403 Tasting Notes
I got to host an impromptu midnight tea party this weekend! We had folks over for my boyfriend’s birthday, and a couple were curious about my tea cupboard so I offered to make some. I ended up going through 4 different teas over the course of the evening, including all 3 TOMC oolongs, and had maybe a dozen people try them :D
This tea was the favorite by far, somewhat to my surprise. My personal favorite would be the Anxi Fo Shou (the only non-oolong I made for them), closely followed by the Mi Lan Dancong. But I guess the buttery texture and lack of astringency in the Tieguanyin really won over the newbies :P A couple of people did prefer the Mi Lan, but they still found it bitter in comparison to this. So this tea is getting points for general popularity.
A friend stopped by in concern at one point to make sure that I was having fun, not feeling obligated to play hostess. It was really enjoyable though, getting to share something I love with so many different people!
Yummmmmm I made an audible sound of pleasure at my first sip of this today. It has such a fantastically sharp/sweet/fruity flavor and aroma. It’s very reminiscent of fresh pineapple in character – that enzymatic quality – though the flavor isn’t exactly pineapple.
Do you know, I used to think roasted oolongs were boring? HA.
Going back to the Autumn Tieguanyin after this, it tastes very vegetal, though still sweet; very smooth and mild in comparison. Granted I’m comparing late to early steeps here too – the tieguanyin is almost-but-not-quite steeped out.
The Mi lan is just amazingly fragrant in comparison – a little bitter too, actually. It’s not bad, but has me wondering if my water was too hot, or if it will mellow out on later steepings.
1.6g leaf, 3oz gaiwan, 1 rinse + 1 steep so far
Stuck inside in Boston today, at least my TOMC box came from Verdant yesterday. Starting with this one as recommended (and because it’s the only one I haven’t tried – I know I like the other two!). I’ll have to do a better tasting note later, because I’m having trouble with the flavor details, but I can say that I really like it :P I’m not always a Tieguanyin fan, but this has more than the typical vegetal/buttery notes – more sweet flowers, and a creamy texture. Definitely sweet. Tasty! Now on to the Mi Lan…
3g in 3.5oz glass oolong pot, ~8 steeps so far
Steeped this western-style at work today – an indulgence,as I usually try to do my “good” teas at home, where I can gong fu, but I needed the boost. I also added a pinch of the schisandra blend, which really turns up the volume on the flavor. This is not my usual morning tea at all, but I’m finding it very vibrant and quenching today. Flavor notes are sour, sweet/floral like a green oolong, and a little umami; there’s a very full and creamy mouth-feel. I find myself enjoying the flavor for several breaths after sipping. On to my second steep already!
2tsp oolong, 1/4tsp schisandra, 8oz water
I held off on drinking this one for awhile because it sounded so strange, and smelled mostly like juniper when I opened the bag. Then, a couple weeks ago, I got a cold :( and couldn’t probably taste anything because my nose was stuffed up. This was still sitting out on the counter, and I decided to see if that “five-flavor” bit would make up for having no sense of smell. Much to my surprise, it did! The sour flavors were most prominent, but I also got sweet, savory, and bitter. This tasted more interesting than anything else I drank while my nose wasn’t working, so for that alone I like it. It tasted pretty good later too (when I no longer had the cold), and added an interesting dimension to the dong ding oolong that also came this month, but the taste without smell was what really impressed me :D