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Recent Tasting Notes
Mmmm, lovely and delicious GABA green tea, ball rolled.
This tea is unique for sure, and it really is a treat! It’s sweet and textured in the mouth right out of the gate. 10 sec wash and then a 30s steep.
Several more shorter infusions of 15-20s yielded great green/jade tea. Soft, sweet, textured, and slowly taking on some greener/gassier/floral notes. I could drink this all day.
7-8 really great steeps in a gai wan. Definitely worth having some around!
Sold out at YS.us but still on TS.
Sorted through some of my Taiwan Sourcing teas and grabbed a few to start working on sipping down. I have quite a few jasmine teas right now, so decided to dive into this one.
The absolute best jasmine flavor- sweet and floral without being perfumey or artificial. This tastes fresh and wonderful. Love the oolong base over the standard green base, as it allows the beautiful jasmine flavor to shine a bit more. Absolutely no bitterness- just smooth, clean jasmine.
The jasmine flavor also holds up against multiple gongfu steepings (up to 4 so far).
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Jasmine, Sweet
Found a sample of this in one of my tea drawers and decided to have a short gongfu session.
Smells incredibly salty and savory- like a bean stew. Tastes equally as savory as it smells, with an added roasty quality that is not as apparent in the aroma.
Because of the savory quality, I decided to use some of the leftover leaves in a recipe that I used to make often, but haven’t made in awhile. I crisped the spent leaves in some sesame oil and added them to a quick kimchi fried rice. So good.
Flavors: Beans, Cabbage, Roasty, Salty
This tea has been my favorite thus far from Taiwan Sourcing. For a charcoal roasted Oolong it tastes almost wrong. Instead of a roasted firm flavor you instead get heavy floral notes that fade to an almost amber. It’s a lovely tea. I was thrown off initially due to the stems in the bag, however after brewing and watching the leaves this is a beautiful full medium sized leaf tea that you could tell was loved from start to finish in my cup.
This is a perfectly tasty but not terribly exciting oolong. The flavor is that of pleasant, nondescript fresh fruit, with an underlying cinnamon sweetness characteristic of Taiwanese teas. The body is medium, falling short of a good Chinese TGY, and the astringency is on the heavier side for this style. I try not to let cost factor into my ratings, but this is a very pricey cha (I paid $33/25g), and the disconnect between that and the experience in the cup is disappointing. I would recommend this if you’re an oolong fan and can get it for a significant discount, but otherwise, there are plenty of more worthwhile purchases one could make from Taiwan Sourcing.
Flavors: Astringent, Cinnamon, Grapes, Plum
Is an Oriental Beuty Oolong by any other name just as sweet?
Yes, yes it is. This tea is beautifully honey tasting and floral. I have not had a Bug Bitten tea in a decent amount of time and this tea was a homerun. The floral notes I got during my first brew slowly faded to one of even more honey. Would recommend for anyone a fan of Oriental Beauty as it’s just solid.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey
This reminds me a lot of Mountain Streams Heavy Charcoal Roast.
This tea is good, however the problem I’m experiencing with it is it is not very full bodied. It’s quite mild in comparison to other roasted oolongs which kind of confuses me. The other flavor I noticed that is definitely different is tobacco, albeit that flavor is light. I brewed this tea western style for (on my current) fourth infusion. It’s possible I needed more leaves, but even then I don’t think so. The lack of depth on this definitely throws it from Recommend to not recommend.
The flavor on this tea is decent, maybe a slight nuttiness but not much. Decent astringency but almost no bitterness
This tea surprised me as I am not normally a fan of floral tasting teas. It reminded me of a pleasent spring walk through a forest. It had no roast notes, instead replaced with almost a fresh moss. Slightly astringent towards the end, slight bitterness as well.
I’m currently on my fourth brewing (Forgot to count this time!) Not exactly sure how much leaves I used and my timings were all over the place as I opted to not use a timer. I’d recommend this tea to anyone who likes the flavor, but I don’t think I would buy this tea beyond drinking this sample thereof
I had the 2020 version of this tea and did not care for it. The leaves are of decent quality and the aroma is pleasing, but the taste is overwhelmingly an almost acrid, fake coconut flavor- the closest thing I can compare it to is suntan lotion. I have encountered this sporadically in other oolongs, but never a dong ding. Disappointing.
A great oriental beauty that stands out is not easy to come by. This one has a relatively complex and mineral profile that distinguishes it. The smooth, velvety and a little heavy mouthfeel adds a nice softness to the permeating bitterness and drying sensation. The cha qi is warming throughout. I like the tea a lot, although it is not one I’d reach for too often.
As one would expect, the aroma has a string nectar vibe. Other than the sweet florals of fruit tree flowers, I also detect a woodsy eucalyptus, curry leaves, prunes, tulips, and savory.
The very first steep is very mineral and mildly sweet and bitter. It has notes of stonefruit and nut shells, somewhat like an apricot pit with a hint of pale ale. Subsequent infusions bring about flavours of wood, burnt food, eucalyptus and later on also various fruits and nuts. Aftertaste is long-lasting and numbing. It offers a strong tension between cooling and warming sensations, which is not quite resolved. The dominant flavours are sweet and woody.
Flavors: Alcohol, Apricot, Bitter, Burnt Food, Drying, Eucalyptus, Floral, Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Herbs, Mineral, Nectar, Nuts, Nutty, Perfume, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Wood
This is a somewhat simple tea in a sense. It is perfumy, has a syrupy texture and lasts for quite a while.
Dry leaves smell of a mix of wood and baked apple, while wet ones are more like eucalyptus and caramel. The taste is sweet and woody with a blue grapes flavour and a sugary aftertaste.
Flavors: Candied Apple, Caramel, Eucalyptus, Grapes, Perfume, Sugar, Sweet, Wood
At one and a half years of age, this green baozhong is definitely starting to loose its fresh notes. The aroma is warming and perfumy with notes of peach, rose and caramel. Honestly, during the session it mostly smells like a stale green tea.
The taste is a bit muffled and predominately sweet and vegetal. There is a juicy bite to it which reminds me of dandelions, but otherwise I can’t remember much about the tea :D
Flavors: Caramel, Dandelion, Peach, Perfume, Rose, Sweet, Vegetal
Warm Elephant is a fascinatingly aromatic black tea with very good longevity. The range of aromas is quite impressive with notes of black cherry, chocolate, wood, winter honey, tamarind, and caramelized onion in dry leaves. When wet, the associations are those of banana, cedar wood, medium roast coffee, vanilla, rice, and cranberries.
First infusion has some coffee sourness and mineral sweetness with a biting finish to it. It has full body with a sort of slimy mouthfeel and once again a very aromatic aftertaste with hints of hazelnuts and fenugreek seeds. Subsequent steeps show some woody (cedar) and fruity (peach) notes with even more sweetness and a lightly numbing and astringent mouthfeel.
I’d highly recommend this tea to any black tea lovers out there :)
Flavors: Cedar, Cherry, Chocolate, Coffee, Cranberry, Hazelnut, Honey, Mineral, Peach, Rice, Sour, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
As with many Taiwan Sourcing oolongs, this one doesn’t have enough going for it for me to be able to recommend it. With their tea, I find myself feeling that the storytelling is more interesting than the “experience in the cup” more often than not.
Dry leaves present a sweet creamy aroma with hints of brown sugar, cinnamon, root vegetables. During the session, it’s rather a mix of gooseberry, black locust flowers, and a grassy meadow. I also detected scents of celery and fermented fruits to some extent.
The taste has an unusual amount of woody bitterness which I find is not very well integrated. It also reminds me of hazelnut skins a little. Otherwise I get a decent plum sweetness and a vegetal finish which is a bit like fenugreek leaves. A residual lemon flavour shows up in the aftertaste too. The disintegrated nature of the liquor is underscored by its thick, cooling and a little rough mouthfeel.
Flavors: Berry, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Celery, Cinnamon, Cream, Elderflower, Flowers, Grass, Hazelnut, Plum, Sweet, Vegetal, Wood
I left this Spring 2020 tea “age” a tiny bit to let the roast settle for a while.
While drinking this tea, I totally forgot this was supposed to be a tieguan yin until I started writing this post. It’s totally unlike any other TGY that I’ve ever had — it’s totally unlike a roasted TGY and absolutely nothing like the greener floral TGYs
If I were blind tasting this, I would almost say it’s a gaoshan or a fruity dan cong. Because when they said this tasted like jackfruit, they weren’t kidding. I grew up eating jackfruit, which I like, so this was a pleasant and different experience.
It’s a very different flavor profile from other Taiwanese teas with a very different mouthfeel. It’s viscous from a short 10 second steep and continues on with its viscocity throughout the session. This tea loves hot water. But, no bitterness and only a very mild astringency at the back of my throat
The longevity of this tea is fairly acceptable, especially with the jackfruit flavors present. By the 4th infusion, the flavors were diminishing, but definitely present.
Total steeps: 4+ with grandpa brewing after
Steep Times: 10 seconds, 20, 30, 60, 90 seconds
Water: Temps from 200+
Tea: 5grams in 100ml gaiwan
Brew style: Gongfu
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