301 Tasting Notes
The history and culture of tea is one of many reasons why I pursue this passion. I love to find teas with a special story – enhancing the mystery and beauty of the tea. This is such a tea – a tea that I would love even without a story but the story makes it even more special (and for me, even more enjoyable).
This is one of four teas in Menghai Dayi’s Centennial Memorial set – two shous and two shengs. The one I have is the Jiangshan Meiren (An Empire and the Beauties) ripe cake. This tea commemorates the Soong sisters who one hundred years ago followed and assisted Sun Yat-sen and devoted themselves to the Chinese Revolution. In order to commemorate the Soong sisters, finely selected tea leaves from both the Bada and Bulang organic tea gardens of the Menghai Tea Factory were used.
I approached my first session with this tea with great excitement and high expectations. Of course, I feared that it might let me down since my expectations were so high. The color of the leaf is chestnut red with gold traces throughout -many tea buds are seen throughout the cake. The aroma of the dry leaf is very smooth, almost sweet. Two short five second rinses. Dark chestnut colored liquid with a pleasant smooth aroma.
This tea is lovely! The tea broth has a very rich and balanced taste. It most certainly does not disappoint. I’ll rate and write more after several additional sessions with this wonderful tea.
This is a dark flavorful shu – sweet and smooth even on the first steep. 5 grams, 15 second rinse, 5 second steep produced a delightful cup. When I go for a longer steep, the brew is thick and almost syrupy with an easy swallow and a spiciness that warms the throat.
I’ve been working on this over the past two days – I’m on steep #7 and it’s still very flavorful. I highly recommend this interesting, rich and delicious cake and I am very glad I purchased two when they were on sale earlier in the fall.
First of all, a big shoutout to Bonnie for this idea!!
I had enjoyed several resteepings of Mr. Han’s new 2004 Shu Pu’er when I read a comment by Bonnie where she recommended combining this blend with other base teas. What a great idea! How would it be with a nice fresh shu?
I brewed six ounces of the Spa Blend and combined it with a six ounce brew of Mr. Han’s Shu and it was fantastic! This is the fourth day I’ve reused these same leaves and combined the brews into my Zojirushi travel mug to enjoy throughout the afternoon. Two delicious Verdant teas – what could be better?
I highly recommend this combination. Thank you, Bonnie!
This leaf produces a scrumptious comforting cup of tea. The dry leaves are twisted black (with a little gold thrown in) wires with a very pleasant dark-chocolate fruit aroma. The reddish brown liquid has a smooth sweetness that is caramelized with a hint of bittersweet chocolate and a very pleasant aftertaste. No tea bitterness and very little astringency. This tea is a winner.
Over the past week I have been sipping on two lovely “dark teas” (both are new to me) – this one and an 8685 Gong Ting Puer in Tangerine (22g).
A lovely scent while brewing which produces a thick and mellow taste with the sweetness of a floral honey. This is high quality leaf with the capability to maintain flavor through many resteeps – I stopped at 10. The first two steeps are a bit harsh and earthy but those following are more gentle and quite lovely.
Not available from Yunnan Sourcing at the moment; sourced from Grandness Tea on AliExpress.
Over the past week I have been sipping on two lovely “dark teas” (both are new to me) – this one and a 2012 Supreme Purple Bud Raw Puer Mini Cake (8g).
This is a highly enjoyable find! Gong Ting fermented in an orange rind and it is delicious. The first 2-3 steeps are a bit strong with a pleasant astringency but the later steepings are more mellow – very enjoyable cups from the first to the last. If you break up a bit of the rind with the tea leaves, you can adjust the flavor to match your individual preferences. I find the orange flavor to be quite subtle and the leaf itself is of a good quality. Each orange package weighs 22-24 grams so it’s good for four different sessions (each session with many resteeps).
This is a new tea for me (although I’ve had it on the shelf for 4-5 months). For some reason, this afternoon I felt like a flavored green. The aroma is fantastic and the taste was exactly what I was seeking – strong and solid but not too overpowering. Delicious with out sugar and good for two flavorful steeps.