1645 Tasting Notes
I have been so busy the last few days because I feel almost human again. The busyness has kept tea consumption rather limited. I made the time to enjoy this one again today. I went with a 3 1/2 minute steep today. Last time it was a full 5 minutes. The difference between the two was really interesting. Today it was malty with unmistakable peach notes. Very smooth. No bitterness. No bite. Only a slight dryness. The aftertaste was green and vegetal tasting. If I have to choose, I would go with the long steep as it seemed to have just slightly more depth, but long steep or short this is a really good Dian Hong.
Dry this is sweet and fruity. Its kind of pipe tobacco like. Steeped the dark caramel cup scent remains sweet and fruity but now reminds me of Darjeeling. The taste begins light with a slight maltiness. Then the tannins kick in and flood your tongue. It is refreshing and passes quickly leaving a slight toffee note that just as quickly turns into a fruity aftertaste.
Between the first and second cup I took my wife out for lunch. We went to BBQ place in town. I had 1/4 rack of ribs, baked beans, and smashed potatoes. My wife had tenderloin and fries. It was so extremely good. While eating, I was treated to watching a bald eagle soar outside my window. Such a beautiful site.
Came home and prepared a second cup of this one. It had a maltier scent than the first. The taste was very much like the first. This is a solid cup of black tea. I highly recommend a repeat of my entire day.
Steeped yesterday’s leaf this afternoon. I got to say the cup aroma was so fine. As the cup was sitting to cool I was smelling grape. It sort of drifted between grape, wine, and Darjeeling aromas. I know the taste was light but honestly I got distracted fixing stuff on the computer and ended up drinking this pretty quick and not paying attention. I know I liked it or it wouldn’t have disappeared so fast.
As usual started my day with this one. Somehow I got busy yesterday and never drank any tea but this one – ONE – glass. Glad I like it.
Learned something new to share. Went to the Pulmonologist Monday afternoon. He put me on a bronchodilator medicine. I started reading up on this particular medicine. Turns out it is a naturally occurring part of tea. The amount is too small to be considered a dosage but it is there. So occasionally when a tea gives me the sensation of breathing down to my toes – it may really be helping to do just that. Finally a health claim for tea I am willing to consider.
Oh this dry leaf smells wonderful. Its like honey drizzled over fruit. The cup scent is similar but more baked. If fills your senses as you begin tasting. I notice a spiciness, kind of peppery without the burn. This is very smooth. With no hint of bitterness. One taste I’m getting kind of strikes me as grape. Maybe its really plum and I don’t know any better. Slightly yam but the fruit taste is stronger. There is even the faintest touches of earth and leather. For as light as this seems on the first sip, there is so much depth here when you slow down and taste. Thank you Angel for this very nice tea.
Oh, I haven’t tried this one before! Sample from Angel. I love the aroma. Light malt drenched in honey. There is no hint of smoke, bitterness, or rough edges. This is just oh so smooth. In the taste, I again get malt and honey. There is a baked quality to it like maybe cocoa. Beyond this I get occasional mineral notes, then stone fruit (apricot?). There are even occasional flashes of floral notes.
From a little research, Keemun refers to the growing area not a particular processing. That is good to know as I don’t think I would identify this as Keemun by tasting. I can identify it as a really tasty Chinese red (black) tea.
I’m certainly no Chai expert. In fact due to low quality bagged stuff, I have avoided it. Now that I mainly sip unflavored high quality loose leaf it just hasn’t been in my radar to drink. Until now.
I recently received a few chai samples for review. This was one of them. It is a combination of CTC and orthodox Assam. The dry scent is spicy but not too spicy. I steeped it western mug style with water. The brew is a very pretty deep orange that looks kind of burgundy under light. The flavor is a combination of clove and cardamom with cinnamon and ginger holding back a little. The ginger and pepper combine to bring a nice spicy heat to the finish. The base is smooth and slightly malty.
I next added some Splenda because I believe Chai is traditionally supposed to be sweet. This really made the flavors pop. They are more present and equal now.
Then I added milk. This doesn’t exactly muddy the flavors but they do sort of meld together. They are all there but difficult for me to separate. To me muddy implies I can’t tell what notes are present. I can here, yet they are tied to each other.
After some debate of pros and cons, I finally decided I like this best with milk and sweetener. The milk cools the spicy heat and the melding makes this so comforting. I could drink a gallon.
Turns out I kind of do like Chai, when its done right.
I love white tea. This is an interesting one because it goes in a different direction than I expected. Normally, I think hay, melon, cucumber. This one seems to bounce between malt and corn. Even I can tell this one is sweet. The sip ends with a pleasant bite that turns mineral. The aftertaste is corn and floral notes. I steeped this twice as long as I normally would (3 minute) per The Persimmon Tree recommendation. Second western mug brew started clean mineral. then turned briefly earthy, before finishing with a sweet mineral. It left me with mild cheek tingle, a warming sensation, and a coolness on my breath. I plan to try again later with different parameters and see what happens.
Wishing I had a box of Goldfish crackers to go with my Fish Hook tea. Ohh, I saw where M&Ms has rereleased Crispy M&Ms. I loved those. Dang it. Now I’m snack hungry. I blame What-Cha! ha.
The leaf on this is tiny and battleship gray and yes, it kind of looks like a fish hook. OK, this tea was steeped one (ONE!) minute. To look at the lovely lightly yellow liquor, you would expect a lovely quiet cup. Then you take a sip and the bite grabs you, shakes you out of your inattentiveness, and shouts, “PAY ATTENTION TO ME!” Well, that’s what I heard anyway. I’m not sure it is astringent as I don’t notice much dryness at all. I just think it is the good clean bitter that I love in a green tea.
The taste, now that I’m paying attention is kind of grassy and kind of corn like. I think it is kind of sweet, but as a sweeteneraholic trying to leave the monkey behind, it is hard for me to say for sure.
The second cup had less bite, more cheek tingle, and still only a little dryness. The grassiness was predominate with corn following behind. The sip ends with a mineral note and fleeting floral notes.
My kind of green. Now to find some munchies.