309 Tasting Notes
Tried this one again, gonfu style this time. It’s just not for me. Probably a good thing for my budget.
About a month ago, I inquired about a tea at a shop on aliexpress.com. The shop, at the time, was primarily a LED lighting store, but had a random tea section that carried a Rizhao tea I enjoy. When I mentioned how much I like Rizhao tea to the shop owner, Martin, he started telling me about his father-in-law’s tea plantation and was eager for me to try it. We chatted via the chat interface on aliexpress about our mutual love of tea and our tea friendship began. Since that time, he switched his store from being primarily lighting, to being a tea shop with a random lighting section. He continually asked for feedback and took to heart my recommendations. He is a very knowledgeable tea seller and eager to share his knowledge and love of tea with anyone who wants to know.
Anyway… This is the green tea from his father in law’s plantation. And the best green tea I’ve ever had. It’s so fresh. The taste is very similar in it’s bean flavor to Laoshan Green. In fact, when they’re hot they are very similar. But as they cool the Rizhao is less buttery and spinachy, and instead finishes with a cinnamon sugar caramel flavor, it’s super interesting. I made some Laoshan Green immediately after to test the differences and while I still love the savoriness of LG, I really love the sweet finish of the Rhizao.
I plan on ordering more soon and would be happy to send a few samples around. I’d really like to help him out. It can be overwhelming to sift through all the crap on aliexpress, if you want a place to start, check it out!
Finally finished off my bag of this that is well over a year old. I really enjoyed it. It’s aptly named. It’s a classic rich black tea that, in my opinion, is best with cream and honey. I would probably reorder this (and may in the future) but I have so many morning black teas I need to get through before I even think of buying more. Especially teas I drink with milk and honey. They all end up tasting pretty similar anyway. Now unique black teas I drink plain, I can always squeeze one more in my cupboard …
Brewed up a big mug of this. Don’t think I got my proportions right. Still very tasty. But a little bitter. I think I’ll stick to gongfu, tough to mess up proportions. Love the smell of this tea. I want a candle that emits this aroma all day!
I desperately want to love this tea. Or even, just like it a lot. But I can’t seem to get there. There are so many aspects that i love, the rich dark chocolate, the malt, the roast, the sweet… but there is one flavor in there that just kills it for me. I don’t know if I’d describe it as earthy, or mushroomy or maybe even blue cheesy (I don’t like blue, goat, stinky cheese), just funky. It is a note that is also present in Golden Fleece and therefore I don’t like golden fleece much either. I brewed this gongfu to see if I could isolate the flavor, but nope, it’s just there. In every steep. Ugh. So much potential.
This tea is one of Terri’s contributions to the BBBB. I had no expectations, good or bad for this as it’s a totally new kind of tea. I brewed it up gongfu style as Terri mentioned in her note that she wanted to try it that way. This is a great gongfu tea. Each steeping is decidedly different than the previous. The first was very sweet with a hint of the basic Yunnan flavors. The second was savory, almost like herb chicken (I know, wacky). The third so far is very strong honey and Yunnan again. This is a fun tea! Kind of like tea roulette! Never know what the next flavor is going to be! I’m curious how this brews up western style. I’ll try that next time, but I think this is probably best as gongfu. Thanks Terri!
Wow. All I can say is wow. After drinking the aged tea I wanted something sweet to end my taiwainese tasting day and debated between wild mountain black and this one. I ended up with this one only because I haven’t had it in a while. I brewed it gongfu for the first time ever. The first steep seriously took my breath away. Smells and tastes like butter, honey, and peaches. So sweet and juicy. Oh my. Taiwan… you have truly won me over today. I was a pretty die hard china fan, but I can open up my heart for you.
Side note… I’ve been using this tiny little strainer that Meiqin from Yezi sent me as a free gift to pour my gongfu teas through and I am in love with it. Before I was using just a basic tea strainer or kitchen strainer. This thing is so fine that absolutely no particles get through so the cup is clear liquid. Thanks again Meiqin!
Another sample from Sil. This is a pretty interesting aged tea. Much sweeter than I’m used to! Still very earthy, but not fish at all. I’ll make it through a few more steeps, but I still haven’t developed a love for the aged teas yet. Thanks Sil for letting me try it!
This was a bonus sample from the always generous Sil as I’ve been curious about the teas from TTC. From what I read from Sil’s and Terri’s notes, this was good but not their favorite of the bunch of samples. That makes me so happy. Because I love this one! And if it’s not even the best, then I’m in for a huge treat. I need to order more of these TTC teas immediately! This tea has some notes that remind of Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black. A similar juicy sweetness I think. I’m excited about these Taiwanese teas!
This was my first tea of the day. Another from the BBBB, this one via Sil. I love a good assam first thing in the morning. This one is super malty, but doesn’t have the little bit of sweetness that I’ve come to love in #49 & the Tiger. Still a great morning cup and am glad I have more to play with! Thanks Sil!