320 Tasting Notes
I actually acquired this at the Northwest Tea Festival this year. Love events like that where you can taste before you buy. This is an unusual post-fermented tea in the fact there’s no harshness to it at all – compared to the other non-pu-erh hei chas I’ve had, anyway. It lasted a good seven or eight infusions, and its deceptive gentleness was counteracted by a wallop of caffeine. Necessary fuel for a five-hour long writing streak.
Said writing streak was my coverage of said Northwest Tea Festival, which can be found here: http://lazyliteratus.teatra.de/2012/10/07/my-first-tea-fest/
Having a heck of a time getting started on anything awesome today. Lost out on a writing gig that I was in over my head for. Temp agency positions are scarce…and it’s a Friday. Well, at least my tea will be good. I love this stuff. I want to cuddle with the gaiwan I put it in.
A vendor friend past on to me some of the Sakuma Bros. Sun Dried White for 2012. Holy heck, it’s like night and day from the 2011 batch! Their isn’t much of a creaminess there, as their was with the year prior. Instead, it’s fruit – particularly tart strawberry leaf, pears, and a dash of lemon. Not sure what happened to their plants in the last year, but wow…just…wow.
I’m sorry I don’t have any better superlatives.
I’m a sucker for Darjeeling oolongs. Heck, I’m even a sucker for the one and only Assam oolong I’ve tried. Nilgiri oolongs…um…they mean well. This one out of Bihar is hard to pinpoint. So we’ll start with the obvious.
Do I like it? Oh, hell yes. Character-wise, it has the nuances of a Nilgiri OP (Tiger Hill-ish), but a lot of the fruity bend of a Formosa. There’s also a smoky aspect on the end, but it’s very minor. One thing of note, though, this tasting note was from trying it Western-style. It held up well in a “wrongfu” prep, but not quite as well. Go big and boiled with this one.
It also almost became the subject of a tea fiction story (along with one other Doke tea, a Taiwanese sencha, and two Nepalese whites), the “DVD commentary”-ish blog on that trainwreck can be found here: http://lazyliteratus.teatra.de/2012/10/03/blending-tea-and-fiction/
I received this one from the lovely The Purrfect Cup…and of course it had to be a Sherlock inspired blend. Wouldn’t except anything less from her. (If you haven’t, you should seriously check out her tea talk with the venerable Mr. Holmes on her blog. Awesome.)
This was already on the plus side for containing bits of Lapsang in the blend. Whiffing the dry batch was like smelling a good tobacco. Keemun contributed a necessary woodiness, too. On taste, oddly enough, the Lapsang hung back, allowing the Keemun to take point with a sweet and malty punch. The pinesmoked mouthfeel was kept pretty reserved. As blends go, sometime aspects of it were uneven, but still pleasant to sip. A very good afternoon tea.
Even though I had it in the late morning.
Do you know what I like? Naps. I took one today, and it was glorious. But do you know what I hate? Recovering from a nap. For such a thing today, I went for a second pot o’ tea…but I didn’t want something black and migraine-inducing.
So I went for this little lovely – a step between green and white. It was peppery, light, melon-like, and a smidge on the floral side. Truthfully, I forgot I even had it, but it sure did the trick.
I went for a pint of this today with a bowl of cereal (in almond milk) and…more chocolate cake. The stuff looks like but packs quite a wallop still in the caffeine department. It’s a gold-tipped Yunnan hong cha to the core.
On this, my day of birth, I bid a fond farewell to the last of my Canton Tea Bai Lin Gong Fu. It’s last vestiges lasted two exquisitely sweet and malty pints, and put added vigor into my morning step. This newly-turned 36-year-old bids this exquisite black tea…adieu. SALUTE!
Aged. Yunnan. Gold.
If there were three more rapturous words in the English dictionary…I can’t think of them right now. It’s no secret that Yunnan Golds are probably my favorite types of black teas. What I hadn’t had, though, was an aged version. When I ordered this last week at a Chinese Garden tearoom, I was expecting a pu-erh version, but – nay – the host informed me that it was a normal hong cha, simply aged.
And it was everything it was supposed to be – honey, peppery, slightly malty, sweet, and – most importantly – winy. Dare I say, I was even tea-drunk after scores of steeps of the stuff.
The full story can be found here: http://lazyliteratus.teatra.de/2012/09/28/tea-flutes-and-yellow-hatted-hoffmans/
Doomur Dullong (or Dullung?)…the name sounds Klingon. And, you know what? This tastes like something Klingons would drink. I mean that in the best possible way. It’s manly, malty, and bitterly rawhide-like on the aftertaste. You can steep the hell out of it, and it can last a good Round #2. Fitting for a tea that I found in Wyoming of all places.
My full account of that adventure can be found here: http://lazyliteratus.teatra.de/2012/09/20/tea-wiles-in-the-wilds-of-wyoming/