1979 Tasting Notes
Sipdown, 132. I have come to the realization that I’m just not that excited by puerhs, sheng or shu. So I’ve packed up my reserve club puerhs off to someone who will appreciate them better, or will pass them to someone else who will appreciate them. I did, however, save one gongfu-sessions’ worth of each tea to try, in order to continue my tea education.
The description of this tea says that it is a true tea lover’s tea, and talks about the mustiness of old books. Again I come across the conundrum of puerhs, in that they often encapsulate some of my favorite scents, but I don’t necessarily want to taste those scents. Musty books/libraries, old oak barrels, newly dried tobacco, piney woods, wet rock. I love those scents, and they all often show up in puerhs of different varieties. This one definitely has the old oak bourbon barrel thing going on.
It’s amazing how sweet the first couple of steeps are. It’s incongruous to me… The scent and initial taste of somewhat smoked wood, followed by the sweetness of candy. I think especially for shu I can see the appeal, especially because I like bourbon and some of the same notes run through this puerh. This is nice, I am enjoying it. I just don’t think I am ever going to crave a puerh or want to have a particular one more than once. Maybe one day I’ll find a puerh that I love enough to keep in my cupboard.
It turns out that 1.5 tsp of tea for 12oz, versus the 2 tsp that I usually use, is really the magic amount for this tea. I found it tasty but slightly astringent the first couple of times I had it using the latter measurements, but today I tried it with 1.5 tsp and there is no astringency to be had. Perfect!
However, at this point I’m not bumping the rating because although this is nicely malty with light sweetness and no bitterness or astringency, there is also some other note in there that’s not really optimal for me. I do think it’s an assam-y note in general, although I haven’t tried a lot of straight up assams yet. It’s maybe a hint of fruit? Almost floral, really. It sounds like a note I would like, but for whatever reason I don’t. I’ve come across it before, but can’t ever quite put my finger on it. I think that with the Kathryne Earl Grey with this base the bergamot masks it, which is why I like that one so much. Glad to have tried this one, though, and I’m very grateful for the samples.
After working my way through an ounce or so of this, I can’t make up my mind about it. Some days I have it and I’m in love. It’s sweet, it’s malty, it has a hint of chocolate. Other days it’s yunnan earthiness is stronger and I’m less in love. It’s always very tasty, though; what I can’t make up my mind about is whether I want more of it. For now, I don’t think so, although that’s not to say it won’t make its way back into my cupboard eventually.
Sipdown, 134. I actually sipped this one down the other day but completely forgot to log it!
I do like this one a lot, in part because the jasmine is so inobtrusive. Sometimes you don’t want to be drinking a bouquet of flowers (for many of you that is all of the time, but for me it is only sometimes). This is light and fresh and green, with some sweet snap pea notes to it. The kind of jasmine green I would want for an everyday jasmine tea, if my stash ever got low enough that I needed such a thing. Glad to have gotten a chance to try this sample! Thanks Teavivre!
Sipdown, 135. Sooo sad to see this one go out of my cupboard, but I know it will be back eventually in there eventually.
Not that I wanted to hasten its departure, but today I brewed this one with the whole sample pack since I have done that with some other black teas from Teavivre and wanted to see how it turned out. Delicious, of course! Less sweet and caramelly, though, so I think I prefer my usual, slightly weaker infusion. This one will be coming back, perhaps around the holidays!
Sipdown, 136. Thanks again to Teavivre for this sample.
I really enjoyed this one today. It was floral and sweet, with thick, rich osmanthus flavor. I also like that it’s not all osmanthus and I can taste the vegetal notes of the base, but the osmanthus is definitely the main even. One of the better osmanthus oolongs I’ve had.
Sipdown, 137. Another delicious offering from Teavivre. This tea is nicely floral and fruity, with a nice amount of authenic peach flavor. It doesn’t stick out as hugely flavored, but it also is distinctly peachy. When I was smelling the dry leaf earlier it was really reminding me of being at the farmer’s market and smelling all the lovely fresh fruits. Sad that peach season is over!
Sipdown, 138. I am sad to see this one go, but I also have had it for quite a long time. I won’t rush out to buy more but I will definitely restock once my cupboard settles down even further.
I love the coconut-almond-vanilla blend of this, which creamy and sweet and delicious. I also love this one cold-steeped, and it always turns out wonderfully. Definitely a yummy tea!
Sipdown, 139. I really need to make some (figurative) room in my cupboard because I am about to have a bomb of oolongs from Teavivre dropped on me soon. I figured I should try to get through this last batch of teas that they sent me, so that’s the goal for the next few days.
I’ve tried this one with my western black tea methods (2tsp, 12oz water, 3 minutes) at the recommended steep temp, and a pseudo-gongfu method, which is the whole sample pouch for a shorter period of time. I find this one yields similar results for me in each method. Even though it’s a Fujian tea, it has some earthy-potatoey Yunnan-like notes to it. There’s a hint of grains like I might expect from a Fujian, but also a very slight cocoa-powder note. All in all I definitely enjoy this tea, and it seems to be a great example of a golden monkey. Now if I loved golden monkeys, I’m sure this tea would be at the top of my list.