409 Tasting Notes
I went to our local farmer’s market this morning, and chatted to a few of the regular famers there as I was shopping for fruit and vegetables. They’re all very worried at the moment, as two swarms of locusts have crossed the Sinai desert from Egypt and landed in the Israeli south, with its fields of produce and lush hothouses. The beasts are a menace, destroying whole fields in minutes, and getting rid of them won’t be an easy task. Right now everyone’s watching the wind, to see if it will carry more locusts across the border or not.
I just remembered it now, while sipping this tea – the fragility of crops, the hardship that farmers face, the pride that they take in their produce, and how we miss so much of that aspect of food growing when we buy a shrink wrapped tin in a supermarket. That’s part of why I appreciate sites like Verdant Tea, who highlight and expose some of that hidden aspect of consuming.
This tea brews surprisingly light (almost white tea light), so I was worried at first that it would be light on the flavour side too. Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about.
The tea is floral – but mellow. It isn’t a perfumy floral that assaults your senses. It’s a delicate, sweet floral, that still has great depth and a never-ending malty aftertaste. When I first smelled the dry leaves I thought that there was something of the milk oolong in their scent. This note remains in the surprisingly thick and creamy texture of this tea.
There’s also an elusive, more full-bodied flavour that’s lurking in the background, giving this tea more body. Perhaps wheat? straw?
2nd brew – floral notes are still there, but they are even more toned down. Other flavours emerge. Some tanginess, some pepper, some olive oil – this tea requires too much concentration to define in one sitting. Decided to quietly drink it, and leave reviews for later. A wonderful tea
This is a delicious tea that I really recommend brewing gongfu style. There’s a definite olive like taste to it, particularly in later brewings. It’s sweet, not at all astringent, and a few grams make many great brews. The only thing off-putting about this tea is the steep price tag. I think that it’s worth it, but I can understand if people prefer to buy other Yunnan teas.
Backlogging a morning cup with milk and sugar from Thursday morning. I’ve still not had enough time with this tea to properly rate it. It’s strong, malty, smooth and takes milk and sugar very well. I’ve yet to drink it plain – once I will, I’ll probably rate it. I have a friend at work that loves Assam, and he adores this tea. I’ll try to dedicate more time to it this week, to see if it’s worth restocking or not.