• 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.