Dobra TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
as a gradually cross the 2011 teas off my list, I am now finally getting to this year’s genmaicha. i have not had this tea in a long time so it’s hard to remember what last years tasted like in comparison. this year’s has very stale popcorny taste right away, much more than i remember. after the popcorn, the toastyness really comes through. it’s a smooth transition with the underlying tea providing the perfect bridge. the tea itself is not the best, maybe a second harvest sencha or even a bancha. i wonder if tea will take over after three or four infusions…
I haven’t had this in a loooong time, don’t know why, maybe because most of my friends didn’t like it and I often go to tea with them. I should get it more frequently though as it has always been one of my favorites. make sure you brew in a vessel that allows the rice to be poured into the cup so you can eat the tea-infused rice!
2010 Ya Bao from Dobra Tea. Buttery and very sweet with a banana-like texture and no color to speak of. This is the last of my 2010 batch and the leaves (“buds”, I suppose) were looking a little frayed and tired, but it does not disappoint. The first sip, as usual, is a real shock of beauty that reaches all the way into the mind from the mouth. A perfect beginning to Thanksgiving Tea.
The taste of sweet pine. An indescribable nuttiness. A one-minute infusion is enough, but I’ve tried up to ten minutes (!!) and the flavor is still there, sweet and not astringent at all. Stronger, of course, but you can easily get 3-6 infusions from these wild leaves.
oh hello, Ya Bao, haven’t seen you in a while. these fluffy pine cone-like (tea?) leaves are remarkable. you can’t really brew this tea wrong. brew it cold, boiling, 80, it has slightly different flavoristics for each brew but it’s still close to that initial pineyness. it can be re infused many times as well. maybe it’s a puer? maybe it’s a white, maybe it’s just its own varietal. not sure, but i think it’s quite special.
Liqueur is sweet with a light but smooth body. A flavor of steamed broccoli and lightly grilled sweet leeks or Brussels sprouts. Aftertaste is a little creamy with a hint of cashew nut. Wet leaves have the aroma of spring rain on grass and asparagus. Wet leaves after second infusion smell of candy and sweet peaches. The liqueur, in contrast, becomes more rounded and asparagus-like. The third infusion departs from the sweet and leaves a simpler light vegetal flavor with a hint of dryness in the aftertaste.
The dry leaves are tightly woven knots and corkscrews twisted lengthwise; a patchwork of white and green threads.
After adding this tea to my warmed gaiwan, the first thing that greeted me was a creamy yet slightly roasted and vegetal aroma. But once infused, you notice more characteristics of asparagus and slight tropical notes.
The first thing you notice about the taste of this tea is how sweet it is. It is delectably sweet like pineapple. Once the sweetness washes over your tongue, a light asparagus taste pervades it.
This smooth, full bodied, and refreshing tea is perfect for sunny spring days.
I tried Mao Jian for the first time last night during a visit to Dobra. It is a very unique tea that blends the grassy, fresh and subtle qualities of a good Chinese green tea with the boldness of a young oolong. The light and refreshing qualities of this tea really make me think of a spring day, which makes this tea perfect for this time of year.
While I’m an avid fan of oolong teas, I had never tried a Dan Cong until last night. I’d always been kind of intimidated by their cult following and all of the single bush vs. multiple bush talk, so I just ended up avoiding them.
I had some rare free time last night so I decided to go to Dobra and try something new. I’d tried every oolong on their menu except for the Feng Huang Dan Cong, so I figured I’d give it a shot.
I was very impressed. The medium roasting gave it a wonderful aroma and full-flavor, while floral and fruit notes (definitely apricot as was mentioned, along with a bit of grapefruit citrus) dominated the aftertaste. Strangely, it reminded me a bit of the Traditional Dong Ding offered by Floating Leaves.
Only complaint would be that it has a bit more astringency than I usually like in an oolong, so it probably wouldn’t be a regular long-session tea for me. That said, it’s bursting with flavor and will definitely be a go-to tea over the next few months.
The most amazing smoky aroma, but what has never ceased to amaze me is the smooth and actually not smoky taste. This is really good for settling the stomach after a big meal. My friends often brew this stronger, but I like an almost gong-fu style infusion for its lightness.
A comforting infusion with a characteristic taste of freshly steamed asparagus. The wet leaves really strongly represent this aroma, while the infusion itself contains it as a light touch. Also a little creamy, this cup will enliven the senses like a Japanese green, but with a very different vegetal taste.
Lightly sweet, with a comforting fruity finish and a soft, but not creamy, mouth feel. The flavor is like sweet corn. This year’s pick is starting to lose some of its staying power; the second infusion (at least at my time and temp) is drier than I would prefer and the floral aroma is mostly gone.
A great tea for a rainy afternoon. I’ve been to Pinglin, Taiwan, where this tea is grown. Aroma of sweet pear and caramel. A gentle roast if any. Light and subtle mouth-feel but there’s some real texture in there. The first infusion holds a certain sharpness and crisp green-tea taste, but then it mellows. Rich and mouth-filling if allowed to steep a bit longer on later infusions. I think that this is one of those leaves that would really benefit from a dedicated yixing pot.
A very light, almost green, oolong; which is probably what makes it one of my favorites. Still, care must be taken when infusing this tea. There are many ways to make a good cup; I prefer 85-90 degrees for a minute fifteen after quickly washing the leaves first. Sweet and a little flowery in taste, the golden infusion makes a good session oolong. Not as heady as Tung Ting or as grounding as the roasted oolongs, nor as creamy as a true green, Bao Zhong (or Pao Chung) is more of a weekly tea for me.
Kukicha will always have a special place in my heart…like a long-ago lover whom one remembers in moments of sweetness. And the taste, just as sweet.
The crisp stems stand for that special connecting place between root and leaf—they are the bright conduits between soil and sun, kundalini coils by which energy may spiral back and forth between realms. Drinking this tea, I always get a little crazy with light.
The first tea reading I had, I chose kukicha…
The reader told me that stems indicate men, admirers, or lovers…which was absolutely hilarious because there were ONLY stems, no leaves!!! At least, as I was blushing, I must have made a nice rosy contrast to the shiny chartreuse green of the liqueur!