1281 Tasting Notes

I’ve been looking forward to this one because I’ve always wanted to try a Cui Ruan Lishan. Here’s what I got so far.

I tried a rinse, and it was faint. Had to do the two full recommended minutes. This kind of deterred me. But the dry leaf earlier had the nice spicebush and floral peony smell, so I kept my hopes up.

Vegetal, green, and very floral. But oddly complex. At 200 F, it was more vegetal than anything else. Yet as it cooled down, the sweeter floral notes were much more noticeable and incredibly pleasant making the liquor creamier. The smell actually reminded me of cooked marshmallows. More later…

Steep two, more floral, a little bit of sugar cane sweetness that was barely present until the tea cooled down.

More spicebush, vegetals, and florals later.

This was quite enjoyable and had some staying power western, but I was hoping for the tea to be one I could Gong Fu. it reminded me of a Tie Guan Yin in its florals, and tasted like a better Li Shan overall. My expectations of fruitier and sweeter notes left me a bit disappointed. The tea was good and complex enough to change with temperature, but not worth the price I paid. I have higher hopes for the others then.

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I was going to be patient, but this little package begged to drink. One smell, and I recognized the high mountain peach scent of the dry leaf.

This was a high quality tea that you could Gong Fu or steep Western. The 15 sec rinse yielded a creamy mouthfeel that some might call floral. It was a little bit fruity, maybe something like coconut or peach, but was silky smooth and lubricating. Four more cups later, which will soon be five (that turned to six), and I got a lovely array of flavors. I went from 30 seconds to “over steeping” it quick. The over steep yielded something like the Misty Mountain, and I can only guess that this was a Qin Xin varietal since it has the creamy peach note.

In summary: a lovely high mountain oolong with a great mouth feel, and all the usually awesome dimensions of its varietal. The fruitiness and florals were more subsided than I’ve had in others, but the lilac was incredibly present in the aroma. Mouthfeel dominates with a very light fruity sweetness. I’ve had sweeter ones before, but again, it really doesn’t matter because of the mouthfeel. I would probably use this as an introduction to high mountain oolongs for a newb since it’s so flexible to brew. Not too sure about the price. I am sure of the joy of sampling this, and how awesome Evol Ving Ness is!

Evol Ving Ness

hehehehe :)

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Interesting. I decided to Gong Fu this whole sample too since the scent was faint in the bag. I could maybe tell it was a Jin Xuan with ginseng even without the “milk scent” indicating that possibility. Or it could be a Tie Guan Yin with the creamy florals. It’s on the greener side anyway, but still earthy.

The first steep had an interesting taste and smell. Some floral lilacs with a powerful sweet and earthy ginseing, and some creamy hints. The liqour itself was definitely a green milky oolong with the ginseng slowly opening up into a fruity character. The combined profile was like a hot liquid version of a Pina Colada Jamba Juice-but with stronger hints of other tropical fruit. I could be over describing the sweet ginseng-but something like papaya, mango-or barely pineapple.

The next few cups were a swish back and forth from spinach, minerals, to the florals, and the tropicals. A part of me wonders if I was less impulsive and brewed this western with less leaves: that is, if I would have gotten a more subtle tea. I probably would have gotten the same thing, or so I think as I sip.

Glad that this was a sample because I’m not a huge fan of ginseng oolongs. This, however, made me rethink the dimensions that ginseng can yield with a greener oolong. I’m pretty impressed with the topical fruit character that this tea was able to yield, and am glad to have had it. Thank you Evol Ving Ness!

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drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
1281 tasting notes

Wow…Evol Ving Ness, I will be covered for a while. Thank you so much!!!

So I had to tag along the club and try this. The smell is great. Being impatient, I gong fu’d this entire sample. The first steep was really lovely: vanilla and strong hazelnut in the first steep with a roasted caramel oolong body. The second had more oolong and hazelnut. The oolong was definitely on the greener side but high on the roast. Farily vegetal. I wonder if this was a formosa-it was curled up like one.

The third cup is mostly nutty and vegetal losing out on some flavor. Anyway, “Pleasant” is the word to describe this tea. Not something I mind having every once in a while, but not something I’d reach for.

Evol Ving Ness

I have found I enjoy this one more when I go a bit more lightly on the leaf. For some reason, it seems to tone down the minerality of it and bring up the nuttiness. Glad to hear that you are diving in with full gusto!

Evol Ving Ness

Oh, and also, I am so glad that the box got there.

Daylon R Thomas

:) Same. I could see this tea being better light western. I was surprised how much I was able to get out of it Gong Fu though. I wonder if Western would have been better for the next sample of yours I guzzled. The Milk Scent Kinsen was interesting, and is interesting. It’s giving me a little bit of a buz. It actually has some interesting dimensions.

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I gong fu’d the last of this sample into a very creamy Yunnan malt cup. The qi was in the first two steeps-15 sec and 30 sec. I also got a little bit of the allusive chocolate note that I constantly obsess over, and later got more hay, but very LIGHT hay. Five cups in total, the later two kinda weak. Overall, light, smooth, malty, and creamy. Really good, but the later cups could have been stronger for me. Maybe if I adjusted the temperature higher in the later steeps I would have gained better results. I normally do anyway.

I would not mind having this again, but I would not reach out to get it only because I’ve had some Yunnan’s I prefer…and oolongs are my world and oolongs typically=$$$. I may, however, say hi to this sweet in the future.

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Finished off the last of this sample this morning as my morning tea. Glad I did because the clear qi aided my productivity. I really enjoyed it, especially the fresh quality, the smooth texture, and the headache clearing potential it has, but I’m glad I got a sample because I probably would not enjoy it enough for $10 per half ounce.

On that note, green teas are better for me in the morning. I get better energy-clear, focused, and paced. I get irritable with a lot of coffees or black teas, or feel even more drained with them. I noticed that with some oolongs too, and especially with Pu-Erhs. Enough tea journey noting for now.

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Shorter steeps are way better. 170 F and 15 seconds. Sweet. Very sweet. More later…

20 sec. Sweet, MEGA floral, and creamy. More later.

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I need to look at my older notes. Brewed this way too strong at first then way too light. I’m very happy to have a favorite daily drinker though. I wanted to do this against jasmine pearls eventually. The main difference is that this was a bit grassier to me with a pistachio note, and the Green Pearls are creamier.

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I was surprised how fast I got my Taiwan Sourcing Order. I got this with a lovely note and everything fell into perfect alignment. I’ve been wanting to try some of the higher elevation jade oolongs from Taiwan Sourcing, yet hesitate because of price. Even 25 grams can be a little bit much for a sample for me.

But Taiwan Sourcing, or Scott (I think), granted me this generous gem. I wonder if he’s been watching me on Steepster because this pick is definitely the kind I prefer. So far, Qing Xin’s have been the tea varietal that I can drink without any complaint. They always remind me of tropical fruit or crisper fruits like apples, pineapples, peaches, or pears. Shan Lin Xi’s are what LP hooked me too when I began my tea journey. Now here’s some more from a much higher elevation with a name of mythological proportions: Long Feng Xia, or “The Valley of Phoenix and Dragon.”

The first smell dry leaf is what I’m used to: fruity and green. The first steep is fruity and floral. The first 15 second brew yielded more florals with fruit. There was a bit of a fresh woodsiness that I guess is the bamboo. I’m so used to the dry bamboo taste of Dan Congs that I forgot how floral that sensation could be.

The second steep at about 18 seconds was fruity and floral, as in creamy fruit and light creamy florals with a honey nectar sweetness. Then a huge wave of euphoria came over me. I couldn’t help but smile. It’s like all my knots from lifting weights dissappated, and every breath launched a mist of endorphins. I awkardly stumbled putting my right foot in front of my left. Then I go to look at the description on the website, and every description suggested strong qi and tea drunkenness. I was officially tea drunk.

It’s been a while since I got tea drunk from a green oolong. It’s continuing from steep three at 23 seconds and four at 32. In terms of taste, it’s more fruity, but with the recognizable florals in the back ground. Still creamy, pungent, and nectary.

I’m not quite sure how to describe the fruitiness this has other than nectar. It’s juicy, but also very light. It distinctly reminds me of a stronger version of the BTTC Misty Mountain but in a Gong Fu form.

45 seconds. Green Fruity, light nectar with a hint more tea drunkenness.

One minute, light fruit, green, and grassy.

2 min, floral, green grassy.

3 min, floral and grassy.

I’m more than thankful that I sampled this tea. It was one of the higher end oolongs, or higher end at least for me, and I am gladly savoring it.

Flavors: Creamy, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Nectar

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Both the tea and the review sound divine. A lovely experience all round.


Agreed, great write up and sounds like a great tea. I got a “Cui Luan” winter ‘14 with my order recently. Haven’t tried it yet but the dry aroma is wonderful. Gotta agree about the Qing Xin cultivar, its just beautiful.

Daylon R Thomas

I’ve always wanted to try the Cui Luan! That’s ironic. I’m getting some from that area soon, but darn! I’ll have to ask for a sample of it next time I order Taiwan Sourcing.

Daylon R Thomas

Evol Ving Ness, here’s the link on the website. The three reviews on bottom of the description are normally accurate. http://taiwanoolongs.com/products/long-feng-xia-high-mountain-jade-oolong-tea-winter-2014

Like I said, it was a generous sample.

Daylon R Thomas

I can’t wait to see what you get ccr. The descriptions of Cui Luan/Ruan are always interesting. There’s two words that I’ve seen describe them, but I won’t right them until later.

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I’m almost finished with the sample. I brewed my tea lighter and I enjoyed it a lot more. Fresh light body with the vegetal notes I like in a green tea with a juicy mouth feel.

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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


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.


Michigan, USA

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