2973 Tasting Notes
This is not the new Huang Zhiang, it is a sample that came in foil, one of the verdant tea reward sample packages. The label reads, “High Mountain Dancong Huang Zhixiang”
& it is from at least a year ago. I had a few of these, & this is the last one, so it’s also a sipdown! I had planned to drink it during my upcoming Sipdown Extravaganza, but momentarily forgot, plus I didn’t want to open the newer Huang Zhi Xiang until this one was gone, so now it will be!
I used the entire 7G sample, in an Earthen Gaiwan (from Butiki), with 2 rinses, & 3 second steeps.
The dry aroma spoke of juicy fruits & orange blossoms, which is nice, since this translates to “Orange Blossom Fragrance”.
I warmed up the leaf & the aroma became richer, thicker.
The early steepings were mild & roasty, lightly sweet.
I was going to document all of the steepings, but to be honest, I was also teaching, so it didn’t happen…
Wood, incense, fruit, even a little chocolate at one point…
I’m in the later steeps, & there is a creamy quality, with an aftertaste that lingers forever, as if I ate a sweet red grapefruit. It isn’t just an after-taste, it’s an after sensation as well, where my mouth feels kind of puckery, like I ate citrus fruit. And this is the most open my sinuses have been all day, filled with an after-aroma.
I’d like to keep drinking, but Tony is fixing me dinner, so I’m done for now. Maybe later I’ll rinse the leaves to reheat them, & drink some more.
This is one of those teas that I initially didn’t care for. This is one of those teas that requires more tea & very short steeps, otherwise it quickly becomes bitter, in the way that the white pith of citrus fruits is bitter & tangy.
My green tea of the day, this is one that I have not had a particularly good relation with. I originally tried using the cup method, where you blow away the leaves & occasionally add more water, & I have never had good luck with that method. The tea always becomes terribly bitter & astringent. Today I went with the short steepings, which I much prefer, & this has probably been my most favorite session with this particular tea ever, which is interesting because I’m having horrible allergies today, with a throbbing head & aching lungs, feeling very irritable, & yet this tea session was a lovely little break from the norm.
4G + test tube steeper X 176F
3 sec – Today I’m really getting the rosewater reference, & a gentle creamy quality
3 sec – A little more savory green-ness, like delicate pea shoots, which I often grow in the windowsill during late winter, as a salad & stir fry addition.
3 sec a little bitter, but kind of head clearing, almost like a young sheng.
I combined the next 3 steeps of 6/9/12 sec in a jar, as my stomach had enough for now. The jar is in the frig, chilling out for later.
I have a new appreciation for this tea, which by the way is from last spring’s harvest, TOMC May.
Edit: Did I mention that I have asparagus & lettuces happening in my garden? I ate the first asps on friday, & today for lunch I had a salad of red sails lettuce, parsley, green onion, & violets, lightly dressed with balsamic pear vinegar, olive oil, & pink salt. With that I had a can of olive oil packed yellow fin, & I a pile of asparagus & spring onions, steamed lightly in a little bit of this tea. It made for a beautiful composed salad plate, & I drank the rest of this tea, chilled. It was refreshing, with a slight citrus edge as if there were a squeeze of lime.
Today I gave this one the gongfu treatment, as my first tea of the day.
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15/30/45 sec These were pleasant steeps. Sometimes lately some flavors are sort of not pleasing to me as much, including the bug bite taste & the hoppy taste, & this tea is of that variety.
1/2/3/4/5 min Really a light tea, which didn’t really uphold so much for the later steeps, but it was worth a try, right?
Next time I’ll try a different pattern with this one: 1min/2/3/4 or something like that.
I enjoyed the green/white/floral blend, but I really want something more robust, so I’m trying again, this time with a favorite. Although I’m still getting bitterness, particularly in the aftertaste, I’m noticing that it is predominantly right in the center of my tongue, so I’m trying to slurp around the sides, if that makes sense.
I am thoroughly enjoying this cup. It’s more acidic & bitter than usual, like everything else I’m drinking, but it’s also sweet, chocolate, yum.
I’m fed up with trying to drink black teas, at least for a little while. Every single one of them tastes bitter to me. This has been going on for a couple of weeks now, & I’m sure it’s due to allergies, but it is SO frustrating.
To give my tastebuds a break, I’m having a pot of this one. This is an old favorite, from my mostly green tea days, a lovely fragrant tea that is also beautiful to look at. I don’t always love floral teas, but I don’t really hate them either. The main taste I’m noticing today is a light sourdough bread quality, coming from the white tea in this blend. I’m still getting a slightly bitter sensation, but it’s mild, so it isn’t ruining things for me. The jasmine & rose are nicely balanced. For some reason when I drink this, I always feel like there is a bit of mint in there, & in fact I used to think it had mint in it, but it doesn’t.
Anyway, the Cardinals vs Nationals game is getting ready to start, & I plan to spend my entire day in my PJs, watching baseball, surfing the internet, & drinking tea.
A perfect day in the making!