• Black Tea,  Taiwan Tea,  Taiwanese Tea,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teareview

    Golden Hand Black Tea- Totem Tea

    Golden Hand Black Tea @ Totem Tea

    Basic info about this special tea:
    – Ruby 20, Ruby 12, Jin Xuan, and Si Ji Chun
    – From Nantou, Taiwan.
    – Completely Handmade
    – Newly blended cultivar
    Temperature (90-degree water.)
    Brewing Vessel (120ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)
    Grams of Leaves ( 5.5 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 5 seconds per infusion, and every infusion increasing the time by 5 seconds)
    Main Info
    The number of Total Steepings: 8 infusions.
    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Roasted nuts with dark chocolate, medicinal, and malt.
    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Brown sugar coated with cinnamon and plum notes. Layers of dark chocolate.
    Taste Profile: See in paragraphs.
    Texture Profile: Thick body and intense mouthfeel. Almost like Candy.
    Feeling/Aftertaste: Like loosely packed red dates and very sweet quenching sweetness. A lovely blossoming feeling inside the mouth, with slight bitterness with a rounded huigan,
    price: 16.86 CAD /per ounce
    Attitude Ranking: 7.5 /10

    Paper Packaging, great for the tea to be able to breathe.

    Opening Statements.
    This tea looks stunning. Leaves rolled beautifully, with a glossy chocolate brown tint, gorgeous golden flakes that appears like buds, but very balanced. Totem teas have very unique and innovative teas and this one was one of them. It is a new cultivar and a mix of all four of these cultivars. The Ruby 20 and 12 with Jin Xuan and Si Ji Chun. This will become the result of a very complex and intricate tea. I am very excited to try this one.

    Tender leaves that look so beautiful. The tiny buds remind me of spring.

    First and Second Infusion
    Rich and syrupy like maple syrup, and a fast bitterness with a quenching feeling towards the end. Very sweet and lingering in the mouth. Beautiful minerality, different from honey black teas and Dian Hongs, but with a heavier mouthfeel and sticky texture. Definitely, during the second infusion, I was able to catch more tasting notes like dark chocolate, lightly simmered apple, buttery crust, and dates.

    Burnt orange.

    Third Infusion
    Turning medicinal, the tea reflects many aspects of rosehip, dark wood, and dried longan. Characteristics of a Ruby cultivar is clearly shown. Slight dryness in the throat

    The sweet fragrance of dancing wild honey, rosehips and dark chocolate.

    area but not in an unpleasant way. Makes me want some more!
    Fourth Infusion.
    The liquor turns more orange, and dates become the boss. Cranberries, sour candy with a heavier bitterness is present. With the use of a Jian Zhan teacup, the bitterness does soften out.

    The fifth infusion in my Jian Zhan Teacup

    Fifth Infusion
    Less obvious aroma, the tea is slowing down. I taste minerals, more berries and some cocoa. Maybe a twist of zest.
    Sixth to Eighth Infusion.
    The colour does pushing, while the tea aroma is fading away in the cup. The liquor is still sweet, but less obvious. Aftertaste does remain.

    Overall Experience
    I did not have too much to say about this tea, but it was certainly delicious. I can see the complexity in the brew and different aromas in every infusion. The tea master was able to manipulate the taste and traits into a parade in your mouth. It does make me feel very calm and in a good state. I enjoyed every sip but wanted the tea to last a bit longer. This is the reason I am giving this tea a 7.5 out of 10. Delicious tea, whatsoever. Thank you Totem tea for this experience, as it brought my attention to detail and to see what I am able to connect between the relationship of these cultivars and it’s natural flavour.

  • Dancong Oolong,  Gongfucha,  Oolong,  Teaappreciation,  Teareview

    Peach Kernel Varietal Dancongs Comparative Review

    桃仁香 Oolong From Yunwei Tea

    Basic info about this special tea:
    Peach Kernel 桃仁香 Varietal:
    Spring 2017 vs Spring 2018 Tea
    From Phoenix Village, Chaozhou, Guangdong.
    Picking Grade: Up to the third leaf.
    One is roasted, one is unroasted.
    Temperature ( for the roasted one 98 degrees, unroasted 95 degrees.
    Brewing Vessel (90ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)
    Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 5 seconds per infusion, and every infusion increasing the time by 10 to 15 seconds)

    Clearly labeled with unbroken leaves inside.
    Similar, but is still Maocha meaning it hasn’t gone through the full processing.

    Main Info
    The number of Total Steepings: 8-10 infusions.
    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Have a honey-like sweetness right off the bat with a splash of purple, ripe juicy grapes. Super sweet ( Roasted)
    Smell is similar to the roasted, except much lighter with a less intense tropical fruit aroma. More of white flesh juicy fruits. Lychee, longan, passion fruit, and some dragon fruit. Sourness as well. (Unroasted)
    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Peachy with a veggie base. Higher notes of mango and cane sugar. The heavy greenness in the Dancong is going really well with the obvious peachy aroma. (Roasted)
    The wet leaves smell much more potatoey and complex on the unroasted one. I am not sure why. However, I found out that the aroma is more sharp on the unroasted one, but did not last longer than the unroasted.
    Taste Profile: See in paragraphs.
    Texture Profile: Medium body with obvious changes throughout the sessions. Fairly consistent, but can be over-brewed (Roasted)
    Thin to medium body and with a much more intense bitterness rushing through. More of a greener taste, meaning not as full.

    Notice the leaves looking much darker than the unroasted version.
    Olive green in colour, this one still looks and smells more like a rough Tie Guan Yin.

    Feeling/Aftertaste: Changes from sweet to sour, fruity to savory in later infusions. Mouth is watering with perfume, rich lychee sort of huigan (Roasted) Sweet but astringent, almost like sour orange, and a very sharp bitterness at the end. Zestier than the roasted. (Unroasted)

    Price: 45.33 CAD /50 grams (Roasted) 38.77 CAD/50grams (Unroasted)
    Attitude Ranking: 9 /10 (Roasted) 8/10 (Unroasted)

    The first to third infusions were super balanced, and I enjoyed the second infusion the most. The second one had a bitterness that I liked while maintaining the coolness in the throat as well. ( Roasted)
    The unroasted version was good as well, but not as balanced as the roasted one. For example, the roasted one was able to give off the same level of depth and honey-like sweetness as the aroma and fragrance, but with the unroasted, the body is slightly lacking. Aroma does fade away faster as well. (Unroasted)

    A golden cream with a hint of brown.
    This one has more of a yellow tone, but I think that’s because the roasting is not mellowing the tea down.

    The fourth and fifth infusions: The infusions become slightly more astringent while maintaining the peachy taste, our friend next door, the apricot; started to introduce itself. Sourness also kicks in. (Roasted)
    Almondy, almost chalky. Getting more nutty and creamy. While the body is not as good, the aroma is rocking! I am just amazed at how much the tea can change with time the roast. ( Unroasted)

     

    The sixth to eighth infusions: Getting weaker. The taste is becoming blander but the body is still coming through. It’s like a bitter persimmon. Astringency is the boss, and the starchy or almost mochi-like texture is in the cup. (Roasted)

    By the tenth infusion, the taste almost becomes sweet water with astringency and bitterness. It is very hard to describe. However, I learned mainly two things from this experiment.

    1. The tea becomes smoother and heavier after the roasting.
    2. It will become often fruitier and the notes become more balanced and become grounding.
    From the 6th brew, the leaves started to open up even more. The smell was like a mixture of cooked eggs and piled dry Momiji leaves.
    On the left, is the unroasted finished leaves, while on the right would be the roasted. The difference isn’t a lot, but the roasted version has more of a dark hue around the edge of the leaves.

    I would like to give a big shoutout to Yunwei Tea and a huge thank you for letting me do this experiment. I truly learned a lot. Both teas are special and I love them both very much but the key differences should be taken to account. I understood that the only way to really understand the tea is not just only through knowledge but through tasting, With tasting, we are able to see what really the tea processing is and how it affects us as tea drinkers.

  • Dahongpao,  Gongfucha,  Mei Leaf,  Rock Tea,  Teaappreciation,  Teareview,  Yancha

    Empress Oolong from Mei Leaf

    Wuyi Zhengyan Da Hong Pao Qi Dan Varietal From Mei Leaf

    It’s so cute. Like a mini treasure packet, waiting for me to crack it open.

    Basic info about this special tea:
    Qi Dan Varietal
    May 2017 Tea
    From Zhengyan, Wuyi, Fujian.
    Picking Grade: Up to third or fourth leaf.
    500 m above sea level.
    Temperature ( 99-100degrees celsius)
    Brewing Vessel (90ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)
    Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 10 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 10 to 15 seconds)

    Leaves look dark, but not black: Great roasting.

    Main Info
    Number of Total Steepings: 8 infusions.
    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Freshly made coffee, almost smoky but quite. Deep and grounding, well rounded.
    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Medicinal, distinctive rocky terroir aroma. A little bit of citrus at the end.
    Taste Profile: See in paragraphs.
    Texture Profile: Honey like thickness with incredible body. I have to mention that for this tea.
    Feeling/Aftertaste: Changes through each infusion. Mainly chocolatey and sweet, but turns more into fruit in later infusions.
    Price: 22 CAD /30 grams
    Attitude Ranking: 8.5 /10

    Soup is thick and mouth-watering while being fragrant. Good vibes.

    A little bit of history behind the tea and where the terroir comes from.
    “Da Hong Pao is one of China’s most revered and highly sought after teas. This tea is grown on Bai Yun Yan mountain in the protected area of Zhengyan in the beautiful Wuyi mountains of Fujian Province, a nine peak mountain with vast rocky fingers pointing to the sky. The mineral rich, fast draining terrain make it the only place to grow true Empress Oolong.”
    “The tea is produced by hand and is then roasted for many hours slowly over real charcoal fires. This adds a warmth, smoothness and nutty depth to the tea. We advise avoiding any of these roasted oolongs for at least 6 months after they have been produced in order to let the ‘fire’ taste of the charcoal roasting to reduce. This is why we always stock tea picked in the previous year.”
    Don Mei

    After brewing for roughly 20 min, the leaves indeed show it’s nature. Beautiful brown-black leaf with a greenish undertone.

    These two paragraphs really made me thirsty for this tea! I would love to visit Zhengyan one day. But, it is a World Heritage Site, so getting access into the area is very expensive. People have told me that just to get in you have to pay around 50 dollars per person. However, I do think it’s an amazing area for tea lovers and people who want to explore more of China and see something eye-opening. The rocky terroir makes it such a good area for tea to grow, and it is said that many Oolong and Black teas originally came from the Wuyishan area. I believe that Wuyishan can be called as one of the few birthplaces to tea and especially to Oolong and Black teas.

    Tasting through the Infusions.
    First Infusion: Delicious, and very savory at start. Body and depth is excellent, while the balance between the roasting and preservation of the original characters of the Qi dan Varietal is well done. I can notice the flavors changing slowly with time as the savouriness develops into sweetness. Huigan is coming out but not fully present.

    Second Infusion: Taste turns 180 Degrees: Flavors change from the coffee like start into more of a strawberry or ripe apricot taste. However, it is a dry taste; the flavors are on top of one another and hidden. A very complex turn inside and out, as I am starting to feel something from my shoulders.
    Third to Fifth Infusion : The tea is so complex that I can’t exactly pinpoint what I am tasting. But very thick on the pallet, with a fruity overtone before swallowing. The minerality is definitely strong, with a deep apricot taste arising in the cup more. Sounds funny but I kinda think that the infusions taste more like a broth than tea. The sweetness and after taste or huigan is stronger than previous infusions.
    Fifth to Sixth: Notes are too complex by now, resulting in incredible sweetness. My tongue cannot stop salivating. I have never experienced this from a Yancha before; was truly amazed. The taste is not particularly medicinal, not fruity either. It is more of it’s own taste.

    The 8th Infusion tasted like a soup of somekind. The closest thing I can think of would be like a chicken base carrot soup. The carrot is from the minerality and it’s own rock taste. But with a savory kick.

    Sixth to Eighth.
    Silky smooth with a bit of astringency and a little bit of chestnut if you dig hard enough, but I couldn’t get anymore out of it. I think Yanchas are a little less durable for consistent infusions of more than 10 brews. Each brew is very thick and if you can brew it for at least 8 that would be considered a good Yancha.

    In Conclusion…

    I am very new to the world of Yancha and Oolong, but I did very much enjoy this session of Qi Dan Dahongpao from Mei Leaf. The energy and mouthfeel combined with the aromatics of this Yancha just made me wow. I gave a 8.5 out of 10 because I did find that the tea ended a little bit too fast. I wished that the fruity and chocolaty aroma lasted just a bit longer, but the taste transformed throughout different infusions so that was super interesting.

    I am excited to try something that’s again roasted, but a traditional TGY from Fujian that’s full of baked fruits and sweet candy notes. Should be delicious and fun to review.

  • Puerhtea,  Raw,  Ripe,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation

    2011 Changan Old Tree Ripe Puerh from The Best Tea House

    2011 Changan Old Tree Ripe Puerh

    Pure 2011 Gushu Menghai material; sweet and creamy!

    Basic info about this special tea:
    Dayezhong (Big Leaf Cultivar Varietal)
    2011 Spring Tea
    Area : Menghai and surrounding area.
    Hand picked and selected by Vesper Chan.
    Lightly to Medium Fermented Shou
    280 CAD for 400g.
    Temperature ( 95 degrees celsius)
    Brewing Vessel (100 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)
    Grams of Leaves ( 6 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 10 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 10 to 60 seconds depending on what infusion)

    Look at the dark leaves, it can tell you so much. The picking is pretty good, big leaves but still have some buds.

    Main Info
    Number of Total Steepings: Over 8 strong infusions.
    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Soybean/ deeply fermented smell. However, not fishy and bland but the finish is toasty and nutty, which makes it more complex. .
    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Plumy, and very deep. Almost like dried dates as well. Not too much savouriness. Longan underneath the richness, which uplifts the tea.
    Taste Profile: See Below
    Texture Profile: Perfect, extremely well done. It’s not heavy, but not light. Smooth and goes down like a Raw Puerh.
    Feeling/Aftertaste: Very light sweetness with a slight soybean aftertaste. Huigan is there, but not obvious. The chi is really strong, and probably the best chi I’ve experienced from Shou Puerh.
    Price: 280 CAD for 400 g.
    Rating 9 out of 10.

    This tea is really really good, from start to finish. The tea is super smooth and not uncomfortable, easy to drink. I cannot pinpoint at what is so delicious, and that intrigues me even more. Made from Arbor Trees in Menghai, this tea delivers a sensation that I have never experienced before. It feels like I am drinking a vintage Raw Puerh, that is maybe of ages over 20 years old. Super easy drinking but the feeling and chi you get does not make you believe it is a Shou Puerh. I will recommend people who dislikes Ripe Puerh to definitely try this one; or any tea lover. The only thing I have to keep mentioning about would have to be the intense chi and aftereffect this tea had on my body. I felt as if I may be half floating, my eyes started to close; and feel my feet tingle. That’s what we call Chachi, or tea energy. The bushes from this tea are of ages 200 to 250, which is Gushu or old-tree material.

    The tea soup is dark and yet bright, how miraculous!

    The taste of good Shou is very hard to describe. It isn’t overly savory, not overly creamy, but everything is balanced. It is sweet and vibrant, but not medicinal. It is thick and rich, but not overwhelming; super clean finish. It feels like a rich cocoa tea infused with non-sweet brown sugar. I hope you can image the lovely feeling that can coat my mouth, and the natural, slightly sweet sticky feeling. Ohh I’m in heaven!

    It almost looks like a old Sheng Puerh, I mean look at the clarity!

    I don’t have too much to say other than I am super impressed. Just by the fact that it’s making me feel tea drunk is amazing for a Ripe Puerh. Gushu material really makes a difference, huh! I hope everyone can give it a try. Thank you Mr. Michael Fung from The Best Tea House for letting me sample this here in Calgary! What’s to try next, Attitudes?

  • Black Tea,  Class,  Gongfucha,  Teaappreciation,  Teareview

    Lapsang Souchong (non-smoked) from Family Li

    Lapsang Souchong from Family Li (Unsmoked, traditonal processing.)

    The small 5g packet for the Zhengshan Xiaozhong tea.

    This tea was believed to be the first ever black tea ever produced, as it was believed to be the mother trees for the Ceylon, Indian and also Darjeeling tea bushes. It is also believed that Keemun Black tea came after the Souchong varieties. So, the history is truly incredible.

    A little history behind the tea

    People say that this tea originally wasn’t smoked, and it didn’t happen until the mid- Qing Dynasty, when some soldiers came to tea farmers and asked if they can take some rest on their tea racks. The tea farmers were not happy about it, but they were kind of obligated to say yes. So, the soldiers took some rest on the racks, and because of their heavy weight, the tea became very oxidized. People during that time in Tongmu only made green tea and pure black tea, but because the soldiers stayed on the tea for so long, the leaves became almost undrinkable. So, the farmers decided to maybe try exporting the tea out to the world, which actually brought great results to the farmers. So many Russian, Indian, and other importing countries truly fell in love with the tea. Also, some people say that because the demand was too high, the farmers wanted to really speed up the process. So, they used pine trees to ferment and smoke the tea lightly, which also was a big hit for many countries. From there, other black teas were produced, such as Darjeeling, Keemun, and Ceylon. However, this is just one version of the story that I’ve heard. Please don’t quote me on this.

    Excuse my hand, but the long leaves are unbroken and gorgeous.

    The sweetness aspect of this tea is truly amazing. As soon as you open this packet of Zhengshan Xiaozhong, you will smell notes of beautiful roses, a type of potatoey sweetness, and a very distinctive hongcha aroma. This is the type of tea I would enjoy everyday. Anytime, morning, night, afternoon. Would definitely love to drink it afterschool, and when your mood needs a lift.
    Basic Info about this special Tea
    From Tongmuguan, , Wuyishan, Fujian Province.
    26 /100 grams.
    Xingcun Xiaozhong Species.
    Brewing Parameters
    Temperature (92 degrees celsius)
    Brewing Vessel (Big Gaiwan 100ml)
    Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 10 seconds per infusion, increasing by 5-10 seconds every infusion)

    Main Info
    Number of Total Steeps (more than 14)
    Aroma of Dry Leaves (sweet corn, roasted basil, bergamot, and intense honey citrus.)
    Aroma of Wet Leaves ( sweet potato, a little bit of orange and sandalwood )
    Taste Profile ( see paragraphs)
    Texture Profile ( thick syrup, medium bite)
    Feeling/ Aftertaste ( bitter with some sweetness.)
    Attitude Rank: 9 out of 10.

    Even after brewing many times, the leaves are still very intact.

    The first infusion is light but savory, and intensely honey like; while the texture is buttery. It’s the perfect drink for autumn and fall, being so cozy and warm on your body. Huigan is slowly arising, and and is not intense. Very relaxing to both the body and mind.

    The second to fourth infusions carry more berrie notes, oak notes, and sweet potato notes. The huigan is more persistent, building up inside the mouth. I also taste some jujube through these infusions.

    This is the tang-su or infusion colour for the 3rd brew.

    From the fifth to eighth infusions, a more complex, candy like quality is shown. Amazing broth with a golden brown colour. Sweet, tangy mouthfeel. More astringent than the previous infusions.

    Like Pure gold. Lovely colour for every infusion. This is from the 5th infusion.

    Even after the tenth infusion, more raisin and plum like aromas are present. Sweet potato always remaining. I think this may be the best black tea I have ever tried from Tongmu. Thank you Mr. Li for giving me this sample and many other teas to try. You guys should definitely check him out on instagram which is @tong_xin_she. This black tea is truly remarkable. Just super!

  • Ecocha,  Gongfucha,  Oolong,  Taiwan Tea,  Taiwanese Tea,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teareview,  Uncategorized

    #1st Eco Cha Review: March 2018 Eco Cha Tea Club Roasted Leafhopper High Mountain Oolong

    Roasted Leafhopper High Mountain Oolong
    Basic info about this special tea:
    Xueba High Mountain Oolong Varietal
    2017 Summer Tea
    Harvest Date: June 2017.
    From Guanwushan, near the Xueba National Park, in Taiwan
    Hand picked, medium batch
    1550 m above sea level.
    Temperature ( 92-95 degrees celsius)
    Brewing Vessel (100 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)
    Grams of Leaves ( 8 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 15 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 2 to 5 seconds)

    This beautiful box is recyclable and eco friendly. I love these small details that goes in with the packaging!

    Main Info
    Number of Total Steepings: Over 10 strong infusions.
    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Roasted nutmeg, and very strong bug bitten smell. The typical sweet, nutty, honey like aroma.
    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Very distinctive plant/woodsy like smell, almost medicinal. Interesting Eucalyptus aroma can be found too, maybe some passion fruit.
    Taste Profile: See Below
    Texture Profile: No sharp corners, gentle but with a little bit of astringency at the really end. However, its pleasant.
    Feeling/Aftertaste: Very floral with a asparagus sort of feeling towards the end. The aftertaste definitely stands out for this one.
    Price: 29 dollars/75grams
    Rating 9 out of 10.

    The green medium roasted Oolong has so much complexity but flavors are very down to earth and clean.
    Huge leaves! Not much red is obvious but it was delicious!

    I have to say that the packaging for all the Eco Cha teas are very nice, coming in a airtight common oolong packing with a detailed instruction booklet and box, what more is it to ask for? The box is detailed with the month of picking, level of picking, meaning like hand-picked, or machine-picked, etc; and tasting notes with the brewing guide. Amazing work, and thank you for preserving the artistry of Taiwanese Tea. The tiny card illustrates the situation of the garden, introduces the farmer, the area the tea grows in, the bugs associated with the fermentation of this tea, and so forth. Even from the packaging, there are very clear signs that this tea definitely does have a star quality to it. Plus, I love the story behind every box. It really tells us how interconnected everything really is, and how much effort needs to go in in order to just make a cup of good tea.

    Clear broth with a tinge of green. Beautiful light liquor, with a thick taste.

    Starts off like a Shan Li Xi, with but with more of a roasted Dong Ding finish. Very crisp and huigan is slowly coming out. The roast added to this tea is especially present during the first infusion, with a very caramelly like aroma with a floral base. Very complex initial taste, with a genmaicha sort of approach. The finish is clean yet persistent, with various aromatics. Maybe Mango will start to come out eventually. Very clean brews. Thick mouthfeel as well.

    I don’t know too much on how to describe this tea except for being very interesting and delicious. My grandparents from Japan very much enjoyed it and it is super smooth. No bitterness. The astringency is perfect inside your mouth, as it salivates and creates more gan, or the sweetness. The pitcher smells like candied marshmallows. Light but sweet.

    The hasle or nuttyness started to show more obviously from the third infusion, then moving on to a very butter squash sort of plant taste. The taste is very interesting as it shows a very floral side with a buttery, almost caramelized vegitable flavor. Its very hard to describe, and a rare oolong to serve this many complex tastes and characters. For the price, it is an excellent daily drinker and would recommend anyone to try it.

     

    I also think this tea would be great if cold brewed as well as enjoyed hot. Brewing Gongfu was so good, but have yet tried brewing it western style. I think that every infusion you can get something different, and I very much like it thick and a little bitter. You can really feel the oolong. The huigan comes fast and the astringency makes your mouth tingle. The sourness of a Muzha Tieguanyin is also found in some infusions. After the roast has started to mellow, the taste feels extremely thick and the soup is sour, but the mouth will have a intense feeling.

    In conclusion, I think this tea is very good, and the majority of the people that like tea will be intrigued by this, as it is very sweet and the tea aroma is kept authenticity. I feel it going down my body like my roots are coming alive and fresh from dry. The scent is sweet and floral, while keeping the original tea characteristics in front. I am very pleased with this one, so I will give a 9 out of 10. Super, but if the tea would’ve maintained it’s roast a little longer, it deserves a full 10.

  • Green Tea,  Longjing,  Teaappreciation,  Teainfo,  Teareview,  Teavivre

    Organic Superfine Longjing

    Organic Imperial Longjing from Teavivre.

    Basic Info about this special Tea
    From Qiandao Lake, Chun’an Country, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province.
    Spring 2018, April 07th picking.
    13.90 /50 grams.
    C. sinensis cv. Jiukeng Varietal
    Brewing Parameters
    Temperature (75 degrees celsius)
    Brewing Vessel (Big Gaiwan 100ml)
    Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 15 seconds per infusion, increasing by 10 seconds every infusion)

    The description that Teavivre uses for this Longjing.

    Longjing Review:
    Main Info
    Number of Total Steeps (8)
    Aroma of Dry Leaves (sweet corn, nuts, and a little bit of casis or citrus.)
    Aroma of Wet Leaves ( fresh grass, boiled vegitables )
    Taste Profile ( see paragraphs)
    Texture Profile ( thick syrup, medium bite)
    Feeling/ Aftertaste ( bitter with some sweetness.)
    Attitude Rank: 6 out of 10.

    Very green leaves without much yellow. Few white strands of hair is visible.

    My first impression about this tea was very decent, as the leaves are pretty green and leaves were unbroken. However, we cannot judge the tea by the appearance, as the taste is the most important. I did see some white furry spots on the tea which was a good sign, showing that the tea leaves are not too old. The tea is not pre-qingming which is an important thing to notice especially for Longjing, but let’s not put assumptions. The dry leaves had a very pleasant roasted aroma, which is good. We will see what we can pull out from the taste.

    The first infusion of this green tea,

     

    The first infusion is the most important for green tea, as it shows everything. The number one strength I have to put out fo this tea was the aftertaste, as it is very pungent. I felt the tea lingering inside my mouth for around 15 min, which is impressive. The leaves are of quality for sure. The taste of the first infusion is eggy, and very vegital. Notes of broccoli, asparagus, and cooked beans are strong. The important note of chestnuts or very fresh peas are missing, which isn’t a bad thing but better with for Longjing. This is not a pre-qingming so it is understandable, as the price is probably double or triple the original price of this.

    The second infusion was similar, except more of the floral notes came in, and tasted much like a Japanese steamed green tea. The oceanic aroma and taste of umami did remind me of Japanese sencha. Thick and rich sweetness in the brew, but also very persistent bitterness. I am using 75 degree water, so I don’t think that is the problem. Very crisp at the throat, almost drying.
    The third infusion was much like a continuation of the second infusion, as there was nothing really happening. The thick body and rich aftertaste is persistent. The taste maybe similar to a Anhui green or Zisun.

    Pouring the liquid can definitely tell you how consistant or thick the infusion was! Not very thick on this one, but some umami and minerals are found.

    In conclusion, the tea is a good green tea, but not a good Longjing. I am being as honest as I am able to, and by no means is the tea bad. But, as a tea reviewer, I do believe I have to be fair and without bias to companies and to the teas. This organic Longjing does have a certification on it, and you can view it here. Great green tea however, especially if your looking for a good tasting organic green tea and don’t want to spend too much on it. In a Longjing, I am looking for a spicific aroma of chestnuts and a roasted aroma.

    Teavivre, more reviews are coming soon. Stay tuned.

  • Gongfucha,  Oolong,  Oriental Beauty,  Taiwan Tea,  Taiwanese Tea,  Teaappreciation,  Teainfo,  Teareview

    Oriental Beauty Reserve/ Totem Tea

    Oriental Beauty Reserve

    Basic Info about this special Tea
    From Taiwan
    60 % oxidation, bug bitten
    18 dollars/Ounce
    Qingxing Da Pan Varietal.
    Brewing Parameters
    Temperature (90 degrees celsius)
    Brewing Vessel (Big Jingdezhen Gaiwan 100ml)
    Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 15 seconds per infusion, increasing by 10 seconds every infusion)

    The dried bug bitten tea. Gorgeous leaves.

    Oriental Beauty Reserve
    Main Info
    Number of Total Steeps (8)
    Aroma of Dry Leaves ( muscat, cedar like sharpness with a typical bug bitten smell)
    Aroma of Wet Leaves ( ume plums, candies, dark grapes, jujube)
    Taste Profile ( see paragraphs)
    Texture Profile ( thick syrup, medium bite)
    Feeling/ Aftertaste ( sweet aftertaste and a rush of chi.)
    Poetic Expression
    Attitude Rank: 9.5 out of 10.
    Ulala, I was excited for this one. As soon as I opened the sample, I knew I was up for something interesting. The leaves were covered with fresh white hair, often a good sign for oriental beauty. The company does say that this oolong went through quite a lot of interesting steps, including the bug bitten stage where it produces the white strands of hair by recovering itself after being bitten by the cicadas. The relationship between the cicada, tea plant, farmer and tea drinker connect and replenishes the environment and supports the farmers to keep making the good teas.

    The wet leaves after brewing three to four infusions.

    The first infusion
    The infusion had medium to thick body, with a very intense aroma and taste. The aroma of sweet corn, wild honey, and delicious jujube. Wow, just amazing. The oolong had the fragrance and solid body. Now it does kind of remind me of a Yunnan Dien Hong black but without that sort of bitterness and chocolaty taste. The savoriness with a punch of flowers were there though. Very solid and good taste.

    The second to fourth infusion
    Heavier mouthfeel, rich, the balance is good between the fragrance and the mouthfeel. The quality is superb, due to the fluctuating flavors and tones displayed from each sip and the temperatures of the liquor. Drastically changing aromas shows the complexity of the leaf and each process of tea making. The bug bitten sweetness with the rich texture of malt & the bursting ume/muskat is just so addictive.
    The fifth to seventh infusion

    the tea liquor is dark yet bright. Thick and syrupy.

    Really good, beautiful mouthfeel but with more of a bean sweetness with a light pear aroma, incorporated with a dark wheat and hay sort of taste. While maintaining the original characters, the tea is becoming more warm and quiet. One of the best OB I’ve ever had. Quality, price, and lasting wise. The lid near the end smelt like savory custard. Very good tea, but if the plumy or bergamot flavors would’ve lasted a little longer, I would totally give it a 10.

    I am super excited to try the Hongshui oolong now, waiting for that drizzling taste. Thank you Totem Tea for providing this sample, and it was very delicious. Very impressive from start to finish, so would definitely recommend this one from them.

  • Bulang,  Gongfucha,  Lao Banzhang,  Nannou,  O5 tea,  Puerhtea,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teareview

    DC 7 Taste Time/ O5 Tea

    DC 7 Taste Time from O5 Tea

    Basic Info about this special Tea
    From Lao Banzhang, Bulang, and Nannou Yunnan China
    Gushu tea trees
    20 dollars/10g.
    Leaves from 2006-2010. Pressed in 2010.
    Brewing Parameters
    Temperature (97 degrees celsius)
    Brewing Vessel (Big Jingdezhen Gaiwan 100ml)
    Grams of Leaves ( 8 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 3 seconds per infusion, increasing by 2 seconds every 5 infusions)

    Gorgeous Wrapper, Ya? I think the simplicity is spot on.

     

    Main Info
    Number of Total Steeps (more than 15)
    Aroma of Dry Leaves ( camphor, smoky, and like a old library)
    Aroma of Wet Leaves ( dates, spruce, a hint of peach)
    Taste Profile ( Water crescents, Plums, Wild honey, Musk)
    Texture Profile ( Crazy thick, A little bite)
    Feeling/ Aftertaste ( Extremely fast huigan, intoxicating. )
    Poetic Expression ( Time Travels with the same soul. )
    Attitude Rank: 9 out of 10.

    The beautiful dry leaves. Mixture of buds and leaves.

    I think the name Taste Time is a great name especially for this particular tea because I can feel the age and the transformation from one or two years old to present year. The tea starts off being bold, almost like a middle aged man rushing to go to work in Beijing. The character starts off from being very hippy, crazy, and a little bit behind. Perhaps the man is rushing to work because he slept in too late! Later in the infusions, the tea turns very pure, almost like hot spring water with a light chicken broth aroma type of thing. It was going back to the original character;young times.

    But, because the tea started off so bursting, it was a little difficult in keeping up with the pace. The lao ban zhang in the tea really pulled me off and started to make me feel incredibly dizzy and a little mumbly. I felt like the world is moving much slower than what I use to imagine. The bitterness does really kick in around the fourth or fifth infusion.

    Wow, so dark. Only 10 years of age but almost like a 15 year old.

    After the sixth infusion, I felt like I was about to crash on the couch. I skipped having more tea that night, and had a meal before bed. The next morning, I felt as if the tea was alive but much younger. Notes of Lilac, Bitterness, and longan was present. As Mr. Fung from the BTH always use to tell me that good tea, especially aged teas will go back in time and flavors will go back to its original condition as infusions pass. This is when I completely understood what he was saying.

    The storage was another topic I should talk about if I wanted to get deeper into the tea. Surprisingly, I felt this tea was more of a wetter storage than dry, as I felt the tea being more aged than usual. The fermentation on this tea was far more greater than the other 10 year old Raw Pu Erhs I’ve tried over the years. It does make it more mellow and grounded, but at the same time I am not sure if the truly original characteristics were kept during the aging period and in the future, I hope that the fragrance keeps intact. This tea was very intense and made me feel kind of tea high, but was a great experience and a privilege. The huigan lasted in my mouth for more than 2 hours at least. Such an experience with a Lao Banzhang was a first-timer. I would give a Attitude Rank of 9 because it was such a unique feeling and experience, but not a complete 10. This is because I felt a little shocked and the storage wasn’t the purest. But, it was an amazing Pu Erh.

    A special thank you to the owner of O5 tea, Pedro Villain for coming to Calgary, AB to the Mid-year Festival or Hantoshi Matusuri.
    When I was staying in Vancouver; for around a year, O5 tea was there for me and my tea passion supporters. The staff there were amazing people with such big hearts, they where my leaders and examples as good tea people. They gave me confidence and work ethics on not only how to be a good human being but how to maintain relationships with customers and build trust within a team. So thank you to everyone from O5 Tea.

    It was great to see you at the Jinja, making Japanese & Chinese teas were even better. He gave me some samples to taste and review, and this was one of them. Stay tuned for more reviews coming very soon.

  • Gongfucha,  Oolong,  Taiwan Tea,  Taiwanese Tea,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teainfo,  Teareview,  Teavivre

    Award Winning Alishan Oolong / Teavivre

    Award Winning Alishan Oolong from Mr. Lui Zhiqiang
    Basic info about this special tea:
    Jinxuan Oolong Varietal
    2017 Autumn Tea
    From Alishan, Jiayi, in Taiwan
    1000m to 1500m Elevation
    Picked on Oct. 28th
    Temperature ( 95 degrees celsius)
    Brewing Vessel (110ml Gaiwan)
    Grams of Leaves ( 7 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 20 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 10 to 15 seconds)
    Main Info
    Number of Total Steepings: Over 7 strong infusions.
    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Nuts, Spinach, Grass.
    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Egg yoke, Tarts, Light cream.
    Taste Profile: Asparagus, Kale, and some Taro . Very veggie like.
    Texture Profile: Smooth, and soft. Velvety texture with sweetness.
    Feeling/Aftertaste: Longan, with a Honey aftertaste.
    Price: 23.50/100 grams
    Rating 7 out of 10.
    The leaves look perfectly neat, organised and big. Large, dark green balls usually indicate a good sign. So, I think that the tea does have a very good appearance and when I look into my gaiwan I do not see many broken leaves, so I can tell that these are surely very good quality materials.

    Jade green tiny ball shaped leaves about to be becoming unrolled leaves.

    The initial taste was very corny, vegetal, and not too floral. I did get a lot of cream and the egg thickness, which was very soothing and comfortable to drink. I would recommend everyone to drink this in the evening as it is a soothing, relaxing tea. I don’t think that this tea had a lot of high notes or that whiff of gardenia that Teavivre was talking about. It seemed more green and clean than most high mountain oolongs.

     

    However, the aftertaste becomes richer as more infusions pass, and my throat feels very good. I also feel that this tea is better enjoyed rather hot than cold because when cold the almost bar soapy, cardboard sort of flavor comes out. I didn’t get too many of the traditional gardenia or sort of high mountain classical flavor. It reminded me much more of like a Chinese Lu An Gua Pian or a Long Ya green tea.
    If it had more depth and multidimensional flavors with each infusion, the rating would be much higher. But because this tea was packaged nicely, great leaves, and tasted like a good oolong, I would like to give it 7 out of 10.

    Taking spent leaves in your hand reminds you of how much the tea expands from being a ball to a giant leaf.

    Thank you Teavivre for providing this sample, and I am being completely honest with my opinions. There are some very good points about this tea, and I love being fair with everything I try. More reviews coming very soon.

  • Black Tea,  Gongfucha,  Hongcha,  Oollo Tea,  Taiwan Tea,  Taiwanese Tea,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teainfo,  Teareview

    Gongfu Black Tea/Oollo Tea

    Alishan Gongfu Black Tea from producer Grandpa Mr. Lo
    Basic info about this special tea:
    Qingjing Oolong Varietal
    2016 Winter Tea
    From Alishan, Jiayi, in Taiwan
    1200m-1800 m Elevation Above Sea Level.
    Temperature ( 97-98 degrees celsius)
    Brewing Vessel (90ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)
    Grams of Leaves ( 4 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 10 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 2 to 5 seconds)

    The whole unbroken leaves of this beautiful Gongfu Black

    Main Info
    Number of Total Steepings: Over 10 strong infusions.
    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Clove, Dates, Raisins, Honey, Chocolate
    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Dark Honey, Plums, and a bit of Eucalyptus.
    Taste Profile: Almonds, Dark Cocoa and tropical fruits .
    Texture Profile: aged Cheddar sort of sharpness but with a complex finish .
    Feeling/Aftertaste: sweet and delicate, with a herbal finish.
    Price: 15 dollars/25 grams
    Rating 8.5 out of 10.

    Thick, glossy liqure with a bubble formed on top. Indecating rich minerality and quality.

    Firstly, the packaging is amazing, with its ultra-protection aluminum lining on the inside; the aroma is kept safe, while the tea can mature or rest. Perfect little baggy or package for one or two gongfu sessions at home. The leaves are long, unbroken, and very distinctive. Using these unique twigs and edgy leaves, Oollo Tea has managed to make this tea into something amazing, using again a non-black tea cultivar, and using such advanced oxidation techniques and making sure that the body of a good black is there while keeping the fragrance that many Taiwanese Oolongs carry. The dry leaves smelt a lot like a KitKat bar or something chocolaty with some clove, or something a little cinnamony. Then came the wet leaves, which transformed more of the vegetal, herbal notes into something fruity, and more woody. The classic roasted aroma came out from the dry moist leaves, meaning the dry leaves that hit the gaiwan right after.

    The initial first impressions were very good, resulting in me exploring both my upper and lower palate. The upper palate engaging in activities like seeing where the fragrance can go, and while the lower pallet sees the body, or how much richness the tea soup carries. It was really an amazing experience, and I will recommend this tea for especially for people who love complex, artisan, rich tea.

    I also feel as a constant tea drinker that this tea very much impressed me. My body and soul was warmed, and I feel as if I was walking in the markets of the middle east, buying spices and dried tropical fruits. A real experience that should be looked up to. The money is definitely worth it, as you get more infusions than definitely most of the black teas. The leaves pulled off extremely well, and I tried to cold brew it after. It worked so well. The body really kicked in as well. I gave it 8 on the Attitude Rank, as it definitely has the power and flavor to make me feel drunk. The missing two stars was because I felt maybe the chi could’ve been stronger, and if it had lasted more than 15 infusions, there is no doubt that it deserves a full 10 Attitude Rank.