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Recent Tasting Notes
Oh no! I wrote this tasting note a while back but forgot to post it. Sorry about that Gabriele.
The dry leaves a large and twisted, in different shades of pistachio, brown, and reddish. Wonderfully fruity lychee aroma with mineral and nut notes, slightly boozy.
The first brew has notes of pistachio, dried cherry, and a fairly strong mineral note. Slightly roasted. Medium orange infusion
Subsequent infusions gain a fragrant wood note and moderate sweetness. The mouthfeel is nice and thick and lingering taste and aroma. Slightly bitter with a hoppy flavor. Very hearty and reminds me a bit of a good beer.
Like all the samples I received from Nannuo Shan it was a very fine tea, and I am grateful for the opportunity to try them.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Hops, Mineral, Nutty
Thanks so much for the samples, Nannuoshan! This is the last one! I didn’t think I’d be able to write reviews for all eight within a week but somehow I’ve managed it! I hope I’ve done a well enough job that Nannuoshan is glad they sent some samples my way. I’ve enjoyed all of the teas from Nannuoshan – some high quality leaves here! This is another white tea that suggests a high temp and time on the site (five minutes at 194 degree water?), so I didn’t really follow that. The huge leaves are silver with hints of green, sometimes fuzzy. The bright yellow cup tastes like a sweet lemon dessert, something fluffy with meringue or marshmallow with a bit of a dried grass flavor to bring it back to Earth so you remember you’re drinking tea. The scent of the steeped leaves are super vegetal – I’m glad that doesn’t appear in the flavor of the tea though. The second steep has even more flavor – brighter, crisper, a little more buttery or savory — less delicate than the sweet lemon dessert of the first cup but in no way oversteeped or bitter. It has a lot more flavor than the Dian Yin Zhen that I tried the other day. This one is a great Bai Mu Dan – the type of white tea that made me realize how much I LOVE a great quality white tea.
Steep #1 // 3 grams // 22 minutes after boiling // 12 ounce mug 2/3 full // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 20 minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Lemon, Marshmallow, Meringue
Thanks again for the samples, Nannuoshan! I’m glad I was able to try most of the black teas! I used 1 1/2 teaspoons for a 12 ounce mug 2/3 full. The leaves look a little the Yi Ji Qi Hong Xiang Luo and the Tanyang Gongfu – completely dusty black and shorter than some of Nannuoshan’s other black teas. The fragrance of the dry leaves is very bready. I would say the flavor is somewhere between a keemun and a bailin gongfu but difficult to describe. There are some deep but subtle plum notes, rye bread notes, hints of chocolate and tobacco. A very dark cup and very tasty. The second steep seems on the lighter side, but that’s probably because I waited the same length of time to steep the second cup.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 10 minutes after boiling // 12 ounce mug 2/3 full // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 4 min steep
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Plums, Rye, Tobacco
This tea has the dark thin flatter leaves of the traditional gongfu tea with occasional bits of gold. The dry leaf smells grainy and malty with cocoa underneath.
I followed Nannuoshan’s recommended parameters if 3g/150ml which is slightly more leaf than I normally use but it did not make the tea taste bitter.
First steep: 45s the broth is light copper brown, when steeping I smelled a waft of malty chocolate. The steeped tea also had hints of tart fruit, caramel and cinnamon in its scent.
The flavour top notes were a mix of barley, tart fruit and malt, with cocoa, cinnamon and caramel underneath. The taste captured all the notes of the scent.
As it cooled, the caramel notes and malty chocolate notes intensified. A sweet spicy floral note also appeared. Hints of warm plum and a faint hint of mandarin appeared in the taste as well.
2nd steep: 60s : Malt opened up to caramel floral spice and tart sweet fruit, caramel and chocolate in the aftertaste. Strong flavour of floral spice and caramel at the end of the sip.
3rd steep: 60s more grainy with slightly citrus like fruit tones added to the other flavours. Again floral, and slight tropical fruit note in aftertaste.
4th steep 90s heavier malt with deeper darker tones, floral, caramel, spice tones still present.
Altogether this was quite a nice tanyang. The fruit was quite balanced in it( sometimes I find them too bright and need to let the tea age a bit before I enjoy it) and it is maltier than some examples I have had which gives it a nice body.
Thanks Nannuoshan for the opportunity to try this tea!
This is my third and final day testing my way through nannuoshan’s Tieguanyins. I am so glad that I save the best for last. This is the most interesting and complex tea I have drank in some time.
I used 3g of leaf in my 150ml gaiwan @ 90C. 30/30/45/45/60/60….
The dry leaf is so fragrant and rich. I was practically drooling on the loosely rolled, dark green leaves. They smelled like ripe summer fruits marinating in rum.
Steeping the leaves produces a happy medium between the roasted TGY and the lighter roast. It’s a honey colored liquor that is thick and soupy. There is a strong ripe peach flavor, as well as some graham cracker and blackberries and mineral notes. I am surprise at how boozy this tea tastes! I keep going, but the flavor does not stop.
Flavors: Alcohol, Brandy, Graham Cracker, Peach
This is my eighth, and final, sample from nannuoshan. Thanks so much to Gabriele and nannuoshan for sending this my way! I should mention that one reason I asked to sample this tea is that I have yet to find a white tea that I really like. I’m hoping this one will change my mind.
This tea is beautiful. The leaves are a mint green color and are covered in what looks like white down. The ends are darker, especially the stem ends which look as though they’ve been scorched. Such a wide array of colors in each leaf. This is really something special.
Side note: I think I must be having some trouble with my digital kitchen scale because it never gives me consistent readings. I thought at first that I must be doing something wrong, but now I’m pretty sure it’s just not that great. With that said, I think I used about 3 grams of tea leaves here.
I did a quick rinse with the leaves though I’m not entirely sure this is necessary with a white tea. Gabriele mentioned in his note that this would work for all but green teas so I did it here just in case. The first infusion is very light in color and in flavor. I was worried that this would be bitter which has been my experience with other white teas but it really isn’t. I’m not picking up any specific flavors though.
The leaves on the second infusion smell stronger, almost malty like a dark rye bread. It doesn’t necessarily taste like rye, just like a dark wheat bread. Maybe something like pumpernickel. This surprises me because I don’t think of white tea as having a bold flavor. It’s not quite as strong as a darker tea, but the flavor is definitely there.
By the third steep, the tea is starting to calm down. It’s still very flavorful, but it’s nothing like the punch of the second infusion. I might otherwise try to steep this one again, but it’s getting late so I’m going to end here.
4 ounces water + 195 degrees + 45 sec, 45 sec, 60 sec
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Wheat
This turned out to be my favourite Yancha of this sample package provided by Gabriele and Nannuoshan. It had Avery nice nix of fruit, spice, floral and wheatgrass notes and made me think of spring.
The leaves ranged from olive green to brown with hints of rust. Once I put them into a preheated pot they released a scent that was quite fruity and spicy with hints of cherry, papaya and berries.
I steeped 2g of tea in a 100ml yixing at temperatures between 90-95°C. This tea yielded 10 steeps for me ( 2*60, 2*90, 2*120,150, 210s, 4 and 5min).
In early steeps the scent was fruity with hints of melon, white peach, and cherry mixed with cinnamon, wheatgrass and a bit of vanilla.
Early steeps yielded a wheatgrass flavour opening up to a cantelope cherry blend with cinnamon, cream, clover nectar. The tea had a fruity floral aftertaste with clover nectar and cantelope.
By 90s the tea had a flavour where the notes were well blended and a minetalnote became apparent.
Towards the end the flavour faded towards mineral notes, honey, sweet veg and a bitter sweet cacao note.
This tea was a nice antidote to the wintery weather we’ve been having.
Thanks again for the samples, Nannuoshan! So many oolongs to choose from at Nannuoshan! As much as I’d love to try them all, I think I know the Tie Guan Yin best… and it might be my favorite type of oolong other than a Wen Shan Bao Zhong (spelling?). The jade green bundles actually have the scent of milk oolong to me, very sweet. After lifting the infuser from the mug, the dark green leaves now have a floral fragrance – my favorite type of oolong (the more floral the better.) The flavor of this pale, mellow tea isn’t as floral as some oolongs I’ve tried, but is very smooth, syrupy, milky, a little buttery, hint of orchids, and some odd flavor I’ve never tasted in an oolong that reminds me of some sort of vegetable I haven’t tasted in ages. It does throw me. As it cools, the flavor is creamier and fruity, possibly pineapple. I love the cooled flavor. I feel like I could drink gallons before I’m tired of the flavor for a while. The second and third steeps are just as delicious: sweet and silky as could be, now the fruit has switched to peach. The odd vegetal flavor that was at the top of the first cup might not have appeared if I had rinsed the leaves first. I’ve tried many oolongs, and this one seems to be at the top of the list for the sweetest and smoothest oolong. There wasn’t any hint of any oversteeped astringency and these leaves could have kept steeping many more times. I feel like I could drink gallons before I’m tired of the flavor for a while. Though it is a great representative of Tie Guan Yin, there is a unique flavor that makes it top quality. Where would I be without oolongs like this one?!
Steep #1 // 1 heaping tsp // 8 minutes after boiling // 12 ounce mug 2/3 full // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 6 minutes after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #3 // 2 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Milk, Orchid, Peach, Pineapple, Sweet
Thank you to Gabriele and nannuoshan for this sample!
I’m excited to try this one since my favorite of nannuoshan’s samples so far has been the roasted Anxi Tie Guan Yin. The color of this version is a strikingly vivid and vibrant green (much like fresh spinach leaves) and the fragrance is just as flowery as I had hoped.
After a quick rinse, the aroma of the leaves is much more vegetal than floral. The first steep brings out a certain freshness, and I can taste both the floral and the vegetable flavors in this infusion. The liquid is a pale yellow and the flavor is very light.
It’s interesting, the taste in this second infusion is more vegetal while the aroma is more floral. It’s also a little bitter. I probably shouldn’t make comparisons here, but I much prefer the roasted variety. I’m just not sure I’m enjoying this one as much as I should be.
The third steep went a little longer because I got distracted after setting my timer, but I don’t think the flavor suffers too much for it. It’s still a touch bitter, but it’s starting to feel a little watered down as well. I have to say that this isn’t my favorite of the nannuoshan teas that I’ve tried, but I would like to come back to this one after trying other varieties to see if my opinion has changed at all.
4 ounces water + 195 degrees + 30 sec, 30 sec, 60 sec
Flavors: Floral, Vegetal
A big thank you to Gabriele and nannuoshan for this sample!
I requested a sample of this thinking it was something I had never tried before and didn’t put it together until today that I actually have some Qi Lan oolong in my cupboard already. I ordered this same type of oolong from Teavana back in October. It would be interesting to compare them side by side to see the difference between the two. Perhaps I’ll do that with the rest of my sample.
I had a black tea earlier today and it’s so interesting to see how different the leaves look when comparing the two. The black tea had leaves so small that some were almost twig-like. The oolong leaves are plump and curvaceous, a shade of green so deep it might pass for black. It has a sweet scent, but I don’t detect anything floral just yet. I’m hopeful that it will live up to its description of “unusually sweet and flowery”.
Oops, I forgot about the rinse on this one until it was too late. I let it steep for about 60 seconds and poured the wash over the cup, pitcher, and saucer. Hopefully this won’t affect the taste too much. I’m waiting on my first “real” steep to finish now.
I’m sure this is because of my inexperience with different types of teas, and oolong specifically, but the aroma reminds me of nannuoshan’s roasted Tie Guan Yin oolong that I had earlier in the week. It has that aroma that reminds me of dense, hearty bread pulled right from the oven. The taste is very bitter so I’m thinking I must have let it steep too long or at too high a temperature. It’s also a touch astringent, but I’m sure this is due to over-steeping as well. This might be a little bit strange but I can detect a hint of spice. It seems like there was something like cinnamon in that last cup.
The second cup is much less bitter and much more enjoyable. It still has that baked bread quality to it which I’m enjoying, and I’m still tasting the tiniest bit of cinnamon. By the third steep, the tea has opened up and is beginning to resemble torn grape leaves. Its aroma is starting to fade in both the leaves and the liquid. This may be due to my forgetfulness with that first steep/rinse. I’m sure it pulled out quite a bit of the flavor that was meant for the first cup. This tastes very watered down, more hot water than tea flavor here though the color is still a golden yellow. The fourth, and final, steep is barely flavored at all. I’m sure it’s because I messed this one up in the beginning. Next time I’ll know to do things a little differently.
4 ounces water + 195 degrees + 60 sec, 60 sec, 60 sec, 90 sec
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Spices, Sweet
Day Two of the Tieguanyin taste tests! once again I used my 150ml gaiwan, 4g of leaf but with cooler water; at 90c.
this is my favorite style of Tiegyuanyin that I have tried. the leaves came alive and filled my gaiwan to bursting at the second steep. it has the texture of cream in my mouth. the liquor color is a bright and happy light straw yellow. the heady floral scent of rose is present at the forefront of the brew in the initial three steeps. After that, the floral note is present, but at the tail notes. just as pungent, but there is a green, rose stem-like quality to the body of each sip. it is like drinking an entire rose, head to toe. i mean this in the greatest way possible. Minus the thorns.
Flavors: Floral, Plant Stems, Rose
First steep: 1min 55sec
Second steep: 2min 45sec
Liquid is a clear, pale yellow. Mineral and stone fruits are at the forefront of each sip; toasted rice, vanilla bean, cream, and flowers on the back end. The second steep developed some really nice, buttery, bread-like flavors that were absent from the first. I suspect that the strong roasted mineral notes were a result of my not watching steep time carefully enough. This is why you don’t use steep time to keep studying for an exam!!! You take a break. The plan was to begin steeping at 1min 15sec, and increase by increments of 20-30sec. Next time I will treat this tea more gently. Thank you very much nannuoshan for the sample.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cream, Floral, Mineral, Roasted, Stonefruits, Toasted Rice, Vanilla
Thanks again for the samples, Nannuoshan! This one is a keemun I suppose, even though the name doesn’t say so. The leaves are black with tinges of gold, thin, so twisty they cling together like a crazier barrel of monkeys. The leaves have a bakey scent. The aroma of the mug is even better but difficult to describe, like caramel — intoxicating though! The bronze brew is delicious – definitely like a keemun: chewy, bakey, a little sweet smokiness, caramel, chocolate, hints of tomato. The second steep seems to mellow a little bit, while still keeping those flavors: add a little molasses and maple syrup. I’m surprised at the level of flavor in the second steep, since I accidentally waited another ten minutes for the water to cool. A third steep probably would have been nice too. This definitely has that keemun profile I’ve come to know & love. Another good one for this winter morning.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp. // 10 minutes after boiling (should be 194 degrees) // 12 oz mug 2/3 full // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 4 min steep
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Maple Syrup, Molasses
A big thank you to Gabriele and nannuoshan for this generous sample!
I feel as though I’ve dropped off the face of the earth these last few days. My husband and I hosted a wedding shower for his sister yesterday, and every last minute leading up to it was spent cooking and decorating. I tried so many times to make a quick pot of tea but each time I was pulled away to do something else. Needless to say, I’ve really been missing my daily cuppa.
I’m being lazy today so this is going right into a little glass teapot for a quick and easy, but sure to be extremely delicious, cup of tea. I read through some of the reviews here and saw that tea-sipper used about 1.5 teaspoons to make a nice-sized mug so I’m going to try that here.
The dark leaves are small and spindly and smell like a good, solid black tea. I’m thinking this would probably be really good made either iced or hot. The brewed tea has a malty smell, very strong, and the tea leaves themselves have taken on a burnt aroma not unlike the charred bits of a toasty piece of artisan bread. It’s hard to describe, but the flavor here is different than most other black teas I’ve had. It’s simultaneously lighter on the tongue and stronger in flavor. I stand behind my previous comment – this would make the perfect iced tea.
9 ounces water + 195 degrees + 5 minutes
This second cup seems to be even more flavorful. I’m tasting more of that black tea flavor I might normally experience – it seems more rounded and full.
8 ounces water + 195 degrees + 6 minutes
I decided to take a break for some lunch (leftover party food!) but I had to come back to this for a third steep. This cup is much lighter in color and in flavor so I think I’ll stop here, but it’s still very enjoyable on the third cup.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Burnt, Malt, Toasty
Second round of samples from the courteous people at Nannuoshan! I wanted to sample all of their Tieguanyins so as to compare the huge differences there are just by processing the leaves differently. I will be trying one each of these a day for the next three days. Something nice and relaxed for the crazy weather that’s going on for the next three days! I would love to try them side by side, but all of my gaiwans are different sizes.
So I used my 150ml gaiwan, 4g leaf, at 100c water for 1 minute each infusion
Now, I don’t usually like roasted or oxidized oolongs. But, I figured, ‘Hey, it’ve never had a roasted Tieguanyin before!" I love the way modern TGY tastes. The light roast is so enchantingly smooth, and… that is a review for another time.
On to this tea! It is a toasty and roasty brew that still retains it’s fragrant aspects. It is sweet, like brown rice syrup. I am detecting a bit of ripe stone fruit. This is like drinking the equivalent of a late summer dessert. Peaches sprinkled with brown sugar baked into a crispy browned crust.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Roasted nuts, Stonefruits
This tea was sourced from the originating village for this type of tea and is the traditional large leaf variety. This tea was pine wood smoked which is a practice becoming more and more regulated in China due to environmental reasons. This tea was smoked. It was from the 2013 harvest so part of the smoke essence has dissipated but the footprint that is left on this tea suggests that it was expertly done as the smoke itself becomes an insence like aspect of the flavour which enhances and does not overpower the other flavours in the tea.
The leaves are quite large and loosely twisted. The leaf is a dull light grey brown to a charcoal black with hints of gold tips.
I steeped 3g of this tea in a 150ml gaiwan over 6 sessions ( 45, 60, 60, 70, 90, 120s)
In scent texture and flavour it is most similar to a tea I have from a Wuyi producer from Aliexpress. It is neither as sweet, fruity or chocolatey as some teas I have had of this type, but all of these are present as well as a floral note and a insence like note that lends a bit of a savoury note to the tea.
The dry leaf smells of a mix of tart fruit, malt and grain, raisins and a bit of smoke.
Once steeped the tea smelled of cocoa, caramel, hints of smoke and ash, a spice note that was partially cinnamon and partially a note of dressed leather, hints of longan and a fruit note that was chocolate mixed with blackcurrant.
The tea retained a nice level of roasted light smoke notes in the flavour that contributed to a spice note like that of a chipotle sauce that mixed well with cocoa and caramel notes. There is a floral note that mixes with the caramel that intensifies as it cools. Also present is a bitter note that is a bit vegetal and a bit malty.
Later steeps exhibited a bit more of the tart fruit notes found in the dry leaf with stone fruit, longan and currants appearing. The caramel fruit and floral notes switch prominence as the tea cools. The tea has just enough astringency to come off as refreshing when steeped at 90°C. Towards the end the tea became more grainy with a bit of cream. The tea had a nice body but was not as creamy or oolong as some teas of this type have been for me.
My favourite steep was probably the third steep as the scent of the brewed tea was very beautiful and the caramel and floral notes were perfectly balanced and were countered by the smoke and cocoa.
Altogether an interesting and more savoury example of Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong.
Thanks Nannuoshan for the sample!
Thanks again for the samples, Nannuoshan! I’m always willing to try a unique white tea – this one consists mostly of huge sickle shaped leaves, shaded in sometimes white,sometimes green, slightly fuzzy in texture. I was a little hesitant to steep this one so hot (the instructions say it should be steeped at 194 degrees) but I went for a little cooler than that. The steeped leaves have as much vegetal fragrance as possible. The pale manila colored brew does have a unique flavor – a great smoothness to it, even though there are some of the white tea fuzzies adrift in the cup (though not as many as I expected.) It’s sweet, mild, a little creamy with a hint of citrus. These flavors are as faint as possible though. It reminds me of cotton, if I knew what that tasted like. The second steep tastes the same. Not at all vegetal like the steeped leaf fragrance which is a surprise. A great white tea, but I think I prefer my white teas with a little more flavor. White teas aren’t usually my favorite anyway.
Steep #1 // 3 grams for 12 oz mug 2/3 full // 17 minutes after boiling (should be 194 degrees) // 2 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
Flavors: Citrus, Cream, Lemon, Sweet
Thanks again for the samples, Nannuoshan! This one is also known as Lapsang Souchong, but don’t turn away from this tasting note, those of you who don’t like smoky teas! The smoke here is very faint. The leaves here are a dusty black and some of the longest and twistiest leaves I’ve seen. They should be mildly smoky, but I don’t get any hint of that in the dry leaf or steeped leaf. There is only the mildest hint of smoke in the flavor. The steeped leaves result in a mahogany color, while the brew looks like a dark cup of coffee. The taste doesn’t resemble coffee at all – it’s surprisingly sweet, smooth, not at all astringent. It has a mouth-watering, thirst quenching quality that I don’t usually find in teas, if that makes sense. I can’t really describe it… it’s just very satisfying. Otherwise the flavor hints at chocolate, caramel, but is mostly dried grass (much tastier than I’m making it seem). Maybe not as deeper or as much of a punch of full flavors as I expected. Very nice though! The second steep has almost the exact same flavor as the first steep, though the brew isn’t as dark as the first cup.
Steep #1 // 3 grams for 12 oz mug 2/3 full // 12 minutes after boiling (should be at 194 degrees) // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 7 min after boiling // 4 minute steep
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Grass
First steep: 1min 30sec
Second steep: 2min
Third steep: 2min 30sec
The color of the infused liquid is a thick reddish gold. This tea is smooth with a lovely honeyed sweetness; grain, malt, and a gentle smoked flavor all dance across my tongue. There’s a tiny hint of cocoa as well as fruit. It’s like longan, or perhaps apricot. Difficult for me to identify. Finish is sweet and a little drying; it reminds me of flowers. Though it isn’t a heavy tea, it’s savory and has a full, syrupy feel on the tongue. With other Keemuns I’ve tried there is at least a little astringency or bitterness. Some have an assertive “brassy” quality to them. Not so with this tea. It’s bold, but gentle. It’s nuanced and perfectly balanced. I can tell that it’s of high quality and I’m very impressed. Thank you nannuoshan.
Flavors: Apricot, Cocoa, Fruity, Grain, Honey, Malt, Smoke, Smooth, Thick, Wood
Thanks so much for the samples, Nannuoshan! The leaves here are a dusty black medium length. Some Tan Yangs are golden, this one is completely black. They have a lovely biscuit fragrance. I steeped 1 1/2 teaspoons in my 12 ounce mug 3/4 full of water. The flavor is DIVINE. It hits all the right notes on this exhausting winter morning. This burgundy brew is a sweet chewy chocolate biscuit, if it’s served with some red wine. I’m not sure if that is a good pairing (I’m a tea person not a wine person), but it works so well here. There might be a tiny hint of cherry as well. I think the way I steeped it is perfect, no hint of astringency in the slightest. The mahogany steeped leaves are begging to be resteeped. This one is leaving me in tea heaven right now, and certainly making the few feet of snow out there and below zero temps just a little bit better. The second steep has a great aroma of fruit and maple syrup, which translates a little to the flavor, but this cup is completely different than the first, much lighter.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsps. in 12 oz mug 2/3 full // 10 minutes after boiling (should be at 194 degrees) // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // 7 min after boiling // 4 min steep
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cherry, Chocolate, Red Wine
First steep: 1min 05sec
Second steep: 1min 45sec
Third steep: 2min 30sec
Fourth steep: 3min 30sec
The dry leaf is gorgeous. Dusky, olive toned leaves are interspersed with vibrant green and umber. They’re covered with soft silvery hairs. The aroma of the tea liquor is intoxicatingly fresh, green, and sweet. It’s medium-full bodied with a thick mouthfeel. First infusions contain notes of fresh flowers, vanilla, rice pudding, sourdough bread, and some unnameable “greenness” that is neither vegetal nor fruity. (My first instinct was to say melon, but that’s not quite right.) I’m stumped. The closest approximation would be to say that it’s like taking a walk through the forest in late spring, after the rain. It’s lush and thirst-quenching. In later steeps a subtle spice note emerges and a taste like evergreen trees. It leaves a clean, cooling sensation in my mouth. It’s a delicate tea with flavors that were difficult for me to discern, at first. Not as hearty or “musky” as I expected it to be. I wonder if I should have brewed it differently. I have enough left that I will try a different method next time. As an aged tea it went straight to my head, and I find myself feeling warm, relaxed and a little tipsy. Great tea to end the night with.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cedar, Cream, Flowers, Green, Rice Pudding, Spices, Vanilla
Happy Year of the Goat! I got my Nannuoshan samples today, and immediately drank both of my Taipings side-by-side to compare them. So I measured out 3g and got to it!
Appearance: Smaller than the other Taiping. The leaves are darker, a rich forest green. I can see the artisanship by the slight wrinkles at the edge of the leaf.
Dry Leaf Aroma: Freshly washed celery, savoy cabbage
Wet Leaf Aroma: later steepings produce a maple sugar-like sweetness. Buttered Spinach
Liquor Colour: Soft but bright spring green
Steep #1: 150ml, 60sec, 80C. Thick and intensely smooth mouthfeel. No astringency.
Steep #2: 150ml, 60sec, 80C. Slightly sweeter than the last. Smells and tastes like mirepoix sautéd in butter, minus the onions.
Steep #3: 150ml, 1min 30sec, 80C. Still fresh, but lighter in flavor.
The bottom line: This tea earns it’s Superior title with it’s smooth and rich mouthfeel. I like to think of this comparison as a competition of man vs. machine. Once again, man wins!
Flavors: Butter, Celery, Maple
I got my Nannuoshan samples today, and had to crack both of my Taipings and compare them! So I measured out 3g and got to it!
Appearance: Large leaves! Much flatter and longer than the superior. You can see clearly the markings of the metal mesh they were baked on. The color is a vibrant green, like young grass.
Dry Leaf Aroma: Vegetal, like bok Choy. A very light kissing of delicate flowers.
Wet Leaf Aroma: Savory and buttery. A light sweetness present.
Liquor Colour: Nuclear green, one shade brighter than the superior
Steep #1: 150ml, 60sec, 80C. Slight astringency, savory and light mouthfeel.
Steep #2: 150ml, 60sec, 80C. Pretty satisfying, buttered vegetables.
Steep #3: 150ml, 1min 30sec, 80C. Liquor still bright green, tannins became more drying. Still smooth.
The bottom line: While this tea carried out a lot of flavor in the first steeping, it lost a good amount in the subsequent brews. This was a turbo-charged version of the superior. The differences were slight, but quite noticeable. It’s not hard to see which one is considered the higher grade.
Flavors: Bok Choy, Butter, Vegetal
First steep: 1min 15sec
Second steep: 1min 45sec
Third steep: 2min 30sec
Rinsed for three seconds before steeping. Liquor is a dusky reddish orange and the smell calls to mind grain, malt, cocoa, and cherries. It’s a deliciously bold tea. Not bold enough for breakfast, but perfect for midday. It has a playful fruitiness balanced by light notes of cocoa, malt, bread, and a sweet caramel finish. There are hints of stone fruit. It’s heady, thick, and syrupy. So delicious. SO Delicious. I quickly gulped down my first cup and made another. The second infusion smells strongly of freshly baked sourdough bread, chocolate, and honey. Not very much chocolate or cocoa in this infusion. It’s mostly fruit, honey, and grain with a slightly nutty aftertaste. It’s a tad lighter in body but the finish is still thick and syrupy. Caramel and pudding flavors dominate, coating my tongue. (Drooool.) By the third steep, it’s become noticeably lighter with honey and baked bread being the most prominent flavors. Wow. This tea was a definite win with me! I don’t recall being this impressed the last time I tried a Tan Yang. Thanks very much nannuoshan for the sample of this tea!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Cocoa, Fruity, Grain, Honey, Malt, Nutty, Stonefruits, Sweet, Thick