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Recent Tasting Notes
This is another tea that I temporarily forgot I owned. :-/ I think, however, that sometimes my forgetfulness is a blessing. It makes it so that I am often pleasantly surprised!
Backlog from yesterday: This the only Oriental Beauty that I’ve had, and I am really enjoying it. It has a lot of characteristics of my favorite oolongs, but it seems much more resistant to being messed up by the likes of me. I make tea “wrongfu” style. Anyhow, this makes a really good cup!
What a strange tea. It doesn’t look like any other Sun Moon Lake tea I have seen. It is rolled like a standard Formosa oolong with two leaves and a bud. When the leaves are steeped, they unfurl to reveal three different colors- a lighter yellowish green, a deeper jade green, and a purple. Could this really be a black tea?
It definitely has some of characteristics of a black tea, but its aroma is intensely fruity. I really like this tea very much. I’ll add to this after my second cup.
EDIT: I had to downgrade this one because the finish was lacking…Just about entirely.
NaNoWriMo is well and truly over and I made it with 50,010 words at ten minutes to ten last night. The last two hundred words or so were a bit of a struggle but Husband had told me I wasn’t allowed to go to bed until I was finished, so I pressed on. I’ve been unable to get any sort of a decent lead at all, hovering around par all month. Have a look at my stats page to see how close I’ve been! (http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/angrboda/novels/village-on-the-sand/stats) The validator gave me a little less than my other word counter did, but still enough to win, luckily, because my eyes felt like they were full of sand! I can now, with great relief, go back to only 750 words per day and those don’t even have to be novel-y words. They can be anything. This post, for example, counts.
So let’s celebrate this by drinking something I haven’t tasted before, and I chose this oolong from Fleurdelily and I think I’ve found the correct entry in the database. The bag it was in matches the bag on the picture anyway, so I’ve decided it’s close enough.
I’ve been holding off on this one for a while. Not for anything to do with my expectations of it, whether I was afraid of trying it or whether I expected it to be so awesome it had to be saved for later. The real reason is actually as stupid as this; I liked the bag and didn’t want to take scissors to it. There. How’s that for a silly reason? I steeled myself today, however, and am now giving it a try.
The dry leaf smelled wood-y and a bit leathery. A bit like brand new rawhide footwear. A strange association, footwear, but I chalk it up to the fact that I’m breaking in new winter boots which just happens to be made of a rawhide-like material. I think it’s synthetic actually, but they still have that smell. After steeping it’s more wood-y and not a trace of boot to be found. Instead there is a hint of something floral and a good deal of something toasted. Quite nut-like too.
The flavour surprised me. I’m afraid my very first thought was ‘fish!’ and my second thought was ‘but nice…’ so it was all rather confusing and peculiar. Now that it has been standing and developing for a few minutes, however, the fishyness has gone away and left behind something quite pleasant. It has a relatively strong floral aspect, not something I usually enjoy much, but it’s not so perfume-y and unpleasant here. Underneath that is a wood-y sort of note that is just default oolong flavour to me, and again something kind of toasty as well. The aftertaste has a mineral note to it, but not overwhelmingly so. I’m rather enjoying it, and Husband just shouted from his room that he did too.
Just got the teas today and it happens some samples from a friend came the same day so I’m twice happy!
I’m totally excited with this tea!!
120 ml gaiwan, 2gr tea, 93+C water, 1 min first steep +30 next
Dry leaves: Amazing variety of leaves, furry little buds, amber to dark brown leaves, mostly whole leaves, fully oxidized. Fragrance is sooo mouth watering. It’s mainly sweet with ripe and dried fruit fragrances(maybe fig or apricot overtones). I really couldn’t wait to brew them.
Color: Dark orange, amber-ish. I expected it more red. Crystal clear transparency, very good. Maybe longer steeps give a darker color…
Gaiwan lid aroma: Really can’t describe it. The dried leaves couldn’t give you even a glimpse. Mellower, sweet and so intense. Red flowers, ripe fruit, so complex and sweet aroma! I don’t have any huge experience with OB but omg… I get a hint of citrus too, raisins and apricot for sure now.
I don’t even have to smell the wet leaves! Appearance of wet leave is mostly whole leaves, I really didn’t expect that, amazing!
Flavor: Sweet like h#ll, with a complementary malty, bread-like taste(from roasting?) and all the ripe fruit in the world go with it. A very light fruity acidity tingles the side of your tongue if you leave it too long, balancing the overpowering sweetness.
Medium to full body, especially if you brew longer but light texture.
Later brews become lighter in fragrance but even after 10 brews you get some tasty and fragrant water!! Last steep was all night long!! It’s really worth it, brewing it many times.
Overall I’m thrilled! I might be exaggerating, or all the tea I’ve been drinking today might has gotten on my head, but it’s the best quality tea I’ve ever drank. It’s got no flaws, it can cope with boiling water, no problem with steeping time, amazing appearance, intoxicating fragrance…I won’t continue. I wish I had more money to buy more!
I could give it my max, 93% but I guess I’ll try around 90% because there’s always room for something better!
*My first tea addition so if I make any mistake plz correct me!
One amazing organic tea I tried at a small amount(~20gr) from zen8tea.
The leaves were mixed in oxidation and small holes were noticeable, because of a small small leaf hopper insect(maybe like OB?), as zen8tea explained to me in a msg.
It’s rolled like an oolong and I used for brewing enough just to cover the bottom of the gaiwan. The water was 95C most of the times and steep time was 45s+15 every time.
From what I rememberm because I have none left now:
The brew was nice amber color. The fragrance was intense, sweet, ripe flowers(if that makes any sense…). Taste was sweet and soooo smooth, the brew was quite full bodied regardless the little brew time. Aftertaste was lingering for quite a while, a beautiful reminiscence of this fragrant tea.
I really miss this tea now that I don’t have any…
I don’t really know a way to excuse my rating, is there a certain rule like
20 for looks, 20 fragrance, 20 taste, 20 aftertaste, 20 special?
Cold brewed by plopping a heaping teaspoon into a large water bottle (around 20oz), filled with cold water and left in the fridge for a couple of hours. I have one of those I bottles with a removable strainer at the bottom, so when the tea looked nicely tinged just inverted the bottle, screwed off the bottom lid, took out the strainer with the spent tea leaves, then screwed the lid back on. Very easy! And what I got was a sweet, refreshing drink that was good to sip on even when it turned lukewarm. (Some teas taste bad/blah to me when not taken hot.) Great for summer. Definitely trying this style of preparing Four Seasons again.
This was one of the four oolongs I got in the Competition sampler pack, and I can see myself having this particular one quite often. Can’t wait to try it cold-brewed.