570 Tasting Notes

85

I wasn’t thrilled by this tea initially but it has really grown on me. My favorite jasmine tea these days is Yunnan Sourcing’s jasmine silver needle tea. Being a white tea, it’s very subtle and gently sweet. This tea on the other hand is creamier and has a lot more body than the white jasmine. Though the jasmine dominates, the base oolong seems to accentuate the perfumeyness of the tea. I prefer to have this one during the day when I want something a little stronger and reserve the white jasmine for bedtime.

Flavors: Creamy, Jasmine, Perfume

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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50

So this tea is quite different than what I expected. I’ve been spoiled by Verdant’s excellent tie guan yin this spring and was eagerly awaiting the autumn harvest. It’s remarkable how the flavor profile of some teas can vary from one tea garden to another. I was expecting some sweet nectar and floral goodness, but this tea is predominantly milky both in flavor and smell. It tastes like a very strong flavored jin xuan. There isn’t much complexity to it beyond the milk and cream flavor, which is quite intense and the aftertaste lingers in your mouth for a while. I couldn’t take more than a few sips of this tea because I started feeling queasy. I tried steeping it gongfu and western style, but couldn’t avoid the nauseous feeling from the overpowering creaminess. Unfortunately this was not a tea that suited me which is too bad because I can tell from the freshness and bright green leaves that it’s high quality.

Flavors: banana, Cream, Melon, Milk

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
TeaNTees

Such a pity that the creamy deliciousness of this oolong makes you nauseous! :(

LuckyMe

Wish my stomach could handle some of these heavy cream-like teas. I did like WP’s Golden Lilly oolong though, lightly milky and tropical

TeaNTees

Oh my, that sounds lovely too! :)

TheTeaFairy

Interesting, reading your note, I couldn’t help wondering if you might have gotten the autumn JadeTGY and Golden Liky packages mixed up. The reason being that I have had both and find the TGY super floral, and the Golden Lily super creamy as it is supposed to be since it’s milk oolong.

LuckyMe

I suspected a mix up too because I expected it to be floral but it looks exactly like the pictures on the WP site. The Golden Lily is indeed creamy, though not overly so like this one

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hmm…interesting. I’d say give it another shot sometime before sending it off to a new home. I actually have a customer that gets sick with any hint of creamy or buttery in an oolong and they are in love with this tea. Who knows…that’s always an interesting thing to me how tea can be experienced totally differently between multiple people. But getting any hint of cream in this TGY is a totally new one to me. Definitely give it one more try if you don’t mind :)

LuckyMe

Brendan, I will try experimenting with shorter steep times and underleafing. I’m hoping it’s just me me not having found the tea’s sweet spot yet :-)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I hope so too! I’d love for you to experience the floral explosion that others get with this! Good luck! :-)

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75

Just finished off the last of my stash of this tea. After starting off on the wrong foot, my appreciation for this tea has grown. I’ve come to enjoy the pickle-y, floral flavor of this tea. I use 3-4 flowers, rinse for 1 minute with 120 F water, and then steep in boiling water for several minutes over a warmer. It’s no Den’s Sakura Sencha for sure, but delivers a nice subtle cherry blossom flavor.

Flavors: Cherry Blossom, Salty

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86

This is a delicious, high quality silver needle tea. It has a light body and sweet, soothing taste. Steeped at higher temperatures, I get a lot more of the hay and corn. For me the sweet spot for this tea was around 165 F at 1 min. That produces the most balanced cup with a mild nuttiness, natural sweetness, and pleasant vegetal notes.

Although I still prefer jasmine scented silver needles, this is easily the best straight silver needle tea I’ve ever had. Just the tea to help unwind and relax before bedtime.

Flavors: Corn Husk, Hay, Sweet

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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39

Admittedly I’m not a fan of black and puerh teas but I’ve been trying to branch out and broaden my taste horizons. I received a sample of this with my last Verdant order and the flavor profile was intriguing – lychee, grape, pumpkin, and sandalwood are some of the notes described by Verdant. Sigh – if only this were true. Frankly, I would use less flattering descriptors for this tea. This tea apparently comes from an old forest and that’s exactly what it tasted like: soil and wet wood. The musty smell and earthiness was a little too much for me. It’s pretty much what most puerhs taste like to me anyhow.

Lesson learned, tasting notes are palette specific and highly subjective (including this one). Now for a nice cup of green tea to cleanse my palette.

Flavors: Dirt, Wet Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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72

Of all the BTT samples I ordered, I liked this the best. This is a pleasant oolong with light floral notes, slightly vegetal and an unexpected hint of seaweed. When I took the first sip, I thought my sencha somehow got mixed up with oolong. The grassy undertones dominate the initial infusions and then the sweet, orchid/plum notes begin to emerge. There’s really no mouthfeel to speak of or thickness.

Overall, I thought this tea was okay. It’s a perfectly acceptable high mountain tea but nothing to really get excited about.

Flavors: Orchid, Seaweed, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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73

I am decidedly a green oolong person but I do enjoy a good roasted oolong every now and then, especially iced. This tea from Verdant is an interesting offering. It feels like a hybrid between a Dan Cong, Shui Xian, and Laoshan black tea. It has the sweetness of a Dan Cong, the deep mineral notes of Verdant’s Shui Xian tea, and a hint of chocolate/cocoa as it goes down reminiscent of Laoshan. I had to dial back the leaf quantity because the cocoa and mineral notes become too heavy for me.

It’s not as floral as I was expecting – which was a little disappointing – and less floral than other roasted TGY teas. I tried this side by side with Adagio’s TGY and thought Adagio’s was more balanced though not as full-bodied as this one.

This is a solid but unspectacular TGY with a slightly unusual flavor profile. I’ll probably cold steep the rest of my stash because it tastes a lot better cold.

Flavors: Cocoa, Mineral, Wood

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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50
drank Mint Oolong by Naivetea
570 tasting notes

This mint flavor of this tea is quite different. I’m used to the dried mint found in most teas and steeped fresh mint leaves. The flavor of this tea is akin to those red striped peppermint candies. You get a blast of peppermint that hits your throat and leaves a tingly minty/menthol sensation in your mouth. The strong mintiness overpowers the flavor of the oolong too much for my liking. My least favorite of NaiveTea’s infused oolongs.

Flavors: Peppermint

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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75

The tea itself is visually beautiful and the salt pickled flowers have a sweet cherry blossom aroma. But the taste doesn’t match the intensity of aroma.

Following tasting notes from other Steepsterites, I rinsed two flowers with hot water (140 F) for one minute and then steeped the leaves in boiling water for 3 minutes in glass teapot. The tea tasted like salt water with a very faint cherry flavor. To boost the cherry blossom flavor, I kept the flowers submerged in hot water and put the teapot on a warmer to help it continue brewing. 15 minutes later the cherry blossom notes were a little more prominent but saltiness still overpowered the tea.

I still have a few flowers left so I’m going to troubleshoot this tea to see if I can subdue the saltiness a bit and coax out more cherry flavor. I would not recommend this tea if you want to flavor your sencha or want a strongly floral tea. Den’s Sakura Sencha has a lot of real sakura taste and would be a better option. I also discovered freeze dried cherry blossoms on Amazon which may produce a better tasting tea.

Flavors: Cherry Blossom, Salty, Vinegar

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 OZ / 147 ML

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73

I steeped 1 tsp of this per package directions @ 175 degrees for 2 minutes per package directions and the resulting tea was pretty nondescript. Increasing the amount of leaf roughly 3x produced a much more robust cup.

The flavor of the liquor was smooth and vegetal with hints of savory grass. As it goes down you get a light butteriness and brothy mouthfeel. Not much sweetness here nor any bitterness for what matter.

Personally, I found this tasted like a generic green tea. Good, but nothing special. I would reach for a long jing or sencha over this any day.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Green Beans, Vegetable Broth

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Profile

Bio

My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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