521 Tasting Notes
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C. Steeped 3 minutes 15 seconds.
When, oh when, will I learn to stick to a 3-minute steep? Those 15 extra seconds make a difference. If you really like astringency and pucker in your tea, steep over 3 minutes.
I’ve need a while to warm up to this one. It’s bright and cheerful, with some pucker — but with no bitterness, no acid. The body is medium to heavy with a creamy heft that I really like. Mouthfeel is smooth; I can see lots of down floating in the dark copper liquor through the walls of my glass mug. An assertive India black tea that will wake you up and remind you just why you started drinking tea in the first place.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C. Second infusion. Steeped 4 minutes 15 seconds.
I want some black tea, but I have these glorious leaves left over from last night. One does not simply steep an oolong a single time.
Floral in scent — wildflowers and grass. The taste is more mineral on the second infusion, but also stronger on the florals and cream, especially in the finish. Some stonefruit. This tieguanyin has been lightly roasted, just enough to bring out some depth. Liquor is pale gold.
A stunning tieguanyin.
1.25 tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped four minutes.
I am drinking this so quickly it hasn’t got time to cool off.
An excellent blend, withheft, body, notes of smoke and cream, and some slight astengency and mineral in the finish. Great caffeine punch, too. I love this blend, and I always order more than one tin at a time, because when I’ve got it, this stuff doesn’t last long.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes.
Bright and sparkly up front. I was expecting more of a Nepal-Darjeeling sort of taste profile, but this deepens into something stronger and a bit maltier. I’m guessing this has a lot of Nilgiri in it. I notice the steeping suggestion is three minutes; my four minutes have brought out a bitterness I am not enjoying. Next time, I’ll follow the instrictionsd.
1 pyramid sachet for 300mL water @100C, steeped five minutes, drunk bare.
I got this as a sample with my Harney & Sons order some months ago and just found it while tidying my tea cupboard.
A juicy Assam, but light in body: no heft, and not very much malt. I thought the liquor looked pale as it steeped, so I went five minutes, which might have been a mistake: the tea is bitter. It’s okay. It’s not an Assam I’d go out of my way to order, though.
Flavors: Malt, Peat Moss
2tsp (fluffy tea, long leaves, hard to measure) for 300mL water @ 95C, steeped four minutes.
I got some of the early 2014 version of Imperial Breakfast (I think), which I notice is already sold out.
A bit lighter than last year, with the pu-erh perhaps less potent — fine with me. The white tea gets to dance, and the Yunnan gives a clean depth. I am learning to appreciate the pu-erh in this gorgeous blend. Nice caffeine lift, too.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Honey, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Peat Moss
I can’t “like” anyone’s tea notes. This is irritating me. Whatever browser I use, I can’t “like” anything. GAH.
Back to tea …
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C, rinsed, steeped 3 minutes, then steeped 4 minutes.
Both infusions gave me an exquisite tieguanyin, with sharp florals, a touch of cream, faint vegetal notes, even, I thought, some faint and light musk, a light toastiness that just coaxes everything else out a little more, and so much oolong beauty that I have trouble writing about it. This tieguanyun needs, and will reward, your full attention.
Flavors: Cream, Flowers, Grass, Honeydew, Mineral, Orchids