190 Tasting Notes
From the Pu TTB Round 5
Brews up a light amber color. Tastes of tobacco, peat, slightly smoky with mineral and warming spice notes. Slightly musky incense-like aroma. Not much green left, but moderate in bitterness and light sweetness. In short: tastes like Xiaguan. A good daily drink semi-aged sheng and I might need to pick up a tuo or two.
Completely unrelated and unusually blog-ish for me: Several years ago I fell in love with the sounds of North Indian/Hindustani music. I saved up a pile of money and bought myself a beautiful sitar. I started off really into it, but a major bout of depression caused me to lose interest and it ended up living in my closet.
I’m managing my depression much better now, and the other weekend I went to I really inspirational sitar concert by Ustad Shujat Kahn, son of Vilayat Kahn. I decided to open back up the sitar case and completely restrung it (takes hours) and I’ve been practicing from a book and DVDs daily. I knew from experience that I would need a teacher if I really wanted to learn, so I contacted the shop that sold my the sitar and asked for recommendations.
Last weekend I had my first skype lesson (good sitar teachers are few and far between) with the owner of the shop, and by his recommendation I’m going to take lessons from his teacher, Indrajit Banerjee, in the future. I’m really excited! Unfortunately I’ve been drinking less gong fu tea and doing more big pot brewing (hadn’t done that in a long time) haha.
Anyways, I’m really exited and feeling much more motivated in day to day life
Flavors: Mineral, Peat, Spices, Tobacco
From the Pu TTB round 5
Brews a light yellow. Super nice and thick, oily mouthfeel. Mineral, spice, green wood, slight floral and mushroom notes make a complex brew. “Yiwu-ish” profile by my experience. Low-medium bitterness and a little bit of sweetness. The brewed leaves are very nice. Thick stems, olive green color.
Thinking about this tea, I realize how hard it is to put into words what differentiates a tea that’s “good” or “ok” from one that’s great. I may not have the words, but this one definitely falls in the “great” category for me, at least for near-term drinking.
Flavors: Floral, Green Wood, Mineral, Mushrooms, Spices
From the Pu TTB round 5
Brews up a light yellow with notes of fresh grass and citrus. Slight mineral and incense sort of tastes and slightly dank side of wet dog. Bitterness and astringency are low, mouthfeel is fairly average. While this is a perfectly fine tea, nothing particularly stands out. I would be quicker to reach for the Milk, Cream, and Alcohol as a daily drinker.
Flavors: Citrus, Grass, Mineral, Wet Moss
First tea out of the TTB round 5! I was really hoping to like this one as I do enjoy the occasional rum-laden beverage, however this tea is definitely not for me. Thanks LP for including it in the box though as I really wanted to try it.
Flavors: Alcohol, Mushrooms
Today feel as though I’ve been let in on a juicy secret that wasn’t meant for my ears. I say this because I’m enjoying a White 2 Tea tea club tea, a tea from a club I’m not part of. I just got my order from the sale a few weeks back, and 2Dog included this and a few other past tea club teas as freebees.
This is a fairly tippy, cute little mini cake. Flavorwise it’s very green tea-like. Notes of green peas, grass, wet moss, white grape, and apricot. The mouthfeel is thick and oily, as I’ve noticed White 2 Tea sheng tends to be. There’s some light astringency, but not much bitterness. Overall its a pretty light and fruity tea. Much more notable than the taste is the strength of tea drunk that I’m experiencing. This tea has me feeling very light and calm and floaty.
Flavors: Apricot, Grass, Peas, Peppercorn, Seaweed, Wet Moss, White Grapes
Staying at a hotel for a few days and they have these cool looking Tea Forte tea bags in the club room. This is a strong and malty black with a pretty generic Assam taste, maybe a little bit of Yunnan in it. It’s not bad, one of the better English Breakfast teabags that I’ve had. That said it seems that packaging is their “forte,” not the tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Malt, Sweet Potatoes
Another sample from Grand Tea
This brews up a similar dark color to the Simao 1999. This one however is much more enjoyable for me. There is little storage taste and and ever so slight bitterness. The flavor is primarily earthy with slight camphor, cinnamon, and old book notes and a mild brown sugar sweetness. It’s very easy drinking and reminds me of shou but with a cleaner and more mineral taste and mouthfeel.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Camphor, Cinnamon, Mineral, Wet Earth
A free sample from Grand Tea
Fluffy and pure gold buds with a slightly sweet aroma
This is a very soft and mild black tea. Lightly sweet with slight citrus and floral notes. Light bitterness and a slight savory musty quality, a bit like yue guang bai or a silver needle. Definitely on the lower end of the oxidation spectrum for a black. The second steep has a nice thick, molasses-like quality
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Molasses, Musty