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Recent Tasting Notes
The tea that I purchased was a little past its prime, but that is a review of the tea shop review not if the tea. In short, do not buy expensive tea at The Chicago Tea and Coffee Exchange, or really any place that you do not already have a good relationship with. Lesson learned.
The wonderful scent of cooked squash on the brewed coniferous looking leaves does not translate well into the cup, instead being replaced by muted floral and vegetal notes. A very slight brine surprises and awakens the pallet followed by a medium-full bodied sweet cup with muted notes of cucumber, fruitiness with slight hints at jasmine and vegetation. The finish is sweet as the initial brine is melted away into a surprisingly creamy finish with medium-dry astringency which lingers for long enough to know that in its prime, this was world class tea. My pallet keeps wanted to taste old cupboard, but I think that’s in my mind and not really there… or is it?
My rating of this tea does not reflect the leaves as much as how they were treated by the people who sold them to me so I gave extra points for still getting enjoyment from the experience, albeit a bit boring, if I ignore what it could have been. I am now on the hunt for the same tea, well kept.
I’ve read a few things suggesting this tea has cinnamon notes, however, I did not detect any cinnamon aroma or flavor. The liquor grows deeper in color throughout steeping and holds a nice honey brown color. The flavor was quite nice. I found it similar to my Oriental Beauty in the sweet cereal flavor but my tongue was left with a pleasant banana 回甘。 The aroma I picked up was that of roasted nuts and vanilla.
Prep: (gongfu; yixing pot)
My preference to oolongs tends to lean towards lighter oolongs, although Da Hong Pao is one my favorite teas.
Liquor has a nice honey/brown color. Aroma is reminiscent of hot wort (toasted malts, cereal) and the flavor for that matter is very similar. The malty notes carried through each sip nicely and left my palate with a enjoyable sweet “hui gan”