421 Tasting Notes
Backlog from Thursday. Had this tea at work with two colleagues after giving a presentation about TEA to my department. Worked on the presentation for two days and was super worried that it would bore people, but it turned out to be a huge success! I’ve already had people come and ask to try white tea, or puerh :)
Anyway, this is turning out to be my comfort tea, a dependable, smoky delight that always calms and cheers me up
Brewed it Western style tonight, and lovely peachy flavors emerged – with the perfume flavor taking a back seat. This tea’s silky smoothness is addictive, and I have a feeling that it will cold brew well. I don’t enjoy vegetal or perfumed teas, but this tea surprised me by avoiding both these notes. It is a delicate tea, and using boiling water or oversteeping it will get you a bitter and unpleasant brew, but if you hit its sweet spot – you are in for a treat of a tea
One steeping before last. Three rounds in a taiwan. This is a good tea. A very good tea. But it’s not a spectacular tea. There’s honey, malt, the linen feel that Terri described – and also some bitterness, that emerges even in very short steeps. I like it, but it doesn’t rank among my top 10. It’s a 90+ tea – but taking the price into account, it drops to a “no, I wouldn’t buy it again”
The dry leaves of this tea are on the large side, and smell fruity. The liquor is very pale gold (when brewed Western style), and sweet. Tastes of cucumber and barley dominate the cup. The tea is very smooth and creamy, and very tasty.
A delicate tea that won’t tolerate (or need) any sugar or milk, and is very comforting and refreshing. A great way for me to unwind at the end of a very long day.
Will buy again.
Another cup of this as a pick me up before I have to go to work (again) this night. A much needed comfort cup.
The Chinese Tea Company is a small store in London, Portobello – a heartwarming little treasure nestled in a forgotten arcade, at the less fashionable side of the market. It is worth the visit, if you’re ever in the area. I have yet to order from them online, but once my teas run out, I probably will.
This tea smells richly chocolate-like when dry, and tastes practically like a Verdant Tea Laoshan Black double, and I do not say that lightly. The leaves are long and twisted, mostly golden with shades of black and quite fuzzy. There’s no astringency to this tea, but it does have a long, sweet lingering aftertaste. Fantastic!
Backlogging a cup of this on my birthday a few days ago. I tasted Norbu’s Ya Bao again (in a gaiwan, for three resteepings) after I tried Verdant Tea’s Ya Bao, because I remembered enjoying Norbu’s more. Verdant’s Ya Bao is excellent, but it’s somehow harsher, more “in your face” flavour-wise, whereas Norbu’s is sweeter, more mellow, and it gently caresses your tastebuds with its cooling, soothing, toasty goodness. There was also a greenness – almost pine-like – to Verdant’s Ya Bao that was not present so much in Norbu’s. I’ll have to do a side by side tasting to make sure, but I’m certain that Norbu’s is the tea I will reach for when I’m feeling the need for a comforting white tea.
This is a very good Qimen/Keemun (I just read Terri HarpLady’s notes and I agree with them entirely – the tea’s red liquor is smokey, but not overwhelmingly so, and brown sugar/caramel/maple like in sweetness), but I wasn’t floored by it. I have a F&M Keemun which is just as good, and so I’m a little surprised that this tea was part of Verdant’s TotM Reserved club. Once again – this is an excellent tea, for western and gong fu brewing, it just isn’t quite as unique as I expected it to be.
Had a cup of this, with milk, this morning. Not as strong as I thought, but still a good breakfast tea. Reserving judgement for later – I’ve decided to take my time with marks from now on, giving each tea at least two separate tastings before rating it. But for now this tea is in the 70-80 range – a good, solid breakfast tea, but not something to go out of your way to find.