2765 Tasting Notes
Breakfast this morning is a fruit salad and I was looking for a tea to drink with it, this seemed like a likely culprit. Got the sample a while ago from Upton for $1.
I like the black tea base here, not sure what it is, maybe a congou? It seems very smooth to me but the lychee flavor is quite strong. I’ve had a few lychees in my lifetime, but can’t say they fall into the category of my favorite fruit. This is a lot sweeter than I thought it would be with a bit of muskiness. It’s a little too much for the morning, I think this would be a much better dessert tea. Overall not bad. It seems I liked this more than some of the other tasters did but probably won’t need any more. I do like the rose congou from Upton quite a lot.
Someone else mentioned trying it as a cold brewed iced tea so I think I will have to do that with the rest of mine. :)
My samples arrived today from Fong Mong and of course I was excited and had to try one immediately. :)
I used about 3g of tea in a 10 oz. mug, steeped Western style, my tea liquor is dark orange.
This tea has a nice flavor profile, to me it seems malty with some cocoa and flowery notes and a quality that reminds me a bit of red wine. As the cup cools I am getting a lot of tannins which is definitely not something I look for in a tea because it makes my stomach feel queasy.
At the moment I am not quite sure what to make of it but I think I will try a shorter steep in the morning and perhaps that will improve things for me.
I am very grateful for the sample!
This is a sample I got from Harney and Sons and thought I’d try it out this morning. I noticed the leaves have a musky-melon kind of smell, is that a characteristic of a passionfruit?
I steeped this for around 4 or 5 minutes and I admit I did put soymilk in it. :) The black tea base is nice here and the tea is lightly fruity, tropical, still kind of musky, mostly sweet but a tiny bit tart. It’s enjoyable enough but I don’t think I would need to keep any on hand but if someone offered me a cup, I would not turn it down. I think I might be more of a black currant or mango kinda gal. This would be really nice as an iced tea, however.
I’m up early so I decided to pick this sample at random to try it out this morning, I used about 5 grams of leaf in the gaiwan and did a quick rinse. My first infusion I had to throw away because I accidentally used boiling water. The wet leaves do smell divine. The whole reason I picked this sample was due to the description hot buttered flowers! :)
Second infusion was for 20 seconds at 180 F. I got a light yellow liquid which definitely smells very floral/magnolia like to me. The tea liquor is floral with a honey like sweetness and a tad of bitterness in the finish. hmm. Norbu says to keep decreasing the steeping time and temp. until the bitterness is gone.
3rd steep: 10 seconds at 175F. Definitely better. Agree about the thick almost oily feeling in the mouth (a bit buttery) which is reminiscent of a Taiwan high mountain oolong or something, bitterness is mostly gone at this point. A bit of nuttiness, a mere trace of astringency.
4th steep: 15 seconds at 175. Still nice. Still very flowery and smooth and I am still getting a trace of astringency but nothing overwhelming. A slight bittersweetness.
As you an imagine when you are keeping the steeping times this short you would be able to gets LOTS of infusions out of this tea. In order to make it more practical for me to do so I’d need a hot water heater set at 175 degrees all day, no wonder those are so popular.
This tea was nice, not so finicky once I figured out what my steeping parameters should be, but that did take a bit of trial and error. I’m quite new to these Fenghuang oolongs right now so I don’t have much to compare it to. From what I’ve been reading, bitterness is often a characteristic of these teas which is a bit unfortunate (for me). I didn’t love this but will certainly finish off what I have.
Finishing off the rest of my sample tonight. I had a bunch of vegan chili with beans and this seems like the perfect thing to have after a heavy meal. I did two steeps for around 30 seconds in a gaiwan and poured the results into an Irish coffee mug. It does seem a shame to toss the leaves now but perhaps I will cold steep them and drink them in the morning. This is a luscious pu-erh for sure, clean and mellow with no weird aromas or flavors in sight. See previous notes for more info.
My order from Norbu Tea arrived and I am thrilled!
As an affordable indulgence, what I got were 10 gram samples, shipping was only $3.00 and super fast from Texas to California. It’s so great being able to try a smaller quantity of tea before you commit to a larger size.
Most of my samples are oolongs which they recommend steeping in a gaiwan, but this one can be steeped Western style so I decided to try it. I’m willing to try any smoked tea and this one sounded so intriguing. Tea smoked over dried sugarcane? Sign me up! When I opened the package the black wiry leaf smelled like roasted chocolate. woooo!
So this got steeped in an infuser mug, their recommendations are for 3-4 minutes and I believe my steeping time approached that. I got a dark amber color of tea and the leaves smell earthy and lightly smoked.
The cup is a dark amber and smells a bit like a lapsang. My first sip of tea is lovely, a sweet infusion that reminds me of caramel and wood. It’s only in the finish of the tea that the delicate smoke becomes subtly apparent, along with a lovely sweetness that is lingering in my mouth. This is also oddly relaxing, or maybe I’m just falling asleep after lunch. ;-)
This reminds me of a really light lapsang in that it has the same tangy sort of barbeque-y element, but since the smoke is very light this would be a great entry into smoky teas for someone who’s afraid of them. :P
Norbu’s note mentions a slight astringency which I am not picking up on too much. Overall this is a really neat tea with a lot of different elements to it and I could certainly see myself ordering the full size. So glad I tried it and can’t wait for the weekend when I can try gonfu’ing my new wuyi and fenghuang oolongs!
p.s. I also got a lighter, but still lovely second steep out of it.