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Recent Tasting Notes
Finally diving into this that I picked up in Montreal when I was there some time ago. Such a beautiful store to shop in. I should have written down which vintage this was. No idea. Spring 2016? Autumn 2016? Earlier?
Currently on the first steep and don’t think I’ll manage beyond the second today. Caramel sweet and milky and a bit vegetal, but delicately so.
Thank goodness for tea. I find that there’s such heaviness in the air post-election next door. Fear and heaviness. Panic too, perhaps. And anger. And upheaval. My heart goes out to those living in it.
Flavors: Caramel, Milk, Vegetal
I was gonna drink this one Gong Fu the other night, but ended up having some Yabao instead
notes from that session to come later. I had already pulled this one out of my stash though, and it seemed a shame to put it back without having tried it…
So I drank it Western which I felt like, at the very least, would give me a starting off point for what to expect when I do eventually Gong Fu it.
- Dry leaf smells wet/dank/musty/earthy (pleasantly so)
- Reminds me of old books? In a good way
- Smooth, sweet and earthy with lots of wet wood/decaying wood notes
- Finish is honey sweetness
- Resteeped; same notes
The leaf I received was very brittle and somewhat broken up, but a little cosmetic damage doesn’t mean too much to a tea. I warmed my gaiwan up as I took a sniff of the small black slivers. They gave off a nice aroma of dry maple with some char. These are pretty roasty, and I hope it was a successful firing. I scooped my leaf inside the gaiwan and gave them a swirl. The roast scent mixed in with some slight leather and dark fruit, The leaf portrays a common aged oolong profile with the dry raisiny tones. I washed the leaf once and prepared for brewing. The taste was smooth and lightly sweet. A calm brew with wooded tones and raisin with a base of mineral and spice. The drink is nice, but it is relatively plain. However, the odd sweet and spice mix does excite the palate somewhat. A harsh astringent tone hastily presents itself soon after the first couple steeps. I did not notice any qi from this drink.
Flavors: Leather, Maple, Mineral, Raisins, Roasted, Smooth, Spices, Wood
GCTTB tea 6/8 that I picked.
Always wanted to try This company- glad I got the chance! This tea is pretty good- most prominent taste is floral but there’s a slight vegatel taste at the end of the sip. Very smooth without bitterness. I am more partial to vegetal greens but I will have no prob using this one up.
the appearance of the rolled leaves suggest great care from the artisan
the dry tea smells fabulous!
wet leaves indicates green vegetables (spinach/swiss chard) which carries over to a robust brew. the smokyness gives body to a somewhat oily brew that leads to an acute mineral finish. ( 4-5min 85C)
intoxicating florals from the dried beads are much less present in the tea, still lovely fruity notes arises here and there.
Smelling the wet leaves suggest a strong malty/citrusy brew.
Brew is bright orange, smells like flowers, citrus and chocolate syrup!
I am tasting a nice mix of chocolate and lemon, it feels a bit like molasses or commercial chocolate syrup (in a very nice way). the mouthfeel is thin which is nice because i still get those flowers and the tartness makes it uplifting.
overall I’m really liking the balance of flavors and it seems to keep me in a very clear productive state.
One downside might be that it’s linearity/simplicity. But it really doesn’t bore me for casual sipping.
floral and sightly green pu er. Smelling the wet leaves/tea reveals fresh apricot aromas with some delicate sweetness. It’s a light yellow-green infusion with low bitterness, i get pineapple/starfruit and a slight chamomile feel.
ends with chalk/rock and faint bark notes. nice and mild
I went with 4min teapot infusion and felt like the overall liquor was shy , would recommend lots of leaves and gaiwan technique
The last tea from my box of teas from my Tea Sister Sil.
This will mark the first time since Sil & I first started trading teas that I actually don’t have anything in my collection from her, although for now that is a good thing, as I’m still working on getting my numbers down.
So I’ve actually been avoiding this one, LOL. I know that some people really prize these old teas, but I’ve concluded that I tend to like a fresher kind of taste. This one is ‘essence of an old root cellar’, earthy, musty, with a mineral element. It wasn’t totally undrinkable, and actually I ran it through several rounds before I’d finally had enough. I will say that it made for a substantial dark brew, a deep amber color, but definitely not something I’d want to keep around in my collection.
Western style cup from late last night; I wanted something roasty before bed and even though I hadn’t tried this one before hand I was pretty confidant it could deliver the notes I was looking for…
Again; copy and pasting my notes from last night ‘cause I’m too tired to expand upon them any further:
- Full bodied and roasty
- Cinnamon and a slight vague herbaceous quality
- Nutty/peanut, cocoa, wet wood, and brown sugar notes
- Sweet undertones; cooked/stewed fruits?
- Thickly coats the mouth
- Finish tastes of creamed honey
Overall, it was VERY lovely and enchanting. I imagine it’ll be even better Gong Fu and I definitely look forward to eventually putting that to the test.
Happy Turkey Day, Canadian Steepsterites!
While I did most of my celebrating yesterday, I’m still at my family’s house for another day so I’m just drinking the teas I was able to quickly pack up to bring with for the weekend. That wound up just being the teas I already had in the kitchen to work on – which was a lot of oolong.
So, just finished up a few rounds of clue with my sister and mom: I won one of them, but my mom cleaned up during the other rounds. We were playing for probably about two hours – and all throughout I was enjoying a really nice, casual Gong Fu session of this tea. I say casual because I wasn’t really closely monitoring the steep times or water temperatures – just letting the infusions sort of go where they took me.
This was really nice! Very smooth throughout all of the infusions I did (though I’m not sure exactly how many that is) without any astringency or bitterness. Mostly this had a strong, roasty quality supported by strong notes of wood and nuts. A few infusions in I started to get really strong, rich cocoa notes alongside that profile with a sweeter finish. Eventually this settled into a lovely profile of roasted barley, nuts, wood, and cocoa top notes which crossed smoothly into the body and a stewed fruit finish that began with the mid sip. I probably could have pushed the session longer, but we got tired of playing Clue and so the session ended…
Definitely look forward to trying this one again in the future.
So I do NOT drink Pu Er tea. I am just not a fan because to me it tastes like dirt. However, I do try to taste everything that people send me which is a fact my tea twin, Roswell Strange knows. So, when I saw pu er in my tea and music package, I was not overly excited. In fact, I am so dumb in the ways of pu er that I managed to burn my hand trying to rinse this. Stupid me decided to hold the filter in one hand and pour the near boiling water with the other and of course there was splashing and missing and essentially just a lot of pain. So yeah, it was not a good start but not only did RS send this to me, she took the time to pair it with a song so I figured I will suck it up and see how it goes.
As far as pu er goes, this isn’t too bad tbh. I wonder if my taste is compromised since I have a bit of a cold and if that is playing a role here though usually when thats the case, I don’t taste anything at all and yet I am tasting stuff here. To me, its leather. So this is going to be a weird description and I have no idea why but this makes me think of a brown/tannish belt. Smooth and refined. The kind men wore in like the 60s. Somehow, the tea combined with the song is just creating that image. I honestly doubt that is why Roswell Strange paired them and I am thinking the cold meds might be messing with my head but that is honestly what I am coming away with. Do with that what you will :P
Thank you Roswell Strange for yet another share and yet another fun song and tea pairing.
I bought this as a sample at the tea festival, and I’m quite glad I did!
Very nice. Smooth, pungent, and a great balance. The roasted flavour adds a nice contrast to the mild seaweed vegetal notes. I wouldn’t go for this if you’re looking for a “fresh” tasting sencha, as the roastedness made it less so, but not in a lovely muted sort of way that reminds me of a gentle sea breeze. I’d buy it again, no question
Thanks, unnamed tea trader, for sending me this sample. I found this tea really interesting. It is older than me! Not by much, though. It brews like a cross between shu pu-erh, hei cha, and aged oolong. The broth is thick, with notes of must, tang, and a strong astringency that works well. Big tea buzz. Very unique, and close to a dollar a gram, so not an everyday pleasure for most of us. But well worth trying to experience such an old and unique gem.
Is this even the same Pinglin Bao Zhong tea that others are writing about? I am currently too lazy to get up and reread the tea pouch. Edit—I did get up and check the tea pouch and yes, that’s all the label says. I can only guess that this newer batch, purchased July 2016, is a totally different creature than those previously written about. Completely different flavour profile.
Totally coconut, which is being lost on me today as I just had another but different coconut oolong yesterday and I had forgotten how coconut this one is. Delicious coconut which is not quite was I was in the mood for, so I will postpone proper reviewing for another time.
Yesterday, I had an early doctor’s appointment in the city, which meant that I was perfectly positioned to wander over to Chinatown and treat myself to dim sum. A large group, about seven or eight, older men were there, old as dirt, really, and it was a delight to watch them hang out, joke, read their papers, eat, torment the servers, and carry on. Although they were speaking in Cantonese, it was clear that they had great affection for each other and had known each other for a long long time. I wonder how often they have their morning breakfasts together. I suspect rituals and camaraderie like this have much to do with their longevity.
Apart from this group, was an older gentlemen having breakfast alone. He had brought his own yixing teapot, teacup, and huge thermos of boiling water for the gazillions cups he drank with his meal. I. was. dying to go over there and ask him what kind of tea he was drinking, but I didn’t: too embarrassed and concerned about the possible communication gap. After his meal, he dumped his mountain of leaves out onto an empty plate: curly, fizzly, dark. I asked one of my favourite trolley people if she knew what kind of tea that was and she suspected it was heung pin, which we later got translated as jasmine. Yeah, maybe she just felt she needed to give me some sort of answer. It doesn’t necessarily tell me anything about the leaf.
Finished this one off yesterday; another hot Western style mug because I came to the realization that I didn’t actually have enough tea leaf left to do a proper Gong Fu session.
This time around, I really picked up on some malt and and cocoa notes throughout the top of and middle of the sip, although the finish was a bit more muscatel and fruity. Very smooth, and easy to mindlessly drink so I do stand by my initial impression of this tea. Thanks again to Camellia Sinensis for including it as a free sample in one of my orders.
One of the teas that Camellia Sinensis has included as a free sample in one of my various orders from them; can’t remember which one or exactly how old the tea itself is though…
I’m drinking this Western because it’s a rainy/dreary day and I just wanted something black to drink on the balcony and rain watch with. Looking at the dry leaf as I was measuring I was a tiny bit surprised just how green the leaf looked through. Akin to a lot of Darjeeling teas, this demonstrates a WIDE range of colour in the leaf appearance. That doesn’t especially surprise me given that it’s an Indian black tea, but I wish that CS’s website offered more information about this varietal. Currently it offers none…
The flavour is pretty nice; it’s definitely a medium bodied tea which personally are the kinds of blacks that I find most perfect for every day drinking or really thoughtless drinking where you just want to experience the warmth of the tea without really putting a lot of energy into dissecting the flavour. Is there a way to say that it’s the perfect “mindless” tea without that sounding condescending? Because it’s not BAD; it’s just kind of… Well, you know.
As far as flavour notes go this had a range, with none of them really being extraordinarily weak or dominant. Just kind of a mix of all the following: floral, smoke, muscatel, malty, honey, and raisins. Given some of the comparisons I’ve already made to Darjeeling teas, this profile doesn’t exactly surprise me. In fact, maybe I appreciate it a little more so because I’m experiencing it without any harsh astringency or bitterness. I like it! I doubt I’d have picked it for myself either, so I’m happy to have received a sample of it.
EDIT: I was curious, so I’ve looked up the region a little more. Sikkim is a tea growing region very near in proximity to Darjeeling and so it is often marketed as “Darjeeling Style” tea given the similarity in terroir. The Temi Tea Garden is actually the only tea garden in Sikkim as well. Very interesting!
I love learning new tea things.