118 Tasting Notes
Yesterday I used Szechuan peppercorns generously in my soup and my tongue has not yet recovered. But this tea is pleasant today. I think all previous times I had done 5g, but maybe that is usually too much caffeine for me. Will have to try all the teas with less leaf.
Flavors: Butter, Toasted, Vanilla
I was simply gnawing on goji berries like they are raisins all these years until someone reintroduced them to me last week as something that can be brewed as a tea (and eaten). Added to my pot w/ some fresh sliced ginger.
This is a baller winter beverage. After months of mostly drinking puer and some green and heicha to break up the monotony, ginger goji tea is a flavor party. All of my sessions for the next week will perhaps stink of ginger, but that is not necessarily a bad thing during flu season. Anything to ward off the sniffles.
Flavors: Ginger, Goji
This was my very first fu zhuan tea. The outer part of the brick does not show any golden flowers, but when you dig a bit deeper into the brick, the tiny beneficial mold spheres reveal themselves. It is repulsive because we are conditioned to not ingest anything so scary looking, especially from a foreign country labeled in a language we cannot completely read, but a relief to verify that I had found the right thing on the first try despite acquiring it unopened and brand new from a grandpa I do not know who was downsizing his tea collection. I tasted the outer chunk first after two long rinses. It is really a perfect digestive beverage. You can feel the large meal you ate actively dissolve with great haste within you after you drink this. Later in the day, I tried the inner chunk dotted with golden flowers. As promised, the leaves smelled convincingly of dark honey and the soup tasted sweeter than the first chunk. The color of the liquid ranges from a deep gold to a warm red depending on the length of the steeps, but it loses most of its flavor by around steep 8. In the latter steeps, it tastes more like a strong black tea than anything else, but the early steeps are quite unique, I imagine, to this genre of “golden flowers”. It is such an interesting tea. I will be drinking it regularly this winter to learn more about it. I don’t see how anyone can refrain from eating more food after a session or two of this tea, though. It is like 15 out of 10 on the munchies meter.
Flavors: Berries, Honey
Rinsed it hot twice in case it was dank like the 80’s one people complained about. The first few steeps tasted old and vanilla-y. I like sour foods generally, so maybe I am not the best judge of unpleasant sour tastes, because my threshold is likely higher than that of others due to the sheer quantity of sour fermented foods and drinks I consume. Is this a little sour? A little? Dunno. But it is surely nothing compared to a sour ale.. Not much energy in this tea, though. Will need to leaf it harder next time.
This tea is too expensive for anyone to get it solely for this purpose, but here’s the thing. I don’t have a good reaction to it during gong fu sessions, but even 3 grams of spent leaves added to a 500ml pot of more spent leaves brewed grandpa style really elevates the brew and gives it a great energy. :shrug: Maybe this tea just gets good results from straight up boiling?
It may be the tea is so mild/mellow that all I taste is the bamboo. I have tried this many times since ordering a brick blind this past spring. It’s not bad, and will rev you up for sure, but it can kind of feel like you’re sucking on clean disposable bamboo chopsticks for the first 10 steeps or so. I will try fewer grams next time.
Trying this again, especially since it rained today. It wasn’t quite as flavorless and scentless as it was last week, but everything is still very, think 80-90%, muted. You want total silence and focus to catch anything a tea in this state has to deliver. The younger one in this vertical tasting set was schizophrenic, but this one is the extremely soft spoken, introverted librarian. I kept going past steep 8 or 10, which was when I gave up last time and added the leaves into my grandpa pot. There is now a pleasant huigan, which, as gentle as it is, is many times stronger than any favor or scent this has to offer so far. Oh, I know. Maybe next time I will try doing 1.5g of this and 1.5g of the mahei/gaoshan (great scent, unimpressive energy) in the same pot. Maybe that is frowned upon, I haven’t checked, but whatever, it’s my tea now.
I had read some discouraging things about Mahei, but I am intrigued by this tea. It isn’t so strong as the others, but as LP hinted in his rambling description, the scent is quite seductive. A lot of honey and subdued florals. If this scent could be turned into a syrup, it would pair well with a light, lacy pancake. Any tea that smells like this with about 3-4x more energy would be bomb. Wish there was more info on which region is causing which effect.
Flavors: Floral, Honey
Is almost an actual baked good masquerading as a sheng. I was so blown away by the massive popularity of this tea that I bought a cake blind at a significant markup at a party earlier this year. While there were tastings, it was not possible to get a good sense of the tea before the purchase because of all the giddy socializing. But “dessert tea” is a very accurate description for those familiar with wine and western style dairy heavy desserts. It is gentle enough to splurge on the grammage, offers up a wonderful energy, and features huigan that somehow really is reminiscent of castella. It may be an excellent choice for those trying to give up the crutches of dairy and sugar.
Flavors: Berries, Cake, Cream, Honey, Sugar