2357 Tasting Notes
This really is a nice Shu, pleasantly bold. It seems like a lot of the shus I try taste about the same…semolina, a little caramel, maybe a little earthiness. This one has all those as well, but there is more. It’s nicely bold, with an oak-like flavor, some woody aromatics, & even some chocolate. A nice cup to end the day with.
It’s been awhile since I had a cup of this, which I used to drink a lot of! I still like it, although not as much as I used to, but there is a certain nostalgia that comes with having a cup of this today. Nothing in particular, just many cups of tea drank over the years.
This is a mix of black teas, shu puer, & chocolate. It’s the chocolate liquore kind of taste, & is especially nice with a pinch of sweetness added.
And here is the third selection from the April TOMC.
To me, this is like a delicious dessert! Not too sweet, but rich & tasty. Warming the leaf up in my yixing, the aroma is of cream, hazelnuts, & berries. The tea itself is caramelized brown sugar, hazelnut, & a creamy mouth, with a sweet hint of berry, like a luscious, but not too sweet dessert. There is a vaporous after-aroma on incense, but it is only faint compared to that of the Dancong. As this one steeps out, rocky qualities rise while the creamy sensation subsides.
Normally, I’d only drink one of these oolongs on any given day. But it was fun & interesting to followed the suggestions sent along with the April TOMC, to see how these oolongs differed from one another, due to differences in growing location, & processing methods. It amazes me how teas can be so varied! I guess that’s why I love tea so much!
This is the 2nd tea from the April TOMC. The dry aroma is a light incense, the warm aroma is of red grapefruit & sandalwood. It’s very addictive. I sat breathing it in, & I love it.
The first time I tasted Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong, it kind of freaked me out. I’d never had a tea with the vaporous after-aroma incense-like sensation in my sinuses. I also didn’t really care much for the feeling like I was drinking incense mixed with grapefruit juice. It just wasn’t right.
Amazingly, each time I drink it, I enjoy it more! It’s a very complex tea, best suited to a gongfu session. The early cups are gently sweet grapefruit, with a bit of the bitter rind, a pinch of clove, & the after glow of sandalwood, & with each steep it builds, like eating a sweet grapefruit in a Buddhist temple, the air heavy with incense & flowers.
Today I decided to revisit the Month of April selections from the Verdant TOMC. I’m gradually dismantling the file boxes that I’ve been storing those teas in, drinking through each month & then moving any teas I still have from that month to join their brethren in the shelves that are organized by type. So all the Tieguanyins will share a space, for example, instead of having them spread out in TOMC files, etc.
The April TOMC box featured 3 oolongs, with this one being the first.
Nuggets of green & gray, with a lighty green & floral aroma. Once I warmed the leaf in a hot dry Gaiwan, essence of apricot & yellow spring flowers arose.
The early steeps were lightly sweet & floral, with a tangy Apricot that gradually built up, so that the middle cups were thick, sweet, & tangy, with a pinch of salt. Later steepings took on the flavor of cream & apricot, with a citrus after-glow.
I’m a sucker for Verdant teas, without a doubt. I’ll buy almost everything they offer, & experience has shown me that I am rarely disappointed.
I am very happy that I bought a cake of this. I’m really just getting started with it, maybe 5 steeps in, but really enjoying it’s complexity, starting with a blend of wood & incense in the early steepings, with a nice camphor mouth.
These middle steepings have an emerging fruitiness…
Sadly, I got sidetrack & that is the extent of my notes, although I did continue to sip for a long time. I will probably up the amount to 7G I think next time, as I tend to like my Shu a little strong. All in all, I enjoyed it!
I’m still working my way through the Verdant TOMC teas, & I’ve been enjoying this sheng all afternoon. I went with 5G, which is way more than I usually use for a Sheng, especially one this young! But I was following the suggested steeping parameters that came with the tea, so that’s what I did. I preheated my yixing, dumped the water & added the tea, closed the lid & let the leaf warm, & the aroma was wonderful! It was also familiar, but I can’t quite place it.
After a quick rinse, I started with 5 sec steeps, slowly building up a second at a time. The earlier steepings feature a crisp & savory character, with a lime garnish. I’m in the later cups now, & it’s sweet, clean, pure, refreshing even! There is still a hint of lime, & my mouth waters after each sip. In one of these later cups there was a hint of honey mustard, LOL. Needless to say, the energy of this tea is abundant!