1004 Tasting Notes
Unexpectedly, the looseleaf Long Jing from Palais des Thés in the sleek aluminum tube seems not to be as good as the tea in the cotton muslin sachet. Strange.
I had been wondering what their Long Jing leaves would look like and was surprised to find that they are very broken up. It’s quite possible that this is an old batch which has been jostled about a lot, as I bought the box set from one of the social shopping sites. The liquor was darker golden veering peach (not green) in color, but there were lots of particles at the bottom of the glass, so that probably had something to do with it. The taste was not that great either, and the liquor had none of the silken texture which I’ve come to associate with Long Jing.
The best part of this experience was the housing: I love the test tubes and will use them to store small amounts of teas once I’ve emptied them. Which won’t take long—this one contained less than 10 grams…
Nothing new to add to my previous notes. Just a reaffirmation of the excellence of this Early Spring Bi Luo Chun from Yunnan Sourcing. I realize that most people buy pu-erh from them, but I became overwhelmed by the choices, given my state of near ignorance of the genre.
I do aver that these beautiful snail shells are a worthy green tea from a company best known for pu-erh!
The more I drink the Pukka nighttime infusions, the fonder I become of them. The herbs used strike me as very good, in addition to being organic. Yes, it’s filterbag dust, but it seems to be much fresher than the standard grocery store fare. I especially the blends such as this one, Relax, which contain chamomile and oat flowering tops.
I just read the entry on Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) in The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea. I concur that this is more the “old style” of oolong, which is probably why I don’t like it nearly as much as the greener, less-oxidized oolongs I’ve been drinking of late. For years, I shunned oolong because it made me feel queasy. My concept of the genre was exhausted by the highly oxidized, dark-roasted kind, and I probably only tried inexpensive, low-grade varieties (filterbags and restaurant tea), so I knew nothing about the broader oolong horizons.
The flavor of this tea is very toasty and cooked, not fresh and creamy. Yet it is not as dark and rich as a full-fledged black tea.
Fortunately, this Da Hong Pao from Harney & Sons did not make me feel sick, but I won’t order it again, now that my sample is exhausted. This is probably very good, for what it is, but it’s not really my style.
A chacun son goût…
This afternoon I brewed a pot of the loose leaf Zhejiang Lung Ching from Adagio. I love the texture of the dried Lung Ching (Long Jing) leaves. I even love the noise they make, as odd as that may sound.
The tea was good: golden with a slight hint of green. The dried leaves were very uniform in size and shape, but with a few smaller broken pieces. Overall this strikes me as a quite decent Long Jing. I tried the sachet version before but prefer brewing this tea loose in a tetsubin.
I received three generous samples from Green Terrace Teas a while back, and this was one of the two blacks. I’m not really sure why I did not select any oolongs, but I am definitely happy to have the opportunity to experience this delicious Li Shan Black tea!
Other reviewers have noted the similarity of this Taiwanese black to some of the China haute black teas, and I have to agree. The bready richness is here and a touch of sweetness, too. I hasten to add, however, that the sweetness is rather subdued, at least compared to something like Golden Monkey. In any case, this is a very tasty brew—the sort which I would never consider adulterating, and I’m a big fan of cream in lesser black teas, especially blends.
I just finished the second infusion, and it was just as good as the first. This tea tastes and looks and smells very familiar to me, and now I believe that it may be similar to the only other Taiwanese black tea that I ever tried before.
Flavors: Baked Bread