346 Tasting Notes
I really like Lochan Tea, and I dig the family behind it. Their Doke garden also puts out some quality stuff. I received this in a swap thanks to Tea Trade HQ. I was psyched to see that Castleton’s new Moonlight was among the teas delivered. Last year’s Moonlight was my favorite Darjeeling of 2011.
How did this measure up?
Well, I hate to be frank…but not at all. Granted, it was fair, but nowhere near the excellence of last year’s. I’m not sure if something went wrong in delivery, or if I stored it wrong…but the entire gongfu affair started off kale-like and ended up with woodiness – at best. It reminded me quite a bit of a Chinese yellow tea rather than an oolong, which is too bad.
WHAM! “Hi there.”
That’s the sort of introduction this tea gives you. Seriously.
I received this generous sample from the lovely WifeyWoman. I have a soft spot for Yunnan hong cha…but this is no soft tea. It’s a full-flavored, woody, malty, peppery kick in the face. And, by golly, this morning I needed that. Way more full-bodied than the average Dian Hong, and not as nuanced as a Yunnan Jin Cha, this occupies a Midgard populated only by manly teas.
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.