322 Tasting Notes
Wow, been awhile since I’ve updated here. Oops…
A couple of nights back, I dipped into my stash of Bai Lin for only the second time. Even when brewed quick and without stringent temps/times, it is one amazing black tea. One would expect it – by appearance – to be like a normal Dian Hong, but it has more in common with (fittingly enough) Keemun Gong Fu. It’s silky, honey-like, vaguely sweet, mild on the malt but still there, and only moderately astringent on the finish. I only wish I had more of the stuff.
Not a fan of coffee? Possibly a fan of genmaicha? Sensitive to caffeine? This may be up your alley. It’s a coffee substitute utilizing chicory, roasted rice and roasted peas. It took me awhile to get past the rice, personally. I’m not one for steeping rice…only eating it. However, at a bare-minimum steep (and doses of milk and sweetener), it was a damn good “coffaux”.
This is the first Darjeeling oolong I’ve ever tried. And if it’s any indication of what else is produced there, I want “MOAR”! I did this gongfu-style so as to take note of the flavor changes, and while it maintained a similar palate between for successive infusions, it emboldened fabulously. I would not prepare this western-style as recommended on the East Pacific Tea website, do this in a gaiwan. You won’t regret the fruit notes. I swear on it.
This marks the second white matcha that has graced my miso soup bowl. Red Leaf’s smelled like…well…white tea – mildly nutty but floral. As for flavor, there really isn’t much to say beyond a simple word, “Awesome.” It was smooth from the start, never presenting a vegetal kick-back like some regular matchas do.
It’s the second black matcha I’ve tried. The first was a Darjeeling/Assam blend with a robust, almost chocolaty flavor with a wonderful texture. This reminded me of a mid-grade, CTC-cut Nilgiri on smell – bitter forefront that transitioned into a floral fragrance. The result after whisking was a thickly-frothed, even-brown liquor with a spectacular aroma. The true beauty of this was in the texture. If the drinker had no taste buds, they’d still find pleasure in the velvety/silky delivery.
On my way home from a job interview, I made a pit stop into The Jasmine Pearl HQ for a bowl of matcha. (Yes, that’s right. Most people stop by normal bars on the way home, I stop for tea. Shush.) While having my bowl o’ matcha, I was coaxed by the owners into trying one of their “bingcha” raw pu-erhs.
I…love…sheng pu-erh. This was an ‘06. Other than that, I don’t know much about it. I can tell you that it had a deep, winy, floral-fruity character on even the first thirty-second infusion…and didn’t deviate from that. While I only had three infusions, I’m more than certain it could’ve lasted more. I wanted to buy an ounce of it, but it wasn’t exactly in the budgetary cards. Next time…next time. Le yum.
I received this from a teashop up in Ontario after having announced (elatedly) that I finally tried Canadian icewine. The purveyor of said shop kindly sent me a sample of their white tea blended with icewine. What is there to say? Well…it lives up to its moniker. Other than not having as strong of a mead-sweet profile as actual icewine, it still does capture the taste. Sweet/sour white wine grape notes and Bai Mu Dan’s naturally grape-y lean compliment each other perfectly. The scenting (instead of flavoring) process lends itself to a more nuanced cup. The best form for this was as an iced tea. One could sweeten it, but it isn’t necessary.
Been awhile since I’ve done any Steepster-ing. Figured the best tea to break the hiatus would be a Shang Tea offering I almost completely forgot about. I looked at other reviews for this, and some complained it was too strong. I think part of that might be the brewing instructions. Shang recommended a 195F water temp and a one-to-two-minute steep. I did it for three minutes in 165F – a white tea typical. What I got was a subtly-scented, jasmine-kissed white with a nuanced and delicate flavor. I’m usually not a jasmine guy, but this more than made up for my bias against its type.
I’ve had sencha paired with cherry blossoms (yum!)…and green tea paired with cherry flavor (yuck). This one is part of the latter category, but distinctly reminds me of the former. The cherry flavor is loud and vibrant, but not overwhelmingly “fake” like some fruit-flavored teas. It also possessed a very nice and creamy aftertaste. A darn good sakura knock-off.
Full Review: New Review: http://www.teaviews.com/?p=28059
I had this in April, and I officially call that month “Ye Sheng” Month – simply for the fact that I tried three different teas from that wonderfully odd varietal of tea leaf. This white tea is wildharvested from an abandoned government farm, and the leaves yield the most exquisite, lemony notes of any white I’ve ever had. Didn’t think Silver Needle could be trumped…but it was…and hard.