Today was a good day! Ben and I went on an adventure, taking a bus to Crown Center to visit Shang Tea and enjoy good company, tea, and food. After that we went for Greek food after I got us both crazy craving it by talking about it on the way back from the bus stop. I was very pleased that I got a great meal of Dolmades and Gyros, lately my stomach has been full of stupid so this is the first real meal I have had all week. Greek food cures everything!
It is Dian Hong day! I am looking at Green Tea Guru’s ‘Mu Shu’ Old Arbor Black tea of Yunnan, a curly big leafed hong cha from Lincang. It is no secret, I am mildly addicted to Hong Cha, Yunnan being my favorite source of it (maybe, I really like the others too) and if I ever run out of it panic ensues. Seriously, last year I ran out of Dian Hong and it was awful, I still have nightmares. The aroma of the big ol’ leaves is sweet with notes of honey, molasses, yams, and a bit of cocoa. Alongside the sweetness is a resinous pine quality, gentle camphor, and a woody finish. It balances notes really well, no note overpowers the others and it is brisk enough to wake my nose up as well as tantalize my sweet-tooth.
Into the teapot the leaves go, I was sharing this session with Ben so that means I get to use a bigger pot. The aroma of the leaves from the first steep is a bit brisk with notes of wood and resinous pine sap. There are also notes of molasses, malt, and a sweet cocoa quality that lingers in my nose long after the pot was placed back on the desk. The aroma of the tea is sweet with notes of molasses, malt, honey, yams, and a nice resinous pine sap finish. I love when teas have that resinous quality, it makes me happy.
The first thing I notice about this steep is the thick mouthfeel, mix that with the delicate brown sugar sweetness at the front makes for a wonderful start to this tea. The middle notes are also sweet, molasses and cocoa with addition of woodiness and a finish of pine resin and a touch of camphor. It balances richness and sweetness without being too sweet.
Woo, the aroma of the next steep is sweet, strong notes of cocoa, yams, and molasses make my nose happy. This steep is richer, starting with a sweetness of brown sugar and molasses, but it is strong and when it moves into the notes of woodiness and yams for a mellow yet brisk middle. The finish is brown sugar cookies with a hint of cocoa, not quite chocolate chip cookies, but pretty close, with an aftertaste of molasses it is delightfully rich.
The third steep is pretty much identical to the second, but the fourth steep has a difference, adding more brisk woody and camphorous notes. This tea goes for quite a while, starting to fade to just faint sweetness and distant mineral notes after the fifth steep. I found this tea to be great in the evening, but also brisk enough to be an earlier in the day tea, waking up the senses. Delicious stuff!