406 Tasting Notes
I found myself distinctly in the mood for shu pu’er today, which doesn’t happen often, so makes for a very good reason to drink it. I wanted the earthy grounding flavor, the complexity, and the sense of well-being that usually follows drinking it; I wasn’t feeling too picky beyond that. Browsing the pu-erh shelf of my tea cupboard, I found a forgotten tin of cheap loose shu: perfect. I was also craving something spicy and warming, so this would be just right to mix with an herbal chai blend (Adagio’s Thai Chai in this case, which was sent along as a random freebie with my latest Etsy order).
It is everything I wanted: rich, dark, warming, mood-lifting… just the thing for a cold and cloudy day at home.
I used 1 tsp pu’er and .5 tsp chai in my 3.5oz glass pot, steeped just a few seconds until the color was right. 3 steeps so far, many more to come I’m sure
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