412 Tasting Notes

92

Ok, so now for a proper tasting note, because this tea is worth it. This is from my latest order from Norbu Tea, part of what I bought during their 25% off Chinese New Year sale (on until the 31st of January. Go buy some great tea now! I’ll wait patiently until you are done).
One of the reasons that I love Norbu is that they have all these unique and interesting teas that you can’t find anywhere else, and this is one of them. This is an aged oolong that is practically my age, and yet doesn’t have any funky, fishy, musty smell or taste. It is very dark, and has a roasted note to the first steepings, but from the third steep on it takes on a Tie Guan Yin taste, with flowery, slightly perfume-y notes, and some fruitiness that remains with this tea from the start. I used very short steepings, as this tea came out bold during the quick wash, so I was afraid of over brewing it. The leaves unfurl, and they nearly filled my little Yixing teapot (Yunnan Sourcing Green Dragon Egg – wonderful teapot!) by the fifth and sixth steepings. This tea can go on for ages, and you are likely to tire of it before it runs out of juice. There are some cocoa notes to the tea, particularly in the first steepings, and there’s a nice sweetness to it, yet also a complexity beyond what you normally get even from a very good oolong. A tea to remember, and to slowly and methodically savor.
P.S. I’m not a fan of flowery oolongs, so I’m knocking off a few points due to my personal preferences. If you are at all a Tie Guan Yin person or an oolong person in general, you need to try this tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec
__Morgana__

Sounds wonderful. I love Norbu, too. I’m intrigued by your teapot as well. I don’t have a Yixing yet but I’d like to get one.

NofarS

Please don’t make the mistake that I did and buy lots of cheap, poor quality Yixing from eBay. Invest in good Yixing teapots, they will last you for years if you treat them properly. I have two from Yunnan sourcing and they are all excellent, excellent, and decently priced. One for Sheng, and one for Oolong. I also have one for Shu that I bought at an outrageous price from Le Palais de The, but at least it’s a good quality one. Finally the one I have for black teas is exquisite, and was a gift from a friend who toured in China and asked a local to help her buy “a good quality Yixing for a friend who likes tea” :)

NofarS

And Norbu are practically my favorite tea company :)

Terri HarpLady

I’m trying to stay away from Norbu’s page…

Sil

Terri…stay away! i have samples to send you!

Terri HarpLady

Oh good! Saved! :)

NofarS

I am struggling not to place another order there. There’sa Sheng, a white tea and a few black teas that are tempting me. Must hang in there

__Morgana__

See, that’s the thing. I know you’re supposed to have a different Yixing for each type of tea (and even subtypes) and I worry that I’ll get carried away if I start down that slippery slope. ;-)

Terri HarpLady

Morgana, I have 3 yixings designated for: Sheng, Wuyi Oolongs, & Shu. Then I have an adorable white porcelain teapot with blue lotuses on it, which is the same size as the yixings. Because it’s porcelain, it’s interchangable, but I pretty much use it for black teas. I haven’t got a black tea yixing yet, because some of the full leaf black teas I drink have very different flavor profiles from each other. My mind is telling me that I’d want separate little pots for yunnan, wuyi, taiwan, etc., so porcelain it is. I have gaiwans for the oolongs, etc. It is a slippery slope! Fun, but yeah!

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92

Clean, toasted notes, with hints of plums and cocoa. A very nice gongfu session during a very frustrating conference call.

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67

Sipdown! Thank you Terri for this sample!
Had a thoughtful two cups of this, and decided that it was too bitterly smokey for my liking

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95

An interesting take on Ya Bao, in Sheng format – a kind of combination between toasty white tea and the depth of flavor of Sheng, with a little lemony twist. A very comforting, sweet, mellow drink, that needs several washes and time to unfold its flavors (obviously in a Gaiwan or a Yixing teapot). No camphor taste, for those who avoid Sheng Pu’er for that reason. A nice evening treat to have curled with a book.

TheTeaFairy

Sounds great with the curling thing :-)

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92

Dull me – another cup of this as an evening treat. I made some home-made granola tonight, and the house smells wonderful.

caile

Sounds nice!

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94

Had a comforting cup of this at work. Hands down, best earl grey that I’ve ever had.

TheTeaFairy

This is usual for me, first time I hear of a bergamot darjeeling…

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81

Made a large batch of this at work, and it went down well. People do appreciate good tea, even if they don’t always know where to get it or how to make it themselves

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Sipdown!
I got this tea from Terri. Thank you Terri!
This is not a great darjeeling, but it’s a nice enough and not too memorable tea. If you don’t like Darjeelings, then you could probably still enjoy this tea. It has less acidity and astringency than more pronounced Darjeelings, but also lacks the more ethereal muscatel notes, or the fantastic mouth feels that good Darjs have.

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93

Bold, malty, fruity, sweet, Assam –
A great way to start the day.
How did you start yours?

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85

This is a good, gentle Darjeeling, which is a kind introduction into the world of Darjes, if you are new to it. A colleague picked up this tin at work and said, “I love this tea’s smell, let’s make some”, so I dutifully brewed up a batch. This is no morning brew, as it brews light (as all Darjeelings do), and it actually doesn’t have the famous, desirable “muscatel” notes, but rather more citrusy, and with an ethereal note to it. It lacks the amazing body that Ronnefeldt’s Darjeeling Earl Grey has, but it still is a very good, bright tea.

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Profile

Bio

An Israeli computer programmer with a passion for tea (mostly bought in yearly shopping sprees in the UK), particularly black, oolong and white. I don’t generally enjoy flavoured teas or herbal infusions, but if a tea sounds interesting and smells nice I’ll most definitely try it. I drink several cups of tea a day, usually one or two in the morning, another one after lunch and one or two in the evening. My favourite tea so far is Lao Cong Zi Ya from Norbu Tea, but I’m constantly trying new teas. Only in the past year have I branched into Pu’erh and non-roasted oolongs. Finding good tea in Israel is difficult, so I import most of my teas from yearly visits to London, or from online retailers. If you see something in my cupboard that sparks your interest and you would like to swap with me, then please message me. I’m almost always up for a swap.

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

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