196 Tasting Notes
After the disappointment of their Darjeeling, this tea came as a nice surprise. The puerh is an earthy shu that carries a decent bit of body. What I tasted of it was not exceptional but definitely workmanlike enough to satisfy me when combined with the citrus. This was a bit surprising given my general lack of interest in flavoured teas.
The aroma of the dry leaf is largely grapefruit. When steeped the liquor has a peculiar dual layer to it, as if smelling two separate teas. At the top is citrus then the earthiness of the shu comes into play as you dip your nose further into the cup. The extent to which the two aromas existed separately surprised me a lot. This situation persisted in the tasting of the hot tea. The citrus dominates at first and then the earthiness of the shu came through to take over. Then, when the earthiness has faded from the aftertaste, the citrus remains strongly on the tongue for some time afterwards leaving you with a very clean-feeling mouth as if I had just brushed my teeth with grapefruit toothpaste. I cannot imagine drinking this every day, but it will remain in the cupboard for those days when I want something fruity and simple, and I shall not be averse to getting more when it is gone.
A coffee and tea shop opened up in Beverley, near us, recently. Naturally I got all excited and had to charge in at the first opportunity. So, I checked it out. It seems to stock mostly flavoured teas and coffees with few ‘proper’ teas. Shame that. The place seems like a step up from Whittards, but not so much to my taste. Unfortunately, this tea I bought from there is the same. I have tried it with different amounts of leaf, at different temperatures and varied the steeping time. It tastes like a Darjeeling, but only just and the variable elements don’t seem to change it much. It is certainly not a patch on the other Darjeelings that I drink more regularly, but then it is cheaper too and that shows in the taste. Shame about that. I had hoped for a regular source of everyday tea but this one is not it. Perhaps the shop has others that are better …
Yay, I’m the first to write a note on this one! :)
After discovering a Dragonwell at the back of the cupboard and drinking that, I suddenly had a craving for raw pu so I thought I would start one of the sample packs I have been buying recently. For some reason, I bought a sample pack of this one, even though I have a whole untouched beeng in the stash. I guess that was an oversight at the time, but it does not feel so now.
The dry leaf is grassy and sweet, and the initial steepings were the same. About the third steeping, the tea developed a spicy sparkle on top of the grassiness that lasted ages in the aftertaste, even developing further on the tip my tongue. There’s a slight smokiness to my breath that develops further on into the aftertaste and I can feel the tea waking me up gently. The mouthfeel is creamy and full, double cream, perhaps. It’s very pleasant drinking this and I think I have a ways to go yet. The leaf feels like it has legs to it after half a dozen steepings and I should get a fair few more out of it. Nice.
Instead of getting on with my work, as I am supposed to be doing, I decided to catalogue my teas today and update the cupboard on Steepster. This has proven an instructive process, because I found a small sample that was gratefully received from Bonnie some time back. It had worked its way to the back of the cupboard. Cataloguing teas is thirsty work, so I immediately decided to brew this one up and try it. The label Bonnie had written indicated that I should expect something special from this tea. I forgot to sniff the dry leaf, but it did look marvellous, as only a Dragonwell can. All those flat leaves lined up appeals to my sense of order. The wet leaf was savoury with a hint of banana, while the liquor seemd to have little aroma at all. It has the savoury taste that I expect of a Dragonwell, but also apple, a spot of spice and something vegetal. This is so much more delicate than other Dragonwells that I have drunk with a light creaminess that I really enjoy. What a superb tea.