2201 Tasting Notes
So I clearly messed up my gongfu of this one the last time I had it, because my western steep of this yesterday was spectacular. It smelled and tasted like the epitome of a luscious spring TGY. The florals, the butteriness, the candy sweetness, it was all there. The kind of tea I just want to stick my nose in and not come out of. Really amazing. I love the richness of TGYs steeped western style, when you get all the flavors in one lovely cup. Some teas get muddied up that way (thinking of puerhs and even some white teas), but not TGYs, in my opinion.
I’m not sure what happened with my first cup of this. Maybe my adjusted steeping parameters made all the difference. But this cup was significantly more tasty than my first one. Lots of sweetness, butteriness, and creaminess; it did remind me a fair amount of kettle corn. This was a delight to drink, and definitely impressive. I would place this one and ATR’s Milk Oolong in the same category, but I’d have to drink them back to back to really do a good comparison. Acutally I drank ATR’s yesterday so I almost did just that, but I’m afraid I didn’t pay good enough attention to either tea to suss out the specifics. But I’m glad to have gotten a great cup out of this one this time.
Finally finished this one up today. I had bought some of this to try it out because a Jin Xuan processed as a black tea intrigued me. But it turns out I’m not the hugest fan of Taiwanese black teas, and this was definitely a somewhat typical Taiwanese black. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the sweetness and grains that it has, but there were some other notes that didn’t sit quite right with me. Glad to have tried it, though.
Finally drinking up the rest of this tea. I got it in China years ago, and it really needed to be drunk. It aged well but green teas can only be hoarded so long. I don’t think I have any jasmine green teas left in my cupboard (just a little Yunnan White Jasmine), which is weird, but I rarely crave them anyway. I may not buy another until I end up in China again!
I decided that this, brewed hot, wasn’t really my favorite (something about the base) so I cold steeped the rest of my ounce. It was quite delicious that way. For the very end I had slightly less than needed for a cold brew, so I supplemented with some bonus caramel tea and a touch of Earl Grey. It was very tasty! Makes me think I should do caramel EG cold steeps just to see how come out.
Had the last of this sample this morning. As always, I had a little more than I would usually use, so I dropped by steep time a bit. It was pretty tasty, although I find the flavor combo a touch overwhelming. Perhaps it is the lavender, even though it (thankfully) isn’t a very strong flavor. Still, a pleasant tea.
I had a bit more of this tea left than I used last time, but not enough for two cups, so in it went. Mostly because the tea is so fluffy and spindly that teaspoons aren’t really a great measure of the leaf amount anyway, so I knew splitting it would be a mistake.
This is really quite tasty. I looked back at the notes for this one and I have to say I don’t get any wood or leather in this at all. It is just nice sweet grains and molasses. Yum. Maybe because I am treating it with a lighter hand? I often find these fine Chinese black teas need to be brewed more like oolongs than people are used to brewing black teas.
When I was going through my cupboard I would often try to arrange it so I drank a black tea in the morning, and an oolong (or green or white, but mostly oolong) in the afternoon. Obviously if I was able to keep that up I have a lot of oolongs, but I think before my sip-through I had gotten out of the habit of drinking them. No more! I am going to continue my black-in-the-morning, oolong-in-the-afternoon habit and try to drink them more often.
Anyway, this was my choice for today. I thought of some other, older ones, but my taste buds really decided they wanted this one. I bought some passion fruits at a big international grocery store yesterday, so I guess they are on my mind. As always, this is lovely. Delicious hot, cold, and every temp in between. Having recently tried some other scented oolongs using a high mountain Taiwanese base, I appreciate the sweetness and floral notes that the base brings here. It’s really what I think of when I think of high mountain oolongs (other than Jin Xuan)… no butter, not creamy, but a rich, thick texture nonetheless, with sweetness, floral notes, and a freshness that pairs well with fruit flavors. Definite yum.
Finished this one off today. Thanks again to OMGsrsly for the sample; it was yummy! I had no problem reaching for it this morning, and am a little sad to see it go. I think the various additions besides maple all support the maple and give it a depth of flavor that is sometimes lacking in single-flavor teas. Another nice offering from Bayswater!
As I alluded to before, now that I’m done with my sip-through of my cupboard I feel paralyzed with indecision over what tea to drink. My tea drinking was so prescribed for 4 months, and now I have to make a choice?!?!?
Last year at this point I decided to work on a few sipdowns, which is what I shall do again. This is not a sipdown but the penultimate cup of this tea. I almost didn’t drink it but then it smelled really yummy so I couldn’t resist. I accidentally forgot to take the brew basket out after my timer went off, so it was probably in for another minute or so. Fortunately, it does not seemed harmed by the experience. Not bitter or astringent, but there is definitely more cinnamon in this cup than there was in the first. Still, a very tasty cup and still very mapley.