In Pursuit of Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
The leaves on this one are light green to burnt auburn. Lots of aroma and nice uniform shape.
LOTS OF WINTERGREEN. wow. almost like a Life Saver. The liquor is a pale orange and the actual taste is light although the aroma/aftertaste is quite strong. A minty and floral punch. A drying astringency pervades after the aroma has faded. As with many first flushes, its not a very deep tea but a nice fresh cup of tea.
Still pronounced mint, but with a bit more body. The floral notes are also more forward as well. A cedar-y note has appeared and a bit of leather. still very dry. Darjeeling first flush is as light a black tea as you can find. Always interesting…
The sweetest of the 3 steeps. A bit of berry and a “bubble gummy” aroma. Body is much lighter but the aromas are still strong.
A great cup of tea! I have to admit, darjeeling is not my favorite tea but they are so artfully made and complex they are still so fun to drink.
Puttabong/Tukvar is one of the biggest tea estates in the Darjeeling area. They treat their workers well, and their teas are excellent. To rate their second flush tea however one needs to approach it on a yearly basis, as it will differ from year to year. I can say from personal experience however that their 1st flush, 2nd flush, 2nd flush tippy, and autumnal teas from 2012 were all exceptional. I found their green tea and hand rolled oolong to be lacking this year however.
This tea was incredibly aromatic and floral. It was smooth and buttery with no noticeable astringency. There were notes of orchid, lavender and vanilla with a fresh greenness in the background.
You can find the rest of the review here: http://www.teaformeplease.com/2011/06/in-pursuit-of-tea-nantou-si-ji-chun.html
You can smell this tea from about 2-3 feet away. The scent isn’t as dark and spicy as other Keemun Mao Fengs I’ve had in the past. There’s instead a mild or medium smokey smell, and a fruit quality that I can’t quite name.
The flavor is pleasing. Not as smokey/spicy as I’d hope and like, but otherwise really good. It is nicely smokey, though, with a very faint, almost-not-there sweetness or fruit tone -again that I can’t place.
Over-all, I’m glad I picked up a 4oz bag of this. I’d run out of my Keemun Mao Feng from The Steeping Room and needed more, this is a nice replacement.
It took me about 5 minutes just to break apart the cake – it felt like I was chiseling away at a rock. The dry leaf aroma is almost a lack thereof. What I can find is a subtle, earthy, almost sweet aroma.
I gave it a quick rinse and the water instantly turned a reddish brown. Then, I steeped the leaves for 30 seconds. The liquor is the color of black coffee – a very deep brown.
The aroma of the tea is very earthy. Kind of smells like wet dirt. It reminds me of walking around a campsite after all of the fires have gone out.
The taste is very, very strong. The first tiny sip took my breath away. It is very bitter and has a strong smoky, earthy taste. The after taste stays in the back of my throat for quite some time… and I’m not extremely pleased by that. I still have two other tiny cups to drink (they only hold 20ml each), but I am looking at them in spite… no thanks.
Not sure why I am doing this, but I am going to try a second steep. I tried to steep it for 30 seconds, but I got nervous and pulled it at 20 seconds. The liquor is still as dark as the first steep. There is still the same aroma, except I can detect some slight floral notes. (wait, what?!)
This time the taste didn’t kick me in the butt as much as the first. It is a nice, sweet, earthy taste in the beginning, but I can feel the bitterness on the back of my tongue and throat.
I made it through the first cup, onto the second… and now the third. Ok, this is drinkable, but I still have to brace myself before each sip. Those who love Irish Breakfast tea or take their coffee black would adore this stuff. As for myself, it’s an exotic experience, but I couldn’t do this everyday.
Here are some informal pictures of my tasting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/17428844@N07/sets/72157623321744964/
First Impressions, As good as any Second flush Darjeeling, Maybe even better. Taste, Muscatel grape up front, Peach pit middle, and to end it off freshly cut Oak and that sticks with you for about ten min after your sip. Smell, Muscatel then Oak, Really Really nice!!! This is definitely a killer! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!