421 Tasting Notes
I have a tiny jar of tea on my desk at work, and the label on it has somehow fallen off, leaving me with a case of “unidentified tea”. I’m pretty sure that it’s a roasted oolong, likely something from Whittards, and probably even Formosa Oolong from them, but I’m not 100% sure, so into Random Steepings it goes. It is clearly a roasted oolong in taste – much more delicate than a black, and it has the same fruity taste that Whittards’s Formosa has. In any case a nice afternoon sip.
I only ordered 20g of this from Canton, as it was so obscenely expensive. But I was curious to try it. It brews a light silvery gold, and tastes distinctly like white rice, bread or wheat. It is naturally sweet, and looses flavor considerably when it cools, which only means that you shouldn’t linger over it. It is like Norbu’s Ya Bao, but even smoother and more delicate, and without any hint of pines. It tastes nothing like Bai Mu Dan or Silver Needle, it is indeed a class of its own in terms of white tea. If you don’t like white tea, then you’ll probably not enjoy this tea – it is very delicate, and shy in terms of flavor. If you, like me, enjoy white teas, then indulge in a small pouch of this. It is an interesting and very tasty tea.
Brewed western style, at 70C. Canton tea recommends brewing it at 75C, and after a taste at 70C I agree. The tea loses flavor considerably when it cools down. Zero astringency, don’t add sweeteners (it’s naturally sweet), or milk. Silky smooth but light body.
The leaves were dark greenish and silvery white, medium length, and twisted.
Points taken off for the exorbitant price.
Almost a sip down, as I want to rebrew this tea. I love Golden Monkey, and this one from Terri is pretty good – tasty, sweet, smooth – but not good enough for me to sit up and take notice, or place in my “favorite Golden Monkey teas” just yet. I need more time with it before I decide, but it does seem like a decent and good black tea.
Ok, so now for a proper tasting note, because this tea is worth it. This is from my latest order from Norbu Tea, part of what I bought during their 25% off Chinese New Year sale (on until the 31st of January. Go buy some great tea now! I’ll wait patiently until you are done).
One of the reasons that I love Norbu is that they have all these unique and interesting teas that you can’t find anywhere else, and this is one of them. This is an aged oolong that is practically my age, and yet doesn’t have any funky, fishy, musty smell or taste. It is very dark, and has a roasted note to the first steepings, but from the third steep on it takes on a Tie Guan Yin taste, with flowery, slightly perfume-y notes, and some fruitiness that remains with this tea from the start. I used very short steepings, as this tea came out bold during the quick wash, so I was afraid of over brewing it. The leaves unfurl, and they nearly filled my little Yixing teapot (Yunnan Sourcing Green Dragon Egg – wonderful teapot!) by the fifth and sixth steepings. This tea can go on for ages, and you are likely to tire of it before it runs out of juice. There are some cocoa notes to the tea, particularly in the first steepings, and there’s a nice sweetness to it, yet also a complexity beyond what you normally get even from a very good oolong. A tea to remember, and to slowly and methodically savor.
P.S. I’m not a fan of flowery oolongs, so I’m knocking off a few points due to my personal preferences. If you are at all a Tie Guan Yin person or an oolong person in general, you need to try this tea.