386 Tasting Notes
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
Brewed it Western style tonight, and lovely peachy flavors emerged – with the perfume flavor taking a back seat. This tea’s silky smoothness is addictive, and I have a feeling that it will cold brew well. I don’t enjoy vegetal or perfumed teas, but this tea surprised me by avoiding both these notes. It is a delicate tea, and using boiling water or oversteeping it will get you a bitter and unpleasant brew, but if you hit its sweet spot – you are in for a treat of a tea
One steeping before last. Three rounds in a taiwan. This is a good tea. A very good tea. But it’s not a spectacular tea. There’s honey, malt, the linen feel that Terri described – and also some bitterness, that emerges even in very short steeps. I like it, but it doesn’t rank among my top 10. It’s a 90+ tea – but taking the price into account, it drops to a “no, I wouldn’t buy it again”
The dry leaves of this tea are on the large side, and smell fruity. The liquor is very pale gold (when brewed Western style), and sweet. Tastes of cucumber and barley dominate the cup. The tea is very smooth and creamy, and very tasty.
A delicate tea that won’t tolerate (or need) any sugar or milk, and is very comforting and refreshing. A great way for me to unwind at the end of a very long day.
Will buy again.
Another cup of this as a pick me up before I have to go to work (again) this night. A much needed comfort cup.
The Chinese Tea Company is a small store in London, Portobello – a heartwarming little treasure nestled in a forgotten arcade, at the less fashionable side of the market. It is worth the visit, if you’re ever in the area. I have yet to order from them online, but once my teas run out, I probably will.