391 Tasting Notes
2013 Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black
I’ve wanted to taste this tea for some time but it has been out of stock until the new summer harvest arrived. Well it’s back in stock and today I received my order (early delivery because I won the Birthday contest with this tea as the prize – lucky, lucky me). I rushed right to the kitchen to open the box and make my first cup.
These leaves are gorgeous! They are delicate, very dark, long and lightly twisted (almost black with flecks of amber on a few of them). The smell of the dry leaf seems a little earthy but also fruity – not terribly strong but just enough to entice you.
I followed the brewing instructions given to me by Stacy – gongfu brewing; 1.5 tsp per 8 oz for a sweeter tea. As the leaves began to unfurl the aroma was fabulous and the liquor became a light reddish brown – almost a rusty color. The mouthfeel is very, very smooth with absolutely no astringency. My first impression is that this tea seems subtle but very complex. The flavor is definitely sweet and honey-like with both caramel and dark chocolate overtones coming through yet it is also fruity and malty. With later sips, as the tea cools, I begin to pick up a sweet bread and molasses flavor.
Before sending my tea, Stacy described the difference between this year’s harvest and that from last year: “Due to the rain situation in Taiwan, the leaf hoppers weren’t as active this year so there are less honey notes. Last year was more of a croissant and honey taste this year is more of a waffles and powdered sugar. The tea comes across a bit more which I like. It’s different but not by much.”
Place your order – this tea is a must try! I’m off to try my second infusion……
One of the things I enjoy most about my tea journey is discovering new teas. I had just such an experience today when I had my first mug of Butiki’s Watermelon Xylophone. I followed the website instructions for brewing. Pale, pale green tea soup with a pleasant, subtle aroma and a lightly flavored sweet taste. I then added a touch of sugar and, as promised, the liquid turned into warm watermelon juice. All in all, a delightful experience! I plan to brew again today and chill to enjoy cold “watermelon juice” this evening.
This has been a lovely Mandala Tea weekend for me- Black Pearls (one of my new favorites) on Saturday and Noble Mark on Sunday. Doesn’t get much better than that when it comes to enjoying fine tea.
The dry leaf has an earthy aroma just as one would expect from a pu’er. One large tablespoon (after two very quick rinses) in 8oz boiling water for 30sec for round one; round 2 for 45sec; then combined in my 16 oz Zojirushi travel mug. Infusions 3 and 4 (1 min each) were just as enjoyable a few hours later. The tea has an appealing combination of flavors – chocolate, fruit and a little cream yet a bit earthy as a pu’er usually is.
This pu’er is delightful – silky, smooth and solid texture with slightly sweet aftertaste; a dark reddish brown color; and good for multiple enjoyable steeps. It left me wanting more so what could be better in a pu experience?