Vital Tea Leaf
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Recent Tasting Notes
I wouldn’t describe this one as very vegetal actually, it really has more of a smooth creamy taste with a little tannin bite. I remember the price being quite high, something like $140/160 per pound. It is a very good tea but can probably be found for much less. In the mid-80s, I’d say, not the best oolong I’ve had but not far behind either.
A nice Shu, sent to me by Spencer, that is earthy & woody, with a little camphor in the later steepings. There were some chocolate notes somewhere in the middle. I gave a quick rinse, then steeped in my yixing: 15 sec/30/45/1min/2min/3min etc.
In these later steepings, it’s mellowed to a nice semolina sweetness, with a creamy texture. Still sipping…
This one is a trade from Spencer. It’s a lightly refreshing gently fruity & sweet one, which was nice to sip on while I was practicing. My daughter, who recently moved back in with me (along with my grandson), woke up, & we ended up visiting for a little while, so my 45 minute practice session ended up starting about 15 minutes late, but I skipped the 15 minute break & played 90 minutes instead. So I’m basically back on track, more or less. My next 45 minute ‘work’ session will be working on my nanowrimo novel, but the truth is, I need a little food first, so that session will probably also last 90 minutes.
I haven’t been to Chinatown in ages but I might have to go back soon to get some more of this tea since I’m all out now. Smells like charcoal roasted fruit and tastes very roasty and pleasant with a nice richness on the tongue. Something about this just makes me want to curl up and purr like a cat. I don’t believe I have anymore red robes in my stash and it would be good to have one for the winter time. See previous notes if interested.
Tastes like rice. But not just any rice. Sticky rice. Smells like it too. It’s like someone ground up the rice and made it all liquid. I like rice teas (mainly Genmaicha) but this one kinda weirds me out too much. Also good cold. but the rice flavor is even stronger.
It’s a weird looking tea. I wasn’t sure what she was giving us until she told us and even then I thought maybe she grabbed the wrong bin. But as soon as the leaves were steeped you could smell the jasmine. For those of you who are big jasmine tea drinkers (like myself) this one is very light. The jasmine flavor is there it’s just not as strong as most other jasmine teas are. I think it would be good with a spot of honey.
Three words: Smoky, Earthy, Strong. That is really all you need to describe the flavor of this tea. The lady said more people describe it as earthy but I tasted mainly a smoky flavor coming from it. I’m not a huge fan of teas with smoky flavors. But I think what really made me not like it was how strong the flavor was.
As the lady was pouring us this tea she told us that in China people call black tea, red tea. When steeped it ended up looking like a Ceylon tea color. Found it to be more bitter then I expected even though it also had a slight sweet something to it. Curious to see what it’s like with honey but didn’t really want to buy any.
I thought more about Sencha when I drank this tea more then I did gunpowder. However, after reading the websites description it kinda makes more sense because the gunpower is a bit richer and more grassy then sencha. Or at least that’s what I’ve found so far. The wet smell was grassy as well.
Another one of the teas I tasted as part of a tea tasting in Seattle. I love Ginseng Oolongs. This had the usual amazing Ginseng aftertaste but the Oolong flavor was a bit different then I expected. Strong Oolong flavor is how I would describe it. Could have just been how she steeped it though.
The Vital Leaf tea store in Seattle will pour many different teas for you. This was one of the first. I didn’t get to smell the dry leaves but I figured they had a very earthy smell to them. Honestly, I don’t taste Champagne. It is very earthy and somewhat bitter. I generally like Oolong’s but i couldn’t get a good feel for this one.