263 Tasting Notes
Ah, Steepster, I have neglected you of late. Life does not run in smooth paths and the bumps have thrown me off kilter for a while. Still, I am back and I shall try to post once a week, because that is what I think I can manage. So, excuses aside, I wish to thank Bonnie for sending me this tea. I have been carefully hoarding it ever since. Yesterday seemed like the right day for me to appreciate it, so I chucked it into one of my Yixing pots and brewed away. I gave it a full minute for the first steep and ten seconds for the next two, before increasing the steeping time gradually over the day. I think I managed a good eight or so steep from this one before it became just hot brown water and they were all good. The dominant flavour seemed to be cinnamon and cedar with an undertone of cocoa. There was a slightly metallic tang to it that I have noticed with other shu puerhs, but it was not an unpleasant flavour, just slightly earthy. Two thumbs up.
I drank this yesterday but am only writing it up today. It was one of the teas from my Canton Tea Club membership. I don’t seem to be keeping up with these very well at the moment and have a backlog to try. Still, that gives me plenty to look forward to.
The leaves are silvery and needley! Really? Yes! They are very whiskery and look great. The tea itself has a thick mouth feel and is quite grassy at first, but the melon flavour develops later. I found this tea really refreshing and it resteeped well too.
Thank you, Bonnie, for this wonderful tea. I’ve been saving it until I felt I could appreciate it and then I thought that really, I would never feel ready so I dug out my Yu Ru Yixing pot and got stuck in.
Do you stick your nose into a book and inhale deeply when you first get it? I do. I’m a total bibliophile. Well, maybe not quite that far! What were you thinking? Anyway, the worst thing possible for me is that there might be no more books in the world for me to experience. This tea reminded me of that new book experience. Well, actually, it was more like an old book experience. The smell was musty like an old book, and exciting in the same way. Where has this book been? What has it seen? Whose hands have held it and what stories might it tell about those hands? Yes, an exciting tea. Smelling of old books, slightly musty, notes of cedar in there too. It’s obviously a bookcase full of old books and made of cedar, or perhaps an ancient book bound in cedar boards. I’ve been drinking this all day. I am up to steep number 8 or 9 now. I’ve lost track. I got lost in the tea, you see. It had a story to tell me and I have not finished it yet.
Crikey, have I not logged this before? But the packet is nearly empty! I really like this tea. It has a dark rich flavour but not as chocolatey or malty as the other black teas that I tend to drink. Instead it really is like the company’s description. The caramel and honey flavours are clearly evident. Lovely. This is the sort of tea that I would happily have as my everyday tea, because the balance of flavours suits most occasions. Now if only I could afford it all the time …
Sample from Bonnie. Thank you.
This tea scares me. I’ve been put off it because the reviews are all so good, it is rare, and I feared that I might not be able to do justice to it with my tea-making skills. Worse yet, because of all of the above I felt that I needed to set aside a goodly amount of time to appreciate it properly. So, today I decided to take the bull by the horns, gird my loins and leap before looking. I’m glad I did.
I made it in a small gaiwan, thus giving myself enough leaf for another session, and I followed the guidelines of very short steeps. This has worked beautifully. The tea proved to be creamy and mellow. At first I got cherry flavours at the back of it and then it evolved into a winter spices taste that made me think of Christmas. It is lovely and I am pleased that I finally took the plunge. Better yet, I am only six steeps in, so I still have a goodly number of steeps left to drink when I return to it. It will make a fitting reward for getting some work done this afternoon. I had better get writing so that I can enjoy more of it …
I received this as part of my Canton Tea Club membership. Apparently it is not yet available in the Canton webshop, but will be soon. So, I am privileged to get to try it early! I’m neck deep in work with important deadlines looming even as I type, so naturally I dropped everything to try this. So, how was it?
The dry leaf smells overwhelmingly of bergamot. I cannot actually pick out anything else in that aroma. When steeped, it releases the bergamot aroma but there are floral elements too. Steeping seems to reduce the power of the bergamot, which is a relief. It is still there, but it lets other flavours through too. Overall the description that Canton Tea Co gives is about right for me. You can taste the bergamot and the citrussy flavours it releases. There is a floral overtone to it that is quite pleasant too. It is a relaxing tea to drink that makes for a nice treat when you are in the mood.
I received this in my first week of Canton Tea Club, but have not tried it before now. How bad am I? In my defence, I was not up to tea tasting that week or indeed for a week or so after due to colds and being run down. So, today I decided I needed to catch up a bit on my tasting notes and this appealed.
It smells really sweet when you pour the hot water on it and the first taste is all buttery sweetness with a strong floral element to it. I brewed it western style in my small glass teapot and the whole first steeping was like this. Then the butteriness settled down a bit in the second steeping but the sweetness remained. By the third steeping it has settled down to a mellow, sweetly floral drink with undertones of butteriness. It is very nice and I reckon I could probably drink rather a lot of this.
Mmm, toasty. I really enjoyed this and got several good steeps out of it in my small glass teapot. I really need a small ceramic teapot too. Time to start looking for that again, but first this tea. It’s toasty and floral on the first hit, and smooth, so smooth. This is a tea that would be easy to drink all day and I should probably try that with my gaiwan, when I next get another sample. I also need to compare it to Canton Tea Co’s offering, which I received as part of the tea club but have not yet sat down to taste.