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Recent Tasting Notes
Had a very nice po lei at Dim Sum this afternoon. Nice, standard loose shu. It was perfect for drinking and chatting.
The tail end of the third pot:
Best Jin Jun Mei that I have ever had. I have been lucky enough to have this tea twice and was just gifted a serving of it by two wonderful people! It’s a shame that this tea is not sold anywhere inside or outside of China. It’s a rare gem. Hopefully, I will be able to taste it again in my lifetime after I finish the sample I was given.
1st infusion: bold, malty, only very very faintly smoky, full, complex, ending with smooth, coats the tongue with almost creaminess
2nd infusion: more red in color, getting smoother
3rd onward: more and more smooth, color increases in red and then decreases after 5th infusion
We drank this gong-fu style in a zisha clay pot. We did several infusions. The first we used to rinse the leaves and cups, and then tossed. The second we drank. Whoa. This is like the smoked whiskey of teas. Very heady woodsy scent with lots of shiitake mushroom. A bit bitter on the back of your tongue. The mouthfeel was pretty dry and flat. I didn’t like that very much.
Four more infusions in, the color and taste started to lighten up. It began to have an almost creamy texture and super subtle sweetness. The mushroom funkiness was still there but much lighter and more pleasant. The scent became more like aged rice paper.
So pu-erh is still not my favorite tea, much like how I don’t like whiskey infused with smokey wood chips. So manly. But I can definitely appreciate its complexity now. Like other fermented things (aged cheese, beer, etc) it has a definite funk. Some like that, some don’t. I like my teas refreshing and bright. This tea is more like a comforting old library with leather chairs and dust motes dancing in the air.
I’ll use this “unknown” to log two unknown teas that I had today. First off, I rang in the new year with a nice cup of rose green tea and some macarons. We were too lazy to pop open the bottle of champagne right at midnight, but the tea was nice. In the morning, I then had a nice genmaicha with breakfast. Both teas are unknown because I was at a friend’s house and she only knew that they were “from China”. Anyway, both teas were great and a lovely way to start the new year!
I, too, like the reviewer before me, received this tea in a gift basket. It is honestly one of my favorites, and I really want to find it! It’s black ceylon tea, but it’s a very mild flavor, and the cranberry and apple flavorings are absolutely delightful. I really enjoy drinking this tea, and it is the perfect addition to a snowy winter!
If anyone knows where I can buy it, please let me know!
I had some pu’er as a sample from the tea festival. This one is from Bana Tea Co, but I’m really not sure what tea it is, just says “pu’er” and it tastes like a ripe one. Pretty good stuff, not fermenty and a little smooth.
I’m on a quest: get dad to drink pu’er. I know he’ll like it and it will be good for him. However, so far its just been chais and coffee for him. He escaped this round, but SOOOON!
I also put a tea package together for my best friend’s boyfriend with one pu’er in it. yeah!
Had this at dinner at a nearby sushi restaurant. I suspect that the water they used was a little too hot or maybe the leaves weren’t great, but it did taste a little more burnt than other genmaichas. Anyway, I think it went well with our assorted fish and other delicious Japanese foods. Got quite a few refills until the waitress just kept checking on my tea almost on a schedule, haha. Followed up dinner by watching Thor 2, so all in all, a pretty good night :)
Wish I knew more about this one; provided by a friend, purchased at an indie grocery called Mama Jean’s in Springfield MO.
Pu-erh was just made for fuzzy-flannel additive flavors like chocolate and coconut. Half a cup made me crave a plaid shirt instead of the striped one I’m wearing.
Letting it sit to cool only improved the flavor. Sweet coconut + moist earth with a little mineral scent. Non-pu people wouldn’t get how wonderful that is, but I know you do.
This was delivered to me in a baggie from a work friend, so I’m not sure about brand. I’ll check and correct if I discover the source. (Do y’all get teased by coworkers about trafficking in contraband?)
Leaves are big as the elm leaves starting to sprinkle around on the lawn. Let it go about 3:30; the finished product is deep golden blonde. The scent of cloves and cardamom is medium; the taste of them is mild. Light and pleasant without sweetener, but a little honey or brown sugar would turn it into sugar cookies.
I am far too impressionable. I lit a French Baguette candle, started working on Thanksgiving cards, which prominently feature pie; son walked in and said “Pushing Daisies!” So here I am marathoning several episodes instead of tidying my messy craft table.
Speaking of impressionable, if you saw a lovely bulk jar of pu-erh at your favorite local indie herb and tea shop for fifty cents an ounce, wouldn’t you bring home two ounces simply on the merit of cheap-itude alone? (And if you wouldn’t, don’t judge.)
Return on investment: excellent. Big, thick leaves; leans to the sweet-earthy spectrum instead of the minerally-cave water wavelength, although there’s a little mineral in the background. I’m seeing a few tossed-in cocoa nibs next cuppa.