Basic Info about this special Tea
From Lao Banzhang, Bulang, and Nannou Yunnan China
Gushu tea trees
Leaves from 2006-2010. Pressed in 2010.
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)
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.
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.
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.
Floral Mountain Tie Guan Yin Tea from Totem Tea
Basic info about this special tea:
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)
Number of Total Steepings:
– 6 strong infusions.
Aroma of Dry Leaves:
– Slight smoky,
– Roasted corn flakes
– Cereal like.
Aroma of Wet Leaves:
– Poached peaches with fried rice.
– Similar to a Oriental Red dan cong tea
– Honey, Ripe mango, Papaya, And lychee profile.
– Leather, Library books. Not too sticky
– More of a mouthfeel and richer taste compared with other Taiwanese high mountain tea.
– 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 .
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.
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.
Honey Scented Black Tea from producer Family Fu
Basic info about this special tea:
Qingxin Oolong Varietal
2017 Winter Tea
From Pinglin, New Taipei, in Taiwan
400 m Elevation Above Sea Level.
Temperature ( 97-98 degrees celsius)
Brewing Vessel (Japanese Red Clay Kyusu)
Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)
Steeping Time ( less than 10 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 5 to 10 seconds)
Number of Total Steepings: Over 5 strong infusions.
Aroma of Dry Leaves: Hay, Dates, Chicken broth.
Aroma of Wet Leaves: Camphor, and a bit of Eucalyptus.
Taste Profile: Qingxin butteriness, Dark Cocoa with a hint of Ginseng and Rose water. .
Texture Profile: Cardboard softness but with sticky minerality. .
Feeling/Aftertaste: Short and Crispy cinnamon, with a herbal finish.
Poetic Expression: “ As the night stars shine, Darkness comes out, shining and dancing like there is the second face.” The leaves used was a cultivar intended to be used for oolongs, but used in a fashion for making black tea can show the real character or the other potential that the plant holds.
Price: ON SALE 5 dollars/25 grams
Rating 7 out of 10.
Jenny said that this tea was in fact created using oolong leaves, and making it in a traditional honey-black tea style so that the baked honey, the spices, and the special characters of the Qingxin varietal, blends out. My teacher from school actually asked me to make tea for the Foods and Fashion class, so I chose a Taiwanese black tea that may be easy for most people to appreciate. Friends told me that the soup tasted like pumpkin spice, and I kind of understood. Often at times people who are not very experienced at tea drinking can tell you more about the quality of teas because they have a very pure and clean pallet, and also their judgment is without bias or conceived ideas from previous experiences. I found that Grade 9 students actually enjoyed this tea because they prefer sweet teas, and I feel great that they loved it.
I was mainly impressed by the fact that it isn’t actually a black tea yet the farmer’s skill and determination to make quality tea made the subtle, very bright notes into something more dark, sweet, and rich. Oolong teas normally are very pungent, strong, and can be bitter, astringent, etc. However, this tea comes across very smooth, rich and fragrant at the same time. I have to say one thing, which is that this tea tends to require more time than the average Taiwanese Black or Oolong teas. I used 5 grams, and the first infusion which I did for around 15 to 20 seconds came out pretty light, but secure flavor. I actually liked the variety of different notes and characteristics that the tea can share with me, but I wish I could’ve experienced more honey, high notes, and fruits. Brown liquor, sweet, and on the spectrum of black teas, I would put this one more on the spicy side. It isn’t very malty, but is very chocolaty, and has more of a damp sweetness than is it high up on the nose. That is the only down point.
I should purchase some for next time and will be interested in brewing grandpa-style. This is when you leave the leaves inside the cup or tall glass and drink ¾ and adding water on top each time. This is because I feel that the tea doesn’t have much bitterness to it, so if its being brewed grandpa-style, we can enjoy very concentrated infusions and the thick honey aroma maybe more present. In conclusion, this tea did impress my friends and teacher, plus, I very much thought it was a very good everyday-type of Blackish/ Oolongish tea. ;p
Thanks to Jenny for letting me review this today! Visit her at www. oollotea.com
Basic info about this rare tea:
– Half raw and ripe Pu Erh
– From 1976
– A mixed material between different mountains.
– $2 a gram
Temperature ( 96 to 98 degrees celsius)
Brewing Vessel ( Yixing Hongni Factory 1 pot from 1990)
Grams of Leaves ( 8 grams)
Steeping Time ( less than 5 seconds per infusion, and every 5 infusions increasing the time by 5 to 10 seconds)
Number of Total Steepings: Over 16 strong infusions.
Aroma of Dry Leaves: Brown sugar, sweet ginseng
Aroma of Wet Leaves: Cinnamon cookies, dried dates.
Taste Profile: Pure agarwood, Chestnut cream
Texture Profile: Beginning is very smooth, but when passing the throat, intense
Feeling/Aftertaste: Extremely relaxed, every muscle feels refreshed.
Poetic Expression: “ The tea feels like a thief trying to steal from an empty house.” “Nothing to take, nothing to lose.”
Take a look at the mind and observe it, how it moves, how it feels, where our thoughts and understandings go and why it happens. Our mind is like a crazy monkey that cannot be controlled, yet when I drink this tea I felt as if somehow I am watching a movie happening inside of me, while I was standing apart from myself and just observing. The unique colours in the pitcher wehn brewed really shows the multiple layers of minerals, energies, and great storage. The mouthfeel being incredibly smooth to start, as it builds complexity within the throat and chest, it starts to move the energy and the “shoulder droppings” start to happen. By “shoulders dropping, I mean when you take a sip it relaxes your shoulders, and as it goes down to the stomach, you feel your shoulders drop down.
Keira told me that this tea was a half raw/half ripe tea, so the cooked aspect really shows in the beginning and is powerfully dark, but the lingering aftertaste and the hui gan definitely shows the potential of the raw nature it has. The agarwood incense is very strong, and the aftertaste of longan is amazing. This is such an amazing aged Pu Erh which usually signifies teas that were very astringent and bitter to begin with, but because it is aged for over 40 years, the tea has lost some of the original characteristics that may have been unpleasant and transformed into pure delight. If I am honest, I think this tea will be better appreciated and be loved by tea lovers who have some knowledge about Pu Erh and preferably has tried a couple aged Pu Erhs. The loose blend creates interesting notes within my mouth, and I think this is one of the most complex aged Pu Erhs I have ever had. But miraculously, it still does have a slight bitterness at the end, even though it has been aging for over 42 years. It means the enzymes are still trying to ferment this tea even more, as Pu Erh teas have no boundary to age.
Proper storage and humidity will keep the enzymes alive, tea healthy and taste beautiful. The storage for this tea was probably half Guangdong or HK storage, and half dryer storage. I do notice the slight wetness, but this doesn’t make the tea lesser in quality at all. It’s truly a wonderful tea to share at a special moment, cherishing for whatever that’s happening, making it a memorable one by using this hidden gem as the performer to dance in your soul.