3005 Tasting Notes
I’m trying to drink a green or white tea each day, so today it is this one, from last May’s TOMC. The tea features huge bud sets, stems, & leaves in shades of pale off white, beige, sage, cream, gray, & Black.
5G + Test Tube steeper (I love that thing!) X 5 sec = Immediately sweet & creamy, with a texture of lightly soured cream, and/or a white sourdough bread.
5sec = A fuller version of the first steep, with a slightly chalkie quality added
5sec = Sweet, with an almost cheesy = yeasty after tase & feeling, like a more robust & tangy mature sourdough.
10sec/15sec/20sec = Admittedly, these next 3 steeps became a little boring for me, gradually becoming more savory, with a rocky quality in the final cup.
Morning Black tea gongfu session!
The leaf is a deep redish black, with mahogany highlights, & a dry aroma that is faintly tart.
The warmed leaf brings to mind Plums.
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15sec = Congee rice
30 sec = A rich, almost Meaty broth
45sec = A richer broth, with Plums added. A nice tongue tingle!
1min = A satisfying sensation is present, both in the mouth & in the body. A slight bitterness, but in a good tart kind of way, just around the edges. The Chaqi is soothing, I feel very peaceful.
2min = an herbaceous quality, somewhat like eucalyptus, joins in.
3min+ = I accidentally forgot to set the timer, so who knows how long this steep really went? Anyway, this is reminding me, in some ways, of Master Han’s Wild picked Black, not so much in flavor, as in savory qualities & energy.
4min = The body of the tea is gone, leaving behind a vague sweet plum essence.
5min = One final cup. I can really feel the energy of this tea, swirling around my head. My eyes have quit watering, my ears are no longer itchy. I’d like to believe that teas such as this one are my cure for allergies, the elixir of life itself, but it’s probably just my imagination…
running away with me… ;)
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.