2341 Tasting Notes
The third offering from the March TOMC, & what an amazing contrast to the other 2, but then, we knew that, right?
I’ve enjoyed all the teas I’ve had from the Xingyang workshop, & this one is no exception, although my favorite was the golden leaf ‘98, which I’m hoarding. I really need some people in St. Louis to get into this kind of tea drinking, so that I’ll have somebody to share awesome teas with, as in actually hooking up & drinking amazing teas together…it would be so much fun…sigh…
So after the intensity of the other 2 teas, this one was a welcome sweet & mellow dessert. Caramel, sandalwood, & a rich thick mouth make this a lovely tea to end my long afternoon of short steepings.
To be honest, I drank way too much tea this afternoon, & on a normal day I’d just go with one tea at a time, but in the spirit of the TOMC experiments, it was a fun afternoon!
Continuing my tea comparison between this & the Sheng…
Both teas shared a few features, mainly their savory qualities, & a tangy mouth, which reminded me of red grape peels.
This tea was sweeter from the start, with a malty quality as well, & a smoother feel. The first couple of steeps of this tea can be rather tangy & edgy, but a creamy sweet texture developed.
Both teas also have that ‘thick’ kind of feeling, & after awhile I needed a break!
This is an experiment I won’t repeat, as I enjoy each of these teas alone, but trying to move back & forth between them proved to be a little too intense in the Chaqi department, as they are both potent there, & the flavors muddled each other a bit. Still it was kind of fun to try!
I’ve been working my way through the various TOMC teas I have, & today I decided to drink the teas from March: Qianjiazhai Old Growth ‘12 sheng, Master Han’s Wild picked Yunnan, & Golden Buds Shu.
Because this & the Wild picked yunnan are both from the same forest, both processed by Master Han (who I consider the Jedi master of Tea), I attempted to drink them side by side, using the suggested gongfu parameters, for comparison & contrast purposes.
So this is a young sheng, & definitely still maintains a greenness & wild edginess, & having tried really fresh olive oil, & I can see the reference there. The flavors are mainly savory & tangy, although later steepings mellowed out somewhat.
In retrospect, I’m not sure that was such a good idea, as both teas are fairly intense! Oh well!
ok…so I just went on the Verdant website, to remind myself of the brewing parameters for this tea, since it’s been awhile since I had a cup, & now I’m in trouble…I want to place an order!! They have a Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong!! I want it! I’m a spoiled brat! I want ALL the Teas!
Anyway, this is a lovely & pristine little tea here, fragrant & so clean tasting. It’s perfect for this moment, because it’s snowing!! It’s just pretty perfect snowflakes falling, on & off, & will not amount to anything significant, but perfect for drinking a cup of this, a major contrast to the other teas I’ve drank so far today, & this really is aromatherapy in a cup. If you like Jasmine, which I do!
You might think that because this tea & the Imperial Gold Needle Yunnan share similarities in their names, they would be similar, right?
Yes & No.
They are both beautiful, straight buds, but this one is more charcoal shades, with highlights of gold, rust, & olive, whereas the other was much lighter in color. This one is not nearly so lovely in the aroma, however if I hadn’t drank the other one first, I’d think this one smells awesome too, LOL. The warmed leaf has an almost incense quality to it that I find alluring, & a sweetness as well.
I followed the exact same parameters:
5G + 4oz X 15/30/45/60 seconds, continuing to add 15 per steep.
This tea makes a much darker cup, which starts out sweet & then leans to savory. Instead of Maltomeal, I’m having a dark slice of toasted whole grain bread, the dense chewy slightly sour kind of bread that you’d enjoy with a winter pot of hearty stew. It’s also kind of hoppy, in my opinion, & bolder.
I think the last time I drank this one, I did a standard cup of tea, rather than gongfu steepings, & I got a completely different flavor profile! More experiments required! :)
I’ve been really happy with almost every tea I’ve tried from Yunnan Sourcing, & it’s also been fun sharing them with my BBBB Sisters. And by the way, girls, I’m still covered on my box offerings for at least a couple of months, & there is another box, somewhere between here & China, with a few more goodies in it. I’m hoping it will arrive in time for my birthday :)
This is a gorgeous tea! Beautiful buds in the straight ‘needle’ shape, in shades of gold, caramel, rust, wheat, & with an occasion hint of olive drab (one of my most favorite colors in the world). Opening the bag, the aroma of Maltomeal drizzled with honey rises to greet me this morning.
5G + 4oz porcelain blue lotus teapot X 15/30/45/60seconds etc…
Someday I’ll probably have a yixing for yunnan black teas. But I still LOVE this little porcelain pot (thank you Garret!), it’s so adorable sitting in a lineup with my yixings, like their cute little sister, & for now it’s become the gongfu pot for blacks for me.
I prewarmed the pot, dumped the hot water into cup #1, put the leaf in the hot pot & closed the lid. When I opened it, the already aromatic tea was even more so, & the sweetness of the inhale was, dare I say, ecstatic? The delight of breathing in the sweet aroma of this tea almost cancels out the need to actually drink it…sigh…almost!
Thick, malty, honeyed, buttered toast, maybe a hint of floral. I need to remember to shorten my steepings next time, maybe 10/20/30 etc, as it did develop a bit of a sharp edge around the 4th or 5th cup, which didn’t render the cup undrinkable & then that faded, replaced by rich bee pollen. The dark chocolate was more of a mouth-feel than a taste, that gradually built up over several steepings. The flavors of this tea were present from start to finish, not really changing much, just growing & then fading. I think I’m on my 8th steep, the color is still dark, the flavor still satisfying, though not as sweet at this point. I’ve loved every sip.
Another offering from the February TOMC, this one is more like sourdough bread & green beans, LOL. I enjoy oolongs, although my taste tends more towards the roasty ones. The Tieguanyin & Dong Ding types & other ‘greener’ types are nice from time to time, mostly as a change of pace from the other teas I drink. Anyway, this has been a nice cup, I think I have enough to drink it one more time.