419 Tasting Notes
White tea tends to leave me feeling cleansed and refreshed more than any other tea I drink regularly. There is something about its creamy thick texture and its soft yet bright flavours that just do that for me, so I was very happy when Angel asked me to participate in this round of tastings. Teavivre generously sent 3 packages of each tea, more than enough to try it several ways and to possibly share with friends!
The intact leaves of this tea include a stem bearing a silver furry bud and 1-2 intact leaves, but as is common many of the leaves are broken and loose from the stem. The leaves are mostly spruce to a light green live tree leaf colour. A few of the leaves have undergone a slight oxidation and are edged brown. They smell of hay and something tart.
I’ve steeped this tea twice now once at a lower temperature of around 75-80°C throughout the session and the second time aat 85-90°C and they both have a slightly different flavour profile.
I used Teavivre’s intervals for gongfu brewing of this tea ( rinse, 25,45,70, 90,150s)
And used 3 TSP of tea ( I usually use 2, so this is slightly more leaf than I usually use for this tea) in a 150ml open Gaiwan.
The broth was a pale, green, tinged gold which deepened to a deeper gold colour with longer steeps and hotter temperatures.
The tea smelled of cucumber, hay,tart fruit and when brewed at lower temperatures a faint hint of cocoa.
These notes are for (75-80°C)
1st steeping: The tea had light crisp fresh notes up front with cucumber, hay, and clover nectar notes. It finished with tart fruit over a mix of nectar, cocoa and fermented grain notes with a creamy texture. The nectar could be interpreted as honey but it was more of a sweet floral tone. the nectar was slightly spicy as it cooled with hints of cinnamon.
2nd steeping: The flavours were more blended. The cucumber was not as distinct. The broth was thicker and sweeter with cream being added to the blend of cucumber, clover nectar, hay, and grain notes. The cocoa was absent.
3rd steeping: Less grainy notes were present. Citrus note were stronger, the cucumber was more distinct and was mixed with cream with a faint hint of vanilla. Cream and honey lingered in the aftertaste.
4th steeping: Cream, with cucumber, nectar and a hint of tart plum and a slight reference to grainy notes.
5th steeping: Similar flavour to above, with a mineral note and a lingering sweetness.
85-90°C: The clover nectar flavour was stronger, the cocoa was absent and the grainy notes were very faint.
Here is a picture of the tea brewing: http://instagram.com/p/rpTv8pmK47/
This tea was gentle and cleansing and quite enjoyable. Thanks Teavivre!
My lovely friend JustJames sent me a generous sample of this. I had it yesterday and I liked it, however, my allergies were acting up so I decided to give it another chance.
Today the scent is much richer it has the chocolate, butter and apricot tones I smelled yesterday as well as a lovely bready tone that wasn’t there yesterday.
I remember that the name seemed fitting because this smells soothing and warm, just what you need on a brisk, cool day.
Flavour wise it is smooth with apricot, and bready notes up front and cocoa mixing with butter in the background. There is a slight artichoke note as well hidden among the fruit up front. As it cools the apricot becomes more plum like, a honey note and malt become apparent.
This resteeps very well with fruity notes and malt becoming stronger as the cocoa fades. It is good for at least three steeps.
This tea has a nice simple flavour profile which is comforting delicious and suits its name! Thanks James!
This tea is a sample given to me by an aliexpress seller. She left no particular identification on it except to say it’s a Dian Hong so I can’t identify which particular one it is. The tea is a broken leaf Yunnan and is quite smooth and less bitter than might be expected for a broken leaf tea.
The tea smells of apricot, leather, bready notes, barley and cream.
50s the tea has mild sweetness tempered by a mild tart bitterness. The flavour notes were of barley, malt, cocoa,leather notes, cream, and apricot. It tastes relatively smooth and dense.
2 min similar to above with a little more density and stronger fruit and leather notes.
3 min. Apricot, honey, cream, tart plum, a hint of barley and light malt.
This tea could easily manage another steep. It is a pleasant and easy to drink everyday tea,but I am not interested in it enough to ask for it to be identified.
Dry Leaf: roughly wound thick but small, chocolate to black brown leaves with prominent scattered gold to silver green downy tips. The leaves smell of fruit and hay.
Broth: clear copper orange
Scent: spice, malt, a mix of lightly roasted nuts, fruit
1 tsp/ 225 ml/95°C/3 min: sweet fresh and nutty sweet flavour. Fresh torn tree leaves, honey, a hint of citrus and a touch of rose water, roasted nuts (to me a cross between almonds, cashews and hazelnuts), fruit notes ranging from a slightly floral Gewürztraminer wine with notes of citrus, grape and a touch of melon, balanced over a touch of cocoa, malt, butter, and toasted grains. Mild, bright and buttery in the mouth opening to a bright freshness. The aftertaste is fruity and sweet with just a touch of bitterness with a mote that reminds me of bananas.
4 min resteep: an interesting spicy citrus note, overlies the other existing notes. The tea remains sweet, fruity and nutty.
This tea has a decent dose of caffeine and makes a nice tea for all times of day.
This tea has wonderful and unusual tones of blue fruits (Loganberry, blackcurrants and concord grapes), tempered by honey, cocoa and an unusual tone of musk. I was attracted to this tea by its description promissing tones of rum and chocolate along with the fruit. The chocolate and fruit are definitely there. The rum is mildly apparent in a kind of boozy sugar cane tone that I found in one steep.
This was my first purple tea, so at first I was careful with temperature because I’ve been told they can be astringent but I have found that this tea is fairly forgiving so I have used water in the upper 90°C on it before. What you do need to be careful of is the amount of leaf you use. This is one of those teas that has long, wiry loosely folded leaves and it is easy to under leaf it. I made sure to cover the bottom of my Gaiwan with it. The leaves themselves are almost black and smell of chocolate and fruit, but mainly fruit.
I brewed this tea 6 times this time. The first four ( 30,50,90,&120s) had a pretty consistent flavour profile of blue fruits, honey, cocoa, musk, and cream, with sugar cane and fruit in the aftertaste and an occasional deeper tone to the honey. Starchy notes appeared in these steeps that ranged from faint grain notes to white potato. The tea has a light walnut colour and a creamy texture in the mouth.
The later steeps (170, & 240s) were still fairly rich in flavour but the musk notes were fading and the other tones mellowed and mixed with an artichoke note.
Altogether I have grown quite fond of this tea when I want something with a complex, creamy and fruity nature.
The Tea fairy and Dexter inspired me to have this today. Still love it. The first steep is reminding me of black forest cake with a chocolate sacher torte, vanilla cream and kirsh vibe happening. The cinnamon is present as a warming spice which presents a certain sweetness. This tea is not as syrupy and sweet as the mystery yancha I had last night, but I still love this.