412 Tasting Notes
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.
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.
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.
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.