242 Tasting Notes
Tonight is special for two reasons: I’m using the last of this tea, and I’m drinking it in my brand new hand-made ceramic tumbler! It’s one of two, and they just came in the mail yesterday, but I was busing and couldn’t try them out yesterday. Big shout-out to Mamif!
Back to the tea, I prepared the first infusion with barely steaming water, and steeped for 75 seconds. the taste is just as exquisite as usual, like some sort of sweet vegetables. The aroma might be grass, but I just mowed the lawn earlier, and I might still be smelling that. I’m really going to miss this tea after tonight…
Second infusion same temperature, 15 second infusion. It even sweeter, and had gotten a bit more grassy instead of vegetative. this is pretty much the peak for this tea: The second infusion is the prefect balance of flavors, and it just gets weaker from this point.
Third infusion, same temperature, 45 seconds. This time it tastes more grassy than sweet, but it’s not in any way astringent. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, and I’m going to need to stop drinking tea if I want to fall asleep at a decent hour. Sad, since I could probably get another cup of tea or two out of these leaves, but sleep is more important.
P. S. – Pics of the tumblers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mamif/7382224810/in/photostream/
I ran across this tea in my stash when I was looking for my Shu puerh, and realized I hadn’t had this for months. The first thing that struck me when I opened the tin was the strong roasted smell of the leaves. I put some in my tea ball, and let it steep in nearly-boiling water for three minutes. The result is a fairly dark tea that smells very roasted/toasty. The taste is very much like a Wuyi Oolong, much more so that I actually remember. The taste is pretty much the standard heavily-roasted Oolong taste, with no tea distinguishing feature, but the aftertaste tastes mineral-ish, but it doesn’t have the same smooth feeling associated with Wuyi Oolongs. Overall, it was a very pleasant tea, but with nothing special as of yet. I don’t have high expectations, but I’ll see how it develops in later steeps.
Second infusion, 205 degree water for a minute and a half. The tea is a nice caramel color, and the taste has mellowed quite a bit. The roasted flavor is smoother, and so is the aftertaste, making it seem even more like a Wuyi. The roasted taste also lingered pleasantly in my hard palate for over a minute, rounding off a very nice second infusion. I have to confess, this tea is much better than I remember, and the rating is getting bumped up again.
ALright, I had two more cups of this, and it was pretty good, but I got interrupted by some eleictical work that my dad was doing, so I; didn;t have electricity to post about it here. The TL;DR is that it was much better than I remember, and I’m really glad I git 100 grams of this tea.
Alright, this is the first time I’ve had a sheng since Jim Marks made that post a while ago about using less leaves when brewing sheng. I decided to try it out, and the results are amazing! The first infusion is so much sweeter than I remember, and the bitter foretaste is not present at all! While I wouldn’t describe the taste as “buttery” I can certainly taste the walnut, albeit much smoother and refined than most actual walnuts. I’m certainly bumping the rating up a few point, since this is much better than I remember.
Another neglected tea. I have a ton (~40 gr) of this left, and it’s taking up an entire canister. Anyway, first infusion, 3 minutes and 205 degree water. It smell immediately gives away it’s origin, no other tea region that I know of has the same smell. It’s kinda hard for me to describe, but I would hazard a guess that it’s like dates. The taste is very clear and fruity, and very pleasant for a warm evening like today. It’s also a welcome change from Japanese greens and Yunnan blacks that I’ve been drinking this week.
Unfortunately, I don;t have enough time for another cup, but this is a pretty good way to end the day. Since I don’t get to fully experience the tea, I won;t give a rating, but it tastes better than I remember. I’ll give it a more detailed review sometime in the near future.
Re-tasting this tea, since it’s been a few weeks. 205 degree water for two minutes. The result was similar to the Aztec hot chocolate that I had on vacation for desert: Ghiradellli hot chocolate, chilli, cinnamon, and cardamon. It’s a bit fruitier than the hot chocolate, and there might be some wood flavor, but the end result is still similar.
Once again, I’m drinking a neglected Sencha and wondering why the hell I haven’t been drinking this more regularly. The first cup was made using barely steaming water, steeping the leaves for a minute since this tea is also a bit picky. The result is very sweet, with a pleasant grassy taste and subtle fruity notes, and a smooth, clean finish. I could definitely drink this every day, but sadly I’m running low, and apparently Mellow Monk is waiting on the next shipment…darn.
It’s been way too long since I last had this tea, and I honestly really need to use it as soon as possible…
Anyway, Steeped for one minute is water that was just starting to give off steam. I find that this tea is extremely unforgiving when it comes to water temperature, so I play it pretty safe. The aroma is pleasantly grassy, but is smells “sweeter” than actual grass. The taste is predictably grassy, with just the right amount of sweetness. Honestly, why haven’t I been drinking this more often?
Second infusion, toughly the same temperature, but I only steeped the leaves for 15 seconds. The result is a very sweet tea. It’s still grassy, but the sweetness overpowers it. If it was a bit flowery, I would probably mistake it for the Orchid Oolong I rediscovered a few weeks ago.
third infusion, same temperature, 45 seconds. The grassiness has reasserted itself, but it’s not in any way stringent. This is actually turning out better than usual, and is a rather pleasant surprise. Again, I don’t know why I don’t drink this more often. It would be a great way to unwind after a long day in the office.
Music for today – St. James Infirmary performed by Hugh Laurie
Many thanks to Teavivre for the free sample!
I’m still a bit messed up from jet lag, so this will be shorter than usual. This tea is nice, fairly typical of Taiwanese Oolongs, but it lacks anything truly unique to make it stand out. It’s not very flowery or fruity, the aftertaste lingers, but only for about 45 seconds. The only things that stands out is how creamy it tastes, but that isn’t really interesting. Don’t get me wrongs, it’s still good, it’s just that I’m a bit spoiled but some of my other teas, and this just doesn’t measure up.