1249 Tasting Notes

88

Earlier notes remain the same. This one is actually doing well in temperate summer weather. Still breadsy and green, having a little bit more mango in later steeps. It’s in the 70’s right now and perfect in Michigan. I just wish the temperature would stay and not get above 70’s….I despise humid heat.

Shae

Right there with you. The humidity has been awful here this week!

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70

Thank you Alistair for the sample!

I decided that I needed to go through some samples as I went through some of my less oxidised teas. Of course I’m pulverising through my Gaoshan, but I’ve had some variety here and there. I also figured some people on the site are starting to get a little bored with how many times I’m going to use the terms buttery, floral, fruity, honey, or whatever to describe different ranges of pricy to superpricy oolong-or at least I was getting bored.

Anyway, I’ve neglected this one a little too long. I hesitated because I’m really not a big fan of Niligiri or Ceylon type teas since they are really what’s quintessentially tea to the American palette, and lean on the astringent and tannic end-never mind Alistair and What-Cha intentionally pick and market teas that are superior to their everyday counterparts. Seeing the review did change my mind a little, and gave me a little bit of hope.

What-Cha’s description is pretty spot on with the apricot. I brewed up this tea semi western using all of my sample and about 5 oz of 195 F water, going 1.5 min, 2 min, and 3 min respectively. I should have gone with regular western, but I was satisfied with the result. While I personally don’t taste the cascade that eastteaguy wrote about, I do get a healthy dose of oak, apricot, malt, and tamarind. Sometimes, it kinda reminded me of Thai Ice’d tea in the flavor despite having no additives. The first steep was heavier with the oak, but the middle steep had a little bit of honey sneaking through, and the third steep having a little bit of buttery goodness. There’s some dryness, but it’s balances out the sweeter and malty notes of the tea.

I personally don’t love this one and am still particular to Chinese, Taiwanese, and Himalayan teas, I am glad I got to try it. I think I am going to move onto my Japanese teas I’ve got left.

Flavors: Apricot, Drying, Floral, Malt, Oak

teepland

I have to admit that Nilgiri teas are some of my favorite types of tea, and your review made me add this to my wishlist. :)

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80

Free sample!

Interesting one I did not expect. Michigan has been hot lately, so it was nice to have something different for the humid weather.

I was kinda surprised that I liked this one. I am usually not into extremely fake flavors, but this was able to pull off tooty fruity gum really well. The rose was actually nice, and the blend of the green and white tea smoothened out the body. You couldn’t taste the teas too much since the flavor with the cherry, blueberry, and mint were the strongest flavors. It was also very refreshing, and it soaked up in cold water pretty quickly. The mint rose fruit combo impressed me the most about this one.

I personally wouldn’t buy my own in the future due to flavor preference, but it is notable and very successful in nailing a bubble gum flavor that is refreshing and very drinkable.

Flavors: Blueberry, Bubblegum, Cherry, Fruity, Mint, Sweet

ashmanra

That sounds really interesting! I liked their watermelon oolong. It is so blooming hot here, this is sounding really good right now. Fake flavors and all.

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88

This is yet another tea I didn’t add in time enough last year before the site ran out of stock on it. I got this as one of the oolongs from a giant splurge I did on Trident’s tea selection last year, and this is one of the ones I’d rank on the higher end.

I got this one because I still had over 300 grams of different dancongs left, including 8 immortals, Iris Orchid, Mi Lan Xiang, Ya Shi, and so on, and I’ve had red leaf only one other time. The note descriptions were also unique: Red Apple, Orchids, and Caramel. I’ve never gotten a caramel note from a Dancong personally, but this one was really interesting flavor and aroma wise because it actually had some caramel in the profile. Gong fu is the way to go, though, since it can pack a punch.

It does have the trademark dancong bitterness in later steeps, but the earlier steeps had a lot of caramel to it that was extremely smooth. I’m not used to this kind of oolong having a more western palette of flavors over tropical ones, but its nice. Later steeps become more intensely mineral based and acidic, having a little bit of a bamboo woodiness. It is from 2018, so it has settled a little bit, but it can be a bit too bitter to drink super often despite how much I like it. It also gets me a little too tea drunk. Forehead is definitely sweety…I can feel my tonsils.

Compared to other dancongs, it is a happy fruity medium in oxidation. I didn’t have a lot of tea today-but it’s giving me a little bit of headache. I got a tea drunk headache last time I had it, which is why I still haven’t finished it. I might swap or pass this one along because I want to see what more people think of it. I still love the aroma and flavor, but it can be intense for my sensitive stomach.

Flavors: Bamboo, Caramel, Floral, Fruity, Oats, Orchids, Pleasantly Sour, Red Apple, Sweet

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93

Very, very good tea that was a sweeter than expected. I loved the unroasted, and got this one for comparison. The two were a lot closer than I imagined. The dry leaf aroma was very much like cookies, roasted nuts, macadamia, almonds, vanilla, and potato chips.

First off, I tried it western just to plow through. I’d thought it be like the dry leaf, and while it was, a melon note sneaked through with more florals, lead by a heady violet and magnolia. They rose up, then fell in later steeps. The later ones were more heavy with the roasted nuts and cooked vegetables western.

Gong fu, much the same happened, but the florals were more concentrated in steeps 2-5. First brew was a wash of 15 sec, then 25, 20, 30, 35, 40, 50, 65, 55, 65, and every other brew improvised in minutes. Later steeps were a little bit more vegetal, but still had some acidity of some melon. Overall, it was floral, nutty, buttery, and akin to some butternut squash.

I was very pleased with this one and like it a little more than the unroasted version in some ways. I kept on coming back to it that I actually sipped it down in two days. This is what I’d want in any mildly roasted dong ding and do recommend it.

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Butternut Squash, Cookie, Floral, Gardenias, Melon, Nuts, Potato, Roasted Nuts, Savory, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet, Zucchini

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drank Magic Potion by DAVIDsTEA
1249 tasting notes

I actually really like this one, although it’s definitely snubbed on here for fakeness. I like that it’s tart and I like the berry flavor. I honestly got this tea for one of my students who always wanted to see a blue-color changing tea. I promised her that if she passed my class, I would personally get her some, and she did.

Trying it out, I think this tea was intended to be an iced one, but it’s not bad hot. Doesn’t really need sugar. I didn’t realise there was stevia until it was mentioned. And shorter steeps work better to avoid the stevia and make a more blue less black color. I haven’t added the lemons yet-but I will. Holdin’ off on the rating though.

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67
drank Mango Oolong by Whidbey Tea
1249 tasting notes

Got this for a work tea that I was curious about. Whidbey is relatively new company from the northwest and had some unique flavors. Their jasmine tends to rate the highest, but this one was a curious blend that I wanted to try.

Most of the reviews are mixed: newer drinkers are either intrigued or underwhelmed by the fainter flavor, intermediate drinkers find it pleasant and smooth, and more advanced drinkers aren’t impressed. The theme underpinning the tea is that it’s mild, easygoing, and slightly aromatic bordering on being too weak tea wise or not flavored enough.

My own thoughts on the tea agree with the consensus that it’s a little too mild and not quite fruity enough. A part of that choice could be the use of peach flavoring and a mild roasted sechung oolong. I think it’s interesting that they chose a darker oolong instead of a greener one, but I think it loses out on the fresh fruit element it could have had. It tastes more like dried mango than fresh mango, which was probably why this tea might get snubbed, especially with the higher price and competitors like Lupicia. I also think that the peach flavoring made the mango a little too subtle. Sometimes, I actually need some honey to bring out the other flavors.

What I do like about it is that the tea is still tasteable and it’s not strong. It’s nice to have something that’s actually pretty soothing for my throat and stomach. The combo of the mango and peach hints with a nutty floral oolong is actually nice-it reminds me a lot of milder dancongs that I’d use for a digestive. Oddly enough, the oolong is also more floral when you cold brew it .

I’m happy I got to try this because I think it’s pretty different from other mango oolongs, but I think it’s underwhelming and overpriced.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Mango, Nutty, Peach, Smooth, Tea

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90

Gong fu is the better way to go. I still get the same tequila rose flavor vibe in excellent western and Tumbler grandpa sessions, but I can break it down more so it’s not quite as one dimensional. I was also surprised this doesn’t suck as a spring/summer tea. The weather’s heating up in the 90’s the morning with godsent breeze, but this was a really nice first black tea for the day…after some mild morning oolong.

Overall, the tea has a distinctly currant, strawberry and rhubarb kinda vibe to it. Unlike other blacks I’ve had, it’s also got a bit of a creamy note going on with the florals. Rose is definite, and sometimes, some weird note between vanilla and violet. It’s pretty interesting. I’m so glad I got this tea. It’s not a daily tea because I think it needs some care and attention to be savored and enjoyed, and it does have a little bit of a buzz for me. It’s moderately lasting, but I can get tea’d out even when I’ve had this tea on it’s own.

Unfortunately, I’m on a speed sipdown process to go through some of the teas I’ve had for over 4 years along with new fresh ones, so this is not a chug kinda tea….bad for me, but not bad for the tea. I think this one is really easy to approach and would not be a bad way to introduce someone to straight teas because it has enough flavor to stand against some flavored blacks.

Flavors: Black Currant, Carrot, Cream, Honey, Malt, Rhubarb, Rose, Rosehips, Strawberry, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Violet

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89

Quick note.

I got this at the beginning of the year as a birthday present. Brewing 5 grams up in 5 oz vessel Gong Fu, I started out with a rinse of 15 sec, then brewed it 3 oz at 20 sec, then 5 oz at 25, 30, 25, 45, 55, 75, and onto losing cout going into minutes.

The rinse had an interesting hibiscus cream note that was really nice, and lots coming from the aroma. The tea’s texture is very soft with a very clean profile. The first brew was floral, creamy, vegetal, and smooth reminding me of lilies and peach skins. 3rd and 4th brews had more fruitiness, with a little bit of pineapple among hyacinth, and oddly enough, hibiscus in an extremely green body. Thick and viscous, but soft. The mung bean vegetal taste was fairly prominent, but complimented the floral and fruity notes in a fresh mix, occasionally giving off a vanilla-orchid note. The later notes are a little stemmy or spriggy, but not really woodsy. If it is woodsy, it’s kind of like fresh bamboo.

Overall, a really pleasing Lishan I’m glad I got to try. It’s very fresh and forgiving….and long lasting. There are others from Wang Family Tea that I liked a little bit more than this one, especially in terms of their Shanlinxi’s, but the huigan is incredible. This is the kind of tea I’m going to take my time with. There were elements of this that made me think of a Dayuling, especially with some of the rose notes I got midway through, but it was overall thicker.

Rating is between 85-95. It’s high quality for sure that leans more in the 90’s. Price is the main thing keeping me from rating it higher, though this tea might grow on me like it’s long lasting after taste.

Flavors: Beany, Creamy, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Green, Green Wood, Hibiscus, Peach, Pineapple, Rose, Sugar, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla, Vegetal

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Bio

First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Tillerman Tea Traditional Oxidation Oolong
Tillerman Tea Phoenix Village Dong Dings
Good Luxurious Work Teas
A good Qilan
Best Sachet Teas

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwaneese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong

Me:

I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.

Location

Michigan, USA

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