Okay, so I failed Sample Week on the very last day, but only because the sample I had done turned out to be one I had tried before, and I never got around to doing another one. But if it hadn’t been one I’d tried before, I would have made it, so I still say I almost succeeded.
Anyway, Sample Week over, I can now get back to some of my other larger samples, such as the ones I received recently from the lovely QuiltGuppy. Including OH JOY a Panyang. Or Tanyang. Or Tan Yang. Or Pan Yang. Or whatever you prefer. Same difference.
I’ve been out of my favourite Tan Yang Te Ji (♥) for a while now, so this sample was a really well treasured one. Unfortunately, though, I will have to say that the TeaSpring one is still my absolute favourite.
This one seems slightly thinner, slightly less powerful than the Te Ji of TeaSpring. It’s almost but not quite the same. And what I’m really looking for in a Tan Yang is pretty much the exact flavour profile of the Te Ji.
That said, it is still an awesome tea. By default, really. All Tan Yangs are awesome, and all Fujian blacks are wonderful. It’s amazingly sweet naturally, a mildly fruity sort of sweetness rather than the more grainy sweetness that we see in for example Keemuns. I’m not getting the hint of pseudo-smoke out of this one, unfortunately. That’s also part of what makes the aforementioned Te Ji so perfect for me. Instead there is something quite floral about it, which I believe is very close to the same thing.
“Wait a minute, how can pseudo-smoke notes and floral notes be the same?” I hear you ask.
“Opposite sides of the same coin,” says I. I believe it’s the same ‘bit’ of the flavour profile that creates that pseudo-smoky or floral note in the flavour. If it’s vague and delicate it comes across as floral, but if it is allowed to develop more and grow stronger, it turns into something more prickly and aggressive. Like the smoke note. Most often, though, we end up somewhere in between where some people will find it floral, some will find it lightly smoky and some will be unable to decide what they think it’s most like. This characteristic, I think, is more common in black teas than most people realise.
So yeah, this is leaning more towards the floral end of the spectrum whereas I tend to prefer the other end.
It’s a good tea. Sweet, floral, medium strength. Worth oodles of points in my book, but not as good as the Tan Yang Te Ji.
Not at first impression anyway. (And to be honest, one brewing isn’t really representative basis for comparison. I retain the right to change my mind, fat lot of good it will do me as this one isn’t available to me without using kindly Steepsterites as middle-men anyway)