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Recent Tasting Notes
re-visiting this tea 10 months later. seems to have mellowed and become fruitier. nice meditative 6:00 am session. seems helpful to keep the tea and gaiwan hot by doing at least two infusions at a time between breaks. otherwise, if doing one infusion each time with long break, its a colder infusion.
Flavors: Fruity, Sweet
tried it twice so far in the usual 180 ml duan ni pot.
first time was outdoors on hot day with a 5-6 g piece from center of cake using spring water.
second time was in office with filtered tap and using un-weighed piece towards outside of the cake.
1.first few steeps were very floral.
2. first few steeps had a milky color.
3.dry leaves after first rinse smelled like night queen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphyllum_oxypetalum
4.sensation of strong wave of fresh energy coursing through upper body immediately upon first sip.
none of the 4 characteristics above occurred during the second session.
Going to experiment more with this one and will update results here.UPDATE: tried again in glass pot. none of the milky color or floral aroma of first session. this one is is still young for my tastes. hoping that a few hot humid israeli summers will mellow out the cake and bring out some riper flavors. Ever since I sampled a few 12+ year old shengs I am not in a hurry to drink anything younger.
EDIT: after experimenting a bit more with this tea, my conclusion is that the flavor/aroma are too light for my tastes. On the plus side, it has a certain amount of qi to it. I will put the rest of the cake aside for to age for another few years and hope for the best.
Predominant characteristic of this tea is a fresh, clean, sweet, pastry dough aroma and flavor. Very pleasant aroma indeed. Good thickness and mouthfeel.
Seems to have practically zero caffeine.
I am not feeling any cha qi on this one. No obvious body sensations or noticeable change in mind state. Just a pleasant smooth sweet clear gentle drink.
EDIT: having experienced it some more, I would say this tea induces a subtle feeling of well being. There is a long lasting feeling of having consumed a delicious pastry, without the full stomach or sugar effects.
I tried it a few times gong fu style short steeps.
last night I experimented with the following system:
4 grams to approx 180 ml. no rinse.
I guess I steeped it for around 30s 30s 50s 40s 5min.
3rd steep was too strong and the 5th was weak.
this is the pot I used: 225 ml yixing http://www.pu-erhtea.com/TeaDetails.aspx?TeaID=631
This cake si QiuCha, 秋茶, tea picked in Autumn (despite confusing information on the vendor’s site) which is also composed of very long stems and large leaf. I was interested in both, the Autumn Yiwu harvest as well as the stems effect. Some people praise the stems for adding a special ingredient to both aroma and flavour and I was wondering how different it could be.
This tea asks for attention from the very first touch. It is simply beautiful. When separating the stems and leaves, they fell apart willingly and spontaneously as if they were giving me the permission to taste them. I must say this is a very special cake in all aspects. It smells wonderful, sweet and fresh. I was trying to figure out the aroma during the whole tea session and unfortunately did not come with anything better than sweet old Yiwu (how poor, I know).
The first rinse was of very deep colour, I therefore expected the first infusion to be the same and it really was.The first infusion has a very deep sweet tone within, it covers all the tongue and throat and it is very promising and calming. The flavour is however as if covered under the lid. There is almost immediate huigan though, sweet, mouth watering, intense and nearly infinite. It brings a special tone of almond skin, coming from sweet to slightly acidic with nutty background trace, offering a symphony of tastes.
This tea is definitely a nice surprise. Its chaqi is very friendly, warming and relaxing and it nicely underlines the whole smooth and pleasant character of the cake. I have had just one single chance to meet this interesting piece but I am sure it will always be a special encounter in the future, especially with such a name (GuanZiZai is Chinese for Avalokiteshavara)
2006 GuanZiZai “Nanlahe” Yiwu 605 [Autumn harvest], 400g
Date of production: November 2006
Type: Raw selected large leaf and stems from YiWu area
Flavour: Sweet and fresh, very interesting
Aroma: Sweet and fruity
Bitterness / Smokiness: None
Aftertaste: Very long and pleasant
To see the photo documentation or read the whole review, follow the link to my blog: