3091 Tasting Notes
First off, I’ve really wanted to try this tea for awhile! YS offers 2 options:
1 – the entire basket of tea, 450 Grams of tea, which looks so awesome, what a great presentation, but which would probably last my entire life, not to mention that I probably already have enough tea for 7 lifetimes…
2 – a sample…a 100gram sample, that is! That’s a huge sample!
Granted, it is not an incredibly expensive tea, but as much as I want that basket of tea, I also only want it if I’m going to drink it. So I started looking around to see if anybody had some.
This sample has a history, possibly more of a history than I know about, but what I do know is that it traveled from TeaExplorer’s cupboard to Boychik’s cupboard to Stephanie, & then to me!
I’ve been drinking it for about 3 hours, a couple of cups here & there. Visually it resembles a Shu puerh in shades of mahogony & brown. The dry aroma is of bamboo shot, hominy, & molasses. When I warmed up the leaf I smelled an earthy boston brown bread & buttered grits.
I gave it a rinse & started steeping. Immediately the flavor is sweet , kind of hominy-like, & has that minty ‘fresh’ quality. This continues into a few steepings, while the flavors of cedar & molasses arise. This is a lot like a Shu, but it’s also different in that it is sweeter, & the flavor profile is slightly different. There were a few cups that were creamy textured. Flavors I’ve picked out include cedar, bamboo shoots, sorghum, water chestnut, & that minty fresh quality. Right now it’s like a sweet spring water with a menthol after feel. I think I can get quite a few more steeps out of it, but that is all for tonight.
Thanks to everyone who passed this tea on, so that I got a chance to sample it :)
The mother of one of my harp students is from Tiawan, & a few months ago she went for a visit to see family & friends. She wanted to get some teas to share with me, & I told her I really liked sunmoon lake assam.
While in Taiwan, she visited this awesome place, & got some teas from there:
This tea farm has been there since 1899, & you can go there for tours, purchase tea, etc. They do also have a website for tea sales, but the only words I could read there were ‘non-GMO’. Anyway, it’s looks like an awesome place to visit!
So the first tea I’m sampling is a Deluxe Assam Black Tea, Natural Farming No. 8.
I prepared the tea like I have steeped some of the other sun moon lake assams I’ve had, using roughly 1 Tb to my standard tea mug for 3 minutes. It’s a light, fruity, & refreshing tea, definitely more of an afternoon cup. In some ways it has more of an oolong quality to it, subtle layers of flavor, the most prominent being dried peach, or peach fruit leather maybe, with a growing tanginess in my mouth. The flavor is very light, in spite of the fact that the color of the brew is fairly dark, & there is a faint essence of leaf hopper.
Here’s another tea that I meant to review on Monday, & I’d like to thank Angel @ Teavivre for her generosity.
The dry leaf is a beautiful irridescent green, with a sweet & buttery aroma. Teavivre does include steeping suggestions of some of their teas on their website, for both western & chinese style steeping. For this session I used 3G in my test tube steeping, 30/60/90/120
The resulting pale yellow liquor had a gentle taste & fragrance of butter & chestnut, plus sunflower sprouts! Delicious!
I drank this on Monday, before I realized that steepster was out of commission, & although I didn’t take notes, I’ll do my best to share my experience, because Brett was generous enough to send me a sample, for which I’m grateful.
I do enjoy Da Hong Pao teas, & although this one is a lighter roast than what I tend to go for, it’s a lovely cup of fruitiness, perfectly sweet & fragrant with the aroma of apricot & apple, & with a beautiful clean & fresh kind of aroma, almost crisp, like a sweet tart apple.
This was my first session of the day, using 5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15/30/45/ etc
I warmed up the leaf in the hot little teapot & the aroma was heavenly, immediately conjuring up images of Maltomeal drizzled with a really fragrant honey.
I could breath that in all day. Why do I love that aroma so much? It’s not like I was a real fan of maltomeal…
Anyway, the tea was predictably delicious. The leaves are tiny & tender, & they released their flavors fairly quickly, so that this session peaked out much faster than others, but the cups were rich with malt & honey initially, then a more flavor of earth & leather, with a slight bitterness. Definitely better in the first cups.
I’ve been suffering steepster withdrawals for the last couple of days. So many teas drank & not reviewed…sigh…So I am grateful to the Steepster Gods Who Walk Among Us for getting things back on track. I’m not gonna even try to backtrack & log all the teas I drank this week so far, but I will comment on a few of them in a little while.
For now, I’m enjoying a cup of this one with breakfast (yes, I know it’s almost noon here, & 1:00 on the east coast, but that’s just the way we roll here at Terri’s Airy Fairie World).
Anyway, this is a deliciously awesome Keemun, in my opinion. Bold enough to stand up to brunch, lightly smokey & earthy & leathery & sweet like caramelized brown sugar. There’s alot of depth to this cup, & I find this one to be much more interesting than so many of the other Keemuns out there. Kind of masculine & bassy. I’m picturing an ensemble of upright bass & cello, bass clarinet, bassoon, & the low end of a marimba.
Malt, cream, & bread :)
My tastes are still muted, but my mouth feels so happy right now.
This is a lovely yunnan tea, sent to me from the TeaFairy, although I tried it before when Cavocorax sent me some several month ago.
Drinking tea & watching baseball in my PJs: The St. Louis Cardinals are currently leading the Phillies: 5 – 3
I have to admit, I was intrigued by this one, & I’m grateful to Stephanie for sending a sample my way. Although I’m not a huge fan of ‘flavored’ teas, I do tend to always want to try novelty shaped teas, made from just natural ingredients. (I really want to try the Anhui Basket tea too, & Stephanie also sent me a sample of that one!).
I don’t really have much to say about it, other than I enjoyed the cup. I like heicha, & my understanding is it’s like Shu puerh kind of, but seems to me to be somewhere in between black tea & Shu. Flavors I was able to pick out: Wood, Leather, & light Rose.