344 Tasting Notes
I received this – and two other Korean green tea samples – directly from Hankook several months back. What took me so long to get to them? Um…unicorns? (I have no good reason.)
Hwang Cha instantly held my fascination because it was dubbed a “yellow” tea. However, it was not to be confused with Chinese yellow tea – Huang Ya. I’m not sure how this one is classified. Is it an oolong? Is it a black tea? I have no clue.
Point is, it’s a beast unto itself. It’s nutty, it’s sweet, it’s slightly smoky…it’s hard to classify. As are Korean green teas.
Full [fictional] write-up here: http://lazyliteratus.teatra.de/2012/09/06/everybody-hwang-cha-tonight-gamnong-style/
It’s been a trying couple of weeks. It was about high time I make time to whittle down some of my tea storage. I had tried this once already as a gongfu prep, and – frankly – it did not hold up well. I don’t know if it was the leaf size (i.e. smaller pieces) or water temp, but it just didn’t work.
Today, I deferred my usual morning pot o’ black for a pot of this – done with boiling water. And – to my surprise – with a western-style prep, it was mighty tasty. Can’t say it was as nuanced as other Formosas out there, like Ali Shan, but it does offer something fruity and robust. That works for me in a pinch.
Laziness in action is having a ton of tea to choose from…and going with one you brewed yesterday. Even further laziness in action is brewing a tea tailored for icing – hot. I brewed a pot of this just as a normal tea. Strong yet smooth, lightly bergamotty, and a bit of a head-rush. Perfect for the lazy sort running on five hours of sleep on his day off.
I’ve had this stuff for quite awhile, but the only time my brother/roommate and I ever brewed it up was in order to make sun tea. While it handled that A-MURR-ican like a champ, I figured it was time to do it like the instructions said – brewed concentrate, topped off with cold water, then poured over ice.
I think I almost got it. Something tells me I brewed it a little light. However, even with my flub-up, it was still just as “exceptional” as the presumptuous name suggests.
Today, I bid adieu to the last of my 2011 Castleton Moonlight 2nd Flush. It was a good run. (sniffles) But how I part ways with it the only way I can in the summer…as a pint of iced tea. And to that end, it held up spectacularly. You were the best of the best of last year’s Darjeelings, dear Moonlight. Cue bagpipes!
ICED PU-ERH EXPERMENT: This was my second visit with this sheng (apparently?). Completely forgot I’d tried this already. However, this time – given that it was 90F outside – I decided to ice it. Yep, still works…even with an unsophisticated “A-MURR-ican” approach.
It’s not everyday that you find a Dan Cong by accident. In this case, I was trying to catalog (a travailing feat, I assure you) my canisters. I found this amidst a pu-erh canister for some reason. Naturally, I gave it a go…well…a day or two later.
It’s a very green oolong with a buttery profile, similar to Taiwanese oolongs in delivery. That and it gets even more so with each successive steep. Cream and flowers also make their mandatory appearance on the palate.
I have yet to come up with a requisite flavor profile for the Dan Congs I’ve tried. They all differ significantly. Guess I’m just going to have to stick to drooling noises.
When I pulled this out, I thought it was going to be an oolong. I mean, “Bai Chai” just sounds like an oolong-y sorta name. Surprised me that I was looking at a needle-thin green tea. I should read more.
Anyway…the liquor was clear and the taste alternated between grass and grape. Very close to Long Jing, methought.
Yet another one from the inventory archive. I had no idea I still had this, and it had been on mothballs for at least half a year. This was a Keemun from the 2011 Spring Harvest, but I had never opened the sample. Results? This was one of the maltiest Keemuns I’ve ever tasted. Sure, the requisite sweetness was there, but it brewed amber and pounded the tongue with burliness. I guess that’s what happens when you forge-…er, I mean, “age” a Keemun.
I didn’t know I had this until I was going through my cupboard. Nor did I know what to make of it – was it a sheng pu-erh or a shou? I couldn’t tell. On smell, it seemed cooked. On taste…things get dicey. If it’s a shou, then it’s a very good shou. If it’s a sheng, it needs work. But it lasts quite a few infusions…and it woke me up plenty. So, I guess that’s something.