311 Tasting Notes
Another day, another lovely thermos of Yi Wu. It deserves better, perhaps, than my bulk brewing and drinking, but it is so good even so, and not many other puerhs can touch it for class under abusive conditions. Mmm.
I’m not enjoying this one quite as much as the last time I logged it. There is more bitterness noticeable despite doing very brief infusions, probably because I packed the gaiwan too much. It does settle into a very mellow tea again after the first half dozen infusions, but those first have to be carefully managed. I think this is one to set aside for a good while…
I’ve had some good and some not so good brewings of this tea since I first logged it, and I think the difference is, as always, time and temperature. If I brew it too hot in the early infusions, there is a really unpleasant bitterness that comes out. If I treat it extra delicately, as I did today, starting with water at 150 degrees and moving up to 160 only after 2-3 infusions, it remains beautifully mellow, richly sweet, a little floral and very vegetal, more peas and fat asparagus spears than asparagus tips. It can be an excellent tea for the price, if treated nicely.
Never did finish that previous note, though I did infuse the tea many more times that day.
Last night I had another session with this tea, in a tiny yixing pot, having to let the leaf soften a bit in the first infusion before I could fit the lid on without breaking the leaves. The peachiness kept going until well past the 10th infusion, fruity and floral and delicious.
Opened up a fresh package this morning, and had a lovely series of infusions. I kept the temp low—150-160 degrees for the first three or four infusions, then raised it and enjoyed another four or five more at about 180 degrees. The later infusions were quite light, but then I’m a tea wimp who likes things dilute.
It was nice to remember how sweet and mellow this tea is.
Drank this again a few days ago: the toasty is never bitter or overwhelming, just cozy—roasted corn, not scorched barley—and the sweet almost fruity flavor keeps going for many infusions. An excellent later-in-the-evening tea.
Another wonderful session with this tea yesterday. Steep after steep of delicious sweetness, fruity undertones, and the slightly earthy toastiness that fades gradually in the first half dozen infusions, but the other flavors linger for 12 to 20. So nice.
I’m almost out of this and will definitely pony up for more when it’s gone. it’s tea that just grows on me more and more.
Another very nice session with this tea today. Mellow, delicate, floral, delicious. A good start to the day, with about 6 infusions.
Surprised I didn’t write a tasting note for this one already….I am already almost done with my tiny sample. Tonight, I’m preparing infusions in a very small yixing pot, about 40 mL per infusion, with about 3 grams of tea. It is earthy, sweet, spicy, a little fruity, delicious. It stood up well to a mixed cheese plate, cutting the richness wonderfully. Water is about 205 degrees, infusions from 30" to a minute or so, fairly long right from the start, because this is a tea that can take it, and keep taking it, without getting bitter or unpleasant in any way. I’m now up to about 15 infusions, and suspect I can get in a few more before the flavor gives way entirely to sweet water.
I got a sample of this with an order a while back and was surprised to realized I hadn’t logged it. I think Greg’s description gives a good sense of this tea—nutty and toasty, sweet and grassy, oddly Dragon Well-like. and definitely a potential for bitterness so I keep it cool. Tonight brewing in a medium gaiwan, about 100mL per infusion, with about 3 grams of tea, first infusion at 30 seconds was delicious. Mmm. I generally like my 2nd infusions of green teas to be very short, because the freshly wetted leaves seem primed to let bitter elements out quickly if I don’t, but on this one tonight I was careless, and went more than minute for the second infusion—often a recipe for a wasted infusion. This one was a touch unpleasant at first sip, but a 50% dilution with more hot water and voila, back to the lovely tea I remember. Nice flexible tea.
A previous gongfu session went about 6 infusions before I lost the good tastes and started over with the rest of the sample.