405 Tasting Notes
Got this in the family Christmas grab bag. It works pretty well! I’ve been sitting with a cup (thin bone china) of hot tea in a cold (67F) room for about 2 hours now and the tea is still hot. Not as hot as when originally brought downstairs of course, but hot enough to call it more than warm. :) Short of a cup cozy plus a lid, this is a good and inexpensive alternative.
Plus, it is sunny!
This came as a sample sachet with my recent order. It is indeed most excellent. Very strong peppermint even though I don’t notice any “distinct chocolate.” It makes the air cold when I breathe in after a sip.
I could see myself ordering the loose version of this, or even the bags to toss in a purse to take for after dinner when eating out.
It makes me sad that there aren’t more recent reviews of this tea. There was one 2 days ago from keychange but closest to that is like 4 months ago. I hope people are still buying it and just not doing reviews every time they indulge (I know I don’t). Moreover, I hope people are still buying from The Tea Merchant – everyone was so impressed with them when they sent out their free samples – the packaging, the teas, etc. and nowadays you don’t hear much from or about them. They are still in business – I wanted so much to place an order when I had my orgy of tea spending after Thanksgiving – but I just couldn’t justify ordering more when I still had plenty from my large purchase last time. Anyway…I’m sure there will be one soon-ish. :)
This is such a stellar tea. Flavorful but not overpowering, smooth and silky and it smells fantastic.
I’ve said this before but no one I have ever steeped this for has not loved it. I wish I could capture the flavor in a sweet roll or icing for one or a shortbread cookie without using up the tea to get it! :)
I looked up steeping directions before doing this one and tried to follow them for a change – at least more closely than I normally do. :) At 15 seconds, this smells nice but doesn’t have much flavor at all. After another 15 seconds a light hay flavor develops. At 45 seconds, the hay is deeper and becomes mildly malty. It smells sweet. This is also moderately dusty. After the 45 second steep, it became slightly sour and dry. So I guess I get the bittersweet. :)
They say in the description that it is comparable to a Kung Fu black. I don’t know if Shang’s Bai Lin Kung Fu is the same thing as a Kung Fu, but I will say that I prefer Shang’s if that is the case – it is smoother. This is a good tea but it wouldn’t be my personal preference to turn to.
Beautiful dry leaves. So pretty. The leaves are huge when they unfurl. This is nicely vegetal but not in a spinachy way, just in an oolongy way. It is mild and buttery, though not as much so as the oolongs that have made me love them for their texture. I did look this up before steeping and tried to pay attention. I did 4 steeps, 15 seconds, 30 seconds & 40 seconds. Then the last one I just left the leaves in the cup until I was finished drinking. At the last it was a little sweeter than it started out.
I understand why people say they just get amazing flavors that develop out of these small steepings – it seems like if you only steep for 15 seconds at a time then it’s only common sense that you aren’t getting all the flavors possible out of the tea at once. Maybe that makes it easier to isolate the flavors. Dunno. It isn’t my favorite way to steep. No patience for it I guess. Maybe that means I’m not fully experiencing the tea but honestly, as long as I come up with something I like to drink it doesn’t matter to me. :)
It was a good tea and I’m glad Sil shared some with me!
Ah yisssss!!!! This is what I have been chasing ever since more than a year ago when I had my introduction to Yunnans by chance in a random coffee shop. Dense and chewy, mildly sweet, leathery, thick and wonderful. I do get what my tastebuds identify as “smoke” but it lingers politely in the background, coming out more in the second steep but still as an aftertaste more than anything else. The first steep is best but the second is okay if you are trying to stretch your supply.
I’m starting to think what I taste as smoke is something else since so many others don’t notice smoke in teas that I do notice it in. Still makes my brain say “smoke” but maybe it isn’t what other people would think is “smoke” – and that probably makes very little sense. :)