Oh but this is smooth.
This is a very nice tea, with a creamy feeling to it, a touch of sweetness towards the end of the sip, and a touch of brightness.
I’m only sorry that what I had was only a sample, and I’m out now!
“I love smokies. I love the way they prickle on the tongue and the surprise of sweetness that shows up on the swallow. Sometimes a lot sometimes just a hint. I love Tie Guan Yin. I love the almost...” Read full tasting note
“Life in Teacup…I must say I am VERY pleased with your customer service!!! I’ve VERY excited to try your tea! This is the first one...” Read full tasting note
“Mmmmmmmmmm! My order from Life in Teacup just got here yesterday and overwhelmed me with the shiny foil-wrapped temptations waiting within! I feel like a really need to find some time to sit down...” Read full tasting note
“Thank you so much to RABS for sending me this. Yesterday in the Geek Contest Game I ruled another “2” and there was no corresponding package...” Read full tasting note
Production Year: 2009
Production Season: Fall
Production Region: Anxi County, Fujian Province
Style: Traditional charcoal roast
Brewing method for oolong, ball-shaped dry tea leaves
Vessel: gaiwan or small teapot
Water temperature: newly boiled water (nearly 100°C or 212 °F)
Amount of leaves: 5 gram for every 120ml total volume (Or reduce the amount to 3 gram for some heavy oxidation and/or heavy roast products)
Warm-up infusion: pour hot water in the vessel, and immediately drain it. Wait for about 1min. before starting the next infusion.
Time for each of the first 3 infusions (after warm-up): 20sec. (Or reduce the infusion time to 10-15sec. for some heavy oxidation and/or heavy roast products)
Extend infusion time based on taste for later infusions. Most oolong tea can well last for at least 5-7 infusions.
Company description not available.
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Today has been a day of tea, I am a wee bit tea drunk at the moment, and I am pretty sure my mom is too. We have been gongfu-ing several different teas that I wanted her to try from my private stash while listening to music and cleaning around the house. You know how it is post travel, no matter how organized and neat the house is when you get home, as soon as you bring in the luggage it ceases to be. It is always a great feeling to have everything in its proper place.
For the chosen tea on this most pleasant of Tuesdays, I am having a look at Life in Teacup’s Tie Guan Yin Traditional Charcoal Roast. So fun story with my relationship with TGY, when I first started drinking it many years ago, I preferred the charcoal roast over its more green variety…then I fell in love with the green variety for about a year…and now I am back to preferring the roasted one again! It is enjoyable to see how desire for certain tastes change over time, sometimes it changes over the seasons and sometimes it changes over longer times, it is a journey. The aroma is quite delicious smelling, it blends baking bread and charcoal with an underlying heady aroma of orchids. The blending of flowers and roast makes for a very interesting aroma, the yeasty notes of baking bread add a level of sweetness to it as well. I always find roasted oolongs that retain their floral notes to be fascinating.
The aroma of the leaves after the first steep is surprisingly floral, very strong heady presence of orchids with a hint of honeysuckle. There are also notes of baking bread and a tiny bit of char and mineral, much like burnt sticks and a freshwater spring. The aroma of the liquid is fairly mild, with notes of buttery baking bread and orchids, there is a finish of fresh vegetation. Surprisingly no empyreumatic notes in the liquid.
The first steeping is very sweet, very strong notes of honey drizzled yeasty bread. The bread notes transition into heady orchids and honeysuckle nectar. Sipping this tea is like eating freshly baked bread while sitting in an orchid filled conservatory. Remind me to add that to my ‘to do’ list.
On the second steep, the aroma has more of a roasted tea aroma, there are notes of toasted sesame seeds, yeasty bread, and a touch of nutmeg. The taste is very sweet, just like the first steep, but this time it is the sweetness of honey on toast! This transitions to heady orchids and a bit of charcoal with a sweet, flower nectar finish that lingers.
For the third steep, well you can certainly tell this is a charcoal roasted tea, because the char notes are strong. There are also notes of baking bread and honey, the previous notes of flowers have faded. I found all the roasty toasty notes! The taste of this steep is rich with charcoal and toast notes, the mouthfeel is dry, and there is a hint of leaf pile at the midtaste. For the finishing note there is rich raw honey and a hint of toasted sesame. As charcoal roasted teas go, this one is pretty mild, one I would recommend for someone who only wants a little of that char taste in their teas.
I don’t like smoke in tea. So this scared me a bit. The dry leaf smelled like roasted peanut skins, which is much better than smoke.
1.5 teaspoon, 6oz water, boiling, 2 second rinse, and then 30,60 second steeps.
The first two steep are very mellow, a little roasted peanuts, a little floral, no smoke. Very delicate. Wanting to get more oomf out of it, I decided to bump up the steep time. Even after a two minute steep, it still mostly tastes like warm water, with maybe a couple of roasted peanuts sitting in the water. Better than super smokey, but not impressive. A three minute steep yeilds a slight smokey end of sip and aftertaste. I would have preferred more roast, not more smoke.
Overall, just not enough going on for me.
I must have not been into it last night when I steeped it as this oolong did not steal my heart away. It was roasty? yes. Tieguanyinny? Yes. (Tieguanyinny is totally a word meaning vegetal tasting with a these-leaves-went-through-so-much-suffering-to-bring-you-light oolong flair). Did it resteep nice? Well, it did! So what was wrong with it? Absolutely nothing.
But it did fail to steal my heart away. I think I just wasn’t in the mood. I remember some unique, salted caramely and even weak-chocolate notes trying to communicate with me last night but I just waved them away. I need to try this again soon and then remember to write about it! I should be writing “revised” or “returning” tasting notes more often. I almost never do that!