Moving is insane. Or else I am for thinking it was a good idea. It’s been two weeks since we closed on our house and a week and a half since we actively started the move. Pretty much everything is moved out of the old house (save some Christmas decorations and stuff we are going to yard sale) but the new house is in a bit of disarray. It’s now a there-are-things-on-flat-surfaces-that-don’t-go-there instead of the earlier we-are-walking-through-a-maze-of-boxes disarray, so that’s good, right?
Anyway, the big reason for this move was to get us closer to civilization (and to have more yard so we can get a pool). Of course, moving closer to things means I get (have?) to adjust the stores I go to. I still get to go to my frou-frou grocery store, just a different location of the chain. Naturally, when I was there yesterday, I had to stop by the tea section. Where I found this.
Honestly, I got this tea because I had no idea what it was. I mean, “normal” tea companies aren’t exactly the most forthcoming with what type of black tea something is. If it’s not a Darjeeling or sometimes an Assam, they just say “Chinese black” (assuming it is from China, of course). Usually you can get a clue as to what the tea is based on what they call it or the notes they say it is suppose to have. This one, though, no idea. Add to confusion, turns out it is from Taiwan. Huh.
Upon pulling the bag out of the box, I saw a little sticker that said this was Hong Yue tea. Color me still clueless. Which is actually kind of fun. Tea adventure in the midst of moving insanity. A nice distraction.
The smell of the dry leaf is musty and fruity. Not so much musty like a dirty attic, but rather a faint musky note that isn’t pungent enough to be labeled truly musky. There’s some note of fruit in there that I can’t place – not the typical plum or grape or anything. Maybe an mild plum like one of the yellow & red spotted ones with the white flesh. (I normally go for the stronger dark plums so forgive my lack of mild plum knowledge.)
The taste is very nice. Not as oomphy as I was expecting (I was mentally prepared for something like a Yunnan or Tan Yang) but once I adjusted my expectations a bit, I think this is very nice. Mild with some nice fruity notes and a good, mentholated clean note at the end that is sweet enough to go towards the wintergreen mentioned in the tasting notes but gives me the warmer feeling of camphor. There’s a sweet almost spicy note to it. Not overly strong like pepper but yeah, cloves or allspice are both viable options. Or maybe a spice mix – a clove, some mild cinnamon and a tiny hint of orange zest?
Regardless, it’s very nice. More of an afternoon sipper than the morning tea I cracked it open for, but it has made me adjust my goals for today. I no longer feel a manic, pressing need to get stuff done. I’m much more zen about the insanity of what remains now. Maybe I will ignore the mess (since a lot of it is waiting on the husband to install some shelves) and instead do some laundry and ironing.
Does it sound weird that I now what to try a different Hong Yue? I mean, when I think of Rishi, I don’t normally think of wow, super-fresh and unusual teas. Nothing against Rishi, I actually think they do a good job with quality of teas for providing tea on such a large scale. Of the brands commonly available in retail outlets, I think Rishi is one of the best (I also like LPdT, but I don’t think that’s a “typical” retail thing.) But now I want to try a Hong Yue from a smaller vendor. Anyone have suggestions?