42 Tasting Notes
Was in a rush to get out the door this morning so I tried this tea thinking it would be a straight forward red tea and I would like it and go to work. Wrong. I used my Teavana large perfecta tea maker with 1 tbs tea to 16 oz water. The dry leaf has a slight pekoe smell. I poured in the water and saw the most beautiful red fawn color. The aromas had some fruitiness and also a very faint hint of kimchi, thats right kimchi. I make kimchi at home and yes it can get a bit boisterous but it also has this gentle sweetness from the chile flakes in it that I recognized in its bouquet. The steeping took all of 15 seconds, with flavors of apricot, pâte sucrée and bit of malt. Smooth very smooth, nothing screamed at you. I consumed my two cups in a hurry and brewed another, this time 20 seconds to get that same color. Just as good, I ran out of hot water and time at that point so see you tomorrow Uva Amba.
My first Gong Fu tasting with all the pieces together. My husband graced me by joining and providing some interesting points. The tea has a nice matted hair appearance with leaves sticking out as if to escape the pod and a dry leaf aroma of prune. Used 7g in 240 yixing.
1st steep – wet leaf aroma of some sweet flower couldn’t tell which one. Flavors of a perfume and a slight aftertaste of slate. I guess this is the rock I see in other tastings.
2nd steep – added 5 sec. Leaf aroma is now definitely gardenia. The taste of the flower is also now present in the soup with the rock holding steady but the flavor is of wet rock not dry.
3rd steep – added 5 sec. Leaf aroma is now a bouquet of gardenia. What an impressive scent. It couldn’t come from an atomizer any stronger. The rock appears again after the florals have dissipated. I might mention that the floral notes do not stick around as long as I would like they are so intoxicating. The best steep.
4th-6th steep and the wet leaf aromas start to fade but gradually, but the florals in the soup drop off rather quickly. There also is now a sweetness in the aftertaste I wished was there in the 3rd steep. Rock flavor has softened too. A heavier mouth feel compared to earlier steeps is noted.
A nice tea. I can say that I enjoyed the aromas better than the tea itself, but this is my first time brewing this tea and I’ve read that it is difficult to get straight the first time. I think I should either brew in a smaller gaiwan or use more leaf 10g but that is a lot of tea for two. A lower temp, say 180F/82C, I think would be gentler to the leaf. One question in regard to Gong Fu preparation. When you are pouring into the yixing does it matter if its clockwise or counter clockwise. Tradition is everything when brewing these fantastic teas for me.
Striking out in new territory. Never drank green teas. Don’t know why? Maybe the macho thing or the health thing. Delicate things scare me. The closest I come to green teas is via ice cream.
1st steep, the dry leaf smell was of buttery white chocolate and toasted pine nuts. How agreeable. 5g in a glass pitcher with 350ml spring water. Wet leaf aromas are more pronounced especially the pine nut. The flavor is decidedly not grassy as I had imagined. Soft velvety butter rich and again pine nutty.
2nd and 3rd steeps were the same and then the realization that there is nothing to fear about this delicate rich tea and I will be drinking greens any chance I can get. Oh forgot to mention the dancing leaves. When you’re as buzzed as I am now on tea, watching this was like doing Mr Wooly Willy when I was a child, with the bald headed man and the iron shavings you positioned on his head with a magnet wand, …fun.
The aroma of this tea as I opened the 5g sample pack was sooooo inviting, brew me it said. So I did, used the 5g sample in a 1920’s gaiwan 170ml, I received as a gift last night from a good friend who came to dinner. Quick rinse and the 1st steep was just how they prefaced the tea on Yezi’s site. The wet leaves now smelled even more inviting. Subtle smoky whiffs and could that be chocolate as well. Couldn’t wait for the sip. Bitter I must say was the first thing I noticed and was temporarily disappointed until that sweetness finally hit after the tea was gone. Bitter-Sweet.
2nd steep 20 seconds and catastrophe struck. My new antique gaiwan broke as I picked it up. The rim splintered into 3 pieces. I poured the tea anyway. So it got a longer steep, say 50 seconds and wow this was deep. That bitter was more muted and the sweet more pronounced. The flavors of malt, chocolate/cocoa, cigar smoke in a good way.
3rd steep, transferred to a 150 gaiwan for 25 seconds. Aromas are starting to fade but the remembrance is strong. Flavors are also starting to fade but the maltiness is out in front. Should have been paying attention to that 2nd steep and brewed longer.
4th and 5th steep were both 50 seconds and the aromas and flavors are back.
You can go longer with this tea but I think 5 steeps for me is the limit. Over all a nice return to a red tea as I have been drinking TGY at work for the past month. I grew up on Keemun and this brought me back.
I need to give props to Yezi, my order came in 2 days!!, and a nice personal note from Mei Qin Weng including the smiley face only makes this a better experience. The Gao Shan was an extra sample on top of the free ones I chose and a free tea strainer was in the box as well. Can not wait to try the rest. Thanks again Yezi.
Bought two; one for work, one for home. Needed a better way of guesstimating the water temp for tea brewing.
Negatives: Cord is too short.
Loud, very loud for an intimate office.
Positives: What a deal. Easy set up. One hour of keeping the water at set temp. No burnt leaves in my teapot.
Overall: Great buy, been using for about a month now daily with no problems in functionality. Now if only it had a muffler.
This was another sample from Wild Tea Qi. I used a smaller gaiwan 170 ml and about 5 gm of tea. This tea is comparable to the Big Red Robe I had yesterday but I think the fruit flavor more plum like. There is also lots of perfume flavors as well. One of those flavors gave me fits yesterday when I drank the BRR. It was when I went shopping in the farmers’s market for southeastern Asian herbs for bulgogi that it hit me like a brick. It’s that minty menthol flavor that is nuanced in these Wuyi’s that I enjoy. Specifically when I tried a leaf of Vietnamese coriander. The one difference is this tea has a bit more of that perfume. Oh and the last of the scones was a great accompaniment.
Received this as a sample from Wild Tea Qi. Brewed 7 gm of this pretty leaf tea in a 200 ml gaiwan. I didn’t just want to taste the tea I wanted to be the tea.
1ststp for 30 seconds and the color was of a big red robe. I know how corny? The aroma part was difficult. I am making lemon ginger scones topped with Geranium sugar and coupled with my husband’s coffee brewing I escaped into the closet to get my first whiff. My first impression was of artichoke and vegetable garden. The flavor wrapped all around my tongue, not heavy but very smooth. The taste was of a refined wine, deep almost peachy and perfumy. Not a hint of bitter after taste at all.
2ndstp for about 20 seconds and the peachy flavors abound with a perfume that is sweet and gentle. Oh and the scones are out of the oven.
3rd-6thstp adding 5 seconds and the tea is hanging in, still giving its beauty. Paired with the scones, topped with some homemade current jelly,who could ask for a better morning.
This will be a great evening tea to serve friends and family.
OK, so I did my Blissed OUT TGY Gongfu style in my new Yixing pot http://yunnansourcing.com/en/teapots/1016-hongmaziniclayqieduanyixingteapot250ml.html. Awesome duo, Rogers and Hammerstein, Torvill and Dean, Sherlock and Watson, well you get the picture. It was a moment, the sun was shining, a brisk fall breeze, and my cat was quiet! I had to use my broiler pan for the tray, but after I wrapped it in a tea towel all was cool. Heated the water in again, a new Hamilton Beach 1.7L kettle (Moriarty) to 190F. Used 6g to 250ml @ 30 sec 1ststp and the result were……..not as great as in my gaiwan. Then the next steeps were a little better. It did last forever though, 10 steeps and then a plunge after lunch in a porcelain teapot for the last brew. Need to take lessons I guess or figure out the right ratio. The tea was less fragrant but still had the great mouth feel and taste. Maybe my Yixing pot is too big or I needed more leaves, I don’t know. Seemed like they were trying to pop out of the top they expanded so much. Live and learn. ‘There is nothing like first-hand evidence.’
Received this mid week with the Xue Ju Shu Pu and the Imperial Mojiang Golden Bud both 2013. Two yixing pots also came with my order and pictures will follow once I’ve broken them in. I’ve never tried an autumn TGY before but I’ve read that they are not as delicate as the spring but then again neither am I.
Being midweek I could not wait till the weekend to enjoy this gongfu style, it had to be done at work. I used my Teavana Perfect TeaMaker. This device has served me well in the past, but I was hesitant to use it because it is usually red teas that I drink at work and I was afraid of lingering aromas and tastes. I cleaned it out as best as I could and hoped for the best.
The tea comes in individual 7gm foil packets, so into the TeaMaker it went and had a quick first rinse. I waited 2 minutes before I did my 1ststp to let the leave open a little.
1ststp was with 300ml @ 185 degrees for 30 seconds. The aroma when I opened the lid was amazing, the usual tea smells but this one has a pronounced boiled artichoke bloom. The taste is again just as described not as light as the spring tea but more structured with the gardenia and honeysuckle.
2ndstp was for 20 seconds and the mother load was delivered. Just as an artichoke gives you that faint sweetness as an after taste this tea too has the same effect on me. The florals are more pronounced and it borders on a near perfect tea (perfect I’m sure in my new yixing, oh I can’t wait).
3rd through 6thstp were same in comparison just a slight bit less nuanced. Adding 5 seconds to each steep.
7th through 10th, yes 10, were just as pleasing. I stopped there for lunch and I’m sure I could get even more out of these leaves.
The leaves themselves are still bright green all uniform in size unfurled in there splendor, not a ragged one in the bunch or any stem or broken pieces. Hats of to Yunnan Sourcing for this beautiful tea.
Drinkable but nothing spectacular. It has nice florals both before brewing and after, and interesting color but the second steep seemed a bit bitter. I was expecting better structure in the leaf and not so much stem and small bits. This will be the afternoon pick me up tea, not my first choice.