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Recent Tasting Notes
This is by far the best silver needle I have tasted, it’s flavor is so complex and evolves over the course of the tasting. Be very careful on the steep times because 5 seconds either way makes a big difference, when they say the first steep after rinsing is only 10 seconds they mean it! I do find that after 3 or 4 steeps the flavor kind of mellows but on a good way, as though the tea was speaking loudly at first to be heard in a full tea cabinet but then settles down once it knows you’re paying attention.
Forgot how to brew this tea western style. used to little leaf @ half the time.
My proper westernstyle for this tea is 4g/100ml water, 2m/2:15/2:45.
If you want a full strong flavour.
However this tea has developed its flavour since i bought it last year. guess its maturing somewhat. Perhaps i should restock and let this be another year.
The flavour is pleasantly sharp and sweet with some smokiness. blissful!
Short review since im on my mobile excuse any typos or conversely auto correct edits, really sweet and vegital when cold brewed it produces a sweet smooth taste of a veggie medley, hot brewed it is unmistakably green peas and super sweet crisp green peas at that. Leaves and bud super high quality, some teas I actually do NOT prefer first flush or pre qing ming but this tea I believe is perfectly suited duenton its sweet light profile. If it last me until the summer I will look forward to making refreshing iced tea with maybe a squeeze of lemon.
Flavors: Nuts, Peas
This morning’s black tea gongfu session was with this one.
5G + 4oz X 15/30/45 sec/1min/2min/1min…
This started out lovely – a warm crusty bread, honey, malt, bee pollen…
But I increased the steeping time to quickly & it became bitter. When I backed it off, it was more enjoyable. In previous gongfu sessions with this tea I went with shorter steeps of 15 second intervals, & I’ll hopefully remember to keep it that way in the future, with this one!
A lesson learned :)
This tea was an impulsive purchase triggered by my recent discovery of assam tea.
I must say, assam in the morning is a really nice start! The leaf is long and twisted, almost look like mao-cha.
I thought id start with brewing it like a darjeeling SF for 3m. As sompared to the indian assams that usually steep for 4-5m.
The result was satisfactory. It is has that strong slightly dry undertone that I love about assam tea. The maltiness is there just as in both assam and yunnans share, however this assam has a very nice sweetness to it. It is almost like i added honey!?! Very sweet aftertaste thats is well balanced by a slight astringancy.
It lacks the oomph of some of the other darjeeling assams i´ve tried but the flavour is wonderful! Perhaps try brewing it for 5m and see if i can get that almost slight bitterness on the aftertaste that is so pleasant with assams.
Time to install a cadancemeter on the bike. Haha my 5year old wants to help, its set up for chaos. ^^
It’s been a long busy day, with students, rehearsals, more students, & it’s time to post about the teas I drank.
This morning I continued my new gongfu protocol, of starting the day with a gongfu sessions, & this was the tea for it.
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15/35/45sec/1min/2/3/4/5
So, the earliest steepings started out as toast & honey, with a little bit of a creamy vanilla mouth, but this quickly began to morph into a grapey bright oral sensation.
At 1 minute I was drinking a mix of Dark Ale & Dark Bittersweet choclate, with an almost coffee-like quality.
At 2min the bitterness faded a bit, but there was a tangy grapiness to the tongue, & kind of Hoppy Spiciness.
3min – Wood, grape peel, I didn’t care much for the direction thing were going.
I sipped a bit of the other cups, but honestly had lost interest at this point.
To be fair, I have enjoyed this tea before, & some of my loss of interest might be due to allergies & the effect that they have on my tastebuds. My favorite steeps were at 30 & 45 seconds, & maybe next time I should continue with 15 second intervals.
Ah, this years harvest of one of my favorite black tea did not let me down!
Superfresh, the aroma when i opened the bag was powerful. It taste like it smells, malty and sweet.
I think that this years harvest taste less honey and more malty. It has an increadibly thick body almost like the thickness of milk! No astringancy at all even when brewed at 90C for 3minutes.
The quality of this purebud tea is top notch and will be restocked as soon as current stock runs low. :D
80C – 1min
90C – 2min
90C – 3min
Brewed in a red clay yixing
A package arrived from china today! Yunnan sourcing order has arrived and with it some new and old yunnan blacks!
This one is new, the aroma when i opened the bag was malty and sweet! The tea itself is not really sweet but very malty without astringancy, perhaps a tiny bit fruity?
I found this info about the mao feng varietal.
Keemun Mao Feng (祁門毛峰) – A variety, where Mao Feng means Fur Peak, which is made of only slightly twisted leaf buds and is sometimes noted for a smoother and different flavor. Many people prefer to brew a smaller quantity of this tea for a much longer time than usual, up to 7 minutes, to bring out more interesting tones in the tea.
I will try half the leaf for 7 min, kinda like i brew Indian assam teas.
I really enjoy this one. The taste is rounder and fuller than the golden buds dian hong, yet not as sharp and smoky as the purplevarietals. It is something of its own i guess, havn´t tried that many keemuns.
Anyways its time to get some shut eye!
Another morning of drinking a quality black tea gongfu session!
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15/35/45/sec 1/2/3/4/5 min
This is a lovely malty & sweet cup! The earliest steepings featured a creamy vanilla sensation, which quickly transformed into a rich toasty flavor & a thick mouth. This one shares some qualities with the Jinggu Golden strand that I drank yesterday, as if they were brothers, but of course, it has a personality of it’s own. My favorite steeps were by far the during the first 2 minutes, as the unfolding of a tea & it’s flavors & sensations excites me, but even the last cup had value, with a creamy kind of flavor.
rinse 5/10/15/20/30 etc
I really like this tea. Dark bittersweet chocolate and cream of wheat. No earthiness. all leaves are whole golden brown. The brew is clear copper-red color. I haven’t noticed rice notes. If you like Special Dark by Mandala you will enjoy this one. they seem related.
Flavors: Cream, Dark Bittersweet
A wonderful surprise gift from boychik. This tea is unlike anything I’ve had, I reckon. It’s smooth and sweet and has some satisfying rich black tea flavor, yet there’s a freshness, almost a green element to it too, a little plant-like. The sweetness is a kind I’m not at all used to with black tea; it’s more like the kind I love and associate with greens like Laoshan Green and good bilochuns. I wonder if that’s the cane sugar they describe in the unusual quick-fried process. Whatever it is, it’s delicious and unique (and perfect for the season, which can’t make up its mind if it’s still winter or going to honestly stay spring—this is how I feel right now: https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/t1.0-9/10154100_622880174469069_8744260657632339606_n.jpg ). Later steeps bring out an oat bran smell I’m digging. Man, I may have to procure a bunch of this. Awesome find, boychik! And thank you so much for sharing it (and so much of it! Gosh) with me. :D
I rarely do gongfu sessions first thing in the morning, but I think I need to change that, because my taste buds are probably at their best. (Although having allergies, I feel that my taste buds aren’t at full function, like I’m missing alot of nuances right now). With that in mind, I pulled out this tea.
This is a beautiful golden tea, with the leaves looking so robust that they remind me of insect legs. Not much dry aroma, but if you heat the leaves up in a warm little pot, they begin to give off an essence of honey & buttered toast.
5G + 4oz tiny teapot (rinse) X 15/30/45 sec = buttery caramel with a growing bass note, ultra smooth bee pollen, & the beginings of a tongue tingle! I love tasting the leaves as they open up.
1min: My favorite cup, so satisfying
2min: tingly almost metallic tongue, spreading to my throat & sinuses & I feel as if my sinuses are opening, as if my circulation has improved.
3min: Making my mouth water & my throat a little dry…kind of a strange combo.
4min: I rarely go this far with a gongfu sessions, but am enjoying the moment. The taste has remained pretty much the same throughout all steepings, & although it’s beginning to wane, there’s actually still plenty of flavor here.
5min: Just a light taste of honey & wood, almost like an elixer of life.
6min: This final cup is sweet, kind of like agave. I have a pretty good tea buzz going.
Time for some Taichi.
I am reviewing the Spring 2012 harvest.
This is one of the few Yunnan blacks that I will gladly steep Western when in a hurry, and is a favorite when working at my desk in the afternoon.
I use 4 grams to 236 ml of 190 F water at 1/2/3/4 minutes, with the last steep reduced to 177 ml. The leaf responds quite well to this treatment. I get aromas of cocoa, honey, malt and occasional hints of vanilla. Although the cocoa does not translate into the cup the sweetness does, especially in the later steeps, accompanied by pleasant citrus notes and a hint of ginger over a medium black tea base. I find myself going “Mmmm” out loud without thinking about it.
Today instead of a hint of citrus I got significant Meyer lemon notes, which was extremely tasty. I’m not sure if it’s because this tea is changing as it ages or if I did something different and did not notice. I’ll pay attention to the next few sessions to see if that is a trend. If so, no complaints!
I’ve already got the spring 2014 harvest on my wish list for my next YS order, and am looking forward to comparing harvests two years apart.
Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Malt
ohhhh, I’m really not the best person to be writing the first note on this tea, haha. Welp, here goes nothing!
First off, thanks very much to boychik for the sample! I’m a moron and forgot to do a rinse before my first steep, which I did in my semi-western style. 1 min steep. I have never had a shu this sweet! I am assuming it is a shu?? I’m not even sure, it tastes so different…no dark woodsy musty notes, but definitely a fermented taste here. There is a faint taste of bamboo shoots…perhaps from the basket?
I’m not sure if this is something I’d want to drink regularly, but I’m enjoying it this morning and just appreciating how DIFFERENT it is. I will be interested to see if the next steeps change much flavor-wise.
It’s a sample from my recent order fr Angelina’s Tea. This company has top service. They were out of stock of some tea so they refunded the money and gave me lotsa free samples.
This mini tuo is so cute . Doesn’t have a strong smell of rosé which is a plus for me. Very strong floral teas make me sick. It is there on a background complements nicely strong prune and leather notes. I really like Haiwan recipe. Recently I read on tea chat that mini tuo are all gross. The best thing you can do is to flush it down the drain. Politely disagree. Some are very nice and super convenient on the go
Flavors: Leather, Stonefruits
Wow, this is something really special and unique. It’s like… fresh cut hay and dried wildflowers, I think. Very strong in both aroma and flavor, and impossibly sweet. Smooth and thick in the mouth, and did i mention sweet? Fresh and crisp yes, but if fresh floral green teas taste like spring, this tastes more like a warm breezy afternoon in mid-summer. Very lovely and powerful.
it is truly Spring in a cup. pale green, sweet nutty and so refreshing. like sugar peas
165F 1tsp 8oz could be brewed many times. Steeped only for 1min. As cools doesnt get bitter.
i’m not green tea person but I love it.
Flavors: Nuts, Peas
I got it yesterday from YS US site. It took only 4 days. I’m still awaiting my order fr China which I placed a month ago. Sigh
Anyway this tea is awesome. Never thought, just gave it a shot. The brew is deep red. Wet leaves smell of prunes. The brew tastes like prunes and some leather. It’s smooth and creamy. Yum. I think I should get more of it.
2 rinses 5/10/15/30 etc
Flavors: Cream, Leather, Stonefruits