469 Tasting Notes
Recovering from the Beer Circus and front row madness of a Gogol Bordello show last night, I hadn’t had tea all day. Made a pot for the house tonight.
Strong butterscotch aroma to the dry leaf that when brewed is stronger smelling than in taste. The brewed tea in general is so mellow and with a light mouthfeel that I though it might be a tisane. It’s pleasant though with modest cinnamon and a tinge of fruity, spicy pink peppercorn, neither of which lingers. Those flavors help to bring down the sweetness of the butterscotch aroma. The base white tea is a mix of large broken leaf, stray silver needles and plenty of long stems. It doesn’t really contribute much flavor, maybe light hay. I still like what this blend has to offer. It’s nice this evening now that the hangover of last night’s debauchery has passed and the winds have ushered in the clouds that might bring the first rain of the season tomorrow.
Thanks, Mastress Alita for the gift. I was waiting for the right time to drink this one. And I got your envelope <3
Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Cinnamon, Hay, Peppercorn, Vanilla
Brewed this black (red) tea pretty strong western, a small-heaped tablespoon, roughly 5g at 205F for 3 and 5 minutes.
The dry leaf has an awesome aroma dominated by cocoa, molasses, tobacco, and berries with fleeting hints of red plum, brown sugar, coffee, barnyard, malt, sweet potato, and woody incense.
When it was hot, the tea tasted mostly of malt and leather. I approached the cup again after a lengthy cool down. Flavors of chocolate barley malt, leather and coffee presented in the oily and smooth brew. As Togo mentioned, it’s savory and earthy. I’m not finding any bitterness. There is a delayed light returning sweetness of dark brown sugar. Freaking delicious!
Brewed at this strength, it tastes like a flat English stout with some sweetness and a light finish not dry but one that tastes like marion berries and clotted cream.
I had been wanting to try A&P since it was released. It is not sold as a sample and I never felt like committing to a 100g cake. So thank you Togo for the opportunity to try it! I might have to order a cake for winter evenings.
Todays pairing: WHAT?! YAYUH!! OKAAAY!
Flavors: Barnyard, Berries, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa, Coffee, Cream, Earth, Leather, Malt, Molasses, Plums, Roasted Barley, Round , Smooth, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco, Wood
Looking back in my log book, I took some hasty notes with a 10g sample of the Autumn 2018 harvest purchased a month or two ago.
One brew was 5g stewed in my 20oz thermos for several hours. Delightfully tangy, sweet and fruity with berries.
The other 5g I dedicated to gongfu. I was able to pick apart the fruitiness into a dominant sweet-tart red raspberry-red apple-grape-rhubarb with other notes of blackberry, blueberry, red cherry, pear, white toast, baked bread, malt and butter. The minerality and salivation appeared very early and transitioned into a woodier, drier mouthfeel that when combined with the taste reminded me of apricot kernel. Juicy fruit aroma (not the chewing gum).
[5g, 100mL porcelain pot, 205F, rinse discarded due to sharp toastiness, good longevity]
This Vietnamese GABA definitely had that grape quality I find in most Taiwanese GABA oolong of a specific cultivar that at the moment is escaping me. However, this tea was more berry-focused; a nice departure from the floral grape I’ve been experiencing lately.
The flavor notes listed below are a combination of both brewing methods.
Wishlisted — I’ll have to buy a larger quantity next time!
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Baked Bread, Berries, Blackberry, Blueberry, Brown Toast, Butter, Cherry, Flowers, Fruity, Grapes, Honey, Malt, Pear, Raisins, Raspberry, Red Apple, Rhubarb, Sweet, Tangy, Tart, Thick, Toast, Wood
Wow, life! I finally had time for a gongfu session tonight.
This tea has really evolved into something special for me after unintentionally aging it (heh) for a few years. Spicy with sandalwood and camphor atop a thick, mellow, sweet and fruity base that’s almost like red apples and raspberries mixed with soymilk, white mushroom broth and cacao. Initial steep is still a tad drying in the throat, or as Togo mentioned, constrictive. That feeling fades out into a persistent warming, bitter, woody spice like Saigon cinnamon mixed with dark chocolate as a lighter layer in the aftertaste of red apples and lychee blooms ever bigger into osmanthus. At first the tea was very warming and caused me to sweat but that camphor cooling took over in the mouth about midway through the session.
What a damn delight! Interesting, engaging but not difficult or fussy — fun texture, forward top layer of spice and incense, subtle and complex with mid/base tones and notes, bright minerality, with every steep a slight change and nothing out of place. Still a soothing buzz, alert yet relaxed despite using a ton of leaf. Wonderful cooler weather, after-dark tea.
Speaking of leaf, I’m as in awe of these leaves as last time. They had been twice lightly roasted and before brewing look darker than other baijiguan I’ve tried; the spent leaf though is clearly baijiguan — very pale compared to other Wuyi oolong cultivars or varietals and possessing some beautiful oxidation.
After tonight’s performance, I’m not concerned about clearing one of the oldest teas from my stash. This one can obviously sit around longer if I can keep my hands off it!
[8g, 100mL clay gaiwan, 205F, 10s rinse (drank — yum!), uncounted steeps starting at 10s]
Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aofoBrFNdg
Flavors: Apricot, Broth, Cacao, Camphor, Cinnamon, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Flowers, Lychee, Milk, Mineral, Mushrooms, Nectar, Nutmeg, Osmanthus, Raspberry, Red Apple, Soybean, Spicy, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Thick, Wet Wood, Wood
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Bamboo, Chestnut, Cream, Gardenias, Grain, Grass, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Lemongrass, Lettuce, Malt, Milk, Mineral, Mint, Nectar, Salty, Seaweed, Spinach
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Camphor, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Leather, Lemon, Lychee, Malt, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Raisins, Rose, Rum, Spicy, Wood