1531 Tasting Notes
A lovely two-glass tetsubin of Teavivre Huang Shan Mao Feng was the perfect follow-up to today’s lunch of a third of a Ciabatta split lengthwise, toasted and slathered with a lobster-seafood cream spread before piling baby arugula high and then smashing the two sides together into a sandwich.
Same pale greenish-yellow, slightly vegetal but very smooth liquor as before—only even better after this meal!
I picked up a box of this Rishi Yunnan Golden, identified on the box as Dian Hong, from Whole Foods out of curiosity. It was on sale for $6.99 for 50 grams, usually going for $10.99. According to the reviewers at Amazon (many of whom are irate), Rishi has essentially doubled or tripled the price of their teas since abandoning the metal tins in the supposed name of the environment. Reminds me of when the ice cream companies told us that they were reducing the half-gallon carton size so that we could store our ice cream in the door of the freezer. (Right, and I have some nice land for you down by Alligator Alley…)
And now, at last, for the tea. I may have had elevated expectations from the appearance of the gorgeous dried leaves, which include tons of golden tips. Somehow the final brew seems a bit blunt and brisk. Did I oversteep or overleaf?It’s not sweet, nor is there a baked bread facet. Basically this tastes like stout black breakfast tea! The liquor looks closer to Assam than anything else (dark and veering red), but I do not find the brew to exhibit the same maltiness.
I’ll certainly try again—I have another 46 grams…
second infusion: I decided to try these same leaves one more time… The brew was slightly better, but still not very good. I debated adding cream for about half the glass but then ended up just tossing it into the wind—I was sitting on the deck.
There are so many rave reviews for this tea that I can only surmise that my batch is a dud. I noticed that the infused leaves are quite small, so it looks as though the crispy golden tipped dried leaves disintegrated in hot water.
I just opened this fresh batch of Lu Shan Yun Wu from Teavivre, and I must say that it smells even better than I recall! The visual appearance is also stunning: all of the beautiful slate green corkscrews!
But the best part of all is of course the brew: a pale greenish yellow liquor with a delicious flavor and sumptuous texture. So happy that I now have a generous supply of this 2014 harvest in my cupboard.
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…