2154 Tasting Notes
I would be lying if I said I wan’t excited to get to this part of my cupboard. Almost a full page of French teas, ahh. These come from a trip to Paris I made two summers ago. They could go in almost any order but I will drink them in roughly the order I added them to my cupboard.
This tea (#72) is a long-time favorite. I love the mix of florals and fruity, and the strong figginess of it. There are seven flavors here, but I would say the dominant are rose and fig. Ok, and maybe the citrus. But on the whole the blend is amazing and always has new flavors to peek out in each sip.
I don’t really know why my pouch of this tea (#73) was totally unopened. I think I ordered more of this when I could since it was a Reserve tea, and I guess I finished off my reserve package (?). Or it’s hiding somewhere. Anyway, this tea! I think it is possibly creamier and sweeter than the other Master Zhang Gande TGY I just drank, with fewer floral and fruity notes. (I know I didn’t mention fruity notes in the review I just posted for the other one, but in hindsight, and in comparison to this one, there were hints of apricot, perhaps. This one is definitely less vegetal. It almost reminds me of ATR’s Milk Oolong now that I think about it (although I do get fruity peachiness from that one), which is a high-elevation TGY so I guess that makes sense. Anyway, this tea is freaking amazing. No wonder it was a reserve tea.
I drank this tea (#74) a few times in the last week. I had a gongfu session with it over the weekend, drank a western brew a couple of days ago, and finished it off this morning in another western brew. Every session was very enjoyable. Sweet and floral and buttery, with bit of a vegetal grounding note. Still delicious, but I’m glad I finished it up as I have a pouch of the 2014 picking too!
Ahhh, tea. I’ve been on one of those weird streaks of non-tea-drinking for whatever reason, and it’s nice to get back to it. And with this tea (#76)! It’s been too long since I’ve had LB in any form. Sweet and creamy and chocolatey with a bit of honey and molasses. Yum.
So, this falls outside of my taste-through-the-cupboard, but I wanted to have a gongfu today (it’s been forever since I’ve done one), and I have the samples I just got from Tea Ave to try. Plus I was going to play with the aroma cup, so it made sense.
Anyway, this is a bit roastier than I usually prefer my TGYs. I found their gaiwan instructions kind of confusing because besides the volume, the steeping instructions seem to be the same as the western style. So I did about 6g in a 6oz gaiwan, steeping a few seconds to start and going up from there.
The aroma cup was fun. I really got the florals in that, moreso than in the tea itself. They had a rich, orchid note, especially in the early steeps. Also a hint of charcoal and leafiness.
The tea itself is roasted to the point of edging toward bitter; not bitter as in the tea steeped too long, but bitter in a burned charcoal-y way. I got it in all the steeps, really. The flavor is nutty with a bit of vegetal notes.
This seems to be a pretty nice roasted oolong with some charcoal notes, which is not my favorite type of oolong, but I still had a nice session with it today.
I did a little switching around of teas here because I am pretty sure I bought this one (#78) at the same time that I bought the Melon Oolong.
This is one I SHOULD be drinking since it is so wintery, but I always forget about it. Also for some reason I think it is going to be smoky, but I know it isn’t smoky, so I’m not sure what my problem is. I enjoy the tea, but I never crave it.
Like most of these teas back here in the last pages of my cupboard, I haven’t had this one (#79) for a very long time. But it is super delicious. Like drinking a super ripe and sugary melon. Almost like candy, but it doesn’t come across as artificial. I will probably swing back into a fruity oolong phase at some point, and then I will remember to drink this tea all the time.
I totally needed to adjust my countdown for my cupboard run-through, because I have skipped a few teas that are herbals for specific purposes (cold teas, woman teas), and I also skipped the matcha. So this tea should actually be #80 (and I edited my past notes to fit the numbering scheme).
I think this is in a particularly airtight tin because it smells so amazingly rosey still. And I am realizing that I have started a lot of these notes with variations on “this tea is still amazing.” Like I said before, 95% of my old teas are things I love and have hoarded. I think this is a little less sweet than it once was, or maybe I just overbrewed it slightly. I still love the rich rose and buttery dragonwell combo; I’m not huge on flavored greens these days, but florals seem to be an exception, especially when the base tea is as high quality as this one. Still amazed I happened across this one in a small shop in Berkeley, but very glad I did, as I haven’t seen hardly any high-quality rose dragonwells through other vendors.
This tea (#82) is still amazing. Sweet and floral and delicious. I do love Verdant’s green TGYs, and I swear their bags must be magical or something because all of the teas that I have stored in them stay tasting fresh so long. This is pretty old at 2 years (ancient for a green TGY!), but still tastes nearly as good as the day I bought it. I would say I should drink these down faster but I don’t seem to need to.