Tan Long TeaEdit Company
Popular Teas from Tan Long TeaSee All 4 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Ah what a day, what a lovely day! Ok no, I did not do anything Mad Max related, except plant my War Boy potato (things are weird like that sometimes) no, I just took an exceptionally lovely nap. I also am very pleased with myself, even though I am still feeling pretty rough I managed to write two blogs today! I do have a question my friendly readers, would an occasional double post be of any interest? I do not think I have the time or energy (sad, I know) to write two lengthy reviews every day, but once in a while? Maybe twice a week? My reasoning is, I have a lot of teas to review, and I always feel that I do not have enough days in the week to get all the reviews I want to out. So, please, a bit of feedback would be most helpful.
So, today’s tea is from TanLong Premium Tea Collection, a Canadian company with a specialty in (as the name says) premium Chinese teas, the particular tea I am looking at today is Orange Pekoe Wild YunNan Old Tree Golden Heaven Black Tea. This black tea hails from a rugged, hard to reach, mountainous region in Yunnan (wait, isn’t all of Yunnan mountains? Isn’t that why it is so awesome for tea growing? Clearly I need to visit to find out for myself!) from 50 year old trees. The Orange Pekoe refers to the lovely golden fuzz that coats some of the leaves, my love for the fuzzy golden trichomes is never ending. The aroma of the large curly leaves is pretty delicious, strong notes of dark chocolate and dried cherry, with an accompaniment of tobacco and delicate distant flowers. The aroma is strong, I greatly enjoyed sniffing this tea, even though it does not have a ton of notes, the ones that are present are rather intense.
Once given a steeping in my bat gaiwan, the dark leaves take on a whole new level of epic aroma. Starting with notes of dark chocolate and cherries, the aroma then transitions to candied yams, sweet cream, distant flowers, and a nice heavy finish of malt. The wet leaves put me in a very happy place, but honestly, as much as I love other types of tea, Yunnan black teas really put me in a state of bliss unlike any other. The liquid is creamy sweet with notes of yams, dark cocoa, flowers (like a slightly rosy and spring garden blend) with a nice finish of brown sugar.
First sip of the first steep and omg that is good, like really good. The tea has a heaviness to it I was not expecting from a first steep, thick in mouthfeel and taste. It starts with a blend of malt and tobacco that quickly transitions to sweet dried cherries and dark chocolate, it is pleasantly rich, though not overly sweet at first, but as the flavor builds so does the creamy sweetness. The finish is delicate flowery notes who linger with a slight cooling effect.
Well, onto the second steep! I was torn whether or not I wanted to linger over each steep or quickly move onward to the next to see how it builds. I have this problem a lot with really tasty teas, being torn between savoring and gorging. I have that same problem with food too! The aroma of the tea is very malty and sweet, blending cocoa with a touch of woody briskness and cream. The taste matches the aroma nigh perfectly, the mouthfeel is creamy, which is a fun contrast to the brisk woodiness of the taste. This quickly moves to malt and sweet cream with a delightful rose note reminiscent of candied rose petals. The finish is sweet cream and cocoa, with a lingering camphorous cooling note, typical of Yunnan teas.
Third steeping time, the aroma of this steep was a bit milder and sweeter, the woody notes have all but vanished, with solid notes of sweet cream, dark chocolate and yams as the dominant notes. At the finish I get a tiny whiff of cherries. The taste is milder as well, I feel like the majority of the tea’s oomph went into the last steeping, but this steep perhaps is only really mild in comparison and not mild as in giving up the ghost. It is very sweet, blending sweet cream and yams, chocolate and cherries, with a pleasant camphor finish. This tea is surprisingly cheap, 100g for $20, that is a sizable amount of tea, making this a great choice for an everyday drinker…and so going on my shopping list!
My brain is a bit frazzled, it was my friend’s birthday dinner and I ate way too much, I feel a bit food drunk! Similar to being tea drunk, though not as pleasant, my relationship with food is still pretty rocky, but I am starting to enjoy it again. It was so awesome to be able to food party with friends without my guts being a gate crasher, though I really do wish restaurants had better tea. Or tea at all!
I should start this review by saying this is the 2014 harvest, and my sample had a little note saying this year’s will be fresher, this is a sad truth about green and yellow teas, not a hugely long shelf life. Now don’t get me wrong, it is by no means stale, but it is not all it could be, kinda like me between breakfast and lunch! This Jun Shan Yin Zhen comes from Tanlong Premium Tea Collection, and is one of the more rare of the more well known Yellow Teas (and yes that was an odd sentence.) Yellow Teas are just not that well known in the West, and even if you are a seasoned tea drinker, there is a chance you might have not had one, and if you did it was probably Huo Shan Huang Ya, since it is a good deal harder to get Jun Shan Yin Zhen in this part of the world. The aroma of the very pretty little needles is sharp and vegetal, with notes of asparagus and artichoke, along with a crispy note of fresh bok choy. It has a bit of a buttery and peppery undertone, with just a tiny hint of nuttiness at the finish. The tea is mild, but the notes are distinct.
Brewing the leaves in my gaiwan really makes the green color of the little needles pop! My photo does not do it justice. The aroma is very sharp and vegetal, with returning notes of asparagus and artichoke, and bringing a new friend of fresh spinach. The finish had a hint of smoke and pepper, both of which are very mild. The liquid is much milder and smoother, more like green beans and artichoke with hints of spinach and asparagus, still retains a bit of that sharpness, but it has mellowed out.
The first steep is very delicate, not so much mild, but delicate, like a silk scarf floating through a breeze is delicate. The mouth feel is smooth like silk as well, so the comparison continues! The taste is vegetal, mostly a blend of green beans and artichokes, with a side note of bell peppers and a pinch of smoke. The finish is mild and sweet, like nectar of a tulip tree flower.
Onward to the second steep, the mellow and delicate aroma is a bit stronger this time, with the familiar notes of asparagus and green beans, with artichoke and spinach returning. The taste like the aroma, is mostly the same but stronger. The bell pepper note is much more predominate, and the smokiness at the end is not longer a pinch but is more of a distinct and lingering note, which I admit to liking (I do like my smoky notes though.) I like this tea, I have had a fresher Jun Shan Yin Zhen and can tell that yes, this is an older tea, and yes, I am willing to bet that when it was newer this tea was much more potent, making me very curious to get my hands on some of the 2015 harvest!