Lazy Cat TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Gongfu Sipdown (1415)!
The name of this varietal of yancha means something like “yellow rose fragrance” if I’m recalling correctly, and it’s almost eerie how much that seems to be true. I’m just really impressed with how thick and floral this tea brews up!! There’s a light mineral and almost “toasty” quality to the surface of the sip but underneath it’s this glorious bouquet of sweet, heady roses. There’s almost a lushness to it, though the astringency that accompanies this great floral flavour keeps that quality a little bit at bay!!
I switched up my floor space gongfu set up this weekend; really loving how much more summery it’s feeling – I think I picked a good tea to give it a test drive with!
Sipdown (826) …
I was talking to VariaTea today about sipdowns/the fact I’ve been drinking lots of tea on vacation but haven’t really decreased my cupboard numerically. That kind of kick started something in me this afternoon, and I went on the hunt for something I could have a session of that was a tea I was in the mood for/craving but would still give me a sipdown. Hence, yancha sipdown. Mostly, I just wanted something dark, roasted, and nutty…
I actually kind of wish this wasn’t a sipdown – it was such a nice rougui. I still need to experience the magic that is Space Cat Rougui, which I’ve heard only great things about and have a sample of in the wings, but it’s hard to imagine better than this. This tea is just so smooth and roasty with a coating grilled brazil nut flavour and rosemary, black pepper, cinnamon, and woody/bark notes evolving into creeping orchid and prune notes.
Maybe I’ll treat myself to more from Lazy Cat for a birthday present to myself, in a few weeks!? There are some new things on their site I want to try, and some teas from my last order that I would like larger quantities of.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HucrnpRZMI
Gongfu Sipdown (810)!
First tea of the day today – I spent the day hiding inside watching the second season of ‘You’ and listening to music, along with drinking tea. It does have me feeling a little bit stir crazy, but also I’m just REALLY not in the mood to go outside and deal with the freezing rain…
Like all the other tea samples I’ve had from Lazy Cat, I’m really impressed with this one!! It’s initially very roasty, mineral, and woody with a thickness to the liquor and coating herbaceous note in the finish, but it develops into something with more sweetness. There’s a fruity undertone, somewhere between a mix of prunes & fruit leather and sticky, overripe stone fruits – sort of a pluot vibe!? You can taste it on the back of the tongue after swallowing, while the herbaceous element lingers in the front of the mouth. Mmm!!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jswebxVzEYA
Gongfu Sipdown (790)!
Made this one in my massive (250 ml) yancha dedicated yixing pot earlier in the weekend. That’s a lower g/ml ratio that I typically go with so I was steeping for longer intervals for each infusion that normal to compensate. It worked well, but the leaf had less longevity than I’ve observed from the other yancha I’ve tried from Lazy Cat.
Like, four steeps total!? Five, if you count the rinse – which I did end up drinking because I actually like the flavour so much. It was actually a good balance; with this pot being so big and the fact I was drinking all by my lonesome I was filling up on tea very quickly.
The tea wa delicious, smooth, and lingering – a mix of mineral and grilled peanut notes which is pretty typical for me with Qilan, and a combination of flavours I thoroughly enjoy. However, though the first two steeps had the most incredible buttery/creamy toasted coconut note!! That’s not a flavour I usually get from this style of tea and it was completely unexpected for me but fuck me if it wasn’t delicious! I think I literally dreamed of it later that night. I’ll be chasing toasted coconut notes in Qilan in the next few ones I try now, for sure…
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQlTor79Lj4
Gongfu Sipdown (718)!
It may be pouring rain outside, but I’m feeling nothing but warm and cozy inside right now. I decided to have a late morning/early afternoon session from the comfort of my bed. Brewing very strong this morning (the whole sample tossed into a 70ml pot), so keeping infusions short and to the point.
What teas do you gravitate to on rainy days!? Aside from things that are heavily roasted (Houjicha, Yancha, etc.) I also often will steep up some shou/chenpi or sticky rice scented teas when it’s all rainy out. To be honest, I may still make one of those – just Western style in amug, so I can go sit outside later in the rain and soak all the delicious wet earth smell in.
This tea is deeply nutty with a solid roast – it’s taking ages for this tightly compressed piece to open up, but I’m enjoying the journey. Early infusions have notes of heavily roasted mixed nuts (chestnut, peanuts, almond, hazelnut) and burdock/chicory root, with a warming spice undertone. There is a consistent minerality, and a woodiness to the finish. Starting to evolve into a hint of something fruity, but dense and deep, in the finish: prune or raisin maybe? Some kind of cooked down plum!? I can tell by the end of this session I’m going to be wicked tea drunk!
We’re on steep twelve now and counting – I don’t see this brewing out any time soon!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm9RNjR4IOM
Gongfu Sipdown (705)!
From Monday – AKA Labor Day! I enjoyed having the extra day off to drink more teas and relax, and this one was what I started my day with. I got everything set up and just steeped this one Gongfu while lying in bed. It was raining heavily, so I had my window open a touch for the fresh air and was watching and listening to the rain in addition to slurping this awesome tea and enjoying some music. Great experience!
The tea was so smooth, and deliciously roasty with heavily toasted/grilled peanut notes, a pleasant mineral note, charcoal, and orchids! I brewed it out until completion, which was a good fourteen or so steeps – though I was really pushing the last ones for more flavour. Honestly, this might just be the best tea I’ve had from Lazy Cat thus far, and if not the best then either tied for best or second best (with the other being the unsmoked LS that was so banana bread-y). Awesome, awesome tea.
Gongfu Sipdown (708)!
Finished this sample off last weekend – as I’ve mentioned last weekend, I was going through a bit of a Lapsang Souchong streak/binge and I think this basically acted as the “cap” for that micro-obsession.
I’ll be honest, this was a tasty smoked tea but it wasn’t as nice as the other smoked LS that I’ve had this month – and the unsmoked LS from Lazy Cat was still by far the best iteration of a LS that I drank by quite a bit. Even though this wasn’t unpleasant in any way, after so many good LS it was just a bit disappointing. The smoke wasn’t as thick/intense as I personally like from a good smoked tea, and it was a little one dimensional. I would have liked to see more intensity or, with a milder smoke, some other notes/characteristics coming though – sweetness/fruity elements, wood notes, chocolate and malt. Just something else.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXuaEhUllMc
Gongfu Sipdown (706)!
So, my Lapsang binge on the weekend definitely extended into the start of the week as well and I found myself dipping into an unsmoked Lapsang sample from Lazy Cat! This tea was amazing! I certainly expected it to taste good, but was blown away by the strong range of flavour notes I was picking up. Every time I think back to the session, like right now as I right this note, I just find myself drooling thinking about how good it was…
Not sure what I expected this to taste like, but I can say with confidence that “Banana Nut Bread” wasn’t it! It’s delicious though – mild astringency/dryness and nutty notes pair well together – like walnuts with the skins still on, with a hint of maple-y sweetness. Notes of malt, fresh baked bread, and very light creamy banana or plantain. Scrumptious!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVS9YBSM2O0
Gongfu Sipdown (686)!
Last tasting note for tonight – but glad I’m writing about this one before all the information poofs out of my head since I thought this was rather unique and interesting for a yancha. I’ve been getting through the Lazy Cat samples slower than I’d like, but I’ve got so many interesting teas to balance my attention between and my cold really derailed my tasting for a while – over it now though, thankfully!
From instagram: “It is ridiculously good, w/ a surprising amount of floral character: lightly mineral & minimal roast, primarily medium bodied jasmine notes and a taste that is making me think of a less sugary, flat elderflower soda. Really buttery and coating mouthfeel. There’s a quality to the finish that reminds me of cucumber water/skins. Infusing leaves are deeply fragrant, with a hint of gardenia to then. I’m entranced!”
But those floral elements aren’t just apparent in the taste; the leaf itself really smells like it’s scented with jasmine or some other sort of heady floral as well. It’s so beautiful though; basically all of the elements I like from floral spring time oolongs (minus, maybe, some rose notes) on a deeper and more oxidized base. Really a marriage of all these qualities about oolong that I love so much!!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0KQfv2_bTs
(This band is so good – and this song is even better! Obsessed w/ their new album atm…)
So, a while back I ordered the “complete sampler” from Lazy Cat – basically a sampler with every single tea that they carry on their website. I’ve never ordered from Lazy Cat before, but I’ve heard really nice things about the yancha they carry (a favourite tea type of mine) and a bunch of the people from the Tea Friends slack group really like them, so I figured this was the best way to try what they have to offer and make my own mind up!
My goal with this sampler, aside from enjoyment, is to hopefully find five really stand out teas that I could see myself ordering large quantities of!
This was the first tea that I tried from the sampler; I was drawn to it because of the website description and the fact it’s one of very few non-yancha teas that Lazy Cat carries. I was actually deeply impressed with this tea; I thought that the leaf was very beautiful to look at and it infused quite deliciously. In fact, while I didn’t think it was super complex, I did pick out a few tasting notes that are really uncommon (at least for me) in black teas! Here’s my instagram write up:
Mesmerizing to look at, but with a very interesting flavor profile. I’d call this one light to medium bodied & very, very smooth. Not super complex; a bit of a marriage of mellow malty notes and sweet honey, with later infusions showing just a HINT of flavour progression, revealing a delicate citrus note like mandarin or candied orange. Most interesting and noteworthy, though, was the consistent undertone of refreshing and sweet melon I picked up through the entire tea session – like perfectly ripe cantaloupe!?
I’ve been thinking about that amazing and unique cantaloupe note for days now!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yenes0MSzg
Short listing this one for my “top five” from the sampler…
Tea: LazyCat House Rou Gui 2017
Drinking in 2018.
This is also not a formal review. I just want to post my thoughts so I can remember them. This is a beautiful rou gui, with a good tea quality and a good roast to bring the tea out into the open. The tea is a playful and enjoyable rou gui with spicy flavors and active mouthfeel. The roast smoothes things out well. It is rich and dry, never quite “sweet.” It is quite a pleasure to drink.
Very complex fragrance. Cardamom and rosewood, sweet cream and something else my nose still can’t quite figure out yet. No bitterness or astringency on the tongue. Flash steeps followed by longer soaks because this one is surprisingly leggy for a relatively lighter roast yancha. Boiling water throughout. A few steeps in and a soft and creamy sweetness lingers along with that mineral hit I so enjoy. Tastes very much like a formosa and a yancha had a child.
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cream, Green Wood, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orchids, Sweet