403 Tasting Notes
PLEASE IGNORE THIS REVIEW AND READ THE ONE FOLLOWING IT. Thanks
I’m not going to rate this tea at the moment, but I drank it for the first time today and I must say that considering all the hype that it has gotten her, I’m quite disappointed. It’s a very good black tea, but I still think that Norbu’s Lao Cong Zi Ya is much tastier and much more interesting.
The dry tea is very attractive dark color, with long, twisted leaves that smell exactly, exactly like chocolate. The tea itself brews a to a golden amber fluid. The tea is slightly astringent, but not unpleasantly so, and tastes like grains to me rather than chocolate. There’s a spiciness in its aftertaste (pepper maybe?) and a woodsy taste to it in later brews, but most certainly not chocolate.
I think that it’s a very good tea, but I’m probably not going to give it 100. I’m going to give it a few more brews, just in case I’m missing something.
Backlogging from yesterday. This tea when dry looks like monster white buds from outer-space, the buds are so large and impressive. Most definitely a tea to brew in a glass gaiwan or teapot. The dry leaves smell like plain white rice, a very soothing smell (for me). The tea brew is practically colorless, and once again smells like rice. It tastes like sweet white rice with a slight roasted tinge to it that is very pleasant. The tea is silky and light bodied with no astringency. Its tastes are so delicate that it won’t hold well to adding milk or sugar – but then again I don’t believe it needs them. Yummy!
Nearing the end of this tea (enough for two more gongfu steepings of it) and it’s no longer available from Norbu. Was slightly saddened until I rummaged around my kitchen and discovered that I have another 50g of it stashed away. Hurray! Brewed some of and and am drinking it now while working on my thesis – in full celebration mode :) Also bumped up the tea’s rating.
I’ve also ordered all the new oolongs from Verdant’s site, plus some of the new sheng pu’erh and a small amount of the Yunnan that got such high ratings here. A friend will pick it up for me if it arrives when I’m in the UK, but I really hope that it will get here before that.
My two Gaiwan sets arrived today, and to celebrate I brewed this sample that I got from JK Tea Shop.
The dry leaves are very long, twisted and dark. The brew is lightly golden with a gentle sweet and flower scent. The tea is silky, slightly oily, and coats the tongue and the roof of the mouth with its pleasantness. I steeped it four times, and the second and third steep were the best – the first being rather rough. There’s no astringency or bitterness to this tea, but rather a mild sweetness that is not overwhelming or cloying, but merely a welcome background to the perfumed/orchidy flavour of this tea that lasts long after the tea is gone.
A very good tea to relax with on a friday afternoon, watching the sun set and listening to my cat snoring gently to herself.
Was having a nice cup of this tea, when the sirens next to my house started blaring. Caught me completely by surprise, and sent me rushing to the sheltered room (minus the tea, which was in a glass cup…). I thought that it was probably a drill, but as we weren’t notified that there was going to be one today, I thought it better to be safe than sorry. After an uncomfortable minute or so, the siren died out and I went to check out what it was all about. It turns out that it was a drill, but there was no mention of it in the paper or the news last night, so it gave me quite a fright.
I’m now back at my desk, sipping this tea and relaxing before getting back to work. Brrr…
Another four steeps of this. I used longer steeps this time, so the cinnamon taste is more pronounced, but still not overpowering, and the tea has taken on a creamy texture. The gentle vegetal aspect of this tea has also cleared up, and I can define it as garden pea like. I’m already halfway through my stash and am contemplating another purchase. A tea well worth your time and money if you haven’t tried it yet.
I’m sitting with a cup of this, listening to my cat gently snore, and wondering when my throat ache will clear up. Since I’m not 100% well, I won’t rate this tea at the moment, I’ll just write up a few notes about it. The dry leaves are balled up into pearl sized greenness, of the brilliant kind, with a splash of yellow and brown here and there. They are very attractive, and smell gently floral and sweet. They very quickly open up – most are half open after the quick rinse they received before the first cup, and by the third steep they are fully open. Make sure to give them plenty of room to grow, as the leaves are large and full, and filled my gaiwan in no time. The tea brews a delicate, pale amber, and steeps very quickly. I was worried that it would be very vegetal, but it leans more towards the sweet and floral range of “green” oolongs, and the vegetal notes are very faint, and make the tea more refreshing. I have a feeling that this tea will cold brew very well. It grows sweeter and takes on tastes of lightly roasted greens in later steeps. Once again, the leaves are very attractive opening up, so if you have a glass gaiwan, this is a tea for it. Lovely tea for a sunny, lazy afternoon, or for a post lunch treat.