393 Tasting Notes
A friend of mine just came back from Peru and visited me this afternoon. He’s not really a tea drinker, but he loves when I prepare it for him. He likes the set ups, the teaware, and thinks I’m some king of tea prodigy, haha!
He doesn’t always like the tea though…especially when I try so desperately to make him like pu’erh, telling him it tastes like forest and chocolate. It always ends up tasting like “pu poo” to him. Oops. Sorry friend. I get over enthusiastic sometimes.
Today, I took it easy on him and prepared my favourite high mountain green oolong. To me, this tea is better than any Ali Shan or Tie Guan Yin I’ve had.
It’s beautifully crafted, and the leaves unfurl to perfection, looking like seaweeds.
The taste is ethereal. Floral, but not in a flower bomb mouth kind of way. It has a buttery creaminess to it that creates a sweet and silky mouthfeel. Perfectly balanced.
The minerals are intensified by the clay pot. It’s just such a lovely tea.
It’s spicy and minty at the same time. Nutmeg and spearmint.
He loved it, yay, victory!
Before leaving, he presented a gift to me. Said he was sorry not to have searched for tea to bring back for me. Instead, he brought a very special present that symbolizes friendship. A Peruvian sterling silver ring. It took my breath away. I will wear that ring with so much pride. Friendship is so precious…
Pics of the tea session…(and the ring)
Oh my, this tea…
Ok, I have to admit: this is hands down one of the best friggin Dancong I have had to date.
It’s all citrus essential oils. Orange and clementine’s breeze, rounded by a roasted nutty cashew creaminess.
There’s a peppery finish, the way a good olive oil can be. I also get cilantro notes.
(Ok, note to self: make an orange, cashew, cilantro olive oil salad and drink this tea next time)
The citrus lingers forever and ever. Amen. Get this.
In other news, it’s that time of year here when tons of dragonflies gather above my rooftop, forming a big cloud. There’s literarily hundreds of them. It’s quite a phenomenon. They are so beautiful and whimsical. Iridescent blues and greens…just stunning.
This will last for about a week, every evening just before it gets dark.
You’ll guess, I have a thing for dragonflies. There’s just a mystic aura about them, so intriguing and fascinating.
I’m not superstitious, but I’d like to think they bring good luck. If not, at least I know for sure they bring me joy and happiness, just like this tea does :-)
Today, I went to the market and picked up a giant cauliflower to oven roast, and some corn on a cobs. Now that cherry season is over, I’m all into corn on a cob, can’t get enough of it!
When I came back, I wanted a comforting tea. It’s been raining a lot here lately and it’s rather on the cool side.
This tea was purchased during Butiki’s birthday sale.
I’m already a fan of Darjeeling SF, but this has a different profile than a typical second flush.
I don’t get that fruity “grapey” muscatel I normally associate with SF.
Surprisingly, I get bitter chocolate and tobacco mostly, with floral notes.
It’s malty and full bodied. The’s a nice astringent finish, well balanced by the natural sweetness of this tea.
It’s provided a very good afternoon sipping, glad I got 2oz of this.
Pic of the session:
Today was a grey day with no rain…I much prefer rain.
I went in the woods to get bad vibes out of my system. I saw all kinds of beauty, and it filled my head with positive energy.
Never underestimate the power of nature.
I promised myself I would try some of my new high end dark oolong from Toa Tea Leaf.
Tonight, I chose this “almond” Phoenix Dancong. Another miracle of nature.
How does a tea get so naturally floral and nutty is beyond comprehension.
I would say this has pretty much the same profile as honey orchid oolong, except it is not as sweet, and more nutty. Roasted nuts, with an orchid opening and a light astringent finish.
This type of oolong has to be brewed with very short steeps, otherwise, it turns bitter.
The wet leaf smells like a luxuriant garden of lilac and orchids. That fragrance is just intoxicating.
Stay away from this if you are not the flowery type. I have had many Phoenix oolongs, and they usually smell and taste a lot more roasted than this one. This is really different and closer to a much greener oolong to me.
Needless to say, I love it. Is it for every one? Maybe not. First, it is quite expensive and I’m not sure this flavour profile would suit you if you’ve never really experimented with oolongs. I would try with something more “friendly” like Tie Guan Yin first.
All in all, a very good tea that I’m enjoying a lot tonight.
Pic for those who are interested:
First, I want to thank Angel at Teavivre for asking me to be part of the tasting activity program. I received five beautiful pu’erh sheng samples today, and I am happy to start reviewing them.
The care put in those samples is amazing. The leaves from this cake chunk are beautifully separated, with very minimum breakage.
Using 8g for 5oz yixing clay pot.
It’s undeniable, the first steeps provide a very floral mouthfeel, nice bouquet. It’s crisp and bright with a light astringency that already tingles my tongue.
The smell of the wet leaf is so fragrant and beautiful. Autumn leaves and hay. Love that humid and mossy scent.
Later steeps bring a certain sweetness. It’s juicy and fruity. I get apples and grapes. It’s delicious.
The ending of the sip is all about grapefruit for me, that light bitterness you find in the Ruby Red variety.
It’s not offensive, but it’s there and it gives a lot of character to this lovely sheng. This will steep forever, I can tell. I might cold brew it before the leaves are all spent.
I am very grateful for this wonderful experience.
Thanks again Angel for allowing me to try this raw pu’erh.
EDT: Oh, and as the lovely Sarsonator pointed out, I forgot the pic! Here it is:
I know I can’t expect blissful happiness everyday, but I can expect blissful tea every time I drink Wild Monk 2012.
I recently bought a beautiful yixing clay pot from Mandela and of course, I had to season it with Wild Monk today.
It’s late in the night, and I decided to drink just that. Cause why shouldn’t I?
This tea puts me in a meditation state every time. It invades all my senses, and gives me the inner peace I seek so desperately. The fragrance is made of dreams and wishes…
Smokey campfire scent that mixes with fresh morning dew, humid grass and moss.
Sugarcane sweet, earthy and musky notes, fresh menthol with just enough smoke to remind me how wood could taste like…nature’s “ingredients”.
This tea makes me see bright colours. Tonight, it’s a warm yellow.
Thank you Mandala, I cherish this tea.
This tea is not out yet, i just found out tonight. I’ve had a sample for a little while now but was sitting on it for god knows what reason. Well whatever the reason was, it was a good one cause i don’t think I could have had a better session than tonight with it. It was the perfect timing.
Granted I love pretty much all types of oolong, I drink it everyday. I seek quality though. Don’t want to drink anything generic.
So I was pretty excited to try this one cause Big Red Robe is a highly praised oolong. And I like BRR a lot usually.
Just the smell of the dry leaf is divine: baked goods, roasted chestnut and almond, sweet and velvety. However, the first thing I get in steep one is a strong floral mouthfeel. The tea is just waking up.
Then, it’s a party in the mouth. Honey, almond, and the unthinkable…toasted coconut. That nice almost milky sweetness you get from coconut flakes toasted in the oven. This is all very subjective of course, it doesn’t make this tea anywhere near a flavoured coconut oolong. It’s just reminiscent of it.
It’s complex but so easy to drink. Nice rock minerals develop, and it remains very sweet.
It gets very juicy and refreshing, like a bright citrusy and oaky white wine.
Thank you Brenden for this generous sample. This is fancy oolong. I’m happy I got to try it, and I love that I had plenty to make a very satisfying gongfu session!
And why have I not tried this tea before? Because I’ve been stupid, that’s why!
Using 7g for medium gaiwan.
It’s such a beautiful leaf. A mix of pale green, gold, and dark purplish brown.
Oh, that’s a big wow…I’ve been drinking it two days in a row. It’s probably one of the best pu’erh sheng I have drank so far.
It’s so sweet! Really, at one point during the session, it felt like I was drinking honey. It has none of the acidic astringency sometimes found in sheng.
It’s just a tad smokey, and that smoke seems to fade away as the tea gets sweeter. Cause yes, it keeps getting sweeter. I taste sweet corn…and buttered green beans.
it’s also a little woody, some cedar and fresh camphor notes at the end of the sip make my tongue tingle and my body warm. I love that feeling…
It’s so juicy, and it’s as if it sparkles in my mouth like fine champaign would.
20 + gongfu steeps and it keeps on giving…
Happy mouth. Happy soul. Happy fairy.
Pic of the brew:
Today was a good day. I was reunited with my beloved PTA. (Note to self: NEVER RUN OUT OF THIS AGAIN!! )
I received a humongous Butiki order….with other goodies inside.
Yes, I was the winner of the free mug and free tea during the contest, yay, and thanks to Stacy for allowing us Canadians participate :-)
So in her honour, I am having PTA in my new butiki lizard mug tonight!
I was so thrilled about the mug, I wanted it so much cause ya know, I am some kind of teaware freak. Oh, yes I am.
It is one of the most unique mug I have ever seen. I don’t know what kind on ceramic it is made of, but it has a mat finish, almost like a clay…and that mini butiki lizard, how cute!
I vote for it to become Butiki’s official mug!!
And the tea…oh this tea. Sour dough bread and chocolate covered raisins, with cinnamon dust. So good i could eat it!
It’s malty and sweet, with that certain je ne sais quoi those famous taiwanese black teas have.
I just love it. And with 6oz now in the cupboard, I feel more relaxed.
Thanks again Stacy for everything.
That’s what I call a great tea day, y’all. Very good for my inner happiness!!
Pic of the mug and tea: