Dobra TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Oh the memories! Haricot verts, fresh spring asparagus, sweet corn! A season in a cup. Sweet and toasty on the tongue. The wet leaves smell like the perfume of flowering lilacs, although that doesn’t come through in the infusion except for a delicate aroma. Characteristics of Yunnan Mao Cha definitely are present, but they do not define this tea. It is much more delicate.
Dark stick-like leaves. This tea is loose. Aroma of sweet hay and citrus fruits. A red amber color in the cup. Sweet tasting but with a light body and an amazingly long smooth finish. Reminiscent of some very short-brewed Shu puer of impressive quality. In lower quality Shu bings I have tasted, the flavor is earthy and muddy without much nuance to the aroma other than getting heavier as infusions progress. This tea shares the soft body and comfort to the stomach, but the flavors and aroma are delicious. Not being a brick, I think this will not give many infusions (when compared to similar Puer) but the infusions that exist are very much worth the sacrifice.
Rich, but with a light body. That’s the contradiction of this delicious small-leaf variety. Usually I attribute this sort of rich texture to large leaves like Liu’An Guapian or Tai Ping Hou Kui. And yet these small leaves really soak into the water for a cloudy and mouth-filling infusion. This tea is also fairly tippy, which definitely accounts for its airy body and artichoke green flavor. There’s a hint of dryness in the aftertaste, but the light vegetable flavor stays on the front of the tongue for a while.
Very clear, light gold infusion. The aroma of a much richer and darker black tea, maybe reminiscent of a Chinese Dian Hong (滇红). A gently sweet and soft taste with a hint of dryness in the aftertaste which implies that the lightness of body is inherent and not due to under steeping. Whereas I usually expect a rich body underneath quite a punch of floral flavor from a First Flush Darjeeling, this is much more mellow and it’s a good thing.
Light and a little toasty. The mouth aroma is surprisingly fragrant in the manner of a Gui Hua (osmanthus) green, but there aren’t any flowers in this tea. I did not rinse these leaves before brewing, and as such the second infusion had much more body, but still that mysterious squash-like osmanthus blossom taste. I hesitate to say “floral”, because these florals are nothing like Ali Shan. I can definitely make the connection to a richly aromatic Tie Guan Yin on the third infusion of this tea, but it definitely holds a unique place in itself as I generally expect Tie Guan Yin to be… darker in some way. I really should do a side-by-side some time.
I generally eschew scented or flavored tea, with some notable exceptions. A high quality jasmine pearl green is one such that has followed me even into my relative tea snobbery. The aroma is delicate and not overpowering, but still heady and immediately soothing to my body. Both the leaves and the liquor are in constant supply of aromatics, making the second and third cups as pleasurable as the first. Left to linger in the mouth, the light taste of a vegetal and round green leaf appears just under the jasmine scent. The texture has just a hint of dryness to it, as if to remind me that what I’m drinking is still camellia sinensis and not some ambrosia of flowers. The leaf quality is quite good; I see whole two and three leaf sets once the pearls unroll. Decently sized and hearty, I believe this is a Fujian leaf, but I wonder about the cultivar. The leaves are all of a color when wet but before steeping there were definite steaks of silver among the green.
Oh so happy to see this beauty return. After experiencing Bai Hao in Taipei my whole perspective on the tea was shifted to properly honor this unique treasure. Dobra’s new batch does not disappoint. Not quite as sweet as the tea I found at Hua Tai, but with a delicate honey flavor that soothes the mouth and the stomach. The second infusion was much more round, although still with that light touch in the mouth-feel. I suspect that this is a harvest that is best infused for longer than my customary 1.5 minutes. Next time I’ll try starting off at 2 minutes and moving upward from there.
This year’s Bai Hao is fantastic. the always sweet and robust infusion fills the mouth with a warm glow of flavor. i taste a little bit of cedar and a little bit of vanilla. the leaves are sprinkled with silvery tips that our little buggy friends have created. can’t wait to drink this on a Cha Xi
While Tie Guan Yin is always a pleasure, this infusion was just impressive enough for me to write about it. I won’t add infusion details because the first cup was made for me at the tearoom.
Floral and soothing, the bright green wet leaves seemed to have just been harvested, even though I know this is a fall Oolong from 2011. When I’ve tasted this batch previously I think I may not have used enough leaves to get this fullness of aroma.
The scent actually reminded me of walking around the streets of Maokong in Taiwan, which I guess makes sense since this cultivar is grown there as well. Dobra’s offer, however, is a Fujian tea, which I don’t usually associate with such intense floral aromas.
Much of the soothing character of this infusion was probably a very good roasting. There was still plenty of green and rich, but the hint of smoke and caramel that is indicative of a skilled oolong roaster. I will definitely have to experiment with this tea further.
On a side note, I’ve finally learned the tones of this tea’s name (pinyin: tie3 guan1 yin1) which is very pleasing. There’s so many teas that I still don’t know how to properly pronounce, although I guess knowing the names at all is pretty good for most Westerners.
Crisp and toasty with a sweetness gently delivered through the aroma. The first infusion offers a floral bouquet and a creaminess reminicent of high mountain Taiwanese oolongs. Further infusions are more subdued, more dry, and lacking the sweet touch, yet still soothe the spirit.
I chanced upon Dobra tea while visiting Asheville. I was surprised by their really decent selection. This was the only tea I tried and was again impressed by its quaility. The staff was great and was very tolerant of my two year old son running all over the teahouse and playing in the fountains. I will definitly be back next time i’m in asheville.