365 Tasting Notes
I’m an outlier here, but I don’t think this is a very good tea. It reminds me a lot of Mandala’s milk oolong, which whipped me through the same excited-then-disappointed loop: both are quite vegetal, grassy, threatening astringency. The condensed milk and bakery notes are apparent on the nose, but the base doesn’t gather, doesn’t intensify, doesn’t help sustain those flavors through the sip. There’s no center.
I’ll take this to work. When all I can really manage to appreciate is the “oolong note” or “sheng note” of an otherwise meh tea, I do delight in those broad strokes.
This all said, this tea has made me feel VERY grateful that many of my first touches with “archetype teas” were from amazing vendors that really chose stand-out examples. How sad would it be to think I didn’t like milk oolong after a miss like this? Very! I’m specifically thinking of What-Cha’s milk oolong after this session… sofa king good. Aged oolong from Global Tea Hut is another that comes to mind.
Flavors: Astringent, Caramel, Grass, Milk, Sweet, Vegetal
Had the last of my ~5 months old sample this morning, and the bergamot was… missing. Hmm. It remained a solid and tasty black snail, but that glorious bouquet had up and spirited away.
It makes me a bit nervous about the four(!) ounces I just received. I had moved the earlier batch to a sealed glass container; I’ll leave this next one in its mylar, drink studiously, and hope for the best.
By best I mean gloriously nekkid barrel-aged angels bergamoting all over the place. Fingers crossed.
Oolong is delicious; Dan Cong is oolong; Dan Cong is delicious. I feel as though I know just enough about the stuff to understand why folks get stoked about it, but not enough to have had my brain and soul shaken into conversion.
There’s a certain satisfaction to drowning it hot and fast, ripping it out of the pot before it can put up its tiny astringency fists and punch me in the face. But also I kinda crave the long-lazy, the deep pull of wisdom and nuance and patience.
Ah. Maybe I’m craving some yin to my current yang… maybe pot-ripping will perfectly align with some tidy, quiet, dough-proofing future day, to bring its own kind of nuance and wisdom to me then. We shall see.
Whoa. I don’t remember how I ferreted this out of YS’s dizzying collection; maybe it was the scotch whisky mention. This blew me away. Baked and smoky cocoa, herbal-medicinal… I can’t wait to come back to this. Tian Jian joins Liu Bao on my holy-heicha pedestal.
I’m in escrow on a home in the mountains — the one everyone kept saying would appear when it was supposed to, the one that’s flying through inspections, the one that was lived in and not flipped, the one that doesn’t feel like it is going to kill me via starvation because I can’t afford groceries.
I am cautiously optimistic. (False. She’s trembling with anticipation.) Shhhh. Thanks, universe.
Flavors: Cocoa, Herbaceous, Medicinal, Smoke
I was anticipating roast and minerals here, but found an astringency reminiscent of Dan Cong that distracted me from much else going on in my cup. Tasty but a little jarring. I honestly think I’m just not quite in a place to sit and commune with leaves right now, too, body or mind, so this is a grain-of-salt take and a pause button until such time…