It has been a very tea filled day, like, I have been tasting a bunch of teas while working on some much neglected tea research. Yes, you all know what that means, I am REALLY teadrunk, to the point of dancing around my room with a cup of Sheng and singing Queen really loudly. My cats are giving me dirty looks, but they are lame like that. I even gasp went outside with my tea and soaked up a bit of sunlight while sipping it, my tiny Shui Ping teapot seemed pleased to go on adventure, I am always afraid I am going to open my teapot confessional to find a note saying it has run off to go explore the world, there is just something about it!
In honor of the Bloodmoon Eclipse (which I missed, oops, I will catch the next one in September) I am taking a look at Tanlong Premium Tea Collection’s Ancient Tree Moon Light White Puer, a tea that is absolute magic and mystery. Yue Guang Bai (as it is also known as) can be considered to be both a white tea since it is withered (specifically under moonlight) and it can be considered a Puerh because it can be aged (beautifully I should note) and for extra brownie points it is from Yunnan and picked from old tea trees with rather large leaves. The best part is, the leaves look like the moon on one side and the dark night sky on the other, also they look like dark elves, so I love it. Yue Guang Bai is my tea of choice for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival as well, so yeah, onward to the tasting! Or more accurately onward to the aroma first, and these fluffy leaves have quite the aroma, in fact they have the signature aroma that I associate with a good Yu Guang Bai, tomato leaves and sun-dried tomatoes! It is an odd one, but very distinct to my nose, and quite pleasant, there are also notes of cucumber, peony flowers, and a finish of honey that lingers in the nose for a while after I take said nose out of the leaves.
Brewing the tea makes me both happy and sad, on the one hand it means tea, on the other it means that the beautiful leaves are soggy and not as pretty, but this happens with most teas. The aroma of the soggy leaves is a blend of honey and peony flowers, with a touch of fermented yeasty bread, giving it a touch of both sweetness and sourness, like sourdough, there is also a finish of tomato leaves. The liquid in my Cha Hai is honey sweet with touches of flower nectar and hay with a tiny hint of grapes, it is very sweet and more than a little mouthwatering.
The first steep is creamy, in both taste and mouthfeel. It starts off mild, with notes of peony and a bit of cucumber and freshly broken leaves. This moves to creamy sweet honey at the midtaste and lingers well into the finish, the sweetness just blooms in my mouth like a flower.
And onward to the second steep, really a fan of the word onward today, the aroma is sweet, nice notes of honey with an accompaniment of grapes and sourdough bread, and again, with a finish of tomato leaves. The aroma is pretty potent this steep, and the liquid is as well. Starting with a fancy cooling and camphourous note (hello Yunnan tea, love your signature cooling effect) with a blend of peony and cucumber and a pinch of lettuce and honey drizzled bread at the finish. The mouthfeel is thick and velvety, and the honey taste lingers into the aftertaste.
The third steep’s aroma is mellow and quite heavenly, with notes of cucumber and tomato leaves and a finish of honey. I really love that note of tomato leaf, you just do not really ever run into it, so it makes me happy. The taste is also pretty mellow, sweet blend of honey and peony flowers with lettuce and a hint cucumber. It does not have the camphorous taste like the second steep, but it still has a wonderful cooling effect. Ah Moonlight White, never stop being sublimely wonderful.