340 Tasting Notes
This is a very unusual Assam. There’s some bitterness at the end of each sip, but it’s gentle, not unpleasant, and it only enhances the malty caramel sweetness of this tea. There’s also surprisingly little astringency, and a relatively light body. This makes me think that perhaps milk would overpower its subtle flavours. A very good, atypical Assam
Had this a couple of days ago, courtesy of Terri. Brewed it three times western style, and in neither of them did I get familiar and lovable smoky sweetness of Keemun. The tea was malty, full bodied, sweet and with no astringency, slightly stronger than other Keemun’s that I’ve tasted, and closer to Assam than Keemun in body and flavor (minus the astringency, sweeter and slightly lighter). I don’t drink Keemun with milk and sugar normally, but the full smooth body told me to give it a try. They coupled well together. This is a very good tea, but I’m not sure that I will go out of my way to buy some, as I like the gentle smokiness of Keemun and I missed its presence here.
First sample from TerriHarpLady! Brewed it gongfu style in my taiwan, while using Premium Mutzha Tikuanyin to season my new roasted oolong yixing teapot.
This is my first Se Chung oolong, and I can taste the woody astringency, but the peaches are rather in the background. This is an OK oolong, but not something to write home about. It’s not as roasted as other roasted oolongs, which means that there’s a tad more of the perfumy flavour that I don’t enjoy that much, but not enough to make the cup unpleasant. It’s the kind of oolong that I’d hand over to a friend who’s just venturing from the world of black teas into the world of green oolongs, and wants something “not too risky” to start with.
Dry leaves are various shades of brown, but a dark olive green emerges when they are brewed. The brew is a light copper, almost pink colour, and the smell is oh so typically oolong.
I was planning on brewing one of the samples that TerriHarpLady sent me, but then I received a newsletter from Verdant about their clearance sale on Hand Picked Autumn Tieguanyin, so I opted for a session with this sample I hadn’t yet opened, just in case I liked it enough to want to order some more.
I don’t normally like floral teas, but this Tieguanyin is barely floral. The first steep (in my green oolong yixing teapot, brewed gongfu style) brought out gentle lemony, zesty flavors, with only a faint hint of floral background. It brought back fond memories of the lemon tree in my late grandmother’s house, and the lovely smell our hands would get when picking fresh lemons.
In the second steep the lemony flavors took the back seat, and the floral tastes took a step forward. They came with a gentle but insistent warning – if you over brew us we WILL grow bitter. At this point the leaves had filled the pot to capacity, large and shiny green.
The third steep was where the two flavors met and came together, in a zesty, creamy floral celebration of spring, not autumn. My cat jumped on the tea tray, to see what all the ho ha was about, as he and my little tea pet purred with enjoyment
A bright, light bodied tea, with a light malt and prunes flavor,and a little astringency. Not sure that it has enough body to hold up well against milk. My mother likes light teas, and I’m drinking this at my parents’ house. It’s a solid-but-not-so-exciting tea. Suitable for drinking in the afternoon, during a Friday visit to your parents, with the sound of children playing bouncing up trough the window
This is a tea with presence – powerful, flavorful, complex and unapologetic. It is a tea that makes you sit up and take notice- good before a study session, meditation, preparing a New Year’s resolution list or a trip to the gym. You will want to be a better person after drinking this tea – it’s like being face to face with a gruff old zen master that also doubles as a samurai :)
There’s a pleasant bitterness, a muted fruity flavor, practically no astringency, and a depth of flavor in this bright coppery tea. It’s small leaves may tempt you to brew it western style, but I believe that gongfu will do it more justice. Sugar and milk will tame the samurai – but why tame such a powerful force?
Just prepared this gongfu style and hated it so much that I threw the leaves out after the first cup. This is odd, since I’ve never had such a bad experience with Norbu Tea, but the tea literally tasted like vomit :(
Not grading it or chucking it at the moment – will try again with a different combination of leaves/water/temperature.
Fantastic! This tea is sweet, with no astringency, and a complex and delightful combination of traditional black maltiness with a fruity, delicate finish that takes you by surprise. A different black tea, gentle and deserving of the full gong fu treatment. This most definitely goes on my shopping list when it runs out.
If you are looking for a different black tea – this certainly fits the bill
Backlog from Thursday. Had this tea at work with two colleagues after giving a presentation about TEA to my department. Worked on the presentation for two days and was super worried that it would bore people, but it turned out to be a huge success! I’ve already had people come and ask to try white tea, or puerh :)
Anyway, this is turning out to be my comfort tea, a dependable, smoky delight that always calms and cheers me up