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Recent Tasting Notes
Backlogging. Morning, two Sundays ago.
This was my second time drinking this Bai Lin Gong Fu and as I advised myself after drinking it the first time, I used more leaf this time. Using more leaf definitely worked out well. The tea was quite enjoyable through all three steeps I made of it. Also, upon opening the container I emptied the sample foil sack into, I could totally smell tomatoes. A tomato plant on a hot summer day even. I like smelling this tea. I look forward to drinking this one again.
(And this is the kind of tealog you get when you wait too long after drinking the tea to write the tealog.) Also, I’m not entirely sure about the times for the second and third steep but think I mimicked the times I used the first time.
2nd steep: 3 min.
3rd steep: 5 min.
My Canton Tea Co Gold Award sampler arrived on Thursday so Friday morning I opened on the sole black tea to try. The Bai Lin Gong Fu has twisty, red-gold leaves and a strong, distinct scent. After reading the tealogs on it, I can see how others can pick out tomato in it. I steeped two teaspoons for two minutes at 176° F as recommended. The color of the resulting tea was very light for a black. The tea was weak, almost watery, but I could tell it would be a delightful tea when brewed stronger. Either I needed to use more leaf (the wiry leaves didn’t fill the space of the teaspoon well, which is why I suspect two were recommended) or steep longer.
2nd steep: 3 min.
I didn’t think I would get a drinkable second steep. I increased the steep time by a whole minute and fully expected to steep it longer once I checked and the tea was barely colored. Surprisingly, when I checked, the tea was much darker than I expected. I drank and this was what the first steep should have been, maybe a little over steeped even. Fuller, complexer, and definitely caramelly, this steep was meeting the expectations I had for this tea. It is also very different from the other plain black teas I’ve had so far.
3rd steep: 5 min.
Since the second steep was so dark, I thought I might as well try for a third, even if it ended up going down the sink. At first sip, I thought it would but as it cooled, I found it had enough flavor to be drinkable and enjoyed.
I think more leaf and different steep times will yield more even cups next time.
I am rating this tea a 85 (right in the middle of my great range, 80-90).
The twisted gold and black leaves are fairly short. The fragrance of the packaged leaves is slightly floral with a note of tomato.
Prepared, the tea is vegetal and incredibly mild. There’s the faintest impression of tannin bitterness but far less than most blacks.
This was a pleasant, simple black tea. However, it doesn’t really stand above teas that are more readily available in the US so I can’t say I’d go out of my way to purchase this one again.
The leafs are nice! I purchased some pu erh before, but the quality of these leafs are just a tad better (bigger, more unbroken & more even in color) The smell is different. It reminds me of… What’s the word… It’s opposite of spring… FALL!
The color of the liquid is very dark orange (typical pu erh orange). It’s smells very woody – very pleasant. And it taste woody too with a smoky feeling. It’s so different from my usual pu erh that I want to make another pu erh to compare it with. The aroma changes in the mouth. It’s woody at first, smoky after swallowing and sweet when the smokey flavor recedes.
All in all – I like it!
It is the best unflavored pu erh I ever had and I didn’t have to force myself to refill my cup. It’s not a “YUM!” moment, but I am so happy to find a pu erh without flavor in it that’s drinkable!
So here is a: “YUHUU!!!” instead :)
P.S The english language is so funny!
Do you realise you got 72 meanings for “fall”. That’s like crazy.
This took me by surprise; it’s so unlike any other pu-erh I’ve had.
This tea is very loosely packed and the leaves are long and twisted. I’m glad it was handled gently so they weren’t crumbled. The fragrance is of a freshly mowed lawn. This isn’t unusual for say a green tea, but pu-erhs are usually more earthy. This was fresh and clean.
When brewed, you have a rust to almost cranberry colored tea. The fragrance is slightly mossy, but young. Here I picture a vibrant patch of newly sprouted green moss after a rain as opposed to something older.
This is a really sweet pu-erh. It’s an odd flavor profile, but what comes to mind first is cucumber with a touch of white grape juice. This was totally unexpected for a pu-erh and was an enjoyable discovery.
This is my first try of a Canton Tea Co product and it’s also my first time using a gaiwan. (I already love the thing. How much easier is that?!)
This tea is comprised of tiny pearls. Obviously the fragrance is floral, but this tea goes one step beyond. I would say it’s more of a sugary perfume. It’s quite exotic, but still not quite the level of fragrance that would make this my “perfect” jasmine.
The prepared tea has a pale honey color and has an incredibly delicate flavor. It’s faintly sweet but the floral taste just very slightly overpowers the complexity of the tea base. I get a slight bitter tingle on the edge of my tongue that lingers. I guess I want the best of both worlds; more jasmine fragrance but less flowery flavor.
Overall, this is really good but not perfect. It’s a pleasant tea but, especially given the shipping costs from the UK, I’ll continue to look for that “perfect” jasmine.
Had a couple really nice infusions of this today – still fragrant, floral, naturally sweet, and delicate. I went with water a little cooler than I normally use, and found that this brought out the sweetness more and toned down the intense floral scent and flavor. I like it when a tea can really change character like that when the parameters are even slightly varied.
This is such a nice, well-rounded tea. The pearls are a delight to watch as they unroll in the water, the liquor is a light golden hue, the aroma is redolent of jasmine without being cloying, and the taste is smooth, sweet, and just the right amount of floral.
I love jasmine tea and especially jasmine pearls, so it’s always fun for me to try a new variety in this family. The scent which emanated from the packet when I opened it was heavenly – sweet and juicy without being cloying. I took what seemed to me the right amount of tea (counted later and found it was 19 pearls), and gave them 8 ounces of 185 degree water to bathe in. I ended up with a light yellow-green liquor that gave off a fantastic scent. The flavor here is also exactly what I’m looking for in jasmine pearls: authentic, naturally sweet, floral, and not at all bitter or astringent. Seems able to withstand multiple infusions too, prolonging the enjoyment. This is good stuff!
My last bit of this tea from the sample pack, and it’s ending up being a little more than the usual amount of leaf. It was really impressive how many different flavors I ended up getting from this, from a rice and vegetable beginning, through fruit and a mild roastiness to a grassy finish. Quite impressive when it’s all coming from one tea!
Not sure why, but not enjoying this one quite as much as usual today. It tasted a bit flat, so I think I probably messed up the parameters somewhere along the way. Didn’t get the typical mix of fruity and toasty flavors with lingering aftertastes, but in all fairness it was still a tasty cup – just much more basic in taste.
A couple steeps of this today, and for some reason I’m finding it toastier and fruitier than usual. The toastiness is so present in fact that it’s reminding me a little of genmaicha, with the sweet fruitiness bringing it into the realm of Tie Guan Yin. Kind of surprising given my previous tastings which emphasized more the vegetal and seaweed notes of this tea. Still, I like a tea that keeps me guessing!
Coming back to this one for another try. This time I’m noticing much more the toasty flavor which overlays the vegetal and fruity notes – especially after I let the tea cool off a bit. A second steep for a slightly longer time reveals a more buttery texture as well as the background roastiness. Third steep was fairly weak and didn’t note any new flavors.
This is a really interesting one, and gives me a sense of how widely oolongs can vary. The leaves are long, medium-dark green, and smell rich and vegetal. After two minutes, the liquor is light brown with a hint of green, and smells quite surprisingly of seaweed. Don’t get me wrong, I like the whiff of seaweed that often comes in with green and oolong teas; this one is just particularly pronounced.
On tasting, there is a lot going on. Melon, vegetable, definite toastiness there too. This is a good, interesting tea. Further steeps will need to wait until later today…
This is really awesome! Has been on my list for a long time! I did both ICED and HOT.
HOT is crisp and clean and truly Ali Shan! Beautiful and happy…bright and sweet! Oddly…but fabulously-so CREAMY for an Oolong!!! It’s a gem of an Oolong and I just LOVE it!
COLD…it’s juicer, it seems! Still very creamy and quenches thirst! Excellent either way!!! REALLY LIKE THIS!!!!!
Two subtle but still buttery and sweet steeps of this one today. This is the one that has really opened up my appreciation for white teas; sometimes I’m in the mood for something that is strong and powerful, and other times I want something that is more of a caress than a smack – this is that one. Grassy, fresh, and healthy feeling.
I decided to add more leaf to the pot this time – about 50% more than I usually do – and really liked the outcome! It was much more buttery, and had something approaching a starchy flavor which was very satisfying. This was sitting on top of the sweet grassy notes I’d gotten in previous tastings, which made for a very nice combination. I’ll bump it up a few points based on that.