2821 Tasting Notes
I was initially hesitant over buying this one. I’m not a huge white tea fan, but then I read Aweward Soul’s review of the ’12 version, & I immediately thought, “That sounds interesting”. Since I was placing a Mandala order anyway, I figured I might as well try a sample.
And I like it! It’s like Sheng Lite, in that it doesn’t have the bite that some Shengs have, if you know what I mean. It’s a milder version, but still very nice. There is a sweet crispness to it like fall fruits, a creaminess that comes after several steepings, & my tongue is thick with the resinous sensation.
After much contemplation, well not really too much, but at least some contemplation, I decided to season my new Yixing pot with this one. It is my favorite of the Wuyi Oolongs I have, with it’s wonderfully nuanced flavors & aromas, & it just seemed like the right choice!
So into a hot water bath my new pot went last night, following Garret’s instructions. After it cooled, I dried it because by then it was pretty late! This morning was a little busy, but this afternoon I filled that pot with leaves & started brewing robustly. Most of the steeps went into a small pan, but some of them made it into my cup. Once the pan was full enough (& I’d also filled a small pitcher for personal use) I used chopsticks to pull the leaves out of the pot, dropping them also into the hot pan of tea. Then I gently lowered the pot & lid into the hot tea, where they are almost finished cooling.
I am in love with these 2 miniature pots! I’ve been drinking Master Han’s Wild picked Yunnan all day from the Blue Lotus, just another cup here & there, & it’s still good, and I’m thinking of straining my yixing soaking brew & pouring it over ice. :D
I went a little off the deep end a few days ago & bought a bunch of stuff from Garret @ Mandala, including the porcelain blue lotus teapot I’ve been pining for & my first Yixing, which I plan to use for Oolongs.
And some teas….sigh…
The pots are adorable, even smaller than I pictured them, & I’m in love.
The artwork on the Blue Lotus pot strongly resembles one of the upcoming tattoos I want, I mean when I first laid eyes on it, it was like…how did they know? So I obsessed for awhile, & finally got it. I haven’t gotten the tattoo…yet…
So…the tea! I’ve drank & written about this tea multiple times, both western style & Gongfu. Today, I’m steeping it in my little Blue Lotus pot, which just happens to hold the perfect amount of water to fill my favorite blue cup.
I’m using the green dragonfly pot to hold hot water, so that I don’t have to stand around the stove. It holds about 4 steepings-worth.
On my 7th steeping now, & what can I say that I haven’t already said?
This is not a chocolaty tea, not a sweet tea either. It is a wild & savory cup of mind-opening Qi-moving elixer, with a flavor of potato chips cooked in olive oil & sprinkled very lightly with a pinch of salt.
I enjoyed this tea earlier today with a student. As I mentioned yesteday, I’m not a fan of the Dragonwell steeping method. The teas tend to get too astringent for my tummy when I steep them that way.
On the other hand, I love my glass test tube steeper, & with the other 1st picking tea it was perfect at short steeps. This one wants to be in the water longer, so maybe next time I’ll try the dragonwell method with it after all.
It definitely has a more mineral profile in the flavor, & a slightly ‘dry’ feeling, but not dry in the sense that my mouth is dry, but more in the sense of an almost powdery sensation & almost lemony feel in the later steepings.
The birds informed me that the best time to eat homegrown berries is while you’re picking them, which I did this morning.
Then I fixed a Frittata for breakfast, & the boys picked Tardis to go with it.
Earl Grey Bravo, Blackberry, & Vanilla.
Not really feeling it today.
This tea goes better with pancakes.
I have to confess: I have a tendency to overleaf it with Stacy’s black teas. If she says ‘2 tsp’ I usually go with a loose Tbl, as those teas are so crazy shaped that there really is no way to measure out a tsp with them. If she (or anyone else on any tea…) says ‘a level tsp’, I usually go with a heaping one. On this tea (& the Assam leaf, even more so), I’ve learned to follow instructions, LOL. This is not a wiggly irregular shaped tea, the strands are thinner & shorter, so it is more well behaved.
Anyway, it’s a lovely boldish Assam with a light astringency & a nice malty flavor, with a hint of citrus to it. (Or maybe that came from the lemon pancakes I was eating?). Very rich & delicious. I steeped 4 minutes. Next time I need to remember to go 5, so I can see how it changes.
I had originally planned to enjoy this yesterday after several steepings of Lao Tong Zhi ‘11 Sheng, but the day got late, dinnertime came, & I decided to wait. So I’m enjoying it now (still listening to the ladies play harp duets). This is a very nice fully flavored Shu, no fish or ammonia, reminding me of vanilla wafers, & also reminding me of the noodle kugle I used to make for my kids a long time ago. That kugel was rich with eggs, vanilla, cinnamon. This Shu has a richness like that, a smooth vanilla mouthfeel, a mouth watering sweetness, & it’s just plain tasty! It’s also rather bold!
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 2min (xingyang workshop method)
Subsequent steeps t 2 min, followed by steeps at 3 mins as needed.