89 Tasting Notes
OK, I have no idea what I’m doing with this tea. Darjeeling is foreign to me so I definitely need to take a class or two. Did my prerequisite reading but there is so much it confuses rather than directs. It seems mostly brewed western style but that didn’t stop me from doing a gongfu session with the two packets from the box courtesy of Steepster. I don’t know why I resist western brewing so much, probably has to do with my impatient nature not wanting to go the whole 4 minutes in order to taste my tea.
I thought that the two packets looked like a lot of tea for 160 ml pot, and I was right, the first steep was way powerful after 20 seconds. I did 15 sec for the 2nd and 3rd steeps and back up to 20 for the 4th. The 4th was the best of the lot, nice muscatel, apricot, flowery, spiced tea with a pronounce bitter aftertaste which was not cringe worthy but seemed like it was meant to be there. The energy was more than I like but I need to awake for the evening “get out of town” for the weekend. This reminded me of oolong more than black, guess I will wait for now and read more reviews of Darjeeling before adding to my cupboard. If anyone knows of a good resource please pass it on.
Flavors: Apricot, Cedar, Cloves, Flowers, Mineral
Very nice, reminds me of the teas I drink when I go to the New World Mall in Flushing with proprietor Susan. She knows I like my green oolongs so she brings out the best and this is right up there with the Lishans I’ve tasted.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Peas
Very nice, used the two sample pckets and brewed for 1:15 for the first then 40 seconds there after making for a rich brew of buttery oolong goodness. Waiting for all my purveyors to return from there tea buying trips so I can get full steam ahead into the 2014 crop.
Flavors: Butter, Gardenias, Grass, Peas
Far less smoke than a Laphroaig and not as peaty either but it was a very gentle taste. The flavor and aroma of chocolate was the abundant profile for me along with malt and a hint of cherry. Yezi’s black teas are amazing. I brewed a large amount in a small yixing and steeped for only a few seconds to get a good tasting. Shared with a friend whos own review was “Yum”.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
Finished this winter stash yesterday and I will have fond memories of this tea. It was my every day to get me through the snow and now spring beckons. Today I’m having a tea given to me by a shop owner in Flushing. All I know is its a black Formosa but doesn’t rival my Mojiang.
Had this late afternoon on Saturday after a snowy day of shopping. Going to the symphony that night so I wanted a pick me up. Followed the directions to brew and loved the soft creamy green goodness put forth. I made three steeps without a noticeable drop in flavor or aroma. Then it was off to the music of Beethoven with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and pianist Noboyuki Tsujii playing Concerto no. 5. Had a Makers Mark Manhattan with some Mast Bros dark chocolate pre-concert and the tone was set; tea, cocktail, nibbly bit and virtuosity. If you have never heard Mr. Tsujii play, you’re in for a treat. All in all a great day in the big apple. Some extra notes about the Karigane is that I am not that keen on the cloudiness the tea exhibits but I will get over it for the taste, but the tea blew my socks off in the awake category. Didn’t get to sleep till 4 in the morning.
Ok this is going to be a long one…
I used the sample pack 4gm in a new Yunnan Sourcing Celadon 100ml gaiwan. I figured a nice aromatic roasted green oolong would match.
1St steep 50 seconds after a quick rinse and the leaves still are bunched abit. The smell is outrageous. Everything in its description is there. The coconut, brown sugar leading the way. The flavor was even more enticing as the concord grape (pits and skins alike) and coffee joined the party. Exceptional.
2nd steep 40 seconds and the aromas are still strong with the flavors absolutely filling up my mouth with “POW”. The wet leaves in the gaiwan are showing off nicely and I think I heard them say “you ain’t drunk nothing yet”.
3rd steep 45 seconds and the proverbial mother load. By far my best experience with roasted green oolong in this cup. Full of aroma and flavor and I get a stronger hint of the coffee and new flavors of tobacco and slate. I like the color of the soup too being a rusty yellow.
4th steep 50 seconds and a noticeable drop off in the aroma as it to has changed into a more smokey tobacco scent. The flavors of coconut and brown sugar are just faint reminiscences now with the smokey slate flavor bursting through.
5th steep for 1 minute and I have to say that at first I got a little pissy because I wanted the coconut brown sugar back and felt disappointed in being left with the other flavors.
6th steep 70 seconds and I hit an epiphany, I remembered this flavor of smokey slate from the true rock Wuyi’s and then the appreciation sunk in. That slate sensation in the mouth is exactly like those Wuyi oolongs I have been drinking and with the help of Shunan at Tea Drunk I came to appreciate them. Its kind of like the first time you have bitter melon. You immediately cringe your nose and pucker. But after several times eating it, you later come to an agreement that that flavor is sought out for its contribution to your taste-buds. That’s when I stopped being pissy and realized that this tea was just developing into a classic flavor and just appreciate it.
7th steep 80 seconds and I took time to sniff the lid and still some fragrance of coconut and brown sugar but it was almost gone in the soup. The flavor now was of Wuyi only and quite satisfying.
8th 9th 10th added 10 seconds to each and alas its about petered out but the rusty yellow hue hangs on as do the smokey slate flavors.
All said, the best sample in my recent memory. A great experience as it schooled me on the flavor notes to be more patient and contemplative. The gaiwan tea combo was a home run as well. I love this type of tea experience. Thanks Steepster