My son and I are enjoying this tea iced today. He had some that had cooled off. He took a small sip and practically squealed with delight ‘mmm that’s good!" then took a gulp, then a chug and asked very earnestly to make more of it for him. Lovely raisin, chocolate and sweet potato notes. Smooth, cool, malty and naturally sweet. Love! Poor husband is having stomach issues today :(
298 Tasting Notes
Been drinking through a few samples of Asian grocery oolongs courtesy of tunes&tea from ::gulp:: Christmas. Should have brewed these long ago, but was overwhelmed by too much tea, bouts of depression where I didn’t want to drink tea (silly as the ritual of tea helps me) and various cold/flus/infections and travel.
I started off yesterday with one labeled: “Asian grocery oolong, red octagonish can, $5.99- 8oz, similar to Wei Chaun” after some searching it seems Wei Chuan is a brand not a varietal and since this is a greener oolong, I’m guessing it’s similar to a tieguanyin. This was my least favorite of the three, there was something in the smell even after two rinses I wasn’t digging. I’m guessing it was stale, which is my fault for keeping it in a ziplock for 5 months, but I gave it my best shot, 5 infusions a few sips of each but ended out pouring it out. It wasn’t that it was undrinkable, I just didn’t want to waste my time drinking it. I know that probably comes off snobby or ungrateful, let’s try: “too much tea, too little time”.
I rinsed my teaware and moved on to the “traditional Asian grocery Dong Ding” and as soon as the water hit the leaves I could I was going to like it. Most of the first infusion went into an offering cup, because it smelled heavenly but I figured I should still treat it as a rinse (good tea goes in offering cups, blah tea goes down the drain and I brew more than one offering cup can hold) still I took a sip. Yes very nice roasted Dong Ding. I enjoyed several infusions before making cous-cous for dinner. Had to take the tea into the other room as the kitchen was becoming saturated with cumin and curry. Have plenty of leaf for a least two more sessions.
The third I have just started on this afternoon. It’s labeled “Ti Kuan Yin, asian grocery- good though” and it is! Very good indeed. It’s a darker roasted tieguanyin and these are always a rare treat for me! Going to savor this one. I’m eager to try the “Asian grocery Pouchong” as well, but that will probably be for another day, or perhaps this evening. Thank you “tunes&tea” sorry it’s taken me so long to get to some of these.
Also wanted to mention here that my dad has recovered very well, he was given the go ahead to drive by the doctor two days ago (I had a dream the night before that he had my nephews on his lap in the drivers seat and was accidentally squishing my sister into the side of the garage when I volunteered to drive and had to go with him on the road for business for the next three months, very strange) and I have gotten over my flu and have been cleaning. These teas are a bit of a reward for a clean kitchen ;)
Sipdown! Getting amazing hazelnut notes this time round! I could smell them right after pouring so half the first infusion went into an offering cup. Lovely!
I find the name of this tea amusing “Hint of Mint”, pretty sure it’s nothing but mint. Had a few cups of this at Boyd and Wurthmann in Berlin, OH http://www.boydandwurthmann.com/ It’s a neat bustling seat yourself restaurant filled with locals and tourists alike.
It was much more enjoyable than all the bland “Amish” kitchen/buffets (we only went to one this trip, but I’ve been to a few). I find it amusing that all the reviews for those places said the staff and cooks were clearly not amish, despite their uniforms, but honestly what do you expect? Amish women have better things to do, it’s all the other people in the area that need jobs.
I had the trail bologna and swiss sandwich with potato salad. Trail bologna is pretty awesome, it’s made in Trail, Ohio and we brought some back with us. The husband and son actually made me a trail bologna and cheese omelet yesterday brought to me in bed (Rowan actually sent me back to bed), unfortunately I could’t eat it.
Sick story follows:
The moment I smelled the bologna frying I knew I was going to be sick, I actually had the husband run out to get me a pregnancy test, negative (which I’m grateful for, I have an IUD in but you never know). They also made me oatmeal with raspberries that I opted for, but couldn’t keep down. Yesterday was just awful flu + migraine is my personal idea of hell, complete with fever and hallucinating that my body was made up on things it is not. The only way I was able to regain stability was by just focusing on just my breathing for over an hour. Feeling significantly better today, but not without issues that need not be spoken over tea.
End sick story, resume travel/food log, still not tea related but there is wine:
Next time we’re in Holmes County I want to have breakfast at Boyd and Wurthmann, The Wreck sounds fantastic! Third favorite place to eat was the Chalet in Valley, owned by Guggisberg Cheese in Charm, OH. We ordered way too much food as we wanted to try their fondue, which was delicious, we took most of our entrees home and split an apple dumpling.
We also went wine and cheese tasting around Sugar Creek, the Little Switzerland of Ohio, elderberry wine, strawberry-rhubarb, dandelion wine, ice wine, sherry, tawny port, fun! We brought home Apricot, Peach and a Watermelon Wine (which is surprisingly boozey), sage derby, smoked bacon cheddar, salami cheese and butter cheese.
Our last stop was just down the road from Chalet in the Valley, Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery. It’s really a pie shop the sells other goods like bread, apple butter, jams, cider, condiments and other dried and jarred foods with petting farm (with Holmes County’s biggest horse who looked very sad and lots of goats, momma and baby goats inside and billy goats on the roof that you can send treats up to), a hamburger stand, kettle corn and a wooden toy store and pet shop cringe. Elderberry, Strawberry-rhubarb and dandelion fry pies were fantastic and now I know what a fry pie is, or rather what the packaged things the husband picks up from the gas station are, so much better fresh.
On the way home we stopped at the Toyota dealership and traded in the husband’s leased Corolla for a new small, very orange (habanero) Prius. We bought this time, because with his commute to work it made no sense to lease. My credit is even more solid than it was before, husband’s is not great but it’s getting better. None of the picture online due that orange justice. Husband got made fun of at work for it, someone asked if he was a “fairy”, yeah… they didn’t know him when he had a yellow beetle, but then again neither did I.
I had seen this tea on the Tarragon fall menu online before they updated and was very glad when we got there that it wasn’t just seasonal. I had two tea cocktails to chose from, both presumably made from the same tea bag as this said “spice tea” on the menu and the other said “orange spice” but the tea bag I got was definitely orange spice, I think it was Numi. So the main difference between the two is that this was made with Di Saronno Amaretto and the other was with honey and a honey whiskey that had a fancier name I can’t recall.
Cinnamon was really the dominant flavor here both from the stick and probably the bag. I would have preferred this to be more almondy, with an actual almond based loose tea blend. Husband suggested vanilla which would be a nice addition. Still it was a nice treat and complimented the amazing strawberry-rhubarb bread pudding quite nicely. And of course it gives me inspiration to experiment with my own almond tea, because if I ever open a tea bar there will be tea cocktails and tea infused beer for the evening.
Back to the restaurant though. Sunday night I had the most amazing seared duck-breast. It had a honey chipotle glaze and was served with a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with potato and duck confit, and a roasted “squash salad” was actually warm thinly sliced zuchini and summer squash in pesto. This dish delighted my taste buds, hitting every spot, I was actually moaning while eating and had no desire for desert. The seared glaze on the outside was like candied bacon and the balance of sweet, spicy and savory was perfection!
Monday afternoon after our couples massage (which unfortunately left me sore for three days, husband’s was very relaxing, I should have told my guy to be gentler) we had lunch at Tarragon. Husband and I both had the Beef and Wild Mushroom Cottage pie, which was more of a souffle with potato and cheese on top, I had a great gaspacho as well and that’s when we had tea and dessert. My only regret is that we didn’t stop in for just cocktails, because the chef makes his own herbal infused liquors. Tarragon’s menu was also very vegetarian friendly for those in the area that are so inclined ;)
So last week the husband and I celebrated our four year wedding anniversary (8 years together) with a relaxing four day/three night stay in Ohio Amish Country (Holmes County). Husband was originally skeptical about vacationing in Amish Country, thinking it was all furniture shopping and knickknacks, but not at this little gem in the woods: http://www.innathoneyrun.com/ With a fantastic restaurant, spa and walking trails.
I couldn’t decide on what type of room/suite when we were booking so I told Jay to pick and he left it a surprise until we checked in. He choose the Trillium Cottage, clever boy. Total privacy, wood burning stone fireplace, great architecture and the only room with a two person Jacuzzi tub. We had a welcome tray when we arrived Sunday evening with local cheese, fruit, wine, chocolate covered strawberries and cookies (though shortly after we arrived they called to invite us down to the restaurant for complimentary wine and appetizers, we decided to stay in).
I’ll talk more about their restaurant when I review the special tea cocktail I had there, but this is a about a k-cup. Monday morning I took a shower and walked out to find the husband reading the paper while drinking a cup of coffee and eating biscotti, I found this both amusing and annoying as the husband isn’t a coffee person. He informed me there was tea for the Keurig as well.
Now I’d never used a Keurig before, customers at Teavana used to ask me all the time if they could brew with theirs, so I was curious. Husband said it really felt like German engineering, shrug. Tea was so-so, pretty mild with a slightly astringent finish, but not much bergamot, bummer. At least I had delicious pastries that my sister sent us off with Sunday morning from Black Bird Bakery in Lakewood, Ohio (they have fantastic scones).
Full disclosure here: I honestly don’t know if it was Celestial Seasonings, they had a Celestial Seasonings herbal k-cup that I didn’t make, but looking at images of Earl Grey k-cups it was definitely not Twinnings and the Bigelow, which would have been my first guess, looks different. This design looks the most familiar and husband agrees, so I’m going with that rather than creating a new tea, because I’m tired and sick, again… Won’t rate though.
This one came in the tea of the month box that I accidentally continued after the free trial (more on that later perhaps) and so is I believe the last of the Autumn harvests Verdant got in. I really don’t remember if I order this one when it came in, I’m leaning toward not, though I certainly ordered the first Autumn harvest of 2012. From the description on Verdant’s website: http://verdanttea.com/teas/hand-picked-autumn-tieguanyin/ This is not the usual Bi Family Tieguanyin. I suppose I should have read the info included with my tea of the month club, but it came just before going out of town for a week and I only got back Sunday with a cold so…
But I noticed it was very different, first note I got was banana?! then cool candy sweetness with a tang. After reading the description I totally get apricot. This is fantastic!
On third steep. May update more but really enjoyed brewing this in the kitchen watching a grey and black squirrel chase each other through the sea of grass and dandelions while a male cardinal and robin flitted out of their way. Husband just came home so cutting this short.
So two weekends ago I went to my cousin’s wedding in Michigan then drove down to visit my in-laws for a week in Indiana. There were only two or three nice days at the very beginning and end of our stay. Rowan got to ride one of their new miniature horses but I didn’t get to ride one of the big ones due to allergies, rain and cold of doom that every one had (father-in-law actually got a pneumonia).
However I did get to sit down and order tea for my mother-in-law from Butiki and 52Teas and the Butiki box arrived the morning I was leaving so we brewed this up with breakfast. I probably would never order a banana tea for myself, I’m weird about banana flavors. Ripe bananas are great, bananas in homemade smoothies and banana walnut bread all good, but anything flavored banana, no thank you. This however was like drinking wonderful warm fresh banana bread, quite scrumptious! Hope she enjoys all her teas as much as we enjoyed this one, we brewed two pots!
Sipdown. I’ve been drinking this tea all day, like since before breakfast. Over a dozen infusions and trips to the bathroom, just kept adding more water to the Zojirushi and only now has it started to go “flat”.
It’s a lovely tea, truly lovely. I had Verdant’s Taiwanese Dong Ding yesterday evening and while it was nice and green and bakey it was only after six infusions that it got the nice sweet notes that this has from the beginning.
I imagine they’re processed different, this tastes more roasted than Verdant’s but not nearly as much as the Tung Ting I had at a Essencha Tea House in Cincinnati. All wonderful teas, but this was a great companion today.
I’m recovering from another cold, this one picked up in Indiana visiting the in-laws, but you know what after, a three week cold last month, this time I said to hell with only drinking certain tea and have allowed myself white, green and greener oolongs which is good because I have sooo much tea to drink through and I’m feeling much better for it.
I’ve been drinking almost exclusively green and herbal teas for the last three weeks due to cold turned flu turned cold and lingering crud. No fancy oolongs or pu-erh for me until today. This is nice, smokey, roasty, sweet with a parchment-like quality. I did three short infusions, mostly offered at our kitchen shrine, but I got a few sips of each.
I’m a little shaken at the moment, my dad is going to be having quadruple bypass surgery sometime this week, they just did the analysis this morning, he did not have any sort of cardiac episode, just some tightness in the chest which led him to take a stress test and another test which showed some blockage, turns out its 80% in two areas. So he’s fine and in good spirits and hopefully it will all go smoothly, though he will have to rest for 4-6 weeks and not travel for his work. I’ve had two uncles who have had stints put in, my dad’s brother has had more than one heart attack, their father survived several though he had some very debilitating strokes, but I’m trying not to think about that as a possibility.
Any positive thoughts or prayers for our family would be appreciated, though no worrying please. Hope you and yours are all well.
Boo my browser crashed during this note. Thanks to tperez for sending this in our swap. I was excited to see it included as I love the yabao from Verdant and this is very similar. Herbaceous and coniferous notes that remind me of sweet grass, rosemary, pine and artichoke. The only thing I can tell without doing a side by side brewing is that this doesn’t have the sparkling quality Verdant’s does, still wonderful though!
Last night I attempted to get tea drunk but did not get very far as it was close to Rowan’s bedtime and I was exhausted and ended up staying upstairs. I have revived the buds this morning and its just as good. I had an emotional breakdown yesterday after registering Rowan for preschool, not because I’m emotional about him growing up but because the class we wanted was closed and I had to choose between the morning class 8:15-11:15 or an afternoon class at a different location. I chose the latter initially for my sanity and sleep (we have some major schedule adjusting, Rowan is hard to get dressed and out the door and even though they are both three hours, 11 am seems like less of a break in my day. However this other location while part of our school district is technically in Cleveland on road I don’t care for and not at the brand new elementary school just 5 mins away).
I started sobbing on the way home, I pulled over to call the office saying I’d made the wrong decision but they had just closed so I left a message and sobbed some more, on the phone with the husband and my mom, through the drive-thru and over my shamrock shake. Anywho the lady called back this morning and switched him to the morning class at Grindstone. Crisis averted, going out to the Brew Kettle with my sister tonight anyway, beer not tea, she said there was a lot on tap right now that I would like.
I was going to write this in my Dragonwell note, but I figured that’s not fair. I’ve been having some bum sessions with pu’erh and oolongs, ones I should like, that I know are good quality, but they haven’t shined for me lately, nothing has stood out. Perhaps it’s my water?
On a more uplifting note either Friday or Saturday, Rowan suggested we have a tea party. He brought me his little cup and creamer and even grabbed my little silver filigree over the cup strainer. He wanted tea with milk as opposed to raspberry tea which is his usually request. So I gave him options, he chose Baker Street Blend from Upton Tea. He chose this not for his love of Sherlock Holmes, but because we live on Baker Street.
He thoroughly enjoyed it and kept asking for more, I probably reinfused it four times, though his tiny cup was usually half full with milk. I don’t think I had tried this one with milk before, but it was quite nice. So after tea and waffles Rowan announces he wants to play a game, Jenga and Clue together. Now this is something we’ve played before though more often than not we play them separately.
Yes, my three and a half year old loves playing Clue though it has taken a lot to get him to not say what he has out loud and mark his sheet correctly (it is a 8 yr+ game). And he mostly just loves building wonky towers with the Jenga blocks. However the first time Rowan saw these two games we were playing them together at my sisters house. Now due to the irony of the tea and the game I had to explain the Sherlock- Baker Street thing to him. He’s seen Great Mouse Detective but I don’t think he’s ready for BBC or Robert Downey Jr.
I keep on meaning to get on here an log some tea, this one which I enjoyed on Sunday, has stood out the most in the last couple weeks. Sunday was beautiful, sunny and in the 60’s, it felt very much like spring and we took Rowan to a playground and out for ice cream.
But before that, I threw open all the windows and brewed this tea and it was perfect! Bright and fresh and sweet with notes of cherries! I didn’t take notes but I thoroughly enjoyed it over several infusions. Thank you tperez for sharing a sample with me, I have another serving left that I shall be sure to savor.
Before I forget I drank this one Saturday, the day after the worst migraine I’ve had it months, so I didn’t want to try anything aged or too roasted. I thought this would be greener but it was actually a perfect middle ground. Cute little pellets unfurling into delicious orchid candy-like tea. It tasted very familiar and maybe I had actually brewed it once before but it had a lot of the qualities I like. Will definitely revisit soon, perhaps western style. Yum.
This is seriously delicious. Brewed gongfu style the first three steeps were very savory and even smokey with signature wuyi mineral sweetness. Spice, nuts and even chocolate notes slowly emerged and now the tea is dessert like. As others have noted honey roasted nuts, orchid and yes banana notes. It’s another winner from Verdant, glad I ordered the 2oz. Going to spend the rest of the evening with it and maybe try the aged oolong or dong ding tomorrow. Husband is home early today which I am especially grateful for since he spent last night laying nauseous in the hallway. He’s better today, they just ran out of mail trucks.
Tea of three days ago (actually three and two days ago). I haven’t been posting as much as I would like, been occupied with re-reading the Silmarillion while pinning art from it on Pinterest, because if it’s not Steepster it’s Pinterest. I just got a Verdant order yesterday so there should be more notes here, but I wanted to get around to some of the straight Butiki oolongs I had been so excited to order almost two months ago, but hadn’t gotten around to.
This tea smells sooo amazing, I knew I would love it the moment the vapors reached my nostrils. I’ve had one or two similar smelling teas before a very roasted Tung Ting and Rou Gei, so this felt familiar and at the same time very unique. I brewed it gongfu style and it was perfect for me, but will be sure to try the recommended western brewing parameters. I had a big migraine yesterday and between that and not taking notes this log will have to be brief for now. I remember it being sweet and roasty, woodsy and a tad fruity as well as spicey, but a very sweet spice like cloves, star anise, cinnamon and almonds but with none of those notes dominating. I steeped it for a day and half and the leaves just kept on giving! This should definitely be a staple in my cupboard.
This tea smells immediately different from what I’ve had recently (which are savory Yunnan’s and dark malty black teas). The leaves are beautiful twisted loose curls, not golden nor black but silvered brown. The scent of the dry leaves are very hard to describe but the wet leaves smell floral and “dry”. The first sip is light and bright with a brief hint of cocoa and then sparkle, sparkle, sparkle, that fine mineral sparkle so lovely and cooling.
The second infusion is indeed dry but in a wonderful way like scotch. There are woodsy notes as well as the floral and bit of smoke. My thought is that this tea must indeed be made by a master. It reminds me more of Oriental Beauty and sheng than any Chinese black teas I’ve had experience with. Herbaceous notes and camphor pop up every now and then, with whispers of that first cocoa and prickles of pepper on the sides of the tongue.
Third infusion is herbaceous and peppery. Cooling and warming at the same time. Turns a bit savory and salty in the middle of the sip but not as much as the Jin Jun Mei I had yesterday and this morning, it is still floral in the beginning and in the finish and aftertaste. Now there is a battle on my tongue competing notes of sweet and salty, floral and peppery, cool and dry causing it to tingle and pulse.
In the first few sips of the fourth infusion, all the tastes of the third infusion are present only stonger and more solid. The tea is developing more body and less effervescence. And as the body develops, a slight butteriness is born and yet the tongue buzzes and the sensation from the tea is so thick and heavy you could bite into it. There is a hint of fruit here at the end of cup, that reminds me of gum and kiwi? And the buzzing of my tongue is spreading to the base of my neck and down my spine and arms and I am reminded that I must eat. Break.
Note that I wrote this note without looking at the tea’s description or other tasting notes (besides reading them a month ago) but now after reading, I realize now that the butteriness is more like olive oil and the notes I was finding similar to Oriental Beauty were muscatel and the fruit notes did have a grape and apple (gum) I got the sheng on my own though. Yay for sitting and listening to tea, it’s been awhile and this was certainly an intense experience that I hope to resume after food.
Just riding back from historic Naples Florida where my mother and I had lunch at Brambles English Tea Room, while Rowan and grandpa went to the park. The owners were Brits and our waitress Jasmine had a lovely accent from I’m not sure where. It was Victorian in decor, pink floral wallpaper and floral china tea cups and small pots. They served almost exclusively Taylor’s of Harrogate (a brand I had heard mentioned the opening weekend of our Teavana store by a busy body tea anglophile customer who just wanted to name drop an talk about who was drinking what) with the exception of a few house blends. My mom had their take on a Royal Wedding Tea with strawberries, kiwi and mango with a salmon salad I had this Lapsang Souchong with my Cornish Pasty which were a fine paring. The tea was medium on the smoke, slightly sweet and quite smooth. It was a bag but whatever. I asked what kind of oolong and she just tried to explain what an oolong was to me but in doing so described it as green and mild so that answered my question. I picked up an over the cup strainer to replace my one that was blackening, this one has a stainless steel mesh body and its own drip base so that’s fabulous. I also picked the husband up some Japanese Cherry Tea just because and treated my mom to some Royal Wedding Tea for at home. I accidentally tipped 20% on the subtotal (three items from the gift shop on top of the meal) tipping the final total to $81, oh well hopefully Jasmine enjoy, she taught is how to pronounce pasty. Lovely afternoon.
Hmm I think I over leafed this :/ Dry it smelled chocolatey, but that was lost once I added water, it was extremely savory to the point of being salty. I’m just going to have to default to my previous tasting note.
Was out and about today and really need to get to bed. Looking forward to Jin Jun Mei tomorrow amidst crazy packing of things to be sent down to Florida with my dad so we don’t have to take much on the plane Saturday.
My tasting notes say it has been 12 months since I first tried this tea, the first Autumn 2011 harvest after which I ordered the second which I still have a bit of. I also still have some of the 2011 Spring (logged 6 months ago) and Summer (logged 4 months ago) but I don’t know which is which is which as the pouches are not labeled. Today I’m drinking the Autumn 2012 harvest, which I have tried a few times already but apparently have not logged. Perhaps I should sit down with all four of them one of these days, however right now…
I’m on a Verdant Black Tea tasting spree, one a day. I started with Anxi Fo Shou on Tuesday, Yu Lu Lan Cha on Wednesday and Mi Lan Dancong Black Thursday all of which have been compared to Laoshan Black by David himself for their lovely chocolate notes but of course are each very unique and I wanted to experience that uniqueness each day instead of spaced weeks or months apart. I will continue with Zhu Rong Black, Jin Jun Mei, Master Han’s Wild Picked Yunnan Black (the only one I haven’t opened yet) and end with Golden Fleece, of course these last three don’t have the intense chocolate notes that the darker blacks do, but some of these teas also have strong honey notes and plus its fun!
I don’t pretend I am making any unique observations here, this tea alone has 115 ratings and many like me have more than one tasting note, not much more can be said about it. I’m just trying to come to a personal understand and appreciating the differences and complexities. This is the most intensely chocolate and desert like of the four so far, it is supported and enhanced by honey, caramel, vanilla and hint of cinnamon. The caramel and vanilla are the most intense in this fall harvest than I have experienced before. It is the most creamy and nutty of the teas, due to the soil of Laoshan Village.
Many dessert analogies have been made by others: caramel brownies, cinnamon brownies, honey soaked brownies, brownies brownies brownies, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, whipped cream, creme brulee, hot cocoa, Nutella, Black Forest cake, milk shakes, chocolate beer. It’s all of these but today especially it is &caramel brownie vanilla bean cheesecake served with a caramel brownie and vanilla bean ice cream, drizzled with caramel syrup, chocolate syrup and honey, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with chocolate shavings and cinnamon*. Beat that! And all that dessert flavor from three 10 second steeps! On a more serious note (not that that wasn’t a serous observation of course) it also seems a lot less grainy than I remember it being in the past and a lot more vanilla.
Thanks to momo for this one! As others have noted this is very heavily dominated by the anise and fennel and the cider/apple is really just in the background. It might as well be called “Apples & Licorice” But knowing that and accepting it going in, I really like it. I wanted something sweet tonight and this requires absolutely no sugar to achieve that. I steeped the Mi Lan Black to death today and had an apple ale (not cider) after dinner so this is a good choice.
Third day of the Verdant black tea comparisons and I’ve decided I’ll make a week of it as I have them all. There’s a hint of cocoa as the dry leaves hit the warm mug but its mingled with other fragrances, floral and earthy true to its teroir this smells more like a dancong than a black tea when brewed up.
There’s a hint of smoke coming off the leaves and a scent of roasted veggies. Yet the first infusion is very malty, powdery cocoa dusted over fragrant oolong. There’s a mix of veg and herbaceous, I keep come back to avocado, asparagus, banana and some mustiness.
Disclaimer: I’m not the biggest appreciator of dancongs, there are a couple I’ve liked and a few more than have lacerated my tongue, but I know I like this one, I’ve had it before and even on this second infusion I know I need to lower the temp next time because those roasted veggie notes now smell charred.
Then there it is that greyish purple clay taste I get from dancongs, not as offensive here with the cocoa, avocado and now honey and yup peach. Getting stronger and stronger juicy peach oh swoon now I know what those dancong lovers search for and this peach is with chocolate, seriously just wow. Perhaps I won’t lower the temp ;)
Less peach in the third infusion there’s a woodsy quality with the clay and yes incense and just like my first tasting note I’m getting a dry sheng like quality. Interesting. Can I have that peach back please? Will come back to this note later in the day with observations.
This post is for science (and Kittenna) comparing some of Verdant’s black teas I felt were similar but knew would be different, this isn’t side by side but one after the other. I had this tea over a month ago but it seems I did not log it. I don’t think I knew what to say then.
As leaves hit the hot mug, the unmistakable smell of chocolate permeates the air. Yet when hot water hit leaves the smell turned savory. There is something much more grainy than yesterday’s Anxi Fo Shou Black or Laoshan Black a prickly bit of linen, no, denser like a wool cloak.
This second steep is so savory and buttery with sweetness only in the finish. It’s sparkle is different than the wuyi sparkle, but still it tingles in a more earthy manner. There is veg here, avocado which is of course a tree fruit but it has a very veg quality.
Thick heavy savory honey in the third steep, almost raw. I keep using all these rough adjectives and yet it is really a very smooth black tea but there is no doubt it is thick, thick and malty.
This tea conjures up hearty starchy things like legumes and potatoes and makes me want chili or stew but with a bit of molé. Wow so different than yesterday’s rum raisin chocolate cake and it sets itself apart from Laoshan Black as well. I stand very corrected.
Edit to add: I continued steeping this on late last night and by around the 9th infusion or so (I lost count) it turned very chocolaty, very very sweet and even fruity, at that point I had lowered my temp to 205-208F and dragged the infusions out to a minute plus. Only by one in the morning was this feeling at all watered down.
Also watched Mirror Mirror on Netflix and preferred it overall to Snow White and the Huntsman (though Charlize was an awesome queen and had gorgeous raven inspired wardrobe and I liked the Irish tree named dwarves, Lily Collins made a much better Snow White and the prince was funny), completely different tone, very amusing if over the top.
I tried this for the first time last week but words were escaping me, the only things I could think of were chocolate, raisin, rum and a bad pun: I like this tea “fo sho”, yeah…
I love these little one-two serving packets, so convenient and unintimidating. Oh well if I mess this up I still have a dozen more! I feel like this tea, Verdant’s Yu Lu Cha and Mi Lan Dancong Black all need a side by side brewing. They all have this oolongy Laoshan Black thing going on, though I’m sure each is quite unique, its hard to find them just based on memory.
The first time I tried this I could not find any hints of Anxi Tieguanyin, but there are some lovely honey orchid notes present in this first cup steeped a bit longer than my first gongfu session (15 secs instead of 3-5). I also get Big Red Robe, which I love and miss. I really liked Laoshan Black and Big Red Robe together, so this is a winner.
I’m going to steep it out through the day and I hope to find some of those single malt scotch notes. I really love Bonnie’s tasting note on this and completely agree that the raisin notes are golden raisin and the chocolate feels very raw at the beginning. Already this session is yielding a much fuller bodied tea and I’m looking forward to brewing this western style for the husband who will have none this sparkling mineral nonsense (aka how I love my teas). Also, yay 275!