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Recent Tasting Notes
Green on the right side of the tongue and teeth. Medium dark green with a pleasing level of bitterness that is just right to me in this tea. Some burnt umber shades with a bit of deeper brown and also lighter into yellow tones in the front of the mouth.
It’s some harsh but in a way that makes you want another sip. Very pleasing. I like this dragon well. Definitely one of the best I’ve had I’d say.
From the first sip, I could tell that this was a high quality tea. Its leaves opened very nicely and were really pretty after the first steep.
Steep 1: Perfumey, vegetal. I didn’t do a wash, and I wish I did.
Steep 2: It had a nice, round taste with a sugary after taste. Very different from the first steep, and much more pleasant. This was my favorite steep.
Steep 3: Mineral and slightly bitter. Green tasting and light.
I would recommend this tea to someone who enjoys green teas and is looking to try an oolong for the first time. I have been drinking darker oolongs and black teas lately, so it was a nice change of pace tonight.
So in honor of my Pokemon Challenge, I have deiced that watching the TV show from the beginning is the best idea ever. I am always a slave to nostalgia! At 20 episodes in I can safely say I forgot how much of a jerk Pikachu was at first, and how Team Rocket fails at everything. Good times, good times.
Today’s tea, Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong by Yezi Tea might be more familiar to you with its alternative name, Lapsang Souchong, but it is a little different from the usual run of the mill Lapsang Souchong. Originally Lapsang Souchong was made from the large leaves farther down the stem, smoked over a pine fire, and traded on the Tea Horse Road to places like Russia and Tibet. Now what about the fine leaves and buds at the top of the stem? Those were kept for the high and mighty, and for years not let out of China, they went by the name Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong. Hailing from the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian, the aroma of these delicate leaves is like an aged oak cask that once stored scotch. There are also notes of cocoa and peanuts with a honey sweetness, of course there is a hint of pine fire. The smokiness is distant, the way the air smells when one of your neighbors is using their fire place on a chilly night, or a distant campfire.
Into the gaiwan the leaves go! After their steeping the wet leaves have a stronger smoky aroma with a surprising cinnamon note. There is also the aroma of cocoa, honey, and peanuts with a finish of pine wood. The aroma is quite rich. The liquid is richly sweet and faintly creamy with a gently pine smoke finish.
The first steeping is sweet, delicious honey sweetness with notes of cocoa and peanuts. Of course there is smoke, very gently pine smoke. Again the imagery of a distant campfire fills my mind as I sip it. The mouthfeel is quite smooth, definitely one of those teas that fills up the mouth while sipping.
The second steep’s aroma has much stronger pine and smoke aroma with a much sweeter finish. The taste is wonderfully sweet, starting off with strong honey and raisin notes and fading to more of a semisweet chocolate flavor. There is a rich peanut finish and a pine wood aftertaste. Overlaying the entire experience is a gentle smokiness. This steeping is even more rich than the first and is a wonderful experience.
The third steep’s aroma is almost all pine smoke and gentle sweetness. The taste is so rich, oh man it is incredibly rich! Sweet honey and raisin that fades to cocoa, with midtaste to finish of pine smoke. If you find that Lapsang Souchong is far too potent in its smokiness than this is the tea for you…if you find that you want your Fujian Black tea to have a little more smokiness with its usual sweetness than this is the tea for you. Actually if you like tea in general I would recommend this one!
Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Pine, Raisins
I woke up to awesome news, the Title Update 14 changelog has been released and it is going into cert testing, meaning we could have the update by the end of next week. This newest update has been months in the waiting and I have been stalking 4J Studios diligently, enjoying all the little snippets of info they posted on twitter. The Xbox 360 version is still pretty far behind the PC, but it is slowly catching up. In this update I think I am most excited about the carpet, Nether mobs wandering in through portals, and anvils.
Today’s tea is Jin Jun Mei by Yezi Tea, Jin Jun Mei, also known as Golden Eyebrows Tea , is a black (or red) tea from Fujian, China, and is fairly rare. Jin Jun Mei is one of those teas that make me immensely happy just from looking at the dry leaf. I am a sucker for the beautiful, fuzzy, golden leaves, they look like something from a fairy tale. The aroma of the dry leaves is sharply sweet and a bit fruity, specifically a bit muscatel, there are strong notes of cocoa, caramelized sugar, orchids, and oak wood. It is a rich and bright aroma that wafts from the leaves, and certainly quite sweet. I would say that the aroma is one of the more sweeter Chinese black teas that I have had the honor of sniffing.
And into the gaiwan it goes for a nice, short, steeping! The aroma of the wet (and no longer gold and fuzzy) leaves is not fruity and bright, but is all richness. The aroma evolved into an intense depth with strong notes of peanuts, cocoa, and a faint hint of oak wood. Even though the aroma is no longer fruity it does retain a bit of sweetness, but now it is more of a nutty sweetness. The poured off liquid is quite sweet, like cocoa and honey with a woody quality.
The first steeping is wonderfully sweet and rich, blending the taste of cocoa, honey, roasted peanuts, and a finish of oak wood. I feel I am not giving this tea the credit it deserves, it is one of those that when I sipped it I was lost in the delicious and incredible rich taste, if you would have asked me at the time I was sipping you probably would have just heard me contentedly sigh.
The second steeping, the aroma of the leaves and the liquid is much the same as the first but a bit stronger and richer. The same can be said for the taste, except it has an added smoothness from the mouthfeel, this steeping almost seems to coat the mouth in rich sweetness. The aftertaste on this steeping was a tiny bit metallic which seemed to knock me out of my tea fugue, not a bad thing. This is one of those teas that I could see myself becoming mildly addicted to, perfect for mornings and aftermeals, or just an afternoon pick-me-up. Or before bed, or with a book, or when crafting…really I could be content drinking this tea all day. It has this great quality of being both bold and flavorful while retaining a level of mellowness that does not overpower, it is a perfectly balanced tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Grapes, Honey, Nuts, Orchids
Thanks to Yezi Tea for a sample of this delicious black! Upon opening the sample, I was greeted by a wonderful chocolatey aroma. The tea doesn’t disappoint, and is an excellent example of a lovely, chocolatey, full-bodied black. No astringency, just delicious flavour. Perhaps not the best example of a tea with this flavour profile, but certainly up there. I’d need to compare it with others to really tell.
I’m up early so figured I would dig into this sample from Yezi tea. I’m also a bit lacking in dexterity so I didn’t want to fool around with a gaiwan this morning.
I went for one initial steep via mug method for the first cup. First impressions are that this is lightly fruity with some gentle notes of malt. Very mellow, lacking in bitterness which is a plus for yours truly. It’s easy to sip on plain. I am still sleepy but feel like I notice something creamy in the aroma of this tea, perhaps it’s coconut, hmm.
Second steep I did for 3 minutes to see what other flavors I could coax out of it. It still seems very light and mild with gentle cocoa notes. Other people have mentioned a smoke note and I think I’m getting a bit of that here in the finish. Also still getting a kind of creaminess with this tea.
I’d prefer to drink something mild like this in the afternoon but overall I quite like it. It doesn’t need additions at all but takes a splash of soymilk fairly well. This tea is like an easy going friend.
Aaah, yet another wonderful tea from Yezi. Chinese black tea of gorgeous, golden-licked, swirly, needle-like leaves. It steeps into a dark ruby brew that is slightly more on the copper side than I am used to with Chinese black teas. It is also very clear and I wish I was having it in a mug not quite as tea-stained as the one I am using (the only mug that comes with an infuser that I own!).
The aroma at first made me think of how a forest ground smells when it is moist – slightly needle-piney, earthy and sap-sweet. Later on I am getting complex sweetness of maple and burnt sugar.
But the taste of it… So malty! Did I ever mention that I love malty beers, like stouts and porters? Well, the way this Jin Pin tastes reminds me of sweet maltiness of some of my favorite stouts. It never transfers to the chocolate side, it stays on the sweet syrup side, and the tiny astringency in the aftertaste adds to its complexity. There’s also earthiness that I detect, and that the aroma hinted at. Not really like pu-erh, the earthiness seems more elusive here. I think, in general, this tea is full of notes that are very elusive – but exquisite.
I hope to resteep the hell out of it before I leave for work today :D
This is my second attempt at trying out this sample. When you keep the steeping time short (to around 10 seconds) it has some nice cocoa notes along with a bit of roasted/fruitiness that remind me a bit of a wuyi oolong. I’m surprised that some people have been steeping this tea for so long with good results. When I tried steeping mine for 40 seconds it became bitter to the point of being almost undrinkable. I’m glad I tried this but can’t seem to make it hit any kind of sweet spot where I am really enjoying it, it will go unrated for now.
I drank this during a rather heavy no good terrible mood moment, so I’m afraid I really don’t recall much. I should have known better! Sighs.
I do remember that it was pretty tasty with that buttery yet grassy oolong note that I adore. I’m just sad that I didn’t notice the more in depth particulars. Oh well. I suppose that makes for an excuse to order this again one day.
And my mood…. well, I’ve been plotting where I’ll order from next when I get a chance. That probably won’t be for a good while, and despite that, my list is extensive!
In no particular order after the first six: Butiki, Verdant, RiverTea, Ninas, Teavivre, A&DDFT, Camellia Sinensis, Della Terra, Kiosque, Tea Haus, Bluebird, Tealet a few others that’ve slipped my mind and of course Yezi!! See, I’m more chipper already :P
I love the distinctive pu’erh flavors of loam and sun-warmed wood and this tea certainly delivers. The flavor is a bit more delicate than I would have expected though that is not necessarily a bad thing. A good mid-morning or afternoon tea.
Flavors: Loam, Wood
I ordered this as one of my three free samples and I’ve got to say, I’m impressed. I love the rich loamy, malty flavor of this. It has good body to it as well and a deep amber color to the broth that I absolutely adore. I will definitely be ordering a full size of this!
I did not notice any peach or smoke flavors to this as in the description. The first infusion reminded me of green beans and autumn leaves, the second was loam and malt, the third was loam and honey. Perhaps the fourth infusion will have peach?
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Green Beans, Honey, Loam, Malt
Tea & Cards TTB #10
I had my eye on this one as soon as I opened the box, so I’m glad that I finally got a chance to try it out today. I brought this in my tea tumbler to school. I’m not sure why, but all the black teas I love smell potato-y (in a good way?) when I steep them in my tumbler. This tea really reminded me of a mellower, less chocolate-y Laoshan Black (Verdant). Because I love LB, I ended up loving this one, too! It resteeped pretty decently as well. I’m keeping this one on my wishlist to remind myself to order some when I finally reorder from Yezi.