2480 Tasting Notes
The month is over, & nobody has reviewed this tea yet? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only actual member of the TOMC. This is one of the Reserve TOMC selections for July.
When I initially opened the packet, there was initially a stale aroma, like grains that have been sealed in a jar for awhile, but that quickly subsided & was replaced by the smell of sweet lightly roasted stone fruit & a light incense.
Following the suggested steeping parameters, I put 4 Grams in my porcelain jingdezhen wide lotus Gaiwan,
steeped it 5 seconds & strained it into my glass test tube steeper (because my Rishi glass pitcher has a crack in it, whine),
and I’m sipping the tea from a Jingdeshen Red Lotus cup
BTW, verdant has their teaware on sale this week, for those who are interested.
Since this Gaiwan & cup are porcelain, I can drink any teas from them, but I’ve officially dedicated them to Tieguanyins because… well… because I can! It just seems right. The shorter wide Gaiwan gives lots of room for the leaves to expand & they look so pretty & happy swimming around in there.
So this tea is a little incense-like, very savory, but also a little sweet & slightly roasty. There is a fruitiness to it of dried peaches, a little bit of a grassiness to it, & a nice tongue tingling sensation as well. After several steepings the incense taste became a gentle floral, & the sweetness continued, with a creamy texture.
It’s the last day of July already? Unbelievable!
A few months ago I started using the last day of the month to update my “Tea Collection” database, re-arrange my cupboards as needed, & kind of review what I drank. I have this insane goal to drink a cup of every single tea in my cupboard once a month, & as my cupboard continues to expand, that goal gets harder & harder to accomplish. I didn’t even come close in July, having started the month with 307 teas (including samples) in my cupboard. I only drank 132 of them (some several times, like Zhu Rong), with 36 sipdowns. That’s ok. There’s always August! :)
In looking through my cupboard, I realized I still had a sample from Angel that I hadn’t tried yet. I guess I’m starting to like white tea, or maybe this is just a really tasty one! It’s hard to describe the flavor of it. It started out almost buttery & malty, but then it took on a kind of soymilk flavor, & near the end it reminds me a little of split pea soup, very savory.
Thank you to Angel @ TeaVivre for sending me generous samples of this, & also for allowing me to be part of the sampling program, as I truly enjoy the quality of your teas!
I’ve been part of a couple of ‘group orders’ recently, including one from TeaVivre, which reminded me that I still have several samples that Angel generously sent me to drink & review. I drank this Tan Yang before, & I think it is the only Tan Yang I’ve had so far…maybe?
The dry leaf is lovely, delicate, & variegated in colors of beige & charcoal, with an amazing aroma that is rich, malty, & floral.
My water kettle & I were temperature challenged this morning. First the water was too hot, so I turned the stove off & walked away for a few minutes, then the temp was too cool, so I turned the kettle back on. Then it was too hot again, so I poured a cup of water & put the thermometer in the cup, blinked & it was too cool again. LOL. BTW, I use a cheap thermometer that I got from target, I think it’s this one.
Right now they are available on Amazon for .98 (plus shipping). They have 7 left in stock. I don’t remember what I paid at Target, but it was very inexpensive & I’ve been very happy with it! I put the stick part of the thermometer right in the hole (the whistler) on my kettle. It works out perfectly!
But I digress (I’ve always wanted to say that, hahaha)
This is an interesting cup of tea, kind of ‘cheesy’ tasting, it kind of reminds me of an aged cheese. I know that sounds weird, but it’s like a rich buttery aged cheese. There’s also a malty yeasty taste too it, & even an almost effervescent beer like feeling in my mouth, with a hops like tingle & slightly bitter undertone. This is an interesting tea, with some interesting taste combination.
My first cup of the day, enjoyed with breakfast.
Some teas don’t go well with food, especially with a robust breakfast like a bowl of beef, cauliflower, & collards soup (yes, that’s the kind of stuff I eat for breakfast, & my body feels fantastic for doing so).
This is actually everything a breakfast tea should be! The combination of bold Assam, earthy Keemun, & bright & fruity Ceylons gives this a very well rounded out balanced flavor. I’m not usually a fan of Ceylon teas much, especially in the morning as they tend to make my stomach hurt, so I could never drink this on an empty stomach, but with breakfast it is perfect! It really holds its own! I think this just became my favorite ‘breakfast blend’, or at least one of them. :D
I have a sample of this from Garret, and I’d like to say, “Thank You Garret!”, because he is the epitome of customer service & hospitality.
I drank this during the afternoon & early evening, & that was hours ago, so I don’t really have much to say except that this is probably my favorite shu tuocha ever. A very rich flavor, a lot of depth, & sweet as well. No objectionable tastes, just a smooth chocolaty-ness & almost a coffee-like personality. I will probably need to get some more of these, at some point.
Here’s another tea that I haven’t drank for quite some time. It’s very tasty, but since I’ve been drinking Master B’s Jin Guanyin, Shui Jin Gui Wuyi (both Verdant) & Mandala’s Big Red Robe Dark Roast, all tied for first place in the Wuyi Oolong category for me, this one isn’t quite as exciting as it originally was. Still, it is a lovely tasty tea, I steeped 5G in my yixing, & my very first review of it still rings true. I couldn’t describe it any better than that, so here it is:
1. It looked like Coca Coca, & tasted of toasted rice, like a really nice Genmaicha, with a hint of carmel.
2. The wet leaves have a deep charcoal & smoldering sweet grass scent, & I picture a pile of leaves burning in the fall. The taste has expanded to include a hint of cinnamon.
3. Now the flavor is sweeter, with a resinous quality that reminds me of a substance I used to smoke (back in the day). I’m also getting a bad case of cotton-mouth. Tannins or dejavu?
4. Bananas Foster with Vanilla ice cream & a sprinkle of cinnamon.
5. The wet leaves now smell like banana leaves, roasting over a bed of charcoal. A juiciness is rising (cotton-mouth is gone), with a bright hint of mango.
It’s been awhile since I drank this tea.
It’s not among my favorites.
It performs best in short steepings, so this morning I put about 5G in my little white lotus teapot, & although it’s not bad, there’s just some undefinable thing about it that I don’t really care for. The first sips are always wonderful, very malty & sweet. But then an undertone comes up that just doesn’t appeal to me after a couple of steepings. I still can’t quite define it, but there it is.
I can’t believe I’ve been away from Steepter all day!
I also can’t believe that I only drank 2 teas all day!
First up was Mandala’s “Keemun”, which is very tasty & satisfying. I steeped for 3 minutes, then resteeped for 5.
Then I gardened for awhile, & when I came in to teach I had Mandala’s “Long Life”, another tasty & satisfying tea. I followed the same steeping of 3 minutes, with a resteep of 5.
I had planned on drinking some oolong & some puer in the later part of the day, but I was hungry & I learned long ago that for the most part, it is best if I don’t drink tea on an empty stomach. By the time I had dinner, it was too late for tea.
Oh well, there’s always tomorrow!
Everytime I drink this wonderful tea, I wonder, “how can a tea actually taste like this?”
Are they burying cacao nibs & toasted coconut in the soil around the tea plants? That might explain the wonderfully rich german chocolate cake complete with coconut frosting flavor.
Or maybe the soil where these plants are growing is just so perfect, & the person processing these leaves is just an amazing master of the art.
I’ll never know for sure, but the results is wonderful.