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Recent Tasting Notes
This is the most expensive tea I’ve bought yet. However, it was well worth the price. Like many green teas it has that grassy flavor but this one is somewhat smoother. It only needs a few minutes of steep time. The second steep only needs around 30 seconds. If you like green tea you will love this one.
I left the kettle on a little too long, so the water was a bit hotter than the recommended temp of 90C. I personally couldn’t taste a difference between that and previous cups with the correct water temp, though. Increased steeping time slightly with each infusion (started around 1min) for 3 infusions.
This tea definitely has the mouth feel that I expect with a milk oolong – very creamy. (Not quite as creamy/milky as the one from DavidsTea, but still pretty pronounced.) It’s also quite vegetal, but I’ve found that can be reduced with shorter steeping times. The recommended steep time is 1.5min, but for my taste, I like it best at just 45s. The reduced steep time tends to give more of the “milkiness” that I like without tasting like I just steamed some spinach in my mug.
Overall, a good milk oolong, but not the best I’ve had.
(Note: Purchased at the Dobra Tea in Burlington, VT.)
Oh the memories! Haricot verts, fresh spring asparagus, sweet corn! A season in a cup. Sweet and toasty on the tongue. The wet leaves smell like the perfume of flowering lilacs, although that doesn’t come through in the infusion except for a delicate aroma. Characteristics of Yunnan Mao Cha definitely are present, but they do not define this tea. It is much more delicate.
Dark stick-like leaves. This tea is loose. Aroma of sweet hay and citrus fruits. A red amber color in the cup. Sweet tasting but with a light body and an amazingly long smooth finish. Reminiscent of some very short-brewed Shu puer of impressive quality. In lower quality Shu bings I have tasted, the flavor is earthy and muddy without much nuance to the aroma other than getting heavier as infusions progress. This tea shares the soft body and comfort to the stomach, but the flavors and aroma are delicious. Not being a brick, I think this will not give many infusions (when compared to similar Puer) but the infusions that exist are very much worth the sacrifice.
Rich, but with a light body. That’s the contradiction of this delicious small-leaf variety. Usually I attribute this sort of rich texture to large leaves like Liu’An Guapian or Tai Ping Hou Kui. And yet these small leaves really soak into the water for a cloudy and mouth-filling infusion. This tea is also fairly tippy, which definitely accounts for its airy body and artichoke green flavor. There’s a hint of dryness in the aftertaste, but the light vegetable flavor stays on the front of the tongue for a while.
Very clear, light gold infusion. The aroma of a much richer and darker black tea, maybe reminiscent of a Chinese Dian Hong (滇红). A gently sweet and soft taste with a hint of dryness in the aftertaste which implies that the lightness of body is inherent and not due to under steeping. Whereas I usually expect a rich body underneath quite a punch of floral flavor from a First Flush Darjeeling, this is much more mellow and it’s a good thing.
Light and a little toasty. The mouth aroma is surprisingly fragrant in the manner of a Gui Hua (osmanthus) green, but there aren’t any flowers in this tea. I did not rinse these leaves before brewing, and as such the second infusion had much more body, but still that mysterious squash-like osmanthus blossom taste. I hesitate to say “floral”, because these florals are nothing like Ali Shan. I can definitely make the connection to a richly aromatic Tie Guan Yin on the third infusion of this tea, but it definitely holds a unique place in itself as I generally expect Tie Guan Yin to be… darker in some way. I really should do a side-by-side some time.