110 Tasting Notes
2/6/14 Evening cup. 2 teabags/12oz/180F/3min. Some days, all you want to do is throw a bag on a string into a cup of water and microwave it. This is a peach flavored tea for those days. I get the peach, but not the cobbler. It probably has hibiscus in it. At this moment on this day, it’s a good cup of tea.
caveats: other people on other days in other moments may not show this tea well.
2/6/14 Morning pot. 3g/6oz/212F/3min. Pretty sure the descriptor ‘brassy’ was invented for this tea. It is bright and brassy, the way I imagine a brass bedknob would taste if it tasted like tea instead of brass. Don’t ask how I know what brass bedknobs taste like. This tea is good brisk breakfast blend, nice taken straight, and maudlin-makingly good with milk for those of us with deep “English Breakfast Blend” yearnings. If your gran ever served you milk toast made with tea/milk, she’d have used this tea to make it.
caveats: again, a tea in which I may taste more sentiment than Camellia.
2/5/14 Evening pot. 3g/6oz/200F/5min. Oh Yunnan Gold, how I love thee. Your beautiful tippy golden leaves, your aromatic raisin wineyness. Your ruby /mahagony liquor. How you settle in with a sugar cube. I dialed back the temperature slightly for this brewing, and upped the steeping time. I got a great straightforward black tea, tannic and astringent enough to be a good mouthful without being unpleasant. Excellent with a sugar cube.
caveats: Yunnan Gold was the first tea I loved and my emotions may be a bit involved in this tasting note.
2/3/14 An evening tea. 3g/100ml gaiwan/212F Washed. Raisinets. The scent of this tea in the dry leaf and the wet is a delicious chocolatey raisiny goodness that reminds me of raisinets. The cup is rich and a touch bitter – with a sugar cube in the bottom of the cup this tea is delicious. A drop of milk would send it into dessert territory. An excellent example of the sweet side of Yunnan blacks. The leaf held well through five steeps, and could probably support more.
Flavors: Chocolate, Raisins
2/3/14 A tasting of the pu-erhs in my house. I’ve been drinking some very nice pu-erhs at tea club on Wednesdays, and decided that today I’d compare the pu-erhs in my cupboard. I’m still very in-experienced with this style of tea, and thought it would fun to practice using my gaiwan and brewing gongfu style. The standard was straight forward – 3g of tea in my 100ml gaiwan, washed, and then steeped twice. Water at or just off the boil from my hot pot.
In order of tasting I had,
Adagio’s Pu-erh Poe. http://steepster.com/AnnaEA/posts/221527#comments This tea made me sad that I had to steep and taste a second cup of it.
Teavana’s Yunnan Golden Pu-erh, a blend of pu-erh and Yunnan black. http://steepster.com/AnnaEA/posts/221531#comments I found this heavily weighted to the Yunnan.
Adagio’s Pu-erh Dante http://steepster.com/AnnaEA/posts/221535#comments
Dante showed well in the tasting, though it may have an unfair advantage due to being a bit aged.
2/3/14 3rd and last of a pu-erh flight. 3g/100ml gaiwan/212F Washed. This tea showed well in the gaiwan, and was easily my favorite tea in this tasting. The dry leaf had a pleasant earthy / barny aroma, the wet leaf had the same nice scent but stronger, and the brewed tea carried the same flavors in an enjoyable very earthen tasting way. IT was very nice to taste this tea in context with other pu-erhs. I’m coming to think that Dante is a good classic beginner’s pu-erh. I sort of think I might order a sample of it, to see how the (presumably) younger Dante fresh from the shop would compare to my current several years old tin, which is (presumably) better for having some age on it.
2/3/14 2nd tea of an afternoon pu-erh flight. 3g/100ml gaiwan/212F Washed. The dry leaf had a delicate cinnamon raisin scent which I associate with Yunnan black teas. After the wash there a richer wet leather aroma – the pu-erh in the blend coming out, I think. The brewed tea was very Yunnan black – pleasantly tannic and astringent, with a low key earthiness from the pu-erh. A bit of vanilla turned up in the scent and very faintly in the taste on the second steep. I might recommend this to someone who I knew loved Yunnan teas and was put off by the intensity of straight pu-erhs.
2/3/14 1st tea in an afternoon Pu-erh flight. 3g/100ml gaiwan/212F Washed. This was the only tea in the tasting this afternoon that I actively disliked. The dry leaf smelled foul, like a dead aquarium, and the wet leaf added an ammonia scent to it. This is the first “fishy” pu-erh I’ve encountered, and now I have a definite context for that adjective and all it’s negative expressions. Fortunately the aroma was far worse than the brewed tea. The brewed tea was just boring and flat.
2/2/14 Evening tea. 5g/8oz/185F?/4 min. I think my water might have been too hot. This tea had a rich toasted wheat/cinnamon/honey aroma. Very dark oolongy aroma. The taste was more flat though, an upfront tannic astringency that I do associate with Indian teas. An undertone taste of vanilla came out as it cooled. An enjoyable enough cup, a touch on the bitter side. I look forward to trying it again when I’ve had the chance to spend more time with Indian teas and have better context for it.
2/2/14 Groundhogs day! Gongfu brewing in my water chestnut clay teapot. 3.6g/150ml pot/195F Drinking tea with my husband. He wanted something lighter this morning, after lots of western brewed black tea at work. Lighter then I brewed this in my gaiwan – the clay pot is still very young. Floral and fruity.