Phoenix Oolong (Dan Cong) Yu Lan Xiang Cha .Zhong Guo Cha

October 9, 2007 at 9:38 pm | Posted in Dark oolong, Oolong Tea, Tea Reviews | Leave a comment

Zhong Guo Cha
O-8-3-3 Phoenix Oolong (Dan Cong Yu Lan Xiang Cha) (Chao Zhou Oolong)
$6.25/50g = $3.55/oz = 56.8/lb
Winter plucked Oolong
“offers Guang Dong Oolong taste and pleasure” <– i have no idea what that means.

real nice looking leaf. (in the dancong family like the really good Mi Lan Xiang @ZGC)

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Method: very good with: about 1/2 roomtemp water + 1/2 194F = 144F in cup = almost perfect balance,
not sure exact quantity i put in pot… but self-note on the temp config.must be careful with temps, as 190 seems to burn the leaf a bit too much, or pulls out more astringency.

Taste: flowery citrusy? + melon?fruity complex flavor in a nice mini-astringency package, very wonderful,
pretty similar to phoenix oolong. touch of sweetness feeling in taste.

Overall: ah so fabulous! definite re-stock as with the DC mi lan xiang.

Feng Huang Dan Cong (Phoenix Oolong) .Dobra Tea

August 13, 2007 at 8:27 am | Posted in Dark oolong, Oolong Tea, Tea Reviews | Leave a comment

Dobra Tea ~$2.5 /oz
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208F yielded a better infusion, somehow less green astringency. (smoking crack again)

190F, 3 min: roasted, + mild specific phoenix oolong flavor of flowery-orangey(for lack of better comparison), followed by a green-like leaf astringency…. hmmm not roasted enough it seems.

01 min wash discarded.
15 sec nut -> roasted -> flowery orangey…
30 sec same + greenish astringency
30 sec same less flavor, more greenish astringency

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note: pictures not at exact same exposure, color & brightness is not accurate.

If infused less leaf same water, flavor and astringency is lower…

Id give it a 4.7/7 due to not enough flavor power(-1), astringency(-1), doesnt hold well to >2 infusions(-.3)

dry leaf looks dark enough, no smell,
after infusion the wet leaf reveals its medium-oxidized self, with many green leaves.
leaf is folded along the y axis, not hard to unwrap, not as tight as the dan cong from zhong guo cha.

Phoenix Oolong (Dan Cong) Mi Lan Xiang .Zhong Guo Cha

September 18, 2006 at 11:31 pm | Posted in Dark oolong, Oolong Tea, Tea Reviews | Leave a comment

Zhong Guo Cha O-8-1-1 Phoenix Oolong (Dan Cong Mi Lan Xiang)
$11.95/50g that comes to $6.79/oz ($108/lb)

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oh yeah, this is sooo good, just as i remember it from 1 year ago. (also got this other very tasty Phoenix Oolong (Dan Cong) Yu Lan Xiang Cha .Zhong Guo Cha.

Comparing the present dancong to the dancong from Dobratea (3 times cheaper, but the taste is 3 times poorer):
mindless me – after the 1st infusion, forgot the zhonguocha dancong … 20 minutes in the yixing …! aye i thought i’d get astringent crap, but i’m pleased to say i still drank it with pleasure, it is strongly astringent but the astringency has the nice dancong flavor, and … its just good… the dobratea was overinfused 10 minutes and it came out with a bland cruddy astringency cheap tea bag like. — conclusion: sometimes price does matter (when you get a quality product in return that is)/ then again… at high prices i can’t stock on too much… eh…


i was starting to write this, and i smelled the infusion, oh boy…. YUM … i’m getting impatient waiting for it to cool.

Taste: the taste has the same complexity as the jade oolong .chado tea, but the flavor is different. it is kind of like when you scratch an orange peel and that mist of orange strikes your face, tho this tea is not exactly orange in flavor, it is fruity and flowery, very particular and exciting flavor 6/7. i think there’s a melon flavor but unsure. very low astringency. does pretty good in re-infusion with cold water. Others agree this tea is superb (DominicT).

As you see in the first pic leaf seems large and intact. after multiple infusions the leaf was still very tightly wrapped on the Y axis, it took me a couple minutes to delicately try to unwrap the darn thing (i also left it in water overnight and they were still wrapped). you see in the 2nd pic 2 tea leaves is what is in one of those ‘sticks’.

Overall: tea-keep-o-meter: YES YES YES!!!

Bai Ji Guan .TenFu

February 28, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Posted in Dark oolong, Oolong Tea, Tea Reviews | Leave a comment

TenFu is TenRen in China.
gift from Warren, thank you.

i’ve been enjoying this tea for a while now, not much has changed in my interpretation of the tongue sensations 🙂

Leaf: light smell, some roast.  looks like a roasted or oxidized wu (shame ! i should start to learn how to differentiate these.)

Method: various.


3.5g/4oz/190F/ (see video below)

#1- 1 min: not watery, but a light flavor(i’d say something like grapefruit-orange diluted in water)… sort of “acidy”? in mouth, citrus-like sensations(not the flavor part)
#2- 2 min:  but more …light? delicate?. anyway, some tannin/astringency appears
#3- more green tannin to it.

4g/4oz/200F/ (another day)(infusions paused just to strain liquor to cups) wet leaf has a tobacco smell to it.

#1- 20 sec: flavor is very light, some “citrus sensations”, not really watery – there is some …”mouthfeel”?
#2- 20 sec: + some tannin, not astringent
#3- 30 sec: sort of acidy in mouth
#4- continues
#i forget: 2min: same, tannin/astringent barely makes it to a medium intensity.
another 3 min: really similar…

light aftertaste of the flavor, pleasant.

Overall: an interesting tea, very Dan-Cong-like to me in profile- like this Yu lan xiang, but: light flavor, hard to make it astringent/bad.

Preparing,curing the yixing teapot for regular use

October 11, 2007 at 7:00 pm | Posted in Tea tools, accessories, YiXing teapots | Leave a comment

So when i received this little pot it smelled profusely of clay dust. and it still had some clay dust inside.

i washed it for 1 day in filtered water – still smells.
i put boiling water in it – still smells.
i put it in boiling water – still smells.

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yixing swimming in filtered water.

after a couple ‘swimming lessons’ decided to brew some not so exciting oolong (but not crappy either) in it. after about 3 times it started to smell less obtrusive.
the resulting liquid was not drank, but let soak in the pot for hours or so. then i started to use it.

about 5 times of brewing/infusing nice dancong (phoenix) oolong in it, the little pot almost lost its clay smell. i did not perceive any clay taste in these brewings.

some say to put the pot in the oven to cure it, dont know how that will make the smell evaporate. i didnt try it.

i put it in the oven after using it, just to make it dry faster after cleaning it, and seems to make it smell less.

Wild Wenshan Baozhong Oolong .Jing Tea

February 21, 2007 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Green oolong, Oolong Tea, Tea Reviews | Leave a comment

review sample from JingTea (UK)

leaf: oh yeah, me like large green leaves.mmmmm leaf smells good

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liquor: nice and clear tho there is some minute white debris.

Wet leaves slow to unfurl reveal their nice evenly oxidized orange borders.

flavor: complex taste – flowery yummy with green, i think there’s a melon flavor but unsure. Taste is very similar to the Phoenix oolong, but more “green” (phoenix oolong is roasted). Mild astringency is present after longer steep but nice and greenish. Flavor is slow to extract from the leaves.

Overall: very good, very pleasant.

Tea Accessories

July 16, 2006 at 7:10 pm | Posted in | Leave a comment

CUPWAN (plastic cups)


Tea infusers/ strainers

Tea storage

Water heating

YiXing teapots:



May 10, 2006 at 7:01 am | Posted in | 9 Comments

I use this blog to keep track of what to buy and what to avoid,
I hope someone else may benefit as well.

~ DISCLAIMER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The “articles/posts/words/sentences/reviews/notes” are not to be taken seriously or as a recommendation for or against a tea/company/individual etc.

I’m not a tea expert, i’m not a tea reviewer. I am some dude at home playing with tea in water. These are my notes in words i can understand. I can’t describe subtle qualities, textures, so i’ll do my best to explain and hopefully diversify taste and tea vocabulary. Peeves: I do not like the word SOUP when describing TEA. TEA IS NOT SOUP. I do not like the word aroma either…

DONT MIND THE “RATINGS” i give, they’re INNACURATE. thanks. i’m  s l o w l y going over past “reviews”/tasting notes, and numbers will be removed. They havent helped as much as i thought in the beginning.

I’m not doing story writing, i’ll stick to the bare essentials.
All spelling, grammar errors are intentional 🙂

As taste differs from person to person, and tea batch varies in time, vendor, method of preparation, water, etc, my experiences may not equate to your own, = these ‘reviews’ are not to be taken as an absolute definition.

~ METHOD, TECHNIQUE, UTENSILS, ETCETERA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In day to day tea drinking I do not follow any methods of making tea. Its mostly how much time i have, what cup/mug/gaiwan is closer to my hand at the time. When there’s a new tea it goes in the gaiwan. If comparing teas they go in the cupwans. Dan Cong (Phoenix oolong) goes in the yixing.

In general i use 4g tea for 4-8oz water. Filtered water, heated in a electric hot-pot dispenser (Tiger). Sometimes boil on stove.

Any pictures i take I’ll try to fix the colors, but i wont spend more than a couple minutes on them so the outcome may not be an exact representation of the tea leaves, liquor.


I drink tea for the taste, not for “health”, and to help concentrate (due to any caffeine in tea).

– Don’t like coffee.

– My caffeine effects:

  • Coffee caffeine will help me concentrate better if I’m in the right ‘set of mind’+ some heart racing, anxiety. If my brain is not ‘in the mood’ i can drink coffee and go back to sleep… Coffee effects are predictable.
  • Tea effects: about after 3 8oz cups of black tea i will start feeling anxious + some palpitations, and maybe help concentration. It is variable with tea: it depends on the batch of tea, sometimes its stronger, sometimes its weaker. I also found an oolong (wulong) tea which has a pretty stimulating amount of caffeine(?).

– Energy/power: i get energy from: #1 is EXERCISE, and sugar(but sugar doesn’t stay long), #2 heat, #3 caffeine/redbull.


I’m spending my own money for tea, no sponsoring, affiliations – so
don’t leave comments linked to the “blog” of your commercial website,
or any form of subversive marketing tactics – such as ‘nice blog’ with a link to your store.
if you sell something do not email me to participate in your “blog”.
I may have received free samples for review – those are marked something like ‘review sample’.


c o n t a c t i n f o r m a t i o n

silverneedles at gmail dot com

Tea Reviews

May 10, 2006 at 1:29 am | Posted in | 12 Comments
I love tea. These are my “tasting notes”, organized by type. Some have pictures (usually of tea… :D).
tea = alternative/original/westernized name
VAR = varieties of that tea (tea) = additional varieties ^ = link to info
Thank you for visiting, enjoy…
B l a c k T e a
Just Black Tea/ unblended, unflavored, etc:
China black tea “hong cha, red tea, congou
> Qimen “Keemun^ VAR: Qimen Hao Ya (A, B), Qi men Mao Feng “Hair Peak”
> Yunnan “Dian Hong^ VAR: Yunnan Black, Yunnan Gold, Yunnan Gold Tips
> China ‘true black’ tea “hei cha” VAR: Fu bricks, Liu an, Liu bao
> Assam^, Darjeeling^, Ceylon^, Nilgiri^, Sikkim
Black, Blends:
> English Breakfast tea^, Irish Breakfast tea^
> Chai Masala^
Black, Scented/ Flavored:
> Earl Grey^
> Souchong, Lapsang Souchong^, Smokey Souchong, Russian Caravan^
> Jagertee^ = black tea + rum
oolongs, wulongs
O o l o n g ” W u l o n g” T e a
Green/ partially oxidized/ fermented wu-longs “jade oolong”
> High Mountain Oolong “Gaoshan Oolong”
> Tie Guan Yin “TGY, Iron Goddess of Mercy, Iron Buddha, Ti Kwan/Kuan Yin”
> Fo Shou “Buddha’s Palm”, “Monkey Picked
> Bao Zhong “Pouchong, Wenshan Baozhong
> Dong Ding “Tung Ting , Frozen Peak/Summit”
> Alishan “alisan wu long”
oolongs, wulongs dark, fermented
Dark/ oxidized/ fermented wu-longs “amber = baked, champagne = fermented”
> Champagne Oolong, Fujian oolong, Formosa Oolong
> Bai hao Oolong “Oriental Beauty, Dongfang Mei Ren
> Dancong “Phoenix oolong, Feng huang dan cong”
> WuYi Oolong “wu yi yan cha, rock oolong” (the WuYi & YiWu Master: MarshalN)
> Qi Lan “Rare Orchid”
> Xiao Hong Pao “Small Red Robe”, Da Hong Pao “Big Red Robe”, Rougui “Chinese Cassia”
> Shui xian “Shui Hsien, Water Sprite”
> Shui Jin Gui “Golden Turtle”
> Bai Ji Guan “White cock/rooster crest”, “White Cockscomb”
green tea
G r e e n T e a
Just Green Tea
Japan ^classification
> Sencha VAR: Shincha (1st harvest), Asamushi, Chumushi, Fukamushi (long steamed)
> Gyokuro (shade grown), Matcha (shade grown, powdered), Guricha
> Hojicha “Houjicha” (baked), Kukicha (stems), Bancha
China “lu cha”
> Longjing “Lung Ching, Long Jing, Dragon Well” VAR: ming, yu qian “1st, 2nd plucking”
> Bi Luo Chun “BLC, Pi luo chun, green snail spring”. Gunpowder
> Mao Feng “huang shan mao feng, yellow mountain fur tip”
scented mixed green tea flavored
Green Scented/Flavored/Mixed
> Jasmine
> Genmaicha^
> Touareg =green + mint + alot of sugar
> Kashmiri pink chai^ =green+baking soda+sugar/salt+sprinkled nuts …sounds good!
everyone’s favorite: pu erh tea
Pu-erh “pu’er, pu’erh, pu-er cha, pooer, po-lay, pu-lay, pooh-erh”
> looseleaf pu’er, Maocha = raw pu’er loose leaf
Shaped: tuo cha “bowl”, bing cha “cake, beeng cha”, brick
> Sheng pu “raw, green” // Shu pu “ripe, cooked, black”
here comes white teas
White Tea
> Chinese white tea “bai cha”, Indian white teas, Darjeeling.
otd tea
Ready to drink Tea “RTD, Bottled Tea, iced tea”
herbal teas
Herbal ‘tea’ Tissanes
of leaf: rooibos, mint, Kuding cha Ku Ting, Wu Tang, Bitter stalk tea, Qing Shan Lu Shui, Yerba Mate^
of flower: chamomile, rosebud, linden “lime, tilia”
of grain: barley^ “JP: mugicha, KO: boricha”
not my thing
Display teas, flower tea etc don’t like those, some have glue (i don’t eat glue, i don’t sniff glue, so …no).

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