3294 Tasting Notes
I’ve been neglecting my raw puerh teas for awhile, and I believe I’ve noticed a pattern, which is that during the cooler winter months I tend to gravitate towards Shu, and during allergy season (spring, summer, and fall for me) I tend to reach for the Sheng. If I’ve mentioned this before, that is because I tend to have these kinds of revelations over and over again (and each time they seem new to me, LOL).
A few years ago Tea Explorer and I shared an epic tea exchange, and I’m still working on the box of teas he sent my way! This is one of them, and today it is a sipdown! Only 11 more varieties to go!
It is a known thing, at least to me, that raw puerh is beneficial during allergy season. It improves my state of being in multiple ways, and especially once the pollen is in the air, which is apparently already is in St. Louis. We’ve had a few days of sunshine and that’s pretty much all it takes. I wouldn’t say that Sheng works as well as Nettle Leaf tea, but on it’s own, it definitely makes a difference in the quality of my breathing, thinking, and overall day. I’ll probably brew a qt of Nettles too.
Flavorwise, this tea is a little tart, kind of a savory berry taste with a touch of smoke, thick & lively on the tongue, and a good head buzz!
Boychik sent me two of these a couple of years ago, and since I’m working my way into year 3 of my Sipdown Extravaganza, it’s about time I start drinking things like this. Plus I’ve had a headache for a few days, and drinking Sheng seems to help, at least sometimes. I have noticed that it is beneficial for allergies, so there.
I do like Sheng, but as a general rule, I don’t care for Sheng Tuocha’s, and this one is no exception.
Yesterday I dropped one into my sheng yixing, keeping the steeps short, and as the tuo fell apart, the spout kept getting semi-clogged with all the powdery stuff. And it was mostly powdery stuff. There were some smaller leaves in there, and they unfolded nicely, and really, the tea itself was ok, good for a headache, bitter & somewhat astringent, and it did get a little sweeter after awhile.
Today I dropped the other tuocha into a steeper basket in a full size mug, and I actually preferred it that way. First, because I just didn’t want to have all that powdery crap in my yixing, and 2ndly because it actually tasted better with more water and a little more time. I went with 15 secs for the first steep, adding 15 to each consecutive steep.
I still haven’t cured my headache, but at least I get to count a sipdown!
Not something I would purchase, but thanks to Boychik for the opportunity to sample it :)
Here’s my favorite link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk5Uturacx8&t=482s
I love this rendition, because everyone is so animated, they all play so well, and the Conductor is so awesome and uninhibited. :)
Note: the above link is NOT the orchestra I’m playing with!
Anyway, I’m taking break from practicing to enjoy multiple steepings of this tea.
Sweet stone fruits, honey, hops, bee pollen, and a little eucalyptus. It’s very sweet. The energy of it reminds me of a Sheng, and the mouthfeel is smooth, thick, & tangy like grapes. The aroma is rich & fruity, and lingers in my sinuses like a primo incense.
Very satisfying! Something about this tea reminds me of those alcohol drenched fruitcakes my mom used to make during the HoliDaze (back in the 60’s). They were loaded with dried fruits, soaked in Brandy, and then allowed to ‘cure’ for a few weeks.
I’ve been drinking both the Dry Stored & Humid Stored versions of this same tea all afternoon, side by side in matching cups & matching gaiwans.
Aroma: kind of cream of wheat like, however the humid stored version makes my nose itch & has a root cellar bite to it.
The immediately noticeable difference is the color. Although I used the same quantity (by weight) of both teas, the humid stored version is immediately darker in color, a deep chocolate, while the dry stored is more of a dark amber.
Flavorwise, the humid stored is actually sweeter with an immediate menthol-like sensation & that ‘old roots’ kind of taste. The Dry has a cleaner taste, more like a hayloft.
That’s all I’ve got for now…
Another Tai Ping Hou Kui, thank you to Angel & Teavivre.
I had initially planned to compare this one to the Premium version, but that didn’t happen. I’ve been so busy lately, really too busy to think about writing tea reviews. For a few weeks I was digging up sweet potatoes (7 different varieties, all curing in various locations, mostly my sunroom), and planting garlics, shallots, and multiplier onions, and other fall stuff.
Now my primary activity is practicing several hours a day, in preparation for several concerts I have coming up, pretty much a different concert every week with a different local orchestra. Last sunday it was Resphigi’s ancient Airs & dances II. This coming sunday it’s The Planets by Holst and the Star Wars Movie soundtrack! Next weekend it’s Pictures at an Exhibition (which I’m playing again with a different group in Dec). Then I have 5 pieces for a concert with the St. Louis Wind Orchestra, followed a week later by 3 performances of the Nutcracker complete with ballet! Then another orchestra concert in Dec, with The Blue Danube Waltz! Then a bunch of xmas gigs!
So I deserve a break with this beautiful green tea! I can’t really give a comparison to the other one… visually, the leaves of this version are more delicate, but they both share the beautiful long leaved presentation that makes this tea have such a wonderful visual appeal.
Tastewise, if it is possible, this one is even sweeter, smoother, and more creamy/buttery. There is a thick sensation, and tastes of pumpkin seed, honeydew melon, kelp, & mineral.
I love Tai Ping Huo Kui. I feel in love with it a few years ago. It’s such a beautiful tea, with it’s long graceful seaweed look, and the flavors are buttery, sweet, creamy, and greeeeeen.
This is a wondeful green tea for people who prefer to avoid bitterness & dryness, because it doesn’t fall into those categories.
Thank you to Angel & Teavivire for the generous samples, which I shared with friends. My apologies for taking so long to get around to writing a review.
The last tea from my box of teas from my Tea Sister Sil.
This will mark the first time since Sil & I first started trading teas that I actually don’t have anything in my collection from her, although for now that is a good thing, as I’m still working on getting my numbers down.
So I’ve actually been avoiding this one, LOL. I know that some people really prize these old teas, but I’ve concluded that I tend to like a fresher kind of taste. This one is ‘essence of an old root cellar’, earthy, musty, with a mineral element. It wasn’t totally undrinkable, and actually I ran it through several rounds before I’d finally had enough. I will say that it made for a substantial dark brew, a deep amber color, but definitely not something I’d want to keep around in my collection.
Although I haven’t been drinking much oolong lately, I do love wuyi oolongs and have a pretty nice collection of them. My neglect is not for lack of love, but for lack of time. I don’t really like to bring them out to play unless I have time to load up the yixing & savor cup after cup of wonderful nuance. But lately I’ve been thinking about them more, like dear friends I don’t see often. Sometimes my feeling that I don’t have enough time to drink certain teas is probably just a figment of my imagination. I mean, I’m self-employed, I’m home most of the day, unless I have a gig somewhere, and although I’m usually busy with one project or another, they are a perfect afternoon tea for me, especially when I have students coming and going, with the short steep time, the smaller cup, & the wonderful wonderfulness.
I like to preheat my yixing & then let the leaf sit in there for a minute to really release it’s aroma, and I was not disappointed from the moment I opened the lid & sniffed. ahhhh….
Tart like hibiscus, sweet, tart & juicy but slightly under-ripe stone fruits, but this tea also has a bass note that really appeals to me, because I tend to favor bolder teas. Kind of a dark unsweetened chocolate with a hint of coffee.
I started with 7G + yixing 5/8/11/15/20/25/30 seconds, then the flavor started to lighten, so I went to minutes 1/2/3 /5 Overall the flavor stayed the same throughout, just building layers & then fading down, until by the last steep, it was a mineral rich soup, with a pleasant chocolate bitterness & a little tanginess remaining.
Ensemble: Upright Bass, Bass Clarinet, Cello, Clarinet, Viola, Flute & Oboe & some high brass, sparingly. And Harp, of course! :)