97
drank Bai Lin Kung Fu by Shang Tea
1277 tasting notes

Today’s shared morning pot, and I’m surprised to see that I’ve yet to post about it. I could have sworn I posted about it earlier! Or was that the Bai Lin that Auggy sent me? Now I’m confused…

At any rate, if the Tan Yang Te Ji (♥) is my favourite ever tea, then the Bai Lin comes in at a very close second I think. I just really really REALLY love this province, I just do. Where does one sign up to be a fan of a geographical area?

Consequently, it’s also really hard for me to post about it on its own merits instead of making it just a list of the ways in which its different from the Tan Yang. I could say I’d try, but knowing me I’d probably not be trying very hard if those were the words that came naturally to me while drinking and writing. But then again, I’m not trying to bring you the Facts of Tea Forever, am I? I can only tell you what I think, and I think that Bai Lin and Tan Yang have very similar flavour profiles, but with some note-worthy exceptions.

Given the fact that they are as similar as they are, Bai Lin also lands at at least 90 points by default. Any further study of it and subtraction or addition of points is based from that outset.

Yes, I think the black teas in general from this province are THAT AWESOME!

Now, onwards. Bai Lin is like Tan Yang’s good twin. Tan Yang is the wild and powerful of the two, with the heavy cocoa notes and pseudo-smoky notes on the second steep. The Tan Yang is not a tea you want to mess with, because it knows exactly what it’s doing and it will take you to task for any insult to its name.

Bai Lin is by nature gentler, happier and far more sensible. It doesn’t have the pseudo-smoke or the heavy cocoa, it’s much more sweet and with a natural touch of oranges or mandarins.

Or perhaps on second thought, these two are not really twins, but more like a sweet little sister and a protective big brother. :)

Bai Lin, as mentioned, has notes of oranges or mandarins in the flavour, but they’re not really as clear as if it had been actually mandarin flavoured. They’re more like the ideas of the citrus fruits. I can’t tell exactly which part of the flavour that reminds me of them but the association is strong none the less. Whatever it is, it also lends a lot of the sweetness to the cup.

Furthermore, we have an insanely smooth cup. It’s thick and creamy as if it had milk in it, and I have often heard that this quality is indicative of something going well with milk. I can’t imagine that in this tea, though. It’s far too delicate and subtle to be able to carry milk. I suspect with milk all you would get was a cup of non-descript tea-flavoured warm milk, and that’s not really the purpose with it at all. So drink it as it is, ignore any and all urges to try it with milk and just close your eyes and drink. Then, if you are a of the persuasion that tea should have milk in it, you might actually be able to pretend it already has.

I can find very little bitterness and next to no astringency in this cup, only yummy goodness. After it has been allowed to stand still and develop a bit, the mandarin-like associations seem to become a little stronger. In addition to this a new note is poking its head out at this point, and there is now an underlying semi-spicy touch to the floralness of it. Quite akin to the pepper note in a good golden Yunnan, if you can imagine that note without the strong flavour of hay.

Yes, we are definitely coming in just behind the Tan Yang on the Favourite Scale, here. It’s coming in so close, in fact, that I strongly suspect I would be fully able to quench the Tan Yang cravings with this one if Tan Yang is not readily available. I need to always have one of these two in the house. Obviously, being my favourite, I would prefer the Tan Yang, but this one is a totally acceptable substitution. I don’t feel the need to keep the both of them around as Standards, though. Either one will do.

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Bio

Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
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Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
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Bio last updated February 2014

Location

Denmark

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http://angrboda.livejournal.com

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