39 Tasting Notes
I can’t believe that I haven’t reviewed this tea yet. For me it was one of those sleepers. I bought it and tried it many times, but only realized how much I loved it when I ran out. At the time I was abroad and could not get any more until I returned several months later. Bummer!
It is a brisk tea as others have noted, but since I don’t use milk in tea it is still not too brisk for my taste. It has a wonderful taste/aroma that I can’t really find words for, perhaps floraly woody? All I know is I treasure it and love it as a break from my more often drunk teas. I do tend to steep it around 4 minutes to keep it from getting too brisk.
So I am still addicted to this unique tea drink. I think that Kombucha Brooklyn has really improved this tea over the two years I’ve been drinking it. Not that it wasn’t delicious in the beginning, I just notice that it seems to be perfect every time. it has a significant amount of fizziness and my spirit soars when I drink it. You HAVE to try it.
This is still my #1 favorite tea even though there are so many others that I like. On a day to day basis, this tea is wonderful. I just spent 2 weeks drinking an Assam tea because I ran out of my Darjeeling. It was so good to come back home and have a cup of this fine blend. Love it!!!
OK, I was initially disappointed that MTW did not have the Pattabong Clonal Queen this year, being a creature of habit, but I bought a tin of the Singbulli Estate believing that MTW knew what they were doing. I was not wrong. I have been enjoying this tea on many afternoons. Like most First flush Darjeeling’s it has that wonderful combination that puts it somewhere between a green tea and a black tea. They recommend a 4 minute steep, I do five because I like a little more flavor and it can take it without becoming bitter. I let my tea water stand for 3 minutes after boiling to not scald the fine leaves. MTW scores again!
I first encountered Nilgiri tea on a visit to the Kerala area of the Blue Mountains in India. I collected some Nilgiri tea there, but when I saw this one on MTW’s site I had to give it a try. This is a really fine tea with nice citrusy notes and something I can’t describe, sort of a plum taste. A medium bodied tea that lends itself to drinking without the need for milk to cut the tannin. I am not a fan of using milk in tea so this one suits me fine. I’ve had it for seven mornings not consecutively, and I really enjoy it’s beautiful difference.
I got this Oolong at a Chinese grocery store on Canal St. in New York Chinatown. They have a large variety of Chinese teas sold by weight and I have found them to be very good. I am a great fan of Tung Ting Oolong from Formosa. Formosa (Taiwan) is just across the Formosa or Taiwan strait from Fujian Province where this tea is grown so it’s not surprising that they have a similar taste and history. The Monkey picked Tea Kwan Yin is a light Oolong as is Tung Ting with a semi-rolled style and light oxidation and light firing. To my taste the Tea Kwan Yin is not as floral as it’s Tung Ting cousin. It is a very satisfying tea with some aspects of green tea and some deeper aspects brought out by the roasting. Very enjoyable.
OK. I first encountered Tung Ting from Peets Coffee & Tea out in Berkeley California. They have a changing series of teas that they call “Rare Teas”. I bought a 2 oz. tin of Tung Ting and fell in love with it. Since I moved from Berkeley in 2003 Peets has stopped carrying it and I used up the last of my supply. So for any years I’ve been looking for some more Tung Ting. This summer I did a search on the internet and found some Tung Ting and ordered 2 2oz. bags of it.
It is just as I remember it. To do it justice you should have a small purple clay pot and a small purple clay cup. About a half a teaspoon to a 10-12 oz. pot. Water should be allowed to sit a few minutes after boiling. I steep for 2 to 3 minutes before I pour a small amount. As I consume that I pour more a minute or so apart enjoying the increasing flavor and scent until I consume the whole pot and do a second pour on the leaves.
Tung Ting is a green Oolong which when you add the water, the leaves which are whole open up and give off an absolutely ethereal floral scent. The liquor is a light yellow but the combination of the floral scent and the light green taste puts me in another world. The second pour on the leaves is not quite as intense, but still excellent.
I have become a kombucha addict. This so far is the best I have found. I love the ginger taste against the tea and sweet-sour background. It usually has a slight bit of fizziness because it is a culture and once capped the cultures produce CO2. I just finished brewing up my first batch using green tea, but it is not nearly a good as the KBBK Red Ginger.
Just finished another fine cup of MTW Dragonwell. I like to drink it out of a small cup to let the pot brew a bit. The first half cup is light and hot and as it cools in the pot it gets stronger. It’s never bitter, it just keeps improving right down to the bottom of the pot. The grassy smell and the pleasant taste are complimented by the wonderful feeling as the tea takes hold and I sit here saying to myself, this is really fine tea and the world is alright. 3 min minimum steep time and proceed from there…