• Black Tea,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teareview

    Wild Tree Black Tea

    Basic info about this special tea:

    Wild Tree Black Tea
    From Wuyishan, Fujian
    2018 Spring Tea
    First Flush
    Temperature ( 90 degrees Celsius)
    Brewing Vessel (100 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)
    Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 10 seconds per infusion, and increasing by 5 seconds after the third infusion)

    Big leaves, and dark!

    Main Info
    The number of Total Steepings: 8 strong infusions.
    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Sweet, well rounded. Plumy and long lasting
    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Mandarin peels. Almost like dried dates boiled and add some Chen Pi or orange peel.
    Taste Profile: See Below
    Texture Profile: Medium to thick, lasting on the tongue.
    Feeling/Aftertaste: This tea has constant changes. Every infusion has different levels of depth which I enjoyed very much. There was some astringency, but not a lot. Bitterness was gone in a couple seconds.
    Price: 22.34 CAD for 80g.
    Rating 8.5 out of 10.
    This black tea was a real showcase of great quality. From the start, the fragrance of fruit, especially dark fruit and a little bit of nutty, chocolaty aspect of the tea were alive. When I smelt the gaiwan, it fled my nose and literally the smell went down my whole face and upper body. Honey, some clove, almost like a Taiwanese Red Ruby but with more fruit and starchiness. There is a certain potatoey feel to it that just reminds me of a Xiao Zhong.

    Bright caramel orange liquor!

    The first infusion is sweet, refined and well balanced. Neither here nor there, it displays the outer layers of flavour and is bitter at first, but then the rich sweetness comes into place after that. Medium body, the tea is nourishing to the throat. Honey notes are prominent, accompanied by a malty aftertaste.

    Honey like quality, strength and texture.

    The second and third infusions have more movement, and what I mean by that is like a heavier tingly feeling on the tongue and good minerality. The tea is definitely from older trees because the layers of aromas and textures are really good. Flavours are changing from honey sweetness to a plum jam sort of taste and some oranges. Fruit, but really tropical but more sticky and sweet. There is also that sweet potato note which I often associate with Xiao Zhong unsmoked. I personally like this one more because I felt that this tea had less astringency.

    From the fourth to sixth infusion, the profile is similar. Juicy, but with maybe more dryness.

    Seventh infusion, still kicking!

    Infusion seven and eight did not seem to have as much flavour, but the body is still there. Maybe it’s like when you get down to the core of a watermelon, and there is no more flavour per say but the sourness and refreshing character of a watermelon can be still tasted; likewise, infusion 7 and 8 had more of this in it. I wish it lasted a bit longer, but I cannot complain about this price.

    Finally, this tea would be great for beginners to understand the complexity and sweetness that a black tea can offer. It will open up the beginner’s mind in drinking good tea, and enjoying very infusion with patience. For those tea lovers that want something honey like but without being over-the-top, this is the tea for you. I noticed that it has very good tolerance for long infusions, so brewing this western-style or grandpa style could give you excellent results.

  • Longjing,  Mei Leaf,  Teaappreciation,  Teareview

    Imperial Green 2018/ Mei Leaf

    Imperial Green 2018 from Mei Leaf

    Basic info about this special tea:

    Picked on
    19th March 2018
    CULTIVAR
    Long Jing No.43
    ORIGIN
    Xinchang, Zhejiang, China
    PICKING & PROCESSING
    Bud and one or two leaves
    ELEVATION
    600 m

    The leaves are thin, and all is proportionate.

    Temperature ( 83 degree Celsius)
    Brewing Vessel (120ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)
    Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)
    Steeping Time ( less than 7 seconds per infusion, and every infusion increasing the time by 10 to 15 seconds depending on the infusion)
    Main Info
    The Number of Total Steepings: 6 infusions.
    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Superbly green, some vegetal notes, white chocolate, raspberries, and hints of banana.
    Aroma of Warm Dry Leaf: Spring berries, citrus cream, almost like a meringue pie.
    Taste Profile: See in paragraphs.
    Texture Profile: Smoothe, no itchiness in the throat. Very comforting and warming.
    Feeling/Aftertaste: I feel like this green tea speaks to me, my body is constantly reacting with the different notes and sometimes the sweetness can be felt on your tongue, sometimes on the back of your throat, and mostly on the sides of my cheeks.
    Price: 22CAD /40 grams

    Even after 5 infusions, the smell of the wet leaves are very much like fresh and green. No stewed notes.

    Introducing this tea.
    I first wanted to share some info on this tea provided by Don on his website for Imperial Green. This will explain some of the misconceptions a lot of people have when associating with Longjing.
    “Authentic Longjing tea (otherwise known as Dragonwell) must be grown in Zhejiang province. If it is grown anywhere else then it is considered a fake (much like champagne). Every year we taste many samples of Longjing to find our batch for the year. For the past couple of years, we have selected a tea from outside the West Lake area because we feel that it has a much higher quality compared with the West Lake tea.”

    “This is a Pre Qingming tea picked on the 19th March giving a lightness and delicacy combined with a powerful fragrance and taste. Any Pre Qingming tea from Xi Hu (West Lake) is exorbitantly expensive and whilst it is often excellent tea, we felt that this batch won out in terms of flavour and we are not paying the extra price tag for the name of Xi Hu.”
    “Please note that you may find white yellow fur on the tea and little balls of fur in the tea. This is NOT mold but is tea fur showing that the tea is a very early spring tea – it demonstrates the quality of this Longjing.”

    Don Mei

    Now that we understand what really makes true Longjing green tea, let’s go into our tasting notes for every infusion. Notice how each infusion is different and how this contributes to the overall experience of tasting this green tea.

    Light but full on the pallet. A true green tea.

    First Infusion
    The first thing I noticed when I took my sip was how delicate yet full it is. In some poor quality Longjings, yes the tea is delicate and soft, but it doesn’t have the character and richness that a really good green tea or especially Longjings would carry. The first thing you smell would be grass, and perhaps some sweet minerality but not the full green pea, and white chocolate sort of richness that you can get from this Imperial Green. It is a really good tea from the start, and I want to mention this as well. Good tea will have character and it’s own unique system of revealing itself to you, but it will always make a good impression on you. It is like some people that take a job interview. In order for you to be hired, you have to make a very good first impression. This is the key. This tea has very special qualities of brightness and a very rich taste. The notes of early spring, the freshness in the air during spring. This is the first feeling I got. I got notes of ripe strawberry, peach and star fruit. The nuttiness is there, but not super obvious. I have to dig on and it seems to come later after the fruits and lasts at the tip of my tongue.
    Second Infusion
    Less intense aroma, more broth and umami concentrated. However, still fresh, and keeps improving in the mouth. Surprisingly, I did feel some energy from this tea as well. The energy moved from the tip of my tongue to the shoulders and went down to my stomach. The tea will keep going.
    Third Infusion
    On top of the minerality, there is a floral note. The one I am getting the most would have to be jasmine. Jasmine with white chocolate and lightly sprinkled hazelnuts would be the best description of what it tasted like on the third brew.
    Fourth and Fifth Infusion
    Very different from the rest of the infusions in that the cooling aspect is coming out. Real sensation in the throat, not minty but more like watermelon coolness. Honeydew can also be used as an example of what I am trying to describe. It isn’t a cooling sensation nearly as obvious as the ones from Tie Guan Yin’s, but rather fruity.
    The sixth infusion.
    Wow, the leaves are still fresh. Sweet spinach aroma floating from the gaiwan, and the tea still tastes good. In most cases, after the third or fourth brew, the tea is finished, but it is not the case for this tea. I can keep pushing and the result is still nice. Classic seaweed taste with a lingering zesty finish. Delicious.

    What a creamy colour. Stunning.

    Final Thoughts and Conclusion
    I would rate this tea a 9 out of 10 because it simply deserves the high ranking. The tea is clear, persistent and yet constantly evolving. It makes me appreciate and connect with the world, and just like any other good tea, it makes me feel good. Distinctively special Longjing. Very good tea overall. I think that this would be the second best Longjing I’ve ever tried.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Gongfucha,  Oolong,  Taiwanese Tea,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teainfo,  Teareview,  Tieguanyin

    Floral Mountain Tie Guan Yin

    Floral Mountain Tie Guan Yin Tea from Totem Tea
    Basic info about this special tea: 

     

    The classy packaging; have to appreciate the goodness and care:)

    Tie Guan Yin varietal
    – From Alishan, Chiayi, in Taiwan
    – Muzha style
    – Temperature ( 92 degrees celsius)
    – Brewing Vessel ( Large Dehua porcelain gaiwan 100ml)
    – Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)
    – Steeping Time ( less than 25 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 15 seconds)
    Main Info
    Number of Total Steepings:
    – 6 strong infusions.
    Aroma of Dry Leaves:
    – Slight smoky,
    – Roasted corn flakes
    – Cereal like.
    Aroma of Wet Leaves:
    – Persimmons
    – Poached peaches with fried rice.
    Taste Profile:
    – Similar to a Oriental Red dan cong tea
    – Honey, Ripe mango, Papaya, And lychee profile.
    Texture Profile:
    – Leather, Library books. Not too sticky
    – More of a mouthfeel and richer taste compared with other Taiwanese high mountain tea.
    Feeling/Aftertaste:
    – Crisp, Slightly sour taste from the Muzha. Hui gan is slow but long lasting. .
    – Price: 15 USD
    – Rating 7.5 out of 10.
    Something triggering has happened when I tried this tea. As I smelled the flying scent of the craftsmanship, I began to recall the moments of when I really started to discover the beauty of tea. When I first had the Oriental Red Dan Cong at my friends house in Vancouver, I was lost for words. I cannot even describe the amount of significance and declaration of satisfaction I felt from drinking every sip of that golden drink. My mind felt as if I entered nirvana, and didn’t care where I was going. The scent I first got when interacting with the warm dry leaves and me bringing back the emotions from the past was great. The cornflake like, typical cereal or cookie smell was present, like how in a dan cong some of the major characteristics are like the marzipan or butter cookies .

    Golden balls of goodness.

    Oriental Red was a mixture of Duck Shit and Ba Xian together. A buttery, fruity, spicy, and dry finished dan cong. Truly remarkable. But, don’t have the money to spend 8000 CAD for 500 grams. That’s 160 dollars per pot, and most people won’t pay that kind of money for the drink. I would rather buy something affordable for my budget, but not as long lasting as the dan cong. This muzha doesn’t last too long, while the mouthfeel is still consistent and the bitterness still being persistent. The sour taste becomes more metallic and I would’ve wished that the tea can last a little longer. That’s the only thing I wished was different.

    Honey liquid, rich and thick like a quality tea.

    The packaging is very organized, clear, and the leaves are nice and shiny. Very affordable too. 15 dollars for a package is better than any other price I’ve seen before for Taiwanese Tie Guan Yin’s out there on the western market. I must say that I am very impressed and Totem tea; you converted me to Taiwanese Tie Guan Yin. I very much was intrigued by the incredible honey and strong fragrance it carried while being very grounding and having a thick body. My final rating for this tea would be a 7.5 out of 10. Great tea for people who are looking into trying to get a very uplifting and satisfying experience at the same time, and very affordable. Thanks Phillip for this tea, and more reviews coming shortly.