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Recent Tasting Notes


Finally! I’m at home again. I was visiting my family in Czech republic and I came back just a few hours ago. Of course, I also visited local teahouse there, which is probably the most beautiful teahouse, that I’ve ever visited – pity I live so far away. Their teas are excellent, too, so I hadn’t missed the chance and bought some.
This time, I bought two teas – Lao Shu Cha and Bai Mu Tan Oolong, which is an oolong version of probably the best known white tea. It wasn’t expensive, so I decided to buy it and give it a try. I also bought two lovely pieces of tea ware from local ceramic master – one nice little tea cup and one Japanese-style Chawan (traditional bowl for Matcha). Both of them are really wonderful, so I used the first one for this tea, too.
So, to get to the point of this, I’m drinking Lao Shu Cha right now. It’s said to be a green tea made from old, wild tea trees. The price was 80 kč (around 3€) for 50 grams, which really isn’t much. There is something very fresh in the smell, although it isn’t 2010 tea yet. It’s really nice, not very strong, but mild and delightful. However, after being infused, it changes a bit – the fresh tone isn’t that strong and there are already some tones of astringency. The taste is… well, I would define it as “nice”. Nothing is obtruding – it’s just that nice, typical taste of middle-grade Chinese green teas. I have to say that I lack something more outstanding, something stronger in it’s taste – but that may be caused by me drinking way too much Japanese teas and sheng puerhs during last few months, which are both very aromatic and vivid.
It definitely isn’t a bad tea – but it isn’t the best one, either. After all, it fulfilled the main purpose on which I prepared it – to have something nice to warm me up after the journey.

By the way, if someone is interested – you can find photos of the infusion of this tea in the hand-made tea cup which I mentioned before here:

and from the other side:

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Nice cup. Very manly.

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As far as this tea is one of my long-time personal favorites (if it is even possible to say that some tea is my favorite – there are too many of them), I thought it would be convenient to write a review of it. I already have second packaging of it, because after I first bought it about a year ago, I hadn’t many expectations – it was actually really cheap (100 grams for 6 €), so I bought it just like “ok, maybe it will be a nice average tea for everyday drinking”. Hell, I was wrong.
When you open the package, amazingly fresh smell debouch into the whole room. The smell is really wonderful, resembling much higher grade of oolong teas from Taiwan. Leaves are pretty as well, curled into the little balls, once again similar to Taiwanese oolongs, but slightly bigger.
I used two small teaspoons on my 135 ml yixing teapot and the infusing time of about 30 seconds. This way, it gave me almost bottomless number of bright green infusions, all of them very delightful and almost with no tones of bitterness at all. The taste is sweet and fruity, very refreshing and similar to, for example Green Jade oolong from Taiwan, which is another one of my favorites – however, it costs much more.

Simply said, this tea is a big and grateful surprise. I generally like Vietnamese teas because they are mostly very cheap and “drinkable” – much better than any other teas for the same price, so I like to take them with me everywhere, because they are humble and good. Not surprising, but just a really good standard. But this one really has even much more – it’s cheap, but it’s unusually wonderful, with taste I would expect from much higher grade of tea.
My rating is, aside from other factors, based also on the price – I would give it high rating even if the price was for example 6 € for 50 grams (1,7637 oz), thus two times higher – but like this, the final number is even higher.
I’m going to buy more and more of this as soon as possible.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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