813 Tasting Notes
I had a really nice session with this last night. The sweet date/raisin notes are nice, and the Shou is smooth. I got more sweetness from smelling the lid of my gaiwan! I really like this one, but the cake is so tightly compressed, it’s intimidating. I broke more off than I needed last night just so I wouldn’t have to next time. It was kind of therapeutic, ha!
Now that I finally like lapsang, I thought I’d try Teavivre’s version and so I ordered a sample in my last order. I’ve only had lapsang brewed western before, but I love gong fu, so I went for it. This one is much more mild than the other 100% lapsang tea I had. The smoke is smooth and mild and sweet. Very good quality, but I wanted more depth and complexity. I think I’ll have to try this one brewed western to see if a long steep brings out the depth I was seeking. Overall it’s nice, but I wanted something more punchy!
I was visiting my parents yesterday and my mom had recently ordered some teas from H&S, including this one. Although I’ve had it before, I wanted to try it again gong fu style, since it’s a mix of Chinese teas. Also, before, I noticed a smoky note, which I now enjoy, most likely from the keemun in the blend.
I brewed it up this morning. There are some notes of cocoa, smoke, and maybe a bit of fruit, but they are really subtle. I think this one is better suited to western to really bring out the flavor. Oh well, it was fun to try!
This is my first Dan Cong! Woo! I almost bought some at DavidsTea, but I’m glad I didn’t, because this is much better quality. The color of this tea is a strikingly gorgeous honey amber. I got several infusions out of it, with each one getting slightly sweeter.
There is a nice roasty note, but it’s not as pronounced as the Da Hong Pao I had the other day. The flavor reminds me a lot of pomegranate…a little tart and a little sweet. Interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever tasted that note in a tea. Overall, I liked it, but I think I might like the Da Hong Pao a bit more. :)
When I got this in the mail I couldn’t wait to bust it open! Er, I mean, carefully separate the leaves. ;)
The information card notes that this tea is better in the next 12 months rather than aged…which is weird, but okay, I wanna have it now anyway!
The leaf smelled smoky, the kind of grilled smoke I remember from January’s offering, which I loved! The tea tastes like that too, but with sweet vegetal notes. In later infusions, I noticed a nice lemon note. Overall, I liked it. Maybe not as much as the Jinuo or Naka, but it’s decent. Have I mentioned I really love this club?
When TeaVivre posted this on Instagram, I knew I had to have it. It’s just so unique! And at the time, I don’t think I even had 1 traditional gaiwan. I have one now, along with a couple of what I’d consider “easy” gaiwans. I really love brewing things gong fu style now! This is really like an in-cup infuser/gaiwan/serving pitcher. I really like the serving pitcher part, as I still don’t own one…I’ve been using a small Pyrex measuring cup for that (lame, huh?).
Anyway, this came in the mail today, so I tried it out with the Da Hong Pao sample I ordered.
The overall quality is pretty good. One thing that bothers me about one of my easy gaiwans is that the holes look unfinished and have sharp points on the inside. This one has an infuser with both holes and a fine mesh metal strainer inserted inside and the holes look nice and finished. The fine mesh strainer will be nice to catch sediment or little pieces of leaf. I found three scratches on the glass pitcher portion, which worry me a bit regarding its integrity…hopefully they won’t be a problem. The pitcher and infuser portions don’t sit as securely in the base as I expected, but it’s not terrible. I found the lid can double as place to measure out your leaf. ;)
Since you can sit the infuser in the base while you pour from the pitcher into your cup, people used to traditional gaiwans may find themselves almost pouring the water for the next steep into the infuser without putting the infuser back in the pitcher….I almost did this! That would not be wise!
Also, it’s important to watch the water level in the pitcher when pouring into the gaiwan, rather than the water level inside the infuser, as you may overfill and cause a spill. Not a problem if you’re using a gong fu tea tray, but otherwise it would be. Also, overfilling will make the top of the pitcher hotter, making it more difficult to handle/pour.
I know some folks like to agitate the leaves with the lid while brewing, but you can’t really do that with this one, as the water level in the infuser is lower than in a traditional gaiwan, and the infuser is not as wide.
I like the portability of this, as you don’t need a separate pitcher. I also really enjoy watching the color of the liquor change as it steeps, which could also be a very useful indicator of how long to brew it. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it and expect to use it often!
This is the second Da Hong Pao I’ve had. I thought I’d order a sample in my last Teavivre order and see what they have to offer. Teavivre teas are usually good quality, and I wasn’t disappointed.
This tea is roasty, with a delicious sugarcane sweetness. Yum! It’s smooth, warming and cozy. I didn’t get much of a fruity note, like I did in the other Da Hong Pao I tried, but it was still nice, maybe just a little less complex.