December 1, 2012 Yu Lu Yan Cha Tea arrived as a present to me.
I should be considering others, but couldn’t resist the temptation!
My main concentration was on taste and scent (which is what I will discuss). All measurements were as suggested by Verdant.
Method: Gaiwan: http://youtu.be/bp31QnuVPd4 (Wang Yanxin Brewing Yu Lu Yan Cha Black Tea)
There was 1 quick wash, followed by multiple steepings of 5-10 seconds (longer steeps with each pour). The liquor was medium gold then deeper gold, clear and vibrant.
Taste and Scent:
There was nothing predictable about this tea.
No taste or scent that I could compare it to. This isn’t Laoshan Black or Zhu Rong. Not a cleaver morphing of Golden Fleece either.
To compare one to another would be a type of Tea Blasphemy.
I took one small sip of the golden liquor and thought ‘butter’….
Off in a trailing thought…‘butter’…‘butter’….smooth and sweet and then… ‘potato’…and nothing after that.
“What is this tea?” I wondered. There’s no chocolate flavor like the others (comparing the incomparable Verdant Black Tea’s), it’s malty, but not with a maltiness that I’ve ever tasted before.
Again I calmed myself, remembering not to rush even though I was excited. This was like opening a gift I’d been waiting for!
I poured the second steep and drank again, noticing the fragrance.
Sweet Vietnamese Cinnamon with a hint of honeysuckle floral that began to wrap around my head like the ‘Dance of the Sugerplum Fairies’. Oh yes…sweet…pastry and candies like a plate of Snickerdoodles in the Copoco Honey Shop.
There I was, sitting on my sofa but not there at all.
All I was thinking about was the Sweet Shop in Old Town.
The zillions of white twinkley lights in the trees up and down College Avenue that turn on magically at dusk every evening from October to March. Kilwins Candy Shop with handmade candies begging me to enter with the scent of fresh caramel popcorn and chocolates.
It was the buttery caramel, the spun sugar so light that a breath could crack it that drew me in past the doorway.
The tea tasted and smelled like that thinnest sweet, buttery spun sugar with a hint of honey. Somehow, the feeling is like the candy commercial on TV where the lady is looking in the window of the store and what you see is the reflection of her as a young girl.
I don’t understand how the sweetness, potato, butter, malty, honey, caramel and cinnamon flavors all dance together with such abandon on the lightest of tea toes without a mishap. What a show!
This is another exquisite tea!
Happy Tea To You! Happy Tea To Me! My Holiday’s Are in Full Swing!
http://youtu.be/eQemvyyJ—g Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy on the Glass Armonica
http://flic.kr/p/dtcfQA The Lights.