1708 Tasting Notes

I decided to splurge on a 7 Teahouse order to get full boxes of this one, the lychee oolong and black, and the regular Jasmine Black which is not the same as the Summer Jasmine Black. They also included a fair number of bags for me to sample.

This one is easily a new favorite. It’s like a darker version of the Dole Whip Icecream. It’s still a greener oolong, but there’s a little bit of roast or oxidation in the leaves that makes nuttier and fuller bodied. I expected something closer to the lychee, but it’s a welcomed suprise that makes it stand out. It’s like a super ripe pineapple in profile. Later rebrews western bring out more of the oolong and less pineapple, but it’s good oolong. There’s some floral elements, but they’re not prominent so far for me except orchid and general TGY notes.

Definitely a winner and one I’d consider getting more of for my cupboard. I’m biased to pineapple and oolong anyway.

Flavors: Green, Juicy, Nuts, Nutty, Pineapple, Roasty, Smooth, Sweet

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94

A little bit grassier this time around for the year 2024. I got a nice sample which I deeply appreciate it. It had more water chestnut and kelpish qualities this time, and the later steeps had more florals and fruity notes. I kept on getting lemon more this time. I didn’t really get peach until steep 5. I brewed it a weird combo between western and gong fu. I oversteeped it a little bit at first, but then flash steeped until I lenghted it again, even after a short rinse in the beginning. I’m curious how 2024 is panning out as an oolong season overall. The things I’ve read have been kinda mixed this particular year despite being a dragon year.

Leafhopper

I didn’t think their higher elevation 2024 teas were out in time for the sale. I’m also wondering what the spring harvest is like this year.

Daylon R Thomas

The Dayuling did for sure.

Leafhopper

I checked their site and both the DYL and FSS are from 2024 now. I’m actually kind of glad I didn’t see this in time to buy even more tea.

Marshall Weber

Dang I wish the FSS was out when I made my last order. Would definitely buy some if I didn’t just order a boatload of tea haha. I’m glad you like it :)

Leafhopper

Wang’s FSS is really peachy, which is something I enjoy. I read on TeaForum that in general, the spring gaoshan harvest was good this year, unlike the 2023 harvest.

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85

I really like this one. I’m so thankful for the minisample-now I’d definitely reorder some next time.

I was worried it would be too earthy and herbaceous, but even opening the bag, the earthy elements compliment the orange and the lavender very well. The cocoa beans actually prevent the orange and lavender tasting soapy which what I was worried about. The Pu-Erh is also not prevalent, with maybe a mushroom earth quality that is occasionally there, but it’s not forward in the taste at all.

Drinking it up 2-3 minutes ish western, orange and lavender are immediate in the smell followed by earth and chocoalte. Drinking it, Orange and Chocolate lead the start, and the end in the finish with a very balanced creamy lavender. The overall vibe of the tea tastes like a Terry’s Chocolate orange infused with lavender. It’s not too malty, and it’s not bitter at all.

I like floral and desserty teas, and I personally really like this one because it’s very balanced. I can see it being too faint for some people and the chocolate may not be forward enough, but any tea with lavender is going to be a hit or miss for people. It actually chills me out and I wouldn’t mind having some on hand.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Earth, Lavender, Orange, Smooth

ashmanra

With that name, I never would have guessed it would have orange and lavender. Sounds like a good blend.

eastkyteaguy

I just find it amusing that there is a tribute to Dark Tranquillity in tea form.

Daylon R Thomas

If you’ve heard of them, Brtualiteas is a NJ small company that does Horror and Metal themed teas flavored teas. Violet Cremes is my favorite from them. They’ve got all sorts of punny names.

eastkyteaguy

I do like puns.

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90

I’ve come back to this one pretty frequently. I have tried several new teas, but I have mostly done western style and had little time to write about them. This one’s comforting rich and earthy/nutty profile is great for the cold spring weather in Michigan. We had snow just a few days ago despite being April. I am glad the gamble on this one paid off because it’s one of my more reliably morning and afternoon teas on the weekends.

Since I’m feeling kinda lazy and have limited time, I’m going to summarize a few of the other teas I’ve tried lately. Magic Hour subscribers are getting Tarot themed teas that are mostly herbals, but they are pretty decently blended and have some cool flavors here and there. I don’t drink them often because herbals are much harder to clean up than regular tea leaves. They are nice to have around, with Magician being my favorite so far.

I also got Liquid Proust oolongs that are green. He is selling winter Shanlinxi and Lishans that are dense with flavor and very good for a reasonable price. I tried the Wang Qin Yun Shanlinxi gong fu today after a few attempts, and it’s honestly very finnicky. It’s complex in its rinse having honey, pear, butter, magnolia, and a little bit of nuttiness, then it gets muddled by chrysantemum and magnolia in the longer brews. It also needs more leaves for flavor, so I personally find standard 15 sec increments and more best for it instead of the rinse 55, 45, 55 recommendation.

I very rarely gong fu anymore because I’m so busy lately. Teaching 3 subjects at atime for all high school grades has been an adjustment during a semester school year instead of a trimester school year. Granted, I’ve taught them all before, but I’ve been focused more on filling in the time with I have making tweaks instead of full fledged improvements the way I wanted to. I’ve got mostly good groups to teach, so that’s made it a little easier. To try to get things ready and up to date along with managing a chess/Dungeons and Dragons club combo twice a week, my work week tends to range from 50-60 hours. I know most people on here probably work 60-80 so I should not complain, and I’m not. I just want more time for tea and working out.

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80

Got this for xmas at request. I got through so many phases with tumblers. I usually stick to my bamboo or my glass one instead of my fancier ones, but this one intrigued me. It looked pretty, a few influencers on instagram raved about putting roasty oolongs in it, and then there’s the fact its metal coated with ceramic on the interior. So, it’s a cool idea.

Using it, it’s very similar to my eclipse teaware, but less expensive, yet sturdier. In terms of design, it’s more suited for prebagged tea or higher grade/larger leaves. The curl of the filter keeps a lot of leaves out, but anything smaller than a rolled oolong or black slips through.

In terms of what has worked better, I have to go for teas that are better grandpa or use less leaves for tumbler syle. It’s obvious to go for more flexible leaves in terms of tannin, but my greener oolongs didn’t fair as well as my darker oolongs, blacks or greens on average. White teas were hit or miss, which surprised me. My Taiwanese Assam was smoother than even my Shan Lin Xi Oolong. I know Green Oolongs are better for Gong Fu, but the ones I picked do better with grandpa too. I usually don’t have to worry about them. On the other end, there were more complex flavors I got out of a remaining Bi Lo CHun I’ve kept along with a Taiwanese Green.

Flavor is well preserved by the ceramic, but as with any tumbler, I actually find that heat retention is a double edged sword. This thing will keep it warm for a minimum of three hours if I leave the lid opem, but up to 6 hours if I close it. If I brew the tea for 190 F, it will remain close to that point for a while and keeping the leaves at that temperature while grandpa brewing. I usually have to add colder water to temper it If I want to drink it sooner. Again, it’s amazing that it retains that heat for travel. For preventing tannin in brewing teas, however, it’s not so great for my green oolongs.

It can be great as a mini teapot/serving vessel for gong fu for sure, but that’s with the expectation that I pour it under 30 seconds or 3 minutes. I have only dropped it twice and no cracks. I don’t recommend slamming it or hard scrubbing it to keep the cool designs. So, elegant yet durable. It’s not as versatile as the Gong Fu 2 Go Tumbler, but it’s sooo much easier to clean overall.

I really like this tumbler overall, but it’s not super versatile. Small leaves are a bad idea in since they will come through. It’s easy to overleaf if not careful. If you brew the tea in a separate mug then pour it in, it will be amazing. It also works as a modern approach better than a regular tea pot if you are brewing your tea in it. It can work for blacks and greens when I leave the leaves in, it’s okay for some flavored teas if you wash it IMMEDIATELY (hand washing only), but I’m still figuring out oolongs. A part of me wish I opted for a larger size than 12 oz since I finish it quickly, and I think I might be able to get better ratios for grandpa style with a bigger size. I’m curious about what you guys think or are curious about.

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92

Sipdown. Soo good and smooth. Borders between creaminess of green Jin Xuans, but with a little bit of floral notes bordering on jasmine, heavy on orchid. Love it, and sad to see it go. I fortunately have a dragons trove of oolongs right now.

tea-sipper

oooo… a dragons trove of oolongs. Great image. :D

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85

I sipped this down a few weekends ago. I have tried a few new teas I could upload too, including from What-Cha, Whispering Pines, and Terroir Tea. This one was my go to tumbler oolong. I also tumbler-fu’d using the Spirit Tea tumbler they sell. That one will need a whole review in itself. This tea was the most reliable tea so far, balancing floral, green veggies, butter, and melon each time.

Leafhopper

I always fall for melon notes in gaoshan. May need to check this one out the next time I order from What-Cha.

I look forward to reading your notes when you get the chance to write them.

Daylon R Thomas

It’s cheaper than a few. It’s not super complex, but it’s nothing to scoff at. Lishan is still the best one in my opinion, thought this one is super green.

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92

I sipped this down very quickly, and have worked at it between yesterday and Christmas day. I also ordered some other teas to share with Leafhopper and write about on here. I’m surprised and greatly appreciative that Brendan sent it out TODAY of all days. I did not expect it, but I really appreciate it.

This one is one of the better Vanilla teas I have on hand at the moment. I love how rich and full it is between the vanilla and natural dark wood and cherry notes of the tea. Most of the vanilla teas are out of stock on the website right now, but fortunately, I’ve got a decent share of the Taiwanese blacks to hold me off for now. I really liked how smooth and rich this one was out of all of them.

Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Wood, Dark Wood, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Leafhopper

Thank you! I feel like a tea enabler in the best possible way. :)

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97

I got three oz of it after I swore not to get more tea. I went over budget. I don’t regret it though. Even grandpa style and bordering on over brewing and steeping, this is remains as my favorite Assam of all time.

Leafhopper

I’m amazed you managed to find it in stock. It’s always sold out when I look.

Daylon R Thomas

I was on the email list and watched it like a hawk.

Leafhopper

Ah, that’d do it! :) They have a Long Feng Xia as well. I clicked on it because it’s called Evergreen Oolong and I was wondering if they were selling Si Ji Chun for $11 an ounce.

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What happened to the picture for this one? Anyway, used it to test new teaware from Spirit Tea that I got for xmas. I’ll do a full review for that tumbler since it’s ceramic and not as overpiced as some others. I had some trouble with my green oolongs in it oddly enough since they’ve usually more forgiving grandpa style. My Dayuling was too green and flat in it, so since it was a Spirit Tea product that they picked from a farmer, I tried it in the tumbler. It worked better. More evolution of from floral, sweet green and grass notes, and straight into something bordering between lemon, mango, and aprioct. Nice change of pace considering I’ve ignored it for too long. It’s been too grassy or sour gong fu lately in warmer weather, so somehow, it’s doing better in the colder weather. I’m happy to see I’ll be able to finish it off.

derk

If somebody links a photo from a sellers website and the link is changed or removed from there, it breaks the link to Steepster. I tend to save and upload photos for this reason.

Dustin

I’ve been noticing a lot of broken photos lately.

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Profile

Bio

First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Good Luxurious Work Teas
Wang Family’s Jasmine Shanlinxi
Spring, Winter Taiwan High Mountain Oolongs

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, Taiwanese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling, Jasmine Shan Lin Xi; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong; Paru’s 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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