New Tasting Notes
Thanks for the sample, MissB!
Yes, another one from Europe. Haha. We’re so lucky!
I actually really like this tea. It’s fresh baked apple, nice and bright and true. And some cinnamon. And probably some other things too. I’m having it with 1/2 tsp honey to bring out the flavours a bit more, and yum.
Definitely one I’d get more of, especially in the fall! It would be such a good fall tea.
2 tea bags in 16 oz, 4 minutes at 200F.
YUM! Dry leaf smells amazing, totally pink lemonade and mesmerizing. My bag doesn’t list mango in the ingredients and I don’t taste any mango, so I’m not sure what happened there but I like it without mango. I think the sulphites might be bugging me a teeny bit so I’ll keep an eye on that.
HOT: Delicious. A strong flavour that tastes exactly like pink lemonade. Tasted exactly how it smelled was not disappointed!
COLD: I will see tomorrow morning. So excited!!
I could have SWORN there was coconut in this. I had a sip of my friends’ tea with soy milk in it (dummy move cus I forgot sometimes soy milk has coconut in it, I only had a small sip though) and two sips of this and I immediately got gross coconut intolerance symptoms. I sipped it and tasted coconut, she sipped it and tasted coconut… How does this not have coconut in it??!?! It smelled great, I just couldn’t drink it! Bah.
Update on the cold/allergy/flu/oops I made Apollo angry again front, I seem to be recovering nicely, still pretty sniffly and feverish, but other than that I am mostly fine. This makes me happy, working on my Oppressor also makes me happy, especially since I got the ‘eyes’ to look like creepy deep sea creature eyes. I wanted to make it look like it has those translucent blue-white eyes, so many coats of varnish tinted with white and blue, and I think I have captured it. Also I came to the hilarious realization that when a Harbinger is carrying an Oppressor it cannot sit on a flight stand because the Oppressor is that big.
Continuing on with Nannuoshan week, today’s tea is Qing Ming Bi Luo Chun, that delightful fuzzy and curly green tea from Jiangsu, China. This particular Bi Luo Chun is a Qing Ming tea, meaning it was plucked between April 3-5th, making it almost a year old, happy almost birthday, tea! The name Bi Luo Chun means Green Spring Snail, though that was not always this tea’s name, originally it was called Xia Sha Ren Xiang, which means Scary Fragrance. The reason for this name is kinda hilarious, years ago a tea harvester ran out of room in her basket, so she stuffed the extra leaves in her cleavage, the now warmed leaves let out an astounding fragrance which startled her. I feel like that is a great ‘well what were you expecting?’ moments, later on it was renamed by the Kangxi Emperor renamed it after naming it a tribute tea. I have a tiny bit of trepidation with this tea, see, Bi Luo Chun is best when it is fresh, and it is one of those teas that loses its potency really quickly, with this tea being almost a year old, it might not taste as intense as it would have several months ago. The aroma of the tiny curly leaves (so tiny and cute!) is fairly faint, a delicate note of lychee and gentle greenness of broken leaves. There is really not much there in the aroma department, it has a dry, papery note, but that is fairly faint as well.
Tossing the leaves in my gaiwan and giving the tea a steeping, the now very soggy leaves are still very faint, with delicate notes of lychee and spinach, with a tiny whiff of nuttiness at the finish. Bi Luo Chun is a delicate tea, but not usually this delicate. The liquid is mostly artichoke and a bit of distant sweetness.
First steep is subtle but quite delicious! The tea is cloudy and has a ticklish texture because it is just loaded with trichomes, Bi Luo Chun is super fuzzy, and tends to molt its fuzz off at any chance it gets, I am sure if I used a fine mesh screen I could get perfectly clear water, and would have a nice fuzz ball in my screen, but I don’t mind the fuzz and hate fussing with filters. The taste starts out sweet and nutty, with notes of chestnut and lychee, this moves on to a brisk vegetal midtaste. Sadly the tea fizzles out and does not leave a lingering finish.
The aroma of the second steep has a much stronger presence, with notes of lychee, chestnut, and a distant floral note that adds a level of depth. The taste of this steep has a stronger presence as well, which is not very surprising, the first steep is always a prelude (unless you rinse your teas, which I don’t except for Puerh) showing you what is to come. It starts out with a sweet, fruity start with a blend of lychee and a touch of sweetgrass. This then transitions to a sharp green taste, blending artichoke and fresh broccoli (that is one I don’t get very often) with a bit of spinach. The finish is delicately sweet lychees that linger for just a little bit.
Steep number three! The aroma is sweet, a blend of hay, chestnut, and just a hint of lychee and spinach. It is fairly faint this time around, but the notes are distinct. This steep is mostly sweetness, with honey and lychee, and not really much else. It tastes like distant fruit nectar, it tastes like a finished tea. I certainly enjoyed the tastes in this tea, though I wish I could time travel and taste this when it was fresh, I bet it would have been a fantastic Bi Luo Chun!
Dinking a shou coin from O5Tea that I picked up in Vancouver.
Disclaimer – it poured rain the day I bought this and spent the day walking around getting soaked. That included these coins. They got “blow dried” back in that hotel room. The wrapper was not stained so I’m not thinking it wasn’t too badly damaged, but who knows.
The first couple of steeps were really mild, flat, not much going on. I significantly upped the steep time and found some astringency. By steep four it’s better but still not wowing me. It’s good, it tastes like shou – I would drink it again, but I won’t be buying more at that price. I don’t mind paying good money for good tea. This is pretty expensive to be just OK tea.
Thanks to MissB and Sil for the sample. :) Well. “Sample.”
Dry, this smells amazing. So limey and fresh! Unfortunately, once steeped it has a scent I really don’t care for. I’m not sure if it’s the green tea or the lime peel or what.
Sipping on it, it’s mostly lime and a bit of ginger. I could see this being really good sweetened and chilled, but… I’m not a huge fan of iced tea unless it’s a cold steeped fruity thing.
Tasty, but not quite for me. :) Oh well. I have more teas to try!
Oh so good, and a sipdown, though I may have to snag some from my sweetie’s cupboard, as I really like this.
It’s mildly smokey and just rich and delicious with fruity and malty notes. Definitely a re-purchase at some point.
Flavors: Fruity, Malt, Smoke
Burpin’ Ole’ Book
Finally learned how to store and brew this guy which makes me a happy camper because I took a risk based on the price going up and bought more. I still wrestle with perfect steep time to acheive white whale nirvana which is a slightly tannic slightly fruity thicker smooth luscious cup. If I over brew it is a bit astringent and fruitiness is drowned by old book taste. Under brew and it’s a boring thin bland brew. I still sporadically smell and burp the old book taste hours later which is fun.
At the current price I like the yangpinhao better but I am spoiled to say this will be my daily drinker.
Flavors: Berry, Dark Wood, Red Wine, Tannin
I cold steeped this for about 12 hours in a litre of water. I figured I’d need to dilute it and I was worried that it had over steeped, but it’s actually pretty perfect just the way it is.
The lime and cola flavours are distinct but not over powering. The black base is there in a supportive role. There’s the slightest hint of bitterness and astringency but not in a bad way at all. This is super refreshing and easy to drink.
It tastes like it would be good with a bit of sugar, but I’m drinking it straight and I’m really happy with the way it tastes. I will probably even try resteeping the bag (though I’d be surprised and impressed if I got another good steep out of it.)
I could see drinking this one a lot.
This sample came courtesy of the GCTTB – I love the name, it makes me think of the Transsiberian Orchestra… aaaaand now I’ve got their music running through my head. ;)
The smell of the tea is very cinnamon-heavy though that lightens up a bit in the flavour. There’s also this nice, fudgey chocolate flavour that I’m really liking. It reminds me of a Mexican chocolate brownie recipe I tried once that had dark chocolate flavoured with spices. Given the opportunity I was definitely buy more of this tea.
Drank the last of this today, with a large splash of cream.
I still quite like it, but IDK I think I’m moving away from the chocolate/cream/heavy kind of flavoured teas because it’s so springy. If I have flavoured teas, I want citrus and berries and flowers and toasted rice…
Maybe I’ll have to get more for the fall. :)
This one is pretty damn good!
I am not a big fan of young sheng or any sheng really but I do try to appreciate all kinds of teas, this one is different than most sheng i’ve tried.
this one can brew up nice and dark almost like a shou or aged sheng, it is slightly sweet, smokey and just plain delicious, it will resteep over and over too.
I was impressed with this one because i honestly had no idea that it was going to brew up the way it did.
I may buy a whole cake just to have around because I can surely drink this one with ease :)
Also it has a nice energy, i really enjoy the nice way the energy of this one make me feel.
Thanks Kirk for sending me this sample.
My first note got eaten by Steepster…:(
This shou is friggin’ awesome, and I believe I got the parameters down perfect. I aired out this shou for six months. My tea pals can tell you how long it took me to learn that aged offerings need airing!! I’ve learned that the aged teas from white2tea require this kind of patience but to trust TwoDog on his choices, if it ain’t good then I didn’t air it long enough or I didn’t brew it right. The longer an aged tea has been stored in China, the longer it really needs to rest and air out after arriving to really be the best.
I brewed up this 20 g melon in 180 ml Zhuni clay teapot to let it expand but then I used about half the water! So about 100 ml water after doing four rinses. The lump of shou sticks up above the water line. I’m on day 3 STILL flash brewing past 15 steeps. Smells earthy in the pot but the taste is the reward, mushrooms, dates, cherries, cacao, thick port wine flavored brown brew of goodness and double happy dance. Brew it thick and thicker with less water, this tuo is 20 g for a reason and the makers knew what they were doing when they made these! Oh yeahhhhh….
Flavors: Cacao, Cherry, Dates, Mushrooms, Red Wine
Thank you Blodeuyn for this surprise tea present!
This is another win from this company! I open this small package and reveal small delicate ebony shards. These little sticks carry a strong roasted dark cacao scent. I imagine WuYi as a granite rocky cliff with silver and black peaks. This mysterious place is shrouded with mist and overcast causing a gray scale effect. I picture wind blowing massive trees clinging to the rocky cliff faces causing them to sway from side to side like a sailboat caught in a storm. I view the WuYi region like this because their teas are a hurricane of a brew. They consist of dark, mineral, roast, cold, and sharp tones. These teas always have a bold brew that is alike the earths crust. The small black twigs I recieved followed suit, except, they gave me a small surprise. This maroon liquor had a decadent dark chocolate palette. This dessert flavor followed me throughout my steeping. I washed these small leaves once and brewed gong fu. I acquired a deep chocolate tone every steep and the background of black grapes creeped up on me. This is a wonderful tea, and I’m so happy to be able to experience it.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Grapes, Mineral
I bought a half ounce of this one from Butiki but I also received a little from TheLastDodo’s sale – thank you! I tried this a while ago with one flat teaspoon for 2 1/2 minutes but it didn’t seem to turn out flavorful enough for me. This time I went with a heaping teaspoon for three minutes, and even waiting a few minutes after boiling, the flavor was much more present. It’s a very tangy plum! But I think the flavor is aided by the black tea base. The base usually tastes like tomato to me, but it might be adding that extra tangy plum flavor this time. With the nutty undertones, this tea is pretty darn good. The second steep loses a bit of flavor, which is a shame, but the first cup is great. Another blend of Butiki magic (though I must say, not as genius as the Plum Brandy Cheesecake blend.) Note to self: steep it like the first steep next time.
Steep #1 // heaping tsp // 7 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min