54 Tasting Notes
I had a bit of a hand in cupping and describing this one, so I stand by the description that is posted on the website.
Makes an amazing cold brewed iced tea, using 1oz of loose leaf in 3/4 gal of cold water and steeped 6 hrs in the fridge in a Bodum Biasca Iced tea pitcher.
Unlike typical oolongs, its almost better to treat this tea like a black tea, as it has a finer leaf size and a more oxidized profile. The depth of the flavor is better than many traditional orthodox black teas I’ve had out of this region and far better than the CTC that are more common from Kenya and Tanzania.
I did a charity ride this last weekend called the Tour de H2O that builds wells and water systems to help provide clean water (a key necessity for any good cup of tea) for schools and communities. I presented a sample of this to the organizer and hope he enjoys it.
Cuppings were done with a traditional cupping set, using 2 grams for 6oz in 200 degree water for 2-3 minutes, and using same temp. water with slightly longer steep times for follow up extractions. Flavor held up for about 3 extractions and the wonderful apricot notes diminished slightly. A great cup.
High altitude oolong infused with osmanthus – Taiwan origin
Dry: deep note of floral and exotic fruit, almost oriental spicy mustard with high nasal bite and brightness
Wet: scent of fresh custard, clarified butter, yuzu, lime, and nutty
Appearance: tightly rolled, lightly oxidized leaves with fine, yellow and orange floral threads
Cup: bright, clear deep yellow liquor with pale, lemon hues at the edge of the cup. Initial flavors of traditional lightly oxidized oolong, sweet-cream and floral, but quickly gives way to a rich yuzu-like fruity flavor that vanishes and is replaced by a sweet lingering finish, which again transforms into a building flavor along the edges of the tongue. Flavor builds with each sip and seems to be perfectly balanced between the expression of the oolongs natural flavors and the introduced flavors of the osmanthus- both having expression and neither dominating.
Brewing method: 17 oz. double layered glass mug from www.sunsteas.com, decanted into teaspot infuser mug. 4grams of tea in 180 degree water, steeped 4 minutes and then water temp. increased and steep time increased for following steeps (4).
a lovely display of flavor awareness and balance and perhaps the best expression of osmanthus that I’ve tried that didn’t seem heavy handed or overly dominant over the tea.
does have a mild astringency over successive cups, would recommend this as a compliment in a Thai restaurant to pair up with galangal and spicy dishes or as a side to a traditional lychee or custard dessert.
Jungpana (Darjeeling 2nd flush) From the Mahandi Valley comes this award-winning Darjeeling tea. Its small, silver-tipped leaves produce a deep caramel brown liquor with spicy aroma, smooth body, muscatel notes and a bright finish. This tea won the competition for the best 2nd flush Darjeeling at the 2008 World Tea Championship.
Dry Aroma: spice, caramel, rich heady citrus depth
Wet Aroma: dark honey, floral, hint of fruit Leaf: larger leaf than standard Darjeeling, with color that resembles golden beauty (dark, rust, silver tip), lots of pollen
Cup: rich golden, champagne color with green cast legs. Clean, sweet, floral depth with almost pollen-like astringency and totally lacking in bitterness or spicy bite. Silky mouth feel, with lingering sweetness. Offers 2-4 extractions with consistent depth of flavor.
brewing method: Standard cupping set – used 2 grams (1 rounded tsp) per 6oz in 190 degree water, steeped for 3 minutes, but allowing for following extractions by raising the temperature of the water and extending the steep times.
Organic Assam Banaspathy FOP
Dry Aroma: toasted, sweet, dark fruit/dried currants
Wet Aroma: sweet orange zest and slight tannic notes
Cup: smooth, clean mild body, sweet finish with lingering slightly bittersweet chocolate/malt aftertaste.
brewed method: traditional cupping set – 2 grams (1 rounded tsp) per 6oz in 200 degree water for 2-3 minutes.
good example of second flush, full leaf Assam. Would make a great base for an Irish breakfast or a simple cold brewed iced tea.