1144 Tasting Notes
I went over the border to Sarnia, and took it as an opportunity to be an innocuous liberal going to Canada for the sole purpose of organic vegan food and tea. I got a bunch of sachets of some of the staples like Forever Nuts and Cardamom French Toast, but I had this one to go. I didn’t expect it to be nuanced, but it was super sweet and tasty as you’d expect from a Maple Syrup flavored tea. Kayla, the person who served it, said it tasted like pancakes, and it did. This one would be especially awesome during the fall.
I thought I had a note for this one. Anyway, I’ve been saving it for when the moment strikes me since it is a VERY good tea. I had a little bit when I first bought it, and it does incredibly well gong fu or western. I can’t remember everything about the first time I’ve had it other than its general profile. The notes were a little bit closer to an Bai Hao than other Himalyan based black teas I’ve had, but it is very muscatel, juicy, and floral the way I like it. I prefer lighter blacks and muscatels anyway…I’m a snob.
Moving on to tonight’s session, the dryleaf has a nice aromatic that sneaks up a few seconds after you open the bag, then nuts, orange blossom, hibiscus, cocoa, earth, dried leaves (NO DUH), and something else wafts through the air. Orange blossom, red grape, muscat,and autumn leaves come to mind amidst its viscous mouthfeel, although the tea is oddly refreshing right now. Woodsiness starts to come through as it cools.
I admit that I upped the leafage to just over 5 grams for 8 ounces, and I didn’t count the steep time. I would guestimate under a minute, probably 30-45 seconds. The water was 180 F. I did 40 seconds the 2nd steep. More wood and muscat, a little bit of something that reminds me of red and orange flowers. The texture is still mouth coating and oddly thirst quenching. Dryness rises a little bit at the back of my tongue a little, but its sweet and very pleasant. It’s the woodsy note I was talking about.
Steep three…. I did not keep track of how long I brewed it. My cuppa was excellent nevertheless. The same notes popped up with a bit more mouthfeel. It began with dryness at my teeth, juiciness at the tongue, and a little bit more floral dryness at the throat. Eastteaguy will no doubt describe the florals and dryer notes more profoundly. I can’t wait to seem him write about it. The longer brew reminded me it was indeed a black tea, but it’s still closer to an oolong to me personally.
I know I can get more cups out of this session. 5 was the highest number I got last time western, 7 gong fu. We’ll see.
I’ll write again later. Although I have the Vietnam version of a Bai Hao, this one serves that craving more despite being a black tea. It is comparable to the best 2nd flush Darjeelings I’ve had, but then again, I actually like Nepalese teas more, especially Jun Chiyabari. Too bad it’s sold out.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Flowers, Grapes, Honey, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Peach, Sweet, Wood
Backlog: I was impulsive, and got a treasure chest of nearly every one of Wang’s Teas except their Shan Lin Xi. I’ve sampled several so far, and this was one of the first ones.
I think the company’s description does this one the most service. It’s got the nutty profile of any light roast in the dry leaf, and brewing it up, the aroma is also nutty like almonds and marzipan with a little bit of a roast, something that you find in peanuts. The first brew is very light, yet smooth. I get the brown sugar note the most in the first and second brews gong fu and western. Honeysuckle was the most prominent floral to me, though there was another lighter airy floral. Maybe hyacinth, but I’m not sure. It’s not heady, but it’s noticeable. Later brews turned into the usual green oolong notes you can imagine, though more on the floral and vegetal end. It was also a little bit woodsy in profile, but pleasantly so.
I finished this sample very quickly. The tea was fairly resilient grandpa with lighter leaves, though I had to be careful with western. The roast would occasionally smoothen over the florals, but it was still very forgiving. Pie crust and squash would also be good equivalents. I highly enjoyed this one. It was a little bit too light for my preferences overall, but it was still very good and among one of my favorites so far. It’s like a friend you don’t see often, but always appreciate when they are there.
Flavors: Almond, Brown Sugar, Creamy, Floral, Honeysuckle, Nuts, Peanut, Squash Blossom, Sweet, Wood
Insanely rich, brisk, smooth, balanced, and decadent. This tea would serve as a great breakfast tea to get you up in the morning or even a late lunch for a second waking, but I’m using it as a dessert one for now. It pairs well with handpicked blackberries. There’s something about its leather character that kind of reminds me of Ancient Spirit. Maybe it’s the marshmellow note. Oh well, this remains as one superior Assam. I might rate it higher in the future, but 95 is my minimum so far. I can’t see myself drinking this one often because it is so powerful, and complex enough that it needs to be savored. If you love tea and good Assams, this is an excellent match.
I finished it off gong fu. I thought that I should maybe savor it, but the day before Indepence Day was an appropriate date to drink it. It resembled an Oriental Beauty with immense bready and buttery notes. I am going to miss this one. If only I didn’t have the other LOADS of oolong I need to go through…Anyway, my previous note can be applied to how I drank it this time. Luckily, I still have some Ruby left over.
I’m probably going to rate it higher in the near future. Thank you Alistair for this great sample!
So, I’ve found that wild teas tend to be fruity, almost no matter where they come from. Okay, overstatement has ended. I liked this tea a lot. Dryleaf has a little bit of the much desired and imagined cocoa-nib scent, and tasting it, it is very smooth and viscous, but light yet fruity. I got a little bit of plum, berry, and maybe nectarine. Either way, stone fruit and maybe berry. And yes, there is a little bit of cocoa in the aftertaste. It goes down smooth. I thought I was craving a greener tea this morning, but this proved me wrong. I could see this as a very good quality daily drinker…nevermind you would be set with any What-Cha tea as a great daily drinker.
I do think that Western was better since it is a little bit lighter than other teas, but it’s still good. Recommended.
Flavors: Cocoa, Creamy, Malt, Plums, Smooth, Sweet
I seriously haven’t written a note on this one yet? Fail.
Anyway, it’s hands down one of the best Assams I’ve had. The caramelized brown sugar note really does me in, and I cannot pin down the rest of the top of my head other than being fairly fruity, and well, Assam like and sweet like dark chocolate or cocoa nibs. I feel like I have to check my bloodsugar with it. It does have the rounded raisin-malt taste of a good Assam, but it barely becomes astringent keeps a unique sweetness that few teas have. Now, the tea can become bitter or astringent if I mess around to much, but for the most part, it’s a forgiving tea with less leaves. It’s been my go to breakfast tea so far. Deserves the praise indeed.
I think this teas covered in detail, but since I have a decent amount of it, I’ll probably write about it pretty often. I’ve stayed towards a western style in a french press as of late, but even then, I easily get 4-6 cups out of it. Very, very good. I do like the Wild Mountain a little more, but I drink this one more often. I am excited to see how the Guan Yin turns out when people write about it. It’s a shame I’m over budget for tea.
Interesting tea that I am glad that I got 50 grams of. The dryleaf scent reminded me of molasses, honey, and fruit leather, with a particularly woodsy smoothness to it.
I attempted Gong Fu, and I was not sure what to think. Malt and fruit were there, but it was mostly ASSAM through and through, albeit sweet like honey and perhaps mineral.
The second steep was a Western Accident. It’s very bold, brisk, and energizing, but smooth and sans astringency or true bitterness. Malt came in a velvety smooth mouthfeel, with an accent rising like eucaluptus but a fruity sweetness. Nectarine popped in my head, but it was very dry. Someone might disagree. Plum is probably more accurate. I can see the red apple and currant a little more as it cools, but more so red apple. That’s all I have right now, and that’s using eastteaguy’s notes as reference. Otherwise, I am a little bit overwhelmed since I drank so much tea today. I need to slow down a bit.
I enjoyed this one. A little bit more chai-esque than I expected, but definitely a nice smooth assam base and orange flavor. There are more similarities to a Emergency packet in its zestiness, but the cocoa nibs come in the background nicely in scent and smell. It does taste a little bit better for me with agave to sweeten, but it’s still good. I might write more, but for now, it’s roughly between 75-85 for me.