What-Cha

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

Smooth, very lightly sweet and very lightly tannic. Very notable honeydew aftertaste that hardly shows up on the nose and a hint of green apple now and then

Flavors: Floral, Green Apple, Honeydew, Melon

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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70

Very delicate sweet corn/vegetal flavor with a light umami aftertaste. Honestly, it may be a little too delicate for my own palate but it’s definitely pleasant.

Flavors: Corn Husk, Peas, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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73

I don’t know why I ignored this tea for five years. I love Bai Hao, so I must have just forgotten about it. I steeped 5 g of my 10 g sample in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 30, 20, 20, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of honey and stonefruit. The first steep has notes of honey, faint malt, grass, and flowers (orchids?). I get faint plums and berries in the second steep, though they’re more in the aroma than the taste. The third and fourth steeps have notes of cranberries, currants, sap, pleasant sourness, honey, flowers, nutmeg, baked bread, and grass. It kind of reminds me of a GABA oolong. The last few steeps have flavours of GABA tang, honey, dried fruit, and sap.

I really struggled to describe the taste of this tea and found it to be all over the place in terms of flavour. While it had many of the notes I associate with Bai Hao, it more closely resembled a GABA oolong to me. This could be because of its age, although I have other older teas of this type and they haven’t changed that much. I’m sending my remaining 5 g to Derk, who might be able to figure this tea out.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Berries, Cranberry, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grass, Honey, Malt, Nutmeg, Orchid, Pleasantly Sour, Plums, Sap, Stonefruits, Tangy

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
derk

I’ll do my best :)

Leafhopper

Maybe this tea will work for you in a way that it didn’t quite work for me.

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85

Lunchtime cup. Another round of this and this time it’s a smooth mix of tangy-malty-creamy-fruity with that salty finish and a gentle fruity-creamy-cooling aftertaste. Also the dry leaf now smells like Grape Nuts cereal. Funny how aroma/taste perceptions change on different days and with the addition of food. But not funny. :D

Kawaii433

“tangy-malty-creamy-fruity with that salty” Yum

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85

A first flush Darjeeling composed of a cultivar propagated by Rohini of 2 Japanese cultivars.

The dry leaf has a unique, gentle aroma, floral but not the typical orange blossom. It’s slightly powdery, deeper. Bluish-purple like violets and blueberries. I think I also smell dried fruit sweetness, like raisins but not quite. Musk and chili leaf overtones, a basmati rice undertone.

Difficult to describe… Very clean, light, juicy, nectarlike body with a mentholated cooling, mouth-watering finish. The sweetness sits low and is delicate, like dried fruits, apricots. Very light fruity-grainy-malty taste with something tangy. I guess that’s where What-Cha’s descriptor of green olive comes into play. Delicate violet florals. The second steep reveals more on an apricot-like tanginess, maybe dry grass, a hint of that basmati rice burlap, and that very clean, salty mouth-watering finish.

It’s a fantastic, delicate thirst-quencher. Really digging it.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Blueberry, Cream, Dried Fruit, Dry Grass, Grain, Lime, Malt, Menthol, Nectar, Olives, Raisins, Rice, Rose, Salt, Smooth, Spicy, Tangy, Violet

Martin Bednář

That sounds so great!

derk

It is really nice. I have no idea how Darjeeling lovers would react. Good enough for me to brew another round for the thermos and take it on a bike-and-hike today (It’s going to be 23C!)

Leafhopper

That sounds really interesting!

White Antlers

Wow. That is (or I should say ‘was’-in referring to the era when the Earth wasn’t going crazy) warm for January! My friend in Long Beach (So Cal) told me it was 96F there yesterday. smh

Martin Bednář

I guess I will buy it once I will order from Alistair again. Of course… if available.

Daylon R Thomas

Derk, your note makes me more excited about my sample. I was saving it for spring because it’s a first flush, but I think I will go ahead and drink it today. I was glad that Alistair added it as a sample since I was curious about it. The fact that it’s good in a tumbler also gives me some hope-some first flush blacks can be too vegetal and herbaceous for me on occasion…nevermind I like green oolong. I also need to give the oolong version of this tea another chance. It was like a spicier Baozhong.

derk

Daylon, I’ve been leafing my Darjeeling teas usually heavier than what’s listed, around 1g:100mL. Leafhopper turned me on to steeping them for 5 minutes instead of 2 to 3. I actually didn’t test this one out in my thermos today, opting to make a dent in a 100g bag of GABA oolong. Compared to the last few first flushes I’ve had, this is not at all vegetal or herbaceous on my palate. Spicy baozhong you say? I doubt the Japonica oolong will be around when I’m ready to order again :/

derk

Martin, it is on the delicate end. I remember you didn’t care too much for a similarly delicate Nepali black tea that I loved, but if it sounds good, go for it. I think it’s on sale right now.

derk

And White Antlers, it got up to 82F/21C while I was on my ride. I can’t believe it either. At least we’re getting rain this year? Back down to 50s and rain next week. I think I’ve had one proper winter in the 10 years I’ve been out here.

Martin Bednář

derk: I feel my tastes varies a lot, once I am grateful to enjoy black teas, then floral, then jasmine greens and so on… I don’t acutally understand that. It confuses me, as I for example knew I something really liked and then I prepare it a few days later and I find it way worse…

derk

You’re a moody tea drinker ;)

Martin Bednář

Apparently! Not sure if I like it, or I hate it… Haha.

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95

Rando Experiment Note:

I decided to combine this one with the Fujian Black Jasmine I got from What-Cha. I was bad and did not measure, but I eyeballed it beginning with the black wiry jasmine black leaves, and then topped it with the golden Jin Jun Mei as the foreground. I tossed them up, and poured some water that I should have heated more. I let it sit for 30 seconds, and was surprised at the punch of flavor. It tasted like a sugary lychee candy or a Japanese cold drink you get from a store. I was impressed by my lukewarm accident.

Moving on to a more proper steep of a hot 195 F and two minutes, this one had lychee as a main note, followed by jasmine, rose, malt, grains, and finally thick dark chocolate. Viscous, silky texture, and medium body. I finished it quickly, but sweet flavor and aroma remained in my empty cup. It remained like brown sugar at the bottom of a cookie pan…but FanCY.

Anyway, this is a fun note. I usually don’t blend my teas since I’m a purist, but I have a lot of tea, and figured this make a fun combo of note. I didn’t expect the tea to be as rich as it was. This little experimental session is credit to this teas desert like qualities and to the quality of the scenting of the Jasmine.

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95

This is a newer Jin Jun Mei that What-Cha has started selling in the last few years. I personally have had an on and off again relationship with this variety of tea because they can be very vegetal for a black tea and can have very strong tobacco notes. The older one that was sold was excellent, deep, complex, thick, and rich. This one is a lot softer, but instensley aromatic and flavorful.

What-Cha’s notes are a bit unusual for what you usually see, but it get’s “sweet malt loaf” and “subtle rose hints” in its description and as always they’re reliable when I purchase their teas. The rose was actually not subtle for me personally, but was extremely natural and very welcomed. The tea is breadsy, savory, and buttery as well as floral and rosy. There’s some malt and sweet potato too, but the push and pull of the dry and viscosity in the texture make it more grainy and breadsy by approximation.

So far, I have not gotten too much difference from it western in a tumbler and Gong Fu this morning. It’s very sweet, smooth, drinkable, and pleasing. I could see some people using the “chocolate” moniker on this one when the tea cools down, nevermind that’s just Fujian Wuyi quality.

I don’t really have more to add on this one other than the fact I wish I got more. It’s a very soft and refined black tea that combines floral with savory and malty. I highly recommend those who like more floral blacks. I wish I could write more, but that’s what I have for now.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Chocolate, Grain, Malt, Rose, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Quick backlog.

It’s been a while since I had buddier blacks, and since I got some, I craved more since the last year I had some. Most of my notes of late will consist of black teas, mostly Taiwanese blacks and Fujian blacks.

I’m also making this one quick and will add more in the future. I had this as morning tumbler fuel, and it’s definitely chocolatey with more emphasis on the malt. I didn’t expect the tea was going to be as bright as it was with the malt. It’s not bitter, astringent, or strong, but there’s some nice briskness. I personally got citrus, sweet potato, dandelion, and brassy tannin from it from the two western steeps in the tumbler giving the tea a more sunny visual in my head as I drank it. It definitely woke me up with its Qi. The flavor is still smooth and great without being as bitter as the usual Assams or occasional Keemums, though it’s powerful enough to be a breakfast tea.

I very much like it, but need to do some Gong Fu before I rate it. I still recommend it and will share. I look forward to see what other people write about it on here.

Flavors: Chocolate, Citrus Zest, Dandelion, Malt, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin

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70

This was my second mystery oolong from the Black Friday sale. As someone who’s not a fan of roasted oolongs, I did not approach this tea with the same enthusiasm as I did the Jade Oolong. Hoping to minimize the roast, I steeped it as I would a wuyi oolong: 6 g in a 120 ml teapot at 200F for 7, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of chocolate, honey, smoke, and roast. The first steep reveals that the roast is not as pronounced as I feared. I get honey, toasted grain, roast, chicory, smoke, and faint flowers. A mineral note appears in steep two, but sadly, no chocolate. I get a muddled dark chocolate note in the next couple steeps, along with wood, more roast, and lots of honey and grain. There’s also a floral and grassy aftertaste. The next four rounds offer consistent flavours of honey, cereal, nuts, mild roast, and grass, along with a slick body. The last few steeps are full of roast and minerals.

This is a solid, comforting tea that does not display much flavour variation. To be honest, I found it a bit boring, although its profile is not one I gravitate toward. This is pretty inoffensive and does show some characteristics I associate with Wuyi oolongs, but I won’t be sad to see it go.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Floral, Grain, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Nuts, Roasted, Smoke, Toasty, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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88

I got this as a mystery tea in my Black Friday What-Cha haul. It’s something I probably never would have ordered, but it fits my interest in Taiwanese oolongs. 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.

The dry aroma is of orange blossom, honeysuckle, and cream. The first steep has notes of butter, baked bread, lilac, orange blossom, honeysuckle, cream, lavender, faint fruit, and grass. The fruit resolves itself into cantaloupe and citrus in the second steep, and the orange blossom becomes stronger. I also get hints of corn and spinach. The grassy, vegetal, and spinach notes grow stronger in the third steep, but those citrus, orange blossom, and melon notes do as well. By the fifth steep, I get more vegetal flavours, plus minerals and umami. However, it’s still full of orange blossom, honeysuckle, lilac, and other flowers I can’t put a name to. As the session progresses, the vegetal, umami, and mineral flavours gradually take over, although the tea retains its florality for a long time.

This oolong punches well above its price point and I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. It has a wide range of floral notes and the hints of melon and lavender were a pleasant surprise. While it’s not as nuanced as a high mountain oolong, it’s definitely one of the nicer low elevation teas I’ve had in a while.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cantaloupe, Citrus, Corn Husk, Cream, Floral, Grass, Honeysuckle, Lavender, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Spinach, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Courtney

Sounds incredible! The cantaloupe, yum.

Leafhopper

The cantaloupe definitely earned this tea some extra points. :)

derk

Sounds like heaven. The weather is supposed to sunny and 21C through the weekend. Wish I had this as an accompaniment. I’ll settle for a FF Darjeeling from What-Cha instead :)

Leafhopper

That’s really warm for January! You’re right that this would make an excellent spring tea.

Inkling

This sounds really yummy!

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87

Trying a new tea from Jun Chiyabari is always exciting. This one is clearly trying to go head to head against 2nd flush Darjeelings. There is no doubt imo that it can successfully compete in that category. However, it also seems to remind me a little bit of Ye Sheng black teas from Yunnan in its wet leaf aroma and of some Taiwan black teas in its aftertaste. The one thing that sets it apart is the mouthfeel, which is quite unique. The liquor is voluminous, active and very smooth, it is biting without astringency and it induces a nice warming sensation throughout the mouth.

I find that Royale Ruby benefits from longer infusion times initially, otherwise one may find that it takes a while to get going. In any case, when it does, it displays a beautiful sweet, woody and bitter character with pronounced muscatel notes. The aftertaste is cooling, sweet and floral, but without much of honey-like flavours – there are more of lighter and higher florals here.

Flavors: Biting, Bitter, Cookie, Cream, Earth, Floral, Meat, Muscatel, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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75

Happy National Apricot Day! For those participating in the Sipdown Challenge on the forums, today is the day to drink an apricot tea or a tea with apricot flavor notes! This is mine for the day!

One of my sipdown goals was to try to fit in more gong fu sessions this year. I pretty much only have the time for them on weekends/days off (they simply do not fit into my working schedule in the slightest) so this Saturday morning I decided to have a session with this sample of the September 2017 harvest I received from Derk, many a moon ago. Thanks Derk!

120ml mini pot | 4.45g | 185F | 20s/30s/40s/50s/60s

Dry leaf smells of hay and wildflowers. Once wet, the leaf aroma turns to wet hay, dandelions, and bitter melon. The aroma from the cup smells like hay, honeysuckle, apricots, and sour plum. The flavor is lovely even on the first steep; a fresh and crisp vegetal hay note, soft and sweet wildflowers (particularly honeysuckle and dandelion), pollen, a soft, sweet stonefruit note (it keeps shifting between apricot, nectarine, and plum on each sip), and a very subtle citrus note toward the end of the sip. A melon flavor appears on my tongue in the aftertaste. The second infusion boasted a little more tang, with the stonefruit/citrus notes popping a bit more at the front of the sip, and the hay/florality settling on my tongue toward the end. The melon note had turn a bit sharper/more of a bitter melon, as well. As the tea cooled, I got a strong impression of honeyed apricots and pollen. The citrus note became very strong and lemony on the third steep. Hay, dandelion/pollen, citrus, and melon were the main notes for the remainder of the session.

I’m really enjoying white teas, and I like that they hold up to my unintentional aging well. Thanks, Derk!

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter Melon, Citrus, Dandelion, Floral, Flowers, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Honeysuckle, Lemon, Melon, Nectar, Plums, Smooth, Stonefruits

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
derk

You’re welcome :) I’ve been sipping on some silver needles myself.

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64

Finally finished off my last 50g pouch from What-Cha, and now I only have two small samplers left to clear out from the company, both of which are just the right size for my little mini pumpkin pot for gong fu sessions — a style of brewing I don’t do often and must be reserved for weekends when I have the time. This was an unopened packet from the Spring 2017 harvest.

160ml mini pot | 10g | 205F | Rinse/25s/30s/35s/40s/45s

There is a strong bitter melon and lilac perfume aroma from the steeped leaves after the first steep. The liquor smells mostly very sweet, like lilacs, honeysuckle, vanilla, cream, with a slight sharpness a bit little bitter melon rind or sour plum. The flavor is heavily floral, tasting of orchid/lilac and leaving a coating perfuminess on the tongue, with a slight honey/cream sweetness followed by a bit of a vegetal astringency. Some of the unpleasant coating and astringency began to mellow as early as the second steep, when I noticed quite a difference in leaf expansion. While still predominantly floral, there was a little more of an underlying vegetal note peeking through as well, a bit like sweet peas and grass. The floral started to be much less aggressive by the third steep, becoming more balanced with the vegetal notes, and the tea became a lot more pleasant at that point; a leafy green flavor followed by orchid/lilac sweetness. The tea seemed noticably weaker already by steep four, but on the flip side I was starting to like it a bit better in those later steeps just because the florality wasn’t leaving that unpleasant coating feeling on my tongue anymore…

Last steep ended up all over my lap, the table, my laptop… just everywhere. Cause you know who doesn’t have one of those fancy gongfu tea tables? This person. Session was prompty over at that point.

I love floral notes, but I didn’t really like the mouthfeel of this one. It felt coating/aggressive and had a perfumey quality that was unpleasant for portions of the session. I tend to like Taiwanese oolongs in general, but this particular type isn’t a favorite.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter Melon, Cream, Floral, Grass, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Mineral, Orchid, Peas, Perfume, Plums, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 10 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
Martin Bednář

I don’t have tea tray either :)

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Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is safe. Alistair, I hope you and your family are doing safe under the UK’s new lockdown!

My notes today are going to brief. I won’t go into depth into all of them, but I will wax poetic about the things that strike me. I’m still getting to know this one, but here it goes: this is a very solid tea. I wish I tried it before the Shan Lin Xi and Li Shan Blacks, but those are incredible to say the least.

Like the notes say, it’s more of a honey black tea. It’s clearly black tea, and it kinda reminded me of some Assams in its berry hints. It’s on the sweeter end, but mediumly malty and definitely floral. It’s a little brisker than I expected, like Assams and Ceylons, but it’s a hair more sophisticated than those in its floral-malt-tea combo. Gong fu has yielded more nuance in the berry notes so far than Western-Western makes it taste a lot like its Assam or Yu Chi counterparts. I usually got 4 rounded cups Gong Fu and 3 Western, and it got fruiter and more aromatic in the later steeps, but it was malty, woodsy, and floral in steep one. The later steeps have not changed that much.

I think I’m missing something about this tea. So far, it’s really just tasted like other Taiwanese blacks, but I’m a spoiled brat for what I get and chose. I could taste some of its oolong origins in its texture, but it reminded me of a Taiwanese Assam or a Ceylon. This one was a very tea tasting tea. I’m glad that I tried it, yet I’m going to hold off on the rating. I’m being too picky right now.

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This has been a lunch time brew several days per week for the past few weeks. At first, I didn’t like it but it’s grown on me. Today was a particularly good cup. There’s a heaviness to the tea that took me a while to appreciate and put a taste to. I think it’s lima beans. I like to brew this with a lot of leaf and for about 5 minutes to make a richer, honey-like brew with mellow notes of apricot, nectarine, orange zest and orange blossom to kind of overplay the beany-vegetal quality. Second, longer steep is equal in flavor and body. Sometimes I notice bitterness in this tea, other times not. Chili pepper spiciness, minty cooling.

I’m still undecided on where I sit with this one. Don’t have much experience with first flush darjeeling.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Beany, Bitter, Cream, Fruity, Heavy, Honey, Lima Beans, Mineral, Olives, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Pepper, Spearmint, Spicy, Stonefruits, Vegetal

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97

I think Derk/White Antlers may have given me a sample of this tea, but I also bought a bag of the 2018 harvest, which is what I’m drinking. I steeped 4 g of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 5 and 8 minutes.

The dry aroma is of hay, chocolate, roses, and stonefruit. The aroma from the cup was so enticing that I sipped this while it was still really hot and now have a slightly burned tongue. The dark chocolate is very prominent, followed, in order of detection, by peach, apricot, nectarine, honey, tangy dried fruit, citrus, rose, cannabis, herbs, wood, smoke, orange blossom, hay, malt, minerals, tannin, cream, and roasted almond. As it cools, the muscatel, stonefruit, and citrus notes become more apparent in the tea and in the aftertaste. I also see how people are getting cherry from this. The second steep is almost as good, featuring fewer of the fruit and chocolate notes and more of the malt/tannins/hay. I get autumn leaves and more astringency.

I was blown away by this tea as soon as I tried it, burned tongue notwithstanding. I immediately tried to find it on the website, only to learn it was out of stock. This is one of the best Nepalese teas I’ve had and one of the highlights of 2020.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Cannabis, Cherry, Chocolate, Citrus, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Floral, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Peach, Rose, Smoke, Stonefruits, Tangy, Tannin, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 355 ML
tea-sipper

I hope you find some eventually! Fresh Jun Chiyabari is the best.

Leafhopper

I can imagine that fresh Jun Chiyabari is fantastic if it’s this good two years after it was picked!

tea-sipper

YES in my experience Jun Chiyabari loses flavor the fastest of any other tea, so this tea must have been impressive two years ago!

Leafhopper

I’ll have to put buying fresh Jun Chiyabari on my list of tea goals for 2021—or maybe 2022 since I have a lot of tea to get through.

Togo

I’ve had this tea for a while and it didn’t get worse over time or lose pungency as far as I can tell. In fact, I probably liked it most when it was 1 to 1.5 years old. I think it’s mostly the teas that are processed similar to white teas or FF Darjeelings that tend to deteriorate fast and lose a lot of their complexity.

Leafhopper

Togo, I’m glad to hear that. I think around two years is the maximum amount of time that Indian teas keep their freshness. My 2019 SF Rohini Gold Buds is starting to lose its oomph, although it’s still very good.

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91

Brewing leaves aroma notes: savoury, stewing vegetables
Brewed leaves aroma notes: smokey, campfire, milk chocolate, fig
Brewed tea aroma notes: barley, malt, caramel, raisin
Brewed tea notes: strong flavour of milk chocolate

Flavors: Campfire, Caramel, Chocolate, Raisins

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp
Sil

miss you!!!

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88

I’ve downed this one and only have 5 grams left. This one has changed a little bit, and I’ve enjoyed it because I feel like I don’t run out of things to write, think, or say.

Yesterday, I got rose and peanuts; the day before, I got grains with the honey, yams, and florals like oats and bread; today, I got honeysuckle, sweet potatoes, light malt, cocoa, and peony. Some of the tips are silver, and looking back at these notes, the notes and parts of the tea resemble a white tea.

In essence, this is a black tea for white tea lovers. It’s not as strong as some of its other Fujian counterparts and is a very light, soft tea, but it’s been a much welcome staple while I wait for more bud based blacks coming my selfish way. The main heathered honey is still prominent with a very floral body with reliable Fujian flavors, but it’s hints are fun and pull back and forth.

This one scores between an 85 and 90 for me since I kept coming back to it. It’s not a heavy tea and is more suited for the afternoon of evening for me, but I like my black teas light and flavorful. I recommend this one to people who are familiar with Fujian teas and who prefer white teas and less heavy blacks.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Grain, Honey, Honeysuckle, Malt, Peanut, Rose, Squash Blossom

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88

This is an interesting one. I will be honest-I miss the days of the 10 gram sample to increase the variety of what I try, but this is one of those teas that was perfect at 25 grams for me. I could have read too much into the notes for this one, but the floral combo was really interesting, and there were some parts of the session where it tasted different, but the basic honey floral flavor was still there.

The mix of color is interesting-it is wiry, black, and gilded with faint gold tips, but it’s mixed with silver ones, too, like a white tea.

The dry leaf is fairly floral-and it kind of reminds me of a jasmine black, but it’s not too strong. It still smells like a chocolaty and yammy Fujian tea.

This is not a strong tea, and more on the lighter end like other Fujians and even the recent Tie Guan Yin type blacks I’ve had, but it still has a yammy malt distinctly like other Fujian teas. The difference comes with the florals and the honey notes. The honey comes off more to me as heathered, dark honey with some texture. The honey note also reminded me of other fructose based things like apricots in steep 2, citrus in 3, and peaches in four.

I’ve had a harder time pinning down the florals.They tend to remind me of jasmine more strongly, but also reminded me of chrysanthemum in a very light way. Later steeps brought lilac (HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I USED THAT SAME
DAMN NOTE), but I’ve drank this with my Evening Lilac from Renegade Tea in comparison, and they are pretty close, only this one is more citrusy and honey based-that one is more floral.

Heathered honey remains the most dominant flavor amidst nearly heavy florals with the chocolaty/yammy malt ones in the middle brews. The honey reminds me of some darker and more sundried white teas, and the chocolate notes faded after brew 5 for me in a session of 7 steeps after a random amount of seconds and minutes that I paid no head to. The teas body, however, is very light to medium and not thick while. Viscous, but not heavy. The later steeps also brought in some healthy but small tannin hints that were nice, but the tea was still chocolaty and honey sweet.

Overall, I’m a big fan. I’m curious to see what other people think of it. This tea personally stood out to me because it combines the trademarks of a Fujian Black in my head and brings out the floral qualities. There were moments were it tasted a lot like the Jasmine black that I ordered in that other teas later steeps.

I’m not quite sure what I’d rate it yet. It’s struck me as more of a late afternoon tea for a medium re-center or recharge over a breakfast tea, but I definitely kept coming back to it last night. I also wish I got some Jin Jun Mei and Golden Needle Black in my last order. I figured-I have too much Hon Cha, but I’ve really been craving it lately.

Really, my tastes are slowly reverting back to older ones. I still love my oolongs, but I’ve been drinking a lot more of my Chinese What-Cha blacks and the Hugo Jasmine Green a lot more lately. I tend to in the winter anyway and do still drink my oolongs, but I’ve brewed them for less steeps. Some of my greener ones I swear have gotten spinagier in time, although I always drink them within a year.

Taste preference aside, I really liked this one and will continue to enjoy it for this bizarre year and season.

Flavors: Apricot, Chocolate, Citrus, Floral, Honey, Malt, Peach, Smooth, Tannic, Tea, Toffee, Yams

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88

What a lovely tea! It is delicate, smooth and comforting, while possessing a powerful bag of aromas and a long-lasting aftertaste. In short, it is like a FF Darjeeling with more fruity and umami notes and less astringency.

The main aromas I found were those of fruit tree flowers, honey, and vanilla. The taste starts off tart with lots of high floral notes and a cooling mouthfeel. Flavours of cantaloupe, citrus skin, and butter are among those that show up in the first infusion. Second steep then has more bite, a mildly grassy note and interesting olive oil / focaccia flavours. The umami flavours unravel even more subsequently, with the third infusion tasting of roast beef and thyme. The aftertaste is very flowery and protracted. There are also some yeasty notes such as those of kombucha and bread.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cantaloupe, Citrus Zest, Floral, Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Meat, Olive Oil, Straw, Tart, Thyme, Umami, Vanilla, Yeast

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Martin Bednář

That olive oil and focaccia is weird in tea. But now I feel I am craving something like that (and not necessarily in liquid form)

Daylon R Thomas

That tea is breadsy, savory, sour, sweet, and very fruity. It kinda reminded me of jackfruit a little bit when I drank it. I liked it more than some of the other Indian Experimental oolongs I’ve had, but it’s a potent one.

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90

Day 15 of Sara’s Old Tea!

I did a quick wash, then steeped this one for 4 minutes for the first steep, 4.5 for the second. It opened up a good deal for the first, and even more for the second.

It tastes of raisins and honey and malt and happiness and kitten snuggles. I’m going to steep this until no more delicious flavor comes out of it. Mmm.

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Raisins

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

Kitten snuggles!

Mastress Alita

I love this tea too!

Todd

I love it (and snuggles with cats of any age).
I’m surprised that no one else apparently got a raisin note from it.

Leafhopper

This is a perfect description of Yunnan black teas!

Mastress Alita

I tend to get raisin more often in Assams/Indian teas than in Chinese ones, it seems.

My kitty was extra snuggly last night and this morning… then I woke up to find she’d had another bad constipation attack last night that she took out on my carpet. Sigh. (Still enjoyed the snuggles, though).

Todd

Aww, yay snuggles, boo poo.

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76

My morning cuppa. Another of my 2017 teas that I’m working through, in a still-sealed 10g package. I usually brew 3.5g to 500ml but dropped it to 3.3g to try to more evenly split the leaf into three 500ml western brew servings. Steeped for three minutes in 205F water.

The brewed tea has that lovely coppery reddish-brown color of a nice black tea. The aroma coming from my cup as I wait for it to cool enough to drink is giving me notes of cocoa, wet wood, roasted nuts, cinnamon, and honey.

The flavor is very breakfast tea malty/bready, with that orange citrus/smoky savory note I often get from Chinese black teas. I’m picking up a little of the wood, nuts, and a dark bittersweet cocoa toward the end of the sip, but the sweeter notes that were coming out on the nose aren’t present in the brewed cup. There is a bit of astrigency after the sip, but overall it’s surprisingly smooth for how strong and robust the tea is coming off.

An ideal breakfast tea; it has a hardiness to it, but is still smooth enough to drink unadorned (which is how I like to drink my breakfast teas).

Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Citrus, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Malt, Orange, Roasted nuts, Smoke, Smooth, Thick, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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87

Brewing tea aroma notes: barley, baked bread, mineral
Brewed tea leaf aroma notes: smoked honey, campfire, roasted aubergine
Brewed tea aroma notes: corn, roasted charcoal, mild milk
Tea flavour notes: roasted vegetables

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp

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