240 Tasting Notes
I really liked the Oriental Beauty I bought from Canton Tea Co back when I first started buying from them. It was expensive but was absolutely lovely, so I bought a tin of this from Teavivre with some trepidation. After all, how could this cheaper tea live up to my previous experience?
So, the first steeping was not good. Too much leaf and steeped for too long. It had a metallic edge to it that I have noticed with oolongs when I get the steeping wrong. Not particularly pleasant and certainly not the delicate honeyed notes I was hoping for.
The second steeping went much better. It was like honeysuckle nectar: floral, sweet, light with apricot or peach notes. The third steep went equally well, and has left me feeling very pleased that I have a whole tin left in the cupboard awaiting my attentions. This is a tea that belongs permanently in my cupboard for when the mood takes me.
I wanted a black tea and have been drinking a lot of Golden Monkey lately, but I wanted something different so I opened my new(-ish) tin of Tan Yang Gong Fu. It was dusty like hay when you shake it out and had a slightly warm hay smell to it. It also stuck together a bit like leaves of hay do. It looked a lot like the Golden Monkey with the curly golden leaf mixed in with darker ones. “Looking good,” I thought to the tea, although the dustiness had surprised me. The liquor is dark red brown and clear and smells faintly malty. Although I used a lot of leaf, the aroma of the tea is still delicate but the flavour is quite direct. There is a hint of malt there, something of molasses and some cherry notes too. It is really smooth and there is greater depth than the Golden Monkey. It’s like the taste and aftertaste sink into your tongue and carry the experience all the way with them. I can actually feel this tea relaxing me, which is surely a good sign. There is a lot going on here and I think I need to drink more just to explore it further. Yes, that’s it. Better add this one to the buying list because I’m sure I shall want to explore it further when the current tin is done.
I’m drinking this as default tea when I do not feel like spending time enjoying better teas. I have come to terms with its lack of Darjeelingness and have worked out some basic parameters for brewing it so that something of the Darjeeling flavour comes through, It is not bad and is better than PG or Typhoo but it is just not good enough for me to want to buy it again. Once the packet is gone, I shall look around for a different Darjeeling that I can drink as an everyday tea.