96 Tasting Notes
This really has become one of my favorite teas in my collection. Sweet and roasty taste. An aroma of toasted chestnuts and the texture of light cream. Lots of infusion potential. I’m not sure if the tea is getting better (certainly possible as rolled oolongs tend to do this) or if my taste is just aligning with it more.
Also maybe worth noting that I’m pretty sure the pinyin for this tea would be ‘hong shui’ (紅水), meaning ‘red water’. Taiwan uses many different romanization systems, though, so who’s to say what’s correct?
Sweet and a little tart with the definite flavor of blackberries. I liked the smooth earthy aroma and I may have sensed black cherries in there as well. Rewardingly mellow lingering taste that fades into a lightness. In fact, there’s potential to be too light with this tea.
The first few infusions I tried at 15 seconds or so, and they were good, but fairly light and generic shou puer. Afterward I gave it a good soak and found the richness I remember from tasting this tea in the shop in Lijiang. Some nice big leaves in there too.
This bing is 400g, so I should be drinking this one for some time.
One of the many treasures I brought back from the most recent trip to China, this tea is rich and savory. Not as bold as its less-tippy cousins, this hong cha has a lightness of body and character that would normally have me thinking of a white silver needle. It’s not surprising, really, since the leaves are all buds. All the delicious cacao and savory spices are there in the aroma and taste, though, to remind you that you’re drinking a Dian Hong. A perfect combination of body and lightness for a summer evening.
Richly roasted but bright and energizing in a way that I don’t usually expect from a Shui Xian. The aroma is earthy and comforting. When I bought this tea I actually thought I was buying a Da Hong Pao, but I suppose it’s easy for one roasted Wuyi to taste like another. Dark long twisted leaves with some twigs in there as well, which I usually would prefer not to find, but in this case I think it adds a bit of Hojicha-style nuttiness to the taste. (I imagine there’s a grade of this tea without the twigs too, and I’d love to drink that one.)
Infused Chinese-green-style with leaves floating in a tall glass, this tea makes a long-lasting cup. A little sweet with a gentle body and a bit of the “smoky” taste I attribute to Yunnan teas.
Refreshing, even on this hot day. Comforting on the stomach like a gently roasted Gao Shan, but rich and velvety like a tippy Dian Hong. Still fascinating.
Ruby red infusion. A salty, sweet taste almost like strawberries. I was getting worried because when I unwrapped the cake the edges were beginning to fall apart.
I thought at first perhaps it was a poor cake that I had gotten (although I had tasted it in Kunming). The edges of the Bing pulled apart easily at my touch, not needing a pick of any kind, but the appearance of the leaves, inside and out, was beautiful and without any obvious discoloration. The aroma was what I’d expect from a well-aged Shou puer.
The flavor is excellent. Mellow and soft compared to younger or lower-quality cakes, with a developing richness that I can’t wait to try as it continues to mature.
Infused in a Jian Shui pot.
Very clear, light gold infusion. The aroma of a much richer and darker black tea, maybe reminiscent of a Chinese Dian Hong (滇红). A gently sweet and soft taste with a hint of dryness in the aftertaste which implies that the lightness of body is inherent and not due to under steeping. Whereas I usually expect a rich body underneath quite a punch of floral flavor from a First Flush Darjeeling, this is much more mellow and it’s a good thing.
Light and a little toasty. The mouth aroma is surprisingly fragrant in the manner of a Gui Hua (osmanthus) green, but there aren’t any flowers in this tea. I did not rinse these leaves before brewing, and as such the second infusion had much more body, but still that mysterious squash-like osmanthus blossom taste. I hesitate to say “floral”, because these florals are nothing like Ali Shan. I can definitely make the connection to a richly aromatic Tie Guan Yin on the third infusion of this tea, but it definitely holds a unique place in itself as I generally expect Tie Guan Yin to be… darker in some way. I really should do a side-by-side some time.
This was for a tea review of a sample of Yin Zhen sent to me by Teavivre.
The leaf was very fluffy and downy. This was very promising as their Bai Mu Dan was similarly fluffy and produced an absolutely amazing cup. I was expecting a high sweetness I think of as typical of Silver Needles over the heartier, richer White Peony.
My first hint that this was a different Yin Zhen was the scent of the leaves. It was very woody and a tad musty. Not in a bad way, just more potent than I expected.
I watched the color closely as I brewed it (in a gaiwan) since I figured it would be wise not to trust my “normal” Yin Zhen technique. The first infusion (80C for 2 min) was sweeter than a Bai Mu Dan, but not overly so. There was a noticeable and pleasant lingering effect of that sweetness on the front of my tongue. It was faintly reminiscent of thyme and rosemary, maybe even with a mintiness. The liquor was a pleasant blond-gold color.
The second infusion (at the same time and temperature) had an aroma of straw and that woodiness that I sensed in the dry leaf. There was less sweetness.
The third and fourth infusion continued to be more woody and less sweet leaving me with the distinct impression of a really good Bai Mu Dan. It’s interesting and not bad, just not what I was expecting.