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Fine & Specialty Chinese Teas & Accessories
 

Tea Reviews

Would you like to review our tea? Here is your chance to tell others about the taste of great teas. Send us an email at teareviews@TheChineseTeashop.com and tell us about your experience with tea. Select up to 3 different teas from the Online Store and we'll send you free samples. Remember to include your shipping address in the email.

 

Pu-Erh Tea Cake, "Iron Mold", Import/Export Corporation, 1990s (Raw/Sheng)

Its becoming apparent that the more I drink Daniel's tea, the more I learn what exquisite tea is supposed to taste like. The 1990's "Iron Mold" Pu-Erh is no exception. I realize now that the age factor for tea plays an incredibly crucial role in how the flavor and essence exists in relation or even opposition to the initial taste. One could not drink this Pu-Erh without taking notice of how the flavors change in the mouth and throat--five, ten minutes after one glorious sip!

 I have had many mid-grade Pu-Erh's that can be described as "earthy" or "muddy," however not until enjoying the 1990's "Iron Mold" have I tasted both notes of earth as well as sweet, fruity sensations in the same spiritually uplifting moment! The initial flavors of the tea present me with a sort of poetic image of "muddy rain" and a deep sweetness. Upon swallowing my mouth, tongue and throat were enveloped by notes of mango, blueberry and plum. This was nicely accompanied by hints of cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla, all which lended themselves to making this tea so surprisingly sweet! The color of this fine Pu-Erh ranged from mahogany to a deep, powerful blood-orange. Thinking back now, I'm amazed how greatly this tea made me feel so connected with nature through its flavors; as if I were a fresh seed in the soil and damp earth and grew until I were a ripe fruit. How amazing!

Reviewed by: Aaron basskin
Date: Aug 16th, 2013
Location: NC, United States

20 Year Old Tie Guan Yin

Premium Iron Buddha 20 Years Old Aged Traditional Oolong Tea (Charcoal Roasted)

Since the beginning of my tea excursions I have always strongly favored Oolong teas as they are, in my opinion, one of the finest varieties. Even the smallest sip may bring intense and pleasurable sensations to the mouth and mind. That said, the perfect Oolong tea for me is predominantly bitter in the mouth and delectably sweet on the throat and tongue upon swallowing. For so long do the flavors linger--notes of succulent fruit, caramel, or toffee wade on my pallet, bringing me great joy and refreshment. 

To my incredible satisfaction I discovered that Daniel's "Premium Iron Buddha 20 Years Old Aged Traditional Oolong Tea (Charcoal Roasted)" is of the finest quality and is certainly more than capable to deliver these fine tea qualities. I was (and still am) thoroughly impressed with all aspects of the tea and am pleased to say that it has raised my standards of how Oolong can taste if aged and prepared well!

I enjoyed my tea gong fu style. The colors of the pour and onward were intoxicating; deep, dark and luscious browns of mahogany and fine leather looked up at me from my cup. The first three of four infusions confronted me strikingly pungent notes that would send chills of pleasure down my spine. Upon swallowing I was amazed at the lingering sweetness and depth of flavor that could come only from a tea with years behind it. Long after my sip I would come across strong wafting notes of toffee and caramel smokey-sweetness. 

I continued roughly a dozen more times to re-infuse my tea and take pleasure in its long life. As I continued to brew, the bitterness faded and the tea gave off flavors that were predominantly sweet with notes of lychee.

There is no doubt in my mind that this Oolong is the real deal.  I am already looking forward to purchasing a small quantity to treasure and share with close friends on a rare and gleeful occasion.

Aaron Basskin
Friday, August 9th 2013 

20 Year Old Tie Guan Yin

2012 Tian Rui Xiang Lao Ban Zhang

2012 Lao Ban Zhang Tea
A sample of this fine Lao Ban Zhang cake was gifted by Daniel Liu of The Chinese Tea Shop. He provides excellent background on this tea and on Ban Zhang in general on posts on his vendor blog (see here and here). Especially interesting is his commentary on Lao Ban Zhang, Xing Ban Zhang, and Lao Man 2012 Lao Ban Zhang TeaEr and the statistics on tea in Lao Ban Zhang. No doubt, old Lao Ban Zhang is the talk of puerh circles. Let's see what this cake has in store...

 

The dry leaves are a multicoloured mix of medium young fuzzy leaves, mainly buds, which give off a savory-meaty odour with thin tobacco smoke, strong pungent deep forest odours and sweet light fruit smells under all of it.

The first infusion pours a pure vibrant yellow. Sweet, cool, pungent tastes expands in the mouth there is a light, savory base that is barely noticed underneath it all. A long pungent pure tingling occurs on the tongue. Minutes later sweet, slightly creamy, root beer tastes

 

2012 Lao Ban Zhang Tea

The second infusion presents with sweet, clear, pure initial tastes which numbs the mouth with a soft tingling mouthfeel before pungent-sweet notes bring on light candy-melon-fruit notes. The mouthfeel reaches the mid-throat and opens it with a soft-creamy-candy-sweet coolness.

 

 


2012 Lao Ban Zhang Tea

The third infusion has an initial taste that is pure, sweet, and stretches into a cool, sweet taste. The mouthfeel sticks to the teeth, saliva pools deep in the throat, and a strong vibrant banana-melon, sweet creamy-candy aftertaste is

 

 

2012 Lao Ban Zhang TeaThe fourth infusion sees a sweet, pure, initial taste that is smothered by a mouthfeel which coats the whole mouth and throat. After this sensation recedes, there are barely savory-pungent notes under more vibrant, distinct sweet creamy fruit notes which open into the throat. The qi is very relaxing and cooling to the extremities. In the core there is a slightly warming sensation.

The fifth infusion is much the same with more distinct sweet candy-like fruits in the initial taste. A cool sweetness starts to gain momentum in the throat then slowly expands outward. There is a very light pungent taste caught in the mouthfeel which adds separation and depth from the dominating sweet high notes. This depth is clear in this fifth infusion.

 

2012 Lao Ban Zhang Tea

The sixth infusion has even more distinct fruits and sweet high note tastes up in the initial flavour. The thick mouthfeel overtakes these light flavours somewhat and leaves a long, fruity-sweet aftertaste behind.

In the seventh and eighth infusions everything becomes slightly softer with the high notes still quite strong but more smooth, less distinctly vibrant here. There are noticeably tangy melon edges now. These high note tastes are most noticed along with distinct returning coolness in the aftertaste where they maintain there overly vibrant quality. The qi strongly brings up the mood, and intensely focuses the mind, and makes the hands and feet feel cool, almost tingling.

 

 

2012 Lao Ban Zhang TeaIn the ninth infusion crisp, sweet high notes begin to be muddled with forest notes in the initial taste

The tenth infusion sees a slight, quick flash of savory and bland forest which turns sweet then is washed away with a mouthfeel which later brings sweet-creamy fruits on the breath. The mouthfeel continues in the deep-mid throat and mouth but is becoming slightly less dense now.

In the eleventh and twelfth infusions sweet, but mild banana-like fruits are in the initial taste and distinctly span the profile of this infusion. The flavour has softened considerably now. The mouthfeel softens but continues its strong presence. There is a long-candy-like aftertaste left in the mouth.

 

 

2012 Lao Ban Zhang Tea

In the thirteenth infusion there is more wild foresty depth found but still may high notes to be enjoyed. This tea has stamina because in the fourteenth infusion is finally starts to loose lots of its flavour. There is still a faint spattering of previous flavours, the mouthfeel still full in the throat.

Put to an overnight infusion these leaves give a pungent, cool, vibrant offering of fruity high notes.

Peace

 

 

Posted by Matt
Thursday, September 20, 2012

http://www.mattchasblog.blogspot.ca/2012/09/2012-tian-rui-xiang-lao-ban-zhang.html

Mattcha's Blog is one of the best and most popular tea review sites on the Internet. The reviews are passionate, knowledgeable and objective and are beautifully written and presented. Whether you are new to tea drinking or an expert, this site is a must see. Visit http://mattchasblog.blogspot.com for more great reviews.

2012 Tian Rui Xiang Lao Ban Zhang


Long Jing (Dragon Well) Green Tea

Rating (out of 5 pots):

Quality of Leaves:

Taste:

Value:

Recommend to others: yes

Reviewed by: red
Date: Nov 3rd, 2010
Location: Modesta, CA

Please describe how you are preparing the tea (brew times, water temperature, type of teapot, etc): I let the water sit for a few minutes after boiling, using a Chinese cup with a lid

What did you taste on the First Brew?: very nice flavour, a little grass with nuts. Steeped for about 15 seconds

What did you taste on the Second Brew?: Steeped about 10 seconds. Same taste as first brew but more full tasting

What did you taste on the Third Brew?: same as second brew but smoother with some other flavours I can’t describe but very good. Steeping 12 seconds.

Additional Comments: I like this tea a lot. I’m just starting to drink green tea and this is way better than what I get at the supermarket. I feel energized and refreshed after drinking this tea and it leaves a nice taste in my mouth after. I’ll definitely order this tea again.

Long Jing (Dragon Well) Green Tea

Pi Lo Chun (Bi Lo Chun) Green Tea

Rating (out of 5 pots):

Quality of Leaves:

Taste:

Value:

Recommend to others: Will definitely recommend to friends.

Reviewed by: Christine T.Shieh
Date: Nov 20th, 2010
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Please describe how you are preparing the tea (brew times, water temperature, type of teapot, etc): I used hot water for 5 seconds on the first brew, 4 seconds on next brew and 8 seconds on the third. I added more time for the additional brews. I was able to brew this tea 9 times and there was still a good taste after that.

What did you taste on the First Brew?:This tea had a subtle taste that is surprising, light but full. I liked the wonderful green quality that is not bitter. I definitely tasted tropical flowers.

What did you taste on the Second Brew?: : A flower taste like lilac emerged that balances with the green taste. It is stronger on this brew.

What did you taste on the Third Brew?: : I thought the taste might start to disappear but it changed and got better. There were some new tastes as well and everything seemed to get softer and blend together better.

Additional Comments: it's so subtle and smooth. It's a wonderful tea.

Pi
                                Lo Chun (Bi Lo Chun) Green Tea

Phoenix Oolong Tea Natural "Fruity" Flavour

Rating (out of 5 pots):

Quality of Leaves:

Taste:

Value:

Recommend to others:

Reviewed by: Ben Shieh
Date: Nov 24th, 2010
Location: Vancouver B.C. Canada

Please describe how you are preparing the tea (brew times, water temperature, type of teapot, etc): 100 degree Celsius water with Yi-Xing teapot

What did you taste on the First Brew?: Light fruity taste with a lot of fragrance

What did you taste on the Second Brew?: Fruity taste becomes stronger with sweet after taste in the mouth.

What did you taste on the Third Brew?: Fruity taste remains similar to the second brew while the sweetness of the tea increases.

Additional Comments: This type of tea has a delightful fruity fragrance as well as taste. The sweetness of the tea stands out especially at the third brew. I drink this tea commonly during cold weather, this tea makes me feel both refreshing and rejuvenating.

Pi
                                Lo Chun (Bi Lo Chun) Green Tea



Pu-Erh Tea Brick, Xiaguan Tea Factory 1990s (Black/Shou)

Rating (out of 5 pots):

Quality of Leaves:

Taste:

Value:

Recommend to others: I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good, strong shou pu-ehr

Reviewed by: kamitea
Date: Nov 10th, 2010
Location: Kamloops, B.C. Canada

Please describe how you are preparing the tea (brew times, water temperature, type of teapot, etc): Boiling water in a Yixing teapot that I use only for shou pu-ehr.

What did you taste on the First Brew?: 15 seconds. Hints of the flavours to come with a gentle sweetness and a hint of mushroom

What did you taste on the Second Brew?: 5 seconds. The strength of the tea begins to come through. Still a gentle sweetness, but the strong earthiness of later brews is more apparent.

What did you taste on the Third Brew?: 5 seconds. Strong, clean earthiness.

Additional Comments: I drink this tea often and it can have a very strong, dark broth, but if you begin with quick steeping times, early brews will have a nice sweetness that will also return in later brews (7th-10th). After the 3rd brew I increase my times by 5 seconds and the middle brews have a balanced, round, earthy flavour that is very good.

Pu-Erh Tea Brick, Xiaguan Tea
                                Factory 1990s (Black/Shou)

Shui Xian Rare 20 Year Old Chinese Oolong Tea

Rating (out of 5 pots):

Quality of Leaves:

Taste:

Value:

Recommend to others: Fans of Da Hong Pao or darker Phoenix tea's should definitely try this.

Reviewed by: kamitea
Date: Nov 11th, 2010
Location: Kamloops, B.C.

Please describe how you are preparing the tea (brew times, water temperature, type of teapot, etc): Just off boiling water, in a gaiwan

What did you taste on the First Brew?: Immediate pouring. The liquor was what I'd call golden brown and had a wonderful smoky aroma. Tasted subtly smoky with a nuttiness towards coffee and chocolate.

What did you taste on the Second Brew?: 5 seconds. More golden in colour. Flavours became rounder, and richer, with more nuttiness.

What did you taste on the Third Brew?: 10 seconds. Nice round, mellow smokiness.

Additional Comments: This was my first experience with this tea so I treated it similar as I would Da Hong Pao, and it was very surprising. Lots of mellow flavour and aroma with later brews that had nice toastiness. The dry leaves even seemed to have a touch of licorice aroma.

Pi
                                Lo Chun (Bi Lo Chun) Green Tea

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