276 Tasting Notes
Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you.
When I opened this packet I was met with a lot of long thin leaves of a darkish hue. The aroma of the dry leaf was like fresh hay that has newly been stored in the barn. Definitely a good smell, then.
I steeped the tea three times in my glass teapot: first for one minute, then two and finally three. The first and second steeps were the best, while by the third steep the tea had definitely faded.
Once steeped, the wet leaves smelt or asparagus, or perhaps that pork chop aroma that I always associate with a good Long Jing. The leaves had lightened to a bright mid-green at this point and the liquor was a pale greenish yellow. When I first started pouring it, I thought it was going to come out almost clear, like my favourite Anji Bai Cha. The dominant flavour was a sweet grassiness and a delicate savoury element, like a lighter Long Jing in many ways. The tea itself was very refreshing and hit the spot beautifully on a warm Summer’s day like today. This is one for the wish list.
Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you, Teavivre.
When I opened the packet and poured out the leaf, it was like pouring out a pile of mid-green combat meerkats, all standing to attention. The leaves were aligned with military precision. Oddly, I found the rectilinear conformity of the leaves pleasing. The dry leaves smelt slightly grassy, but had no strong aroma, but as soon as I added hot water there arose what I can only describe as a meaty aroma: slightly grassy but with a definite pork chop smell, both of which carried over into the tea itself. Lovely. The liquor was a pale greenish yellow and the leaves brightened significantly to a bright green with loads of life to it. The aftertaste endured for ages after the final sip and the whole experience of drinking this tea left me happy.
Overall this is a really nice tea and the only negative point I can find to say is that it did not really have any endurance. I tried resteeping it but the tea was very much at its best on the first cup. Still, that best was a very good best.
This is one of the teas I got as part of my tea club membership. It is from Marionbarie Tea Estate in Terai, West Bengal. It surprises me that no one else has written about it yet, and that I have not written about it yet, because I finished it yesterday. Sadly I cannot buy more because it is not available through their normal web shop.
It’s an odd tea. More than any other tea I have tried, the range of flavours you experience with this one vary depending upon the temperature. Canton Tea Co recommend trying it between 80 and 95 degrees, so I dutifully did so. At lower temperatures it has more of the Darjeeling about it, while at higher temperatures it is more like a black tea. I preferred it at the lower temperatures where I found it to be floral, slightly buttery, light and bright. Oversteeping was a problem as it rapidly became bitter if left too long. At higher temperatures it lost the lightness and was slightly bitter. I was not a fan of brewing it above 85 degrees.
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 …