5 Tasting Notes
I’ve read a few things suggesting this tea has cinnamon notes, however, I did not detect any cinnamon aroma or flavor. The liquor grows deeper in color throughout steeping and holds a nice honey brown color. The flavor was quite nice. I found it similar to my Oriental Beauty in the sweet cereal flavor but my tongue was left with a pleasant banana 回甘。 The aroma I picked up was that of roasted nuts and vanilla.
Prep: (gongfu; yixing pot)
My preference to oolongs tends to lean towards lighter oolongs, although Da Hong Pao is one my favorite teas.
Liquor has a nice honey/brown color. Aroma is reminiscent of hot wort (toasted malts, cereal) and the flavor for that matter is very similar. The malty notes carried through each sip nicely and left my palate with a enjoyable sweet “hui gan”
(Prep: gongfu cha, washed once before steep #1; Gaiwan)
Don’t be afraid after the first steep. The first steep was really bitter with a strong “kougan-口感” or mouthfeel and an overwhelming "huigan-回甘“; aftertaste. I have to say though, the kougan was actually pleasurable. I could feel the tea growing on my tongue and on the inside of my cheeks slowing moving down my throat. I was able to appreciate the full complexity of this tea and after 4-5 steeps this tea started to taste ever better. The aromas are consistent with Pu’er containing a subtle earthy, barnyard-like aroma as well as taste but not as much as my 2011 “shou” puerh. This is one of the better sheng Pu’er I have tasted.
This tea was given to me for free (as is the Chinese way :)) from a friend at Beijing’s Maliandao Tea Market. This is the #1 place in the world to go if you love tea! At nearly 1 mile long, maliandao boasts over 5,000 teashops selling every tea imaginable, tea ware, books, Lu Yu statues, and Yixing tea pots ranging from $15 to $125,000.
This tea was prepared in traditional gongfu cha manner using an yixing pot steeped for 15secs @ 200F and increasing about 5sec per steep. The tea is mildy floral and has subtle notes of smooth butter with great aromas (especially when using 闻香杯 or fragrant smelling cups). I found this particular tea to be a bit on the mild side and after steep #5 started loosing its flavor quite fast but nonetheless, tie guan yin is a solid go to oolong