the sappy character I associate with Shan Lin Xi. By steep seven, the tea is spinach mixed with faint florals, and it becomes even more vegetal by the end of the session.
This is a very enjoyable Shan Lin Xi that still doesn’t quite measure up to the company’s previous offerings, which I believe I rated in the nineties. I love the abundance of coconut and other tropical flavours, but wish that more of them translated from the aroma to the taste and that the tea was a little less vegetal. I also wish it had more longevity, though this is typical for high mountain oolongs. Nonetheless, I’ve almost finished my first 50 g bag and won’t have trouble finishing the rest.
Flavors: Bok Choy, Butter, Coconut, Cookie, Floral, Grass, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Mineral, Orchid, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Sap, Spinach, Vegetal
Lovely experience having this on my fire escape during a breezy afternoon. This one’s relaxing in that numbing, slow-down-time sort of way. Savored every cup. Aroma of the wet leaf was irresistible too. Sharp notes like roasted fruit, cherries, peaches, guava, cloves, maybe even bread yeast? Great things going on here.
This Kabuse Sencha was the best tea from my Floating Leaves order. Kind of ironic that a tea shop specializing in Taiwanese oolong sells a low profile green tea that outshines some of their more high end teas. I picked this one up not only to meet the free shipping threshold but also because I enjoyed the Obubu Tea Farms sample of Kabuse Sencha that Cameron gave me recently. I have no idea whether this is sourced from the same tea farm as Obubu but both are sublime teas.
The leaves are dark green and shaped like pine needles. Not quite as pristine as Obubu’s but still handsome. At least by sencha standards anyway. The leaves emit a deep, sweet grassy aroma that changes to a marine like dashi scent upon being heated. Clear, yellowish green liquor. Wet leaves have a slightly marine aroma as well but it’s more oceanic, like fresh caught steamed whitefish.
First infusion is fresh, crisp, and invigorating. Bright, balanced umami with notes of sea shells and snap pea. Second infusion is similar. Smoother and more buttery with light grass and seaweed notes. Flavor drops a bit over the next two steeps. More savory this time with a slight marine finish and a bit more astringency.
Instagram photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMari68APv9/
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Lettuce, Marine, Ocean Air, Seaweed, Spinach, Umami
Another FLT oolong that I wanted to like but didn’t quite work for me. It had some nice floral elements for sure, but was affected by an underlying stale taste. A frustratingly common issue with green oolongs, unfortunately. I really wish all vendors packed their tea in oxygen free packaging like Taiwan Tea Crafts to avoid this problem.
Back to the tea at hand. I gongfued this for 6 infusions. It starts somewhat disappointingly with a stale vegetal taste mixed in with flowers and an unusual chamomile note. The second steep though is clearer with more distinct flowery notes of daffodils and honeysuckle rounded out with hints of vanilla and cream. The next two steeps present a thick, lingering flower nectar, the intensity of which reminds me of lily of the valley. The flavor peters out over the final couple of steeps yet retains a candy like sweetness and the odd chamomile note from the initial steep returned.
All in all, this was the best oolong from my Floating Leaves order although that’s not saying much since all of them were lacking. That’s not a reflection on the vendor though. I’ve had good tea from Floating Leaves before. I suspect it has more to do with the quality of last winter’s harvest.
Flavors: Chamomile, Cream, Flowers, Vegetal
My second Floating Leaves Baozhong. Between this and the Farmer’s Choice, this was the better of the two but not by a whole lot.
Dry leaves have a slightly staleish aroma of grass and turnips. When steeped, it changes to egg yolk and buttered lilacs. The tea starts off with a soupy, brothy flavor mingled with lilac and violets. Second steep is clearer with more sweetness and water lily like florals. The next steep is similar but with a thicker body. Eventually, it flattens a bit and settles into a floral-grassy flavor.
This tea lacks the thick mouthfeel and depth of better Baozhongs but is still serviceable.
Flavors: Broth, Flowers
Backlog. This was a free sample that came with my Floating Leaves order. I only managed a couple of sessions with it but the flavor didn’t leave any notable impression.
The tea has the aroma of taro, coconut, grass, and subtle flowers. The brewed tea tasted of steamed vegetables with faint, murky florals. There were a few fruit and citrus hints here and there along the way but overall just a little bland and undistinguished. The description notes that due to weather, the Winter harvest this year lacked intensity which I can affirm.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Vegetables
Been a while since I’ve posted here. Still drinking plenty of tea, just been too lazy to export my tasting notes from MyTeaPal to Steepster. I’ve already polished off nearly everything from my recent Floating Leaves order and wanted to share my impressions while still fresh in my mind.
This was the first of two Baozhong oolongs I bought from FLT. I love Baozhong but have been disappointed by a string of mediocre ones as of late. I specifically sought out Floating Leaves as they have a reputation for sourcing excellent Baozhongs. However, I can’t say I was blown away by this one. The flavor is somewhat muddled. Buttery florals, though not your usual BZ lilacs, mingled with herbaceous elements and a slightly savory underlying vegetal body. It’s not roasted yet oddly has a light amber liquor instead of green. At times, it exhibits yancha like characteristics with sandalwood and pine notes and a little spice.
All in all, this was an atypical baozhong with slightly dissonant notes that lacks the freshness and sensuous florals this kind of tea usually has.
Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Savory
My eldest daughter, Superanna, shopped for my birthday present here on Steepster using the wishlist. She noticed a tea from this company, and in addition to the one on my wishlist, chose this one. Floating Leaves also included a personal note and a nice sample of another pu!
This is the first one I am trying, as my youngest daughter gets tummy ache from sweets and wanted pu after the birthday cake yesterday.
I made it gong fu using my larger gaiwan. From one little tuo, we got 1.5 liters of good tea!
There was little of the horse-y manure aroma ripe pu can have. Instead this one seemed very woodsy like wood shavings from using hand tools that have lain on earth for a while. So earthy and woodsy.
It was super dark even with a very short steep around steeps two through five (I did pour off a rinse and let it rest) but it was smooth and mild. This is a good daily drinker type puerh that is probably hard to mess up.it didn’t seem at all finicky.
Thank you, Superanna, for the gifts!
I’mma say this is the tea I’ve sipped down. This is more green tasting that I would prefer. I got a lot of vegetal notes – green bean and spinach. But also buttery and sweet. Very different flavors in the same steep and not ones I’d want paired together.
Western, 190-205F, 2 min -ish
Flavors: Butter, Green Beans, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal