1025 Tasting Notes
I’m on day 4 of resetting my scalp after returning from the Gulf Coast a few weeks ago. Not that you need to know that but it crossed my mind when I opened this blank note.
This tea is medicine to my soul. It’s so easy and pleasant to drink. Tonight I taste goji and the soft scent of baby powder, mushroom and honey, sweet yeast and flowers., malt and wood. Thick, soothing and mild. A wonderful digestive. Does very well in the duanni clay pot.
Is it foolish to buy a full 3kg brick considering this is only the second fu zhuan tea I’ve had?
Lazy copypaste from puer of the day thread. A Meng Song area tea.
2017 Hua Zhu Liang Zi from Yunnan Craft, who describes the tea as having ‘aggressive ba qi.’
Right now, several steeps in and I feel so… heavy… that lumbering klutzy giant feeling, like I’ve not yet developed fine motor skills. This is a strong tea with lots of licorice root overtone to the leaf and liquor aroma. Easy to drink with barnyard taste, aftertaste that’s vaguely fruity-licorice root, throat feels bitey then full and slightly cool. The bitterness and astringency present at first as feelings in the body then transition to effects in the mouth. I like the tea, but the power tells me it’s best left to age.
Hit me like a brick. Too young to drink now.
As part of my unhurried exploration of Meng Song area sheng puer, I’m having a Sunday afternoon sit-down with Essence of Tea’s 2014 Da Meng Long Gushu.
The dry leaf smells like fruit punch in the forest. Warmed leaf has a thick and rich date-caramel sweetness with faint wet smoke.
The tea is pouring golden orange with a brown tint.
At the lips, it’s rich with dates. There’s a bit of tang to the cup and early a quick bite in the throat. Bitterness is certainly there, structured, and passes at some point (who knows, I’m relaxed) after the swallow giving way to a strong returning sweetness. The aftertaste is drying and creamy, impression of cherimoya then apricot. After that fades, a metallic-astringent feeling/taste lingers; it’s pleasant, my tongue tingles far past the last sip. A comforting, expansive warmth in the throat and chest, a relaxing cool. Once the initial bitterness and astringency pass, the leaf needs to be brewed harder to elicit its hidden richness.
There is lingering depth of feeling to this tea. It rushes with a slow, smooth rumble and recedes like a warm wave break spreading across the sand, barely touching your toes before heading back out to sea. It courses and flows and grounds.
Summer, eating peach pie while sitting on the ground. The peach is a little sharp in the aroma but it smooths out when I take a sip. The pastry-like flavor ties together the peach fruitiness with the earthier tone of matcha and gentle sweetness of green tea. There are recommendations on the package for brewing both hot and iced. I only had it hot, and it’s best before it cools completely.
If you like Celestial Seasonings’ Country Peach Passion, imagine it with a matcha green tea base.
Pretty good bagged tea.
Flavors: Earth, Grass, Pastries, Peach, Summer, Sweet
What a nice tea.
Despite being a year old and stored neglectfully in a (thick) plastic sandwich bag, this tea still has a fresh and focused (credit to Togo) character.
It’s very floral. After 4 or so years of picking apart tea aromas and flavors, I still have difficulty identifying floral notes that aren’t the typical tea ‘rose’. The floral note is intense yet gentle and sweet, not so perfumey. I want to ascribe to it daffodil, lily, magnolia, orange blossom, orchid, others… The florality rises high after the sip.
The taste is consistent throughout the steeps. It is crisp, like fresh spring rain. Sweet, creamy spinach (without being overly vegetal), sturdy young grass, sugarcane, yellow cherry, green apple, citrus, pine, nutmeg.
The texture is of thick, smooth spring water with a mineral, mouth-watering finish.
The only shifting quality of this tea is found in the aftertaste which moves from gentle creaminess and peach and grass to osmanthus then closer to that of the first cup with peach skin and tulip leaf. The tea is a little drying but that lets the creamy impression and rising florals linger.
I looked back at my old note for the June 2018 harvest and this June 2020 harvest fits my impression back then. This tea is a great pick for newer oolong drinkers and seasoned alike. It can’t be oversteeped and in fact, my favorite preparation method thus far is bowl brewing, same as what’s called grandpa style. I happen to like sipping out of a bowl better than a large cup as I find I can more easily get lost in the aroma with my face that much closer to the tea. The leaves of this tea also expand with great fervor; a bowl accommodates this unfurling easily!
As for seasoned drinkers, the tea offers a ton of complexity in flavor and aroma if you’re the type to go searching. If your the type to not focus on such, it offers a smooth, consistent delivery in flavor, strength of character, structural balance.
Oh – this tea handles water off the boil beautifully. It needs the heat to bring out the deep sweetness that balances the florality.
Flavors: Cherry, Citrus, Cookie, Cream, Creamy, Drying, Floral, Flowers, Grass, Green Apple, Jasmine, Mineral, Narcissus, Nutmeg, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Osmanthus, Peach, Pine, Plants, Smooth, Spinach, Spring Water, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vegetal
A mystery oolong pick from a joint buy with Leafhopper, May 2020 harvest.
Aroma in bag is fruity with dried cherries and has the Si Ji Chun cultivar-specific florality which I can’t describe. Dry in hand smells roasted. Warm brings chicory coffee, molasses and brown toast and the rinse displays a sour roast note with woodiness.
The aroma is of roasted pears, dried peaches, chicory and cinnamon. Happy and comforting. The taste is weak at first but does build. It starts slightly nutty and mineral with a background roast and floral character. Clean tulip and little bit sweet aftertaste. Next cups begin with a mellow burst of woody spice which transitions smoothly to an impression of a damp, overcast fall day — autumn leaf, muted petrichor, pine resin, a whisper of smoke, unripened peach still clinging to the branch, twiggy sweetness, all rather subtle. A touch of camphor lingers, like taking a cold breath. Later steeps are nutty sweet maybe with a bit of honey, roastier.
This tea could be perceived as flavorless; I’d say it has subtle depth. Even with a rinse, it does need a long first steep in a gaiwan, maybe 45 seconds, back off a little bit with the next and increase from there. I like the character of this tea. It’s comforting like a Chinese Wuyi shui xian oolong but much more unassuming, giving a clue to its Taiwanese origin.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Brown Toast, Camphor, Cherry, Cinnamon, Coffee, Dried Fruit, Floral, Flowers, Honey, Mineral, Molasses, Nuts, Peach, Pear, Petrichor, Pine, Plant Stems, Resin, Roasted, Smoke, Spicy, Sweet, Wood
First sit-down with tea in a while, in the comfort of my tea cave. Happy to be home? It’s nice to be back with Kiki, my old girl and tea but I have a lot on my mind. Travel does that. Seeing backroad towns, exploring the terrain and new environments, meeting locals, learning different ways of life.
I bought a new bowl for tea at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens outside Gainesville, FL. This tea, a spring 2020 harvest, is wonderful prepared in this manner. It’s not a complex green and I think Teavivre captures the character in their description. The tea is soft and sweet spring water and fresh and tender garden-grown green beans with a drop of sugarcane and a sprinkle of tarragon. It finishes with enough briskness to balance the upfront sweetness. There isn’t much aftertaste; the tea is clean and cleansing with a mouth-watering granite- and quartzlike minerality. Warming and sweating eventually cools the body.
The third bowl does tear up my mouth a little with what seems to be enzymes and creates some discomfort in an empty stomach, but I do overall enjoy this clean and sweet green tea.
Flavors: Beany, Floral, Flowers, Green Beans, Herbs, Kettle Corn, Mineral, Smooth, Spring Water, Sugarcane, Sweet, Tart, Thick
It’s called Atlanta Tea but I actually had this at a diner in Pensacola as an accompaniment to a breakfast they called a New Orleans Napoleon. While a black tea does go great with a hollandaise-sauced puff pastry, egg and andouille dish (topped with a hearty helping of DaT sauce), if I had had my pick, I would’ve gone for something different. Anything else. Except maybe Lipton. I was served a standard 10oz mug of hot water and a pot of hot on the side but the tea flavor was so weak I didn’t consider topping up. Needs two bags for a mug. At least it didn’t taste like the paper teabag!
Side note: if you ever get a beignet, do yourself a favor and squeeze a lemon wedge over it!
Another great companion for a hot and humid southern road trip. I ambient-brewed a few bags in my 20oz thermos overnight and was greeted at dawn with the refreshing, sweet taste of a mixed mint and tarragon tea. The spearmint seems to come through more this way than when brewed hot, taming the usually bracing peppermint.
Awake saved my butt on the Great Southern Road Trip. Roadside motels don’t offer tea so I kept a gallon of ambient-brew in the backseat ice chest. Bless you, Awake. You made a great cold companion from Miami to the Everglades to Gainesville and all the beautiful places in between. Fresh, strong flavor with depth.