The aroma of fresh watermelon. Sweet and rich. 5 infusions and it still had a great body. The taste was like spring flowers.
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A green tea for a gray sky.
The brilliant color and aroma of a wet summer forest prepare the mind for the nutty, crisp, and mouth-filling flavor of the first cup. The mind is soothed, the body is warmed. This season’s tea (2011) is really representative of a classic Long Jing with no astringency and just the slightest hint of dryness in the aftertaste.
Greatly comforting. Soothes the digestion on a hot and humid day just as well as it warms the body in the winter. Roasted to a sweetness that lingers on the tongue until dissolving into a hundred patches of dry warmth. Dark red in the cup (true to its name). The musty aroma of the wet leaves has a high note of a damp autumn day. Just the thing to prepare for a coming adventure.
Golden rose liquor, a rich aroma, but the flavor is surprisingly neutral. On the third infusion I allowed for a 3 minute brew, and a slight malty taste appeared at the front of the mouth. I think next time a longer brew sooner would be best. Brewed in my aged Oolong Yixing pot.
Dark and soothing. Earthy without being overpowering. An excellent tea after a large evening meal. I also find that Shou puerhs do not keep me up at night like a pot of green tea. I received four infusions now, and I’m sure there’s another 10 in these leaves.
Ruddy and golden in the cup.
The first two infusions yield a dry mouthfeel with a somewhat chalky coating on the tongue that lingers long after sipping. Sweet in the back of the mouth, and surprisingly light. There is no overt charcoal flavor that I often find in Lao Cha. Instead, it’s as if the Tung Ting is trying to return to its original floral fragrance, hindered only by the immense weight of its years. The playful energy of youth is still there, gently covered by the wisdom of decades.
In line with tradition, the third infusion is the most pleasant. The dryness sensed in the first infusions is still around, but it takes a back seat to the mouth-filling flavors of caramel and heavily toasted rice. The tongue-coating nature now serves to maintain the warm rice cake-like sweetness for many minutes after it has passed from the mouth. I could really still taste and feel this cup for over 10 minutes!
The wet leaves smell of charred hazelnuts: very musty but with surprising high notes that hint at its underlying sweetness.
A good cup for deep contemplation of the past and the future.
Brewed in my aged Oolong Yixing pot.
Dry leaf aroma is of sweet amazake or dry roasted peanuts. Wet leaves smell of the last wisps of a campfire on a damp forest morning. First infusion: 98 degrees, 1.5 minutes. The flavor and aroma are savory, somewhat meaty and malty like a rich belgian beer; they fill the mouth and nose slowly, but inexorably. Second infusion: 95 degrees, 2 minutes. The liquor is a rich holly berry red. The second brew retains its body and flavor, although the aroma is slightly less bold. The maltiness is sloping into a raisin quality, making this reminiscent of a Qi Hong but with a lightness that betrays its high-mountain leaf. Third infusion: 98 degrees, 2.5 minutes. This one was a little light for my taste, only hinting at what came before. Fourth infusion: 95 degrees, 7 minutes. I decided to go all out here and was rewarded with another fantastic infusion, full of malty raisin-like aroma and a delicate body.
Brewed in a large gaibei.
Well, this tea is certainly past its normal time frame, so I was pleasantly surprised by its bold sea-green flavor. The tea was vacuum-sealed until recently and is still sealed with a desiccant package, so I’m certain that helped. A gentle taste of salt water and nori seaweed mixed with the taste of fresh cut grass after a rain. There’s no aroma to speak of, wet or dry, and its prior rich body is long gone, but still a pleasant cup for a spring afternoon.
This time I allowed a full 2 minutes for the first infusion and the flavor was remarkable. Delicate sweetness following as a surprise after a warm enfolding mouthfeel of what tasted to me like a Bai Mu Dan. Unfortunately I believe that such a long steeping took most of what the tea had to offer and the remaining infusions were lackluster and only sparse echoes of the first flavor. Perhaps a hotter temperature for shorter?
Amazing. Honey and cream. Sweet and comforting. This is real Bai Hao. Each and every leaf I find in the pot is a perfect two-leaves-and-a-bud with a glowing golden hue. Seems to last about 4-5 infusions.
This tea is unroasted.
Wet leaves have the aroma of slightly sour and tart raspberries. Almost like the yeasty smell of a lambic beer. Crisp and clean flavor; a little nutty like a White Peony tea. The dark amber color in the cup would imply a much thicker texture or a roasted tea, but infusion after infusion it continues crisp and clean on the tongue with just a hint of nuttiness and a smoothness that sets it above Bai Mu Dan. At the fourth infusion (done at 3 minutes) the taste is like puffed rice: sweet and mouth-filling. I think this tea would do best infused a little longer than other oolongs. Infusion five I brewed for 4.5 minutes and he flavor continues smooth and sweet. No dryness or astringency at all. The wet leaves are huge after they unroll!
Very sweet. Light in body and flavor. Like drinking fresh mountain spring water sweetened with honey.
This was harvested from Feng Huang mountain in November.
Dry leaves have the aroma of licorice candy and smoked ham. The smoky sweetness fills the mouth similar to the aroma of a good Tung Ting, but without the flowers. A caramel aftertaste lingers. A creamy texture flows over the subsequent infusions, mingling with a slight dryness that remains on the tongue, although not unpleasantly so.
Very light body but a wonderful malty flavor and sweet aroma.
Very light, but undeniably sweet and rich. The light artichoke flavor often found in a well-made sencha, blended with the delicate peony flower taste. The aroma of the wet leaves is that of an unroasted Tung Ting: a flowery green. As it progresses, the Tung Ting light caramel flavor begins to assert itself and the other flavors fade away.
Infusion 1 was just a rinse. Too light to discern any real flavor. Number two had the surprising Japanese tea aroma mixed with the flowery one. Three was the best, filling the mouth with the flowers of the mountain. Four maintains the body and the flowery taste, but the Sencha qualities had fled; much more like a light roast Tung Ting. Five begins to lose its nuances, although it does still have the carmel flavor. Six I brewed at four minutes and you can still taste the mountains. As it was clear that the flavor was almost gone I tried brewing a Seventh infusion for 7 minutes: surprisingly there was not a hint of astringency, only a very mild hint of a flowering mountainside in the distance.
Golden straw liquor, aroma of fresh lillies with a slight hint of something richer: a gingerbread sweetness. Flavor is buttery sweet lightly grilled asparagus with a gentle dryness in the finish. The aroma in the mouth lingers for quite a while.
At the start of each sip, a full body creeps up behind the aroma and very briefly threatens to overwhelm the flavor, but then fades into the background just as quickly. It’s as though the tea were trying to get my attention before the flavor soaks in. This effect is most pronounced in the second and fourth infusions.
Some notes: I infused this in a small yixing pot purchased in Maokong, Taiwan.
As of infusion five I still had quite a lot of flavor, but the aroma began to dissipate into more memory than scent. Infusions six and seven still held true: full body and fantastic flavor. Eight still has the color, but the flavor begins to follow the aroma into the past. Nine is impressively still sweet with a silky mouthfeel, but the flowers have disappeared. Infusion ten continues to be golden, although quite translucent and contains just the barest hint of Alishan at the top of the mouth and in the lingering sweetness at the back of the throat; still impressive.
Infusions 1-4 were 50 seconds. 5-8 were 1 minute. Infusion 9 was 1.5 minutes, and for 10 I allowed a full 2 minutes. The water was hot all around.
A healing cup (the last of our supply) really settles the mind and body after a rather sweet breakfast this morning. The amber liquor was never overly dark, and had a comforting sweetness with a very light touch of citrus. Not overly dry, and with a gentle touch on the front of the tongue.
The wet leaves really do have the aroma of watermelon seeds, or at least pumpkin seeds. Their appearance is that of steamed spinach. Rich green large leaves with a real depth of color and a delicate curl. The infusion is sour-sweet, again reminiscent of fresh steamed spinach. The second infusion is even more rich, a golden-green glow to the bottom of the cup.
Brewing this tea in a gaiwan with hot water for a very short time (gong Fu style) is a luxury. I did about 10 second infusions and the flavor is so chocolatey and rich, the aroma brimming with hints of coffee beans. The liquer is red-gold, just like the glowing wet leaves. At the moment the tea fills the mouth there is also a roasted chestnut quality to it that draws you in. I’m on infusion two and I suspect I will get many more to come!
Rinsed leaves have an aroma of cinnamon and raw chocolate; yeasty.
1st infusion, 98 deg/30 sec: light body, brown sugar, a little sour. I decided this was too short. Camellia Sinensis recommends 3-4 minutes, so here I started to agree with them.
2nd infusion, 98 deg/2 min: slightly more body, still sour-sweet. A little too sour for my taste.
3rd infusion, 98 deg/30 sec: round body, much sweeter and fruity. Finally quite drinkable. I’m marking this as a 2.5 minute tea as I think that might be a good starting point for future attempts.
This is a 2009 Putuo, well kept, but I’m not expecting miracles. To that end, I used water even cooler than I would normally (this is quite a small-leafed variety) and brewed it a bit longer. I have to say that I’m impressed at what I found, for a year-old tea.
Lightly sweet, with an aroma of steamed spinach that fills the mouth but doesn’t quite reach the nose. Very slightly drying on the palette, which I attribute to its age. Gentle and comforting for a wintry day, but without the body to stand up to any strong flavors.
The second infusion brought out more dryness and a vegetal addition to the body reminiscent of a toasted Japanese tea (eg: Kamairicha), but unfortunately lost most of the sweetness and aroma.
The aromas of a warm bank on the spring-green ocean bay of a tropical island. Toasted and sweet without being overtly vegetal or roasted. Oceanic but definitely not seaweedy or fishy. The second infusion takes on a bit of dryness which lingers, not unpleasantly, on the front of the tongue.
Not as sweet as previous years, but still with a comforting aroma and mouthfeel. There’s a slight smokiness I’m not used to finding in teas that don’t come from Yunnan (as far as I know this tea hails from the East coast of China), but it’s very subtle in the manner of Dian Lu Eshan Mao Feng or a light infusion of a white pu-erh. The combination of the slight sweetness and slight smokiness bring to mind the taste of a perfect mango.
The second and third infusions were just as good, although the sweetness retreats as the smokiness takes hold. After the third I thought I might be drinking the last infusions of a delicious green pu-erh.