256 Tasting Notes
I was kindly sent a sample of this tea by a fellow nameless Steepsterite and finally have a chance to try it, having had a throat infection for a week and a half. Tea tasting has not really been on the menu for a while, because I have had my head down finishing my thesis, so it is a real pleasure to come back to it with a solid shu.
The dry leaf smells like Shu with no fishiness or other unpleasant aromas. It’s quite a woody aroma like cedar or something similar. The liquor is medium bodied and dark. The same aroma of cedar is continued in the aroma of the liquor, and also into the taste. It is woody and earthy with a citrus finish that lasts on the tongue and an undertone of cinnamon. All in all a pleasant tea that would be welcome at most times.
Flavors: Cedar, Cinnamon, Earth, Wood
I received a sample of this as a present from a kind fellow steepsterite (steepsterer?) and have had it on the go for the past three days. It’s smooth with a little edge of something like camphor. There’s a richness to the liquor that I like, and it suits my need in the morning for something thicker than the usual teas. It seems to have reasonably good endurance too, hence it has lasted well and the leaf is only now reaching the end of its life.
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.