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Recent Tasting Notes
This is lovely Jasmine white. Some jasmines have a soapy flavor, probably because they are artificial, but this one is very nice, not too heavy on the jasmine, with a sweet & clean flavor. I shared it with a student, & she loved it so much that I gave her the last bit of it, enough for another cup, to enjoy at home.
This is a beautifully fragrance white tea. The flavor is delicate, as white teas are, & the Jasmine scenting of the leaves is quite aromatic, but in the flavor it is not overpowering, but rather balanced. I’ve been working in my office all morning, (I can actually see part of the floor!), the this tea provided a nice relaxing break.
Thank you to Angel & TeaVivre for this sample, which was very generous! I’ve drank it a few times, & still have enough for at least one more session!
I’ve been rummaging through my samples, & realized I still had this one from TeaVivre that I hadn’t tried! Thank you Angel!
I’ve been working at my desk, I’m really trying to get caught up on so many things: phone calls, bill payments, organizing crap, etc blah blah. I booked a gig while I was sitting here, I also booked a gig for one of my advanced students. I’m looking for a cellist & flute player to do a wedding with me, etc.
Throughout all this, I’ve been sipping this delightful tea. It’s delicate, but not flavorless. The heady aroma of Jasmine, the sweetness of silver needle white, and a certain buttery quality. A very soothing & gentle tea to help me relax while I play the entrepreneur/office manager.
Awe. Last steep isn’t as strong as the third one was. I knew I should have let it steep longer than four minutes for the last one. Oh well, I knew this had to be a staple when I did actually brew it the next morning and then went back to it after I got back home from my fiance’s house. It is still nice even though it is a little weak.
I think this might be becoming one of my favorite oolongs. I keep picking it up when I feel upset or when I want to relax or even when I want to have something that will comfort me as much as a hug from my beloved. I just have really save feelings when drinking this and I don’t know why because I never had anything like this when I was little.
I used a little more leaf than usual and the taste was stronger. It wasn’t the normal cracker taste though. It was nice and bready, but it also had a delicate sweet aftertaste to it that I enjoyed a lot. There is probably several more steepings left in this and I might have at least one more before I get completely in bed, but I will probably have more in the morning with breakfast.
My roommate ended her stay with a few cups of monkey picked Tie Guan Yin. She said this one was the heartiest of the teas she had, but also the most comforting. I have converted her to the use of the french press as a tea steeper. She was asking where I got mine and I could see that she was thinking of picking one up. I also gave her several tea companies (including Teavivre on the top of my list since she loves the tea so much)
Thank you Angel and the rest of the Teavivre team for having awesome teas that I am able to convert my friends with! I am almost caught up with my backlog of tea sampling that I fell behind on.
I didn’t get to have my leftover leaves in the morning, so I am having them now. My feet are so sore from work, but it feels good to have a job again.
The third steep still tastes like buttered toast to me. I am getting a little more of the floral that I tasted in the plain Tie Guan Yin, but the baked flavor is still strong! It tastes really good. I think I might have found a new favorite oolong for a while.
I needed that smooth, sturdy pick-me-up today.
I have successfully completed my first training session at McDonalds. I am so excited to actually have a job again and I don’t care that it is a small, part time job. It will show that I actually have initiative to work after college and will look good when I get ready to look for a bigger job or to go back to school.
So, I decided that I was going to make a pot of this to have after supper and then another pot to have after showering and before going to bed. I was expecting this to be a green oolong this time, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw the delicate light brew after two minutes.
I poured out my first cup and smelled toast. Yes, my tea smelled like toast. Then I tasted it and it tasted like dark toasted toast. The taste is mild and the toast taste is really pleasant. It is hovering somewhere between toasted and baked cracker. Though if it is more like a baked cracker then it is the whole wheat kind with sesame seeds baked into the cracker.
It is actually really nice and mellow. It was the perfect tea to have after having a smoked salmon open faced sandwich for dinner, so I guessed my tea choice perfectly. I will have to update this note after I have my second steep to see if the flavor has changed in any way.
Second Steep It tastes a lot like the first steep, only there is something a little creamier in this one. And I am getting more of a nutty taste to this one too. Creamier and nutty. It is tasting a little like the dark oolong than the regular Tie Guan Yin that I had a few days ago. This would be a good one to have when I want the boldness of a dark tea without having the dark tea. I might have to save the leaves and have the third steep in the morning with breakfast!
I must sincerely thank Teavivre (Angel) for the opportunity to try this. I’ve been reading loads and loads on pu’ercha recently (and working through quite a bit of samples), and I would definitely recommend this as a learning experience. Recently I had a (very long) session with this sheng over a couple games of weiqi with a friend who was also impressed with this tea.
I would probably not consider Teavivre to be a go-to vendor for pu’ercha, but what they do have seem to be of a great quality. I’m strongly considering purchasing a tuo of this sheng to age further, because I feel it has great potential and is already quite good as it stands. I may instead go with the 2006 Fengqing cake they sell, which from what I have read has similar properties to this tuocha (at least from what I can compare) and is thought highly of in the blogosphere. I have of late been leaning towards the acquisition of tuochas, though, as they are quite convenient for me: smaller amount of leaf compared to the standard 357g cakes, allowing multiple to be purchased for close to the same price as one cake (which means variety and less per cake on “tuition” costs if I end up making an error in judgment), but still enough leaf to age for a while.
Anyway, back to the sheng at hand. The compression of the tuo is extremely high. The sample bag containing an intact chunk was like a rock and refused to be broken up cooperatively until after a rinse of near-boiling water. The compression shows in the wet leaves, which are a right mess of fragmented leaves and small pieces, but the resulting liquor proves mature, although somewhat murky in early steeps. In fact, both the leaves and the liquor are noticeably dark for younger sheng. Midway through the session, the coloration becomes a dark amber with a faint, but nonetheless noticeable lighter meniscus. All together, these signs seem to point to good storage and a decent bit of aging.
The liquor, while not entirely “complex” in flavor, provides a very smooth mouthfeel that translates nicely into a sweet aftertaste and a cooling huigan. Later on more of a sparkling texture is apparent mid-sip. To add balance, there is a strong, enveloping kuwei (bitterness) in the throat that is not at all unpleasant and lingers expectedly. Based on so many fragmented leaves, the taste is actually far less bitter (and far sweeter) that I would have expected. Sewei (unpleasant astringency) is minimal and mostly detected upon the tongue tip and lips. There are light notes from the fruity spectrum to add depth and touches of tobacco flavors that provide a robustness, separating it from the youthful sheng with grassy, floral complexions. Sweet floral and caramel aromas are trapped under the gaiwan lid, while added deep fruity scents show up in the empty cup.
By the third steep, a developing cha qi is present and becomes quite strong. Good bursts of positive energy that linger even past the 15 or so steeps that this tea can easily last for. Really, I’m quite impressed. This has become one of my favorite younger shengs that I’ve tasted.
Ahhh, right before I was about to post this I found a bit of black string poking out from the wet leaves. No matter; that’s what a strainer is for.